812 posts

March 24, 2020: Be Afraid of the Dark

So, I’ve mentioned on occasion that, while my focus these days is on novels and scripts, I haven’t abandoned gaming work. Time to demonstrate.

Remember the shadowcaster? My contribution to the 3rd edition D&D Tome of Magic? I loved the concepts and the writing, but was never entirely happy with the mechanical implementation.

Well, it’s the day of 5E–and shadows fall.

Presenting the shadowcaster, redesigned for fifth edition, available only on the DM’s Guild and published through Rogue Genius Games. Have a look!

And don’t forget the free books I offered last week. That offer’s good for the duration.

Yet more news soon.

March 14, 2020: Free Stuff to Pass the Time

Well. It’s been about seventy-three years since my last update. Apologies for that. I’ll have some genuine news soon, including info about a really cool tie-in novel.

But at the moment, I’m posting about something else.

A lot of us are going to be stuck at home for a while, due to the spread of, and precautions surrounding, COVID-19. I can’t do anything to help with people’s health or finances, but maybe I can help avert boredom or cabin fever a little bit.

I’ve decided, for a time, to make my short fiction collection, Strange New Words, available for free. You can download a copy, in one of several electronic formats, by clicking here.

Furthermore, if you’re actually sick, or under full quarantine for health reasons–because you have other conditions that make you particularly susceptible, for instance, or because someone you’re close to has tested positive–send me an e-mail via the contact me page, and I’ll offer you an e-copy of one of my novels, also free. Now, be aware that I do not have e-copies of all my books available, so there are some I can’t offer. I’ll let you know which ones I have, though, and you can choose one from that list.

(Obviously, I have no way of confirming that you’re genuinely sick or otherwise stuck at home. I’m trusting you.)

Again, I know it’s not much, but I hope it helps a little bit. Keep busy and stay safe, folks.

November 19, 2019: News, bigly

Okay, the dotted line is signed, so here we go.

Assemble Media–producers of the Kurt Russel movie “Bone Tomahawk” and, in conjunction with Margot Robbie, the forthcoming “Ameri-Scares” series, among others–have optioned “Trauma,” an original supernatural horror screenplay written by… Well, I assume that’s obvious at this point. ๐Ÿ˜€

Now, for those unfamiliar with “the biz,” as it’s known in the biz, an option doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll be able to buy tickets to a finished product. It just means they’re going to attempt to attach a director and actors, and interest a studio enough to provide funding to make the movie. It may happen; it may not.

But the effort, at least, is underway.

More as and when it develops. ๐Ÿ™‚

August 20, 2019: Back up and running

Hey, folks. We’re back!

Really sorry about the down time. Things kind of went wonky on the back end–that sounds a lot more personal than I meant, but I’m talking about the site ๐Ÿ˜› –and it took people with a lot more know-how than I have a very long time to get it all working again. Thanks so much to Gwen Gades for the help!

As you’ll note, things look a bit different around here, and there are still a lot of pages and links and the like that aren’t functional yet. I hope to get those all worked out as time passes.

In the interim, Ash and Ambition, book one of “Nor Fang, Nor Fire,” is out! This is my return to traditional fantasy after drifting away from it for several books, and I can’t wait to see what you all think.

I also believe I’ll have more news to share in the very near future, so stay tuned, as us old folks say.

More Wittering on Divine

So, gods in fantasy fiction.

In real world mythologies, it’s actually fairly rare (though not unheard of) to have a clearly defined "god of [specific thing]." Most gods were, well, messier. Poseidon, god of the sea, right?

Right. Also earthquakes. And HORSES.

Ares and Athena were both war gods, and while they’re definitely different, it’s not entirely clear where one starts and the other ends, influence-wise. Don’t even get me started on Apollo.

And the Greek pantheon was a lot more formal than some.

I mean, it makes sense. We’re looking back at a mythology that developed over a broad area over hundreds of years. Many of the gods evolved, or started as local/tutelary deities that were eventually more widely adopted.

Fiction, however, tends to be neater than reality, and that includes in its religion and mythology. In most fantasy novels or RPGs, the gods are much more tightly defined. Bobeseus is the god of lawnmowers and gardening tools, and nothing else. And nobody else has dominion over the lawn.

And that, too, makes sense. You want something that readers/players can easily identify with and keep track of. And even on the writer’s side of things, it’s just a lot easier to work with way. Cleaner. More efficient.

I’m curious, then, what you prefer as a reader and/or gamer. Are you good with your fictional deities fitting into neat slots? Or would you rather authors make more of an effort to mimic the chaotic feel of real-world myth, even if it comes at the expense of ease of use or efficiency of storytelling?