Tag Archives: Kevin Steverson

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: 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

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: 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

Rob’s Update: Out of the Grandstand

Week 15 of 2021

Greetings all

It’s a really exciting time for me. I have completed the first draft of The Ravening of Sorrows! Well, almost. I decided today to add one more battle scene, but I should get that done this weekend, along with major progress on the editing. I hope to have it off to the editor next week.

The last bits tend to go fast because it’s a series of event to event that’s been set up. In this case, the reason I want to add a battle is to punch up the tension one last time, to make it that much more of a hill to climb, but it’s really the cherry on top. Of course, since this is military science fiction, it’s the extra explosions on the top.

Next will come a short story for Kevin Steverson’s Salvage Title universe, with a couple of stories for New Mythology anthologies to follow. Then another Shijuren novel, and there are big doings there.

This week, David Lucas was gracious enough to have me on his Writer’s Wrap Up interview series. Here are the links, in case you missed it.

On the publishing side, it was a slower week, but that’s because Responsibility of the Crown is on it’s way and I’m already done with it.

Of course, there’s also the release of Accepted, by Kevin Steverson and Tyler Ackerman, which was Monday. This is a fun series, full of slightly twisted fantasy tropes, action, and heroes you’ll root for.

What I’m Listening To

Right now, nothing except the computer exhaust fans. I don’t normally want quiet, but for some reason, I do right now.

Quote of the Week

Some days are the anniversary of few interesting things. April 15th is not one of those days. Lincoln dies (1865). The Titanic sinks (1912). Sacco and Vanzetti’s robbery (1920). Beginning of the Teapot Dome scandal (1922). Insulin becomes available (1923). First flight of the B-52, which they intend to use at least up to 2050 (1952). McDonald’s opens (1955).  And more besides.

But I’m a baseball fan, so this is always the day that Jackie Robinson took the field as a Brooklyn Dodger in 1947 so I’ll take a quote from Jackie that is really important to me. When I’m down and depressed, this quote pushes me to get back going.

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”
― Jackie Robinson

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.

Recent Titles

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (95,346)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson and Tyler Ackerman. You can find it here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/accepted/.

Then there’s John Siers’ The Ferryman, third in the Hit World series. You can find it here: https://chriskennedypublishing.com/book/the-ferryman/.

Today’s Weight: 338.2

Updated Word Count: 17,002

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: Entering Hyperspace

Week 14 of 2021

Greetings all

Lots of news this week!

First, I’ll be joining David Lucas on his Writer’s Wrap Up Podcast tomorrow night, Saturday the 10th, at 6pm Central. You can watch it at these links:

Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/MindofDavidAlanLucasAuthor
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/davidalanlucas
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPn2s80_W5xLMEJktCDYIv

Come on out and join us.

More media news!!!!

I’m joining Ian J. Malone and Kevin Steverson as the new Dudes in Hyperspace lineup. We’ll do a podcast every other week and we’re going to cover a variety of things we find interesting. Obviously, we’ll talk about our writing some, but we’ll also discuss sports, movies, music, grilling, good alcohol, and whatever else strikes our fancy.

The first episode will come out in less than three weeks, and we’re going to start with one of my near and dear things, the NFL Draft.

I’m really excited to be a part of this, and I want to thank Ian for giving me the opportunity.

The week has been productive in other ways as well. I’ve gotten quite a few words written in The Ravening of Wolves. I’m writing the final battle scene right now. One big hurdle to cross is finding a way to end the battle and get me to the concluding scene, which I’ve already written.

In other words, I’m basically writing combat until I find a way to have a moment of pause. It’s a good feeling because the story is basically done. I could finish the draft today, and that means off to Chris edited in a week or so.

Speaking of completing things. The manuscript for Responsibility of the Crown is complete and just awaiting a cover. I’m excited about this too.

Oh, and in other good news, I’ve gotten in the habit of walking before going to Brewbakers, my writing bar. There’s a nice walking path near it and it’s gone well. I didn’t go yesterday because I can’t afford to eat there every day, but I did a bunch of carpentry and moving of lawn timbers instead.

It’s only a week, but so far, I already feel more energetic, though I have learned that Rauta by Korpiklaani is too damn fast to start the walk with.

What I’m Listening To

At Brewbaker’s, which has the Masters on. I’m not really into golfing, but I can understand the appeal. Also, they’ve gotten pretty good at making golf a solid TV sport. Still not my cup of tea, but it’s surprisingly good background for writing.

Quote of the Week

On April 9th, 1959, NASA picked the Mercury Seven. As Elon Musk and others continue pushing us to the stars, I thought I’d share a particularly poignant quote by Gus Grissom. I share it because I firmly believe he was correct. We *have* to get off the rock.

“If we die, we want people to accept it. We’re in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.”
― Gus Grissom

New Mythology Works in Progress

Coming soon is Kevin Steverson’s Accepted, the second in his Balance of Kerr series. It’s got lots of action and characters you root for. Good stuff.

The first in the series, Burnt, is here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0861FRWFH/.

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
  • Coming Soon!!!! 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 (89,116)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

The Reluctant Druid, first of Jon Osborne’s Milesian Accords series, is on Bookbub special for $0.99 for a few hours more. You can get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07716V2RN. This is great urban fantasy.

Also this week, is the release of The Ferryman, by John Siers. This is the third in the Hit World series of high-action genre gumbo. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091Y7QPY6.

Monday, Monday, Monday! New Mythology is proud to release Kevin Steverson’s Accepted, the second in his Balance of Kerr series. It’s got lots of action and characters you root for. Good stuff.

The first in the series, Burnt, is here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0861FRWFH/. Stay tuned for links to Accepted.

Today’s Weight: 340.0 (Hanging steady at 340.0)

Updated Word Count: 12,988

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

Songs of Valor

Songs of Valor came out on Friday, and boy, do we have a bunch of readers to thank. We hit number one new release in a couple of categories and were top ten overall in some categories as well. A worthy start to a great book.

As part of the lead-in to release date, I did some story sketches, along with some fun nicknames for our authors. I thought it’d be cool to gather those sketches together. Plus, I didn’t do the nicknames for the initial three authors, because it sort of happened in that post and then a number of people enjoyed them.

So here we go:

The first story is by the Grand Admiral, David Weber, and is called The Dragon and the Drunkard. Such an honor to work with David, and this was one of his first stories ever. It’s perfect for a release this week, as this story involves a leprechaun, a dragon, the Rainbow Bridge, and an interesting legal situation. And scotch. Lots of scotch. I like scotch, by the way.

Next is the Beerzerker, Jon Osborne. This story, Smoke and Shadow. is another from his really cool urban fantasy Milesian Accords series. In general, I love stories that mix mythologies and look at them in new ways. This is something Jon does really well. Also, spoiler alert, buy some jellybeans. You’ll find out just how important they can be in this story.

Third is Benjamin Tyler Smith‘s On a Wing and a Train. Side note here, one possible name is the Shirker, because he clearly planned for their baby to be born on the same day as Songs of Valor just so he didn’t have to help promote everything. Clearly. Some people will do anything to get out of promo work.

Anyway, Benjamin’s real nickname is Speaker to Dead Things because I love his fantastic Necrolopolis series, and this is another story in that series. The elevator pitch: The mean streets of the City of the Dead are no place for an honest necromancer, even if he is drinking buddies with the God of Death. Especially when he has a partner who really puts the fatale into femme fatale. By the way, this is the first of five stories in the anthology that are winners of the FantaSci short story contest. Also, he says he’s got a Necrolopolis novel on the way, and I’m really excited to see it.

Next comes from the Big Boss, Chris Kennedy himself. This is a great coming of age story called The One You’d Least Expect. I love stories where someone grows into the challenge. This is one of those, and it’s especially interesting because of the nature of those in question. Also, just saying, this is an *origin* story, so maybe one day I can nag him into a full-length novel. Or series. Because he’s not busy doing other things, of course.

Next, the Bright Newbie, Melissa Moroney Olthoff. I call her the bright one because she’s so cheerful and enthusiastic. Even so, Oathbreakeris a tough, gritty story of love, strength, and courage. It will leave you wanting more, as it did for me. This was the second of the winners of the FantaSci short story contest.

Who else could the Crusty Old Sergeant be but Kevin Steverson? Changes is a story in his Balance of Kerr universe, and I really like it because it gives him a chance to expand that world and add some really cool characters with his normal fast-paced sort of adventure. It will come as no surprise to those who gamed with me in the RPGA back in the 90s that Londar is my favorite character.

Captain Mohawk is, of course, Quincy J Allen and he wrote another Rellen story entitled What the Eye Sees. This is high end swords and sorcery stuff, with a hint of noir. Spoiler alert. I foresee huge things for Rellen in 2022. Huge with a capital huge.

Next is Songbird by the Mountie, who is obviously Jamie Ibson. Now he wrote this story while he was still living in British Columbia and hadn’t yet leveled up to New Brunswick in Atlantic Canada. Even so, this is a great origin story of a guy finding his magic, and more importantly, his purpose. The third winner in the FantaSci contest.

Following that is Backup by the Renaissance Man. Dave Butler is annoying talented. Reads like 80 languages. Is a musician. Has a law degree. Is now a teacher. And he writes stuff. Great stuff, in fact. This is another Indrajit and Fix story, and I think these are modern versions of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, which are, not surprisingly, some of my favorite characters ever.

Side note: I almost chose the Mustachioed Loomer for Dave, but I figured that was too obvious.

Dama Quixote,  Sarah A. Hoyt, gave us One More Flight, a story  about old soldiers trying to make their way after their service time should be done. But sometimes, old soldiers have to get back in the saddle, and stand up to mighty foes.

Next is the Evil Eyebrow. On second thought, maybe I should have called Casey Moores the EEEEVIL Eyebrow. If you’ve seen him, you know what I mean. Anyway, his story A Quaint Pastime is also about an old soldier. This one is trying to find his place in the next war. With a twist. Lots of aerial action and dogfighting in this one, and this is the fourth winner of the FantaSci contest.

Next is a story by J.P. Chandler, the Legal Beagle. The third of three in a row about old soldiers, this story is about a warrior who has fought and fought and fought and he’s done. He’s got a last stand left in him, though. And it turns out there are others ready for that stand. This is the fifth of the stories that the FantaSci crew are going to have to pick from.

Chandler’s story hit me in *all* the feels. I cried when I read it the first time, the second time, the third… well, you get the idea.

Next comes the Arrogant Editor. Let’s just say today’s launch success didn’t make me any less arrogant. My story in this, Magnum Opus, let me delve into Katarina, one of my favorite characters in the Edward series. What happens when evil has to be the good guy?

Then is the Ancient Master. Glen Cook‘s not really ancient but he sure he is a master. I’ve loved his stuff for years and was very happy to have a Black Company story here. Cranky Bitch has all the cynicism and War weariness you’ve come to expect from that series.

And finally, the Accountant of DOOOMMMM. Larry Correia‘s The Dregs is fantastic, full of action, and with a cool twist at the end.

What a great lineup that was, and they gave me fun stories. I was honored to get to edit all this.

I’m also proud at being a part of the FantaSci short story contest. They are going to have a heck of a time selecting from the stories from the winners.

Thanks to all involved in what turned out to be an awesome project.

Rob’s Update: Non Cogito

Week 7 of 2021

Greetings all

It’s been an exhausting but productive week. I went on a fairly small trip this past weekend that proved far more productive than expected. Then, however, my ongoing weirdness with my Achilles flared up. We think it’s because I’ve lost so much weight that it hasn’t really adjusted. In any case, I didn’t get much sleep so I’m running around in a more whimsical mood.

But, as I said, despite the lack of sleep, especially yesterday, and the recovery from the trip, it was a very productive week. Got more written on the The Ravening of Wolves and I expect that to proceed quickly over the next couple of weeks.

I also worked on a number of projects for New Mythology. These are going at the speed I’d anticipated. This included accepting my second submission. Want to know the first submission? Well, read on, my friends, I will make the announcement in the New Mythology Press section below.

And with that, it’s time to spend time with the sweetie.

What I’m Listening To

Tyr’s Excavation. Tyr is a Faroese Band that does Norse-themed metal. This particular song was a big hit among re-enactors some time ago because it had a great video. It wouldn’t have mattered if it wasn’t a great song. It’s one of my hit repeat songs.

Quote of the Week

Rene Descartes died on this day in 1650, and my black-humored soul can’t resist.

“Non cogito ergo non sum.”
Descartes as he’s dying, probably

New Mythology Works in Progress

The first submission I accepted was a really cool story about a half-dragon involving an intricate magic system, dragons, and aircraft carriers. It’s also filled with excellent political intrigue and lots of great action. It’s called Across the Endless Ocean by G. Scott Huggins.

Some of you may be familiar with that name. He was the winner of Baen’s yearly fantasy award in 2020 and was runner up in 2014, so he’s clearly talented. I’m honored to bring him on board with New Mythology Press. You’re going to love this story.

As mentioned, we’ve several projects in the queue besides that one. The next two novels are the third of the Moniah series by Barbara V. Evers and the second of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.

But we know you want more and I’ve got more coming. Tune in next week for another announcement.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (44,113)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have another BookBub special as well as a new release. Redacted Affairs, by the Kevins (Steverson and Ikenberry) is available for at least a little longer for $0.99. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W5S55JD.

But wait, we can even do better than that! Watchers of Moniah, the first of the Moniah trilogy, is now available for free as part of this month’s IASFA promotion. You have 3 more days to get it for $0.00. Which, let me just say, is a price you just can’t beat for a great story. You can find this one here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QRJTHHC/.

We also have a new release from Tim C. Taylor, The Fall of Rho-Torkis. This is mil-sf and I’ve been waiting on this. Taylor’s a fun writer, and I’d say that if he hadn’t invited me across the pond to share pints at a pub. You can find this here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VRL8H27.

Today’s Weight: 341.8

Updated Word Count: 6,734

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: Terse? I Can Be Terse.

Week 6 of 2021

Greetings all

This was one of those weeks where I went to bed every day quite happy with my productivity, but it’s hard to quantify. These kind of weeks make weeks with a number of things going out the door happen, but I can’t talk about it all just yet.

Songs of Valor Cover
Songs of Valor Cover

The big news is that the Songs of Valor cover was released. I might have mentioned I’m excited about this project, and every cover makes authors know their work is about to be real.

I cut out some of The Ravening of Wolves, which is a step back, but then had three good days of writing. The cut stuff will probably show up later when I find the right place for it, but in the meantime I am really having fun with this story.

I sent my edits off to my first accepted novel. You’re really going to like getting a little Responsibility in your life. More to come soon.

I’m already starting to figure out how to be efficient with slush pile stuff. That being said, I think it’s incumbent on me to provide some sort of feedback to authors.  It’s extra work, but I know that’s what I want when I have people read my stuff. Anyway, I sent a couple of those back this week.

Side note, I’m getting faster at reading again. I used to devour books, but since I started writing it’s been a challenge to read new stuff. When it’s for work, oddly enough, I find I’m enjoying just reading again.

Anyway, I’ve got a busy weekend planned so I’m going to stop here.

What I’m Listening To

Won’t Get Fooled Again by the Who. Such a great album.

Quote of the Week

We’ve been watching Firefly again, so you get another Firefly quote.

“Terse? I can be terse. Once in flight school, I was laconic.”
Wash, Firefly, War Stories

New Mythology Works in Progress

The next release from New Mythology is the third of Barbara Evers Watchers of Moniah series, which will complete the trilogy. That comes out 1 March.

Then Songs of Valor on the 19th.

Following that, Kevin Steverson’s Accepted, sequel to Burnt, is on the way, though there’s no set date. Then there are two awesome novels in the pipeline, both of which will come out hopefully by the end of May.

Man, this is fun.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (42,577)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week, we see Mike Massa’s Shakes, first book in the Murphy’s Lawless series, is $0.99 on a Bookbub promotion. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0861F23KH.

Next, we have an anthology in the Charles Gannon’s Caine Riordan series entitled Lost Signals: A Terran Republic Anthology. You can find it here: https://smile.amazon.com/Lost-Signals-Terran-Republic-Anthology-ebook/dp/B08V4MYT4L.

Today’s Weight: 346.2

Updated Word Count: 5,869

Shijuren Wiki: 729 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: No Power In The ‘Verse

Week 5 of 2021

Greetings all

This week I’ve been focused on getting new stories out. I have a new writer that I can’t wait to publish. I’ll finish my edits tomorrow.

There are several other stories coming in soon, plus a cool new project that we’re making progress on.

However, the biggest news is the first New Mythology Release since I became publisher, the second in Barbara V. Evers’ Watchers of Moniah trilogy: The Watchers in Exile.

I made some progress on The Ravening of Wolves, but not as much as I’d hoped. Nevertheless, I got over 40k this week, so it’s getting there too.

What I’m Listening To

You’ll know the show I’m watching when you read the quote.

Quote of the Week

“I don’t believe there’s a power in the ‘verse can stop Kaylee from being cheerful.”

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds
Firefly

New Mythology Works in Progress

With the second of Barbara V. Evers’ Watchers of Moniah trilogy, The Watchers in Exile coming out on Monday, those of you with sharp eyes might suspect a third book is on the way. And it is! March 1st, the trilogy will be complete and I’m looking forward to seeing the bad guys get what’s coming to them.

The next release is Songs of Valor, the second of the Libri Valoris anthologies. You’re going to love it.

Following that is the next in Kevin Steverson’s Balance of Kerr series, called Accepted, follows up his great novel Burnt. Then the queue is starting to stack up. Exciting stuff.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (41,984)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • BT (3,887)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week’s spotlight is on Barbara V. Evers’ The Watchers in Exile. I might have mentioned that came out on Monday.

Also out is Mark Wandrey’s Sword of Minerva, next story in the Four Horseman Universe. The Guild Wars is getting good.

Finally, the factory boss’s story, A Gulf in the Past, came out in audio form this past week. This is the second book in Chris Kennedy’s Progenitor’s War series.

Today’s Weight: 345.8

Updated Word Count: 5,106

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