Rob’s Update: Antici… Pation!

Week 28 of 2021

Greetings all

This time next week I’ll be setting up camp in Pennsylvania for Armistice. I can hardly wait. I’ve been, as you can tell by the title of this post, antici… pating it for a while.

There’s been a number of general projects I’ve had to clean up while I prep for the trip. Some of that is my hatred of coming home to my work areas completely messy. So I clean more than normal, even though I have less time for that sort of thing. This includes yardwork, and the yard needed a bunch. There’ll be more done this weekend, including making a new thing for my booth at SCA events.

Also, this week I had a number of important things to do with various projects. Things are looking great for Talons & Talismans, especially as I read more and more stories for it.

I’m working on two short stories concurrently and this was a great week for both, though both will be smaller numbers in my list below.

I seem to find that in short stories I often have to write 2-4000 words that I need to put on the page but which aren’t required for the actual story. At some point, then, I figure out what the soul of the story is and then know which parts I need and which I don’t.

It’s a standard thing to get past, and I got past that on both of them. This is when the stories start really flowing, and I’ve already seen that starting to happen.

Finally, some changes will be coming to the mailing list in the next few weeks. Good ones for you, I think.

Tonight, though, it’s date night. It’s actually going to be my real birthday dinner. We’re hitting a Brazilian steakhouse. Meat for the win!!!

What I’m Listening To

The Rangers getting beat by the Tigers. We knew the Rangers didn’t have enough talent this year, but it’s been a horrible sequence since the All-Star break. Not a win in sight. Ah well, bad with the good, and there’s something soothing about the sounds of a baseball game anyway.

Quote of the Week

Alex Trebek would have been 81 today. Interesting how he became such a part of our lives by forcing us to ask questions. Philosophically, I think we should question everything, especially the things we know. Here’s another philosophy I can get behind.

“I think more people should include silliness as part of their daily routines.”
Alex Trebek

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on getting a bunch of Talons & Talismans stories ready to go.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • CSC (3,587)
  • MON (1,783)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Out this week is Alex Rath’s Shedding the Past, a new book in the Salvage Title universe. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099DQS44R.

Today’s Weight: 340.0

Updated Word Count: 172,571

Shijuren Wiki: 753 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Only Pawn in Game of Life

Week 27 of 2021

Greetings all

Again, this was not my best writing week, but it was productive nonetheless. A bunch of editing done. A major bit of procrasticleaning that had to be done. Packing for Armistice. Plus dealing with a number of family issues.

I’m getting more and more excited about Talons & Talismans with each new story. There’s some great stuff in these and in only a few weeks you’ll all get to see the final lineups. Going to be a lot of fun.

I’m really looking forward to Armistice as it’s a return to Cooper’s Lake. I’ll talk more about that later, of course, but it’s always a really productive time for both writing and selling. And fun.

Over this weekend I hope to finish a bunch of the editing for Talons & Talismans so I’m ahead of the curve when the final rush hits.

So I guess I’d better go actually get my own story done for that 🙂

What I’m Listening To

Beneath, Between, Behind by Rush. Yes, this is one of the 232 intentional band and song references in “Careful With That Axe, E. U. Gene,” my Salvage Title story coming out in a couple of months.

Quote of the Week

Today is the birthday of Alex Karras, who did an amazing number of things. Hall of Fame player in the NFL, actor, wrestler. Today’s quote is from my favorite role he played.

“Mongo only pawn… in game of life.”
― Alex Karras as Mongo in Blazing Saddles

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on Steven G. Johnson’s Heart of Ice. That’ll be done next week. Also gathering all the stories for Talons & Talismans

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • CSC (3,813)
  • MON (2,171)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

In the Wings, the next Four Horsemen Universe anthology is now out. It’s about a bunch of the secondary characters and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B098SGZZGZ.

Also out this week is Orbital Defense Corps, a collection of Kevin Steverson’s short stories. You can find this one here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0979NLZ2Q.

Today’s Weight: 339.2

Updated Word Count: 171,960

Shijuren Wiki: 749 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org4

Rob’s Update: Recovering

Week 26 of 2021

Greetings all

Hey! It’s Friday! What the heck happened to the week?

I have noticed that the weeks after long trips tend to be sort of timeless in that I completely lose track. Given that I have about one big trip happening each week for the next few months, I need to get used to travel fatigue again, but for now, I’m just recovering this week.

Anyway, we’re about halfway through the year. Go us!

I had another story accepted this past week! I am going to be part of the fun space opera setting of Salvage Title. This one is called “Careful With That Axe, E.U. Gene.” I’ll talk more about this story when we get closer to release date, but you can probably tell by the title it’s a bit whimsical. This will probably always be one of my favorite stories because it’s just fun. Space battles, gunfights, and archaeology oh, my!

I’m in the midst of two other short stories that I want to have finished by the time I leave for Armistice, so about three weeks. One will be for Talons and Talismans, and it will return to the characters of Rabah and Jaime Muniotz, the founders of the Order of the Fortress of Rabah in Shijuren.

As for the rest of the anthology, it’s proceeding well. I have 3 stories edited and in the can, with  several more close. I have a couple of nice surprises to add as well, some neat things happening with that project.

Can’t wait to see all the submissions. My Armistice is going to be busy as I pick the winners. I’ve got five right now that would be excellent choices, so the competition is going to be fierce.

With that, I better get to writing. There’s adventuring to be done!

What I’m Listening To

I’m at Brewbaker’s. Currently, they’re playing a Kiss song. I’m really not a fan of Kiss’s music. I find it boring, frankly. However, they were one of the headliners who helped bring Rush along way back when, so I will always have a bit of a soft spot for them.

Quote of the Week

Samuel Eliot Morison’s 14-volume set of the US Navy in World War II was one of my foundational texts. I read it in the Wichita Public Library multiple times, and it inspired my love of naval history and through that, my love of naval-themed books, including Forester and the space versions by Weber and others.

Today is his birthday, and this quote, while written for historians, is true for all writers.

A few hints as to the craft may be useful to budding historians. First and foremost, get writing!

― Samuel Eliot Morison

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on reading Steven Johnson’s Heart of Ice, the second in his Arthurian trilogy. I’m also pounding away at getting a head start on the lineup for Talons and Talismans.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • CSC (2,332)
  • MON (1,056)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week’s release is the next Four Horsemen anthology, In the Wings. 15 more short stories in the 4HU which, by the way, easily surpassed its goals in the Kickstarter for the role-playing game. You can find this anthology here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B098SGZZGZ.

Today’s Weight: 339.2

Updated Word Count: 171,184

Shijuren Wiki: 746 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: At InConjunction

Week 25 of 2021

Greetings all

I know it’s only been four days since my last update, but it’s been hectic, fun, and productive.

Tuesday was Lasers and Lagers at the Lie’brary on Beck. It’s a cool bar that is book-themed. My sort of place, right? I’d be in trouble if I lived within walking distance.

The event itself was basically a bunch of CKP authors chatting with people local to Panama City. We donated books to the local library and held raffles to raise money for that library as well. We had such a great time, we never had a chance to record a Dudes in Hyperspace podcast, which was part of the plan.

We also got to surprise, Sheellah, Chris’s wife, with a pre-birthday party.  I won’t say what birthday. I’m not that crazy.

It was a great night, though exhausting. Then I had two travel days to get me to Indianapolis to InConjunction. I’m set up in the dealer’s hall with Mark and Joy Wandrey to the right of me and Jon Osborne to the left of me. I’m doomed!!!

I’ll also be on panels. Here’s my schedule:

FRIDAY
  • 4:30 p.m: Meet New Mythology Press – Rob Howell, John Osborne – Panel Room
  • 6 p.m: Anthologies: Creating and Writing – Mark Wandrey, Rob Howell, T. Lee Harris – Panel Room
  • 8 p.m: Writing in a Shared Universe – Mark Wandrey, Rob Howell – Panel Room
SATURDAY
  • 2:30 p.m: Pantsing Prep – Rob Howell, Sara Marian – Panel Room

Hope to see some of you all there.

Of course, this is the end of the second week since The Ravening of Wolves came out. I’m really pleased with sales. They’ve continued far longer than most of my previous books, and I really appreciate all of you who’ve taken the time to review the book already. Those reviews have kept the momentum going. Also, thanks to all who’ve read the book. Without you, I don’t get to do this job.

Speaking of new stuff, I just sent off a story. It’s a short story in Kevin Steverson’s Salvage Title universe. Hopefully he’ll accept it. It’s one of my most whimsical pieces to date.

Next week, I’ll be organizing more and more of the anthology stuff. The deadline for submissions is 31 July and I want to be ready for the final push. In early August, I’ll put out the final list of all authors in the anthology and the winners.

There’s been some great submissions so far, so keep them coming.

With that, I think I’d better go do some writing.

What I’m Listening To

Xanadu by Rush. I’m getting one of my favorite poems *and* my favorite band, all in one swell foop!

Quote of the Week

Sixty years ago on this day, Ernest Hemingway died, so it’s a good time for one of my favorite quotes from him. This is one of several things he said I try to live up to.

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.
― Ernest Hemingway

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on Heart of Ice, the sequel to Keep of Glass by Steven G. Johnson. This is a fun take on the Arthurian legends.

The big news, however, in the CKP world, is CKP International. We’re in the process of translating our books into German, French, and Japanese, with perhaps some other languages coming.

This will include New Mythology’s titles, of course, and I look forward to announcing those release dates.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • CSC (1,283)
  • MON (829)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week is the 5th in Tim C. Taylor’s Chimera Company series: Hold the Line. This is a great series I’m really enjoying and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B098BHCLM8.

Today’s Weight: 334.2

Updated Word Count: 170,511

Shijuren Wiki: 746 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: On the Emerald Coast

Week 24 of 2021

Greetings all

Here’s my update from last week, now that I have time to breathe. I’m sitting at Juana’s Pagodas in Navarre Beach, Florida. I’ve had worse views as write.

I’ve been working on a story for Kevin Steverson’s Salvage Title universe. This is probably the most whimsical story I’ve ever written and it’s mostly done.

Of course, the reason I’m writing last week’s update on a Monday is things have been wonderfully awesome and crazy in my world. This weekend was ConFinement in Nashville. That went very well, I sold lots, but more importantly, I loved feeding off the enthusiasm so many writers have for New Mythology Press.

In truth, that’s been the best part of taking this position. The energy thrown my way from fans and writers has been amazing. I can’t wait to have some of this stuff turn into fruition to reward everyone.

Of course, my big thing last week is the release of The Ravening of Wolves. The first week has gone very well. In fact, I hit 40 reviews and ratings today. 40! That seems really fast to me. Thanks to all who’ve read and reviewed. I really appreciate it.

If you haven’t read it, by the way, it’s here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097C3BP3F.

Why am I sitting at a bar in Florida, you ask? It’s because tomorrow I go to the Lie’brary at Beck for Lasers and Lagers. Thanks to Ian J. Malone for organizing this and I’m glad it worked out that I could come. I’ll be posting from there tomorrow. Also, we’ll do our Dudes in Hyperspace podcast from there, so expect some special awesomeness.

But for now, I’d better write.

What I’m Listening To

Songs they’re playing overhead. Been a nice mix, but of course, there’s Jimmy Buffett so that has to be the quote of the week.

Quote of the Week

And of course, that means I *have* to quote from Margaritaville.

I blew out my flip flop
Stepped on a pop top
Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home
But there’s booze in the blender
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on
― Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

As mentioned, I’ve been blown away from the response of so many with New Mythology. I got 4 new stories over the weekend, plus a couple of novel-length submissions. Can’t wait to dive into those.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • CWTAE (7,885)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • CSC (1,283)
  • MON (829)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Hey, did I mention The Ravening of Wolves? In case I didn’t, you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097C3BP3F.

The reviews to John Siers’s The Moon and Beyond have suggested it’s reminiscent of Heinlein. I look forward to testing that suggestion. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097QMN7PJ and test it yourself.

Today’s Weight: 334.2

Updated Word Count: 160,689

Shijuren Wiki: 733 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Final Voyage Through a Liquid Week

Week 22 of 2021

Greetings all

This was, in many ways, my least productive week of 2021. There were reasons, which is okay, but also some general fatigue. It was one of those weeks where little things cropped up, like extra construction or my sweetie left her phone at home. A week of shifting sands, hence the title of this post.

The reasons included some family stuff that had to get done this week. That includes two new pets into the house. They’re very cute, but of course that takes time and effort. We took them to the vet today. Oh, and then there were several funky computer issues with my bank and insurance company. Joy.

I did get a few words written this week on a short story due at the end of the month. It’s going well, and I think it’ll be a lot of fun. It’s a tad more whimsical than my norm, but it’s always good to shift gears a bit.

I also did quite a bit of prep work for the big sooper-seekrit project. We are getting more and more excited as more things get checked off our to-do list.

The big news this week, and talk about burying the lede, is that I was accepted for an anthology edited by Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell. It’s a Baen anthology focused on the noir, hard-boiled detective. Perfect for an Edward story. The anthology will be called No Game for Knights, and my story is entitled The Incomparable Treasure. I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn from Larry. He knows a ton about the craft that I am just scratching the surface.

Oh, I did one other thing this week. I added another con: Salina Comicon. You should check my con list as it’s growing. I have a plan for February too that should be a lot of fun if we can make it work. Glad to be getting back into the groove.

Hopefully, things will get calmed down by Monday and next week will be much better.

Of course, a week from tomorrow will be most awesome. The Ravening of Wolves goes live next Friday and I’m excited. I think this is my best novel ever, which I should always think of course, in part because I should always be getting better.

However, there are a number of things I aimed for specifically and if the ARC reviewer comments are anything to go by, I achieved a number of them.

What I’m Listening To

The Final Voyage of Liquid Sky by Primus. I’ve never seen Primus live, and that was something I was on the verge of doing when the pandemic hit. Worse, this was the tour where they would play the entirety of Rush’s A Farewell to Kings in honor of Neil.

However, it has been rescheduled and the new dates fit my timeline to a T. I am so looking forward to seeing Les Claypool in all his intricate and strange glory.

Quote of the Week

A weird week deserves a weird quote, and since it was the song I was listening to and it inspired the title, here’s a bit of the weirdness of The Final Voyage of Liquid Sky.

Skin moves toward malignant
Worshipping the sun
They clamber over corpses
To be the chosen ones
― Primus, The Final Voyage of Liquid Sky

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

i started reading some of the early entrants and I think you’ll be pleased. We’re at the early stages, but the response has already been good.

I can also tell you I’m excited at the story that Aaron Rosenberg submitted. You’ve probably read his stuff and not realized, as he’s written in a ton of different properties, but this story is completely his. It has the kind of hero I wanted to see win, and I think you’ll love it.

It’s possible, by the way, that there will be a Talons & Talismans *and* a Talons & Talismans Two. So many people loved this prompt, which of course is gratifying and exciting. That’s especially true since it’s been pretty good stuff so far.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • CWTAE (2213)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week’s new release is the third of Jamie Ibson’s We Dare series. This one is entitled No Man’s Land, and every story has a female main character. It also includes some of the best female authors out there like Kacey Ezell, Marie Whittaker, and Joelle Presby. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096DSW1VK.

The next week is going to be a big one for CKP. Chris will release the conclusion to his Progenitor’s War series tomorrow. There’s another Hit World novel coming out on the 14th. Then, of course, a week from tomorrow is The Ravening of Wolves. Plus there are things coming out on audio. So much is happening I don’t have time to list it all.

But I will remind you all about the Kickstarter for the Four Horsemen RPG. Getting close to the next stretch goal. I will add that if you get to the right stretch goal, you’ll make more work for me as I’ll add the TOE for the Foresters and a bunch more about the Cochkala. So, if you want me to get off my lazy butt, check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/4hu-savage-worlds/four-horsemen-universe-rpg-savage-worlds-edition.

Today’s Weight: 336.2

Updated Word Count: 158,645

Shijuren Wiki: 733 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Plugging Away

Week 21 of 2021

Greetings all

It’s been a great week. Lots of stuff getting done, including a number of things I’m really proud of. I look forward to talk about them, but for now, just know I’m excited.

In many ways, that’s this week in a nutshell. Lots of work done, but the kind of foundational work that won’t show up for a bit, but without which, nothing ever gets done. Simply plugging away.

Right now, I’m focused on a number of short story projects. I’ve got several short stories in progress right now. Also, I’ve started going through the stories for Talons & Talismans, and it’s going to be amazing.

In general, things are starting to ramp up with New Mythology Press. I’m excited with the reception that Responsibility of the Crown has gotten. Scott Huggins wrote a great book and I’m honored to be a part of it.

My convention schedule is also starting to pick up. We’ve added a really fun con, FactoryCon, which is essentially Chris Kennedy Publishing’s yearly party. However, it’s expanded into something really cool. It’ll be October 22-24 in Coinjock, NC.

My next novel will be a new Shijuren novel, starting a new series. There’ll be some returning characters you’ll remember and it’s going to be something pretty cool. I get to expand into some of the story ideas that I’ve hidden in the first six novels.

Also, there’s another Dudes in Hyperspace podcast up. You can find it here: https://www.sharkflight.com/dudes/.

However,for now, I better get back to editing.

What I’m Listening To

Peyton’s Places is a truly amazing show. Basically, it’s Peyton Manning talking about football with various people involved in the NFL somehow. It’s incredibly charming and light-hearted. Plus it’s really interesting for someone interested in history.

For example. Did you know no one actually knows where the first Lombardi Trophy actually is right now? Carroll Rosenbloom had it, but it disappeared at some point in the 80s. Probably in California somewhere.

How fascinating is that?

Quote of the Week

Today is Chuck Barris’s birthday. Here’s banging a gong in his honor. He actually gave us a great quote about the challenge of creating stuff. I think every author, artist, musician, and all the rest can identify with this quote.

“If you stick in the business of being creative, you get hurt. And creative disappointment seems so much harder to take than any other kind. But if you’re not prepared to get hurt like that, life can be pretty boring. I think I’m going to keep on going.”

― Chuck Barris

Bonus quote from Peyton Manning in his show that goes out  to Conrad: “You do a lot with your middle finger. You’d be a good Eagles fan.”

New Mythology Works in Progress

I’ll be changing this up a bit. I have started to post on chriskennedypublishing.com/blog. This is where I’ll do all of New Mythology’s announcements going forward.

My plan is to link to these announcements on that blog, as must as anything to make sure this email (which is long already), doesn’t get too long. The current items are two anthology calls.

This gives me space to say things about other projects. Benjamin Tyler Smith is working on a Necrolopolis novel, which will be the first novel, and follows a bunch of great short stories. This is around October.

Then Jon Osborne is getting me another Milesian Accord novel in the fall.

Also coming in the fall will be Released, the third in the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.

Stay tuned, more is coming.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • TINT (9,950)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

The first new release is We Shall Rise. This is an anthology in the Black Tide Rising universe from John Ringo originally published by Baen. Why am I mentioning it? Well, Baen does a lot for us, which we appreciate. John Ringo’s been a great guy to deal with at cons. Most of all, though, it’s got a bunch of friends of mine in it. Jamie Ibson, Kacey Ezell, Jason Cordova, just to name a few. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1982125586.

I already talked about Shadows by Bill Webb, a Murphy’s Lawless novel in the Caine Riordan universe. However, it’s worth another plug, so here you go. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B095W2BCJF.

However, I want to also add the Four Horsemen RPG Kickstarter. It’s funded already, so if you back this project, you can be sure you’re going to get product. We’re now working on stretch goals, which is good for all of us. You can find it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/4hu-savage-worlds/four-horsemen-universe-rpg-savage-worlds-edition.

Today’s Weight: 335.2

Updated Word Count: 157,354

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: You’ll Be a Man, My Son!

Week 23 of 2021

Greetings all

Tonight, at midnight Eastern, The Ravening of Wolves goes live. It is my best novel to date, which is as it should be. I should be getting better each time and I think I am.

But I’m as sad as I am excited. Someone who I really looked up to passed away earlier this week. Ron was someone who helped show me what it is to be a man, fostered my love of fantasy, and made me think in long discussions over all sorts of challenging topics. I was often wrong, and he usually showed me how and why I was wrong, but I was never ashamed of being wrong. It was something he expected me to grow from. And, quite often, I did.

Still, he was as pleased as anyone at my growth as a writer, and now as a publisher. So I will celebrate The Ravening of Wolves by listening to Black Sabbath. He’s the one who first introduced me to them, after all, and I have, for forty years now, associated them with Ron. For all that they have done for the music world, Black Sabbath benefited from the connection.

Anyway, this was a moderately productive week. I started major edits on a novel in a sooper-seekrit project. I started editing some stories for Talons & Talismans. I got another manuscript to edit. This one is the sequel to Keep of Glass by Steven G. Johnson. It’s entitled Heart of Ice and it’ll be out in the fall.

I also pounded away at three short stories I have to have done by the end of July. This includes one for Kevin Steverson in the Salvage Title universe, a story for William Joseph Roberts, and my own story for Talons & Talismans. Lots of good progress on those, and I’m excited about pushing myself with something special in each of them.

My story for Talons & Talismans, by the way, is a story of Rabah and Jaime Muniotz in Shijuren. I’ve only written one story involving them, and they’re from a far earlier time than my novels in the world of Shijuren. They’re the founders of the order of chivalry that Ausartxango belongs to, and it’s time for them to build up that order.

Tonight, though, it’ll be a night to remember those who helped shape me.

What I’m Listening To

The Sign of the Southern Cross by Black Sabbath.

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote is from Kipling’s If, which is something I think about quite often. There’s always another thing to learn in it, another way to improve what I am.

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

― Rudyard Kipling, If

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

As mentioned, I’m currently editing a number of short stories that will appear in Talons & Talismans. These are from the authors whose name will appear on the cover. Early in August, I’ll give you all a complete rundown of the lineup. Trust me, though, it’s got a bunch you know about and appreciate.

It’s been about a month, but I’m still ecstatic with the response to Scott Huggins’ Responsibility of the Crown. This is book one of the Endless Ocean series. How do I know it will be a series? Because Scott has already sent me an outline for book two and it’s got even more action and adventure than the first one.

As mentioned, I’m also in the process of editing Heart of Ice by Steven G. Johnson. This is the sequel to Keep of Glass. Expect that in the fall.

In general, I’m blown away with the enthusiasm and excitement shown by authors in and around Chris Kennedy Publishing. New Mythology Press is about to explode with constant content, good content. That explosion will begin in the fall and then who knows when it will ebb, because the tide is rising and lifting us all.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • CWTAE (3768)
  • MON (877)
  • CSC (1823)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Tonight! Midnight! The Ravening of Wolves!

Okay, that’s cheating a bit. Let’s get back to what all came out this week. We start with Robert Krog’s Shank, the fifth in the Hit World universe. Why do i highlight fifth? Because if I’m doing the math right, they’re putting out at least a book a month in that world. That’s the way to do a shared world, in my opinion.

Side note: Remember that last sentence.

Anyway, you can get Shank here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09752YW55.

For all my talk about beginnings, this week is the end of Chris Kennedy’s trilogy of trilogies. The Progenitor’s War is the conclusion to humanity’s battle for survival across all of time and space, and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096WRN6TY.

Today’s Weight: 336.2

Updated Word Count: 159,863

Shijuren Wiki: 733 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Made it Home

Week 20 of 2021

Greetings all

First, there are a bunch of new faces here thanks to Dave Butler’s May Giveaway. Thanks for signing up. A quick tour. In this first part, I chat about what I’m doing and what I’m planning. Then there’s a bit on what I’m listening to. Basically, it’s a chance to comment on something cool around me. Then there’s a quote of the week for the same reason. That’s followed by some stuff particular to New Mythology Press, for which I’m the publisher. Then I list my works in progress and events I’m planning on going to. Finally, there are new releases, some by me, most by people I know and appreciate. Then there’s the usual promo stuff at the bottom.

By the way, most weeks, I’ll send this out on Thursday, but I literally got home last night and basically went straight to bed for 12 hours sleep.

Again, thanks for joining up. I hope you like it here. You get to start with me following up from an amazing time at FantaSci. Wow, what a week that was. Here’s the After Action Report to prove just how awesome it was: https://robhowell.org/blog/?p=2314.

Some quick highlights

  • The release of Responsibility of the Crown by G. Scott Huggins. This is an amazing book and I’m honored to be a part of it. You’re going to love it. You can find it here if you haven’t gotten it already: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B095CLDVMD.
  • Running my first ever New Mythology Publishing panel. Starting this fall we’re going to be pumping out stuff consistently. My goal is a book every other Tuesday. We might end up doing more. Exciting stuff.
  • Getting to host the Songs of Valor panel with Larry Correia, David Weber, Dave Butler, and the rest of an amazing cast.
  • Getting to announce J.P. Chandler as the winning of the first FantaSci anthology. The Hill to Die On is simply brilliant.
  • Most importantly, I got to see my con family. I’ve missed them, something terrible.

After that I spent a couple of days working with Chris Kennedy. We finalized the processes we’re going to use for New Mythology Press going forward. We also went over a bunch of plans. This is really exciting for me, and it’ll be exciting for you because there are a bunch of great stories coming.

After that was the long drive home, but I at least got to have dinner with relatives in Rocky Mount.

Overall, this was a weird combination of exhausting and reinvigorating. Those two things shouldn’t go together, but though my body reminds me 18 hour drives aren’t as fun as they used to be, my mind is excited about the challenges ahead.

With that, I’d better get to work.

What I’m Listening To

It’s Motown day on the Pandora at Brewbakers. You know all the great songs. For me, it’s also so nice to get back into the home groove.

Quote of the Week

So many fun exchanges at FantaSci. This is something from Jon R. Osborne, when someone suggested dinner at an Irish place on Sunday.

“You had me at pub.”

― Jon R. Osborne

New Mythology Works in Progress

We now have TWO anthologies with open calls.

1. Talons and Talismans

  • Deadline: 31 July
  • Release: October/November
  • Words: 7k-10k
  • Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
  • Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com
  • Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving a beast or monster. While the story can include elements of horror, it should not be a horror story; it should be a fantasy and lean toward the heroic. Feel free to make the beast or monster your protagonist, but if not, the creature must be a central figure, (like Grendel in Beowulf).

We will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. They will earn an equal share of the revenue as all the other authors. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

2. FantaSci 2022 Contest

  • Deadline: 30 November, 2021
  • Release: FantaSci 2022
  • Words: 7k-10k
  • Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
  • Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com
  • Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving an artifact or named item. This can be an item of legend, such as Excalibur or the Philosopher’s Stone, or an item of your creation of any type. Feel free to make the artifact or item intelligent, and you can even make it your protagonist or villain. No matter what, the artifact or item must be a central part of the story.

Again, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. They will earn an equal share of the revenue as all the other authors. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • TFF (9,889)
  • Rick Blaine (6,647)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Responsibility to the Crown is out! You can find G. Scott Huggins’ fantastic debut novel out here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B095CLDVMD.

Also released last week is my co-conspirator with the Dudes in Hyperspace podcast, Ian J. Malone along with the big boss, Chris Kennedy, giving us a new Four Horsemen novel. You can find Street Survivors here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B094281KRC.

And since I am late off the mark this week, you get a bonus release: Shadows, a novel in the Caine Riordan universe by William Alan Webb. Bill Webb is a great writer, and you should check him out in general. And, of course, you know this universe, founded by Chuck Gannon. You can find this book here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B095W2BCJF.

Also, the big sale this week is a collection of Military SF curated by the amazing Kevin J. Anderson. This actually includes one of my  stories, “Here Must We Hold,” in Trouble in the Wind, edited by the awesome James Young. You can find this collection here: https://storybundle.com/scifi. It’s a heckuva collection, including Cartwright’s Cavaliers, the first in the Four Horsemen Universe. If you were considering jumping in, this would be a great way to start.

Today’s Weight: 341.0 (I tried, but didn’t do a great job of eating during the trip. Color me surprised. But only 5-8 pounds, so not a huge step back)

Updated Word Count: 146,422(I finally decided to give myself 1/4 credit on things I edit/publish once they get released, so I got credit for Responsibility of the Crown. I have had too many people tell me I should get some credit.)

Shijuren Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

FantaSci 2021 AAR

Greetings all

It’s the day after a con and I’m exhausted.

Which is as it should be.

First, thanks to Joel Lyons, the Lyonesse, and all the FantaSci staff (especially Yvonne Jacobs) for making this happen. We needed this, and it was brilliant.

The con started on Thursday, which is often some of the most productive moments of a con as people network together. This was no different. We had an “interesting” drive to dinner on Thursday, a group dinner including a bunch of us. You might say that the Lyons *nailed* it, in more ways than one. There is physical evidence. And also video evidence. Trust me, the physical is much nicer to see.

My panel schedule started at noon on Friday. From about that point on, I was about too busy to breathe until just about now.

That first panel was one about pantsing. The way this was set up was for me to talk about how I write, what techniques I use, and how I take advantage of what pantsing can do for an author.

Ironically, I prepared quite a bit for this panel, and as I did I realized I actually do a bunch of things to help my pantsing work. These involve character ideas and sketches, even if I don’t write them down, my notes using Wikipedia’s random article function, and my use of a variety of contemplative moments to pre-build the story before I get close to a keyboard.

Then I had a couple of hours to set up in the Author Flea Market area. This was a neat idea the FantaSci folks had. Basically, the set up a few empty chairs in the covered part of the courtyard and said they were available for any other to sell their stuff. I knew I didn’t have much time for this sort of thing, but I got a couple of hours, and it made it easier for me to have my books handy for the reading.

More importantly, I had a chance to chat with a few people, especially Barbara V. Evers, the writer of the Watchers of Moniah series. I really enjoyed this series and hope she’ll write more. However, I’d not met her in person. That’s fixed now, and she’s awesome. Don’t worry, I’m already nudging for more stuff from her.

At 3pm, I had a book reading. I read from The Ravening of Sorrows, coming out on June 18th. More on this later. Anyway, I read the scene where Hu’s Hawks, loaned to me by Quincy J. Allen, held the spotlight. It’s action-packed, but also sort of a separate unit.

Joining me at this reading was G. Scott Huggins, who read from his freshly released Responsibility of the Crown. This is such a fun story from a great writer who’s only going to get better. It already has 14 reviews, and they are all 5 stars because, well, it’s a 5-star book.

At 4pm was a panel entitled Herding Kittens. It was about what’s involved in getting an anthology to work. It was actually a wonderful learning experience, as it always is when I get to listen to Toni Weisskopf of Baen Books. She has forgotten more about the book business than I have learned so far. By a lot. Anytime you can get Toni in a place to talk about the craft of writing, much less the business of writing, it will behoove you to sit down, listen, and learn.

Then I had a small break, giving me just enough time to eat a little, rest a bit, and refresh myself for the 7-9pm panel on Songs of Valor. Let’s get this out of the way, I did not do a good job with this panel. It was the first panel I’ve ever moderated that was scheduled for two hours and I didn’t pace it well. Therefore, I didn’t have enough good questions and it was only David Weber’s ability to provide wisdom that saved the panel from about the 1 hour mark onward. Again, like Toni, it is always smart to listen to him talking the craft, something Chris Kennedy is benefiting from right now in the collaboration.

After that, we held the Chris Kennedy Publishing party. This went off very well, I thought, in part because of all the help I received from the 4HU Merc Guild. This, by the way, is the fan group of the Four Horsemen Universe. If you like the books, you should look for a merc unit in your area.

I will take this moment to thank Nick Steverson. He stayed up to the end of the party, which actually ended up happening both Friday and Saturday night, and made sure everything got picked up. I simply didn’t have the energy to do it, and he did a great job. We always like keeping the hotel happy.

My Saturday started at noon again, and it was even more busy than Friday.

I should take a moment and thank Yvonne Jacobs, who did a stellar job with the programming at FantaSci. She got the ball thrown to her at almost the last moment and there was a bunch of good panels and a great mix of stuff. She also worked me hard, given that I was involved in 10 panels. I can’t thank her enough for doing that. I might be exhausted today, but I know I had all the opportunities I could have hoped for.

Anyway, my day began with the New Mythology Press panel. This went really well, as opposed to the Songs of Valor panel. This one, I had timed out and paced correctly, though, of course, part of that is having good pros to work with.

We went through the various series currently going on through the imprint and what’s coming up in the year. There’s a lot coming up. We also gave a small teaser of a major announcement coming at DragonCon. You’re going to love that one.

At that point, I rolled into a panel on podcasting hosted by Ian J. Malone. It also included Kevin Steverson, our partner on the Dudes in Hyperspace, as well as Jim Curtis, a YouTuber. I’m still a n00b when it comes to podcasting, so I did the best I could, but mostly I listened and learned, just like the crowd did.

Theoretically, I had a break in the schedule then, but I had a bit part to play in Dave Butler’s panel. He kindly invited me to join him in his most recent book giveaway and we drew two of the names. I will mail the other three books on Friday.

Then we rolled into the Chris Kennedy Publishing panel. Man, Chris has got a lot of stuff going. My big thrill, of course, was the opportunity to see the cover to The Ravening of Wolves, which comes out on the 18th of June. Seeing the cover is always cool, because it’s one step closer to another book becoming a reality.

And I’m really excited about The Ravening of Wolves.

At 4pm I had a panel on Mystics and Magic. We voluntold Lydia Scherrer to be moderator on Friday. By the way, if you’ve never met Lydia, she’s a sharp cookie who is really good at getting things in order, as well as a great writer. This was a fun panel, especially with the brand new novelist G. Scott Huggins sitting next to me.

Whew. Reading all that makes me exhausted, but I did get to treat myself. I had a break to shower and change for the Four Horsemen Dining Out. This event makes FantaSci unique. It’s a formal banquet with everyone in their 4HU uniforms. Those in the military will understand the power of the Rules of the Mess.

After that was Chris Kennedy Publishing Party 2.0 where we brought out the coolers and *tried* to empty them. Chris and I both tend to buy too much for parties. Ah well, I’m sure someone will drink the beer. Eventually.

I went to bed fairly early Saturday night, as I had done on Friday. I was out of spoons.

Side note here: The Dogfish Slightly Mighty IPA is a huge hit with me. It’s tasty enough, low-carb, and lower alcohol (4.0%) as opposed to most IPAs which are 6+. These Slighty Mightys made a good session beer for me.

Sunday was a “light” day at the con for me. I only had one thing on my list, the Kaffeeklatsch at 9am. A Kaffeeklatsch is basically sitting around chatting about stuff with authors and fans.

But Sunday didn’t end there. I rolled immediately from that to a quick impromptu Dudes in Hyperspace podcast live on-site with Ian J. Malone and Kevin Steverson. We rambled a bit about the con, lassoed Christopher Woods as he passed by, and I got wet-willied by Jonny Minion. As you do.

Then there was a bit of networking/socializing before Closing Ceremonies. At Closing Ceremonies, we announced that James Chandler won the short story contest with his story The Hill to Die On. Really a brilliant story. Congrats to him. Now he needs to write more in that world.

Speaking of more writing, I took advantage of the moment to announce the next Libri Valoris anthology to be released at FantaSci 2022. Here are the details.

Deadline: 30 November
Words: 7k-10k
Manuscript: In .doc or .docx file format, Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced
Send To: rob@chriskennedypublishing.com

Prompt: Write a fantasy story involving an artifact or named item.  This can be an item of legend, such as Excalibur or the Philosopher’s Stone, or an item of your creation of any type.  Feel free to make the artifact or item intelligent, and you can even make it your protagonist or villain. No matter what, the artifact or item must be a central part of the story.

Anyway, after Closing Ceremonies, there was the milling about and chatting. At first glance, this might not seem terribly worthy of inclusion in an AAR, but in truth, so much gets done here. Everyone is tired, but still excited and enthusiastic so ideas are getting fired at people left and right. Great stuff.

My most important conversation was the time I had to sit and chat with Terry Maggert. This guy is something special. Pick his brain when you can, he is amazing.

After that was more socializing. A bunch of us went to Tra’li, a great Irish pub. We’ll go back there again.

Sunday night, I thought I would be too tired to really party, but humorously enough, I stayed up late and had a great time. It meant for a slow-moving Monday, but I’m glad I did. Got to let my hair down a bit and chat with some people I’d really not had a chance to chat with before like Chris Smith, who’s a really smart dude.

Overall, this was a really productive and wonderful convention. I feel like I did all a publisher and author could hope to do at a con. I got to promote books, learn about writing, meet and encourage writers, and build both my own personal brand and that of New Mythology.

I also got to be with my people. How cool is that?

 

 

Opinions and fiction of person misplaced in time.

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