Tag Archives: Korpiklaani

Rob’s Update: September is Here!

Week 36 of 2022

Greetings all

No Game For Knights
No Game For Knights

I am so excited for September this year because it’s going to be huge for me.

First, coming out in only 5 days is No Game For Knights. It’s available in pre-order here: www.amazon.com/dp/B0B57DS9JD.

I am so pleased to be a part of this anthology. It is, of course, an honor to be in something with so many big names like Correia, Hamilton, Buettner, et. al., but for me it’s more than that.

I love noir, especially the hard-boiled detective versions. I love the intricate plots, the vivid language, the multi-dimensional characters, and a setting that is as much a character as it is a place. Raymond Chandler’s writing is almost poetry, and I heartily suggest people get audio versions to listen to his rhythm and cadence.

It’s the genre I lean into, whether I’m writing fantasy, pure mystery, SF, or whatever.

The Valkyries Initiative
The Valkyries Initiative

So that brings me to my next awesomeness for September. On September 16th, The Valkyries Initiative comes out. This is an anthology set in the Hit World created by William Alan Webb. The anthology is edited by Marisa Wolf, who wanted to add more powerful women characters to that universe, and also create a whole separate thread in that universe.

Let’s just say, Marisa weaves a tangled web, which will make even more sense when you read the anthology.

Anyway, I leaned into noir with my story here, which is sort of a hard-boiled PI version of a Norse Valkyrie just trying to do her job in modern St. Louis and finding it’s not so easy as she thought. The Norns have woven a fate for Vigdis that she has to discover, else they will be wroth with her.

At least Vigdis gets to drink all the Schlafly Oatmeal Stout she wants.

And that brings us to the next reason I’m excited about September. That weekend, the 16th through the 18th, I’ll be at FenCon in the DFW Metroplex. This is a con I’ve been looking forward to going to for a while, especially since I’ll see a number of friends I haven’t in a long while.

This includes William Alan Webb, and we’ll be talking up The Valkyries Initiative quite a bit. Plus Larry Correia will be there and I’m sure we’ll be talking up No Game for Knights.

But wait, there’s more!

September will have not one, but 2 releases with New Mythology Press. First, we’ll have The Pain Bearer, by Kendra Merritt on the 13th. This is the 8th in the Eldros Legacy.

Then, on the 27th, we start with a new series from Chris Nuttall. The first book is entitled The Chimera Coup, and it’s a blend of post-apocalyptic with some Harry Potter in a swords and sorcery story with a host of action and adventure. It’s great stuff.

Basically, I have something coming out each week in September (plus the first two weeks of October, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

Man, I’m excited. Let’s do this!

What I’m Listening To

Pellonpekko by Korpiklaani.

What by who?

Korpiklaani is one of my favorite folk metal bands, in their case, it’s Finnish folk music that inspires them. Pellonpekko is an instrumental that’s one my “Must Play Again Every Time” list.

Pellonpekko is a Finnish god, and here’s a version of the song on YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=fCY5b36U9t8. It’s the kind of song that crosses a lot of genres, so even if folk metal isn’t normally your thing, you might still like this one.

Quote of the Week

“Aspen 30, I show you at one thousand nine hundred and forty-two knots, across the ground.”
– Brian Shul

On this day, the SR-71 set the record for flying from New York to London in the time of one hour, 54 minutes and 56.4 seconds. Today’s quote is from a different SR-71 moment.

If you haven’t heard this story yet, watch this video. It’s hilarious. youtube.com/watch?v=8AyHH9G9et0.

Dudes In Hyperspace

Follow the Dudes In Hyperspace here:

The latest show includes a fun discussion of the upcoming college football season with Joe Deleone.

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+.

The Pain Bearer by Kendra Merritt comes out on the 13th.

This is the 8th in the Eldros Legacy and is set in Noksonon, the continent of light and shadow. I have to add, this might be favorite EL novel so far, and that even includes my own The Door Into Winter.

Currently available:

Get all the Eldros Legacy novels at: amazon.com/dp/B09Z9WVKYV

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.

YA Sci Fi and Fantasy
YA Sci Fi and Fantasy

YA Sci Fi and Fantasy


Rob’s Works in Progress
  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (5,108)
  • Farewell, My Ugly (23,151)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (3,405)
Upcoming Events
New Releases

This week we have Darkness Rising by William S. Frisbee, Jr. This is the 2nd in his Gods of War series. Side note: Chris has 6 of these in hand and will be releasing them about every 5-6 weeks. That means if you jump in now, you won’t have to wait long, so get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BBQ5J3R9.

Our special early release for this week is The Ghosts of Xicotepec by James Tarr. This is the 3rd book in his Echoes of Pangaea series and you can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BCHX1XKR.

And new in audio is Action, by Nick Steverson. It’s part of the Salvage Title universe and is narrated by Michael LeBlanc. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BBQ47LFH.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 327.2

Updated Word Count: 152,140

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: 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

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: Death-Pale Were They All

Week 44 of 2020

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love watching people get creative with costume ideas and decorations. There are so many times where I’m just in awe of their awesome ideas. Of course, there are many times I’m just in awe of their awful ideas. Ah, well, trick or treat, of a sort.

I’ve spent the bulk of this week removing crutch words out of None Call Me Mother, which is coming out on 24 November. My  crutch words are usually things like shrug, chuckle, laugh, and that sort of thing. I also do too many things with peoples eyes.

Much of the time, the best solution is to get rid of them. They’re often stage direction that’s really not needed. From a first full draft of 148k, I think I’ll end up at 125k of stronger faster prose.

I’ve also been hammering at rebuilding the wiki. By the 24th, it has to include all the characters and what not from the Kreisens trilogy. This isn’t just to have reference for readers if they need it, but more importantly it gives me a chance to double-check things. I’ve found a number of mistakes/inconsistencies that I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t double-checked with the wiki. In a world of already something like 700k published words (as of 24 November), there will be issues, but a detailed bible is so useful to help prevent them.

Anyway, I’m also almost done with my short story for the next Libri Valoris. I’m setting up a character to have to make a choice. This is my norm, of course, however, the consequences for this character are just a tad different, but then, so is she.

I hope everyone gets a chance to wear something silly, eat candy, and admire the pole dancing skeleton display on the internet.

What I’m Listening To

Langt Nord I Trollebotten is a song by a band called Lumsk you’ve never heard of. They’re a Norwegian folk metal band and this is one of my all time favorite songs. It seems like every folk metal band has at least one truly amazing instrumental song. Pellonpekko for Korpiklaani for example, or Wolf Ritual by  Tengger Cavalry. This is Lumsk’s and it’s amazing. I can’t listen to any of these three songs just once. I always hit rewind for a few more listens before moving on.

Quote of the Week

Since it’s Halloween, here’s a creepy quote from Keats. It’s the last 3 stanzas of La Belle Dame sans Merci, which you can read in its entirety here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44475/la-belle-dame-sans-merci-a-ballad. I actually learned this poem because Robert B. Parker named a Spenser book, Pale Kings and Princes. Just another reason I loved reading his stuff.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
       Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
       Thee hath in thrall!’
I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
       With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
       On the cold hill’s side.
And this is why I sojourn here,
       Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
       And no birds sing.

– John Keats, La Belle Dame sans Merci

News and Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (32,068)
  • KAT (4,982)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Too many wiki additions to list.

New Releases

This week’s spotlight is Jamie Ibson, who just released another novel in Christopher Woods’ Fallen World setting. Ibson’s is called Pacific Shogun. You might recognize Jamie as the editor of the We Dare books, but this is him on his own. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08M418TXV.

Also out this week is Chris Kennedy’s Indie Publishing for Profit: How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Into the Stores. It’s the second of his Author Fundamentals books and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08LR3G1FD.

Today’s Weight: 356.4

Updated Word Count: 240,925

Shijuren Wiki: 230 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
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

Interview: Amanda Makepeace

I met Amanda Makepeace at DragonCon, I think. Whatever con it was, we got to talking about music that combines traditional instruments and metal or punk. Dropkick Murphys, Korpiklaani, Tengger Cavalry, Tyr… Er… sorry, I got distracted headbanging.

Anyway, crank up some Turisas and take a look at the answers of a great artist.

War for Jupiter
War for Jupiter

What is your quest?

I’m a Fantasy/SciFi Artist and Illustrator, which means I create dreams and visions for myself and others. My work can be found on book covers, inside game manuals and at several southern fandom conventions (like DragonCon in Atlanta). I’m inspired by nature, mythology and what lies beyond the stars.

Sharing what I love to create with others is the most rewarding part. I have my mother to blame for this crazy adventure. One of my most vivid memories is of her drawing one of my toy dinosaurs. I started drawing not long after and never stopped.

Amanda Makepeace Portrait
Amanda Makepeace Portrait

What is your favorite color?

I have soft spot for anything organic and primordial. That passion spans both my Fantasy and SciFi  art. Sometimes that applies simply to the colors I’m drawn toward; while other times, it’s the main elements and subjects of my work. It’s life—birth and death, creation and destruction.

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

There was a time when I thought I had to be either a Fantasy artist or a SciFi artist—I couldn’t be both. Silly idea when I look back on it now. Since unleashing them both I’ve been far happier and far more productive. The lesson here? Some artists work on very focused projects and it works for them. However, there’s nothing wrong with being more diverse, especially if that’s your calling. When you try to stifle your natural inclination you end up silencing the most important parts of you. Follow your heart.

Long List Anthology, Volume 3

What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade?

Late last year I provided art for the cover of the Long List Anthology Volume 3, which features stories from the Hugo nomination list. (ed. note: You can find the book here) The book was recently featured in a list of anthologies on the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog – 10 Recent Anthologies that Show Us What SFF Can Do. It’s little things like this that make my day. I’m currently working on another book cover for an anthology from the same editor.

Drusilla, Studio Cat Extraordinaire
Drusilla, Studio Cat Extraordinaire

Lightning Round

  • Crunchy or Creamy? – Both!
  • Cake or Pie? Pie. – Cake is good, but pie is love.
  • Lime or Lemon? – Lemon, but only if it’s lemonade.
  • Favorite Chip Dip? – Salsa!
  • Favorite Musical Performer We’ve Never Heard Of? – I think most everything I listen to (and I have eclectic tastes) someone has heard it, but Keith Jarrett may be a bit obscure?
  • Favorite Superhero? – Loki. He’s sometimes a hero, right?
  • Steak Temperature? Medium
  • Favorite 1970s TV show? The Bionic Woman
  • Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Fall, always.
  • Favorite Pet? – My studio cat, Drusilla, who also acts as my creative director and overlord.
  • Best Game Ever? Doom
  • Coffee or Tea? Coffee. I like strong coffee with a lot of cream. I love lattes
  • Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Is this a trick question?

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

At ChattaCon we talked for a bit about music and specifically metal bands. What’s a new band you’ve recently discovered?

My Answer: Oddly, it’s not so much new bands I’ve been getting into, but going back into some of the ones I’ve loved and delving deeper into their catalogue. For example, I just bought a bunch of older Steeleye Span. I’ve heard most of what’s on there, but I haven’t heard it enough.

I’ve also been buying a number of compilations to, again, get myself back with some music I’ve liked, but didn’t have on CD. I recently got a Rainbow compilation, along with a Blackmore’s Night CD. I’ll fill out all the Blackmore’s Night stuff eventually.

Tell me again where we can find your stuff? (All the web presence you’d like me to link to)

And Where can we find you?

Forest Dreams

My next convention is LibertyCon in Chattanooga, TN (June 29-July 1). I’ll be attending as professional, which means you can find me on the programming schedule. I’m also a part of the Art Show, where I’ll have art and prints for sale. Later in the summer I’ll be in the DragonCon Art Show again. I’ll be selling at my table and in the gallery of the show.

(ed. note: I’ll be there too. Looking forward to seeing the other 748 besides Amanda and I that will be there).

And we’ll finish with Amanda’s artist biography:

Amanda Makepeace is an award winning artist and illustrator. Her career in art began more than a decade ago while living abroad in the UK. In recent years, Amanda has worked with independent publishers and game companies. Her latest project was the cover art for the Long List Anthology Volume 3 – a book featuring Hugo nominated stories. She is also a regular at Fantasy and SciFi conventions in the southeast. Some of her awards include: Judges’ Choice Award in the JordanCon Art Show (2015), Best Space Scene in the DragonCon Art Show (2017), and Best Professional Science Fiction in the ChattaCon Art Show (2018).

Through her art, she explores mythology, magical beings, our connection to the planet, and even distant worlds. She is a member of the Changeling Artist Collective and Co-Founder of the Bird Whisperer Project. When she’s not in the studio, she can be found reconnecting with nature and the woods that inspired her as a child.

Thanks 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.

Also, 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.