Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New fantasy novel

Time to write a new post!

How is everyone? March has proven to be the bestselling month for me since I started publishing my work. Thank you all for your support. I'm still a long way from where I would like to be. I'm still searching for better ways to reach readers. Twitter seams to be working out alright, I suppose, but I find that most of my followers are fellow writers. Nothing wrong with that, but I find that other writers will most likely not buy my books. Some will, don't get me wrong, but I need to connect with readers of my genres. Any ideas?
"Defiance" by William Kenney

I've been doing art for a few book covers as well. One for a collection of dark poetry by a friend and fellow writer named Stefain. I can't show the cover until he approves it, but it fits his stuff pretty well, I think. I'm also trying to put together the cover for the horror novel that David Woods and I are writing.

At this point, I am 28,000 words into a new fantasy novel. No, it is not part 3 of In the Shadow of the Black Sun. I felt that I needed to take a break from the story and work on something different. An epic fantasy series takes a lot of concentration, keeping your facts straight and avoiding contradiction. Don't worry, fans. The story will return with Book 3: Mournenhile. It's already bubbling and frothing in my brain.

This new book seems geared toward Young Adult readers, although that was not my original intent. It just came out that way.

In early posts, I put up some of my poetry/song lyrics. Should I continue to do so? Is that of interest to any of you?

Well, I appreciate all of you and thank you for stopping by my tiny corner of the internet.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Foolish Immortals.

King of the Bunny Wabbits!
Mickey Rourke as King of the Bunny Wabbits. Wait, is that a venus flytrap on his face? Seriously, this is from the movie Immortals, which I really wanted to like, but didn't. At all.

Things I learned while watching:

1. Anywhere that you stand in the world of the Immortals, you are sure to find a dramatic sky behind you.
2. Prophets wear lampshades on their heads.
3. When you remove your metal armor, it bends.
4. You can never see Mickey Rourke eat dripping pieces of fruit too many times.
5. Titans are man-sized, with charred, black, zombie-like skin.
6. Athena was a Ninja.
7. The Olympians all wore armor fashioned from yellow Play-Doh.
It's Play-Doh, I tell ya.
8. You can always tell the magical bow. It's the one covered with black glitter paint.
9. Mount Olympus consists of a circular block of concrete on which the Gods congregate.
10. Trying to imitate the movie 300, will only bring epic failure.
11. If you are dying of thirst, having a hot chick drool in your mouth saves you every time.
12. Never substitute a guy with a metal bull helmet for a real Minotaur.
13. Every time one of your soldiers fail you, kill them.

There you have it. I learned a lot. I learned to never watch this movie again.

0 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Undergrowth, for sale on Amazon

The cover to Undergrowth
Have any of you given my horror novella a try? Any thoughts? It's my homage to Lovecraft and Poe. They always give me a certain creepy feeling when I read them and with this, I was striving for the same. If printed, this would be roughly 35 pages, so it's a fairly quick read. I plan to expand a bit and publish some of the things that I have written outside of the fantasy realm.
There are more horror stories coming and even a cyberpunk tale on the horizon. The story that I am currently working on could even be considered Young Adult.
In other news, I watched the movie, Immortals, Saturday night. Yikes. I'll leave my comments about that movie on a separate post.

I welcome any comments or questions.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Meet Gary Vanucci!

Hello, everyone. I thought I would throw the spotlight on a fellow fantasy author and show some support where I can. 
Gary Vanucci is a writer with a definite plan. Last year, he published his debut novel, Covenant of the Faceless Knights: Beginnings and has recently begun releasing short stories revealing the histories and colorful pasts of the main characters of that world.
Also recently released by Gary Vanucci and Nicholas Titano, Realm of Ashenclaw 4e D&D Supplement.

All right, let's learn more about Gary.
Hi, Gary. Would you please introduce yourself to the readers?
Hello, all. I am from a small town in Pennsylvania just north of Philadelphia. I grew up reading comics and sci-fi/fantasy novels, which opened my imagination to degrees I never thought possible. I played role-playing games of all kinds and the experiences sent my mind somewhere different. I spent time in the late 80’s as a singer in a hard rock band, obtained a degree in Graphic Design and illustrated and wrote stories, games, etc. I found that as I grew older, my illustration and design fell to the wayside, but my love of writing moved forward. I am currently in the process of expanding on that love of writing. My goals in the next few years include improving on my current writing style, finding my ‘voice’ and adding more depth to my writing as I move forward. I live ‘outside the box’.

You and I have worked together recently. I’ve provided artwork for some of your publications so I am aware of some of the things you will be publishing, but for those that may not know, tell everyone what your plans are for the future with your company.
I intend on pushing the Realm of Ashenclaw for the foreseeable future, so people had better get used to seeing it! I have grandiose plans for the world, including 5 more full length novels (am currently working on #2) to hopefully finish the storyline that I am working on now with the current characters. I also plan on writing a few more short stories in the future that focus on the ‘bad guys’, as well as full length novel plans telling the story of the main protagonist: Zabalas Dimonia. I even started a story telling the Legend of Ashenclaw and how it shaped the current version of the world. I also have my sights set on giving away a few more short stories on my blog occasionally as I have a few more ideas floating around in my head that need to come out! In the next few years, I would love to expand the universe and possibly opening it up to other writers to share in it.

I know that you are an avid gamer. What role do you think gaming has played in your creative career?
Gaming had introduced me to so many things. It opens the mind to new experiences and really pushes your imagination. As a game master (the guy who runs the games), I found that I was under deadlines to get things done, so it really prepares you for many things, including public speaking, making your thoughts coherent and also provides leadership experiences.

What writers do you think have had the most influence on you?
Anyone that knows me knows that R. A. Salvatore is my favorite author. I aspire to his greatness and I will tell you why. When he tells a story, it brings vivid imagery to mind. His characters are fairly unique and extremely enjoyable to read and his combat scenes are the best I’ve read. I aspire to do exactly all of these things. I also enjoy a few lesser known authors, including James Silke and all of the writers that worked on the Wild Cards series that I enjoyed in the mid-80’s. That included George R. R. Martin as their editor. Those stories are a must read for anyone who enjoys superheroes, though it tells it realistically as opposed to what you read in comics. I also very much enjoyed the unmatched wit of Douglas Adams, the funniest writer to walk the face of the planet (in my opinion).

Do you have plans to write stories that are set outside the Realm of Ashenclaw? Other genres, perhaps?
If I do, it may be under a pen name! I have interests in many things and tons of ideas floating around in my cranium. I have a series of futuristic bounty-hunters set in the late 2000’s that I began writing in 1998-1999 that has 200 pages finished and is just sitting there…waiting. I would also like to try my hand at comedy in the future as well. Let’s just say that I am not ruling anything out.

How do you usually work? Do you outline a story first or just dive in and work out the details along the way? Do you give yourself a quota to meet, for example a specific amount of words per day or week?
The first novel was written with very few notes. I just plowed through it and let the chips fall where they may. I had an idea from the notes and kind of let them take me where they wanted to go. The world I spent a good deal of time on with a friend (Nicholas Titano of Infernal Titans), who helped me shape it and helped me name things. As far as the books go, I have gone back and outlined a good deal of it and I have an overarching storyline that makes sense to me. I begin to outline a book in greater detail before I start to write it and it goes from there. For the most part, I never know what I am going to write from one page to the next. It’s kind of fun that way! I also try to write 5k words a week. I often fall short with my blog and other commitments, but that is my goal. Last two weeks, I did write over 10,000 words though! I just started a new job, too, so I have another test period for a month or so until I get used to it.

What would you consider the drawbacks and/or benefits of self-publishing?
The only drawback I see is getting noticed. There is a plethora of self-published books that are out there and it is up to the people to decide what they like based on reviews and samples. I just try to put my best work out there and hope than when I am discovered, the reader sees that I put an effort into it and had it edited, etc. There is nothing worse than an ‘author’ who puts out an unpolished book and expects anyone to pay for it.

How important do you consider reviews on your work?
I will ask you to check out this post to decipher that!
It is one of my more popular posts and seems to have gotten support from most authors and readers. That being said, I suppose it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes I feel it is very important and other times I think it doesn’t make one iota of difference. Depends what day you catch me.

How much do you participate in social media? Do you think it has an impact on your book sales?
I am a social media maniac. I believe that it is important and really it is the only way we can get our work some exposure. It doesn’t cost anything and after a while, it seems to have an impact. I try to post some things that are personal in between promotional texts in order to interact with people. I also try to help other authors in retweeting and promoting them too, especially ones that have gone out of their way to aid me.

Just for fun, fast forward ten years. They are making a movie of Covenant of the Faceless Knights. Which actors do you see playing which characters?
I have thought about this a few times and am at a loss. I know that I would love for Mila Kunis to play Rose if she wanted the part! I would sprinkle in a few famous names with new talent and look for several new actors to try giving them the break that I want right now: Just a shot at dazzling an audience.

Do you have any advice for someone considering a writing career?
Yeah, don’t! All kidding aside, I was told by an amazing fantasy author once that writing is not for the lazy. I couldn’t agree more. First of all, do it because you want to and not to ‘make it big’, because that is a one in a million shot. It could be you, but it probably won’t be…lol. Do it because you love it. Also, if you plan on doing it seriously, then please do it right. If you put junk out there and call yourself an author, it makes it harder for the other talented indie authors to have any credence or validity. And above all: READ! I know plenty of authors who don’t read. Find time to do it. Writers who don’t read, in my humble opinion, will eventually become stagnant and their work will suffer. Do it and do it well is what I say.

Thank you very much for the interview, Gary! 

Do yourself a favor and visit Gary's blog. Read the samples of his stories that are available on his Amazon page. You might find it very much to your liking. I did.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Hello all. I should be releasing this novelette in the next few days. I consider it an homage to Lovecraft, whose creepiness I enjoy. I painted the cover as well with Graphic Design help from my wife, as always. You'll be able to find this on Amazon for the Kindle. I think I'll be charging only 99 cents for the book. Perhaps one day, I will collect my shorter stories into one collection.

In other news, sales of the In the Shadow of the Black Sun saga are great with the new release of Shards of S'Darin. David Woods and I are still forging ahead with our horror novel and I have several other projects going at the same time. I can't help it. My mind never rests. Fantasy, Horror, Cyberpunk, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy. It's all in there just waiting to come out.

Your comments are always appreciated and thank you for visiting.

Walk with the Wind (But don't get tangled in the undergrowth.)


Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Cover to Escaping Entry by Benedict Martin

The cover to Escaping Entry by Benedict Martin
Here's another cover painting I did. I painted it digitally in Photoshop, using a graphics tablet.

The book is called Escaping Entry and is a great read. The author, Benedict Martin is currently working on the sequel, which I am eager to read.

Here is the description of the story:

Entry used to be a pleasant city, rating as high as fifth on Malcolm Tebby’s annual list of places to visit if you couldn’t afford to go anywhere nice. But then a plague came, and just like that, the cobblestone metropolis, known for its bell towers and strangely uncomfortable benches, became a ghost town. For seventeen year old Billy Stun, plague survivor and blossoming artist, Entry is an exercise in boredom, so when an eccentric nobleman named Harold asks him to be his personal photographer, he agrees. Harold, though, is not normal, and when Billy discovers part of his job is taking photographs of Harold murdering creatures of legend, it isn’t long before he begins pining for the eerie quiet of home.

Visit the Amazon page to download the book in Kindle format HERE.
You can also find his blog HERE.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway is now over

I want to thank everyone that entered the contest on Goodreads and showed interest in my work. I appreciate each and every one of you. The three winners have been notified and I will be shipping the free copies out as soon as possible. I am hoping that some of the people who entered, but didn't win, will still decide to pick up A Dream of Storms and Shards of S'Darin. I am confident that you will enjoy the story. The paperback edition of Shards should be available either today or tomorrow. It has to go through a review process at the printers and once that is complete I will click the 'publish' button.

Thank you for your support and I look forward to your comments.