Category Archives: Guest Post

Lessons from the Shadows

Lessons from the Shadows

Recently, I was asked by fellow author H.M. Jones if I’d write a guest post for her blog. She and I both enjoy writing darker fantasy, and I wanted to stay centered around that theme. The result was Lessons from the Shadows. Here’s how the post starts:

“It wasn’t until college that I discovered H.P. Lovecraft, but I had been reading authors influenced by his work for years, Robert E. Howard, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. The dark, weird, and mysterious always enchanted me. I was drawn to the shadows; something there tapped into my core emotions and excited me. Lovecraft and I are very different. He speaks of the “fear of the unknown,” which inspired him; for me, it was not fear but a fascination. I’m not scared of “things beyond.” When I started writing, I found myself attracted to those concepts…”

Be sure to read the rest of the post over at H.M. Jones’ blog. I talk anticipation, character, worldbuilding, and more. It was satisfying to take a moment to ponder on what I had learned since starting this process. I hope you enjoy the post (and find it useful.) We also did a little interview which is at the end of the article, if you want to know more about my literary heroes and inspirations don’t miss it.

Also, make sure to check out H.M.’s work including her latest novel: Monochrome. (Which is currently sitting on my Kindle.) While you’re at it be sure to look into her other work as well: short stories, poetry, and graphic novels.

"The mountains are calling and I must go..."

Life in the Weird and a Short Respite

Recently, I was asked by Mihir Wanchoo if I’d be interested in writing an article for Fantasy Book Critic. Mihir encouraged me to discuss how I approach combining genres in my writing and explore some of my inspirations. I was happy to oblige and decided to take it a bit further and delve into some of the tenants I’ve kept in mind while I work. The result is Life in the Weird, On the Blending of Genre. Here’s how it starts:

I never decided to write a genre-blending novel, it just happened. As a reader, I always craved weird books that are out of the ordinary. I tend to be turned off to a series that stays within traditional genre lines. It’s this predilection that drew me to Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, why I love China Miéville’s New Crobuzon stories so much, and why Neil Gaiman’s American Gods resonates with me. There’s something in those work that feels fresh, new, and free. So it’s only natural that those proclivities show up in my writing as well…

You have to read the rest of the article over on Fantasy Book Critic. Once you’ve done that make sure to follow them on Twitter and visit them over on Facebook as well. They’re a great site, with a lot of excellent content. Well worth your time.

Also, I wanted to give everyone a heads up that I’m taking the next ten days off. This spring has been hectic. I’ve had revisions on my new fantasy project, I’ve been working on Coal Belly‘s rebirth, there been some outlining on the next Bell Forging novel, and I attended both Norwescon 39 and Lilac City Comicon. So as a bookend for a busy spring, Kari-Lise and I are going on vacation. The plan is to get lost in the mountains, islands, and deserts of California, do some hiking and unplug from the internet. (That said, knowing me, I’ll still find a bit of time to post to Instagram and Twitter. So make sure you’re following me to see what I’m up to.)

Some exciting things are coming when I get back. There are quite a few longer-form blog posts in the hopper including an exciting Wild Territories post (voted on by you!) So stick around, and I’ll see y’all in June.

Cthulhu the Wimp

Cthulhu The Wimp

At Norwescon, I was happy to meet fellow writer and Seattle Geekly alumni, Michael G. Munz. Michael is another Seattle-based speculative fiction author. While we were at the con he asked me if I’d be interesting writing a geeky guest post for his blog. He left it open to anything I wanted and mentioned something Lovecraftian would be nice. I was more than happy to oblige and had the perfect idea. Hence my post for his Guest Geek section, where I pick on everyone’s favorite elder god, Cthulhu the Wimp. Here’s how the post starts:

We see Cthulhu everywhere. In art, he’s usually rising from the ocean on the back of his ruined city. His narrow glowing eyes stare at the viewer. His face draped with writhing tentacles. Membranous wings stretch from his expansive back. It’s an engaging image and it has seeped into pop culture. From fan art to toys, from toys to plushies, from plushies to video games, Cthulhu is everywhere. His terrifying visage has certainly ubiquitous among Lovecraft’s creations. He’s the de facto and beloved mascot for the mythos. But, what if all this love and terror is based on false presumptions? What if I was to tell you that Cthulhu wasn’t all that terrifying. That he’s more a product of good marketing and overzealous rumormongering? What if Cthulhu is, in fact, a wimp?

You can read the rest of my post over at Michael’s blogI had a lot of fun writing it. Check it out and tell me what you think. Am I right? Is ‪Cthulhu‬ a wimp or am I completely off base? Leave a comment, I want to know!

Also, be sure to check out Michael’s books including his latest: Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure (which is currently sitting on my nightstand) and his ongoing near future sci-fi series the New Aeneid Cycle.