Here is a sampling of the writing I've done. Primarily I'm a fantasy novelist. While currently unpublished, I have aspirations to change that. Here is a sampling of the writing projects I've completed.
"Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the world." - Archimedes
A woman awakens on an alien world with no memories, but the subconscious knowledge that she has a year to find a champion to save the world from destruction. First she must find her reluctant champion and convince him to join her. Then she and her champion must survive. She is labelled as a Harbinger of doom, and must navigate the political intrigues of the seven nations of the world, each with their own agendas and magical abilities, who either want to destroy her or use her. And their task is further complicated by the fact that the planet orbits a red dwarf star, and a year is only fifteen days long.
Archimedes Hammer is my latest fantasy novel, weighing in at ~130,000 words. I am currently in process of editing and finding beta readers (if interested, email me).
At the end of the Age of Darkness, a mighty hero, Mayic the Liberator, defeats the demons and frees mankind. As reward, the Gods offer Mayic rule of the world; when Mayic refuses, the Gods end his life and curse his soul to be eternally reborn. Twenty-two hundred years later, young Marek discovers that he is the latest incarnation of Mayic, and as such holds the key to recovering Ebenstar, an ancient weapon of immense power. He joins Zoë, a clerk and thief; her sister Tanyl, an albino child priestess; and Kilé, a middle-aged mercenary struggling with demons of her own. Together, they must stop Thissa, a sorceress who wishes to find and use Ebenstar to rule the world. Hunted by Thissa's psychopathic henchman, Marek struggles not only with his role as pawn in someone else's game, but also with his identity and the weight of his destiny. But Marek may hold the key to more than just Ebenstar, for in an act of violence and strange magics, Zoë and Tanyl merge into Tanali, a woman with the memories and moralities of both criminal and clergy. Can Marek help stop Thissa, and save Tanali not only from the forces aligning against them, but also from her own conflicted heart? For the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.
The Story behind the Story:
The Ebenstar Trilogy is my first set of novels, inspired by a little game I played as a youth called Dungeons & Dragons (back in the day when it was called "Advanced", and not given a version number). After twenty-five years and four attempts, I finalized a unique story and put it to paper.
I imagine I'm not the only one out there who was so inspired by role-playing. Needless to say, the story itself has evolved and changed since those days playing D&D. There are no elves, for one.
The first volume, Lightbringer, is a finished work (at least, finished as far as I'm concerned) and I have begun the process of shopping it around. It weighs in at ~300,000 words.
The second volume, The Demon Gate, is well past it's second revision. I am, of course, waiting on professional feedback on Book One before I make the push to finalize it (something my beta readers, one in particular, is probably glad of.) It weighs in (currently) at ~230,000 words.
The third and final volume, Second Darkness, is a completed first draft, in need of significant revisions (based on forthcoming feedback of the first two volumes). The current version is ~160,000 words (with significant room for growth, of course).
I will post some excerpts and "bonus content" later. I'll also be sure to update here if there is any changes to it's current "unsold manuscript" status.
In 2010, between editing Ebenstar, I decided to try out National Novel Writing Month. The Rebel Princess was my first attempt, and I actually won (the goal of NaNoWriMo is to start and complete a 50K word novel in 30 days - November, to be exact).
A lizardman, a desert-elf, and an incompetent bard walk into a bar. Hilarity ensues.
Told from the perspective of a sentient and omniscient magical candelabra, “The Rebel Princess” follows the misadventures of the these three unlikely companions. Brought together by a mage with ill intentions, they are tasked with finding the king’s lost daughter else face the mage’s wrath. The elf is looking for the kingdom from which he believes himself to be the kidnapped heir. The bard seeks to understand his innate ability to incite anger in all those who hear him perform. And the lizardman simply likes to break things. Together they encounter a rebellion, perform at a bardic festival, explore a dungeon, and ultimately defeat the villain. Most impressively, they survive each other’s company.
I really love the Slizak character. Like the Ebenstar story, he was inspired by role-playing (GURPS this time, in college).
After the success of The Rebel Princess, and with the potential for more fun Slizak "Tails", I had decided to make it a yearly project: I'd write a new Slizak novel every November for NaNoWriMo. I even had the plot and basic outline ready for the next one (this time he would face the Dreaded Pirate Zombie Dragon). Unfortunately, November 2011, 2012, and 2013 all proved too busy for this project.
Comedy is hard. It is a lot easier to write drama. While I do hope to continue writing about Slizak (who is a wonderful character), I may need to wait until inspiration strikes. I have some ideas in mind: not only the Dreaded Pirate Zombie Dragon, but also I have an idea where he'll go against a "thief of causality", the results of which will be that the second act of the novel will be an actual, honest-to-goodness Choose Your Own Adventure. It could be awesome (if I can pull it off).
The Claws of Kelta (working title)
My first foray into mystery. The Claws of Kelta is set in the same fantasy world as the Ebenstar Trilogy, and tells the story of a mysterious death in a small forest town and of Captain Hewett of the Kelta Town Guard who alone believes it to be murder, and must find the culprit before more people die. Not only must he contend with a corrupt mayor, guild politics, and a possible cult, but his own motives for his investigation must remain hidden. He believes magic is involved, and he knows this because he himself is a secret magician, and discovery of his talents would lead to his death, or worse.
The Claws of Kelta is a completed first draft, weighing in at ~80,000 words. I am letting it sit for a while before doing a second draft, but, as always, if you're interested in being a beta reader, please email me.
The idea of blogging never really appealed to me. I honestly never thought what I had to say (at least about me) was interesting enough (this website not-withstanding). But for ten days in April, 2010, that changed.
On April 12, I flew to the Isle of Man for a three day business trip. On April 14th, Eyjafjallajökull, a volcano in Iceland, erupted, stranding me overseas. With only three days worth of clothing, a cell phone not set up for international calling, and no way to get home, I did the only thing I could think to do: I used the phone to take pictures and then, once I made it to London, posted the pictures and my observations to Facebook. I called the experience Volcanopalooza.
Someday I'll grab the 104 pictures (and related text) and post them here. In the meantime, you'll have to see it on Facebook.
The first website I ever built was back in the 20th century, and was terrible - the worst example of a vanity web-site you could imagine. I had completely forgotten about it until I came across the files on an old hard drive.
At the time, I had a love of the Tarot (I still do, though I don't work with it actively much these days), and had written a page on it, explaining my interpretations of the Minor Arcana. I was actually excited to find it, because I thought the content was quite good.
It is available here with only minor edits (removing/changing bad links, etc). The formatting isn't pretty (yet), but I still think the content has merit.
Future Projects/Works in Progress
After Ebenstar, my next writing project was a story about a polydactyl boy who is pawn in a vast multi-cultural conflict involving a planet with three visible moons, trees of magical fruit, and the impending end of the world. The story is outlined and started; unfortunately, I had trouble getting into it and it is currently shelved.
Wanting to get a better feel for a world with three moons (and in order to avoid actually writing while still doing something interesting and theoretically useful), I decided to write an HTML5/CSS3/jQuery web page that shows the night sky of Lyr, with it's three moons. It's actually kind of neat: Moons of Lyr.
In order to write a compelling piece of fiction, the author must understand the world in which the story takes place. For stories taking place in our world, the author's "homework" involves research. For stories taking place in made-up worlds, the author must, well, make up the world. World building is fun! The trap, of course, is to not let world building trump story; always remember the role of a well-rounded world is to add flavor and dimension to the story, not take it over.