Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fantasycon & Westercon Recap

I've shared a lot of these already but just going to put them here too for fun and a little more comment.

The Westercon 67 logo a Barsoomian landscape complete with a Thark and steampunk Porter Rockwell was done by the fantastic William Stout! More on him in a little bit...

Here I am signing books and having some good laughs with friends, Carter Reid (Artist extraordinaire of my Whispers of the Goddess cover, Space Eldritch 1 and 2, and the forthcoming The Mad Song and other Tales of Sword & Sorcery! I was on a couple of panels with him at Westercon and he is hilarious! Next is Dave Butler a phenominal writer and friend!, Nathan Shumate standing - he is behind Space Eldritch and designing my Bless the Child and Weird Tales of Horror cover, Seated is new fantasy writer and myth master B. Daniel Blatt, he does a wonderful reading of Beowulf in the original Old English!

 I met Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn, very nice guy, I got to spend a bit of time with him in the morning before panels, talking writing craft etc. He has some great stories...
Had real good times with Larry Correia, dinner etc talking shop and all sorts of hilarity ensued. His fans seem to think of me as a mini-me ---- That I could do without. But in relation, I was asked last minute to go and guest speak at a fantasy comparison panel at Fantasycon across the street from Westercon (two cons going on side by side at the same time) I wasn't on the guest list so when I went over there I told them I was Larry Correia and the old lady at security beamed happy that I had shown up. Larry laughed when I told him how I got through security, and asked if I would be interested in completing the next three weeks of his book tour for Monster Hunter Nemesis!

Met Ksenia Solo (Sy-Fy's LOST GIRL) She was very nice. I've met starlets who felt like they were doing you a favor -she was very down to earth, I've only watched the first season, but always enjoyed her on the program. I asked what her next projects were coming up and she said she couldn't say, hope its something cool.

My wife was excited about the Regency Dance Recital at Westercon hosted by Mary Robinette Kowal, I'm more of a Sword & Sensibility kind of guy but my wife had a lot of fun.
I've been a fan of Donato Giancola for a long time, love his work, I got a small print of the cover I have for an edition of Lord of the Rings and had him sign a pair of Red Sonja cards. He even showed me a new Red Sonja in progress!




Brom is another artist I have been a fan of for a good long time, so excited to meet him and get Snakeheart! I've been enchanted by this painting, but didn't want to buy And Their Memory Was A Bitter Tree, so much better to have a limited edition signed print!

 There were an awful lot of cosplayers, here is one of the better ones I saw.

 Huge smoking dragon in the central hall.
I finally got a big signed print of all the Space Eldritch contributors! Thanks Carter!

Another great artwork I grabbed by the phenomenal Eric Velhagen of Morgoth vs Fingolfin.

 And now some William Stout who I realized after seeing him around the con, quite a few times - that I love his art and made it a point to get the Kong print and his book titled Inspirations, he did a custome signature and it is full of pulpy goodness!

I got a copy of my friend Nathan Shumates cartoon book, and he customized the front of all them with different cartoons, he did a pic of Dave Butler riding Larry Correia in Dave's,(Larry signed that one too!) when I asked what I wanted, I was still gushing over William Stouts pinups and dinosaurs so he merged them for my copy.

And Carter Reids, Undeath and Taxes has become my kids favorite book I brought home out of all of them including signed books by Larry Correia, Dave Butler, Carter Reid, Nathan Shumate, Sara Seeley, Peter Beagle, Mark Ryan and Peter J. Wacks- Bloodletting,    I sold a few books, made a lot of new friends - too numerous to mention everyone, it was a blast of a weekend - can't wait for September's Salt Lake Comicon!




Monday, June 30, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour

A friend and writer whom I recently reviewed The CrusaderJP Wilder asked me about doing a writing process blog tour and so here it is!

Answer these four questions about your writing process. Answers can be as long or short as you wish. 1) What am I working on? 
I just released a new novella Fangs of the Dragon - a Porter Rockwell weird western - this was previously published in Monsters and Mormons and just recently in Weird Tales of Horror - so this is one of my experiments teasers - with a fantastic cover by the amazing Matt Page! I have several projects I'm trying to wrap up in the short term - collections of my previously published short stories, one will be a weird western collection and the other is a Sword & Sorcery fantasy collection - each will collect my published (or not) short stories. Feels good to have enough nowadays to actually fill their own antho's  After that, I need to hit on a historical fantasy sequel to my first novel Blood of Our Fathers and then I have big plans for a fantasy series titled Gods & Robbers.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
I mix up all my influences and life experience into my stories, which mine like yours is completely individual. I remix history books and stories I love with Rock N Roll and then throw in things that come from dreams, sometimes a favorite (or disliked) story that I would have done differently. All of us filter things differently so it all comes out different in the work.

3) Why do I write what I do? 4) How does my writing process work?
It has to come out! I have so many ideas bubbling to the surface and writing is a cathartic release for all those things running through my mind. I might go crazy if there wasn't a vent for the many characters talking and doing things in my head, so many tales to tell and adventures to be had.

4) How does my writing process work?
I usually ponder some ideas, jot down illegible notes, drive and think about story's I'd like to read,  then sit down and start running with it. I rarely use outlines, but I do refine my drafts quite a few times. Sometimes its hard to let things go. My large output for 2014 has been a long time coming of everything I've worked on for the last 4 odd years.

Thanks to J.P. Wilder for inviting me on this - I need motivation to post better this last year! 
and in continuing these writing process blogs I've connected with my friend and amazing writer Charles Gramlich  who writes whatever interests him, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, His fiction is primarily horror or fantasy: his non-fiction deals mostly with science or with writing or writers.

I gotta plug that I loved his Swords of Talera series and his Bitter Steel collection of heroic fantasy.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Birthday Book Bomb! Weird Tales of Horror

June 22nd was my birthday, on behalf of that, I am releasing my collection of short strange tales collectively entitled Weird Tales of Horror for .99 cents just for today!

I would sincerely appreciate your getting a copy and eventually leaving me a scathing review.

Among those who have had some kind words are the talented Wilum Pugmire and Bruce Durham

"With these tales of many lands and many peoples, David J. West combines an excellent prose style with a brilliant imagination to give us a solid collection of wonderful stories. This is a refreshingly original gathering of weird fiction." --W. H. Pugmire 

"David J. West, author of 'Heroes of the Fallen', is a strong voice in the field of Sword & Sorcery. His work is evocative, featuring deftly drawn characters, exotic locales and energetic tale spinning." -- Bruce Durham





Monday, June 9, 2014

Westercon 67!

I'll be at Westercon 67 in Salt Lake City over the weekend of July 3-6. Sitting on a few panels and signing books - including my soon to be released Weird Tales of Horror along with all the rest.

I haven't made it to a Con in a couple years so this will be a good time. I love rubbing shoulders with fellow writers, fans and new friends.


It's going to be held at the Marriott Hotel Downtown at City Creek at 75 South West Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101 and directly across the street in the Salt Palace is Fantasycon - the beauty here is - they aren't in competition. A membership to either one, gets you into the other. (I'd like to see if I can get a signed Conan print by Brom - Paul!) So all told this gonna equal ONE BIG CON.

I've already made arrangements to be sitting next to D.J. Butler for the dealers room and ipso facto that will also put me next to Peter Beagle, so I've got to dig out a copy of Last Unicorn.

I'll put up a schedule when I can - its still getting ironed out. But I'm excited.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Read Lately: The Crusader by JP Wilder




The Crusader, by JP Wilder

“Honor is a thing not defined by your actions, but by your survival. If you survive and— praise to The God—emerge victorious, you may set the standards of Honor yourself” 

---Aaron the Savior. From The Crusader 

This is a great dark fantasy read. We are thrust into the tale of Aaron a hedgeknight who becomes part of an elite team known as the Darkmen, fighting a holy war versus the heathens. Now this isn't a historical, though it has resonance with those "Crusades" and Wilder does a fantastic job of characterization and granting the feelings of chaos men in war are bombarded with.

I was lucky enough to have lunch with Mr. Wilder, the other day - since I'm still in LA and he lives nearby and it was fun to visit and talk writing and inspirations. Very cool to hear about some of his characters and how they were influenced. I was enchanted by harsh deadly Raph and the sorceress too, as well as the twists with Aaron our protagonist. The Crusader had me from start to finish.

Only downside for me was how short this was, its really kind of a chapbook - but the benefit is a tight story and the sequels are coming on its heels very soon. Blue Eyes at Night! really looking forward to it. Highly recomended for all my S&S friends and readers.

And talk about fabulous covers! These are gritty and eye catching! Grab a copy here

Monday, May 12, 2014

and...Whispers of the Goddess is out!


So, it is available here at Smashwords and here on Amazon

This has been a long time coming, I wrote Whispers of the Goddess in a white heat back in January of 2010. It was a combination of all kinds of things that fire my imagination. Templars, the Crusades, the Holy Grail, Varangian Guard of Byzantium (Viking mercenaries), Greek and Norse Gods, all told in a proper Sword and Sorcery style. 


I was even more thrilled to have the tale accepted into RBE's Roar of the Crowd anthology, but that died the slow death with some misphaps  and the tale was returned. So I have edited it, added in a couple other short tales starring Tyr (the main character) that have been published elsewhere and got the wonderful Carter Reid (Space Eldritch 1 and 2 covers, his ow Zombie Nation comic along with a slew of others for some great spec fic authors) to do a a cover for me.

My description:
"From the wrath of the Northmen, O Lord deliver us." -- Old French Prayer 

Warships of the Fourth Crusade surround Constantinople threatening murder, rapine and worse. 

The only option left the impotent Emperor to avoid the sacking of the great city, is to secretly give away a sacred relic. 

Enter Tyr, a red-handed Swedish mercenary and Wolfram von Eschenbach, the Templar poet, together charged with retrieving the holy artifact and escaping the city. 

What they don't know is that arcane forces, old as myth, are marshalled against their mission. The old gods of multiple nations war with the New. 

And Ragnarok is coming to Greece. 

Plus two more short sword and sorcery tales of Tyr: Hel Awaits and Sailing to Valhalla 

What the critics are saying about David J. West's writing! 
"Brutal, gory and depressing," - Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine 
"I was afraid to read this book." - Marissa Walker, Timpanogos Times 
"And he just keeps getting better," - Keith West, Amazing Stories 
"One of the most well-written fight scenes I've ever had the opportunity to read." - Darkeva, Hellnotes

Monday, May 5, 2014

BLESS THE CHILD: This ones for the children

Few things feel as good as finishing a book. I'm talking as the one having written that book. You have accomplished something that so many others give up on. You have given birth to your own creativity and now its out there to share with the world.

One of the other things that feels so good in life is doing something for someone else. When I first heard about the G.A.N. Warriors I was floored. Here are some young little guys with a horribly rare disease, but they always smile and keep their chins up (good parents) and the whole community we lived in - in Montana and elsewhere, have rallied around them. So many people have donated to their cause and still are, this is an ongoing battle.
I was very tight on cash, tight on time away from home and so much other drama heaped on my shoulders, but I thought about a book that wasn't quite ready for anywhere else yet, a book that needed some polish and perhaps had just the right title to be a good donation toward their cause.


Bless The Child was begun in Primary Childrens hospital when my daughter Maddie was a month old. She had severe RSV and I truly thought I would lose her. I spent a lot of nights there, couldn't sleep, but I did start Bless The Child. The elements of loss were very real in my mind - I suspect you read the first few chapters and you'll know exactly what I was channeling for the Spartan.

Back to the ranch - this seemed like the right time and the right book to donate 100% of the proceeds toward Hannah's Hope Fund, the official arm of the G.A.N. Warriors and the handful of kids like them. GAN is an incredibly rare disease and these kids need all the help they can get.

So I am very pleased to release my sword and sandals historical epic: Bless The Child on their behalf. The kindle edition is available right now and I will have the print version up shortly as well.

The back cover description:
Impelled by a quest for redemption, the man known only as The Spartan finds unholy work in The Holy Land. And work is good, there is no end of service amongst kings and robber barons for a man who sells his sword so well. But blood won’t wash away blood and The Spartan finds himself compelled toward something greater than himself. 
Bless The Child is a romance of redemption and glory. Numerous historical personages cross paths with The Spartan, including Solon, Nebuchadnezzar, the prophets Lehi, Jeremiah and Daniel, King Zedekiah and the poetess Sappho. 
Come back to 586 B.C. when Jerusalem burned and the life of a prince rested in the hands of the exiled Spartan. Can a mercenary trained only for war become an instrument of peace?