Adventures in Marketing – Bundle Rabbit II – Heroic Tales #Fantasy

You may remember my previous post about Bundle Rabbit – the online book bundling service. I now have The Light Beyond the Storm – Book I featured in a forthcoming bundle. Heroic Tales features 19 tales of fantasy and heroes, brave deeds and daring adventures.

Heroic Tales - Bundle Rabbit

Synopsis

Imagine: you are seated about a blazing campfire, you and the other bards.  Tales of Achilles, Beowulf, Alexander, Odysseus, Conan, Tarzan, Joan of Arc and other heroes are told, along with new ones that carry on with the Jungian archetypes so central to our very nature.  Men and women who brave the unnatural, the fantastic, and the plain weird.

Without the circle of firelight, shapes of menace and strangeness stalk horrifically, but the heroic tales hearten us, and strengthen the entire tribe in both body and spirit to continue the battle of good and right, against the strange and evil.  We all have the need, deep within us, for Heroic Tales!

It’s quite a mix of tales from Jay Bowers, Stefon Mears, N.W. Moors and Jerusha Moors, Michael Kingswood, Carl S. Plumer, J. D. Brink, Louisa Swann, Xina M Uhl, Robert Jeschonek, Blaze Ward, Douglas Smith, Robert Jeschonek, Perry A Wilson, Debbie Mumford and Leslie Claire Walker.  For details of each book please check out the Bundle (as we will be overrun with links).
Table of Contents
1. “A Barbarian in Chicago” by Simon Stanton
2. “Lair of the Wulf” by Simon Stanton
3. “With a Broken Sword” by Stefon Mears
4. “Icarus Rising” by N.W. Moors
5. “Lee and the Monkey Idol” by Jay Bowers
6. “Glimmer Vale” by Michael Kingswood
7. “Afterlife” by Jay Bowers
8. “Shadows of Death” by Carl S. Plumer
9. “The Quest” by J. D. Brink
10. “The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I” by A. L. Butcher
11. “The Girl with the Candy Cane Legs” by Louisa Swann
12. “Necropolis” by Xina M Uhl
13. “The Sword That Spoke” by Robert Jeschonek
14. “The Forestal” by Blaze Ward
15. “The Wolf at the End of the World” by Douglas Smith
16. “The Wife Who Never Was” by Robert Jeschonek
17. “Family” by P. A. Wilson
18. “Witchling” by Debbie Mumford
19. “Faery Tales: Volume 1” by Leslie Claire Walker

It’s due out 11th July – on Bundle Rabbit, Kobo, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 19 books for less than $5 – now that is a bargain right there!

BundleRabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/heroic-tales

Heroic Tales on Kobo

Heroic Tales on Barnes and Noble

Heroic Tales on I-books

Heroic Tales on Amazon.co.uk

Heroic Tales on Amazon.com

 

Heroic Tales - Fan set.pngHopefully there should be some forthcoming interviews with authors and characters for this bundle – so keep your eyes peeled for those.

 

 

Review Carnelian Throne – Janet Morris – #Sci-fi #fantasy #dystopian

REVIEW #sci-fi #fantasy #dystopian #heroicfiction

Carnelian Throne

The fourth in Silistra Quartet does not disappoint. As ever the action starts immediately, with incredible creatures, fierce battles and searching of souls.  Our heroes are, by this time, ‘more than men (and women), and less than gods’ but in a land of largely bronze age people, ruled by creatures of ‘Wehrkind’ gods they appear.  And the locals aren’t impressed. In a quest for answers and revenge Sereth, Estri and Chayin must battle to free themselves from old rules, old beliefs, old prejudices and ghosts of their own pasts and emerge not only victorious but as rulers of this land. Ties of loyalty are truly tested, and the question of evolution, species selection and ranking is very much to the fore.

The Wehrdom creatures are fascinating – semi-telepathic creatures of all shapes and sizes, from eagle like creatures, to half man half beast, to those who just communicate with them. Led by a ‘dreaming’ king for a thousand years they wage war, they live, they die and they are manipulated in a kind of selective breeding or eugenic programme to remove the lesser (ie human) species and in ‘Wehr rage’ they are truly formidable.
As allies and enemies, these beings shape this story and this part of the world they inhabit. I found them worthy of pity (as pawns), frightening for their strangeness, enlightening for their intelligence and loyalty, and infinitely intriguing. They appealed to the mythic aspect I love so much in this author’s work.

Delcrit – the simple and lowly character we are introduced to early on – proves his worth and his destiny in a surprising twist.

The entire quartet brings forth questions on the wisdom of technology, the place in the world for the sexes, species, politics and laws. Biology is queen here, nature is queen, but the heroes must find their place among their own kind, and forge a future and protect their world from enemies many of which are of their own making.

The Silistra books are not simple, or easy to read but they are enthralling, exciting and thought-provoking. Silistra is dystopian – it is not Earth – but it COULD be. The characters are not us – but they COULD be.

As with all Morris’s work, the prose is very lyrical and very poetic. There is a beat to her work which pulls in the reader. No words are wasted, no scenes are out of place or unnecessary and thus it makes for a thrilling and evocative read.

There is treachery, love, bravery, intrigue, a lot of ‘fight or die’, complex characters and a supremely crafted world – everything one would expect in such a work.

Loose ends are firmly tied off, scores are settled and places allotted, and answers found.

5 stars.Layout 1

Book Spotlight – Mouth of the Dragon – Thomas Barczak #Fantasy #Prerelease

mouthdragon kindle cover.jpg

 

Mouth of the Dragon, Prophecy of the Evarun, is a novel by Thomas Barczak, published by Perseid Press, February 10th, 2017.

This dark, epic, and redemptive fantasy challenges everything a hero’s journey can be.

Chaelus, once Roan lord of the House of Malius, now vessel of the Giver reborn, has defeated the Dragon of legend. Now he must rescue his brother and his kingdom, both beyond the Dragon’s Veil.

When the legendary dragon resurges among drums of war, it threatens Chaelus, the human vessel of prophecy who once defeated it, and those loyalists the man holds dear.

Now Chaelus must confront the Dragon a second time, as prophecy has foretold.

With his remaining followers he pursues the Dragon. When he finds it, he finds that the blood of his past has returned to reclaim him.

And even with the power of prophecy at his summons he cannot defend against it.

Tempted to save all he’s lost, abandoned by the prophecy he’s vowed to serve, he falls under the spell of the Dragon, and learns that the dragon you hunt is the dragon within you.

Chaelus must defeat the dragon for all time, but finds he cannot, until he first surrenders himself.

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

***

Available as an Amazon pre-order on Kindle and shipping February 10. 2017. Subsequent releases will include trade paper and Nook.
Thomas Barczak is an artist, architect, and a writer whose stories tell the tales he’s always dreamed about.

His work also the illustrated epic fantasy novel, Veil of the Dragon, and the Kindle serial, Awakening Evarun (Parts I-VI), both set in the Evarun universe. He’s also written a comic fantasy serial for Kindle called Wolfbane (Parts 1-2 of 3). His short fiction includes contributions to Heroika 1 – Dragon Eaters, Nine Heroes, Terror by Gaslight, and What Scares the Boogeyman, as well as stories for two volumes Janet Morris’ award winning Heroes in Hell series, Dreamers in Hell, and Poets in Hell.

Tom writes because he must. He writes because he needs to tell others the stories he has held so long inside, stories that inspire his paintings and his poetry — stories that have always been with him, even years ago when he’d sit at a table with friends, slaying dragons.

Monsters and Myth – Dragons

This post  previously appeared as part of https://jenniferloiske.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/author-interview-meet-a-l-butcher/ which featured last year to promote Heroika: Dragon Eaters 

http://www.amazon.com/HEROIKA-DRAGON-S-E-Lindberg-ebook/dp/B00VFVCQRS/

Dragons – why do they captivate us?

Dragons have been part of mythology for centuries. The Welsh, for example, have Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon as the national emblem – a dragon passant (standing with one foot raised) on a green and white background. Although the currently flag is relatively new the mythology of the Welsh Dragon is at least fifteen hundred years old, possible even Roman. The kings of Aberffraw used it to symbolise their power and authority after the Romans left. The first recorded use of it to Symbolise Wales is from the 9th Century (Nennius – Historica Brittonum).  Geoffrey of Monmouth linked the dragon to the Arthurian legends – after all King Arthur’s father was Uther PENDRAGON, and so again the dragon is intrinsically interwoven with British myth.

Henry VII (Henry Tudor) had a dragon on his coat of arms – the Welsh heritage again coming to the fore and during the reign of his son, the might Henry VIII the red dragon standard was often flown on Royal Navy ships.

In the Mabinogion the Red Dragon fights the invading White Dragon and his pained shrieks cause women to miscarry, animals to perish and crops to fail. The king of Britain (King Lludd) visits his French brother Llefelys and, on his advice, digs a huge pit, filled with mead and covered with a cloth. The Dragons cease their battle, drink the mead and fall asleep, still covered in the cloth. They are then trapped beneath Dinas Emrys in Snowdonia. Centuries later King Vortigern attempts to build a fort there, and every night the castle foundations are demolished. Wise men tell him to find a boy with no father and sacrifice him – to appease whatever is causing the problem. That boy is Merlin, who will become the Great Wizard, and he dismisses this advice and tells the king about the dragons. The two dragons are freed and continue their fight – the Red Dragon symbolising the people of Vortigern and the White Dragon the Saxons. The latter is defeated – thus these are the Saxons who failed to subdue the people of Vertigorn who would become the Welsh.

Sources: http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofWales/The-Red-Dragon-of-Wales/

Dragons symbolise great power and strength. They are, perhaps the most legendary of beasts and to defeat one (or field one) was only the territory of the greatest of heroes.  Chinese, Indian, Malayan, Japanese, Khymer, Phillipino, Korea, Catalan, French, Greek, British, Germanic, Scandanavian, Slavic, Romanian, Albanian, Pre-Islamic, Tartar, Judeo-Christian and Turkish mythology all speak of dragons, wyverns, wyrms or basilisks.  The ancient Egyptians worshipped a crocodile named the Messah – which later became a dragon, and the sign of Kingship. Think about it – the Nile Crocodile is a supreme predator, a feared monster and little can best it. What better ideal for kingship – powerful, terrifying and unbeatable.

Then of course we have the symbolism of dragons as the ultimate evil – the devil or other wicked beast destroying the good Christians and being vanquished by a Christian Hero. On the other hand Chinese Dragons are seen as lucky.

Dragon literature is diverse – Christian mythology (as mentioned), Norse, Celtic, Beowulf, St George, to name but a few. And more modern writers such as Tolkien, Cindy Lyle, George RR Martin, Cressida Cowell, JD Hallowell, David Gaider and many, many more feature a dragon of one sort or another. Here’s a challenge – type Dragon in the search engine of Good Reads – I tried and there were over 100 pages of books with ‘Dragon’ in the title and that’s just the beginning.  Movies, video games, table-top games and toys feature the most legendary of monsters. Dragons are all around us – some kind and benevolent and some much less so.  We are culturally bound with Draco and his kind.

St George and the Dragon 

This part originally posted here:

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/fantasy-its-everywhere-part-2-st-george-and-the-dragon/

I am British, and Britain has a very rich heritage of myth and folklore; we have dragons, we have knights who slay them, we have mythical kings and magic swords, we have monsters inhabiting Scottish Lochs, we have fairies, pixies and ghosts aplenty, we have heroes and antiheroes.  Yet many people scoff at fantasy, thinking it is simply elves, dwarves or similar; a genre read by geeks and nerds. Well yes, in part it is, but fantasy and folklore have been with us from the dawn of time in one form or another.

Let’s look at one of the best known English myths – that of St George and the Dragon.

Most accounts claim St George was born in Cappadocia, in what is now Turkey, of Darian origin. He enlisted in the Roman army, and quickly achieved a reputation for his physical strength bravery, loyalty and courage and he achieved a rank of Tribunus Militum, in charge of over 1000 men. He was martyred during the reign Emperor Diocletian in 303 AD in Lydda, Palestine, for refusing to persecute Christians, when Diocletion brought in edicts against what was then a reasonably small but vociferous sect. Including the burning of churches, the destruction of holy scriptures and the execution of Christians. George defended the Christians and their faith and was imprisoned, tortured and executed. There are various accounts of is martyrdom, some claiming it took seven years as God restored him to life three times. His fame was carried as far as Russia, with his head was carried to Rome.   His emblem of the red cross on a white background was carried on the tabards and shields of crusader knights. It is also the flag of England and forms the red cross part of the Union Flag of Great Britain. St George is the patron saint of England, taking the role from St Edward the Confessor who is now often forgotten. His tomb attracted pilgrims, and his fame spread when Richard the Lionheart introduced his military cult to England during the crusades and the Battle of Acre, before this his cult appeared in Byzantium.  John Cabot carried his emblem to Newfoundland and both Sir Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake flew his standard. It was also carried by the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower.

Jacobus de Voragine in his Golden Legends (13th Century) speaks of him in Silene in Libya. Another 10th Century account places St George in the fictional area of Lasia, ruled by a tyrannical emperor called Silinus. The area had a lake, inhabited by a venomous dragon, local inhabitants would feed it sheep to keep it passive, and then when these failed to satisfy it, children were chosen at random. One day the lottery fell on the king’s daughter, the king offers half his kingdom if his daughter was spared. This is an idea which appears in other mythology – the king – unable to defeat a monster offers his daughter and riches to a hero. St George, the knight, happened to be passing and wounding the dragon with his lance (and with God’s blessing)  then capturing the dragon with the princess’s girdle allowed it to be led by the noble lady to the city gates, where St George converted them to Christianity and duly slew the dragon.

In some accounts he was the son of an English Lord, Lord Albert of Coventry and his mother died in childbirth. The babe was stolen by a ‘wild-woman’ of the woods (possibly a witch or gypsy) but he eventually outwits her and becomes a knight. Of course after the slaying of the dragon and rescue of the princess he married the maiden, returned to England and lived happily ever after… Although as with many legends another version states he faces a second dragon, in Warwickshire, kills it but subsequently dies of its poison.

Of course this is a religious myth, and many would say not fantasy as such – the dragon represents evil, and those who slay them champions of Christianity. He is also believed to have protected horses from witchcraft – one should hang a flint with a hole over the stable door with verse depicting him vanquishing a hag. But there is more than religious allegory, he epitomised courtly and chivalrous values; he was a warrior, saviour of damsels in distress and vanquisher of monsters.  And some would say religion uses elements we class as fantasy, and ideas which appear in religion appear in myth and folklore. The two are intertwined. The more magical elements of the myth probably appeared after the Reformation, with the overtly Christian inferences stripped out by the Protestants and the more romantic elements of the story take the fore.

His heart (allegedly) lies in Windsor and was a favoured relic of King Henry V, who invoked him at the siege of Agincourt (1415), where the English were victorious against the French, but later kings have claimed his protection and as the patron saint of England his influence is firmly entrenched.   There are other local English myths – including one in an Essex village where a dragon (probably a crocodile escaped from the king’s menagerie) was killed by a local nobleman – one Sir George Marney.    The Uffington White Horse, in Berkshire, England (an ancient white chalk horse cut into the landscape) has a dragon myth.  There is a hill named Dragon Hill, is claimed by Thomas Hughes in his book The Scouring of the White Horse (1859) to have been the site of the slaying of the dragon by ‘King George’. The bare patch is supposed to be where the blood of the dragon spilled, nothing will grow. Hughes cites another region, Aller in Somerset, where a shepherd tells of a hill which saw the death of the dragon and the burial of its slayer. The horse at Uffington is itself curious being linked with Alfred the Great, (878 AD) Hengist the Anglo Saxon leader, Celtic (100BC) but in fact has been in existence since the Bronze Age – around 1000BCE. Brinsop in Herefordshire also claims ownership of St George – its parish church has a medieval carving of the deed being done. The dragon apparently residing in the local ‘Dragon’s Well’ and the next village being known as Wormsley – ‘worm’ or ‘wyrm’ being an alternate word for dragon.

Heroika: Dragon Eaters 

This brings me to Heroika: Dragon Eaters. This anthology turns the tables. Our dragons are not the nice sort. They are the alpha predator, the scourge of land, water and sky, they are true monsters. Only the bravest, most desperate or foolhardy take them on and fewer life to tell the tale. Dragon Eaters came from an idea from fantasy author Janet Morris – who wanted a ‘snake eaters’ type of anthology. The best of the best fighting the worst of the worst you might say. What was born was seventeen diverse tales from ancient mythic to futuristic and steampunk. They share a theme, albeit a loose one, and all types of dragons are slayed, vanquished and devoured. I suppose you could say the winners eat the losers. As you’d expect it is filled with blood, scales, fire and magic, swords, airships, flying beasts and so very much more.

Do you have a favourite dragon story? If so feel free to comment on it.

http://www.royalsocietyofstgeorge.com/history_of_st_george.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dragons_in_mythology_and_folklore

http://www.sacred-texts.com/lcr/fsca/fsca16.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George_and_the_Dragon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Legend

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dragons_in_literature

 

 

 

Random Friday – Interview with Rufus Redblade – Heroika

Here’s a great interview with Rufus Redblade, hero and dragonslayer.

Barbara G.Tarn - writer

heroika revised 1Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!

Hello handsome. Tell me a little about yourself.

I am Rufus Redblade. I was once Captain of the Royal Guard, but times have changed. Now I am a blade for hire. I’m a Griffin Rider. We used to be the elite, for it takes a certain sort to tame and ride a Griffin. Many try, few succeed, and fewer still survive it long.

Age? No idea. I don’t keep track of such things.

That’s fine, I don’t do either. Describe your appearance in…

View original post 700 more words

Greek and Roman Mythology – Course – Review

Greek and Roman Mythology – Coursera

Greek and Roman mythology is fascinating, in many ways it is at the core of many Western traditional stories.  Even today we are enchanted by such tales of heroes, monsters, errant gods, and the goings on of those far removed and yet ever close. Hercules, Odysseus, the Trojan horse, Oedipus, and much more. The terms have fallen into modern usages – An odyssey denoting an epic journey, a Herculean task, a Trojan horse for a gift which is not all it seems.  Such tales spawned others – and in many ways influence modern heroic fiction.

I’ve studied Classics in the past – although it was more for the historical perspective and so this course really appealed.  I’ve also studied with Coursera – an online organisation which offers courses from a variety of sources, including the University of Pennsylvania who provide this particular course.

Myths intrigue me, I read a lot of mythic fiction, and write it too in my Tales of Erana series.

https://www.coursera.org/course/mythology

This is what the Coursera site says about the course ‘Myths are traditional stories that have endured over a long time. Some of them have to do with events of great importance, such as the founding of a nation. Others tell the stories of great heroes and heroines and their exploits and courage in the face of adversity. Still others are simple tales about otherwise unremarkable people who get into trouble or do some great deed. What are we to make of all these tales, and why do people seem to like to hear them? This course will focus on the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, as a way of exploring the nature of myth and the function it plays for individuals, societies, and nations. We will also pay some attention to the way the Greeks and Romans themselves understood their own myths. Are myths subtle codes that contain some universal truth? Are they a window on the deep recesses of a particular culture? Are they a set of blinders that all of us wear, though we do not realize it? Or are they just entertaining stories that people like to tell over and over? This course will investigate these questions through a variety of topics, including the creation of the universe, the relationship between gods and mortals, human nature, religion, the family, sex, love, madness, and death.’ (Coursera Website)

Does the course deliver? Yes it does. The tutor Peter Stuck is engaging, obviously knows his subject and is enthusiastic. The course is presented through a combination of videos, reading materials, quizzes, two essays and some discussion forums. The course recommends 10 hours a week of study – in truth it’s probably slightly more as some of the reading is quite long.

The subjects covered range from how the myths were perceived, the notion of pietas (duty, honour, loyalty) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietas to religion, to food, to concept of the hero, what it meant to be a man in that society, the notion of how to treat one’s guests (or not) and familial ties. The reading includes The Odyssey – possibly THE epic adventure of antiquity and one of my first introductions to ancient Greek literature during my Diploma in Classics – so this was a very welcome re-read; The Aeneid – the tale of Aeneas and the struggle of the survivors of Troy and their quest for a new homeland – which lead (apparently) to the founding of Rome. Julius Caesar and Augustus traced their ancestry back to Aeneas and through him back to his immortal mother Venus; to the Oresteia (the tragic tale of Agamemnon after he returns from Troy); Oedipus the King (the tragic play so famous in which fate and prophecy play such a terrible role). Plus several more.

The video lectures made me think about some of the books in a new way, by focusing on aspects I may not have initially seen, and seeing the greater whole of the stories. Homer was incredibly influential and the later works often copy (or attempt to) his style and incredible narrative versatility. The books cover a period far removed from ideals and ideas of today, yet still something resonates – the challenge, the struggle and the emotions of the characters, the fight to be something more, and in some cases to survive. Of course much is different – Hesiod’s Theogony is not favourable to women, there are of course slaves in these societies, the gods are many and walk with humans, often begetting offspring in one form or another, and playing with the lives of mortals, ritual is important and there is violence – a lot of it. Actually that’s not so different from today and for much the same reasons – greed, honour, territory, religion etc.

These are not books for the faint hearted, or for those who are shocked by violence, sex, double crossing, murder, betrayal and such like. Themes in fact which tend to pervade our media – watch any soap opera and these themes are there in abundance. The influence of these authors and their work is monumental and this course helps to show why. Why this works need to be preserved and celebrated and why these cultures are so important to our own. These books are real heroic fiction, they are at the core of heroes and monsters, and of fantasy as we know it.

So, you ask, is it expensive? No it’s free. You can pay a small fee and get a certificate of completion (assuming you’ve done all the quizzes to an acceptable standard and one of the assignments) but it can be completed simply for the pleasure of it.

Is there anything I didn’t like? I did find the workload quite heavy – with work, writing, and family life commitments can be difficult to find the time and energy to put it but others may find that easier. I also didn’t use the forums much, although that was personal choice.

The course does not require any prior experience in the subject (but it helps) and assumes a level of literacy and intelligence in order to discuss and appreciate the themes and topics.

Would I recommend this? Yes, without a doubt to anyone interested in mythology, Greek and Roman literature or religion, fans of heroic fiction, and historians of the period.

#Mythology #Coursera #HeroicFiction #Fantasy #GreekandRoman

A Week with the Dragon Eaters – William Hiles

Today I welcome William Hiles for Heroika Week.

Character questions:

*Who are you? Captain Jackson Turner.

Why are you embarking on this quest? Revenge. For the killing of my men. For the devastation wrought by the beast.

Where are you from? (Tell us about it.) From Morgantown, Western Virginia. Though my family were farmers and shop keepers, I managed an appointment to West Point, where I was eventually commissioned as an officer in the United States Army.

*Tell us about dragons in your world. One exists. I don’t know why. I don’t know how.  All I care about is killing it.

Do you have a family? I lost my family, a wife and child, to cholera many years ago.

Do you see yourself as a hero? What is a hero? No. What is a hero? That’s for others to decide. For me, it’s a matter of duty. To your men (or family). To yourself.

What is the technology level of your world? Mid-19th Century.

 

Author questions (choose from):

*Who are you? William Hiles

How do you define a hero? Someone who does what needs to be done, no matter the risk, for the benefit of others. Someone who performs a selfless action. Ordinary people who proceed with grace under extraordinary circumstances.

Why did you choose this world/era to write in? I’m a history nut. I love the challenges of bringing the past to life. I have a very special connection to military history, especially that of the United States.

Give us a couple of lines about your characters. Brave men who take a stand against an unimaginable horror, far beyond that of ordinary war. Former enemies, forced together for survival, who become brothers in a soul-searing crucible.

Heroika: The Dragon Eaters is a dark heroic fantasy – how do you define that genre? Dark heroic fantasy, to me, is a story of ordinary people, faced by extraordinary challenges, in a landscape that seemingly offers only obstacles or heartache. And yet despite this, these people rise to the challenges, overcome the obstacles, and ultimately succeed in bringing hope or peace or some fitting resolution to the story—even at the cost of their own lives.

How much research did you need for your story? Not much actually, having been a student of the era for many years.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Mostly pantser. How a story ends is usually what I need to know before I begin, everything else is a journey to that end.

What other novels/short stories have you written? Early in my career I had quite a few stories in small press magazines. However, most of my output in recent years has been articles relating to my work (video games). I’m now getting back to writing more fiction.

What book(s) are you currently reading? War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America’s First Frontier by John F. Ross

Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. I’ve kept a list of books I’ve read since I was 12 years old. I have over 1600 books on the list.

Tidbit:

This can be a Dragon-Eater recipe, interesting info about the world in which your story takes place, historical info, or somesuch.

Red Rain is set during and after a real American Civil War battle.  The first land battle of the Civil War, in fact, fought in the vicinity of Philippi, Virginia (now West Virginia) on June 3. 1861. Writer Ambrose Bierce did serve in this battle.

 

Author website/blog: http://williamhiles.blogspot.com/

Twitter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WJHiles

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10943148-william-hiles

Amazon page:

Bio:

William Hiles, is a former magazine editor, game designer, writer and artist, living in Round Rock, Texas, with his wife, son, and a menagerie of pets. He likes to ramble on about history, cooking, art, and writing. Although he has been accused of living in the past, he does not write with a mere quill. It has to be an Australian Black Swan quill.

 

HEROIKA1 New banner heroika_TChirezpromo

 

 

A Week with the Dragon Eaters – Travis Ludvigson

Today I welcome Travis Ludvigson and his character Ogier the Dane

Character questions:

*Who are you? Ogier the Dane

Why are you embarking on this quest? To support my commander and friend, Roland (and because the emperor Charlemagne has commanded it).

Where are you from? (Tell us about it) I hail from the land of the Danes, a place filled with mighty warriors, skilled craftsman and breathtaking fjords. I left my lands to seek out adventure and riches in foreign lands.

*Tell us about dragons in your world Dragons are a very serious threat. The dragon Nidhhog lives beneath the world tree, Ygdrassil, constantly gnawing at the roots, while Jorgumander, the world serpent, lurks in the depths of the sea, waiting for Ragnarok, when it will be free to do battle with the gods. Dragons are powerful creatures covered in armour-like scales and wielding wickedly sharp claws and teeth.

What is the best way to kill a dragon? If you kill the brain, you kill the beast. Of course, to do so, you must get past its claws, tail, teeth and flame and strike up close and personal. But what warrior doesn’t dream of facing such a challenge? It will be either a mighty victory or a glorious death.

Author questions:

*Who are you? Travis Ludvigson

How do you define a hero? Someone who puts their life on the line for another. Being heroic is about seeing someone in trouble and trying to help them, regardless of danger, recognition or reward.

Why did you choose this world/era to write in? The time of Charlemagne was full of warriors (Franks, Saxons, Danes, Norse, Saracens, etc), battles between religions, and a belief in dragons and the like was still prevalent amongst the populace.

Give us a couple of lines about your characters. Roland is one of the greatest fighters of his time. He is both a talented fighter as well as an inspiring leader who commands the respect of friends and foes alike.

Ogier the Dane is a massive warrior who serves Roland because he feels a kinship with him and admires his skills and leadership. But Ogier is a legend in his own rite. Statues of Ogier the Dane still grace the Danish landscape and it is said that when Denmark is in danger, Ogier will rise from his throne and draw his sword to protect the land.

Heroika: The Dragon Eaters is a dark heroic fantasy – how do you define that genre? This is heroic fantasy without the shiny, decorative armour and maidens in silk waiting in the highest tower for rescue. It is filled with sweat and blood stained leather, battle notched blades, terrible creatures and true, raw emotion.

What other novels/short stories have you written? Yare’ Darkness Bound and Iron Song are novels in the Nephilim Chronicles (I am currently working on the third book in the series). The first is urban/supernatural fantasy and the second is historical fantasy.

Unrelenting is a dark, urban fantasy novella.

What book(s) are you currently reading? I am currently reading The Bone Sword by Walter Rhein and The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu.

I also recently read Schade of Night by JP Wilder.

Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. I broke my nose in a full contact Muay Thai championship (although I still won the fight with a third round TKO).

Tidbit:

The indestructible sword, Durendal, wielding by Roland, is one of the most famous swords in history; second only to King Arthur’s Excalibur. The eternal sword is said to be embedded in the stone wall of the Chapelle de Notre-Dame in Rocamadour, France, where it can be seen today.

Author website/blog:

http://norseman73.wix.com/land-of-the-norseman

https://landofthenorse.wordpress.com

Twitter:

@TravisLudvigson

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/travisludvigsonauthor

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4272358.Travis_Ludvigson

Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/Travis-Ludvigson/e/B00BNASEIG/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1430185761&sr=8-1

heroika revised 111143231_897184103657050_5318210832294606375_o

A Week with the Dragon Eaters – Walter Rhein

Today for Dragon Eaters Week I’d like to Welcome Walter Rhein and his character Aquila.

Character Questions

*Who are you? I am Aquila of Oyos, the all-king, the scourge of man. This world is mine and the creatures that scuttle and crawl across the charred surface do so at my indulgence. I will bear no slight, not from a dragon, and certainly not from a man. The immortal law is that the ancient wyrms must not slaughter one another, but I know well that the laws, even the most ancient laws, were only ever meant as binding to the lesser creatures.

Where are you from? This is a young world, still hot from creation. Rivers of liquid stone pool into glorious and glowing molten ponds. When I stretch my wings and fly, the night air is hot beneath my wings. The heavier elements bubble to the surface, and can be taken in claw and set upon the topmost peaks where they cool into a bed almost worthy of my repose.

*Tell us about dragons in your world. We are the dominant creatures. It is a dragon world and I am the king. All other life is there only for my sustenance or entertainment.

What is the best way to kill a dragon? Ahhh, that’s the secret isn’t it? Do you think I am so foolish that I would reveal such a thing here? That, the most revered knowledge of our species. My official answer is that there is no way to kill a dragon. We are immortal, we are all-powerful, we are gods. That having been said, I do know a few tricks which have proven useful when my brothers and sisters have overstepped their position.

Where do dragons come from? Dragons pre-date the universe. We are the fragments of the first creator that took nothing and forged it by force of will into creation. In the resulting explosion of that first magnificent, defiant act of creation, the dragon form was instilled into the very fabric of reality. We are the mirror image of immortality, dominance and perfection. The darkness of the night is our eternal shadow, the glimmer of the stars is the reflection of our collective, beating hearts.

Author questions

*Who are you? I am Walter Rhein, the author of the fantasy novels “The Reader of Acheron,” and “The Bone Sword.” I’m also the author of a humorous travel memoir about cross-country ski racing titled “Beyond Birkie Fever.” I am published with Perseid and Harren Press and maintain a blog at HeroicFantasyWriters.com as well as operate the accompanying Facebook Group. I have a book coming out in a few months about 10 years spent living in Peru, and can be reached at: walterrhein@gmail.com.

How do you define a hero? A hero is a criminal with a good public relations team.

Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel? Heroika is a little different because it’s not quite a shared world anthology, although there were a set of very general ground rules to follow. I was in the middle of writing the sequel to “The Reader of Acheron” when this anthology opportunity came up. At first I wasn’t going to participate because I was so busy with “Reader 2,” but I found myself daydreaming about the project and stumbled upon an idea. It was really relaxing to take a break from the larger thematic arcs of the novel I was working on and just crank out a self-contained story. I’m glad that Janet liked it and included it in Heroika.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? I used to be a pantser but I’m moving more and more towards being a plotter. It’s good to have a general idea where you want to go in a story, but your chapters have to also have that spontaneous feel. There always have to be room for movement in case your characters decide to take you places you hadn’t anticipated. That should happen because it means you’re being true to how you’ve defined your characters (when that starts happening, the books write themselves). Sometimes it can be a bit unruly to end a novel the way you anticipated, but if you can’t find a solution it might mean that the ending you hoped for isn’t within the make up of your protagonists.

How important is the fantasy genre to our society? I think it’s very important because you can get away with so much. Fantasy also allows you to make social comments that would be dangerous if you tried to say them in other genres. I’m actually a strong believer that fantasy is the dominant genre of literature. People don’t realize how many of the greatest works of literature can actually be labelled as fantasy (I could apply the label to just about anything).

Tidbit: Aquila of Oyos contains some characters with names that might be familiar from Greek and Roman mythology. That’s not an accident.

Author website/blog

HeroicFantasyWriters.com

Twitter

@swordreaver

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/wrhein

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4221284.Walter_Rhein

Amazon page:  http://www.amazon.com/Walter-Rhein/e/B008Z6RIOC

11143231_897184103657050_5318210832294606375_o

A Week with the Dragon Eaters – Seth Lindberg

Day 3 of the Dragon Eaters Week brings us Seth Lindberg

*Who are you? Seth (S.E.) Lindberg. I live near Cincinnati, Ohio working as a microscopist, employing my skills as a scientist & artist to understand the manufacturing of products analogous to medieval paints. Two decades of practicing chemistry, combined with a passion for the Sword and Sorcery genre, spurred me to write graphic adventure fictionalizing the alchemical humors: Dyscrasia FictionI co-moderate a Goodreads- Sword & Sorcery Group and invite you to participate.

 *Tell us about dragons in your world; and please share some lore/myths from it. There is just one dragon in the Legacy of the Great Dragon.  Therein, the Father of Alchemy entombs his source of magic, the Great Dragon.  Many think of medieval chemists and occult witchcraft of the 1500’s as being the origin of alchemy.  Indeed there was a popularization ~1500 with the teachings of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa.  Peeling back the onion of myths and history, we learn that alchemists professed knowledge having come through the Greek god Hermes; hence the lore of alchemy is often referred to the Hermetic Tradition.

One of the earliest known hermetic scripts is the Divine Pymander of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus.  Within that, a tale is told of Hermes being confronted with a vision of the otherworldly entity called Pymander, who takes the shape of a “Great Dragon” to reveal divine secrets.  Digging into history more, one learns that Hermes is a reboot of the Egyptian deity Thoth (who was called by Greeks as Hermes Trismegistus).  According to Greek and Egyptian myth, Thoth was able to see into the world of the dead and pass his learnings to the living.  The other most known script of the Hermetic Tradition is the Emerald Tablet’s engravings; the original stone has long since been lost, but translations and recordings have persisted over centuries.  Even Sir Isaac Newton was fascinated with the Tablet and made his own translation readily available (presented below answers).

Legacy of the Great Dragon fictionalizes the Hermetic Tradition, presenting the “Divine Pymander–Great Dragon” as being the sun-eating Apep serpent of Egyptian antiquity (a dragon who ate the sun each day from under the horizon, in the underworld).

How do you define a hero?  Heroes take many forms; “good “ones seek to help humanity even at the expense of their own lives, property, or family.  If there is a hero in Legacy of the Great Dragon it is Thoth who strives to maintain learning while seeking the divine.  He is posited as a non-violent hero/protagonist.  His antagonists include Horus and Set who wish to use alchemy in war.

Tidbit:

Other Heroika authors will be sharing “Dragon-Eater recipes” in this post series. Keeping in mind that the Emerald Tablet is thought to be a recipe for transmuting the natural, to artificial, to the divine—we share it instead.  Below is Sir Isaac Newton’s translation; it is not a recipe for eating dragons—rather it is a recipe provided by a Great Dragon:

‘Tis true without lying, certain & most true.

That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing

And as all things have been & arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.

The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse.

The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.

Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.

Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.

It ascends from the earth to the heaven & again it descends to the earth & receives the force of things superior & inferior.

By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world

And thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.

Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtle thing & penetrates every solid thing.

So was the world created

From this are & do come admirable adaptations whereof the means is here in this.

Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world

That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished & ended.

Links Galore:

S E Lindberg Author-Reviewer Blog

S E Lindberg – Amazon Author Page

11143231_897184103657050_5318210832294606375_o

S E Lindberg on Goodreads

Dyscrasia Fiction – Facebook

S E Lindberg – Twitter