"Know, oh prince, that
between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming
cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age
undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like
blue mantles beneath the stars - Nemedia, Ophir, Brythunia, Hyberborea,
Zamora with its dark-haired women and towers of spider-haunted mystery,
Zingara with its chivalry, Koth that bordered on the pastoral lands of
Shem, Stygia with its shadow-guarded tombs, Hyrkania whose riders wore
steel and silk and gold. But the proudest kingdom of the world was
Aquilonia, reigning supreme in the dreaming west. Hither came Conan the
Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a
slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the
jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet."
A whole lot of things have contributed to my writing inspiration and drive, my own poetry expanding into prose, the sheer love of reading-especially myth and legend, a love of history and lost mysteries, Tolkien is absolutely huge, Hemingway and more as well, but I must give credit that the biggest factor that literally kicked me in the face and said I HAVE TO START WRITING - instead of just talking about it, was Robert E. Howard's creation CONAN, who turns 80 today since his first appearance in Weird Tales.
The first tale of Howard's I read was People of the Black Circle but I know The Phoenix on the Sword (the first Conan tale with the familiar opening above, was soon to follow) I devoured the tales and harassed used book shops to acquire all the beat-up old dog-eared copies I could find, usually the lamentable DeCamp series. This was before the Del-Rey releases. I hardly read anything else that summer, and soon enough I read most of the rest of REH's catalog and then got to work on my own.
If I can someday engender that same fascination with a reader, the sheer excitement and thrill that I felt reading these stories, I will have truly succeeded. I can think of no other praise or reward so high as sharing that feeling with another person when it comes to writing.
“What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie? I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky. The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing; Rush in and die, dogs—I was a man before I was a king.”
David J. West writes dark fantasy and weird
westerns because the voices in his head won’t quiet until someone else can hear
them. He is a great fan of sword & sorcery, ghosts and lost ruins, so of
course he lives in Utah in with his wife and children.
The Heroes, by Joe Abercrombie This Crooked Way, by James Enge The Arabian Nightmare, by Robert Irwin The Darkeness that Comes Before, by R. Scott Bakker Tides of War, by Steven Pressfield Night of Knives, by Ian C. Esselmont The Pirate King, by R. A. Salvatore Deadhouse Gates, by Steven Erikson El Borak, by Robert E. Howard Swords Aginst Death, by Fritz Leiber Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch Lord of the Silver Bow, by David Gemmell Bloodstone, by Karl Edward Wagner
Heroes of the Fallen Book Trailer
“An epic tale of valor and degeneracy where heroes are beset on every side by wicked schemers whose plots, like a flood, threaten to drown them all." (Daron D. Fraley, Author of The Chronicles of Gan: The Thorn)