Too Hot to Handle?

Sex is the third rail for a fantasy novel. Sex is remarkably unpopular per the following four fantasy book reviewers' stipulations about books they don't want to critique. 'Absolutely no erotica''I do NOT review erotica''no erotica/sex scenes''I will not except (sic) erotica' The last of these quotes is my favorite. Poor word choice aside, lust … Continue reading Too Hot to Handle?

Gods and Tyrants – The Novelist’s Creative Process

Fiction authors get asked whether they're planers or 'pantsers'. This means does the author, before setting fingers to keyboard, plot out their entire story, and the characters arcs, and settings, and the themes/conflicts - and then stick to this plan until the work is finished? Or do they just start writing with only a vague … Continue reading Gods and Tyrants – The Novelist’s Creative Process

THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON in SPFBO 7

Annually for the last 7 years, the noted fantasy author, Mark Lawrence, organizes a competition to identify the best new, self-published fantasy novel. This is SPFBO ('Self Published Fantasy Blog Off'). It's gotten bigger every year and this May 300 authors submitted in less than 24 hours (the contest is limited to 300 books). The … Continue reading THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON in SPFBO 7

The Wolf – Creating a Monstrous Friend

In all three of my modern fantasy novels, the protagonist, Bradan, faces horrific threats, but he also has one constant and fearsome friend: the wolf Tintagel. Bradan named him after King Arthur's supposed birthplace. As I write my on-going series, I want a wolf that embodies nature's mysterious, atavistic, and implacable qualities. I don't want … Continue reading The Wolf – Creating a Monstrous Friend

When is it Criminal to be a Magician? The Making of a Noir Fantasy: THE LORDS OF POWDER (part 4)

One only has to stand overlooking Tintagel Castle’s coastline in late November, when the tourists are gone and the aged stone fortifications and dwellings are your only company during frigid, dark gray weather just before nights hits, to feel close to whoever occupied the place 1,500 years ago. I stood as near to the drop … Continue reading When is it Criminal to be a Magician? The Making of a Noir Fantasy: THE LORDS OF POWDER (part 4)