Blog Archives

Everything Isn’t Going To Be OK

I have a life mantra, a simple phrase that encodes and distills my own personal philosophy and a guideline for how I live my life. Many of us do, a sort of inspirational and motivational quote we pin on the corkboards of our hearts, something we turn to in times both dark and light. Most of those mantras came from wise and revered people, like Ghandi, or Martin Luther King, or Michelle Obama, or Mark Twain, or Dorothy Parker, or someone considered to be deep and learned or witty. Thinkers, philosophers, the lights of the human spirit.

My life’s philosophy comes from a terrible head coach of the Washington Redskins, a man unprepared and ill-equipped to run a team of people who run around and play for a living while sacrificing their physical and mental health for entertainment. A man who is little-remembered for good reason, and certainly isn’t wise, not even in a football sense. The saying that I hold as my guidepost to surviving life was espoused by a man whose signature playcall for the sportsball team I follow was this:

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My guru is Jim Zorn.

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5 Things for Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

1. Jack Chick died today. If you don’t know who he is, you probably didn’t play Dungeons & Dragons back in the ‘80s. Chick was a fundamentalist Christian comic artist who wrote tracks presented in comic book form. These railed about the terrible things bringing American civilization directly into the ARMS of LUCIFER HIMSELF, like Masons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, sports, role-playing games, music, bare navels, evolution, peach pits, homosexuality, Halloween, girls wearing pants, critical thinking, and wearing sandals without socks, to name a few. They were, and are, terrible, bigoted, narrow-minded, and thoroughly, deeply hilarious. They never fail to make me laugh every time I see one. So in his way, he brought a lot of joy to my world. I think if Jack Chick was right about his beliefs, he’d probably be in Hell right now, but if my worldview is correct, his consciousness is no more and he is as one with the Universe now as he was before he was born. I think that’s a nice thought. It’s certainly more than he would have ever wished for me.

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This is laughably inaccurate. When we play D&D, we wear white robes and only draw 2 circles around the pentagram.

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The Brave Girl

This is the short story I wrote for my wife for Valentine’s Day. As I’ve said previously, it’s the first story I wrote after 4 years or so, and it was the first thing I needed to write in a very long time. She inspires me every day, and I wanted to share with her a little glimpse of how she is in my imagination. This is a small part of her, and since people asked to see it and she said it was okay, I’m sharing it here.

Also, the drawing is a sketch I made of Spaniel Day Lewis for the Valentine’s Day before this one, and since he also graces this story, I thought I’d share it, too. I’d illustrate the whole thing if I could, but I sadly lack that talent.

Once there was a girl who lived in a house that was down a hill and up a hill away from the woods. The girl loved the woods very much, and was often found there, exploring the hidden places and listening to the music of the trees. She was very bright and imaginative and kind and clever, and a million other wonderful things besides, but most of all she was brave. She felt no fear under the boughs and amidst the brush, even when the shadows lengthened, because she loved the forest near her home. There were always adventures to be had there, and she would run or skip or stalk or sit quietly, however the mood struck her, as a branch became a wizard’s staff or a wind-borne blossom sprouted fairy wings or all the birds gathered to sing her a lullaby.

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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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My Top Eight Favorite Fantasy Authors of All Time

I love fantasy stories. I had to make a choice early in my life as to whether I’d be a sci-fi buff or a fantasy geek, and Conan the Barbarian beat Star Wars for the primacy of my heart (sorry, Christian). I do love sci-fi as well, but I think most people lean a bit one way or the other, and I for one lean towards the Ian McKellan in a wizard hat versus the Patrick Stewart in a onesie. My own writing has generally geared towards fantasy (the other times it’s horror, or a mashup like Troius – one day I’ll do this post about horror writers), so I decided I would list my favorite fantasy authors of all time, those folks who have been influential and aspirational to me not only as a writer but as a human being.

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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.

Saga.

Cover Art Reveal for Kendall Grey’s JUST BREATHE Novel, Complete with Behind the Scenes Stuff

Kendall Grey knows how to do shit right. She’s organized, has a plan, executes it, all while maintaining her sarcasm-slinging attitude and foul-mouthed proclivities. In comparison to her, I am a slacking lazy bum who can barely raise the energy to write a blog post.

Of course, I’m a slacker compared to Spicolli, so that’s not the highest of praise, either.

Anyway, Kendall’s new cover art for the third and final book in her Just Breathe urban fantasy trilogy is being revealed today. Because I adore her muchly, I want to share it with you, my loyal readers – by that I mean my wife and the same Peruvian farmer who keeps asking “¿Cuál es la mejor pala?” – and pimp out a pretty killer damn cover.

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It’s Time to INHALE, Everyone. My Twinsie’s Book is OUT!

Sweet cover, no?

There is someone on the internet so foul-mouthed and opinionated with a love of booze and wildly inappropriate statements that is absolutely hilarious and sarcastic and awesome in every way, and I’m not even talking about me. Oh, you didn’t think it was me as soon as I said “hilarious” and “awesome”. OK. Well. This is awkward.

*crickets*

Of course, I am talking about the incredible and amazing Kendall Grey. If you’ve not come across Kendall before, I highly recommend that you do so, right now, on Twitter or Facebook or at her blog. Be warned, though, that if you’re afraid of womancock, you might not want to, but if you’re up to it, you’ll be pleased. Take me at my ranty worst and turn it up to 11, and you’ve got a “good morning” post from Kendall. I heart her quite a lot.

Today’s a big day for her. I mean a HUGE fucking day for her. The first book in her paranormal romance (no, there are no gay-ass vampires in it, so don’t worry) trilogy, Inhale, is available for sale. I know how cool a day that is, how absolutely fraught with fear and excitement and nail-chewing insanity that comes along with the long-awaited release of a novel. I’m uber-psyched for her, because she is a phenomenal writer and someone that brings a completely irreverent and exuberant perspective on life.

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So I Got Tagged With This Lucky Seven Thing And So Here Are “Seven” Lines From Waiting on the Dead

Pretty much on exactly the same day that I got picked for my incredibly prestigious award (I’m still waiting for my statuette. I get a statuette, right?), I also got hit with something else. No, not the bus that many people have waited years for, but something that’s actually pretty cool. I’ll let the awesome Candice Bundy explain:

The rules for this one are quite simple:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current ms.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences, and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 other victims, …er, authors.

Also available in an attractive v-neck for the ladies!

In her post, she asked, as an offal lover, for a bit of Waiting on the Dead. Her request hit me at a pretty difficult time in my writing. In short, I hate it. I’m good with the blog posts, but halfway through the editing of The Storm of Northreach I just hit the wall. It’s not good enough. I’m not good enough to fix it. You know, the typical angsty writer bullshit that every one of us whiny little narcissists go through periodically. Well, fine, that THIS whiny little narcissist goes through from time to time. I’m trying to get through it, there are a couple of things that need to be addressed, and part of it has nothing to do with writing but involves the other production shit and WHINE WHINE WHINE I WANT A PONY.

I hope to be over that soon.

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