Rob’s Update: A Vicious Kidnapping and Murder Saved Me

Week 19 of 2020

Greetings all

Sorry about not getting out an update last week. I should just plan for that weekend to be empty, because the NFL Draft is one of my favorite events of the year. This year I actually got to wallow in it more than normal, which was a lot of fun for me.

Building a team, whatever the sport, is fascinating to me. It’s like multi-dimensional tetris with amorphous, changing parts. The best players don’t always fit, and this is especially true in football. More than any sport, football is a team sport, and fit is incredibly important for players.

It’s one reason why the hit rate on draft picks is so low. If the fit isn’t right, and you can’t always know until the attempt is made, then the player may never succeed. Conversely, if the fit is right, then that same player may become a Hall of Famer. It’s that much of a tightrope.

I love that sort of puzzle. It’s why I love tracking minor-league prospects as well.

Anyway, back to my work. I’ve spent this week hammering on a project that’s a bit of a change for me. It’s for a publisher I’ve not worked with before, and it’s a task with a number of interesting constraints. I have to match the editor’s specifics, which is making me work extra hard. Kinda neat, actually.

It’s sort of like writing certain kinds of poetry. Drottkvaet, for example, requires a slew of things including specific syllable counts, alliteration, and rhymes (preferably interior half-rhymes).

This particular project is something I’m having a lot of fun working on, but with the restrictions and the desire to impress a new editor, it’s been interesting.

In the end, though. I think you’ll like this story when I can tell you about it.

Speaking of stories, I had a new release this week. Gates of Hell, the newest Four Horsemen anthology, hit the virtual shelves yesterday. My story is “Fire from Fire Quickened,” and it’s a follow-up from The Feeding of Sorrows.

This is the 50th book in the Four Horsemen series. I am so proud to have contributed the Queen Elizabeth’s Own Foresters to that universe, and will be writing the sequel to The Feeding of Sorrows as soon as I finish None Call Me Mother.

it’s a tough day to work, as it’s beautiful outside, but gotta get words on the page. Have a great day.

What I’m Listening To

“Schism” by Tool. Tool is such a great band to write to. They are intricate, powerful, and get my mind going.

Quote of the Week

“A man, a horse, and a vicious kidnapping and murder saved me.”
A Lake Most Deep, by me.

Why this as my quote? A Lake Most Deep turned 5 this week and this is the first line. I love that story, though I wince at times at my writing. I am so much better now than I was back then. I’m supposed to be, of course, but I wouldn’t have gotten here without A Lake Most Deep.

So glad I took the risk and dived into the deep end.

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (PAGES)
  • CB (8,418)
  • TSK (7,563)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Been working on the Wiki. Finally overcame a number of weird issues and I’m making good progress now.

Upcoming Events


This week’s spotlight is on the Gates of Hell, the newest anthology in the Four Horsemen Universe. You can find it here:

Today’s Weight: 394.2

Updated Word Count: 65,936

Shijuren Wiki: Making great progress

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

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

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