Tag Archives: Kevin J. Anderson

Rob’s Update: A Huge Week

Week 14 of 2022

Greetings all

So much to talk about this week!

First, I had a great time at FantaSci. Here’s the full FantaSci AAR: robhowell.org/blog/?p=2653.

Keen Edge of Valor
Keen Edge of Valor

While there, we released Keen Edge of Valor. Thanks to all who supported the release and participated in its creation. It’s a great anthology and I’m proud of what we’ve done. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B09W91TP24/.

I also got to make two announcements. First, the finalists for the FantaSci Short Story contest were C.M. DeMott, Nathan Balyeat, Jonathan Miller, and Chris Hepler. Chris Hepler, with his story “The Torturer of Camelot,” was this year’s winner. Here’s an interview with our winner: robhowell.org/blog/?p=2645.

Secondly, I announced the theme for next year’s Short Story Contest. 2023 will be Bonds of Valor, and you story must include deeds of valor centered around bonds between characters. This could be a romantic relationship, a buddy adventure, oaths to kings, or whatever you can come up with. Specifics on the submission guidelines are below in the New Mythology section.

Deadly Fortune
Deadly Fortune

And now we’re five days away from our next release, Deadly Fortune, by Aaron Rosenberg. This is the next Eldros Legacy novel. It’s a swashbuckling take of pirates, murder, and intrigue and a lot of fun.

Then there was Tuesday night, where I did a fun interview with Cursed Dragon Ship on Twitch.tv. You can find it here: twitch.tv/curseddragonship. Many thanks to Kelly Colby for hosting me. I had a great time.

Now for the fun vaguebook part. My sweetie went on a trip last night and there might be some cool fun changes to our life coming out of it.

What a week.

What I’m Listening To

The Eagle Against the Sun, a War in the Pacific documentary. I’m in a WW2 mood today for some reason, and it’s been exactly what I wanted.

Quote of the Week

A brilliant quote from Gordie Howe today.

“All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
– Gordie Howe

Dudes In Hyperspace

Follow the Dudes In Hyperspace here:
bleav.com/shows/the-dudes-in-hyperspace-podcast/

The latest show includes a review of Batman and some great podmail questions.

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Get five free stories and signed up with the Eldros Legacy mailing list! Here There Be Giants is at: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/qabsr57lq3+.

Deadly Fortune by Aaron Rosenberg is coming next Tuesday! It’s a fun swashbuckling tale of pirates, murder, and intrigue.

Currently available:

New Mythology Works in Progress

2023 FantaSci Short Story Contest open call.

The theme is Bonds of Valor, and you story must include deeds of valor centered around bonds between characters. This could be a romantic relationship, a buddy adventure, oaths to kings, or whatever you can come up with.

Deadline: November 30th, 2022
Word Count: 7-10,000 words
Specifics: Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1.5 line spaced.

I’m currently working on The Door Into Winter, my next novel.

Rob’s Works in Progress
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
Upcoming Events
New Releases

So much going on in CKP at FantaSci. First, let’s go with Titans Rising, which is a book on the business of writing genre fiction in the 21st century. It includes stuff by Chris Kennedy, Kevin J. Anderson, Toni Weisskopf, and a bunch of other big names. You can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B09W8SV9QY.

Then we have Redacted Weapon, a new Four Horsemen Universe novel by Kevin Ikenson and Kevin Steverberry… errr… I mean, Kevin Ikenberry and Kevin Steverson. By the Kevins! That’s it, that’s what we’ll go with. Anyway, it’s another story about the Peacemakers and you can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B09W8LYXNJ.

And finally, there’s Keen Edge of Valor, the third anthology in the Libri Valoris, the Books of Valor. You can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B09W91TP24/.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 326.3

Updated Word Count: 129,772

Eldros Legacy Archives: 813 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

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

Rob’s Ramblings: Superstars AAR

Howdy

This past week, I went to the Superstars Seminar. For those who don’t know, this is a seminar for writers and publishers of all levels and genres. It is designed to help us all level up.

For me, I can tell you it worked. Wow.

To start with, part of the process, and honestly in some ways my favorite part, are the opportunities for publishers like myself to have authors pitch their stuff to us. I really enjoyed this because, without fail, all the authors I spoke to had a great, professional focus. Most won’t get published by New Mythology, but they’ll do well as a group, I think.

While I won’t publish most of them, I did add several new authors to our team. I can’t tell you how excited I am about what they’ll bring to New Mythology and I thought I’d introduce them.

Class of 2022
Class of 2022 (L to R: Chris Kennedy, Trisha Wooldridge, Philippa Werner, J.T. Evans, myself, and Brock Kolby)

First, is J.T. Evans. You all might remember him from his story “The Empty House” from Talons & Talismans I. Courage takes many forms, and this story is a perfect, strong example of standing up for what’s important. J.T. tends to darker fantasy, and I have to wonder if the horrific car crash he was in at 15 where they had to to reattach his arm might be one reason. Anyway, we hope to publish a trilogy in his setting starting late fall.

Oh, and as publisher, I’d better give you the link for Talons & Talismans I. You can find it here: amazon.com/dp/B09HQZDR4W.

Next is Philippa Werner who you’ re going to love. She has a host of writing experience, so much so, she’s already pushing me to up my game as publisher. She’s written under the pen names of Moira Katson and Natalie Grey. As you can see from those two links, she’s already done a bunch of great stuff and we’re ecstatic to have her.

Her first job, by the way, was at an apple orchard, and she still loves unusual types of apples and goes crazy for a really GOOD cider (none of that pasteurized crap). So, if you’re going to a con where she’s at and you have a great local cider, you might remember that. Just sayin’.

But wait, there’s more! She’s also building up a cool tool for writers called Scribe Count. You can find this here: scribecount.com/

Trisha Wooldridge is next. She, too, is pushing me to up my game. She loves writing awesome characters and then putting them into positions where if she were to meet them in real life, they’d want to throat-punch her.

See? I told you all she’d be a fit for New Mythology.

I have to add, her story about her and her husband’s courtship is hilarious. He proposed to her using a rubber chicken. I wish I’d been smart enough to do that. That’s just wonderful.

Finally, there’s Brock Kolby. He’s very interested in the myth and magic of the Indian subcontinent, which, it turns, is also one of my interests. There’s a good chance he’ll write in Amaranth in the Eldros Legacy, and then also his own setting.

I’m calling these guys the Class of 2022. Obviously, I’m looking for new, great authors all the time, but like I mentioned earlier, there are so many writers at Superstars who are talented pros. I don’t know if I’ll walk away with this much awesomeness each year, but I’m certainly going to try.

Whew. Where were we. Oh, yeah, talking about the seminar, not just the superstars who are joining the team.

I got there on Monday with the intent of helping set up on Tuesday starting at noon. Arrived at the con site at about 12:30 after running errands to find out the others who’d gotten there earlier had already done it all. Marie Whittaker, who ran the con along with Mark Leslie Lefebvre, did a fantastic job of organizing things, and this is a perfect example.

So, I was able to nest and relax a bit before socializing that night at Jack Quinn’s, a nice Irish bar. Had a great time chatting with a variety of awesome folk, which also was an example of the week.

Wednesday is Craft Day, and I chose to take the seminars from Jonathan Maberry on pacing and the one on cover art from James Artimis Owens.

In both, I had sort of the best learning experience one could have. I’ve been fumbling along based on instincts  and I discovered that many of my instincts are good, they just need to be turned into skills. Also, I was able to find a number of new sets of questions I can investigate, questions I didn’t know enough until taking these sessions to even be able to ask.

I’m already introducing some of Maberry’s techniques into The Door Into Winter and the results are very promising.

Wednesday night was more socializing. The truth is, a bunch of the work that gets done is hanging out with a variety of new people. In this particular case, Eldros Legacy hosted a party, which was a great success. Thanks especially Chris Mandeville for bartending!

I had more than a few great conversations at the party, but the most productive was with Dan Bridgwater. He and I are going to collaborate on the Rick Blaine thread from The Feeding of Sorrows. That thread didn’t get explored in The Ravening of Wolves for the basic reason that his investigation of intrigue and conspiracy in the Galactic Union took too long. Each jump from system to system takes something like two weeks, depending on entry and exit points. In any case, we ran through a bunch of character motivations.

I also gave him a fun idea for a fantasy setting and character. Hopefully, he can find time to write that, too.

On Thursday, there were a bunch of good panels and things to do, but honestly, I really wanted to write after listening to Maberry. Plus, I had some other work so I sat in the main bar area and got words written, the work done, and had a number of great conversations.

Thursday evening we hung out at the hotel bar until very late. Side note: I’m not as young as I used to be and altitude affects things.

Friday was, in many ways, the start of my con. It began with a panel on creating a shared world with all five Eldros Legacy founders. This panel went great, I thought, especially since we presented Kevin J. Anderson with a custom-made Kevin the Unkillable t-shirt. Yes, it said “Kevin,” not “Khyven.”

Lunch was excellent, not the food really, but getting a chance to sit next to Craig Martelle and chat with him. I am very much looking forward to 20Booksto50K this year. He’s an impressive guy who’s got a bunch to teach me.

Then I accepted pitches from a number of new authors during the afternoon. That’s where I started gathering the Class of 2022 I started this post with. Again, I found the authors to be, without exception, professional and talented. They’re going to do some great stuff.

Friday night was the VIP dinner. If you’re trying to build up in this game, the cost for the VIP dinner was totally worth it. It’s a normal process. They put a VIP at each table, then fill the table with others, and that means you have a chance to really talk. In my case, our VIP was Nick Thacker, and I’m looking forward to getting to know him better. He’s very impressive.

Getting home from the Pinery on the Hill, a great restaurant, was an adventure, though. Shockingly, the place was on a hill. Great view overlooking Colorado Springs… while the snow fell. The four people riding with me in my car literally gave a great cheer when I drove into the parking garage.

Saturday, I started with a set of pitches, with a second set later in the afternoon. I was also on a panel about writing short stories. I was, by far, the least experienced person on the panel, but I think I did well. At least, one of the others, who happens to be a big part of the Writers of the Future, enjoyed having me there.

Then came closing ceremonies, where they raised a bunch of money for the Dave Farland Memorial Scholarship. This is a huge scholarship, especially given that Superstars is not a cheap seminar, so if you’re interested, I encourage you to apply.

After that, we had a passel go to Oskar Blues. There was the whole class of 2022, Chris, myself, and a bunch of others. It was a fantastic time to get the new authors seeing just how awesome our team really is.

Finally, there was the end of the con hanging out at the hotel bar. I ended up with another pitch session, some more cool networking, laughing and carousing, and wishing for more.

As I said, I leveled up. I’ve been excited about where New Mythology Press is going ever since I took over, but man, this was one of those times that just push that excitement to a new level.

Rob’s Update: Becoming a Superstar

Week 6 of 2021

Greetings all

Monday I head to Colorado Springs to go to my first Superstars Writing Seminar. Going to be a chance for me to level up, I think. The teachers include such names as Jim Butcher, Kevin J. Anderson, Jonathan Maberry, Jody Lynn Nye, and the one, the only, Chris Kennedy.

For those paying attention to the Eldros Legacy, I’m the only one of the Founders, including Mia Kleve, our primary editor, who hasn’t been part of the program there, and I rectify that this year. We’ve got a talented group.

Speaking of talent, we’re getting close to setting a firm release date for Deadly Fortune, the next Eldros Legacy novel, this one by Aaron Rosenberg. This is set in Shijuren and it’s go pirates, treachery, swordfights, and murder. What more could a reader want?

If you haven’t read Aaron, you’re in for a treat. He’s a prolific writer with a ton of shared universe credits to his name, including Stargate, Star Trek, and Warhammer 40K. Yeah, he’s a rock star and we’re ecstatic to have him.

Tonight we record our next Dudes in Hyperspace podcast. This one will focus on our writing process.

By the way, we have some very exciting news about Dudes in Hyperspace. Details on this next podcast, which should be available in the next few days. Thanks to all who listen to us, because without you we don’t get to do this big reveal.

I’ve gotten back into the groove a bit with The Door Into Winter. Getting sick and needing to get both Deadly Fortune and Keen Edge of Valor out the door took me away from writing, but I had a good day yesterday. Since it had been a bit, I went in an edited chunks to remember exactly what I was doing.

I also started a new short story this week for Marisa Wolf. This one is set in Bill Webb’s Hit World series, which is yet another fun shared world from CKP.

And I think it’s time to get back to writing. I have a character to kill…

What I’m Listening To

This week it’s Signals by… you guessed it, Rush! Yeah, I’m still on my Rush kick.

Quote of the Week

Today is the 63rd anniversary of the day the music died, so here’s a lyric from American Pie.

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend
– Don McLean, American Pie

Dudes In Hyperspace

Follow the Dudes In Hyperspace here:
https://www.sharkflight.com/dudes/

The latest show includes an interview with Craig Martelle of 20Booksto50K and IASFA.

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Get five free stories and signed up with the Eldros Legacy mailing list! Here There Be Giants is at: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/qabsr57lq3+.

Deadly Fortune by Aaron Rosenberg is coming soon!

Currently available:

New Mythology Works in Progress

We have no current open anthology calls but will have a new one announced at FantaSci.

I’m currently working on Keen Edge of Valor and it’s mostly done. You’re going to love it!

Get it here: storyoriginapp.com/giveaways/bbdf4462-1880-11ec-8eb9-a34519556732

Rob’s Works in Progress
  • The Door Into Winter (74,129)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • VAL (571)
Upcoming Events
New Releases

New Hit World anthology: You Pay: We Slay! This is the genre gumbo series from Bill Webb. You can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B09R8VLM58

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 317.0

Updated Word Count: 4,426

Eldros Legacy Archives: 813 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

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

Rob’s Update: And Yet Notwithstanding

Week 44 of 2021

Greetings all

Another new release this week! Talons & Talismans II is here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09L44T5XW/.

I’m so pleased with the Talons & Talismans project. We put out 30 great stories encompassing over 260,000 words. It included some of the biggest names in the industry like Kevin J. Anderson and Rick Partlow along with a number of authors who published their first story like Rich Hailey and Elowyn Fahnestock.

It also jumpstarted the Eldros Legacy, New Mythology Press’s shared fantasy setting.

In short, these anthologies did everything I wanted and I’m so thankful to all who were a part of it, from authors, editors, artists, and especially, the readers of New Mythology Press. Special thanks to DJ Butler for giving me a two-part story, one for each anthology.

By the way, Talons & Talismans I is here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/product/B09HQZDR4W.

But writing never stops, or at least it shouldn’t. I made good  progress with The Door Into Winter, though the number of words added won’t seem like much. I realized I needed to tighten up a number of plot holes, which took some time. I’m much happier with where I’m at right now and I expect I’ll crank out quite a bit next week.

I’m also about to start a couple of short stories. One, of course, will be my next Nick Patara, PI story for all of you on my mailing list. Then I have a chance, if I can meet the deadline, for a really cool project. Not to mention immediately after The Door Into Winter I have promised two more short stories and I finally will bring you all a new Edward mystery.

I love that I have so much I get to write. And with that, I better throw some words at the page.

What I’m Listening To

Rush in Rio. Great album to write to.

Quote of the Week

Happy Veterans Day to all who served. Thank you very much.

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”
– Thucydides

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Get five free stories and signed up with the Eldros Legacy mailing list! Here There Be Giants is at: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/qabsr57lq3+.

Talons & Talismans II is here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09L44T5XW/. Eight Eldros Legacy stories

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on the next Eldros Legacy novel, Seeds of Dominion, by Quincy J. Allen.

Giveaways

Three cool giveaways this week.

Autumn Free Book Collection
Autumn Free Book Collection

Autumn Free Book Collection

https://books.bookfunnel.com/readfreefantasyscifibooks/oo8gx0bssu

Your Next Favorite Fantasy
Your Next Favorite Fantasy
The Visit
The Visit

The Visit

https://books.bookfunnel.com/be-a-good-host/tccf56rwww

Lots of free stuff out there and I’m excited to bring it to you.

Rob’s Works in Progress
  • The Door Into Winter (30,837)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
Upcoming Events
New Releases

Talons & Talismans II is alive, including eight Eldros Legacy stories. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09L44T5XW/.

Also out this week is a new Salvage Title novel, this one by Matt Novotny. It’s entitled A Nest of Stars and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KX8CY54.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 331.8

Updated Word Count: 323,145

Eldros Legacy Archives: 787 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

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

Rob’s Update: The Hill-Top at Hastings

Week 40 of 2021

Greetings all

Been a great week here. Of course, we’ve been pleased with the response for Talons & Talismans I. It includes stories from a passel of great authors like Kevin J. Anderson, Rick Partlow, and D.J. Butler, of course, but I’m especially pleased with the stories from our open call. The story by J.T. Evans might be my favorite of the 15 stories, but the story by Scott Huggins about a medusa is right up there.

The House Between Worlds
The House Between Worlds

But that’s not all. I got to reveal the amazing cover of The House Between Worlds on Monday. This is the fourth in the Milesian Accords series by Jon R. Osborne, and it comes out on the 26th.

This cover, by the way, was done by Alexandre Rito. Absolutely gorgeous.

I’ve made a bunch of progress this week on The Door Into Winter, my next Shijuren novel. This will release in April.

Why that far away? Because Shijuren, as I’ve mentioned a time or two, is now part of the Eldros Legacy shared universe. The first novel in this world will be Todd Fahnestock’s Khyven the Unkillable and it’s fantastic. That comes out on the 7th of December.

But if you want more content in that world sooner, you can get a bunch of Eldros Legacy stories in Talons & Talismans II, which includes stories from Aaron Rosenberg, Quincy J. Allen, Todd Fahnestock, and a special story from D.J. Butler that follows his story in Talons & Talismans I. That anthology comes out on the 2nd of November.

As you can see, it’s an exciting time for me with all sorts of things happening.

What I’m Listening To

Peyton’s Places, Peyton Manning’s show about football. It is an amazing show, even, I suspect, for people who aren’t football fans. It’s so much about the people, not the game.

Quote of the Week

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. This is a special day in Calontir, the SCA kingdom that includes Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and a part of Arkansas. This is, of course, my home kingdom, so I can’t post an update today without quoting the song Calontir is most famous for singing, though ironically it was written by Malkin Gray (Debra Doyle) and Peregrynne Windrider (Melissa Williamson), who are not from Calontir.

Still, these words are special to us.

Draw up the spears on the hill-top at Hastings,
Fight till the sun drops and evening grows cold,
And die with the last of your Saxons around you,
Holding the land you were given to hold!
– Malkin Gray (Debra Doyle) and Peregrynne Windrider (Melissa Williamson)

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on Quincy J. Allen’s new Eldros Legacy story, Seeds of Dominion. This is a full-length novel starring Rellen of Corsia, who many of you saw in both When Valor Must Hold and Songs of Valor. I know a bunch of you read those stories, because there were a number of people asking for more with Rellen. Well, on 4th of January, you’ll get it.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Door Into Winter (16,981)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Lots to get to this week. First, Aaron Rosenberg has released the fourth and final book in his Time of the Phoenix series entitled Cross the Road. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09HX2WJCV.

If you haven’t read the earlier books in that series, by the way, Aaron has also released an omnibus version which includes all four stories in one efficient package entitled Time of the Phoenix. You can find this here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HZNP6MP.

Next we have book 3 in the the Luna Free State series by John E. Siers. This one is entitled Valkyrie’s Daughter, and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FR8ZXF9.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 332.0

Updated Word Count: 284,475

Shijuren Wiki: 797 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

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

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

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Rob’s Update: Trouble in the Wind

Week 49 of 2019

Greetings all

Trouble in the Wind is live! Sixteen stories of ground warfare that might have been. My story is “Here Must We Hold” about the Battle of Maldon.

You can find an excerpt of my story here: https://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1899.

Trouble in the Wind
Trouble in the Wind

I’m quite pleased with the story. I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to contribute. I’m absolutely stoked I get to be in a book with David Weber, Kevin J. Anderson, and S.M. Stirling, among others.

I made some progress on None Call Me Mother. Much of it wasn’t in words written, but rather cleaning up. I’m at that stage where I need to go back through it all to firm up the earlier chapters, fill in some connections, and make sure I’m ready for the final chapters.

What I mostly did was write another short story. I’ll tell you all about it when it’s about to go out the door. I also made progress on another project. All in all, a good week, even if it doesn’t show up in the raw numbers.

I also spent a goodly amount of time cleaning house. This is Kris Kinder Weekend, which means I have a big sales event then host everyone after the event.

It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year, but I’ll be exhausted on Sunday. It’s a fair trade.

What I’m Listening To

La Villa Strangiato by Rush. Such a great song.

Quote of the Week

This week’s quote is the inspiration for my story’s title. Thanks to Rosalind Jehanne for granting me permission to use it.

Here must we hold     So hearken to my counsel
Felled is our lord     Slain by foemen on the field
Now we must honor     The oaths we made in mead-hall
Now we must shoulder     The burden of his shield
– Rosalind Jehanne

It’s one of my favorite songs. You can find the complete lyrics to her song here: http://www.calonsong.org/CalontirSongs/battleofmaldon.htm

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (86,645)
  • CB (8,418)
  • SK (6,874)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on all of the great authors who participated in Trouble in the Wind. Again, you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082K73QPD. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Today’s Weight: 396.4

Updated Word Count: 216,398

Shijuren Wiki: 874 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
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Other Short Stories

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Interview: Philip S. Bolger

Greetings all

Trouble in the Wind is now available on Amazon. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082K73QPD.

I’m concluding this week of featuring interviews from authors in the anthology with Philip S. Bolger. This is a dude that knows his history and, of course, that’s a trait I like in anyone. One of these days he and I are going to end up with beverages talking late into the night about our particular historical eras of interest.

For now, though, we’ll just have to be satisfied with this interview.

Interview: Philip S. Bolger
Philip S. Bolger
Philip S. Bolger

What is your quest?

I seek to inject my brand of intellect, cynicism, and action into what I write—I like the kind of kinetic, snappy writing of Neal Stephenson, the savvy wit of Jim Butcher, the noir stylings of Don Winslow—I try to reflect a little bit of each in what I write. In my work for Trouble in the Wind, I actually did not, as my other inspirations are historical! I have a degree in history, and wanted to use fiction as a way to explore some of my favorite alternatives. I’ve got a long list of authors I admire—Kacey Ezell, John Ringo, S. M. Stirling, David Weber, Seth A. Bailey, Stephen England, Steven Hildreth, my father (Daniel P. Bolger)… I could go for a bit. In addition to writing, I’ve found a lot of inspiration and influence from games—video games, board games, tabletop RPGs, anything that allows me to get into the headspace of someone ranging from an Imperial Japanese Navy Captain to a member of a radical eco-terrorist cell that’s the only hope against a tyrannical electric company. I find it fascinating to try to think through things that way.

What is your favorite color?

My favorite color is that shade of imperial scarlet that only really showed up in the finest moments of the British Empire. I enjoy being able to add depth to the worlds I create and the characters that inhabit them. Whenever possible, I try to inject elements of folks I actually know. Fighting Spirit was easy, as the tank crew I wrote, and the Japanese Naval Infantry NCO, were all based on people I’ve known in real life. I think writing not just WHAT you know, but WHO you know is one of the great ways to make it as a writer.

What is the average flying speed of an unladen paint brush?

My biggest problem? ADD. No, not diagnosed, it’s just tough to force myself to sit down and get through a story. I think I probably start five or six for every one I finish. As I grow as an author, I’m getting better and better about that—my biggest weapon against it is being able to weave in new influences into an existing work, rather than trying to restart from scratch.

What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade?

I’ve been told that I do world-building well—by my D&D group, readers, and in less-than-flattering terms on several high school write-ups about daydreaming. I try to write weapons well, and make each of my characters very distinct, too. I’m proud that I’ve written (and published!) a novel, and that I’ve had three different short stories published this year.

Lightning Round

  • Favorite Muppet? The Swedish Chef!
  • Your Wrestler Name? El Juegoguerrero—“The Game Warrior” just doesn’t sound as good, so I’d have to train in lucha libre. I figure if it worked for Jack Black, it can work for me.
  • And Signature Wrestling Move? War Plan Orange—a complicated elbow drop off the turnbuckle
  • Favorite Weird Color? CADPAT
  • How Will You Conquer the World? Overwhelming amounts of Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (Rob’s Note: Miss Manners agrees. Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles are just not in fashion anymore.)
  • What Cartoon Character Are You? The Brain.
  • Best Present You’ve Ever Received? A brand new Kindle Fire from my partner, Vikky, for publishing my first novel.
  • What Do You Secretly Plot? A way to live in the greater D.C. area without having to sell my soul to make rent.
  • Favorite Sports Team? DAAAAAAAAAAAAA BEARSSS!
  • Cake or Pie? Neither—I’ll head for the chips and salsa.
  • Lime or Lemon? Lime by a mile (said Emil)
  • Favorite Chip Dip? Guacamole. No! Salsa. No! Queso. No, wait, Ceviche! Uhh… get back to me on this one.
  • Favorite Cereal? Not really a cereal guy, but I’ve got fond childhood memories of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
  • Favorite Musical Performer We’ve Never Heard Of? Megahit—video game-infused synthwave.
  • Whisky or Whiskey? Whisky for sipping, Whiskey for slamming.
  • Favorite Superhero? Does Taskmaster count? If I’ve got to pick a hero, I’ll go with Iron Man.
  • Steak Temperature? Medium Rare. Rare if it’s somewhere or someone that tends to overcook.
  • Best Thing From the 80s? The F-15E Strike Eagle. Or maybe Predator, or Duran Duran, or Hulk Hogan… It was a busy time.
  • Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Fall.
  • Favorite Pet? Tie between my dogs—Robert the Bruce and Francois Guizot.
  • Best Game Ever? Delta Green.
  • Coffee or Tea? Tea
  • Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Both!
  • Brought to you by the letter ___? X.

What question(s) would you like to ask me?

What inspired you to write your story for Trouble in the Wind? Are you intimidated about being in the same line-up as several alt history legends? (I certainly am, for what it’s worth!)

Rob’s Answer: Oh, I don’t know if I have enough electrons to answer this questions. My first goal was to continue the alternate history setting I’d created in Far Better to Dare and In Dark’ning Storms from Those in Peril and To Slip the Surly Bonds. However, I never could think of a short story with a twist that fit. I thought of all sorts of story ideas for a alternate World War I novel/series, which I might someday do, but short stories and chapters are different things.

And with that, the obvious was for me to look at my specialty. I’m ABD in Anglo-Saxon military history. I focused on early 10th century Mercian production and population to see if the numbers specified in their version of the Burghal Hidage were plausible or if they were pie in the sky figures. As a secondary question, I asked if those portions of Mercia that didn’t have enough population showed evidence of movement from more populous areas to supply the needed people.

By the way, I made a slight nod to this in my story when the apprentice got told to copy that part about Aethelflaed. That’s a direct reference to the Mercian Register portion of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which details her work building up those burhs until her death in 918.

Anyway, any study of Anglo-Saxon military history has to include a study of their heroic poetry. There’s too much history in Beowulf, the Finnsburh Fragment, the Battle of Brunanburh, and, of course, the Battle of Maldon to ignore.

Furthermore, the Battle of Maldon is a battle we often sing about in the SCA, thanks to the songwriting of Rosalind Jehanne. She graciously allowed me to use the first line of her song as the title of my story, because it fit so well. 

So that’s when I looked for the twist. Short stories should have some sort of twist at the end. Once I found it, all I had to do was execute it.

As for whether or not I’m intimidated by the others in the anthology, I wasn’t, mostly because I never really paid attention to that. My job was to create a story, so that’s where I looked.

Now, of course, I realize I’m in the same book as David Weber, S.M. Stirling, and Kevin J. Anderson, three of my favorites. I never really had a chance to be intimidated, but I have been screaming a few barbaric yawps at this awesomeness since I actually paid attention.

Tell me again where we can find your stuff?

And where can we find you?

I’m not an official guest at any cons in 2020 (at least, not yet), but I attend Dragon*Con every year, and plan on LibertyCon and GenCon next year, so write my page if you want to meet up, I’d be happy to sign autographs and harangue you about whatever ideas I’ve had lately.

Do you have a creator biography?

Philip S. Bolger is an army veteran who left active duty service to work as a cog in the Military-Industrial Complex while pursing his passion for writing.  “Fighting Spirit” is his third published short story, and second examining the Oahu Pact timeline.  His debut novel, the Urban Fantasy adventure “The Devil’s Gunman,” was released in January of 2019.  In his free time, he enjoys history, wargames, and pen and paper RPGs.  He lives in the heart of Northern Virginia with his partner, Victoria, and their two dogs: Robert the Bruce and Francois Guizot.  Philip can be reached at philipsbolgerauthor@gmail.com.

Final question for you: What should I have asked but did not?

This is a pretty comprehensive interview! But… I’ll go with “Who is your favorite historical figure?” Mine is Francois Guizot (no, not my dog, I like him a lot, but this is who he’s named after!), a French Prime Minister during the July Monarchy, who, after being overthrown, had a second career as a history professor. That seems like a pretty good way to live!


Thanks to Philip for taking the time to answer my questions.

If you have any suggestions or comments about this interview format, let me know so I can keep tweaking it.

Also, thanks to you for reading. If you’re interested in any of the other interviews I’ve done, you can find them all here: https://robhowell.org/blog/?cat=326. If you are a creator, especially an independent creator, and you want to be spotlighted in a future interview, email me at rob@robhowell.org.

Finally, if you want to join my mailing list, where I’ll announce every interview, as well as what’s going on in my life, go to www.robhowell.org and fill out the form (Name and Email Address) or drop me an email and I’ll add you.

Have a great day.

Rob Howell