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Friday, January 31, 2014

What makes "The Pilgrim's Progress" resonate?

I must have read it three times when I was growing up and what an impression it left on me. John Bunyan's classic allegory for many years was the best-selling book next only to the Bible. Even today its popularity is evidenced by the many various revisions and editions it has populated.

But why does this allegory resonate so well with people?

I think it has to do with Christian's evolution (the main character in PProgress). Through a nearly fantasy-type setting we can relate to Christian's victories and his failings. We desire the same thing he did: victory over the Evil One and Eternal Life. We must struggle with faith in a physical world populated with individuals who deny God's very existence or scoff at the necessity of repentance and a following after good works.

This book is timeless and powerful, encouraging us to be the men and women of God-granted potential.

Question: Have you read The Pilgrim's Progress? Did it inspire you?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Shearing a dragon?

A while back I worked with this girl in sales who shared my passion for great fantasy stories. As I like to do with enthusiasts, I brainstormed and decided to create an original character in the Neverqueen series.

Raven is a hermit (or shall I say a hermittess, for she is a woman). She lives deep in the forests west of Turser's Mountains and she keeps a companion that is, perhaps, not unique to fantasy, but what she does with this companion is. Her companion is an old dragon.

Raven keeps the dragon in chains. She feeds him and even sees to it that he enjoys good conversations with her, but all the while she pulls off his thick scales one-by-one and sells them to passing traders.

What does the dragon think of this arrangement? Find out when you read the Neverqueen series.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

A new book on writing!

Editor Becky Miller is releasing a book on the writing craft and I thought I'd post a quick recommendation. Becky's edits were among the first that I received and learned from when I began The Sword of the Dragon series.

Follow this LINK to read Becky's post announcing her book.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Building "The Sword of the Dragon" brand: What's the advantage?

When I released the first The Sword of the Dragon novel I hoped to write the seven books and then expand with offshoot storylines in stand-alone novels and new series, much as Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons have done.

We're looking at a fourth book in the main series to release later this year (titled In Search of Dragons) from AMG/Living Ink Publishers. I am maintaining control of many of the rights, therefore the Neverqueen series is releasing from my own imprint Flaming Pen Press. We will release Neverqueen 2: The Suffering Chalice in or before November 2014. I am excited for other books that I  am planning as well, including a novel detailing what happens to Specter after he secures the Key of Living Fire and vanished through the portal.

The advantage is that the story never has to end and as resources increase we can branch out into audiobooks, video games, and eventually other mediums.

I've placed a poll on the blog sidebar so that you can vote which title you'd like to see in audiobook format first.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Marcher Lord Press sold... to the Laube Agency?

As are many in the Christian speculative fiction market, I am quite stunned by the announcement that Jeff Gerke has sold Marcher Lord Press (MLP) to the Steve Laube Agency.

Looking around the web I see a lot of speculation and mostly disappointment surrounding this announcement.

Clearly the concern is that MLP will lose its edge, and I quite agree that this is a genuine concern. With Jeff at the helm the company has pressed into daring ground and, it can be argued, Jeff himself has become the MLP brand.

I am not a fan of vampire fiction, but I applauded Jeff's decision to publish Vampires In Space because it showed he was publishing the stories that appealed to him, not what was necessarily the most marketable and CBA acceptable fiction.

On a fantasy fiction note I was encouraged to see Jeff create Hinterlands and subsequently release A Throne Of Bones. While I did not find the writing of that particular title to be stellar I was excited that Jeff might pursue some books that could be the Christian answer to Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series.

If I may be allowed, I will voice my concern:We geeks are sensitive creatures and we like consistency. We like the brave and the bold who venture "where no man has gone before." And that means venturing outside the style and scope of the CBA market.

If the new Marcher Lord, Steve Laube, is to succeed with this endeavor then he has to become a very approachable person. Jeff was that and feedback I received from those who interacted with Steve was that he does not have that general reputation. However, my agent (Amanda Luedeke) holds him in high regard and that counts for a lot in my book

This is not a swing at Steve; I believe he can make MLP succeed and I applaud the risk he is taking. But I will be interested to see if his approach to the brand takes the Jeff out of it. I will be interested to see whether the new Marcher Lord Press concerns itself more with what is acceptable to the CBA than what is desirable to its geek following. It is a tricky proposition and I am hoping it does not.

Steve Laube will be holding a discussion on his agency's blog regarding this acquisition on January 6th (a Monday) and I am extremely interested to see what he reveals for the company's direction.

Obviously this is a hot topic right now with many of us, so please comment if you are interested in discussing!


"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.