Dragons of Night

Fate's Harrow is back out and the Christmas Specials are coming.

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In time for its 7th Anniversary

It is hard to believe that it has been 7 years since I wrote the adventures of Ara'lu Nergal, Dov Lavan, Tien Shaa, and Adir Radd.  How time flies?

I want to thank everyone who helped me get this book ready, and everyone who voted for the cover.  None of this would be possible without your care and support.

This edition of the book contains the original unpublished prologue, Dreaming of Midnight, and the unpublished final chapter, Wings of Destiny.  So if you read it when it originally came out almost 7 years ago, there is even more in this edition.

Get your copy here.  It will be free until Friday, so don't wait too long to pick up your copy.
 

7 years of Fate's Harrow

It is hard for me to believe that on December 30th, Fate's Harrow will be 7 years old.  It really doesn't feel right, but time flies when you are having fun, right?

This serial was a milestone for me.  It was my first story to hit #1 on the Amazon bestseller chart.  After my experience with Liquid Sky, I needed that boost to my confidence to keep me going.

If it wasn't for this book, I might not have kept writing.  Thank you to everyone who picked up a copy when it first came out, and thank you for getting your copy of the new edition.
 

Christmas specials

Keep an eye out for the releases of this years Christmas specials. 

The Krampus is coming to Dragons of Night in the new story, The Yule Mask (Facebook Page | Google+ Page).

Our Solemn Hour has come with the new story, Sisters of the Light (Facebook Page | Google+ Page).
 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I hope that all you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I have a lot of resolutions for next year, and I expect you to help keep me on track.

Struggling with Wattpad and the Return of Fate's Harrow.

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Coffee is life

Yesterday, I sent out the Newsletter, and started on the massive project to restart the zine next year.  If you didn't get your copy, you can read it here and sign up to receive it here.  I have so many irons in the fire, it is a great way to keep from missing something.

Calling all Beta Readers

I also added many of my previously published works to the Beta Readers group for a one last pass before the relaunch of my Scifi/fantasy series, Our Solemn Hour.

  • All 5 Issues of Fate's Harrow
  • All 4 Legends of the Jade Moon Novelettes
  • The full text of Shine Like Thunder

If you want to help with this read through and get early access to drafts of new stories, join the Beta Readers' GroupAs always everyone who helps edit these works will get a shout out in the Acknowledgements and a free ebook version of the final text.

The Return of Fate's Harrow

I know you caught that.  Yes, for the first time in 7 years, my bestselling book Fate's Harrow is coming back!

I am so excited to make this book available again.  I believe all the rights considerations have been taken care of, so I can finally get the book back into print.  If we can keep on schedule, it should be available by December 16th!

Stepping up on Wattpad

Wattpad is an interesting place, and I have dabbled with it from time to time.  I added a bunch of previously unpublished stories there to get your feedback.  Hopefully, I can get my head around the site and community over there.

If you have any advise for me on that, please share.  If you would like to follow me over there, here is my profile.

I am trying to open up

Openness is the secret power of the internet.  I know that is not a shocking statement, but it is something I have struggled with for years.  I am trying to be more open with what I am doing and how I am doing it.

No journey is worth taking if you have to take it alone.  If you want to walk this path with me, Join the Project: Shadow group and follow me on the various social networks.

When is Our Solemn Hour?

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Reboots and the Return of the Serials

So much has happened over the last year.  I have to thank you all for your support through these trying times.  The good news is, there is a light over at the Frankenstein place, and I am ready to do the time warp again!

Ok, there is no connection between what I am working on and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I am pretty sure I know how that bird felt in Magenta's hand.  After a year of ups and downs, the only consistent things have been my faith, friends, family, and all of you.

After all the work, and a steep learning curve in 3D art, it is time to open the flood gates and get you more stories.  A lot more stories. 
 

What I learned this year

You all have supported me beyond belief this year.  Your love and acceptance of Wand and Weaver: The Chain has warmed my heart.  In 1 year, it has sold more copies than any other individual book I've written!

I also learned that you like my $0.99 novelettes.  They have sold consistently throughout the year. 


So, now, as we move towards 2014, I am going to try something new.  Soon, I will launch the first of 2 new serials.  One will be set in Dragons of Night, and will pick up where The Chain ended, the other will continue the world of Liquid Sky and Shine Like Thunder.

With your help, 2014 will be even better.  Spread the word, and get involved.  There is a lot of work ahead, and I know that you will be by my side through it all.  Thank you for everything.  Your support means the world to me.

Hangout Video: What's going on with Dragons of Night

Well, I finally went and did it.  We had our first community Hangout on Air.  It was different, but I have to say I had fun with it.  If you missed it, the archived video is embedded above, or you can check out Dragons of Night: Behind the Scenes episode 7, which has the audio from it.

If you would like to take part in the next hangout, join the Google plus community and be ready next Friday at 4 PM Central for the next one.  Community members will be invited to join the video chat, the first nine will get in, and anyone else will be able to watch or join in the chat room.  If you just want to be in the chat, join as a watcher.

In this hangout, we discussed what has been going on, In the Light of the Moon, Wand and Weaver: the Pearl, and The Long Winter.

I look forward to your questions and comments.

The big new year for the Dragons of Night

Again, I want to thank everyone who made 2012 my best year yet for fiction sales.  I took a pretty big gamble switching genres, but thanks to your love, help, and support, it was well worth it.

2013 is going to be a very big year for us.  Wand and Weaver: The Chain is out of exclusivity, which means it should be available on your Nook and other favorite bookstores soon.  We are even working on an audio version that will be available from Audible.com and as a podcast.

Work on book 2 proceeds on schedule, and I can't wait to get it into your hands to see what you all think of it.  For those of you who have asked, it will pick up right at the end of The Chain and go on to explore the relationship between Daniel and Lady Oban.

We have also decided to release a serial, to be called Our Solemn Hour, that will show events taking place in the wider world.  I'm very excited about the series, and hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy working on it.

In addition to all that, I have started publishing prose poems and flash fiction, as well as original artwork, in the Dragons of Night setting over at medium.com.  These are part of my daily warm-up routine, and I thought it would be fun to share them with you all.

As always, I love getting feedback from everyone.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit me up on my various social media profiles, or use the contact page to get in touch with me directly.

I hope you are as excited as I am for all of the new things coming to Dragons of Night this year.  And since I can't say it enough, thank you so much for your love, care, and support

Thank you for a great 2012

I wanted to take a quick minute to thank everyone who picked up a copy of Wand and Weaver: The Chain this year.

Thanks to you, for the first time in my writing career I've hit my book sale goal for the year. I set a rather high target and through your generosity we hit it.

I also want to thank everyone who has written a review of the book, and everyone who has contacted me to share how much the story meant to you.

As you know, the story is very near and dear to my heart. It pains me as a writer to say this, but I really and truly have no words to express how grateful I am to all of you for your kindness, love, and support.

I look forward to the new year, and all of the new things that it will bring for me to share for you all to read.

Wildness

I’ve talked a lot in the past about my love of Robert E Howard and his love for the the Barbarian, especially through the character of Conan.

What he means by Barbarian is not an ethnic group or even a particular class of individual, but is simply a person unburdened by the the social norms and rules of “polite society.”

If that doesn’t make sense to you, check out The Importance of Being Earnest or An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, or the BBC farce, Keeping Up Appearances, where the humor is based on a how people are forced to act within the gilded cages of polite society.  They are not Barbarians.

On the other hand, check out Almost Famous, Farscape, and Firefly to see Barbarians at their best.

Barbarians have Honor

What makes barbarian society possible in the absence of etiquette and mores of polite society is that integrity and reputation are more important than social standing and lineage.  If you are a renown liar, it doesn’t matter who your father is or what company you work for.

Cultured society, by definition, adopt certain norms of speech, action, and etiquette.  The end result is a subjection of the natural state of an individual to the homogenized whole.

In its worse extreme of a cultured society we get Stepford Wives and 1984.

The Problem with Words

It is hard to talk about these things, because English is biased against me.  I mean, a good person never does anything beyond the pale, right?

“Beyond the pale” refers to the people outside of the British controlled area of Ireland.  Norman/English conquerors felt that they were better than the Irish, so the notion of Irish culture, language, and people were denigrated.  The Statutes of Kilkenny (1366) forbid English people from marrying the local Irish, talking like them, adopting their culture or language, or even riding a horse like them.

The idea of the Irish as barbarian is not the only racist problem with the language, but is a fair example of it.

The word barbarian itself derives from what the Greek thought non-Greeks sounded like when they talked.

I love the word barbarian, but you have to bare in mind that I am referring to something different from the idea of a culture different from my own.  I am using the word cultured to mean the sort of cultural fundamentalism that institutes a polite, public image and rituals to reinforce it to mask the inherent hypocrisy such an institution requires.

Are barbarians civilized?  Uh, well it depends what you mean by civil or civilized.

To quote Robert E Howard, “Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.”

Violence and Barbarism

One of the reasons I am bending towards the use of the word Wildness as apposed to Barbarian is the association of violence with barbarism.  In English, the two words are synonymous.

With all respect to Mr Howard, I don’t think the threat of violence is what marks the difference between cultured people and their uncultured counterparts.  I think the difference is born out of respect.

Anarchy and Subculture

The punk and goth movements that I grew up in are modern “urban barbarian” movements.  They were both anarchistic, and rejected the accepted culture, not just the pop culture.

**The following represents my person experience, and to hell with all the pop culture stereotypes.**

In high school, I got into punk.  For us, it was part rejection of social norms and part an attempt to express our individual identities.  It was born out of frustration on many fronts.

We were confrontational, and anyone who saw us dancing at a show or a club could easily be excused for thinking a riot broke out.  For us, the violence of the pits was a pressure valve that exorcized our anger in a controlled way.

I am not sure I could explain life like that to an outsider.  The encouragement of individualism and honesty is something that I have taken with me my entire life.

In fact, the only person who has ever betrayed me was an average pop culture hipster who tried to fit in, but always read as trying too hard.

Open revulsion was accepted, but insincere politeness was derided and used against people to prove they weren’t trustworthy.

Wildness and Empire

The story of Romulus and Remus being suckled by a wolf is not a meaningless fable. The founders of every state which has risen to eminence, have drawn their nourishment and vigor from a similar wild source. It is because the children of the empire were not suckled by the wolf that they were conquered and displaced by the children of the northern forests who were.
— Thoreau, Walking

I never thought I would ever quote Thoreau, but that one is just too good.

While I have been singing the praises and virtues of the barbarian, it is important to see their effect on the world.  The American Revolution was born in the Colonial Taverns.

So was Thomas Jefferson a paragon of wildness?  Some quotes:

“A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.”

“A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circlue of our felicities.”

“Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.”

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.”

“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Okay, so he may not have had a mohawk or listened to the Germs, but I am not asking if he was a punk

Wildness is all about natural, native state of things.  If integrity (living honestly), respect (not forcing everyone to copy your patterns of life), liberty, fierceness/relentlessness, and fearlessness as the measure of wildness in a person, I think he makes the grade.  He may not have been a party animal, but that is a personal trait, not a requirement.

Thoreau was right (wow, I said that), Wildness builds and conquers empires.  Makes you think about the effects of Valley Forge on the army in a different way doesn’t it.

Origin of the Dragons of Night

On Tuesday, February 23, 2010, I struggled all day to come up with a new idea to write.  I had written three Space Operas, and I felt a little burned out.  I wanted to do something special, but every idea that I came up with I could match to another Book, Series, or Movie that came before.

I was frustrated beyond words.  My last book had made a splash with Horror Fans, and I couldn't get the cult success of Phara-un out of my head.  It was a limited run, and it is no longer available anywhere, but people constantly asked me about it.  I wanted to continue it.  Words wouldn't flow.  I was blocked.

That night, Brian and I went out shopping.  About half way through the store, I had an strange image pop in my head.  I sat in one of the benches in the back of the store, and opened EverNote, and added a strange note.

I could feel my skin crawling. Something strange lingered in the air. A musky bouquet wafted down from somewhere, muscling out the odors of the city.

He looked up, knowing what he would see, and there it was atop the Redd-Bishop building- an enormous black dragon perched on the pinnacle with its wings out stretched. He doubted anyone would see it. Its scales blended perfectly into the skyline. In a moment it was gone.

Relieved, he took several steps towards the restaurant before he paused and looked again at the night sky. What is a dragon doing in the city? He thought, then realized he probably didn't want to know the answer.

Hmm, there might be something there.  I titled the note "Dragon Knight- Nathan".  I rushed out to the car and tried to capture more of the idea.  It didn't work.  I ended up just reading these three odd paragraphs over and over again.

The next day, I remembered a note I had in one of my notebooks for my Space Opera Setting:

I am not going to say that it was necessarily an original idea, but it awakened a new idea in me.  The idea had merit, whether it had a future or not.

I started playing with the idea, and experimenting with new formats.

My biggest hurdle has been getting beyond the structures of the novel and the short story. I agree with H P Lovecraft that the best fiction is pulled off with the same craft as a well devised hoax. So I started playing around with ways to tell a story directly and from oblique angles. I would love to share some of these stories, but they may be included in the final project, so I don’t want to release them early.
Testing a Setting

I wrote that post March 5, 2010, and explored the idea of a Epistolary Novel, crossed with a blog and a magazine until November 29, 2010.  I still like the idea, but it felt forced and unnatural.  I even explored doing an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) for a while, but again it felt strange and wrong.

During this period, I asked myself a very important question:

To Wainscot or not to Wainscot– that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the tale to create

The beings and world out of nothing but my page,

Or to take with some of its history

And, creatively change them. To write, to make...
To Wainscot or Not to Wainscot, that is the question

Sharon Needles and the Future of Drag

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I am so happy that Sharon Needles won RuPaul's Drag Race this season for so many reasons.  Some of them are selfish, and others are not. 

I rooted for her from the beginning.  Her drag is flawless, spooky, and filled with charm and humor.  She really is the lost member of the Addam's Family.

I see myself in Sharon

When Sharon talked about her life, I heard my own life story.  I was the spooky kid.  I was the freak in school.  My love of horror and deep depression almost got me kicked out of school.

It is so very important for us freaks at heart to come out of the closet and embrace who and what we are.  We all have  a dark side.  Some of us choose to face it head on, others choose to run away.

This beautiful image is available for purchase on Sharon's site.

Sharon proves we can face our dark sides with grace, humility, and humor.

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SHARON'S WIN VALIDATES MY WORK

I know that is an incredibly selfish thing to say, but I have spent the last 2 years working on a new world and novel that features Drag Queens in a Supernatural Horror/Dark Contemporary Fantasy setting.  I've had quite a few people tell me I am nuts.  Drag Queens are glitz and glamor.

Sharon's win proves that Drag can be spooky, sometimes serious, and always fun.

I've wrestled with my own demons of doubt.  I posted early drafts and Scribd, and most readers checked out at the first mention of drag.  That frightened me, but I just have to tell myself that those people are not in my target market.

Sharon's win gives me the courage to follow my heart, and freak out the haters.

Thank you, Sharon for inspiring me and countless others.

Long live the Queen, after all Vampires reign forever.