Ashes of Onyx Has Sold

I’m very excited to announce that my latest novel Ashes of Onyx has sold to City Owl Press. It’s too early to say exactly when the book will release. We have a few rounds of edits, cover design, ARCs, and all that fun stuff to do, but the first big step has been made. 

But wait, that’s not all…

Blackstone Audio has signed to publish the audio edition. The current plan is to do it as a simultaneous release with the print versions. As a big-time audio book addict, I’m very excited to be working with Blackstone for this project. 

I have no clue yet who will be performing the audio book. We have a lot of time before that part gets decided. First, we’ll need to hammer out all the edits/revisions with City Owl, getting the book all nice and clean before Blackstone is ready to record. Again, there’s a lot of moving parts, and this is only a single (albeit, large) step in the whole process.

A huge thank you is in order to Patty Carothers and Amy Brewer of Metamorphosis Literary Agency for making the deal. It wouldn’t have been possible without them.

But what’s the book about?

Oh, well I’m glad you asked. Ashes of Onyx is a totally new book, unrelated to my Valducan or Black Raven stories. Here’s the one-sentence description:

After dragging herself from the pit of drug addiction, former sorceress Kate Rossdale races across the globe and across worlds, hunting for lost Carcosa and the magic-thief who robbed her of everything.

It’s a fantasy, of course, and in my normal fashion it gets pretty dark. The sub-genre is where it gets a little tricky to define. It’s modern-day. It’s got multiple worlds. It’s got monsters. It’s got drugs and adult themes. It’s got Carcosa. It’s even got some Sci-Fi. Some might call it Urban Fantasy, other might say Horror, or Portal. All of those are correct, but also very wrong. The sub-genre is best fitted into New Weird.

As things progress, and we get a few rounds of edits under our belts, I’ll have more information and a cover to show off. But until then, we’ve got one big step out of the way in releasing this new book.

Redemptor Paperbacks, Chaosium Shoutout, and Other News

Well, I’ve again been neglecting my humble little blog. So let’s get that corrected, starting with this…

This is my happy face.

Crossroad Press has released Redemptor in paperback, featuring the beautiful cover that Shawn King designed. This makes all four of the Valducan novels in print with Crossroad after my little hiccup with Ragnarok in 2017.

Together at last.

While audiobooks and ebooks are certainly nice, nothing quite matches the feeling of getting to hold your book in your hand and say, “I did that.”

In other news, my YouTube channel has been chugging along very well. In early 2018, I started a How to Play Call of Cthulhu series, which ended up going from my original plan of 4-5 videos to 9 videos long (there’s a lot to cover). Shortly after wrapping the final episode, Chaosium, the publisher of Call of Cthulhu, released their Introductory Starter Box set.

It wasn’t long after the set’s release that I started receiving messages and Tweets congratulating me for the shoutout. At first I was confused. What shoutout? And then someone sent me a picture. The set includes as section recommending online resources to new players in order to help them learn the game. I was the first name they mentioned.

That other guy they mention, Paul Fricker, he helped write the actual game.

I think the dream of every kid who picks up their first copy of Dungeons and Dragons is to one day be a game writer (OK, it was for me). Being a Game Master is fun, and you think that one day, your stuff will be good enough to get your name and work in one of those official books at the bookstore. So while it wasn’t for writing a game or module, Chaosium still fulfilled 13-year-old Seth’s dream of being named in an official RPG book. It’s a huge honor and touched me far deeper than I would have expected.

Speaking of writing RPG modules, I’ll soon have my first published scenario released. Stygian Fox did a Kickstarter some months back for a re-release and update on the collection New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley. It’s a very good collection of Call of Cthulhu scenarios set in Lovecraft Country and featuring work by some of the best scenario authors in the field. To mark the re-release, Stygian Fox decided to add one new scenario to the collection, one set in Innsmouth, and they asked me to write it.

It was a huge honor. I love Stygian Fox’s work on the other books they’ve released, and I got right to work. After writing, and playtesting it a couple times, I sent them the adventure “A Mother’s Love,” which will be my very first RPG scenario in print.

I’m very happy with it. Am I nervous that after building a following, and a mild reputation of a Call of Cthulhu know-it-all, how people will take a scenario I wrote? Mother-of-God, yes.

Writing a scenario for other people, is VERY different than writing one for yourself to run for players. You have to look at it from many different angles, trying to answer possible questions that you, yourself, would never ask or put any forethought in to. It’s like being in a math class where you answer the question, but the teacher is equally interested in you showing your work. I’ve never had to show my work when writing a game for my friends. If they tried something I hadn’t anticipated, I could easily cover for it on the fly. Solving the problem in my head. But modules require you to show your work for questions you haven’t even been asked yet, and that was an interesting challenge. Keeping that all in a 8,000-word package was another hurdle. I’d have loved to bulk it up to 10K, but I’m more than familiar with how quickly a module goes down-hill by being too wordy. It was a bit enlightening to see the balance from the other side for a change.

Stephanie at Stygian Fox loves the adventure, and her opinion is gold. I trust her fully. She wouldn’t release anything she wasn’t 100% confident in, so I’ll take that as a good sign. At this point, the only thing left to do is wait for final art for the scenario to be completed, and then see how people take it. But one way or another, I’ll have a professionally published scenario.

13-year-old me is quite excited.

Well that is it for now. At the moment I’m filling out Panelist Applications for various conventions, hoping to spread my con presence beyond the area it already includes. With a little luck, I’ll be making convention appearances outside of Texas and Oklahoma this year.


A New Black Raven Story is Out

I’m please to announce that a new Black Raven adventure has been released. The Vault of Sowdek is available at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly.

Miguel Santos illustrated it with this image, and it’s always a treat to see what an artist creates with my descriptions. Not only does it help me know how other people see the scenes, meaning how well I described them, but it’s also cool to finally get to see these scenes and characters for myself, instead of just in my head.

I do have some more Black Raven adventures planned, namely concerning some of what transpired in this adventure. But in the meantime, enjoy the Vault of Sowdek.


Read it HERE.

I Got an Agent

I’m very please to announce that Patty Carothers of Metamorphosis Literary Agency will be representing me as my literary agent.

In addition to any foreign and media rights on the Valducan series, she’ll be finding a home Ashes of Onyx, and I’m very excited to have her.

Ashes of Onyx has gone through several large revisions since I initially finished it. I’ve gotten some invaluable feedback from a writing group I joined as well as some industry people. With all that, I attended DFWcon Agent/Editor Conference this past June as a guest author, and while I was there, proceeded to pitch my latest novel to several of the attending agents. Patty was among the ones on my Pitch List, however our schedules never aligned, and I never had a chance to speak with her. Every time I saw her, she was either talking to a pack of authors or one of us was hurrying to a panel.

So once the conference was complete, I went ahead and sent her a query letter. Instead of the others I sent at that time, which all began with something like, “I really enjoyed speaking with at you at DWFcon,” followed by some detail we might have spoken about or shared to help jog their memory since they probably spoke to 200 authors over those 2 days, this one simply said, “I’m terribly sorry I never got a chance to speak with you.”  Not the best intro, but better than nothing, I suppose.

Normally queries after a conference take a few weeks before an agent can reply. They get a surge of fresh queries all at once, in addition to the constant river their inbox normally receives. But I sent it, and then I waited.

For 8 hours.

Technically, it was 8 hours and 2 minutes. I’d expected 8 weeks. It was the second-fastest agent reply I’ve ever received (The reigning king was 1 hour and that was a rejection. But that’s a very different story). However, this one wasn’t a rejection. She requested the full manuscript and synopsis, which I quickly supplied.

And then I waited.

12 weeks.

That’s pretty standard, especially for a manuscript request. Honestly, the most difficult thing about being an author is learning the patience of a mountain. After that, everything was pretty quick – long phone call, several emails, talks with some trusted peers about their opinions, and then the contract. And here we are.

While signing an agent doesn’t guarantee that the book sells, it’s a big step. I’ve had several friends who secured some big-name agents and never sold the book. But having an agent is necessary to open a lot of doors and helping secure the best deal once you’re through that door. It’s having someone in your corner that believes in you and can coach and guide you. I’m pretty damned happy.

Now, for those wondering what Ashes of Onyx is about, or just curious what my query letter said, here you go:

Kate Rossdale was once the most gifted sorceress to rise in Onyx Tower, Baltimore’s greatest coven. Then a murderous betrayal left her stripped of her magic, friendless, and on the downward spiral of drug addiction.

But all of that changes when she’s hired by a man she doesn’t trust. The payment: Restoration of her magical powers. The job: Murder. As enemies close from all sides, Kate races across the globe and across worlds, venturing into exotic realms of forbidden dreams as she hunts for Lost Carcosa and the magic-thief who robbed her of everything.

ASHES OF ONYX is a 118,000-word adult New Weird fantasy much in the vein of Clive Barker’s IMAGICA or Stephen King’s DARK TOWER. My publishing experience includes the four novel VALDUCAN series, as well as many short stories. My fourth novel, REDEMPTOR, was recently released as an Audible Original Production. I’m a two-time Audie Award finalist for Best Paranormal Audiobook (2015 and 2016), a SFWA member, and have an extremely active YouTube channel with over 22,000 subscribers.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

That’s it. Pretty simple. 

Right now, the next step is a new round of revisions. Patty has some suggestions to help polish it up and fix any rough parts. Once that’s all done, we’ll begin the process of finding it a home. That part can take a while, but as I said before, authors learn the patience of a mountain.


Ebooks for Redemptor Are Available

For those who have been patiently waiting on Redemptor (Valducan #4) to be available on Kindle, the wait is over. You can find it on Amazon HERE.

This also marks the 6-month anniversary since it was released on Audible. In that time, it’s earned 209 ratings. Not too shabby.

We’re finishing up the final touches on the paperback re-release for Hounacier and Ibenus. Hopefully those will be returning soon. I want to thank Crossroad Press for taking on my little series and the hard work they’ve done in bringing it back. Once those are done, we can begin working on the paperbacks for Redemptor.



Ibenus is Back on Kindle

I’m very happy to announce that Crossroad Press has edited and re-released Ibenus back on ebook. Paperbacks for the first 3 Valducan books are in the works, so soon we can be back on track after my Ragnarok break-up. I’ll be honest, the months since I left my old publisher haven’t been that easy.  Most of it is all sorted out now.

Redemptor has been doing wonderfully. We’ve already broken the 100-rating mark and still climbing. Reception for it has been awesome.

That’s all for now. No big updates to report in the way of new sales. However, my little YouTube Experiment has been gaining a lot of traction. My channel just broke the 18,000 Subscriber mark, which is very cool. Hopefully it can keep the momentum going.




Redemptor is out


I’m extremely pleased to announce that Redemptor is now available on Audible. Once again, R.C. Bray has done a fantastic performance. 

Because it’s an Audible Original Production, the book will be Audible-exclusive for six months. After that time, we’ll do a paper and ebook release.

In the meantime, Crossroad Press has officially released the new ebook version of Hounacier. Paperbacks to follow. Also, we’ll be getting Ibenus re-edited and hopefully re-released soon.

Finally, Crossroad has released the new paperback edition of Mountain of Daggers. So for anyone wanting to get your hands on a physical copy, those are out now.


Redemptor Preorder is Live

The wait is nearly over. The Audible edition of Redemptor (Valducan #4) is available for preorder.

R.C. Bray has returned to the recording chair to voice the heroes. It comes to just a little above 9 hours. Release date in January 30th.

You can find it Here.

Paper and ebook editions will follow in 6 months.  In the meantime, I’m finishing up the final round of edits on Hounacier’s re-release with Crossroad Press, so that should be coming back soon.




Dämoren is Back, Podcast, and Redemptor News

I’m very happy to say that Dämoren has been re-edited and released by Crossroad Press.  It’s cleaner, tighter, and ready to entertain.

You should check it out 🙂 It’s on Amazon HERE.

Hounacier and Ibenus will be coming back soon once they’ve gone through their own round of fresh edits.

Next, I’m over at the Archivos Podcast talking about writing, gaming, YouTube, and all sorts of other stuff.

You can find it HERE.


Finally, I’m happy to officially announce that R.C. Bray has returned to the microphone to lend his golden voice to Redemptor. After Dämoren and Hounacier both made the Audie Award finalist lists, hopefully we can pull it off on our newest collaboration.  The Audible edition will release in late January 2018.

That’s all for now.  Hope to have some new updates soon.


Black Raven Flies Again

Now that my 90-day separation with my old publisher has completed, I’m very pleased to announce that Tales of the Black Raven has been re-edited and released by Crossroad Press.


A huge thank you to David Wilson and David Dodd for all their support and help in bringing my little Sword & Sorcery adventures back to the public.

You can find the new Kindle editions here:

Mountain of Daggers – Book 1 (11 stories)

Sea of Quills – Book 2 (9 stories)

New paperbacks will soon follow.

As for my Valducan series, those will be returning again soon after a re-edit.  Stay tuned.