Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rekindling an old flame?

Besides for a few short stories and some revisions and reformatting, I have not dabbled much in the world of the Brethren for several years, but that all may be about to change.  We'll see how it goes.  I am working on a new, full length book in the series.  I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

What no one has been waiting for!

I have just published The Greylands: Volume VI (and updated The Complete Greylands too), so if you are really, really bored go check it out!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Seasonal Reading

If you have survived the two week celebration of shopping that has now replaced Thanksgiving and are in need of a little rest and recuperation, I have just the reading assignment for you.  Dust off your Bible (or look one up online) and turn to the Book of Luke and read the first two chapters, forget Cyber Monday and reflect on what this season is truly about!  Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yet more questions you didn't ask (#4)

What's going on with your 'Greylands' stories?  Why do all the characters have the same name but you claim the stories have no relation to one another?

I hate coming up with character names, I have found several that I really like, fit my characters well, and rather than come up with unique names for 27 different stories, I cheat and recycle.  I am being 'green' as it were.  Isn't that why bottles of water now are so flimsy and crunchy?  We could likewise revolutionize the ebook world (though I hate those water bottles) and save the earth too!

Seriously though, these are different worlds, stories, plots, and characters but there are some underlying themes, imagery, characteristics, and the like which seem to recur in these tales.  Why not reuse a name as long as it is clear the character in question is unique to that story?  It is not like there has never been another person born with your name, why can't I do the same in a story if it happens in real life?

As to why I write them, that is a good question.  Full length books are certainly more profitable and popular with the majority of readers, but I find myself with all these shorter tales that need to be told and this seems the ideal way to do it, even if they do not acquire the readership a longer tale might.  Sometimes a tale just needs to be told, regardless of its popular reception or lack thereof.  But if you really want a good deal, go find a copy of my new volume containing the entire series, which will be updated as each new volume in the series comes out (and with the number of half told tales I have in the closet, it may be quite numerous!).  Pay once and own the entire series, now and to come!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Free Trip 'Over the Hills and Far Away'

Since my new book of fairy tales is selling so well I've decided to adjust the price, at least everywhere that is even remotely an option (ie. not amazon).  I decided to try the 'preorder' feature that all the ebook moguls seem to thing is the best thing since the discovery of chocolate (it is not), but your book has to have a price to participate, so I priced a book I had hoped to list for free.  Well, with preorder I have managed to sell 0 copies, I was astonished, floored, amazed, yes preorder is the way to go!  Maybe if you have a really popular serial going or people camp outside your house waiting for hints about your next book it is a good thing, but for no-name amateurs it really isn't all that great.  So I've adjusted my price to the outrageous fee of free.  It is a whimsical little book of poems and stories and now cost effective!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Even more questions you didn't ask (#3)

G.K. Chesterton once quipped, "a good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author."  Have you any thoughts on this?

A most excellent question, why is it all these questions seem to arise as if I asked them myself?

I am not sure I can fully agree with the most exalted GK, for all novels must tell us something of the writer, for one can only write 'what you know,' and of all topics, the author hopefully knows himself best.  We are also humans writing human stories (whether the main characters are technically human or not) and as such, all fiction must tell us something of the human experience or what is the point of reading or writing?  If we are reading a fictional account and it reads like an autobiography with the main character being the author, then yes, that is a bad novel indeed, but I cannot write a story or a character without incorporating some part of my experience, my fears, my hopes, my joys and sorrows, yea, my very soul into what I do.  For the root of all great art is buried deep in a human soul and without baring a little of that soul, we cannot hope to touch the world in any meaningful way.  What we know about being human, and thus about writing believable stories, comes from our own experience and hence is translated into our writing, though hopefully not in an exact copy!  In a good story, you will read a little bit of who and what the author is, but more importantly, you will learn some universal truth of what it is to be human.

Friday, November 7, 2014

More questions you didn't ask (#2)

Your newest book, "Over the Hills and Far Away," due out November 15th, is not classified as 'christian fantasy,' but merely as a collection of fairy tales.  Why no 'warning' label?  Have you given up on the genre?  Is this book safe for unwary readers?

An excellent question, I'm pleased to have proposed it…

As C.S. Lewis quipped in Surprised by Joy,  "a young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading."  It was George MacDonald that began the ruin of this particular atheist, who later became one of the greatest and most beloved Christian writers and thinkers of all time.     I am forced to agree with Lewis, that one can never be too careful in what one reads, if one does not want one's mind to be opened to the possibility of greater things.

I cannot help but spill my worldview into my writings, it is as innate to me as breathing.  There is undoubtedly an undertone of it in everything I write, but I can control the overall quantity that seeps in. While some of my works are overtly within the 'christian fantasy' genre, and are labeled as such, this latest collection of stories is not 'overtly' christian, at least in that I do not incorporate the various themes and imagery common to my 'christian' works.  There is no disguising the joy, the wonder, the hope, the suffering, sorrow, and sacrifice, that underlies this particular worldview, especially in writing stories such as these; in fact, they are the very theme of the book and underlie all great fairy stories.  For 'the greatest story ever told,' is the 'greatest fairy tale of all' and the best part is that it is true!  My hope is that this book will reach those who love fairy tales but are leery of anything labeled 'christian.'  I hope it will stir up thoughts and feelings too easily ignored, buried, or stupefied in our modern world, that it will waken that childlike wonder vital to faith and bring the reader face to face with the most important questions in the world and beyond it.

It really is a charming little book and I'm excited for its release, you can even see my mortifying attempts at poetry and feel better about your own!