Friday, September 1, 2023

September 2023 News

Merry Christmas! That's what some people will say in several months. Not today obviously. That would be ridiculous and confusing. 

Then why'd you say it? You love Christmas or something?

Not especially. I just struggle with opening these news posts sometimes and give randomness a vote.


August 4th I published Violence & Vigilance, a gritty epic fantasy featuring Irdessa the Undying - daughter of the strategist Andelsior of Vim, partner of Torvald the Tactician, slayer of beasts and bastards alike, and Basalt Kale - the Consonant Void, the first Entropomancer, Erudition's Undoing. 

Go buy it on Amazon.

I simply can not recommend this book. Wait no. I meant, I can't recommend this book enough. It has all the things I love in a book: My name on the cover, my bank account connected to its Amazon purchase page, and lastly, words. 

Good lord. I've gotten no better at touting this f*cker. Good thing it's so gorgeous it sells itself.

That's 8 lbs / 3.6 kgs of fantasy fiction right there

There are gracious and daring souls buying this beast around the earth as we speak. It sells best in the US, but has also reached the UK, Australia, and even Italy. Of the reviews it has gotten, every last one of them (there are two) compares it to Wheel of Time. I can barely fathom this. I haven't read Wheel of Time and it was not an influence. I don't aspire to incorporate any Wheel of Timery in my writing. In fact there's more swearing in V&V's prologue than in fourteen books of WoT. However, I'm grateful. WoT is hugely successful so there must be something to gain by folks finding the comparison. I suppose I should mention that V&V's developmental editor John Jarrold happens to be the literary agent who found Robert Jordan, the author of Wheel of Time. And John said of V&V, "This is in the top 15% of debuts I’ve worked on as a freelance editor since 2002.

I'd love to tell you progress is chugging along with book 2, the conclusion of Turesia Untamed, but it's not. We're still in V&V's honeymoon period wherein I heave my weight into promotion and marketing. I gotta. I don't have a team working for me. On that front, V&V and I have appeared online in blogs and vids, as such:

Sometime in July - DB Rooks hosted an interview of Irdessa on his blog

Aug 4 - Matt interviewed me live on his YouTube channel, Beards of Darkness Book Reviews

Aug 4 - Pub Day Spotlight: Violence & Vigilance, on the Shaggy Shepherd

Aug 9 - Mihir Wanchoo interviewed me on Fantasy Book Critic

Aug 25 - Indie Author Spotlight on Beards of Darkness (I come in around 9:23)

Anyways, go rate my book. You can purchase it (again) too, but most importantly I need reviews. And if you or someone you know has a blog, YouTube channel, or any new-fangled deviation of such, know that I'm happy to appear on it and inflict the world with more rambling nonsense. In the best way.

Finally, DragonCon... I'd love to be there. It's a little over an hour's drive away and crowded with authors I have cavorted with online. It would be an amazing opportunity to get V&V out in the real world some more. But the planets are not aligning this year. 


Lake Hartwell Kayak Rental and Delivery (LHKRAD) thrives. Summer's relentless pace diminished as school resumed but now out come the campers and weekenders. 

Payne's Creek Campground

Big Oaks Recreation Area

The IT dork in me is forever fascinated by the data I record on rentals and interactions. Trends emerge. The day will come when I sell this business for big money. Retirement money. Every decision we make is toward that end. 

We have one more weekend out at Lake Russell State Park, wherein we booth-sit, renting yaks and selling snacks. 

Going over the setlist out at el lago

Will we return to Russell next year? Unsure. It is a great opportunity at times. We've had $1,000 weekends and $60 weekends and unlike the main business it demands a ton of time. I think that the only way we could feasibly return is if I hire help. This may sometimes result in losses but between you and me, I don't think we hit our maximum potential out there. Signage for snacks, kayaks for the local campers, local promotions... these are all ways LRK could improve. Time'll tell.

The Band - Something Once Sacred

Yes SoS is getting a section this month. We've been playing around the area here and there, and have some shows lined up. To my knowledge the only September show we're playing is at Southern Hart Brewing Company, right in downtown Hartwell, Ga. If you're in the area at 9pm EST on Sept 9th stop by for a brew and a jam. I'll have books, too, and I'll sell ya a signed one.

On that, I can't NOT share this picture. 

Sylvia has been around since A Sawmill's Hope dropped in 2014.
She's been encouraging and enthusiastic about my writing ever since.
I sure hope she has a stomach for vile deeds and bad language.

The Paludarium - Kingdom of Zeal

I want to tell you about Glenn, the frog. I found him a few weeks ago when you could hardly take a step outside at night with out crushing a baby frog. I frognapped him invited him to move into the paludarium. My justification for such relocations has always been as such: This is okay because you won't get eaten in here like you probably would in the wild. 

He's an awesome guy and fit right in
Judging by the way he'd watch this rotting pear
you'd think it was cable TV

Eventually he started paying more attention to the outside

hiraeth: deep longing for something, especially one's home

You know where this is going. I let him go. Boyo and I did, two nights ago. He promptly ate an ant and bounced off into the darkness, where maybe he'll be eaten by something but if so, he'll have his freedom. 
I don't know if I'm cut out to harbor animals in glass prisons. Maybe I just need to work on the entertainment. And food. 

Next Month

Progress will have been made on book 2. I'll have bombarded more book reviewers to give V&V a chance. LHKRAD will have slowed further. Death will be one month closer, if she doesn't arrive in the meantime.

see ya then


Tuesday, August 1, 2023

August 2023 News

Happy August. 

Last month I told ya I hoped to transform a Word document into a digital book, and a physical book. I'm happy to report IT IS DONE!


V&V launches in thee days. 

look at that beaut

ARC readers will be called!

Promotions will be launched! (you've probably already seen one)

Copies will be shipped to the elite! 

I will demand that you buy it or I'll unfriend you in real life with violence. (that just means I'll smash that unfriend button really hard)

I pulled a bicep taking this pic

I am tinkering on physical copies still. Three exist the world at this moment in the form of author proofs (imperfect / in progress). But the wizard Shawn T King is nearly finished fashioning the final cover design and it's AWESOME.

Anyway, here's a link to the ebook and physical book - VIOLENCE & VIGILANCE on Amazon



We had a record July, but it was close! 

I've learned small business owning can be chronicled by manic ups and depressive lows. For the first eight days of July there were no rentals. I began to think someone had sabotaged us somehow, or that the booking software was broken. (I also appreciated the days off because summer time is wide open and pulling kayaks in 100 Fahrenheit puts your resolve and sweat banks to the test).

Then the bookings and phone calls started popping off. We did 21 rentals and deliveries between the 9th and yesterday. I think I've had one day off since then. That is not a complaint. 

the water would have been a perfect mirror
if not for that meddling frog

If you like pictures of nature, particularly where a lake is concerned, follow our social media - Facebook, Instagram. No promo garbage. Just pictures of the lake. One of the biggest perks of the job is seeing and photographing Lake Hartwell. 


We're entering our third month down here at Dick Brussell State Park. It's very unpredictable whether it will be busy or slow. But it is a fun gig and affords the fam and I a chance to explore the lake.


so hard to photograph nicely

I'd mentioned that I added some life to the glass prison aka Kingdom of Zeal. Interesting things have happened.

He ate everything. I don't miss him.

The goldfish one day just ceased to exist. 

this is a shame. These guys were hilarious to watch

One of the two African dwarf frogs has disappeared. 

RIP Meanow

One of the four minnows (the original inhabitants, since Oct '22) fell apart. His name was Meanow. My 4-yr old named him, but it fit. He was a mean minnow. He'd harass Bertha endlessly. He'd oppress Timmy, the smaller of the two males, always chasing him back into hiding. Then one day I found Meanow in two pieces. 

Timmy could not be happier that Meanow is gone

The only inhabitant capable of the above mischief is Hans, the crawdad, who I haven't seen in months. I always hope he's doing well, hidden in the tunnels he burrows under the rocks. The fact that bodies are disappearing suggests he's doing, and eating, just fine. I'm not going to reach in and shuffle rocks to get a look at him. One day I'll catch him slipping though and I'll get a more recent picture of him.

Next month

Mayhaps the majority of V&V promotions will have blown out. I don't know. Mayhaps I'll be doing interviews and events. If all goes as planned, I'll be signing books at DragonCon. Now there's a pipe dream. 

see you then


Friday, July 7, 2023

An interview with Kraus the Thirsty Bandit, from V&V

Hi fam. VIOLENCE & VIGILANCE is available for preorder in Ebook at this moment. Physical versions are on the way. 

DB Rook, fellow author and blogger, has invited one of V&V's characters for an interview. I decided it should be none other than Irdessa the Undying, a crowd favorite at the world famous battle arena Keswal. 

Please go check out Irdessa's interview on DB Rook's site. Here's a link:

While you're there check out the other characters he's interviewed. Would you believe Irdessa is in the company of the Woman of the Sword herself - Lidae - written by Anna Smith Spark AKA the Queen of Grimdark?!

Thank you Daryl for this opportunity, and for giving Irdessa the chance to introduce herself.


However, this has left Kraus helplessly jealous. He thinks it should have been him. Not because he has anything to say worth hearing, but because he's tasked with protecting Irdessa, and she's on the run. He's convinced that his own personal interview will set this right. Makes no sense to me, but half of his actions don't. Between you and me, I don't feel safe disappointing him. That said, I've interviewed him here, just to appease him. 

I want to apologize in advance. If you collect every swear word on this blog for the past eleven years, it won't surpass what Kraus managed in this one interview. 

You've been warned. 


image ripped from V&V's cover,
illustrated by Felix Ortiz

Character's name (and title if appropriate):

Kraus but call me what you want.

Written by:

Figure it out, you're on his damn page.

Links to your creator:

He would have a Linktree, the smug prick.

Books you appear in (links welcome):

Violence & Vigilance. Hopefully not the sequel. 

In no more than 5 words explain your ambitions:

Drink, fight, laugh... fight... And drink!

Favourite place and why?

In the shade. It's too fucking hot outside.

Favourite weapon and why?

Whatever best suits the occasion. I've always thought I had a creative nature when it comes to hurting folks.

Favourite moment and why?

One time I worked for a man named Ivargan doing protection. We'd walk alongside carts in the wastelands and make sure folks didn't try to hit them for their haul. There was a guy who joined up called Spoon. I don't know why. He needed one in his mouth. Talked all the damn time. If you ignored him he'd start nudging you. I almost killed him more than once.

Well one day we're guarding a convoy travelling through the Ariheim pass. Bandits around there rely on bows, and they're good shots so we perched high up at what we thought was a clever hiding spot. Below us a handful of oxen were squeezing a wagon train through a creek bed. Like usual, Spoon had been going on and on and on about something, fuck knows what. Finally he goes, "Want to see a trick?" and for some reason it got my attention. So I told him, "Only if it kills you." 

Well some distant bandit must have heard my plea and ran with it because an arrow popped old Spoon right in the back of his head. He got all surprised and went to talk some more, probably about that godsdamned trick he promised, but the arrow was poking out between his teeth. It had his tongue flattened. Some nameless bandit managed to finally shut him up! I couldn't stop laughing. Even when Spoon fell over gagging on his own blood and I caught my own arrow I laughed. They finally shut Spoon up for good, thank the fuckin’ gods. Easily my favorite moment.

Most significant enemy and why?

Hmm. I'd like to think I get along with most everyone.

Tell me about your childhood:

I remember waking up beside the ocean. Not much before that.

Where would you be now if you had made better choices?

I guess I'd be wrapped in silver and gold, sitting in the north seating in Keswal with the rich, gorging myself on something exotic. Is that what you want me to say? As if you're so fuckin’ perfect.

Anything you'd like to say to your maker?

You've out done yourself. This is a fun place, full of suffering. You must be quite entertained.


Thanks for reading, and Kraus looks forward to embarrassing himself even more thoroughly on August 4th. Don't miss it.