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:
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.
Also 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.
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?
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.
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.)
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:
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: email@example.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!
Welcome to Wild Territories, the series where I delve into the expanded lore and explore the inspiration behind small little details scattered throughout my Lovecraftian urban fantasy series, The Bell Forging Cycle. These posts will be spoiler-free, but you’ll probably appreciate them more if you have read any of books in the series. You can buy them here.
In the last entry, we explored The Mysterious Shamblers of the Scablands, and I asked everyone to vote on what topic they would like me to explore in this entry. The votes are in, and in this piece ,we’re going to examine something a bit different. Please join me as we explore part three of Wild Territories: Faiths and Creeds of Lovat.
There is a lot of ground to cover and this is going to be a long article, so if there is a particular religion you’re interested in, use one of the links below to jump to that specific entry. At the end of each feature there will be a link to bring you back to this menu.
Mentioned In:The Stars Were Right, Old Broken Road, Red Litten World Known Members: Priestess Samantha Dubois, Hagen Dubois, Bishop Dubois Places of Worship: Saint Mark’s (The Stars Were Right) (Pictured)
“The Reunified Church is as old as anything in our ancient world.”
Shortly after the Aligning, most of the fragmented denominations of earth’s former faiths were destroyed or significantly reduce in number. Under the caring and watchful leadership of Ebenezer Alvord, the dispersed congregations were eventually reunited under a single banner, The Reunified Church, eventually establishing a hierarchy of bishops, priests, monks, and nuns. Over the years, their influence widened as congregations began to crop up across the Territories. Missionaries, called Road Priests/Priestesses, crisscross the trails and highways riding small chapelwains pulled by teams of oxen. From these mobile churches, missionaries lead simple services, serve out rust wine, and hear confessions for small communities scattered throughout the Territories.
Historically the Church had existed in Lovat since its rebirth. During the city’s tumultuous early years the Reunifieds were more militaristic and fought an extended religious war against the Hasturian Faith. These ‘Doctrine Wars’ lasted half a century, and as a result, many of the Reunified churches and cathedrals developed a fortress-like appearance. Walls and battlements ring the buildings and armed guards have been seen walking the walls, ever vigilant. While the church has become more peaceful in recent years, it still retains a small but powerful standing army, and Priest and Priestess alike are required to take self-defense classes.
Much of the Reunified faith is a continuation of its ancient Abrahamic religious heritage with a belief centered on a single divine deity. Since the Doctrine Wars, several splinter denominations have eventually spun away from the faith, notably the Reformed Movement, Salamshalla, Reunified Orthodoxy, and the Brethren. While core beliefs in each sect remain similar, overall, the church is considerably different from its pre-Aligning roots. Many of its post-Aligning practices, holidays, traditions, and saints would be unrecognizable to early pre-Aligning practitioners.
Today, many Lovatines respect the church, but Reunified history is not without controversy. While all sects of The Reunified Church openly welcome all species, that has not always been the case. Early in its formation, the church held to a strict human-only policy and banned non-human species from its services. The Purity Movement, a splinter sect of Reunified Brethren led by the charismatic Conrad O’Conner, claim to trace their roots back to the early Reunified Church and continues to preach human superiority and exclusion. Something the church and its sub-sects have vehemently disavowed.
An estimated 28.7% of Lovatines claim some connection with the Reunified Church making it the largest religious organization in the Territories.
Arriving with the emergence of the dauger sometime after the Aligning, The Followers of the Cold Shepherd, more commonly known as the Hasturian Faith, is structured similarity to the early Reunified Church. However, it is ‘Ministers’ not Priests or Priestesses who lead congregations and church members refer to one another as ‘sister,’ ‘brother,’ or the gender neutral ‘sibling.’
The faith centers on the worship of Hastur, a deity of some mystery. Hastur’s origins are strange, and the church’s religious text—The Pallidon—isn’t clear on the subject. Congregations are divided into two wings that teach two separate origins for their god; Monarchists preach that Hastur was once a king of a great golden city while the more Continue reading Faiths and Creeds of Lovat→
On May 14th, I’ll be attending one of my favorite conventions: Lilac City Comic Con in the distant hamlet of Spokane, Washington! It’s a fantastic event with a great crowd. And, just like last year, I’m happy to say I’ll once again be sharing a table alongside the incredibly talented artist: Josh Montreuil. Josh will be bringing a bunch of prints and will be taking sketch requests. You should come by and say hello!
Josh and I will be lording over our small empire at table D10, which is clearly the best table and there is none better. It is known. Use the map below to see where we’re at or look for the big Bell Forging Cycle banner. You can’t miss it.
We had a great time last year, and I’m looking forward to LLC once again. There’s a ton of great and talented people participating; you can check out the full guest list and complete exhibitor listover at the official Lilac City Comicon site. So mark your calendars Spokane, I’ll see you there!
I ran out of stickers (and buttons, actually) at Norwescon, which is great. I love that people love my swag, it’s why I make it. Plus, it allows me to expand the world of The Bell Forging Cycle beyond the page.
However, I felt a few of the stickers were looking a little dated. They just weren’t as cool as the others, so since I ran out, I used this opportunity to refresh a few of the sticker designs. For those who aren’t familiar, stickers are available in my free swag packs, or you can get them by purchasing any book from my store, and of course all are available for free at conventions (along with a bunch of other stuff) as long as my stock holds out.
There have been two new updates with The Stars Were Right set, the St. Olmstead sticker has been completely redone and now includes the logo’s lockup. I’ve also added a new skeletal maero hand, taken from the mysterious Fig. 12. It’s very metal.
The Old Broken Road sticker set got a pair of updates as well. This is the first time everyone is getting to see the City of Syringa seal. As with Lovat, Syringa is built upon the site of another city and there’s a reference to it in their seal. I’ve also included The City of Lovat Caravan Authority badge, the same mark that officially recognizes the Bell Caravan patches. Since Old Broken Road is about caravans I felt it was fitting.
The Red Litten World sticker set is only six months old, so it doesn’t have any updates for 2016. But I love it, and its awesomeness is a big reason why I felt like I needed to update the previous sets. Plus I wanted to include it in this post so you can see all sets side by side.
That’s the update for the stickers this year. The outdated images on my store should be updated sometime this weekend. Remember, I give away these stickers and more in my free swag packs, just hit the Free Stuff page and learn how you can get your hands on ’em. (All I ask is you pay for shipping.)
Thoughts? Judgments? Hatred? Why not leave a comment below and tell me what you think?
This past weekend I attended Norwescon 39 in SeaTac, Washington. This was my second year attending and like last year I had an outstanding time. As readers of my blog know with all my convention appearances, I like to do a debriefing wherein I recap the events, share photos, and talk about what I experienced during the con. (Check out my debriefing from last year.)
It was a wild weekend. I ran my table, sold a bunch of books, sat on six panels, and did a reading. Somewhere in there, I tried to get some sleep. Thankfully, unlike last year, I was not alone for the fours days; this time, I had assistance. My friend and fellow author, Steve Tontounghicame out on Friday and Saturday helped me out at my table and talked to people about his forthcoming novel, Join. And my wife Kari-Lisestepped up and pitched in Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was fun hanging out with them both. With their help, there weren’t any eleven-hours-on-my-feet days for me to deal with like last year. That alone made my time significantly more enjoyable.
Okay, let’s get to those highlights:
Books, Readings, Swag, and More
Once again, I sold a ton of books. Many were to new readers who seemed excited about stories set in a post-Lovecraftian world, and many were to my current readers who loved my books and wanted more. It was wonderful hearing directly from so many people and very encouraging.
I love when folks stop by and tell me how much they love my covers. I take a lot of time and effort to make sure they are something you’ll be proud of having on your bookshelf and knowing you notice means a lot.
This was the first year I handed out badge ribbons. I brought along three: Roader, Shambler, and Caravan Master (the rare one). I made a bet with my buddy Ace that he wouldn’t be able to collect all three. (I only allowed people to draw once.) He won. *grumble grumble* It was fun, and I think it might become a thing for everyone. Still trying to plot out how to make that work.
So many people came to my reading! As many of you know, I had the readers of this very blog choose what I read. As decided by the voters with 56.25% of the votes, I read the prologue from Red Litten World. People enjoyed it in all its grisly details. The next day quite a few attendees came to my table and bought a book because they liked what they heard. That made my con right there.
I loved Seeing old friends from last year. Fellow writers Lee French, Robert Hazelton, and Jennifer Brozekwere there. As was Rob’s wife Erica, and my buddy Ace. It was cool to see folks again; it felt like it had only been a few days since we hung out as opposed to the whole year.
I also recognized a lot of people, which is great, it goes a long way to making the Norwescon community feel more tight knit.
Oh, The Panels!
The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Battle Royale was easily the best panel I was on, I know I’m not alone in thinking this, here’s proof. It was hilarious, snarky, and a total blast. Big thanks to Matt Youngmark for putting it together and keeping things organized. The format was a bracket-style who-would-win-in-a-fight “discussion” in the end it came down to Rey from The Force Awakens and Marvel’s Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers. I was on team Rey in the final matchup, and sadly by popular vote, she lost. Maybe next year. #ReyWasRobbed. Agree? Feel different? Leave a comment and let me know why!
The horror track was really well put together. I was lucky enough to sit in on four different panels and had some incredible conversations about location, inspiration, and how horror is often a reflection of the time in which it is written. The first panel, expertly moderated by Logan Masterson, was about horror’s fantasy roots and stood out as the best of them, a lot of intelligent discussion.
The last panel I attended was ‘Level Up Your Self-Publishing Skills’ moderated by Elliot Kay. It was packed, and there was a lot of great questions from those in attendance. I wish it could have been more than an hour. There’s so much more all of us authors on that panel could have said, I wish we had more time. If you ever have a question about self/indie publishing you are always more than welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to offer tips or advice where and when I can. As always, the best advice I can give is this: keep at it, write what you love, and never give up.
Cosplay & Norwesconners
Have I mentioned the incredible cosplay, yet? Well, as always it was fantastic, people put in a lot of time and effort, and it showed.
Tiny Rey was easily the most adorable cosplayer I saw. Let me go on record saying that I am so stoked to see another female character in Star Wars that young girls can emulate. Mad props to the writers for making that decision. It was needed.
I got a quest from an NPC. It was hilarious. That card is now pinned to my cork board above my desk. Someday I’ll find you drunken ghost.
I mentioned this last year, but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s remarkable to see the diversity, openness, and acceptance between Norwesconners. The world outside of a convention can be mean. It’s nice to see a place where everyone is super considerate and goes out of their way to be encouraging and welcoming. Norwescon is unique like that.
Sunday’s cello accompaniment was lovely. Is this a regular thing? I remember there was music last year as well.
The green room staff, wonderful people there. They made the room a nice respite before and after panels.
The Norwescon staff were all really great. Thanks to everyone for making the event such a success. It’s a lot of hard work. Next time you see a volunteer, thank them.
It was a packed weekend, but so worth it. I’m already missing the whole buzz of the convention halls and the enthusiasm from my fellow attendees. There were a few times I wanted to get into the nitty-gritty details of writing horror and time just didn’t allow it. It would have been great to have sat in on a panel that was specific to cosmic horror/weird fiction and Lovecraftian mythos, but that might be too narrow for a general sci-fi/fantasy convention like Norwescon.
Sunday night Kari-Lise and I came home exhausted but feeling accomplished. Monday morning, I rolled right from convention mode back into work mode. No rest for the wicked. I’ll see you again Norwescon, until then, it’s back to writing. Time is wasting, and I have many more stories to tell.