And what might “Original Fantasy” be, you ask? Quite simply, fantastic stories of swordsmen and sorcerers, of mighty quests, of everyman heroes in search of the impossible without a hint of Tolkien. Without a mention of dwarves, elves, or orcs to be seen anywhere, with no rhyming prophecies or anonymous kings living in exile as rough-edged woodsmen. Just people, some ordinary, some perhaps a cut above, standing in stoic defiance of forces beyond their mortal ken.
Don’t in any way misunderstand me. I yield to no one in my love of Tolkien and his epic Ring odyssey. My future wife came equipped with a set of hardbound second editions back in 1975. That was my first encounter, and I fell in love for life with the incredible world he created. I read them cover-to-cover, then read them aloud to her, then read them again to our children. I sat enthralled through every treatment, from the Rankin-Bass television specials through Ralph Bakshi’s bizarre vision to Peter Jackson’s instant classic trilogy, and have never disliked any version. I actually have an incomplete novel (no current plans to revisit it) resplendent with dwarves, elves, and though not orcs, villainous versions of all three of the others. But in this case, we’re talking about the alternative.
Alternatives exist, to be sure, and I’m here to offer one. The Stone Seekers is the story of a colony of outcasts in a hostile land who are robbed of an artifact that literally allows them to live around the bay they precariously cling to. They know who took it and they know where to find them, but if every man, woman, and child took up arms and marched on the thieves, they haven’t the power to overcome them. So they select two champions, a man and a woman with very complementary skills, to venture into the very jaws of evil and recover by stealth what cannot be taken by force.
This is my longest work to date, 369 pages of action-packed adventure, and like all of my work, it is for sale on Kindle for 99¢.
View from the Blimp
Well, last Friday I somewhat prematurely suggested that I might consider ending my writing career. The comments section went insane, generating a number of responses unlikely to be approached again until I’m on a best-seller list somewhere, and I feel another word or two might be in order. If I hang up my quill, and that is a big if, it won’t be until months after The Darklighters is completed, and only then if certain very precise conditions are met. I am flattered by the show of support, but it’s far too early to worry about this now. If it looks like it may be coming to pass, I’ll invite commentary probably after Christmas, but there’s far too much track between here and there to be worrying about that particular switch at this point.
But now that I think about it, here’s a little idea that just came to me. I clearly stated in Friday’s post that it isn’t about the money, I just want to be read, and that is absolutely true. How would it play if I just forget about all this publishing and marketing nonsense, and put all my work up on this site for free? Find a title you like, click the tab, and read. I could continue to blog, and promote my writing friends, and all that stress and hassle would evaporate into thin air. This would become your one-stop shop for all things Tyler. What do you think?
In Other News…
Karen J. Carlisle, the talented author responsible for the Viola Stewart series, the Department of Curiosities, and Aunt Enid has announced an upcoming Secret Project. This is the clue, and the release is imminent, so check in at Karen J. Carlisle and get ready to party! While you’re there you can sign up for her newsletter, Tea and Tidings, and don’t miss N.O.A. Rawle’s review of Aunt Enid, either; it’s really worth a read . . . the book and the blog!
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A new anthology has been announced for the fantasy genre. Short stories are being accepted at horrortree.com. Don’t let the name throw you off, they aren’t after horror in this one, but fantasy works of 3- to 6,000 words with a generally uplifting theme. The submission deadline is November 1st, and the pay for accepted stories is $300 plus royalties. All the particulars are available at the link above, so sharpen your pencils and put on your wizard hats!
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Over at the website Peak Story Reviews, our friend B.K. Bass is running a monthly feature in which he explains a sub-genre or niche style, then offers up an original story written in that style. This month he looks at Magepunk, a style combining technology and magic, and thrills readers with Crimson Storm, a tale of pirates and airships and things . . .
War’s End: The Storm by Christine Shuck. “What was left in the wreckage of the world that was? We were. And this is our story, my story, and the story of us all.” – Jess’s Journal. In the day after tomorrow, after the socioeconomic collapse of the United States, one young girl fights for survival. Violently ripped from her family, abused and now pregnant, Jess must somehow survive while fleeing those who pursue her. Jess must come to peace with the life growing inside her as she struggles to return home. $3.99 on Kindle.
The Haunting of the Hockomock Swamp by H.E. Kline. “Radiating from the ground, she sensed the Indians’ spirits and great suffering.” Against the beautiful backdrop of the largest swamp in Southeastern Massachusetts, a captivating tale of mystery, magic, and murder that will keep you on the edge of your seat – heart pounding and looking over your shoulder – as you read The Haunting of Hockomock Swamp! Based on local legend, this tale is not for the faint of heart, but scared or not, you’ll love the thrills and chills that accompany this paranormal romance. Hordes of young children suffering the unthinkable. A bewildering investigation. Janie Williams is living her dream as a newbie investigative reporter until she finds herself intrigued by a three-century old Native American shapeshifter who is a terror to behold and is wreaking havoc. As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, she falls head over heels with her crazy sexy hot heart-of-gold mentor Alan Needle. But what Janie could never imagine is that her efforts to solve this mystery will uncover the deepest betrayal, blood, and tragedy America has ever seen. 99¢ on Kindle.
Aunt Nora’s Cleaning Service by Linda M. Scott. Aunt Nora had a beautiful teenage daughter, full of life, who was raped and murdered. After the death of her daughter she tried to find closure by joining support groups, but nothing seemed to fill that void or ease the pain that she was feeling. One day she decided to orchestrate her own support group, one that had nothing to do with standing up and sharing feelings. Instead her group of like-minded individuals believed in one result for rapist and pedophiles and one result only: DEATH. $2.99 on Kindle.
And that’s 30 for this issue. Join me Thursday for the promised look at using spreadsheets to track your plots. Until then, read well, and write better!