Hellmaw: Stormbringer now available!

My first novel, Hellmaw: Stormbringer, is now available!

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There is something more precious than oil under the ocean, and it’s every daemon for themselves in the fight to control it.

Exiled centuries ago, Boranapraz watched as four men on a beach summoned a force of nature in the dead of night, a desperate ploy by a people under siege to fend off their conquerors. They died off but it remained, hidden and building its strength while the rest of the world forgot it. Now he’s finally found its lair five miles under the waves, but can he reach it and harness its power to return him home before his own nemesis reaches him?

Hellmaw: Stormbringer is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, and Kobo. Physical copies will be available shortly through Amazon.

Read more about the Hellmaw series at the TEGG website!

Hellmaw: Into History now available!

The short story prologue to my upcoming novel Hellmaw: Stormbringer is now available!

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Two daemons on the hunt for help with a magic fetish steal aboard a ship bound across the Atlantic in pursuit of their goal. Two daemons cooped up with ten humans on a seven-week sailing voyage across the Atlantic? What could go wrong?

“Hellmaw: Into History” is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, and Kobo.

Read more about the Hellmaw series at the TEGG website!

Dragoncon 2013

I got to go to Dragoncon this year. After years of hearing about the costumes and the parties and the panels, my schedules finally aligned just right to allow me to go. Granted, I had to fly in from the rig at 6pm and turn right around to fly out to Atlanta at 9am the next morning, but remarkably everything went off without a hitch.

Now, I’ve been to Gencon a couple of times. I’ve been afloat in a sea of 30,000 gamers, cosplayers, and other assorted geeks. I thought I was ready for the Dragoncon experience, but boy was I wrong.

First off, the walking. Oh my god, the walking. Gencon takes place almost entirely in the Indiana Convention Center. It’s an enormous building, but it’s all in one spot. Panels are usually an hour or so in length, but game sessions typically run three to four hours long. It might take a few minutes to walk from one thing to another, and if you’re going to a game session you’ll be sitting for a while. Dragoncon, by contrast, is mostly nothing but panels that are spread about across four or five hotels in downtown Atlanta. Three of the hotels are connected by covered footbridges, but you still might have to walk blocks to get from one panel to another. That doesn’t take into account each hotel having multiple floors of events, either. If you go to Dragoncon, bring some good walking shoes because you’re going to be using them.

Then there were the costumes. Gencon had its share of cosplayers, but Dragoncon is one of the premiere con destinations for cosplayers. You’d see a good number during the day but they really came out at night, parading around and gathering in the hotel common areas. Just about everything I saw was brilliant and I’ll be posting a gallery of the best of them shortly.

Dragoncon is aimed much more at the general fandom crowds than Gencon, so the programming was a lot different. I got to see George Takei talk, attended several writing seminars (some of which were actually useful), attend a showing of the Dr. Horrible Picture Show (probably this generation’s equivalent of “Rocky Horror”), got to hear some famous authors dish out some excellent advice, go cosplaying myself, and generally wallow in the fandom for a holiday weekend.

There were a few hiccups, of course. I wasn’t prepared for all that walking, some bits of my costume got left behind and I had to improvise, schedules were just too full and some cool things had to be missed in favor of other cool things. But all in all it was a fantastic time, and I’m hoping to get to go again next year.

WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME up for ForeWord Book Of The Year!

WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME, co-edited by Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood, is a finalist for ForeWord Book Of The Year in the Anthologies category! Congrats to all my fellow authors!

HEROES come in a thousand guises, and so do stories about them. The only survivor of a war struggles to return to a home that doesn’t exist anymore. A rebel leader loses everything she fought for and must start from scratch. A hero who has fought for her village her whole life must retire into obscurity without ever being known for her deeds. A starship returns to an Earth that is much changed, yet too much the same. A soldier is haunted by the very thing that saved his life. And King Arthur returns in Albion’s hour of need. Dark fantasy. Urban fantasy. Political intrigue. Science fiction. From the horrific to the heartwarming. Introducing 19 pulse-pounding tales, by luminaries and great new voices. Co-edited by Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood. Featuring an introduction by Susan J. Morris. Stories by Marie Bilodeau, Steve Bornstein, Xander Briggs, Erik Buchanan, Brian Cortijo, Erik Scott de Bie, J.M. Frey, Ed Greenwood, Gabrielle Harbowy, Jim C. Hines, Chris A. Jackson, Rosemary Jones, Julie Kagawa, Jay Lake, Todd McCaffrey, J.P. Moore, Peadar Ó Guilín, Shannon Page, Tony Pi, Phil Rossi

 

Good luck everyone!

Reflections and Projections

It’s been far too long since I got in here. 2011 was a pretty good year for me, all told. I lost 30 pounds and got down to my target weight. I sold my first story. I got a nice promotion at work. I finally went to Gencon after years of wanting to go. I got to know a lot of great people in writing and publishing. When the year began, almost none of that was on the radar. Hell, most of it was squarely in the “wouldn’t it be cool if…” box. There were downsides too, of course, but I think I can safely say that 2011 was the best year I’ve had in quite a while.

So as 2012 begins (I know, I know, we’re already 2 months into it…), I have to wonder what life has in store for me. I’m not resting on my laurels, though. I sold one story last year; this year I’m going to try for at least two sales. I’ve already got my tickets for Gencon. And I’m sure as hell not about to gain back the weight I lost. 🙂

Giving Thanks

I’m on the rig for Thanksgiving this year. It happens. I missed both Thanksgiving and Xmas in 2009, was home for them both last year, and this year it’s Thanksgiving again. It’s always a drag being away from home for a major holiday, especially a family oriented one, but the catering crew always does a great job. This year the menu was:

Assorted Fruit, Vegetable Tray, Deviled Eggs, Hot Crab Dip, Cocktail Smokies, Cocktail Meatballs, Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Cold Cut Tray, Cheese Tray, Shrimp Cocktail, Crackers, Mixed Nuts, Egg Nog, Broiled Lobster Tails and Steamed Crab Legs with Drawn Butter, Glazed Ham, Baked Turducken, Duck Tasso Gumbo, Dressing, Gravy, Mac and Cheese, Rice, Green Bean Casserole, Candied Yams, Holiday Cake, Fruit Cake, Candies, Carrot Cake, Assorted Cheesecakes, Cookies, Fudge, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Banana Pudding, Strawberry Shortcake, and Pralines.

So yeah, we weren’t hurting for good food. 🙂

Work doesn’t stop on the rig, of course, but only the essential work continues. The guys on the rig floor have to keep drilling, but for us guys down in the technical and maintenance jobs, we pretty much just kick back unless there’s essential repairs needed somewhere. Today I had one little thing to take care of the first hour of my 12-hour shift, so I spent the other 11 hours eating food and playing through Mass Effect on my laptop. Good times.

It also gave me some time to relax and reflect on the past year. So, in the spirit of the holiday…

I’m thankful for my health. I turned 42 this year. There are a couple of things I’m still working on, and there are mornings when I’m a little more stiff than I’d like, but by and large I’m in excellent health. I’ve lost over 30 pounds this year (only ten more pounds to my “ideal weight”); thanks to that and my work on the rig, I can confidently say that I’m in the best shape of my life.

I’m thankful for my job. There were times when I was working for Applied when I despaired of ever getting out of the hand-to-mouth financial plan. I loved working there when I started, but the work environment steadily worsened until it was just grinding me down. In the end, I worked there because I needed the money and that was it. When I took their buyout, it was more out of desperation than anything else. What I got into was better than I could have ever guessed. Working on the rig is tough, don’t get me wrong. Being away from my friends and family for three weeks at a time isn’t fun, it’s a pretty rough environment to work in much less live in, and it’s not like I can run out to a movie or something to take a break from it all. But it’s interesting, it’s challenging, the pay is great, and I only work six months out of the year. I can’t think of any other job I’d rather have.

I’m thankful for the reception my writing has received. I’ve written for years, but this year I was finally published and got some pretty good reviews. It’s been a wonderful introduction to a world I’ve only looked at from the sidelines. Half the fun of it’s been just getting to know people and make new friends. The other half is writing more. 🙂

I’m thankful for my family and friends, the close and extended relationships I have that keep me going. It may seem counterintuitive, but working on the rig has actually strengthened those bonds. When I’m home I have the free time to do the things I want without having to worry about work the next day or deal with an on-call phone, so I can consciously spend time with the people important to me rather than trying to fit them into the cracks of time between work and sleep. I can go to movies in the middle of the week. I can get together for gaming all day Saturday without having to fret over using my only day off for two weeks. They support me, share in my successes, and tolerate my oddities. I’m so much more relaxed and happy now than I ever was before, and I have them all to thank for it.

Yeah, it’s been a pretty good year, and I’m thankful for it.