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?

 

 

Rob’s Update: FantaSci is Here!

Greetings all

FantaSci is here and it’s an abbreviated update because things are already going apace.

Here’s my official FantaSci schedule:

Friday 12pm: Pantzing in Camellia
Friday 3pm: Book Reading in Oak
Friday 4pm: Herding Kittens in Camellia
Friday 7pm (2 hrs): Songs of Valor Anthology in the Main Room
Friday 10pm: CKP/NMP Party in the Courtyard. Come a little early if you want to help set up.
Saturday 12pm: New Mythology Press in Rose
Saturday 1pm: Radio Waves: Podcast/Live Feeds in Rose
Saturday 4pm: Mystics and Magic in the Main Room
Sunday 9am: NMP Kaffeeklatsch in Camellia

I’ll be around for a number of other things throughout the weekend.

For those of you who are fans of the Foresters, I’ll be debuting the Foresters dress uniform at the Dining Out on Saturday evening.

With that, I’m off to go work. I’ll give a complete AAR next week.

 

Rob’s Update: A Sooper-Sekrit Update

Week 18 of 2021

Greetings all

Con season is fast approaching and I can’t wait to be in among my tribe. Last night, we recorded a Zoom panel for the Virtual LibertyCon. This one was about the Four Horsemen Universe and it was great. Really cool to be a part of that whole project.

Of course, one of the things I talked about is The Ravening of Wolves, which is scheduled for June 18. I hope to have these for the ConFinement 2.5 the week of Virtual LibertyCon. If not, I’ll have them for Armistice.

By the way, note that new addition to the schedule! Confinement 2.5 is 25-27 June in Mount Juliet, TN. More information here: https://www.confinementcon.org/.

However, the big news is FantaSci. A week from this moment I’ll be ensconced in the Raleigh-Durham airport Doubletree getting ready for an amazing weekend.

But it starts now!

Well, at 7pm Central tonight. That’s when this giveaway starts:

May Giveaway
May Giveaway

Go to http://davidjohnbutler.com/giveaways/five-books-may-giveaway/ and sign up to win all 5 of these books. Physical copies. Signed physical copies. Shipping included.

If you go to FantaSci, your chances are even higher of winning! We’re reserving two of the five winners for people who are there, to celebrate them coming and seeing Dave Butler and I person. (You foolish mortals).

Thanks to Dave Butler for organizing all this.

This week, as you can expect, has been focused on preparing for the trip. However, I’ve been plugging away at a sooper-seekrit project that I’ll have done by June 1. Then I finish a different sooper-seekrit project which will be done July 1.

But don’t worry, I’ll be posting some hints of a *third* sooper-seekrit project before any of that happens.

Lots of great stuff happening in Rob-land, even if I have to keep it all somewhat vague at the moment.

What I’m Listening To

Blood of Bannockburn by Sabaton. This is one of my songs I listen to when I’m walking. It’s impossible not to go fast with this song.

Quote of the Week

Today is Roger Zelazny’s birthday. I can’t let that pass without this quote. I may read more from e-books than physical ones these days, but I, too, feel right when I’m surrounded by books.

I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.
― Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes of Amber

New Mythology Works in Progress

Open call for the next New Mythology Anthology. We’ll take the top four submissions.

Deadline: 31 July
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).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • CWTAE (1,701)
  • OPP (4,541)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week’s new release is The Dragons of Styx, book 4 in the Hit World series, by John Siers. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0946BJTD7.

Oh, and for y’all audiophiles, James Chandler’s They Call Me Princess is about to come out on Audible. This is book 8 in the Fallen World series. You can find the pre-release here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0947CTCM7.

Today’s Weight: 338.8

Updated Word Count: 116,837

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: Happy Mother’s Day

Week 17 of 2021

Greetings all

Sorry for being a day late. I had a busy day yesterday. Our parents are coming down this weekend for Mother’s Day and I spent it frantically cleaning the house. One of the strangest things about the pandemic is that we host people often enough our house gets cleaned regularly. Those didn’t happen for a year, and we had some catching up to do.

Side note: I’d never have had the chance to do this job without my mom’s help. Thanks, mom!

I had a big thrill this week. I got to interview one of my favorite sportswriters and radio guys, Bob Sturm, for the Dudes in Hyperspace podcast. If you like football at all, you want to sit and chat with him for hours. Well, he gave me about an hour, which is about twice as long as I intended. We were just going over a bunch of neat stuff.

I haven’t written much this past week. Mostly, I’ve been doing those projects around the house that we’ve put off. Made a lot of progress on those.

Also, I got an opportunity to write something really cool that went straight to the top of the line. We’ll see how that goes, but then I’ll get back to my other short stories. Looks like I’ll write 4-5 short stories in the next couple of months before turning to another Shijuren novel.

Finally, my FantaSci schedule is live! Here’s where I’ll be in a couple of weeks.
Friday 12pm: Pantzing in Camellia
Friday 3pm: Book Reading in Oak
Friday 4pm: Herding Kittens in Camellia
Friday 7pm (2 hrs): Songs of Valor Anthology in the Main Room
Friday 10pm: CKP/NMP Party in the Courtyard. Come a little early if you want to help set up.
Saturday 12pm: New Mythology Press in Rose
Saturday 1pm: Radio Waves: Podcast/Live Feeds in Rose
Saturday 4pm: Mystics and Magic in the Main Room
Sunday 9am: NMP Kaffeeklatsch in Camellia

With that, I had better go write a bit.

What I’m Listening To

Wolf Totem by the Hu. Mongolian Folk Metal is fantastic stuff.

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote is from Gene Wolfe, one of the great SF/F writers ever. He was born on this day in 1931.

“You never learn how to write a novel. You just learn how to write the novel that you’re writing.”
― Gene Wolfe

New Mythology Works in Progress

Open call for the next New Mythology Anthology. We’ll take the top four submissions.

Deadline: 31 July
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).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • CWTAE (1,701)
  • OPP (1,214)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

The big new release is, of course, Eye of the Storm, by Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey. This is the latest in the main line of the 4HU. So much going on. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093NXYC7C.

Today’s Weight: 333.6

Updated Word Count: 115,848

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: Wolves are Ravening

Week 16 of 2021

Greetings all

Another great week in Robville. I sent The Ravening of Wolves to Chris Kennedy on Sunday. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It’s got more one-liners and humorous bits than most things I’ve written, along with a heavy dose of fighting. I re-read novels a bunch of times during the process. This one didn’t get old.

Responsibility of the Crown
Responsibility of the Crown

We also revealed the cover for Responsibility of the Crown. As you can see, it’s gorgeous.

Scott wrote a great story, and it was an honor to be a part of getting it released. You’re going to love this story.

Since the novel went to Chris, that means I can start on a new project. It’s a short story in a universe I’ve not written in before. I told the anthology editor I planned on writing something a little whimsical, more whimsical than anything I’ve written before. This will qualify, and yet it’ll be a good story.

That’s it for now. Tonight and tomorrow, I’ll be watching the NFL Draft on Zoom. If you want to join me, hit me up with an email or on Facebook and I’ll send you the link.

Monday, we record our next Dudes in Hyperspace, so if you don’t join me tonight, I’ll go over my thoughts, along with Bob Sturm of 105.3 The Ticket and the The Athletic.

Have a great week.

What I’m Listening To

Leadup to the NFL Draft

Quote of the Week

I don’t have the exact quote, because I’m like one of the two fans of the movie The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, but this is a paraphrase of a quote from Driftwood. There’s a kernel of truth in this, but man, I do love the draft.

“No, I entered the military draft and went to Vietnam to get away from the league’s draft. Those guys were animals.”
― Driftwood, The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh

New Mythology Works in Progress

Deadline: 31 July
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).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

  • Just Released: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt). You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7Z3KT1
  • 12 April: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Responsibility of the Crown (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (96, 094 and sent)
  • CWTAE (1,701)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week, there’s a new Caine Riordan-verse novel from Kevin Ikenberry entitled Desperado. Great combination of talents here, with Kevin writing in Chuck Gannon’s universe. You can find it here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/desperado/.

Also, there’s a Bookbub deal. You can find Bill Webb’s Trashman for $0.99 for a few more days here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SVZF2HF. This is book one of his fun Hit World series.

Today’s Weight: 337.8

Updated Word Count: 114,981

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: Barley, Hops and Water

Week 15 of 2021

Greetings all

I’m now officially a podcaster!

Ian J. Malone restarted his Dudes in Hyperspace podcast this week and invited Kevin Steverson and I to be his co-hosts. We released our first podcast together on Tuesday. We’ll be going every other week for the time being.

Here’s the website for it: https://www.sharkflight.com/dudes/.  You can find links to whatever way you listen to podcasts.

What are we talking about? Well, we’re talking about books. Since we all write for Chris Kennedy Publishing, and the fact that Chris Kennedy is our sponsor, you can expect a bunch of conversation about stuff from CKP and New Mythology Press.

However, we’re talking about all of our projects, our thoughts on writing, and other stuff related to our work.

Then we’re branching out into topics we find interesting. This week we did a preview of the NFL Draft. Our podcast the first week of May will have a recap of the Draft along with a special guest, Bob Sturm of the Athletic and 105.3 The Ticket, my favorite sports radio station, which happens to be in Dallas – Fort Worth.

But we’ll talk about more than sports. Music, for sure. Books we like. Movies. Grilling. Good food and beverage in general. Whatever strikes our fancy down the road. Please check us out.

Been a good week for editing. I’m at about 75% through my final edits in The Ravening of Sorrows. It’s all fiddly work that I never can estimate correctly, so even though I’m not quite done, it’s gone well.

This book has some of the best one-liners I’ve ever written, and there are a bunch of them. I am constantly laughing at my own jokes. Okay, let’s be honest, I’m always laughing at my own jokes. Someone has to, after all. However, these are actually funny. Either I’m wronger than normal about this, or they really are funny.

And now it’s time to finish off a few more chapters.

What I’m Listening To

Actually watching the Angels at the Astros on YouTube. More and more sports are getting broadcast via the internet. Since live sports are literally my only reason for contemplating cable or satellite TV, this is great for me.

Quote of the Week

Today we have a quote from something near and dear to my heart. Beer! The Bavarian Reinheitsgebot we always think of was put out on this day in 1516.

Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, market-towns and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.
― Bavarian Reinheitsgebot of 1516

New Mythology Works in Progress

Deadline: 31 July
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).

As mentioned, we will choose the top four stories out of those submitted to add to the anthology. This is especially aimed at newer authors, though authors of any experience can enter.

  • Just Released: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt). You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7Z3KT1
  • Just Released: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Responsibility of the Crown (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (96,449)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week’s new release is Department 9, Book 3 of Tim Taylor’s Chimera Company military SF series. You can find it here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/department-9/.

Also, don’t forget Accepted, Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson. That one is here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/accepted/.

Today’s Weight: 339.8

Updated Word Count: 17,994

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

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