Tag Archives: fantasy book critic

The Stars Were Right is an entrant in #SPFBO 4!

I’m in SPFBO 4

I’m excited to announce that my first novel, The Stars Were Right, has been accepted into this year’s Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off. This will be my first book award contest since I started writing and I’m excited to be a part.

Here’s how it works: each year 300 fantasy authors submit their books. Those books are then divided among ten bloggers—Stars will be reviewed this year by the good folks over at Booknest. In Phase One, the books are read, and each blogger chooses one book to advance to the next round. Then in Phase Two all the bloggers read the submitted ten, and score each of them. Out of those ten books only one will be selected as the winner! It’s fun and great for the indie fantasy community. Check out the past winners here.


300 Books. 10 Judges. 1 Winner.


Big thanks to author Mark Lawrence for championing all of this, organizing events like this can be a lot of work, and Mark has been a tireless supporter of indie authors. Be sure to check out Mark’s books, follow him on Twitter, and read his blog.)

Also, I want to thank my pal Mihir from Fantasy Book Critic for letting me know submissions were open. I’ve watched the SPFBO from the sidelines for a few years now, and for whatever reason, I never thought my books qualified. I’m happy I listened to him and took the opportunity to submit.

Win or lose, I’m excited to see how The Stars Were Right does. The contest skews heavily towards fantasy fiction, and while The Stars Were Right is very much urban fantasy, the weird world of the Territories has a lot in common with many other subgenres. As my readers know, I tend to eschew the standard fantasy trappings in exchange for something more… um, strange. So, we’ll see! Fingers crossed!

Phase One runs from August 1st – December 31st, 2018. If you want to read along, you can see the full list and bloggers participating over here. Follow along on Twitter by using the hashtag #SPFBO. Regardless of the outcome, I’m excited to join in, and I want to wish good luck to everyone who is competing. It should be a good year!

The Woolf

I’m in The Woolf

My friend, fellow author, and travel buddy, Jim Rushing, recently put together a great (and extensive) interview on writing cross-genre fiction for the online literary mag, The Woolf. You can read it via the link below:

“What if your book is the child of two genres?”

In it, a group of us discuss a lot of great topics from how cross-genre work is born to how it’s approached in publishing, to our influences. As most of my readers know, genre-blending is something near and dear to my heart, and it was an honor to be interviewed along with a cadre of excellent writers: Virginia KingAnthony LodgeK.T. LeeSuzy HowlettRae StoltenkampRohan Quine, and Rob Johnson. You should check out their work as well and see if there is anything that strikes your fancy. The Woolf is primarily focused on writers based out of Zurich, but it regularly features a lot of excellent content. It’s worth exploring.


📚 Further Reading

This isn’t the first time I’ve written or talked about cross-genre writing. It comes up a lot. I’ve spoken about it at length on the HorrorBrew podcast, and I wrote an essay for Fantasy Book Critic about blending genres.


Big thanks to Jim Rushing for giving me this opportunity. It was fun, and I always love learning how other cross-genre writers work. You can find out more about Jim, his writing, his travels, and delicious drink recipes, by visiting his site: https://jrushingwrites.com.

Reading Recommendation: Blogroll #2

Reading Recommendation: Blogroll #2

Last time I did this, it was 2013. So it’s been a ridiculously long time between posts. A lot has changed since those carefree halcyon days of yore. Blogs have fallen off my RSS reader, others have been abandoned, and new ones have risen to take their rightful place. Since it has been internet eons, I thought it was high-time to take a moment and share five blogs I’ve been enjoying over the last few years.


File 770

Mike Glyer’s Hugo Award-winning fanzine is a reliable resource for those who want to stay in touch with the comings and goings in science-fiction and fantasy. If you write speculative fiction, or if you’re just a fan I highly recommend making File 770 a part of your day. (In particular pay close attention to their daily Pixel Scroll.)


Pornokitsch

Don’t let the name fool you, Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin run a solid fanzine. While you’ll find the more standard book reviews and opinion articles among their content, Pornokitsch also focuses on sharing longer-format articles. Well written and often thought-provoking these posts make Pornokitsch stand out.


Mythcreants

A blog about RPGs and writing with a focus on gaming and worldbuilding, Mythcreants goes out of their way to be a resource for the creator. There’s a lot of content, from podcasts and how-to articles, all work towards making your work the best it can be.


MONSTER BRAINS

Those who have been reading my blog (and books) for any length of time know that I am a big fan of old art—epsecially the weird stuff. (Heck, the engravings of Gustave Doré features prominently on the covers of The Bell Forging Cycle.) MONSTER BRAINS celebrates the weird old creations and highlights the strange. It’s an excellent resource and a must-follow for monster fans.


Fantasy Book Critic

The good folks at Fantasy Book Critic focus on—as one would expect from their name—reviewing fantasy books. But, unlike many other sites of their size, they’re also active in the indie community and go out of their way to feature articles from newcomers. It’s a great community and a phenomenal blog.


Hopefully, it doesn’t take me four more years before I  serve up another blog roll. In the meantime, I hope you find these five blogs handy. Perhaps they will become regular reading for you as well.

How about you? What are your go-to daily blogs? Leave a comment below and let me know!

"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.