Moving on up to the east side…

Not literally. What I’m actually doing is moving part of my blog over to a new location.

Most of the older blog content will remain here, and this blog will primarily be for personal posts. My posts about my writing will appear on my other website:


It’s another WordPress blog, and I’d love it if you would follow it!!!

If you do go visit my new site, please sign up for my MAILING LIST. That will help you keep track of my new works (I’ve got a novella coming out next month!) and let you know about special prices and promotions. (Plus I may be able to offer a free book to my subscribers in a month or two–I have to get it formatted, still.)

And if you’d like to support me in my writing endeavors, I have a PATREON. You can support my writing for as little as $1 per month.

Thanks again for reading this blog!






Whatever Else, a Short Story

My short story “Whatever Else” has gone live at Amazon, where it’s only .99 for Kindle readers.*  (To add it on GoodReads, click here.)

Illusionists3 (resized) (2)

Maia is a young woman with only a small gift: the ability to watch others from afar. To cement a treaty between two clans, she married Arras, a young man she’s known most of her life. But when her brother comes to visit, he reveals a shameful secret that leaves Maia questioning everything she believes about her husband. Now she must use her small gift to determine the truth of her brother’s claim…and decide whether to stay at her husband’s side or flee him.


This story has never before been released. It’s not part of either my Golden City setting, or the setting for Dreaming Death.

This story is part of a third world in which I have published a few stories already, although to the more casual reader, they probably seem completely unrelated. (The Nature of Demons, The Arranged Marriage, and The Stains of the Past.)

(It might help to know that the four stories are separated over the course of about 500 years, and that in  the countries of Jenear and Galas, most people with an unusual gift can trace their ancestry back to either Arras or Menhas—for whom the Menhirre people are named, Menhirre literally meaning “Menhas’ children”.)

This story has traveled a long road to publication, has waited on different editors’ desks, often more than 100 days—and once over 420 days!—but has never quite found a home. All the same, I’ve always believed that it was worth keeping.  So I’m happy to say it’s finally out.

Thanks to my editor/formatter, Rick Fisher at EQP Books, who not only made the text look good, but spiffed up the cover as well. And a special thanks to Sam Hidaka, who never quit believing in this little story…I appreciate all your input along the way on this one.


*Also, if you’re a reviewer of short fiction, I’d be happy to email you a copy (of either kindle or nook format), just let me know in comments!


Today’s the Day!

Yep, today is the day Dreaming Death comes out! I’ve been posting about this book a lot, so I’m sure some of you will be relieved.

DD illo

It’s available at all the usual places, although Amazon claims they only have a handful left.

From the blurb:

Shironne Anjir’s status as a sensitive is both a gift and a curse. Her augmented senses allow her to discover and feel things others can’t, but her talents come with a price: a constant assault of emotions and sensations has left her blind. Determined to use her abilities as best she can, Shironne works tirelessly as an investigator for the Larossan army.
A member of the royal family’s guard, Mikael Lee also possesses an overwhelming power—he dreams of the deaths of others, sometimes in vivid, shocking detail, and sometimes in cryptic fragments and half-remembered images.
But then a killer brings a reign of terror to the city, snuffing out his victims with an arcane and deadly blood magic. Only Shironne can sense and interpret Mikael’s dim, dark dreams of the murders. And what they find together will lead them into a nightmare…


If you want a tl:dr version: A blind girl uses her enhanced sense of touch to solve crimes! 


And if you’re looking for other books to fill out a $25 basket to get free shipping, may I suggest two others which are out today:

Rachel A. Marks’ Darkness Fair (the sequel to Darkness Brutal), and Marshall Ryan Maresca’s The Alchemy of Chaos!

Now, please go forth and buy things! We authors need your support!


Interview with Lawrence M. Schoen, author of Barsk

Today my guest is Lawrence M. Schoen, author of a new book just out from Tor, Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard.  

It’s an exciting new series (and getting a lot of amazing press), and I’ll be able to chat with Lawrence in person about his book when he comes to Texas in February for ConDFW!  (And you should come see him there, too!)

BarskCover(300dpi) (2)

The Sixth Sense meets Planet of the Apes in a moving science fiction novel set so far in the future, humanity is gone and forgotten in Lawrence M. Schoen’s Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard

An historian who speaks with the dead is ensnared by the past. A child who feels no pain and who should not exist sees the future. Between them are truths that will shake worlds.

In a distant future, no remnants of human beings remain, but their successors thrive throughout the galaxy. These are the offspring of humanity’s genius-animals uplifted into walking, talking, sentient beings. The Fant are one such species: anthropomorphic elephants ostracized by other races, and long ago exiled to the rainy ghetto world of Barsk. There, they develop medicines upon which all species now depend. The most coveted of these drugs is koph, which allows a small number of users to interact with the recently deceased and learn their secrets.

To break the Fant’s control of koph, an offworld shadow group attempts to force the Fant to surrender their knowledge. Jorl, a Fant Speaker with the dead, is compelled to question his deceased best friend, who years ago mysteriously committed suicide. In so doing, Jorl unearths a secret the powers that be would prefer to keep buried forever. Meanwhile, his dead friend’s son, a physically challenged young Fant named Pizlo, is driven by disturbing visions to take his first unsteady steps toward an uncertain future.


I was lucky enough to get a chance to chat with Lawrence before the book came out (and he got too busy!), so I ran a few questions by him about this book (and a few of his earlier ones as well.) So without ado, here’s Lawrence:

Tell us a little about your upcoming book, Barsk, something that’s not in the blurb.

People are finding all sorts of subtext in the novel that I don’t remember putting into it. I suppose at some level, all books are a projective test and readers will discover something of themselves within the pages. For me, one of the most important ideas that I did include is that some friendships can transcend even death.

How long has this book been in your head? What led to it coming out in it’s final form?

I started writing this book more than twenty-five years ago. It’s actually the first novel I ever completed. Which is probably why it was so bad. I hadn’t learned enough to know just how badly written it was. Thankfully, despite my attempts to sell it, no publisher bought it, and I eventually stuck it in a drawer. I just didn’t have enough skill to tell the story the way it needed to be told. Fast forward a couple decades and when I had an opportunity to pitch it to an interested editor I’d grown enough as an author to do the story justice, keeping the awesome ideas and rewriting everything else.

Which was your favorite character to write? Why?

That is such a cruel question. I don’t tend to think in terms of favorites in any aspect of my life. That said, I’m more fond of some characters than others. There’s a lot of me in Jorl (or a lot of Jorl in me?). He has an amazing life and so do I.

Pizlo is the obvious underdog (under-elephant?) in the book. How can you not love him? He’s so damaged and he doesn’t know it, and he’s overflowing with potential. Keep an eye on him; he’s only six, and he’s destined for greatness, if he survives.

The Matriarch is an intense character. She’s so sure she’s right that most of the time she can’t even make room in her reality for the possibility that she might be mistaken.

I really like Druz because she makes the Sloths proud, and of all the other races of the Alliance her people seem to have the least dislike of the Fant. Maybe their slower metabolism makes them more sensible.

And I adore Lirlowil, my sybaritic Otter. She really deserves the chance to be the hero of her own story for all the grief I put her through in this book. Maybe some day…

Can we expect  to see more in this setting after this book?

I hope so! I’ve written proposals for two sequels and they are sitting on my editor’s desk. I’d also like to write some side stories — maybe even a novella — from the perspective of one or more of the other races of the Alliance. I’ve barely scratched the surface.

What about your previous series? Will you be adding more tales to the Buffalito Saga?

There are five more novels in my head to complete the story arc that I set up with the end of the second book. There’s a galactic war coming that almost no one in the galaxy knows about, and Conroy is being maneuvered to be a general. Whether or not I get to write those five books may well depend on how well Barsk does, and if I can use it to leverage a deal with a publisher.

At a minimum though, I have a fourth novella already outlined and waiting to be written. It includes a popular supporting character, LeftJohn Mocker, and features the return of a previous character. It’s also intended as backstory for a possible spin-off series.

And what’s one thing about you that every reader needs to know?

It’s taken me a long time to reach this realization, but I no longer engage in any kind of “zero sum” games. My success or happiness should never be dependent on beating someone else, or taking anything from anyone. Every situation I encounter nowadays, I ask myself how I can reframe it into a win-win scenario. I believe this above all else is why my life is so blessed.


SchoenHeadshot-2(300dpi) (2)

Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics. He spent ten years as a college professor, and has done extensive research in the areas of human memory and language. This background provides a principal metaphor for his fiction. He currently works as the director of research and analytics for a series of mental health and addiction recovery facilities in Philadelphia.

He’s also one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Klingon language, and since 1992 has championed the exploration and use of this constructed tongue throughout the world. In addition, he’s the publisher behind a speculative fiction small press, Paper Golem, aimed at showcasing up-and-coming new writers as well as providing a market for novellas. And too, he performs occasionally as a hypnotherapist specializing in authors’ issues.

In 2007, he was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He received a Hugo Award nomination for Best Short Story in 2010 and Nebula Award nominations for Best Novella in 2013, 2014, and again in 2015. Some of his most popular writing deals with the ongoing adventures of a space-faring stage hypnotist named the Amazing Conroy and his animal companion Reggie, an alien buffalito that can eat anything and farts oxygen. His latest work is a very different kind of book, an anthropomorphic SF novel that explores prophecy, intolerance, friendship, conspiracy, and loyalty, and a drug that lets you talk to the dead.

Lawrence lives near Philadelphia with his wife, Valerie, who is neither a psychologist nor a Klingon speaker.


Where to find him:



Twitter: @klingonguy


Cover Reveal

Since my cover for Book 3, The Shores of Spain, has gone live over at B&N, I’m now free to show off the magnificent cover that Roc did for it!


Once again they had the same crew doing the cover, with the design done by Katie Anderson and the photography by Juliana Kolesova. In addition, I was so happy that they were able to get the same model for Oriana, as I think she’s absolutely wonderful!

And I think they did a very good job of tying the three novels together, as the covers will look great on the shelf:


It’s rare that an author gets their dream covers on their very first series, but these have been eveything I could have dreamed, and I truly appreciate everything that my editor Danielle and the art department at Ace/Roc has done!




At SFSignal, Not Yet Read, and the BiblioSanctum (whew!)

Turns out I’m lots of places today!

I’m a guest over at SFSignal today, talking about making mistakes as a writer, and how we deal with them.

I’m guest posting today over at Not Yet Read, where I talk a little about sex.

And there’s a new review of The Golden City posted today over at The BiblioSanctum.

Wow, thanks to all the blogs willing to host me! (These people must be up all night getting blog posts ready to go on time.) You’re awesome!


The Golden City is a Locus Awards Finalist ;o)

I should think that the above is self-explanatory, but last night I was notified that The Golden City was one of the five finalists for the First Novel category in the Locus Awards!

That’s a lovely list to be on. I’m so pleased that people liked my work well enough to give it their nod. Thanks to everyone who read and nominated!

Book News

I’m happy to announce that Ace/Roc has purchased two more books from me!

The Shores of Spain is the third and final book in the Golden City series. This one carries the reader both to the Ilhas das Sereias and to Catalonia, trying to solve a mystery that’s haunted Oriana’s family for fourteen years. (I can hardly wait to see what the art department comes up with for the cover!)
Joint Cover2

Dreaming Death is the first in a new series, featuring my young heroine Shironne Anjir. Shironne has appeared before in the story “Touching the Dead”, originally published in Jim Baen’s Universe in 2007, and again in The Best of Jim Baen’s Universe, Vol. 2. That story is also available free here., and available for e-books at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

I don’t have publication dates for either of these yet, but I will publish them when I do have them.

Guest Blog Post and B&N Signing

I’m the guest blogger over at The Qwillery today, where I’m talking about my obsession with my Secondary Characters. (I tend to want to know everything about them, even if they’re not the heroes…)

I’ll also be signing copies of The Golden City on Friday, December 20th at the Quail Springs Barnes & Noble in OKC, starting at 6PM. I’m hoping the weather is decent and that people will be out shopping (and buying books).

But stepping backwards, given the winter storm expected, it’s unlikely that I’ll make the “Meet and Greet” event I was involved in with several other authors in Dallas. It’s a 4-hour drive each way for me, and given the dicey roads, going that far for a 2-hour event is not wise.


Best of List/Historical Research Follow-up

I’m honored to say that Library Journal has selected The Golden City as one of the top 5 Fantasy and SF novels of 2013.

That’s a nice boost to the confidence ;o)

In a follow-up to my earlier posts about King Solomon’s Mines

I earlier noted that the writer who translated the book into Portuguese, José Maria Eça de Queirós, took quite a few liberties in his translation. Among other things, he smooths over Haggard’s rather unpleasant view of the Portuguese in Africa. But he also interjects things that don’t appear in the original manuscript, some of which have nothing to do with that. (I’m reading the original and the translation side by side, which makes it clear.)

In trying to figure this out, I ran across this academic article: Versions of the imperial romance: King Solomon’s Mines and As Minas de Salomao (Sorry, I can’t seem to find the full article now.)

Among other things, this article discusses the underlying political pressures of the time of the translation (1889-90). The powers of Europe had just met to partition Africa, slicing it up into colonies under the control of various European countries.

Long story short, it seems that Portugal lost a lot of African territory to England in that conference (the Berlin Conference of 1884-85) followed by a 1890 ultimatum by the English that the Portuguese should get out of certain territories. Portugal said “Hey wait, we were there first!” while England said “Yeah, but possession is nine-tenths of the law. Get out.”

So that’s the atmosphere behind the translation into Portuguese of an English adventure story set in Africa.

It seems that both Haggard and Eça de Queirós were in Berlin around the time of that conference. In fact, I think I recall seeing that Haggard was inspired to write the book during that conference.

And when you’ve got a wildly popular English book that hinges on the fact that the Portuguese were in Africa first, wouldn’t it make sense to translate it into Portuguese? Among other things, it reinforces the popular perception that the Portuguese were wronged in the conference by being forced to give up territory that should have–by antiquity–been theirs.

(OK, I’m flattening this out a bit, but that’s a simplified version behind the reasoning.)

So some of the mystery behind a) why this is the only English book that Eça de Queirós ever translated, and b)why he made some changes to the text during that ‘translation’ is now solved.

(Not all of it. Some of the changes just seem to be Eça de Queirós’ personal taste…)