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.

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.


Publishing Announcement: Valducan and Black Raven Return

I’m very excited to announce that Crossroad Press has picked up my Valducan Series and Tales of the Black Raven.

Currently, I’m finishing up the remainder of my 90-day separation from my previous publisher, which means ebooks aren’t available and they are still selling off the remaining inventory of printed books. Audio is still available. Crossroad Press will be running the titles through a fresh round of edits and then putting them back out there for readers to enjoy.

Future Valducan and Black Raven titles will be published through Crossroads as well.

Established in 2009, Crossroad’s authors include Clive Barker, Joe Lansdale, C.T. Phipps, and even the Stargate novels. I’m extremely honored to be among them.

Re-release dates are not set yet. We still have a month left before we can even release, but it should be soon.

Thank you, everyone. I look forward to getting them back out there.


Publishing Announcement: Redemptor is coming

For those of you wondering when you can get your hands on REDEMPTOR (Valducan #4), prepare your ear holes.  Audible Original Publishing has signed Redemptor for release. AOP will release the novel as a 6-month audio exclusive. After that, it will become available in print and ebook editions.

Release date is still unknown (we just signed it, so there’s still editing, recording, editing the recording, and a bunch of other steps somewhere in the middle). But it will happen. No idea yet if R.C. Bray will narrate it, as he has the other Valducan novels. I hope his schedule allows for it. I’ll post more as I learn more.

Now, as for paper and ebook editions of Redemptor and the rest of my Valducan and Black Raven books, which will no longer be carried by my former publisher, I have a second announcement coming soon.  We just need to make sure all the final steps are in place, but they have found a home. More to come.


Life Comes At You Pretty Fast: A General Update

Things have been busy since my last post, but it’s a Good Busy and not that Oh, God, Kill Me Now Busy.

While the separation from Ragnarok Publications is still ongoing, my Black Raven Series has found a new home. I’m mostly sure the Valducan Series has also found a new home, but we’re still in talks and I’ll make a big announcement once we’re all signed and pretty.  I’m not worried. 


Achievement Unlocked

In the middle of this all, I spent 10 days touring Israel with a 2-day hop into Jordan to explore Petra. It was amazing. I walked in several ruins, visited historic sites, floated in the Dead Sea, stood atop an aqueduct, visited many museums, and petted more than a few stray cats.  I have piles of notes to use for future stories and even made several updates to Ashes of Onyx in some related areas (Those who follow my blog know that travel is my #1 source for inspiration).

My YouTube Channel has been shooting up in popularity.  I had my first video to break the 100,000 views milestone. While I’m still but a tiny channel in a sea of giants, I’m growing.  It’s currently at 4,500 Subscribers and has now made enough revenue to have covered my meager expenses (which means I’ll be spending even more on costumes and some half-decent equipment).  

This upcoming weekend (September 22-24, 2017) I’ll be a guest author at FenCon.  You can find my schedule HERE.

Finally, ASHES OF ONYX is complete. It surpassed my initial estimates and came in at 114,000 words. I’ve completed my full read-through, made many changes, and BETA Reader response has been extremely positive. It’s currently in the Querying Phase, which means its still a long, long way from any release.  While a complete stand-alone from any of my other works, I have started toying with the idea of a second story set in the same universe. Still too early to tell.

That’s it for now. I hope to have some more announcements soon.


What I Have Brewing

So while we’re waiting for Redemptor (Valducan #4) to release this November, I’ve been busy working on something new. Something very different.

My current Work-In-Progress is under the working-title Ashes of Onyx and it’s coming along rather nicely.  It’s a bit hard to describe (which is a problem when it comes to pitching it) but it’s a culmination of many ideas and concepts that I’ve enjoyed. It’s part Urban Fantasy, Horror, and Portal Fantasy. I’m about 75% sure the proper genre tag for it is New Weird.

Here’s the short description/pitch:

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 addiction.

But all of that is about to change when she’s hired for dangerous job 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 her target – the magic-thief who robbed her of everything.

I can list a whole lot of favorite stories that served as inspiration for it. Problem is that any time I try to describe it by these works, people respond with, “Oh, so it’s like <Insert Completely Wrong Example Here>,” to which I have to reply, “No.”  But, I’ll go ahead and list some of them here.

Neuromancer, Imagica, The Dark Tower, The Devil Rides Out, The King In Yellow, and whole list of other tiny influences.

In short: It’s something like this, but not really,


So to answer the initial questions people ask based off of the influences I cited:

So is it cyberpunk?  Not at all.

Are there gunslingers?  Nope.

Does it explore the deeper aspects of human sexuality? No.

Does it include Satanism?  Hahahaha…. No.

Does it feature The Yellow King?  Um… yeah. But we don’t refer to her as a king.

So it’s a Yellow Queen?!  She prefers empress, but this is getting close to Spoiler Town, so I’m going to stop answering questions.

Is Spoiler Town near Carcosa?   It’s a suburb of it.

Right now the First Draft is at 64,000 words.  I’m estimating the book will run 100,000 total, so it’s safe to say that I’m 64% done.  I’m hoping it’ll be finished by September, and unless some unforeseen variable kicks in, I might have it knocked out before then.  The 60-80% portion of any book is always the hardest for me to write. After that will come the task of editing and then the gauntlet of pitching it to an agent. 

So for those of you who have been wondering why my blog has been so quiet, there you go.  Now that I’ve announced the project, I should be giving more updates as it progresses.





2016 in Review

2016 will be a year long remembered with a negative edge. It began with Bowie’s death and continued on with blow after blow. But not all was bad.

This year I was invited to speak at AllCon and FenCon. The biggest compliment was the invitation to speak at DFWcon. Being a guest at conventions that I once paid to attend and listen at was an enormous step for me. I’ve met a lot of amazing people and it has done nothing but help my career. I hope 2017 continues this trend.

I released the Valducan shorts Hungry Eyes and Raid on Wewelsburg with the SNAFU series by Cohesion Press.

My publisher Ragnarok Publications finalized a distribution deal with IPG and now my Valducan and Black Raven books are available in major bookstores. I had my first experience walking into a Barnes & Noble and discovering my books on the shelves. In fact, it was the very same Barnes & Noble where I used to attend a writing group where some of the very same Black Raven stories were worked on. 

Hounacier was a Audie Award finalist for Best Paranormal Audio Book. And while we didn’t win, just being a finalist for such an award is an enormous deal. R.C. Bray has been a god-send. 

My third novel, Ibenus, was published in September and has been very well received.

I finished my fourth Valducan novel Redemptor and sent that in to my editor in November. I am extremely happy with this one and really look forward to everyone seeing it.

In July, I quit my job and am now writing and geeking-out full-time.

After much prodding from my wife, I’ve started a YouTube channel where I discuss gaming and nerldy things.  I’m having way more fun with that than I had anticipated and am quickly climbing he technical learning curve. You should totally Subscribe to it.

I’ve started a completely new novel that is unlike anything I’ve tried before. There is no title yet, but it will be a gritty Portal Fantasy and I’m really loving where it’s headed. No, I’m not done with my Valducan series, but this new one sort of forced its way to the front of my brain and it’s got some serious bite.

So while 2016 might not have been the best year, it hasn’t been all bad. I hope things in 2017 are even better, but until then, I wish everyone a happy new year and thank you all for your amazing support.





Writing Update: Edits and Pre-Orders

I’ve been quiet on my writing updates recently. Time to correct that.

Ibenus has completed its first found of edits.  We’ll be making a few more passes to get it all nice and polished. I will say that reading it for the first time in months was a fun experience. I really like this one and I look forward to hearing reader responses. Release date is still set for September 2016. Paperback pre-order is available on Amazon.

Layout by Shawn King

Dämoren is going through its final revisions as well for the new version.  Some pesky typos are going away and the layout is getting a nice face-lift.  I can’t wait to hold the finished product. IPG should begin distributing the new versions, as well as my other Ragnarok titles, in the next few weeks.  I’ll update once I have more.

In the meantime, Brilliance Audio will be releasing MP3 CDs for my audiobooks so that libraries can carry them.  Mountain of Daggers will release 5/24/2016, Dämoren 6/7/2016, and Hounacier 8/2/2016. All of which are currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

My fourth Valducan novel, Redemptor, is coming along nicely.  I’m 8 chapters in, and while I can’t give a good estimate for when it’ll be completed, I’m shooting for the end of this year. Without revealing too much about it, I can tell you that it is set in South America, Matt is one of the principal characters, and the working tagline is, “Monsters Aren’t Born, They’re Forged.”

That’s all I have for now.  I hope to have another update soon on some other topics, but it’s a little early to go into those yet.






Story Acceptance – Raid on Wewelsburg

I’m very excited to announce that my Valducan Archive Adventure ‘Raid on Wewelsburg‘ has been accepted in Cohesion Press‘ upcoming SNAFU: Black Ops anthology.

Black Ops

Germany, 1945 – In the final days of the Second World War, Lady Helen Meadows leads a team of knights past the front lines to recover the holy weapons plundered by the Nazis before the Allies can seize them. But as they reach Wewelsburg Castle, the SS stronghold, the Valducans discover a plot far more sinister than anything they’d imagined.

It’s a real honor that Cohesion Press invited me to participate in this collection. The other authors are:

Release date is slated for Fall 2016.


In speaking of SNAFU, The United Federation of Charles posted a glowing review of SNAFU: Hunters.  Regarding my story ‘Hungry Eyes,’ he said:

“This is a fairly straight-forward story of a bunch of seasoned professionals killing a lot of monsters and I have to say I rather like it for that alone. The group is far less traumatized than most other hunters in this story and there’s a more uplifting sense of triumph.”

You can find the entire review HERE.

In other news, Emby Press should soon be releasing the long-delayed Occult Detective Monster Hunter: A Grimoire of Eldritch Inquests Vol. II, which includes my story ‘The Vampire of Somerset.’  As with  ‘Raid on Wewelsburg,’ the story features Lady Helen Meadows as the hero, and I’m very excited to get to show her off.  Lady Meadows is one of my favorite characters I’ve written. I’ll be announcing the release information once I know more.