Thursday, March 1, 2018

Take the Fifth Year

Now that Hell(Home) has frozen over in the worst national snowstorm I've seen in years and my anniversary has come around, I guess it's time to overcome some of the crushing anxiety, depression and awkwardness of having gone quiet for so long to celebrate that... I still exist.

If only for myself and only for posterity, after five years, I still hold my name and work close to heart. I don't really know if anyone else is still out there, heck I can't even see across the street most of the time with the blizzards, but for what it's worth - I am here. I haven't abandoned what I started and what I've built up, though I've often asked myself what I should really do with anything at this point. 

It might be stupid, it might not be right, most of what I do might not be what "should" be done, but you know what? That sort of mentality is what's made getting up such a struggle. Get up? Why are you down? You shouldn't be down, you should always be up, always infallible. You're not? Well you just don't measure up and should stay there if you can't do it.

I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the superficial expectations born of flippant remarks and fear of people who most likely don't exist. Even now I'm just second-guessing everything to the sound of snide comebacks that probably no one but me will think. Except they probably will, but will never voice it. No one will say anything either way so it's fine to just do what I want anyway, right?

It may be stupid, but whether or not anyone still cares, I'm still here. Suffice to say, the past year got worse before it showed any sign of getting better and I don't want to think about it, so let's forget it happened, yeah? Practically that should have been the entirety of this post but I guess I had venting to do. 

In lieu of Starcraft SCV puns in the title, this video sums things up pretty well.

For anyone still holding out hope, modestly, in earnest or otherwise, there are some stars in my sky. There have been people that defy all expectations and fears, people that keep me together. The video really gets me since at the end of all the depression and loneliness, there really is still a surprise "BOOM, BABY!" Marauder Marine ready to turn things around.

I don't want to talk about them here and now or make it look like I'm just saying the same crap again but there are hopes and plans for the future.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Four Score of Years in the Rear

That's right, it's that time again. The time where I misuse words for titles in a recurring theme relating to but one thing!

Anniversary post!

Yes, as of March 1st, 2017 it has now been four years since I opened up to the world and tried my hand. Four interesting years that have seen highs and lows, new systems rise, spontaneously burst into flames then crash and die. This past year alone saw one of our storefronts go offline entirely, slashing and running with 90% of every author's contractually due royalty payments in broad daylight, because that's a-okay.

Things like this are why Amazon has the monopoly when the alternatives are shady trash like AllRomance eBooks or low effort cashgrab portals trying to mimic a system without considering the actual figures. Sometimes it can't be helped.

So suffice to say it's been an interesting time. It's been a turbulent time for me that I don't really care to talk much about. I ran a post at the end of 2016 to cut and remove most of the year, so I'm not going to drag that in again. Instead, I'm going to try and keep it succinct, in sections!

--- The Past
As mentioned, the past sucks and I'm glad it's in the past where it can stay. Deaths in close family and the financial issues that creates are not something to wish on anyone, but they happen. They're bound to. Having large sums of money and purchased content stolen by a supposedly legitimate storefront isn't something to wish on anyone either and not something that should happen, but does.

The past sucked, let's forget about that.

--- The Present
To reiterate on the past sucking a bit, the recent past has been a bit of a shamble. In short; February was a mistake.

Presently, I have two or three things due to be published soon. At least one to two should have been
published in February, but in the spirit of bad calculations, my expectations have not panned out and instead piled up like a bad train wreck, but that's how we roll. Maybe one day things will be different and I'll have that train drifting along on multiple tracks, but that day is not today. Getting too caught up in those failures and troubles is a surefire way to bury myself in depression again.

Quick note: Depression is not a useful tool of motivation, nor does it aid in understanding how you're supposed to "just do it".

But it's not all bad! As we are in the present, and not the past, which is a pretty bad place as of late, it means there's a lot to look forward to coming "Soon*". March soon. It'll be a great month.
*Copyright 2004-2017 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.

In addition to my standard publications, I have the pleasure of writing for some private commission work, so things are certainly in a state of improvement. It may not be looking down from the top, might not be better than everyone I or you know, but it's what it is. I'm not dead, and still here, so it could be worse?

--- The Future
So after the immediate future, what do I have in store? In the short-term, I have the affirmation that I'm stubborn to a fault, and will be finishing what I've started. Every story deserves a proper ending, proper closure and to fully fit as its part in my world. For the near-future, that means finishing the Hide, Soulflame and Shoes of Glass series'. After those two contemporary and one historic works are finished, it's full focus back to high fantasy, the Daemonique, Umbral Coil and Dhampyre.

Once things have been sorted out some, I may do some work retouching the blog some more. I think an active log of just what I'm working on and where I'm going next could work out. I may be bad with estimates, but a show of workflow and life like that could work out.

Last year I said there'd be things you might not expect and unfortunately there was never an opportunity to make good on them, so I'm just going to go come out and say this time. Once things have settled down and my backlog isn't as depressing, one thing I'd like to try my hand at is creating an RPG through my world.

It's a big endeavor, certainly, but one I've wanted to apply my love of fiction and writing to for a long time. As I develop my world through stories purely in books, it strikes me more and more as something that just needs to be. I need to have a Meirport and Sarandin Isle that can be walked around in person. I need the Ciras Isles, the Zo'Qeth deserts and frigid Northlands as places on a map that can be visited, with their cultures marked out naturally in the feel of people.

From the start, I've been writing with the intention of creating a big, breathing world with tales that span whole eras of time, and while I may barely know how to start with projecting it into a visual game environment, that's the sort of scope and desire I have to pick this all up and push forward.

That's the sort of passion your support will always give me. For these last four years and from here on, I will always be immensely grateful to my readers and everyone who has supported me. It's for all of you that I want to make things amazing.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wight Snow III: Duplicity

Freed from a future of slavery, the veil of deception has been pulled from Erys Wynthae's eyes. Brought to terms with the extent of her betrayal, Erys must make a choice and come to terms with the consequences of both her own actions and what has been done to her. As the night draws on, the once noble Lady may yet lose her mind to it.

Through her invitation, ownership of Lord Larson Moore's estate has changed hands unto a power beyond mortal reckoning that now bears her leash. With its residents rounded up and caged as specimens for the lich Eliza and her ghoulish companions' needs, the unliving host is free to establish its foothold within the sleeping coastal city.

A maybe slow start to 2017 but one I mean to kick off in good spirits with aspirations for the future, and that means starting with coming back to a familiar project that I've enjoyed developing. Similar to Daemonique, Wight Snow takes on the narrative of darker and what would be seen as more evil aligned types that exist above and beyond the realm of normal humans, giving a narrative of events as they unfolded from that more intimate angle, complete with all the erotic intimacies that come with them.

It's a very fun series to write and plan, but one I have to be equally as careful with. One of the charms of Fantasy and in turn creating my own world with every work is that there are so few restrictions. Restriction ensures a sort of safety in the norm that Fantasy and fiction at large will let you just throw to the wind. Wight Snow boasts a large cast already, one with the most intricate of differences between them all, from the social standings of humans to the types of monster and what each is capable of.

In Duplicity, that's really highlighted with the first real interactions between the largely paranormal cast alongside humans as plans are set into motion. It opens up scenes for how captives are held, what's being done and some glimpses into the motives of why and how things have reached this point, now that the influential puppet mistress that offered a change of fate has come on to the stage proper.

From here on, the pace of events will pick up, unraveling the whole truth of the epidemic witnessed in the first volume from the darker side of things, but for now, it sets up a good foothold for the new arrivals.

Excerpt after the pagebreak;

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Farewell to 2016

The coming March will mark the fourth anniversary of when I began making a public name publishing erotic fiction, and it's annually then that I look back over the past year and reflect through incoherent and disjointed stream of consciousness ramblings, but this year I'm changing it up a little.

As the world winds down the last hours of 2016, I want to cast off everything that it's been and leave it behind. I want this to be the last post of 2016 that goes to the annals of history for posterity, but is otherwise left there for a fresh start.

The short of it and the important thing to say out in the open is just thank you. Thank you for sticking it out with me, and thank you for always being the best of readers. Here's to you and a new year of brighter paths and success for us all.

There's a bunch to cathartically reflect on and get rid of, and I don't want it to take up that much space on the index so there's more after the pagebreak, and I'm going to dedicate the rest of the new year to forgetting it.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Olvang's Huntsman

In the frigid Northlands, the untamed wilds test all with a ruthless cunning and ferocity, forging a rugged and sharp people. It is in the shelter of that wilderness that Olvang's Huntsman will take what appears to be his secretive lover caught in one of his traps to a night alone before the fire of a secluded hunting lodge. 

Before the night is out, the simple tranquility and bliss of a love shared will be broken by revelation of just how wicked and cunning those wilds have made some of its people, and what plans they have set in motion. 

Something ancient and primal calls from those wilds, drawing the young woman and down a dangerous path to discover a truth long lost. Only her Huntsman will be able to follow her trail and join her in answering the howling on the wind.

Huntsman has been an interesting journey for me, that I'm glad I've been able to shore up into a novel format with Olvang's Huntsman. It's taken longer than I'd have liked due to life circumstances going downhill hard and fast, but that sort of thing isn't for a release post that will exist long after the issue of time.

What is for a release post is how interesting a journey it's been. Huntsman began back in 2013 as part of a sweet little nothing I had to build on. A scene, a premise and idea. I had no definitive end, not much of a grand goal in mind, but I wanted to go forward with it, make it something real.

How it's ended up is a testament to my own journey through writing. It may not be a perfect path, it may not be by all the right numbers, it may be full of risks and dangers, but its characters took life as it came, realizing and accepting their flaws as they pushed on to accept what they were and what they could do. No one could show them the path to the end nor tell them what they would find, the journey to find the truth was one as much to create it by their own hands.

In addition to this it's been really interesting to look back on my writing from as far back as that - where I really started spreading and committing to too many projects at once - and just kind of balancing the urge to tear up everything I wrote in favour of how my style reads now and keeping its integrity in place. It's nice to think I've developed more of a voice and presence in what I write over the years, the second and third volumes being less of an issue to finalize.

The end result is a solid cornerstone of an era in my fantasy world filled with a people larger than life with women as wicked and dominant as their men in the right moment that in time, shifts into a more feral and wild capacity than any could have known.

It's been a great journey to get here, and I always really appreciate the support that's made it possible. In terms of excerpts, the first volume that fills its early chapters; Huntsman I is free on all market channels!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pact of a Succubus

Mark was a man feeling the pressure of the world bear down on his shoulders. Fears of both finding work and satisfying his lover in bed hunted him until that one fateful night. Under pale moonlight in the seclusion of their utility shed, Mark succeeds in calling the aid he so desperately hopes for.

What comes to stand before him in the occult circle is no angel above, but a voluptuous demon – a succubus has answered his call. With her uplifting power, Mark finds success and satisfaction, but what price has the pact truly come at? One should always be careful what they wish for, and just whom they dance with, lest they be dancing alone in the palm of a devil.

Being close to Halloween, I often think and talk of fears. Fears can be good to use and play on in fiction, creating tension and suspense, but for a creator's mind it's a real killer. Simply put, I worry far too much about everything all the time, as I've likely said countless times before. So having something a little more straight-forward and simple to clear my head can really help sometimes.

Pact of a Succubus is just that, and has certainly helped. Not directly related to For Love of a Succubus, I have some plans in the back of my head for the two at a later date. It's a tale that jumps straight into what you could call the climax of one man's decision to accept the aid that came to him. Now as I said, I worry a lot and I'm likely the only one that thinks about this at the end of the day but what makes it shine is cutting out all that in-between that would otherwise build things gradual.

There's a lot of effectively superfluous padding I could have added, but that takes away a good deal of the shock and power in how things unfold the way they do. I wanted the main scene to open as a surprise rather than the expected peak of several scenes the reader has been more privy to. This way, it leaves that door open to personal imagination, given the hints and prompts of what's been going on. There's free reign to imagine both succubus on male and female partner training. just a normal human couple that are having progressively better sex together or where the more wicked turn of events and genders may go. I may be addressing that one myself later as I said before, but for now it hits its own satisfying end.

Rather than dread the lack of those longer padded chapters being seen as a shortcoming, I want to enrich and present fantasies beyond the main show, which is strong and varied in its own right. This succubus has had her influence deep set in this couple, and now's the time to collect payment for her services.

Excerpt follows the pagebreak

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Wight Snow II: Nobility

To know the truth of a story, one must return to the root of events...

For the coastal city of Meirport, more politics, power and money trade hands behind closed doors than the unwitting common folk may ever know. Travelling as an Ambassador of the sovereign's inland nation, Lady Erys Wynthae stands at the heart of such matters, yet powers beyond the reach of mortal hands are already afoot. Played for a pawn in the schemes of others and stripped of all possession, the Lady will alone find but one escape from a future of slavery at the hand of nobility beyond any she has ever known.

Before the day is done, Lady Erys Wynthae will welcome the very beginning of events that will see the coastal city brought to its knees.

Wight Snow is a really fun concept and grounds for me to work from. Zombie apocalypse and survival horror are common, very popular concepts that often follow a pretty standard fomula, often keeping the source and antagonist a point of mystery. It works, there's no doubting that, but one thing I've found I always really like is having more of that side, the interaction and methods from the darker side of things.

Calling back as far as the first volumes of Daemonique, it's no secret I'm a fan of darker fantasy and enjoy tales told through what may be considered the evil antagonist's world. Wight Snow II: Nobility somewhat follows that trend from the first Daemonique volumes of starting the second volume leading in from a different perspective and world before converging on the present - but here it's much more prevalent.

Here, we're going all the way back to the first fateful day, before Julia fell ill and went unawares of the city's changing fate. There's good reason to, as the cast and machinations for what befalls Meirport are big and interesting. The survival horror type scene and a contagion that turns the populace into effectively mindless ghouls bent on a more carnal hunger is good, but looking at it unfurl from the seat of power is also good, and something I really wanted to do.

While there's threat of pulling back the Wizard of Oz's curtain, there's still a lot of power, mystery and intrigue you can develop from here, and it becomes a different sort of beast to that standard routine, and it's no less sexually charged. Writing all this I almost forget it's an erotic work and I need to make a point of that, but beyond the basics, it absolutely gives a great range for erotic acts. 

In Nobility, the focus mainly on BDSM and slavery. Meirport is a place of power and independent trade, which inevitably attracts other powers in time of unrest and strife. It's all about the movement of nobles, of how quickly power can be gained and stripped away and what truly counts as nobility. It sets up the ground work of how and a little of why the city turns into what it later becomes, and plays with bending the concept of good and evil or us and them.