Friday, August 8, 2014


First, because I seem to hate myself on some subconscious and sometimes physical level, I’ve decided to write the sequel to my novel Beware the Ills in one month… Yes, that’s four hundred pages in one month, plus a month to copy edit. I might be dead by the time October runs around, since I have another novel coming out in that time span that requires attention. Yeah, I might die. Anyways, all this complication from my writing stuff was produced by a phenomenon known only as Modern Artist Masochism, or because as Americans we all love acronyms — MAM.
Whenever we as artists or writers (I’ll use writer in this post because that’s what I am) tend to have a little success we have this almost biological urge to jump ship from the very project that has earned us even the slightest bit of acclaim. We get success, and we immediately want to change our style, voice, or content away from the product that earned us an audience. We think, “well if they liked this piece, wait till they get a load of this other one.” This paradox stems from the modern stereotype that change implies better, where in reality change can sometimes be bad or good. The really talented writers can preserve their can change their style, but also leech onto what made them popular and universal in the first place. Their personality survives the change in narrative. Their personality is too powerful it can’t be contained by a certain genre. The vast majority of us do have a voice that matches with a genre, and if it this magnetic force is disturbed, we lose our presence as storytellers completely.
Furthermore, don’t think you can’t change style or genre if you want, just don’t do it when you’re in the midst of success. Failure and success are two sides of the same coin, eventually you’ll flip it enough times to get one or the other. If you flip it while you’re being successful, you can only fail. Time will make popularity in your writing dwindle; therefore, then it’s time to change. Diversity of artistic content has made us all masochists with our own projects. We just jump to something new without thinking, and this inflicts pain on us. We make this wrong decision often, so no wonder that we hate ourselves. We knowingly inflict pain upon ourselves while being successful… Welcome to MAM.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

An Update About my Dark Fantasy Novel - Beware the Ills

Recently, I was thinking as an author, what I could offer my readers and audience concerning my recently published book (it has been out about a year) since the sequel is still a few months away. All I can really offer is some perspective on the story and its origin. It took me six years to write Beware the Ills, mostly because I was a teller at a bank and I would write sections by hand in a Moleskin notebook, which always seems to fascinate us writer types. I would also write on receipts and bank notes (no worries, there wasn’t any privileged leaked by a paragraph of narration). Eventually, I had this hodgepodge creation to type up, which took another year of my life. I eventually self-published the book on Kindle and in paperback. I’ve worked hard to sell the book at conventions, events, and to local bookstores. This is an unending battle, yet, I really enjoy doing it. I have complete control, which is pretty great. I also have help with copy editing and work-shopping, so I’m not putting out an inferior product.
Now to the guts…
Beware the Ills was inspired by three different things; the brave men and women locked overseas in endless war, the Roman invasion of Britain, and how my own consciousness tries to understand the complex world we live in. The book’s written in first-person, so I could use the narration of thought as a style and foreshadowing tool to engage the audience. You might realize when the author is lying to himself. You might not trust the narration, and this is part of the style. I didn’t want to write the standard three-act higher fantasy novel, but instead a fast-paced yarn about the metaphor of war, and humanities capacity for violence and change. When you write from third-person, you eliminate the taste of some details, and since war can only really hit our moralistic core when we’re given the grimmest of details, first-person was my pick of poison. The sequel will also deal with war, how we as humans are condemned to certain acts of violence, and also the social systems designed to keep us in endless conflict. Also, there is very little exposition in this novel beyond the main character. Stay tuned for the sequel in October where the world gets filled in a little bit.
If you haven’t read my novel, here are some links to it on Amazon. Thank you everyone for your support.

Monday, April 14, 2014


A recent project I've started on my literary magazine called Calamities Press has been a small narrative called Chains. This has been one of the most challenging projects for me to date, since I'm writing a constant third-person story in the blog/serial format, which is the opposite of The Greenland Diaries. Chains works on some different levels than the The Greenland Diaries, due to the third-person format, and the plot.

Chains follows two bounty hunters Bow and Vrendel as they investigate the disappearance of an entire city called Frigga. This city falls on the border between Midgard and Jotunheim. Chains takes place in a vacuum of Norse mythology. I steal everything I can to build my universe, since I'm not the biggest fan of world creation. Most have been exposed to Norse Mythology before, so they can sort of fill in the gaps. This is a tactic I've sort of explored because it allows me to focus more on the plot than the exposition.

Continuing the story, both characters are sent to investigate the mass vanishing of the town. On their way to the city, the Fimbul Winter begins, which signals the beginning of Ragnarok. A variety of things start to happen on their journey, and they eventually reach the city of Frigga, which is lacking any human beings. The hunters do find inside the Iron Citadel a system of chains that was attached to some sort of creature. The creature has escaped and the shadows of have changed. The hunters aren't the only ones investigating the city. An assassin from the giants arrives along with a variety of other villainous characters.

The story is very fast-paced, and relies on discovery as a plot device. I'm playing with Bow's character right now. She is very strong, rigid, and powerful, but she's also very religious and gets swept up by the current mythological environment. For how sterile and sharp her personality is, she puts a fair amount of faith in the gods. Vrendel is less believing in the supernatural forces, and focuses solely on the idea of producing children, which Bow isn't fond of. These characters are the backbone of the story, and I'm passionate about their personalities and dynamics. 

Chains has a plethora of plot devices and action sequences, which I like to read; therefore, I like to write.

Chains will start being published every Monday afternoon on a weekly basis on Calamities Press. It'd previously been published on Fridays, but a contributor dropped out, so I'm moving it to the front of the week. Please check it out, and let me know what you think. I really enjoy writing this story, even though it challenges me to all out.