Post from November, 2009

Something-or-other-Slayer has begun…

Saturday, 21. November 2009 16:13

After a lot of back and forth with synopses and notes and phone calls, I have begun the sequel to Shamanslayer at last. Now to try to figure out how to write my heroes out of the certain doom I wrote them into at the end of that book.


Category:Warhammer, Writing | Comments (1) | Author:

Agata Kawa

Friday, 20. November 2009 10:04

More beautiful art. You would think, looking at some of Agata’s work, that it was from some Victorian children’s book, or that she was a contemporary of Aubery Beardsley, but she is working now, a young woman from France, with an incredible sense of design and color. Click on the picture to go to her site and see more amazing work.

Agata Kawa

Category:Art | Comment (0) | Author:


Thursday, 19. November 2009 12:27

Starting this website has made me think more about what I like and dislike in art, music and literature, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I tend to like craft more than I like art – and I’m wondering why that is. In just about every discipline I like the well-made rather than the innovative. I like illustration over fine art. I like pop songs over improv jazz. I like adventure novels over literature. I like tap-dance over ballet. I like limericks more than free verse.

I guess you could just call me a middle-class, middle-brow philistine and have done with it – and you wouldn’t be wrong. I’m the guy in the museum who spends two seconds looking at the Rauschenberg and the Pollock, then drools for an hour over the Bouguereau and the Alma-Tadema. Maybe I just don’t get it. But I’m wondering if it’s more than that.

What seems to be at the base of all my likes is structure – and the ability to create something fresh and moving within that structure. In illustration I love to see color, composition, tone, and traditional skill in portraying the human figure put together in a way that touches the emotions. In songwriting, I love hearing a simple verse, chorus, bridge structure that also manages to be thrilling or heartbreaking. In novels, I love a plot that keeps you guessing and engaged, and delivers a satisfying ending and a hammer-blow of emotion on the last page, whether it is joy, sadness, anger or triumph.

Why I gravitate toward this combination of tightly defined form and powerful emotion I don’t know. Maybe I’m an anal retentive than needs to have all his feelings tied up in nice neat packages, but whatever it is, I like it as a writer as well. I love it when someone gives me a box with very specific dimensions and says, “put a story in there.” The challenge for me is finding a way to put in more than just a story – to put emotion and meaning in as well. Writing for TV is like this, as is tie-in writing, but stand-alone novels and short stories have their boundaries and borders too, at least if you’re working in the popular market. You’ve got to hit the marks of the genre, be it castles, space ships, mean streets or suburban angst, but if you don’t do more than that, you’re just a hack. You have put your heart and soul into it, and have skill enough so that heart and soul are revealed in the final product.

I don’t know if I’m there yet, at least not every time, but that’s what I’m striving for. I’m sure my Amazon reviews will tell me if I’ve succeeded or failed.


Category:Life | Comments (5) | Author:

Shelly Wan

Tuesday, 17. November 2009 11:00

Another artist with gorgeous work. Shelly is doing covers for Tor now. Here are two, a self portrait, and the cover to a book called the Mad Kestral.
Self Portrait
mad kestrel
Click on either one to go to her blog and see more beautiful paintings.

Category:Art | Comments (2) | Author:

Wild Child

Tuesday, 17. November 2009 10:25

One of my heroes -heroines? – Joan Jett!

Didja see Joey there at the beginning?

Category:Rock | Comment (0) | Author:

Jason Felix is Bugged

Monday, 16. November 2009 11:05

Another up and coming artist who’s work I really admire, Jason Felix specializes in monsters and nightmares. Here he got so excited about the aliens from District 9 (A great movie by the way – check it out) that he decided to try his hands at some redesigns. Click on the picture to go to his website – if you dare!

Jason's take on District 9 Prawns


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Tied in, not tied down

Monday, 16. November 2009 11:00

Here’s a link to a great conversation about tie-in fiction (my field of endeavor) between Mark Newton, who works for my publisher, Black Library, but is breaking out as an original novelist, and Dan Abnett, who also writes for BL – as well as Marvel, DC and many others – and has just had his first original novel published in England.
funny games
juegos friv
juegosfriv They talk about the differences between tie-in and original fiction, and the perceptions and misconceptions of readers and other genre writers about the work.

Click here to check it out.

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Young, Loud and Snotty!

Monday, 16. November 2009 10:49

The Dead Boys. As punk as it gets. Sorry about the annoying introduction. There were versions of the clip without it, but this one had the best sound.

Sonic reducer, ain’t no loser.

Category:Rock | Comments (1) | Author:

Winona Nelson

Sunday, 15. November 2009 11:07

Another thing I want to do here is share the art of artists I admire. I found Winona’s art on the website, which is a great site for illustrators looking for work, those who want to learn the craft, and folks like me who just want to look at all the pretty pictures. I liked her paintings so much I pestered my editors about her, telling them I thought she was perfect to do the covers of the Ulrika the Vampire series I was writing, and after about a year of nudging, they broke down and agreed. Now she’s done the first and second covers, and is bugging me to finish the third book so she can paint that one too.

Here is the painting that made me think Winona was the one to do the series – beautiful, creepy and haunting.

Girl Without Hands by Winona Nelson

Click on the image to visit Winona’s site, and see all the other cool work she’s done.

Category:Art | Comments (2) | Author:

Lust Objects

Friday, 13. November 2009 15:13

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I love swords, and Jake Powning makes the most beautiful swords on the planet. If I had a spare nine grand lying around, you can bet I would commission something from him. Unfortunately, I’m not rich like that, so I just go to his website and lick the screen.
0vardhllokur8Click on the pic to visit the site, and be prepared to drool.

Category:Art | Comments (2) | Author: