Here is a sampling of the writing I've done. Primarily I'm a fantasy novelist. While currently unpublished, I have aspirations to change that. Here is a sampling of the writing projects I've completed.
At the end of the Age of Darkness, a mighty hero, Mayic the Liberator, defeats the demons and frees mankind. As reward, the Gods offer Mayic rule of the world; when Mayic refuses, the Gods kill him and curse his soul to be eternally reborn. Twenty-two hundred years later, a young noble, Marek, runs away from home to become a sailor, only to discover that he is the latest incarnation of Mayic. As he struggles with his own identity and the weight of his destiny, he becomes a pawn in a game between two sisters: Thissa, a sorceress who wishes to rule the world, and Zoë, a thief who wishes to stop her; for Marek holds the key to recovering Ebenstar, an ancient weapon of immense power. Hunted by a psychopathic henchmen, Marek joins Zoë, Tanyl, an albino child priestess, and Kilé, a middle-aged mercenary struggling with demons of her own, on a quest to thwart Thissa's evil scheme. But Marek may hold the key to more than just Ebenstar, for in an act of violence and strange magics, Zoë and Tanyl merge into Tanali, a woman with the disparate memories and moralities of both criminal and clergy. Can Marek save her not only from the forces aligning against them, but also from her own conflicted heart?
The Story behind the Story:
Growing up, I was introduced to this little game called Dungeons & Dragons (back in the day when it was called "Advanced", and not given a version number). From this experience came a story that stuck in my head. Twenty-five years and four attempts later, I finally got it down. Thus was born my first major writing venture.
I imagine I'm not the only one out there who was so inspired by role-playing. Needless to say, the story itself has evolved and changed since those days playing D&D. There are no elves, for one.
The first volume, Lightbringer, is a finished work (at least, finished as far as I'm concerned) and I have begun the process of shopping it around. It weighs in at ~300,000 words.
The second volume, The Demon Gate, is well past it's second revision. I am, of course, waiting on professional feedback on Book One before I make the push to finalize it (something my beta readers, one in particular, is probably glad of.) It weighs in (currently) at ~230,000 words.
The third and final volume, Second Darkness, is a completed first draft, in need of significant revisions (based on forthcoming feedback of the first two volumes). The current version is ~160,000 words (with significant room for growth, of course).
I will post some excerpts and "bonus content" later. I'll also be sure to update here if there is any changes to it's current "unsold manuscript" status.
If interested, be sure to follow it on Facebook!
In 2010, between editing Ebenstar, I decided to try out National Novel Writing Month. The Rebel Princess was my first attempt, and I actually won (the goal of NaNoWriMo is to start and complete a 50K word novel in 30 days - November, to be exact).
Unlike the very serious Ebenstar Trilogy, this was a much more light-hearted endeavor (more in lines with Robert Asprin than Brandon Sanderson).
It tells the story of Slizak, a lizardman with a penchant for breaking things, Mazul, a delusional yet deadly desert-elf, and Thoistle, an incompetent bard magically gifted with the ability to incite riots just by speaking, and their quest to rescue a kidnapped princess. Along they way, they get arrested, fight a horde of undead, survive explosions (yes, explosions), make friends with a giant weasel, and discover a conspiracy involving necromancy and the fate of a kingdom. Oh, and the story it told from the perspective of an omniscient magical candle-stick holder.
For a NaNoWriMo novel, I thought it turned out pretty well.
I really love the Slizak character. Like the Ebenstar story, he was inspired by role-playing (GURPS this time, in college).
After the success of The Rebel Princess, and with the potential for fun adventures Slizak had, I had decided to make it a yearly project: I'd write a new Slizak novel every November for NaNoWriMo. I even had the plot and basic outline ready for the next one (this time he would face the Dreaded Pirate Zombie Dragon). Unfortunately, November 2011 and 2012 both proved too busy for this project.
Comedy is hard. It is a lot easier to write drama. While I do hope to continue writing about Slizak (who is a wonderful character), I may need to wait until inspiration strikes. I have some ideas in mind: not only the Dreaded Pirate Zombie Dragon, but also I have an idea where he'll go against a "thief of causality", the results of which will be that the second act of the novel will be an actual, honest-to-goodness Choose Your Own Adventure. It could be awesome (if I can pull it off).
The idea of blogging never really appealed to me. I honestly never thought what I had to say (at least about me) was interesting enough (this website not-withstanding). But for ten days in April, 2010, that changed.
On April 12, I flew to the Isle of Man for a three day business trip. On April 14th, Eyjafjallajökull, a volcano in Iceland, erupted, stranding me overseas. With only three days worth of clothing, a cell phone not set up for international calling, and no way to get home, I did the only thing I could think to do: I used the phone to take pictures and then, once I made it to London, posted the pictures and my observations to Facebook. I called the experience Volcanopalooza.
Someday I'll grab the 104 pictures (and related text) and post them here. In the meantime, you'll have to see it on Facebook.
The first website I ever built was back in the 20th century, and was terrible - the worst example of a vanity web-site you could imagine. I had completely forgotten about it until I came across the files on an old hard drive.
At the time, I had a love of the Tarot (I still do, though I don't work with it actively much these days), and had written a page on it, explaining my interpretations of the Minor Arcana. I was actually excited to find it, because I thought the content was quite good.
It is available here with only minor edits (removing/changing bad links, etc). The formatting isn't pretty (yet), but I still think the content has merit.
Future Projects/Works in Progress
My next project is going to be a story written as a journal, from the point of view of a polydactyl boy who is pawn in a vast multi-cultural conflict having something to do with strange magical fruit and the impending end of the world - the world called "Lyr", in fact, which has three moons. The story is outlined; I just need to start writing it. It's been a slow starter.
Wanting to get a better feel for a world with three moons (and in order to avoid actually writing while still doing something interesting and theoretically useful), I decided to write an HTML5/CSS3/jQuery web page that shows the night sky of Lyr, with it's three moons. It's actually kind of neat: Moons of Lyr.
In order to write a compelling piece of fiction, the author must understand the world in which the story takes place. For stories taking place in our world, the author's "homework" involves research. For stories taking place in made-up worlds, the author must, well, make up the world. World building is fun! The trap, of course, is to not let world building trump story; always remember the role of a well-rounded world is to add flavor and dimension to the story, not take it over.