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Thursday, August 30, 2012

My shoes

Yep, this is a post about my shoes. Well, this is about what my shoes represent in the context of my writing career.

I realized that I have had the same dress shoes since I was in my teens. Yep, I think my parents bought these Dockers for me when I was fifteen. Remarkably they are still comfortable, and I have never used insoles in them. The leather still looks great, and the soles show only moderate wear.

Just as these shoes were crafted to endure the test of time, so I am working to craft stories that will endure. Not through their entertainment elements only, but I pray they will be treasured for their spiritual benefit by generations to come. A story can be a simple tale, if the writer wants it to be (or allows it to be) or it can become much more.

As you read Swords of the Six, Offspring, Key of Living Fire (and the other books that will be coming in the next few years) look for elements of my "soul" in the writing. My heart, my passion for stories comes from a creative God and I want to make them the best they can be.

What sticks out in your mind as a timeless story?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Neverqueen (book 2) The Suffering Challice

In the midst of starting a full-time sales job, I am working on another fantasy novel. You have heard me talking a bit about my offshoot series from The Sword of the Dragon, this one titled Neverqueen. The idea at the moment is to release the first TWO books in the Neverqueen series simultaneously in 2013 with a focus on ebook promotion and sales.

In lieu of that, I have started writing Neverqueen: The Suffering Chalice. The story is going to be a lot of fun. In particular I am excited about one concept in the story: a chalice that is literally suffering. In some way I want the chalice to be alive. Sound intriguing? I hope so... I know I am looking forward to finding out where this story takes me!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oganna, maiden in the balance

I absolutely love the character of Oganna. She epitomizes for me, as readers no doubt realize, an unselfish, hard-working, godly young woman. Unlike many characters in The Sword of the Dragon series, Oganna changes little despite the whirlwind of battles that come her way.

Although her role in Key of Living Fire was small, let me assure you here role in the next four books in The Sword of the Dragon series will be pivotal. She was the one constant in my original manuscript (a whopping 135,000-words that details the entire series).

Oganna is the thread that holds the puzzle of this series together. And how can we not root for her? After all, she was responsible for bringing the Megatraths into the fold!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Review worth reading!

Every now and again I enjoy pointing out a great review from a new reader.

Today I'd like to direct your attention to a review that popped up on Amazon. This reviewer understood the message of my story very well. Thank you to everyone who has posted a review online!
This review is from: Swords of the Six (Paperback)
Having read Donita K. Paul and Bryan Davis (both Christian authors who write stories about dragons), I discovered Swords of the Six and couldn't resist that beautiful white dragon on the cover. Fortunately, my local library had a copy and I picked it up.

The story itself is exciting, creative, and well-thought-out. Characters are appealing and the descriptions are gorgeous, allowing an open-widowed-view of this fictional world. Despite being aimed at a Christian crowd, Swords of the Six could easily appeal to fans of secular authors, such as R. A. Salvatore and J. K. Rowling. Swords of the Six is much different from such secular authors, however, in that it steers clear of language, sex, and portraying the occult in a positive light. Positive themes--such as forgiving one's enemies, being true to your friends and family, the sanctity of marriage, and the sacredness of human life--abound.

The biggest difference between Appleton's stories and those of Davis or Paul is the maturity level. The opening chapter, and chapters further into the story, have very adult themes of death, and many characters meet their untimely end. Violence is detailed in some instances, such as a scene where the great white dragon, Albino, bites a man in half and his guts drip from the dragon's jaws. While violence in Swords of the Six is never without cause (such as defending an innocent, self-defense, battling evil, etc.), it may be a bit too graphic for the younger members of the family. For a young adult crowd, or those comfortable enough with the mature nature of the story, however, this is a riveting tale of good and evil that you can sink your dragon-sized teeth into.

Kudos, Mr. Appleton! I look forward to reading the rest of your series. :D

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Specter, a man apart from others

The Sword of the Dragon series has wrapped up over a thousand published pages... so far. Specter has seen those he loved betray him, he has slept the passage of a thousand years, and he has stood as the beloved and heroic guardian of the dragon's human offspring.

I have greatly enjoyed the evolution of his character. In many ways he is the Pilgrim in these stories; he just has not determined his exact destination. But the events of Key of Living Fire have set him on a new path; an unexpected journey that diverges his path from that of Ilfedo and Oganna.

To fans of Specter, I utter this dark promise: that though Specter's journey has diverged from our main characters, his journey will be followed in a separate series of books entirely focused on him. The storyline is building in my mind and soon will make its marks on paper and in my trusty laptop.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Key of Living Fire" on Kindle and iBooks!

For those of you with e-readers, my third novel "Key of Living Fire" is starting to appear on your devices!

If you own a Kindle, or an iPad (or an iPod) my third novel is now published to those stores!

Get it today! Especially if you have not read the print edition yet. According to readers, this is my best work yet.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hugo (the movie)

Sometime ago I saw previews for this movie and it caught my eye with its emphasis on clocks (which have always fascinated me) and its curca-1800's appeal. I found the dvd in my library the other day and decided to try it out.

I am not going to rate this movie on a scale of how many stars out of five. In this case, I believe it would be ineffective.

From an artistic standpoint this movie is sometimes lovely and sometimes unfinished. Perhaps this is purposeful, as much of the story revolves around the son of a clockmaker who learns that people can be fixed, too, not just machines.

The story is slow... indeed it is very slow in many places. If you enjoy an action-packed film then you will most likely hate this one. However, if you appreciate an examination of humanity from the unique perspective of the early days of motion pictures, this may just be your ticket to a rewarding piece of entertainment.

Humor in this film is odd, I could say very odd, with moments that are obviously meant to be funny not seeming funny at all. However, the connection between the boy Hugo and the shiny little automaton that his father left him, is quite heartwarming.

I come away from this movie mulling over its many facets and wondering if they all came together, or if the film's producers just didn't know that they needed to abridge it in order to make it shine. All in all, a good one-time-view, but I will not be buying it.


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.