You do the talking

You Do the Talking

Today marks the 2nd birthday of Red Litten World, the third book in The Bell Forging Cycle. I tend to talk a lot about my books. So to change things up, I figured it’d be fun to celebrate the anniversary of Red Litten World by letting you speak. Below is a collection of reviews written by readers. I pulled these today. All of the selected reviews are all public, and I’ll link to their location. Since it’s Red Litten World’s birthday, let’s work backward from there…

Red Litten World by K. M. AlexanderRed Litten World


“…weird fantasy fiction at its finest.”

— Review of Red Litten World on Amazon


“It is pretty rare that I like the third book in a series as well as the first, but I do. The third book in this series is just as well-paced, suspenseful and intriguing as the last.”

— Review of Red Litten World on Amazon


“Reasonably entertaining Lovecraftian trilogy.”

— Review of Red Litten World on Amazon


“Thank the sweet little baby lord above that I had Red Litten World to keep me company! And I finished it in one day! And it was glorious!”

— Review of Red Litten World on Goodreads


“Red Litten World is the best so far. Loved being back in all the rich texture and detail of Lovat.”

— Review of Red Litten World on iBooks


Red Litten World by K. M. AlexanderThose reviews sound interesting?

Buy Red Litten World, the third novel of the Bell Forging Cycle, in eBook or paperback today!

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Old Broken Road by K. M. AlexanderOld Broken Road


“…one of the few male written dark fantasies with some extremely well-written female characters.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Amazon


“K.M. Alexander knows how to craft an interesting story and I can’t wait to devour the rest of his works.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Amazon


“Well written and deftly plotted with great character development and plenty of thrills and action.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Amazon


“Wish I could rate this one at six stars.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Amazon


“A delightfully creepy journey into uncharted lands of imagination and dread.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Goodreads


“Actually a 3.5.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Goodreads


“Amazing followup to The Stars were Right! Love the exploits of Wal and his crew!”

— Review of Old Broken Road on iBooks


Old Broken Road by K. M. AlexanderDare to travel the Broken Road?

Buy Old Broken Road, the second novel of the Bell Forging Cycle, in eBook or paperback today!
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The Stars Were Right by K. M. AlexanderThe Stars Were Right


“The book never lulls. It’s hard to put down. The characters are likable, and the plot is well written.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Amazon


“One of the most imaginative action/suspense fantasy horror/thrillers I’ve ever read.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Amazon


“A great new spin on Lovecraftian themes, and definitely worth a read!”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Amazon


“This is like reading for a book by Jack Vance in his prime for the first time, a Jeffrey Thomas’ Punktown story, or one of Gene Wolfe’s New Sun novels.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Amazon


“It is very rare to run across a Lovecraftian inspired tale that grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Amazon


“A gritty adventure through a city rich with life and death, in the style of a tale told over some cheap whiskey at a dusty dive bar on the outskirts of a bizarre Lovecraftian town.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Goodreads


“Alexander does a fantastic job evoking a tangled, towering city of hidden alleys, bustling markets, colorful inhabitants, and plenty of those hole-in-the-wall diners with the best local cuisine you’ve ever had.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Goodreads


“I fell in love with the protagonist Waldo from the start. Almost as much as I love the world in which he lives.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Goodreads


“The world is explained as needed by the main character and neither leaves us guessing about important story elements nor bores us with a world-history.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Powell’s


“If you are a hp Lovecraft fan then this book is for you. (Even if you arnt you should give it a read!) What a fantastic book!”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on iBooks


“This book changed the way I look at fantasy as a whole. It was also loaded with a ton of what I’d consider mystery as well. I read straight through the night and couldn’t put it down.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Barnes & Noble


The Stars Were Right by K. M. AlexanderThe Firsts are stirring…

Buy The Stars Were Right, the first novel of the Bell Forging Cycle, in eBook or paperback today!

Learn More →
Buy Now →


Huge thanks to everyone who has taken the time and left reviews on my books. Reviews (both positive and negative) are vital to the success of a novel and its future promotion. Without a minimum number, a lot of promotional houses won’t let someone like me submit special offers on their work. Likewise, new readers won’t know what to expect before they make a purchase. So if you like a book (or a series of books) be sure to leave a review.

I know a lot of readers get stressed about reviews, but they tend to overthink them. Reviews don’t need to be an extensive book report, and you’re not writing an article. (Unless you want to of course.) Just write up a few quick sentences saying why you liked or loathed a particular novel. It helps a lot.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

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Happy 4th Birthday to The Stars Were Right

October Begins: A Month of The Bell Forging Cycle

Hey! I’m back from the green hills of Scotland and look: it’s October 1st—the start of the best month. Here in Seattle that means the nights grow longer (more time for reading), summer is behind us (more time for jackets), and the days are getting cooler (more time for uh… coffee).

This October 1st also marks the fourth anniversary of the arrival of The Stars Were Right. For those who somehow found their way here without knowing the details, Stars is the first novel in my dark cyberpunk post-post-apocalyptic dystopian weird-western cosmic-horror urban-fantasy adventure series: The Bell Forging Cycle. (It’s hard to pin down, okay.) Since the launch, it has been my most successful book, and I’m still really proud of it. I’ve sold thousands of copies and garnered hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. (I could always use a few more if you’re feeling particularly generous.)

If you’re looking for a new book, you can pick up eBook copies for only $2.99! It’s the perfect companion to the cool fall evenings (or warm spring mornings for those in the Southern Hemisphere.) Links to purchase can be found right here.

For those who prefer reading paperbacks, all month long you can pick up a signed version of any of my books and receive free shipping from my store. (US only, sorry.) Just use the code: BFCMONTH on checkout. The code expires Halloween at midnight.

October is a big month for The Bell Forging Cycle series, and I’ll have more fun stuff to post throughout the month. So stick around there is more to come, and for the long-time roaders out there who are itching for more, I still suggest you: Look West.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

A Hiatus

A Scottish Hiatus

Observant readers probably saw this coming after reading the alleged Ibn Battuta quote I shared on Wednesday. I am going on a trip! For two weeks! That means starting tomorrow, I Make Stories will be on hiatus as Kari-Lise and I spend some time among the mountains and islands of Scotland.

We’re going to be busy hiking, looking at shaggy cows, wandering castle ruins, eating haggis, taking photos, tasting scotch, poking around cairns, and exploring. We’ll be joined for the first week by friends of ours, fellow writer J. Rushing and photog/designer Kelcey Rushing. (I recommend following them both.) Ever since they absconded to Europe we don’t see them often enough so hanging out should be fun.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram or Twitter where I’ll be sharing photos. As always the goal is to return physically exhausted but mentally refreshed and inspired. The Highlands await, I’ll see you all in October.


For more travel related photos, previous trips, and trip reports check out:

Ibn Battuta

It Leaves You Speechless

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

Ibn Battuta, maybe Ibn Juzayy, potentially someone else


So, I am a big fan of this quote for obvious reasons. However, among scholars, there is some doubt that Ibn Battuta actually said or wrote this. He didn’t take notes on his travels, and much of his work was dictated long afterward to Ibn Juzayy (who plagiarized.) If you want a synopsis of the controversy, I recommend checking out the “Works” subsection of Ibn Battuta’s Wikipedia page as it does a decent job summarizing.

Plagiarization or not, a great many travel blogs still attribute this to Ibn Battuta without so much of a note of doubt. Due diligence is necessary even for quotes, and often the story behind the quote can be more interesting than the quote itself.

Okay, all of that said: controversy-schmontroversy! The quotes still rad and travel is enriching. Get out there. Breath the air. Immerse yourself in worlds beyond your own. You’ll never know what you find.

Coal Belly Draft Zero

So, Coal Belly is Done… Sorta

Last weekend, after a year and eight months, I finally hit print on the final chapter of my latest novel, Coal Belly. The first of what I hope to be a trilogy. Right now, it weighs in at 190k words, and I expect it to grow.

Long time readers know this isn’t the first time I’ve written Coal Belly. The original manuscript emerged in 2010/11—a few years after I moved to Seattle and around the time I started working at Google. In fact, this blog began right after I finished the manuscript as an attempt to document my journey. That first version was around 130k words, and in the end, nothing came of it. It languished on shelves and hard drives for years. Always nagging at me as I worked on and published other projects. I knew there a was a better story there, I just hadn’t found it yet. It wasn’t until early 2016 that I felt I was ready to give it another go.

Coal Belly, Draft Zero, along side pre-manuscript ritual islay scotch and a cigar.
Behold! Coal Belly, Draft Zero sitting alongside my post-manuscript ritual: Islay scotch (in this case Laphroaig 10 yr., often Lagavulin 16 yr.) and a Cuban cigar.

It’s the longest I’ve ever worked on a book. Some elements have remained the same, steamboats still feature prominently in a world covered with rivers, and its weird-west aesthetic persists. But the themes between books are very different. Characters have become something greater, plotlines are better defined and much more complex, and the stakes are personal. Looking back it’s obvious now, and I’m glad I put it aside. That first version was akin to raw ore, and this new manuscript is the refined mineral. It’s a better book in every way.

“That first version was akin to raw ore, and this new manuscript is the refined mineral.”

As always, I took some time over the weekend and commemorated the occasion. I spent most of this last week reflecting on the work, and I’m excited. Coal Belly draft zero is done. The editing lies before me. I go on vacation next week, but soon it’ll be time to delve back into the work while my steam is up.

More on Coal Belly later.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →