Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review

2014, its been different.

I married my gorgeous wife just before Christmas last year - and we met through this very blog via my sharing a short parody video she made back in 2011.

By New Years last year me and the kids were living with her in LA, I fixed up the condo, we sold it for a very good price and by July we were in Utah, much bigger house and all of us starting over somewhere new. I haven't posted good pics of my new library/office yet but I will soon when I feel like I have my books put away just so...

So, I haven't read as many books this year as I used to, its been crazy busy most all year, and I didn't do as much writing as I should've but I did still get quite a few things out = Bless the Child my Spartan historical fiction was finally released, it hasn't sold as good as I would like especially considering ts for charity - but hey it is my wife's favorite work of mine, so that counts for something, I released Whispers of the Goddess and its gotten some favorable reviews, then my Weird Tales of Horror has done a bit better all things considered and I've sold quite a few of them at the local cons too. And lastly as far as my writing goes, I've the ongoing fantasy serial Walking Through Walls in UGEEK Magazine, it does feel good to be a pulpster. 
As for my favorites of anything, its a little tough to figure out.

Favorite fiction reads is real tough: I have to plug D.J. Butlers City of the Saints, - so good! 
 Half a King by Joe Abercrombie was amazing. I also greatly enjoyed Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International, Mark Lawrences King of Thorns, JP Wilder's novellete The Crusader, and I have so many other books by new friends I need to read and review and just couldn't get to yet this year.

For Non-Fiction, I think Rober McKee's Story wins it this year for me. But I really enjoyed Hunters S. Thompsons Songs of the Doomed, and David Mamet's Some Freaks

I'm also a bad friend in the non-fiction department because I actually gave a back cover blurb to Morgan Deane for his military history treatise Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents and crappy friend that I am I have yet to publicly review the book - that's all on  me and being a flaky poster - sorry Morgan! 

I think my favorite movie of 2014 is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which surprised me because Cap just isn't one of my favorite characters. But to me it touched on the truth, a spy movie that happened to have super heroes.

I got to meet some really cool people this year including, Peter Beagle, Ron Perlman, Ivy Doomkitty, Kato, Frank Frazetta Jr, Donato Giancola, Brom, John Rhys Davies, Angie Everhart,

I also finally got out to multiple cons and its only gonna get better this coming year. 

All the best in New Year to you my friends and lets all get that creativity out of the bottle and into print! 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas One and All

Enjoying a good couple of days with family I don't get to see very often, loads of gifts for the kids and some surprises from my Mother in Law (she goes all out!)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you out there my Internet friends!
Hope you all got a great haul from your loved ones.

*Love this Sword & Sorcery Santa by Gregory Manchess

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Drive for Inspiration

I don't know about the rest of you my writerly friends but I get some of my best ideas while I'm driving. I may be listening to music or an audio-book, but however much I may be into either one my mind still races on about whatever story I may be playing around with and I'm constantly surprised at how the Muse can strike almost anywhere and for me its often while I'm driving down the freeway and I'm like Viola! That's it! That's what will make this story great! and then I repeat it over in my head and get home and start reconstructing whatever tale I had been playing with.

Its something I can only explain as Steven Pressfield does = The Muse - I try to be open to it and accept it wherever it comes and for me, its the open road.

So when she comes along, take the ride, write the story.

How about the rest of you?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Grim Dark No More - Book Review: Half A King

Half a King, by Joe Abercrombie

Abercrombie is one of my absolute favorite writers working today, I only qualify that statement because a huge number of my favorites are dead. In any case, I wasn't sure what to think of his latest considering he is going outside  the fantasy universe that I have so willingly followed him into thus far, that of the First Law Trilogy, and The Heroes, Best Served Cold and Red Country = all of which are stellar works. So I wondered how Lord Grimdark (his twitter handle) would mix things up.

Enter Yarvi, a prince - but one with a crippled deformed left hand that makes him seem half a functional man, he can't hold a shield, row an oar or even pin his own broach properly. Suddenly when his father and older brother are murdered, he is thrust into the throne = one he never wanted or dreamt he would sit in.

Before long, treachery and dire situations one after another pile on and you love it. Abercrombie is not nearly so grim-dark anymore - not that that ever bothered me personally but I do know I felt the need to have a warning sticker on some of my earlier reviews - not so here. Still a gripping low magic fantasy, this series is tamer in the sense of visceral gore and no sex - quite a change from just finishing up Mark Smylie's The Barrow.

This book was a serious page turner - I say that tongue in cheek because even though I bought it when it was released last July, I listened to the audio-book. But this is like Hamlet if the worst possible thing continually happened to him. I have always loved Abercrombies twists in his books believable but true and Half A King may have some of the best yet.

Highly recommended. I anxiously await the next installment Half the World.