Category Archives: Book Stuff

Killing a Book

Writing a book is a labor, sometimes of love, other times of persistence, occasionally of obligation, rarely (one hopes) out of sheer sadism or masochism, depending on who exactly the writer wishes to punish. Regardless of motivation, it is work. And like most jobs, time off can be a necessity during the whole process. Sometimes it’s a holiday, and in some cases in can be an entire leave of absence for months or years until the desire to resume overcomes the reluctance to dive back into the thing that made you walk away altogether.

And sometimes, you just need to tell the book to shove it.

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I Want You To Write My Novel For Free (Updated with FAQ)

It’s a win-win, right? You do the writing, I copy and paste it, slap my name on the cover, and pay you in those most priceless of gifts, an Acknowledgement and a death in print! (It’s priceless, you see, because I will not be paying you in actual money in any way, therefore having no price for me whatsoever.) I mean, who could pass up a deal like that? You won’t find a better one – well, at least maybe a more honest one – in town!

OK, so now this is where I explain that I haven’t gone completely off the deep end, thereby invalidating the prize for everyone who had April 17th 2013 in the pool for Yep, Alan’s Finally Snapped and Needs a Burly Escort to the Rubber Room.

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The Storm of Northreach Is Now Available. So There’s That.

Book Two of the Saga. It’s a saga, you see. Saga.

It’s official. The most popular zombie fantasy novel series in Bear, Delaware has the next installment available for mass purchase. The Storm of Northreach, Book Two of the Northreach Saga (see, I always wanted to write a saga. Trilogies are for the organized. A saga, man, that just sounds epic. Had to write a saga.), is now available for purchase in paperback form. With a limited edition cover, no less, commemorating my friends and loyal supporters at The Days of Knights in Newark Delaware. In fact, DoK’s has signed copies you can buy, right off the shelf, like it’s a book or something. If you can’t get to DoK’s, though, you can get Storm through Amazon. It won’t be signed, but that’s your problem. The Kindle and other ebook versions will be available soon, so have patience, you loyal rabid followers, you.

In the meantime, the fantastic Candice Bundy has interviewed me over at her blog where I expound on literature, wine, and chocolate ice cream. Check it out, then make fun of me in the comments or behind my back or wherever, it’s all good.

Not only that, but the Coolest Man in the World – Steven Montano – has a preview blurb up for Storm today that is eight thousand times more professional and awesome than anything I’ve done for my own book. That’s because he’s the Coolest Man in the World.

Finally, here’s a link to an excerpt from the novel that gives nothing away of the main story but gives you an idea of what the books are like. Note the hilarious estimate of Storm being a 2011 release. Hahahahahaha! Still, it’s a saga.

In case you’re curious, here’s the description of The Storm of Northreach, Book Two of the Northreach Saga (you can’t tell me that when you say Saga in your head that it’s not done in a James Earl Jones-esque voice, all weighty and full of gravitas and shit. Saga. Saga.):

The storm is breaking, and the undead are loosed.

The legacy of the insane necromancer Troius lives on. Now freed from his control, the scattered remnants of his undead horde stalk the isolated hamlets of Northreach. The survivors of the destruction of Daneswall seek shelter from the oncoming storm, while soldiers of Baron Northreach are sent to investigate the strange message sent by the Baron’s son. Meanwhile, the city of Anticus, proud and insular, ignores the troubles of the backwater region of Northreach, unaware of the torrent bearing down from the north.

It’s a fuckin’ saga, man. That’s some cool shit right there.


Devotion Magic in the World of The Curse of Troius

Awhile back, I wrote a post about the general nature of magic in the world the Northreach Saga takes place in. Now that Curse’s younger brother (younger in age, but bigger in both scope and word count by a large margin) Storm is done as a first draft and moves to the editing process, I wanted to go into a little greater detail into one of the types of “magic” present in the world, one that takes on a slightly bigger role in Storm.

This is what I said about Devotion Magic in the prior post:

Devotion magic uses the power of an outside spirit, such as a god or demon, channeled through a person devoted to exercising the entity’s will.  The applications of devotion magic are many and varied, according the type of spirit being worshipped.  A god of peace and plenty may provide his devout followers with curative and blessing spells, while a demon may grant her devotees spells of fire and destruction.  Devotion spells are broken down into Spheres, and each individual spirit would have different Spheres that the spirit provides and can influence.

Those familiar with role-playing games know what priests can do. They walk around and heal people. Occasionally they provide protective enchantments to help in battle. They carry blunt weapons and can’t use swords for some reason. The most common explanation one hears for this is some kind of sacred commandment that priests can’t shed blood. Tell you what. I want you take a 6-pound iron club with flanges on the end and smash someone in the head with it – actually, I don’t want you to do that, so let’s say “imagine” it instead. What do you imagine you will find? If you guessed a big bloody mass of pulped flesh, brains, and an awful lot of blood, then congratulations, you win.

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Magic in the World of The Curse of Troius

Get your Nerd Waders out. This one is gonna be geeky. Like a 7th level Spiritwrack spell geeky. Thou hast been warned.

During a recent author interview (see what I did there!? Didn’t that make me sound all authoritative and cool? Like I’m a big time dude that magnanimously allowed the guy with the white card that says PRESS tucked into his fedora onto my yacht and allowed him to savor the aroma of my pipe and swirled brandy. It was almost exactly like that.)

Anyway, during a recent author interview, I was asked about the nature of magic in the world of The Curse of Troius. It was an interesting question, or at least it was interesting to me, since I never expected it. Magic plays a very subtle background role in Curse, with few “on-screen” demonstrations of spells and wizardly goodness. The zombie plague at the heart of the story is caused by magic, of course, but little of it is described in detail as a process – mostly because I didn’t want to turn it into a story about My Magic System. It was enough for me to show that magic was behind it, then move on the the important stuff like gnashing teeth and spilled innards.

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