It’s been a looooooong road to recovery, but it feels like I’ve finally conquered my injury issues with running. It was beautiful here yesterday so I ventured out in the park and went for a four mile run. Won’t say it was better than sex, but it was very nice Changing my running mechanics to a midfoot style from a heavy heel strike has made all the difference in the world. I feel like a new man.
I very much want to go running again today, but this is how I get into trouble. I push and push until something breaks, or at least cracks. So I am going to go for a walk, or perhaps the gym, and do a whole lot of writing. The next novel is progressing well and everything is on track to be handed in this autumn.
Just received the Russian edition of A Darkness Forged in Fire. Their take on Konowa is similar but still different from either the Japanese or UK versions. Not sure which one I like the best, but as this Konowa is the newest I think it might be him although you can’t really tell he’s an elf. Then again, it’s hard to tell Konowa’s an elf at times.
Or perhaps just your run of the mill hurricane, tornado, solar flare wiping out all electronics, civil unrest, or alien invasion? In other words, are you a prepper? I’m not, but I am building up my supplies in a go-bag. For those unfamiliar with this, a go-bag or bug-out bag contains emergency supplies that are all in one place that you can grab and run. Beats scrambling around the house trying to find things as the zombies (or tsunami) are coming up the drive.
As I live in New York City and don’t have a car, my go-bag is light and focused on getting me out of Manhattan and into the wild, which I guess would be New Jersey. So in addition to some bottled water, money, Swiss Army knife, matches, some cool sandwiches that will remain stable for at least three years, first aid kit, and few other odds and ends (most of it in ziploc bags to keep it water tight) I am looking to get a small, portable emergency radio. Not really sure what else I should include.
You know, it occurs to me that as zombies appear to be attracted by smell, someone should develop a zombie repellant spray. That would be handy to have. Of course, it might make dating a bit of a challenge in a post-apocalyptic world, but better single than eaten!
Been having a few problems with my site the last while, but that’s no excuse for not posting…except of course when the site was down Anyway, I thought I’d take a moment to update everyone on what’s been going on.
The premium mass market edition of Ashes of a Black Frost (that’s the extra tall paperback) will be hitting stores in September this year in North America. Around about that exact same time, I’ll be handing in my manuscript for my next book which is due out in 2013. Not sure when yet, but I think summer or early fall. I can’t recall if I’ve said much about it, but it’s something new and not connected with the Iron Elves. It’s going to be a fantasy (shock!) with a strong military component (double shock!) but set in new world with a new cast of characters. And no, I’m not going medieval although there will be crossbows, catapults, ballistas and more.
I enjoy exploring the tropes of fantasy and with this new book I am going to go deeper (and darker) into the racial and cultural tensions between the races. What better time period to borrow inspiration from then than the Vietnam War. I’m not aware of much fantasy using Vietnam as a launching pad which surprises me because there is so much in that conflict to work with. I’ve gotten to know a lot of Vietnam vets over a decade now as their editor. The stories and wounds from that war still reverberate today and I’m already deep into the alchemy of mixing fantasy and Vietnam into something that will be both classical and very new (and yes, as paradoxical as that sounds, I believe it is true).
Several of you have emailed asking about future Iron Elves adventures and while it’s true I am now writing something new, that doesn’t mean Konowa and the lads won’t suit up at a future date and march off to battle again. And as a way of saying thanks to all those who figuratively took the oath and joined the regiment, I’ll be holding a contest later this year where I’ll be giving away something very special. I think you’ll like it.
And while I am gutted that The Walking Dead is now over until the fall, it’s probably just as well because now I can get more writing done on Sunday night instead of hiding behind my chair while watching all the walkers and wondering who’s going to get eaten next!
I do vow to get better at it, but at the moment I’ve been up to my ear holes in work and writing and by the time I remember I have a blog I’m already asleep, or something like that. I’m on my way to turning in my next book to my editor this fall so there will be something new before too much longer. In the meantime, I have a little surprise in store for everyone who’s enjoyed the adventures of the Iron Elves. I’ll announce it shortly.
You may have noticed my site wasn’t visible for a week. Turns out it had a virus. My web designer was hit with one, too, so it took a while to get everything back up and running. Nevertheless, here I am. Big thanks to Jeannie for figuring all this out and putting the pieces back together!
Have you made any yet? I’ve been jotting down a list, but I realized that this year I want to focus more on the process instead of the goal. For example, I want to be healthier, but instead of resolving to lose X number of pounds, I am instead resolving to choose healthier foods to eat. I’m breaking it down so that a big resolution is made up of small, manageable goals. I can buy fruits and vegetables, and I can also learn how to cook. The first part is easy, the second part scary with a chance of fire, but I’m going to take the risk.
I have a lot more, but they all breakdown the same way. Start with small, doable goals over a short span of time which will eventually lead to achieving the big resolution.
Here’s to 2012 being the best year yet!
A high school classmate of mine flew into New York this weekend and we met up for breakfast and a tour of the city. The weather was perfect and we walked for hours, just enjoying the sights and reminiscing. You can’t go back again, but it is fun to take a little peek, so I thought I’d share a photo from my high school graduation party. I really haven’t changed at all…yeah. All in all, I’m happy with the older me, but I wouldn’t mind having the younger me’s abs, and hairline.
There’s a relatively new fantasy website out there that is quickly making a name for itself as one of the most engaging and thoughtful places to go to talk about writing, publishing, fantasy, and more. That reputation is driven in part by the truly exceptional interviewers they have on board. Leo Cristea approached me for an interview and I expected the usual list of questions with perhaps one or two curve balls thrown in. Instead, we delved deep into my views on writing and the genre at large that posed a few questions I’m still thinking about. You can read the entire interview HERE but I’ve attached an excerpt below:
Q. Fantasy is no longer full of straight, white human men. How important in the evolution of the genre do you think it is that this push against conservative fantasy continues, and how might it shape the genre as you see it if the boundaries are taken down entirely in the next few decades?
A. I think it’s always important for new voices to challenge those already established in the field. It keeps things vibrant and in flux. Stasis is death. Just as George R.R. Martin and others reacted to the somewhat moribund state of traditional fantasy, there is a new generation of which it appears I’m a part reacting to the removal of magic, elves, dwarves and other traditional fantastic elements.
Q. What would you say to anyone discouraged to explore the more classic tropes and themes of fantasy, by the misconception that this sort of fantasy is frowned upon and looked-over by agents and publishers?
A. Writing for the market and the perceived trends is a souless and ultimately self-defeating exercise. Writing is already a long, difficult, and at times even excruciating process. To add to that the notion of writing something other than what you are truly passionate about seems masochistic.
For the complete interview and to check out Fantasy Faction (which I highly recommend) go HERE.
Many thanks to Leo and Fantasy Faction.
The contest is being held by the website Dreamonus. There are 5 copies of Ashes of a Black Frost up for grabs. All you have to do is sign up and I think perhaps send a tweet (or something like that) and you’re entered to win.
And I wanted to share a few really cool pieces of art done by friends and fans. The first is simply a phenomenal tattoo of the regimental crest. Tom in Canada decided to go all out and got this beauty and all I can say is I am honored and in awe:
(The original design of the crest was done for bookplates by a superbly talented artist in New Zealand who goes by the handle N00brevolution) </p>
Then there is the slightly less permanent t-shirt design by Janelle (with Cathy modeling as well) that I think is hysterical:
Finally, there is the cover image from Watch The Skies done by Eric when I hung out with the fantasy and science fiction writer’s group at the Camp Hill, PA B&N many moons ago:
I truly am honored and appreciative for all of these. If you’ve drawn, painted, stitched, inked or otherwise done some Iron Elves artwork please feel free to share. Who knows, I might just have to start a new contest