Tag Archives: Old Broken Road

Post related to Old Broken Road, the second book in the Bell Forging Cycle, K. M. Alexander’s Lovecraftian urban fantasy series.

2017 in Ten Awesome Photos

2017 in Ten Awesome Photos

It’s become a tradition around here to reflect on the past year by sharing ten photos that summarize the last twelve months. The rules are simple: ten photos, no more, no less.

I love doing this.

Selecting my ten forces me to consider my year in a different light, it slows down time. Perception and reality are often wildly different. If you asked me how 2017 was going a few months ago, my mind would have drifted towards the negative. There’s the endless outcry on social media, the seemingly exhaustless supply of terrible news/decisions/people coming from DC, and the reemergence of Nazis and Nazi-sympathizing dickheads. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed.

However, when I go back through my year, I see a lot more good than bad. I see momentum. I see friendships, adventure, and change. I see passion. When so much time and energy is devoted to focusing on the negative, one often forgets the positive things that occur. It doesn’t negate the bad. There’s still trouble and tragedy in the world and society must remain vigilant. But this sort of ritual can help one recenter. Try it yourself.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at my 2017 distilled down to ten awesome photos.

At the beginning of the year, Kari-Lise and I took a trip up to Vancouver, British Columbia to celebrate her birthday. We both took a lot of photos, but this picture of Kari-Lise in the Vancouver Art Gallery is the most important to me. In 2018 Kari-Lise and I will celebrate 15 years of marriage, and I cannot think of a better partner in this crazy life than her. She’s there to pick me up when I stumble and raise me higher when I succeed. I wouldn’t be the man or writer I am today without her. I can’t fathom a better way to begin a year than standing by her side and celebrating her birthday. 2017 might have been tough, but with her, I was able to endure.

I marched in the Women’s March. I felt it was important to walk beside the fantastic women in my life. This was their march, not mine. I’m not flamboyant or loud, I don’t chant or shout, but I wanted to stand in support and be present.

In February, eBooks of Old Broken Road went on sale for 99¢, and it was offered to BookBub subscribers. It took off like gangbusters. It was a whirlwind couple of days. I sold thousands of books, and for a brief stint, I ranked among the Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors on Amazon, just a titch above two of my idols, Kurt Vonnegut and Stephen King. It was great to see so many new readers step into the world of the Territories. (Someone tell ’em to go leave reviews.)

Kari-Lise had another fantastic show! Wake opened April 1st at Thinkspace Gallery, in Los Angeles. Us and several friends, made the trip down to celebrate. (Thanks, Redd, Siolo, and Vinnie.) The show was a success, the turnout was great. I’m really proud of Kari-Lise, and the work she created for this series. Check out the full show over on Thinkspace’s website.

I returned once again to Norwescon. This year my hometown convention celebrated its 40th anniversary, and I was honored to be a panelist. As always, I had an absolute blast. Saw some friends, had some great conversations, learned a lot. I’m hoping to go again in 2018. More more info, check out the full Norwescon 40 Debriefing.

I participated in the March For Science on a rainy Earth Day with Kari-Lise and my little sister. Like the Women’s March, I felt it was essential to me to stand and be present.

Between travel, shows, and work, we didn’t get into the mountains as much as we wanted. But when we did, it was phenomenal. This photo was taken at Otter Falls this summer, it’s one of my favorite spots in the Cascade Mountains.

I finished a manuscript. Coal Belly is a story I wrote a long time ago and attempted to shop. After multiple rejections, I eventually put it aside. But that wasn’t the end. The characters and setting haunted me always tickling at the back of my mind while I worked on the Bell Forging Cycle. I returned to it in 2016, starting from scratch and completely reworking much of the book. It took me almost a year and a half, but I’m immensely proud of the result. I’m in the middle of editing it now. I can’t wait to share it with the world.

I went to Scotland, and it quickly became one of my most favorite places on the planet. (Right up there with Iceland and Norway.) We traveled with some friends for half the time, saw castles, hiked mountains, drank scotches, fell into bogs. It was one of the best trips I’ve taken in my life, and I can’t wait to eventually go back. Read the Scotland Trip Report.

Change occurred. This summer Kari-Lise got into gardening which meant on some level I also got into gardening. We fell in love with the direction our little backyard oasis was taking. But, during a late-autumn windstorm, the enormous fir that had been one of the centerpieces toppled taking out a beautiful maple tree and a large bush with it. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and only the landscaping damaged, but the fall changing our backyard forever. It was tough to swallow. But life is change, and one must adapt. Holding onto the past can be just as dangerous as ignoring the future. So, a few weeks ago I took up a chainsaw and started my (unexpected) winter project.

In Conclusion

As is always the case, it was hard to narrow this down to just ten photos. So much more happened and it was all impactful in various ways. I mean think of the things I’m leaving off! I went to Lilac City Comicon with my pal Josh, I went to Orycon, there were backyard barbecues, mounds of research, multiple art shows, we explored the Pacific Northwest, I read piles of books, and we’re raising insects. But, narrowing the selection to ten is apart of the ritual.

2017 was a tough year, I’m not sorry to see it go. But I’m glad to have lived it. Here’s to 2018.

Want to revisit photos of past years? Click on any of the links below and check out my Ten Awesome Photos from that specific year. It’s interesting to watch subtle changes year over year.


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 →

Revisiting the Bell Forging Cycle Playlists

Revisiting the Bell Forging Cycle Playlists

My taste in music is… uh, eclectic. It’s not uncommon for me to be listening to southern gothic country, switch to hip-hop, move to bluegrass, then pivot to classical. I like variety. Often, songs serve as an inspiration for a setting or a character, more often I’ll find a song that captures the mood I am trying to evoke in a difficult scene. Over the years, I’ve created and shared playlists of songs that have inspired the books in the Bell Forging Cycle. I’ve posted them below (with new album artwork!) for your listening pleasure.

The Tunes Were RightThe Tunes Were Right

See the full tracklist  →

Listen on Spotify →

Listen/Watch on YouTube →




Old Broken PlaylistOld Broken Playlist

See the full tracklist →

Listen on Spotify →

Listen/Watch on YouTube →




Red Litten TracksRed Litten Tracks

See the full tracklist →

Listen on Spotify →

Listen/Watch on YouTube →




As I’ve begun preparations to write the fourth book (yep, it’s happening), I’ve been going back and listening to each playlist. It’s fascinating how each captures my emotional state while writing the individual novels. Introspection and discovery abound in The Tunes Were Right, there’s a root-inspired personal darkness that’s explored in the Old Broken Playlist, and the songs in Red Litten Tracks carry a frenetic punk-like energy that nails the dread that hangs over Wal. Of course, all of three have an undercurrent of jazz that runs like an artery through the soul of the Bell Forging Cycle.

How does music inspire you in your creative pursuits? Do you enjoy listening to playlists from authors? Which of these three are your favorite? Leave a comment below and let me know!

When you're feelin' it.
Jimmy Pesto Jr. is feelin’ it.

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 →

Come See Me at Lilac City Comicon 2017

Come See Me at Lilac City Comicon 2017

This weekend I will be returning for the 2017 celebration of Lilac City Comicon in Spokane, Washington. This year the convention is two whole days running from Saturday, June 3rd to Sunday, June 4th. If it’s anything like the last few conventions, it’ll be a blast. I’ll once again be sharing a table with comic creator and dinosaur enthusiast Josh Montreuil and we’re both bringing a ton of great stuff.

Triceratots, by Josh Montreuil - debuting at LCCC 2017!
Triceratots, by Josh Montreuil – debuting at LCCC 2017!

I’ll have copies of The Stars Were Right, Old Broken Road, and Red Litten World. I’ll also have Bell Caravans patches as well as a ton of free swag, stickers, bookmarks, and buttons. In the past, LCCC hasn’t really been interested in my badge ribbons, but I’ll have mine with me, and like other swag they’re free. If you want to draw a ribbon from THE BOX OF CHOOSING™ just ask me and I’ll be happy to let you try your luck. (Full details on the badge ribbons can be read here.)

Sir Montreuil will have his new debut comic, Triceratots, available! I’ve been given a preview, and it’s not only incredibly fun, but it’s downright adorable. If you’re a fan of dinosaurs or know someone who is (I mean, who isn’t?), be sure to pick it up. He’ll also have a bunch of fresh prints and will be available for sketch commissions.

You can find Josh and me at TABLE C10 right in the center of it all. Click the image below to see where you can find us on the full map. It’s like a treasure map, but you’ll be crossing booths filled with cool stuff and not boring desert islands.

I’m looking forward to the weekend, there are a ton talented people participating, and the 1966 Batmobile will be there! Check out the full guest list and complete exhibitor list over at the official Lilac City Comicon site. I’ll see you there!

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 →

Fresh Boxes (of Books)

Fresh Boxes (of Books)

I’ve been prepping for some convention appearances (next up, LCCC in Spokane, WA in June.) Which means I’m refilling my stock of books. A few days ago I had a large shipment arrive, which means my office is now brimming with stock. Overflowing, even. If you’ve been waiting to get a signed copy of one of my books now is the time. Just click the link below and start shopping:

Shop store.kmalexander.com →

The Bell Forging Cycle is available at the University Bookstore!If you live in the Seattle area, I have it on good authority that The Bell Forging Cycle is now available at the University Bookstore in the U District! Hooray!

Huge thanks to Jason for helping make that happen. It’s nice to see my books in a local bookstore. Hopefully, they find a home with someone who will love ’em.

Red Litten World in a Little Free LibraryAlso for Seattle folks, recently I found some leftover advanced review copies of Old Broken Road and Red Litten World in my office. So, I took some time to distributing them to a few Little Free Libraries around the city. I’m not saying which ones but they’re all over so keep your eye out and don’t forget to support your local Little Free Library.

Gifting the Bell Forging Cycle for the Holidays

Gifting the Bell Forging Cycle for the Holidays

Thanksgiving is now behind us here in the States, which means we’re in full-on shopping mode. Every year I have people reach out to me asking how they can get my book for their friends and family. There are loads of ways, and hopefully, this post will serve as a helpful aggregate of all the gifting options.

Want Signed or Personalized Books?Want Signed or Personalized Books?

I have my own store where I sell and ship signed and personalized books. The deadline to order is December 9th, which is a Friday. Any orders past that won’t get to you in time. I sign everything from my shop, but if you want your books personalized, make sure to leave me a note in the “Notes or Instructions” field during checkout.

Ordering Paperbacks From an Online RetailerOrdering Paperbacks From an Online Retailer

The quickest way to get paperback copies delivered would be by ordering through any of the online retailers. The majority of them offer guaranteed delivery by Christmas. (This also gives you a good reason to visit me at a con, where I am always happy to sign your books.)

Giving eBooks as GiftsGiving eBooks as Gifts

Did you know you can give eBooks as gifts? It’s true, there are options available at Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble. So if there is an eBook reader in your life, you can still send them into the Territories and save yourself a little money in the process. Details for each store below:

Sadly, Kobo and GoogleBooks do not have a gifting option. You’ll have to use a gift card and give your Kobo or GoogleBooks the streets of Lovat the old fashioned way. (Check out how Jen Chan gifted The Stars Were Right to a friend.)

I hope that clarifies the gifting options. If you have any questions you can always leave a comment or you are welcome to reach out to me via email: hello@kmalexander.com. Thanks for your excitement in the Bell Forging Cycle and your interest in sharing Wal’s adventures with your friends and family. I hope you have a safe and happy holidays!

Where in the World was K. M. Alexander?

Trails of the Broken Road

Kari-Lise and I spent some time wandering the trails of the Broken Road (yep, it’s based on a real place) over the long holiday weekend. I shared a little collage on Instagram, but I wanted to post the larger pics here. Enjoy.

Everything here was shot with my iPhone 6S and processed with VSCO.