Monday, April 25, 2016

Riyria Quiz to win a signed hardcover of Age of Myth

Do you know your Riyria Trivia? Do you want a signed copy of my upcoming book Age of Myth? Well put your skills to the test and you might just be a winner.

Here's how it works.
  1. I've created a quiz on goodreads with ten Riyria questions. Hop on over and answer as many as you can.
  2. Goodreads only shows 30 people who have answered the survey, so you need to let me know you took the quiz. You can do this by (a)  making a comment on the quiz or (b) go to this survey and copy/paste the URL of your goodreads profile page.
  3. For each right answer you'l have an additional entry into a drawing I'm doing for a signed copy of the book.
Note: This contest is open to people no matter what country you are in so no worries about locale.
Even if you haven't read my previous books, you should be able to answer the questions with just a little bit of online research -- or ask your friend who has read them.  I'm going to list the questions here so you can do your research before you take the quiz.
  1. What does "Riyria" stand for?
  2. Who said, "Sometimes the price of dreams is achieving them?"
  3. What does Royce call a Gilarabrywn in Heir of Novron?
  4. In Riyria magic is sometimes referred to as....
  5. What was the name of the girl that Hadrian had a crush on as a young boy when living in Hintindar?
  6. Who was Royce's best friend while in the Black Diamond Thieves Guild?
  7. What nickname did people call Hadrian when he fought in the arenas of Calais?
  8. What is the name of the lost city that was once the capital of the First Empire?
  9. What is the name of Arista's body guard through most of the Riyria novels?
  10. In what way is Esrahaddon disabled? 
There you go.  And good luck!

Monday, April 18, 2016

WIN Advanced Reading Copies of Age of Myth

We are just 2 months and 2 days away from the release of Age of Myth, are you excited?  I know I am. I think Del Rey is as well, and they are giving away 200 copies of the Advanced Reading Copy of the book over at Goodreads.

As you can imagine, mailing 200 copies could get really expensive if that included foreign countries (which can cost $20 or more per book).  So Del Rey has limited the giveaway to people within the US.  But I want to give people everywhere a chance to read the book two months before its release, so I'm running a parallel giveaway which is open to people everywhere. Not sure what the book is about? Well, here's part of the copy from the back of the book.

What does it mean if a god can be killed?
Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between men and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now, only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer, Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom, and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people.

The Age of Myth is over; the time of rebellion has begun.

I hope you'll sign up for one (or both of the giveaways) and if you do, I wish you good luck in the drawings. But do so soon, they're only lasting a bit over a week.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Escape Your Taxes Sale

It’s tax time here in the U.S., a time usually associated with heartache and pain. To make things easier, myself and a fine group of authors got together and steeply discounted our books between April 12th – 16th, some of which are free!

For me, I've put The Death of Dulgath on sale: 30% off print copies bought from my site and I've reduced the ebook in the major retailers from $9.99 to $2.99.

Three times they tried to kill her. Then a professional was hired. So was Riyria.

When the last member of the oldest noble family in Avryn is targeted for assassination, Riyria's Royce and Hadrian are hired to foil the plot. Three years have passed since Hadrian, the war-weary mercenary, and Royce, the cynical ex-assassin, joined forces to become rogues-for-hire. All has gone well until they're asked to help prevent a murder. Now they must venture into an ancient corner of the world to save a mysterious woman who knows more about Royce than is safe and cares less about herself than is sane.

LIMITED EDITION $50.00 now $35 save $15.00
HARDCOVER: $25.00 now $17.50 save $7.50
PAPERBACK: $15.00 now $10.50 save $4.50
EBOOK: $9.99 now $2.99 save $7.00

So that's what I have for sale, but what about the other authors? Here’s a rundown of what they have:
That’s a killer set of books, y’all. Surely you’ll find something you like, yes? Be sure to nab them quick, because in only a few days they’ll be gone.
And if you know anyone who might like to take advantage of these great deals before they’re gone, please pass along the word. A quick mention on Twitter or Facebook wouldn’t hurt either.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Writers Helping Writers: Brian Rathbone's Kickstarter

Readers of my blog know how much I love Kickstarters and helping fellow authors, so today's post allows me to combine both of these things.  I want to introduce you to the New Voices in Fantasy Fiction - Books with Magic and Dragons project launched by the amazing Brian Rathbone.

For those that don't know, Brian is the best-selling author of the World of Godsend fantasy series. A fellow self-published author, he's done amazingly well with it and is now expanding his universe through a new Kickstarter with three new books in his world. But, the really cool thing about this Kickstarter is Brian one-upped my "Author Helping Author" aspect of The Death of Dulgath. I included a short story by an up-and-commer in that book, but Brian collaborated with two new authors to produce these novels!

Here's a bit about the authors involved:
  • Brian Rathbone - Born and raised on a horse farm in southern New Jersey, Brian Rathbone never did quite fit in--still doesn't. If you need someone to take you on an adventure or to tell terrible dragon jokes, Brian is your man. He lives in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and some very spoiled cats. 
  • Morgen Rich - Morgen Rich grew up in the southwestern U.S., where the sky reminds humans just how small they really are. She lives mostly in Pennsylvania with her husband and two Great Pyrenees, Bianca and Tahoe. On occasion, she lives in Lincoln, England. Founder of Bookmite Press and a member of the Broad Universe board of directors, Morgen is an active member of the speculative fiction profession. In addition to Ascension, a YA fantasy novel set in co-writer Brian Rathbone's Godsland world, she's also the author of the adult epic science fantasy novels, Incorrigible (2013) and Discordant (2016), both set in her imaginative Shifting Worlds universe.
  • Jack McCarthy - Jack McCarthy was born and raised in Salem, NJ and is a long-time resident of Cleveland, OH. His lifelong path to writing has included: dishwasher, video store clerk, taekwondo instructor, factory assembly worker, telemarketer, casual letter carrier, office temp, door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, phone psychic, cashier, gas station manager, flight attendant and software engineer. This combined skill set could belong only to one destined to write fantasy novels.
The Kickstarter is very well thought out, it's goal is very reasonable, and he's got a lot of well-priced reward levels.  Not only that, but he's assembled an amazing team to ensure a high quality release.  Here's some of the people he's brought to the project.
  • Andrea Howe - (Editor and Chief Historian of Godsland)
  • Nick Taylor - (Hardcover Layout and Design)
  • Lawrence Mann - (Artists and Illustrators)
  • Jamie Noble - The Noble Artist (Artists and Illustrators)
  • T-Rex Studios - (Artists and Illustrators)
  • Chris Snelgrove - DarkFireProductions (Voice Artist)
  • Priscilla Hernandez - (Singer / Composer)
  • Steve McCarthy - (Glass Artist)
The Kickstarter has just launched and at present they are already 37% into the $4,000 goal.  So if you like great stories, want to help an author that is helping other authors, and want to make this project a reality, go to this page and pick a reward level you like. I know I'll be backing it.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Goodreads Giveaways: Cronin, Lawrence, Abercrombie, Myself, and several more

Here are some books currently with Goodreads Giveaways that caught my eye, and I thought others might be interested as well. Good luck on the drawings!

# requesting
The Passage #1
Justin Cronin
Apr 08
Legends of the First Empire #1
 Michael J. Sullivan  
Apr 09
The Red Queen's War #3
Mark Lawrence
May 25
Sorcery Ascendant #1
Mitchell Hogan
Apr 07
Joe Abercrombie
Apr 25
Bloodsounder's Arc #3
Jeff Salyards
Apr 06
The Books of the Raksura #4
Martha Wells
Apr 05
Sandman Slim #8
Richard Kadrey
Apr 05
Ascendant Kingdoms #1
Gail Z. Martin
Apr 15
Ascendant Kingdoms #2
Gail Z. Martin
Mar 15
Ascendant Kingdoms, #4
Gail Z. Martin
Apr 15
Ascendant Kingdoms, #3
Gail Z. Martin
Mar 15

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

You have questions? I'd like to know what they are.

My publisher, Del Rey, and I are creating bonus material in preparation for the Age of Myth release. One of the things we didn't have a chance to put together for the book itself is a Q & A section (which has been quite popular in my Orbit releases). Apparently people like learning about my writing experience, publishing, and also enjoy asking questions about my past or future works. We have a number of questions already, but thought it would be nice to open it up to readers and writers who might have their own inquires. So, here's your chance!

Just go to this link before March 31st and ask away. If you submit a question, then you'll get a copy of the finished ebook and you can even have your name added to the acknowledgements (if you wish). I'm game for anything so don't be afraid. After all, I'm a big believer in there is no such thing as a stupid question. Hopefully I won't give any stupid answers ;-)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Legends of the First Recording

Meant to post this earlier, but it's been a busy week...

We met in a tiny Italian restaurant in the East Village. Robin and I had walked down  from our hotel near Central Park. We maneuvered by the trendy dog walkers, through the mobs of midtown, past the student- and art-laden NYU campus, down into the Village to this quiet unassuming little place at the end of a nondescript block. There, in a dimly lit booth was Tim Reynolds waving us over. 

For those of you who don’t know Tim, you should. He is the voice of Riyria having narrated all the Riyria books and nominated for several Audie Awards—one of those for his work with Royce and Hadrian. The success of the audio versions of my novels is a testament to Tim’s talent and skill as both a narrator and actor. 

This last Sunday evening, I met with him the night before he was slated to begin recording my new series: Legends of the First Empire. He had already read the first book Age of Myth, and I wanted to make certain he didn’t have any questions about the characters, but I also just wanted to take him out to dinner to say thank you. 

We chatted about many things and Robin and I gave him some necessary spoilers. So right now, Tim knows more about the new series than anyone on the planet besides my wife. As lovely as it was, we couldn’t stay out late. Tim as it turns out, is a very busy man, and narrators need their rest. 

The next morning we met him at the studio where Tim’s wife, Abby, was set to direct his session. 

Robin and I sat in the back listening and monitoring. According to Abby, we were also directors, so I’m going to hangon to that title. 

As Tim read, we followed along and stopped him when he mis-pronounced a word. This strikes me as utterly ridiculous given the words are made up. At one point Tim read the phrase Gula-Rhune. He said “Gulla-Rhune” instead of “Ghoula-Rhune” and I stopped him. I explained how I wanted him to change the pronunciation, and he actually looked at me through the booth glass and said, “Oh, of course.” As if he’d made an actual mistake, as if I hadn’t both, made up the word, and its pronunciation. Things like this mess with my mind. 

People speak of Royce and Hadrian as if they are real people, going so far as to argue with me that, “Hadrian would never do such or such a thing.” I find it interesting how people adopt characters as real people, although perhaps I shouldn’t. Characters in books have just as much evidence of existence as people who we learn about second hand. 

The character profiles I sent Tim were—at least in one case—misleading and I found myself uncomfortable with his interpretation of one character. After a whole scene I had to mention it, and Tim was wonderful about it. He understood the problem and went back and did the whole scene over again. I hate imposing like that, but the voice and the dialog didn’t fit for me. The rework was so much better. That alone was worth the train ticket to New York.

The remaining crucial characters, Tim nailed on his first try. Like Riyria, there are certain beloved characters (beloved I discovered during the taping is three syllables: be-love-ed, rather than two: be-loved) that need to be perfect, and I am confident now that they are. It’s amazing what Tim can do with the most subtle change in his voice. 

Abby is amazing as well. She verbally slaps Tim around for mistakes while complimenting and reassuring him at the same time. She does all this smiling and slipping from an Irish to Scottish accent—neither of which are hers—and singing the opening guitar riff from the 1963 Surfaris hit single Wipeout, and handling the engineering audio board with fluid ease while eating cereal from a bag. 

The two are a great team. 

I did my Author’s Note on Tuesday morning. 

Abby was very patient with all my mistakes. I am getting better. I went through four pages and it was still morning when I finished! And everyone insisted afterward that I did not sound like a chipmunk caught in the a wood chipper. So that’s—you know—good. The bad side is that those of you who listen to the audio version of Age of Myth, will be forced to hear me talk at you again. My apologies for that and I should remind you about skipping to the next chapter.

We had to leave to catch our train Tuesday afternoon, but by then Tim was rolling along and didn’t need our meddling. 

Having heard the first five-and-a-half chapters, I can say you’re in for an audio treat this summer. My only regret is that they didn’t save the outtakes. One in particular  amused me. Tim had trouble reading a passage, not because he stumbled, or lost track, but because he started laughing. 

“What’s wrong?” Abby asked. 

“Nothing,” Tim replied. “It’s just—I know what’s coming next.”

He tried again, and laughed again. 

“Sorry,” he said. “I just find this part so funny.”

Since it was supposed to be funny, I couldn’t help smiling. Making your narrator unable to read your work because you made him laugh is only beaten by making it impossible to read because they have tears in their eyes. Maybe I did that too, but we couldn’t stick around for that part of the book. 

Thanks Tim and Abby, until next time.