Tag Archives: the bell forging cycle

A 2017 Lilac City Comicon Debriefing

A 2017 Lilac City Comicon Debriefing

It’s time for a con debriefing! Last weekend, I spent a couple of wonderful days at Lilac City Comicon in Spokane, Washington. This was my third year at LCCC, and like previous years, I shared a table with my good friend Josh Montreuil. This time around the con not only expanded, but it’s now two wonderful days.

[Left] My table setup [Right] An awesome Negan cosplay!
[Left] My table setup [Right] One of my readers sporting an awesome Negan cosplay!

Last year, I sold out of every copy of The Stars Were Right, so I doubled down and brought more with me this time around. Well, Spokane was insatiable, once again I sold out of every copy of The Stars Were Right. Yep, all gone! It was incredible. Easily one of the best two-day stretches I’ve had while running a table at a convention which means a whole lot of new readers have begun to experience The Bell Forging Cycle.

[Left] Josh speaks with a T-Rex [Center] The Log Lady! [Right] A pair of ninja 4 hire
[Left] Josh speaks with a T-Rex, his target audience [Center] The Log Lady! [Right] A pair of ninja 4 hire

Time for the highlights:

  • Friday night’s LCCC Pro Drink & Draw was great. Met some good people and I was able to circle up with some friends. It was a relaxing way to go into a busy weekend.
  • Once again (as the pictures prove) Spokane really went all out with the cosplay. Amazing work by everyone participating, you could see the time people had dedicated to their costumes. I took a ton of photos, and it was tough narrowing it down and picking favorites to share. Great work everyone! (Sgt. Slaughter, see below, was a particular favorite, but that’s the Joe fan in me coming out.)
  • My mom, dad, sister, and my nephew Derek came out to say hello! It Derek’s first convention and it was amazing to see the excitement as he strolled around in his Pikachu costume. He also left with the desire to be a Roader, which I appreciated. Gotta start ’em young. Right?
  • Likewise, Kari-Lise’s cousin Lou and his son Damon also came out. It was great seeing them as well. It’s nice to have a supportive family in the area. (You can check out a pic of Damon below dressed as a ninja.)
  • It was good to hang out with Josh. He had a new comic this year, Triceratots, and a load of prints. People were really excited to meet him and check out his work. Especially giant monster fans. I highly recommend you follow him. He’s got big plans for the coming year. If you want to meet him, I know he’ll be at Coeur d’ Con in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho in August. If you live nearby check his stuff out.
  • The volunteers were fantastic. It needs to be said over and over. Big thank you to them and to Nathan O’Brien for working so hard to make the convention so successful.
  • Several times I had readers drop by and ask about the status of book four. Knowing there is excitement building gets me excited. I really appreciate knowing there are those eager to join Wal in another adventure. I’ve heard it’s going to be a doozy. After all, “He is coming. Can’t you smell it on the wind?
  • Once again it was good to spend time with Matt Nelson, Peter Foglesong, Jennifer Foglesong, and Lars Brown. All our tables were next to each other, and it was great being able to hang out and chat during the downtimes. If there is such a thing as your ‘convention family’ they’re definitely a part of mine.
[Left] Captain America [Center] My nephew Derek as Pikachu and me as an author who only wears black [Right] Geralt of Rivia
[Left] Captain America [Center] My nephew Derek as Pikachu and me as an author who only wears black [Right] Geralt of Rivia
  • I also had several readers come up just to meet me and tell me how much they loved my books. It was amazing and surreal, and it’s interactions like that which really made my LCCC experience. Writing is a solitary gig, and when people take the time to come up and say they appreciate the hard work, it makes it all worthwhile.
  • Since the con was two days, the Post-Con Decompression Dinner became a Mid-Con Decompression Dinner. It was still as great as always. The food and drink hit the spot, the conversation was lively, and it was a pleasant respite in the middle of the festivities.
  • Josh’s sketch commissions were as wacky and wonderful as always, from Daffy Duck as The Scarlet Pumpernickel to a giant antlered bear armed with a great ax.
  • I enjoyed seeing all my old friends who came by to say hello, Angie, Curt, Carl, and Mike (who surprised me from behind his King Kong mask.) It was nice seeing them, meeting their partners and children, and catching up a little bit.
  • I got to nerd it up with a bunch of horror fans. We talked about Lovecraft, Chambers, The Void, Get Out, The Mist, and so much more.
  • I met some new friends as well. In particular, Rob an illustrator who creates some great Lovecraftian illustrations, Devin who was hanging out across from Josh and me, and Michael another illustrator who ran a table next to ours.
  • Did I mention I sold out of EVERY COPY of The Stars Were Right? EVERY. COPY. Seriously. I did. (I have more on order.) It’s awesome to see so many people starting their journey into the world of The Bell Forging Cycle. If you’re one of them, I hope you enjoy the ride.
  • When I got home late Sunday night I was greeted by the nicest email from a reader who had picked up my books and took a moment to drop me a line to tell me she was already loving them. After a long afternoon of travel, it absolutely made my night.
[Left] Sgt. Slaughter [Center] Rebel Pilot [Right] Kari-Lise's second cousin Damon as a nunchaku spinnin' ninja
[Left] Sgt. Slaughter [Center] Rebel Pilot [Right] Kari-Lise’s second cousin Damon as a nunchaku spinnin’ ninja

The expansion from one to two days was excellent, and other pros enjoyed it as well. Clearly, Spokane is hungry for a world-class convention, and Lilac City is stepping up and providing. I’ll most certainly be attending in 2018. I would love to see LCCC expand into open gaming and more panel tracks as well, but I am sure both are coming. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

Want to read about my past experiences? Check out my debriefings for Lilac City Comicon 2016 and Lilac City Comicon 2015. Next up for me in 2017 is OryCon in November! Remember, You can keep track of where I’ll be and check out my previous conventions over on my Upcoming Appearances page.

Thanks for a great con Spokane, I’ll see you next year. 🕶


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It's Raining Books, Hallelujah! It's Raining Books, Amen!

It’s Raining Books, Hallelujah! It’s Raining Books, Amen!

Apologies to the Weather Girls, but I couldn’t resist that title. (Also, I’m surprised at how literal they went with that video. Damn.)

It’s been a wild and strange week so far and I have some positive developments that I want to share. Documenting the journey of writing/publishing/promoting has always been a mission of this blog, both good and bad, and it’s time for some good.

On Sunday, I launched another promotion through BookBub, my second, in it I discounted Old Broken Road to 99¢. (I also discounted The Stars Were Right, because, why not?) I’m happy to report the promo has been a wild success. More than I could have ever expected. Here is Old Broken Road’s ranking at the height of the sale:

Height of Old Broken Road sales!

Sales were solid and steady, and as you can see it became a best seller in quite a few categories. I saw a lot of people picking up The Stars Were Right and Red Litten World, which was encouraging. As a result of this promotion, there are a lot of new readers just now experiencing the Territories for the first time. Welcome to the company, roaders. I sincerely hope you enjoy the ride as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I also hit another milestone, one I am quite proud of:

Author Rank

For a few glorious days, I was listed on Amazon’s Most Popular Authors in Science Fiction and Fantasy for the Kindle. Amazon Author Rank a new-ish list that highlights and tracks the bestselling authors on the platform. I got to be one of them, and for a while, I was ranked higher than two of my writing heroes: Kurt Vonnegut and Stephen King. It was a surprise, so much so even I had issues with it.

I’m still sorting through my emotions. I am flattered that so many people decided to jump in a read some of my books, I’m humbled to see that you’re willing to give my work a chance, and I’m excited to hear what you think. Please, feel free to drop me a line at any time good or bad. Don’t forget to leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. Reviews are what allow me to do promotions like this one.

Old Broken Road will continue to be on sale through next Monday. You can find out more on this post including links to all the stores.

Red Litten World arrives tomorrow! It's time to return to Lovat.

Last Day – Red Litten World eBook Only 99¢

I mentioned this on Twitter (follow me!) but I wanted to write a quick update for everyone else. Last week, my novel Red Litten World turned one. To celebrate for the last seven days eBook copies have been on sale for only 99¢ (a savings of five whole dollars!) Today is the final day to nab it at that price from any of the following stores:

KindleKoboiBooksNook • GooglePlay • My Store

After tonight prices will start reverting to the regular price of $5.99. So buy a copy, tell your friends, and please leave a review.

Happy Birthday, Red Litten World

It’s Red Litten World’s First Birthday

Today is the first birthday of Red Litten World, the third installment in my Lovecraftian urban fantasy series, The Bell Forging Cycle. It has been a fantastic launch, and I’ve loved hearing from readers who have enjoyed the book. I’m proud of it. Since it’s been a full year, I felt it was important to celebrate the occasion.

It’s Sale Time

For the next week, Red Litten World is available on eBook for only 99¢! So, if you haven’t read the most recent adventure of Waldo Bell, now is the most affordable time to check it out. Buy five copies! Give them to your family, share ’em with your friends. Hell, send them to your enemies. Hit any of the links below to grab a copy on the cheap.

KindleKoboiBooksNook • GooglePlay • My Store

The discounted sale price will only be available for a week. So, take advantage while you can.

Let’s Talk Reviews

As with most series, there was a significant drop-off in reviews of Red Litten World. Review fatigue is very common for books in a series, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable. Reviews are not only helpful for other readers; they also allow authors to take advantage of mailing lists, promotional newsletters, and review sites. So if you haven’t had a chance to leave a review of Red Litten World, please, please, please take a few moments and drop one on Amazon and Goodreads. It’d help me out considerably.

Where Are We Going from Here

It’s October, which is usually the month when I release a new title. (Based on the emails I’ve had to answer, many of you were aware of this.) However, there isn’t a release this year. Last December, I wrote a post called The State of the Cycle, where I went into details about the future of Wal’s tale. I invite you to read it if you haven’t. Don’t worry; his story isn’t over yet. There’s plenty more to come; I’m just taking some time to collect myself before I dive back into the madness.

In Closing

Once again, I need to extend a big thank you to those who have supported me over the years. Thanks to those who have left reviews and told their friends. Thanks everyone who has reached out to me and helped me promote my work. It’s all of you that contribute to making books like Red Litten World possible.

So, today, join me in wishing a happy birthday to Red Litten World. What a gem.

#My5 - Influences, Inspirations, Ideas

Introducing: #My5

Attend any convention, sit in on a reading, or visit panel and during open Q&A, and you’ll hear a common question asked by someone in attendance. It’s a query every author gets. I’ve seen Neil Gaiman blog about it, Stephen King speak about it, and Ursula K. Le Guin write about it. It comes down to this:

“Where do you get your ideas?”

I think people assume that there is some hidden mystery or a big secret in being a writer. However, the truth is that inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere; the smallest thing can spark a multitude of ideas, and it’s different for every author. For me, I can imagine several key instances that have triggered something in my mind, ideas that have taken root and helped construct the world of The Bell Forging Cycle. I want to share those ideas, and I know others do as well, so I am introducing #My5, a new project I’m starting, focusing on inspiration and ideas. The goal is to create a familiar and straightforward format allowing published authors (indie or traditional) from any and all genres to share some of their inspirations for specific projects with their fans and peers. In these posts, writers will list five sources that influenced one of their projects and they’ll link to the blogs of others authors who are doing the same thing. There’s no rule on what you can find inspiring, be it music, television, books, speeches, landscapes, travel, or whatever; it’s all open. The key is that you can only pick five, no more, no less.

So, if you’re a published author who regularly blogs, you’re invited to participate! Just shoot me an email at hello at kmalexander.com and let me know you’re participating. Write your post, publish it, and link to others who have done the same. The goal is to create a network of ideas so we can share our inspirations together. You can download the #My5 Logo using any of the links below.


Download the #My5 Logo600×600 PNG: White | Black
1200×1200 PNGs: White | Black
(Vector version available upon request.)


The first round of #My5 entries are coming really soon. So watch this space and follow me on Twitter! I’ll be posting my own and linking to others. Even the simplest thing can often spark amazing stories and complex worlds; inspiration abounds, let’s explore it.

Religion and Belief of Lovat

Faiths and Creeds of Lovat

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.

ReunifiedHasturianDeeperismDulodi
CurwenismMysticismEibonianism


The Reunified ChurchThe Reunified Church

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.”

—Waldo Bell, The Stars Were Right

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.

St. Mark's — Broadway Hill, Broadway Isle, Lovat
St. Mark’s — Broadway Hill, Broadway Isle, Lovat

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.

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The Hasturian FaithThe Hasturian Faith

Mentioned In: The Stars Were Right, Old Broken Road, Red Litten World
Known Members:
 Peter Black, August Nickel
Know Places of Worship: Carcosa Grove (The Stars Were Right)

“It’s all deplorable. Folks worshiping monsters, fish gods, squid, and then there’s those Hasturians.”

—Jeremiah Norry, Old Broken Road

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