No More Heroines


I don’t like heroines. If you’re familiar with my work, you should immediately know I mean the word heroine, not the concept of the female protagonist. I’ve written one fantasy novel (The Hum and the Shiver) and a series of short stories (The Firefly Witch) with strong, tough female main characters, and I try to make the women in my Eddie … Read More

Steam from manure: working with details


Recently on Facebook, fan Claudia Tucker asked me, “How do you decide what bits are superfluous even if it sets the ambience of the scene?” Every writer’s approach, methods and habits are different, so keep that in mind when I describe mine. We all deal with the same issues, but ultimately there’s no right or wrong way to achieve these … Read More

Revealing a New Project: the Red Reaper


Back in November of 2009, I stumbled across a teaser trailer for the fantasy film, The Legend of the Red Reaper. It promised to be an action-adventure fantasy, and starred an actress I’d never heard of at the time, Tara Cardinal. As I watched the trailer, I realized that whatever the standard fantasy tropes on display, this was also something new and … Read More

Writer’s Day #7: A walk through the world of pirates

writer's day graphic

  For this edition of The Writer’s Day, I share this summer’s visit to the Whydah exhibit, featuring artifacts from the only confirmed pirate ship so far recovered. [media url=””]

The Next Big Thing blog tour


My friend from the Heroic Fiction League on Facebook, Violette Malan, graciously invited me to participate in The Next Big Thing blog series. Each author answers the same set of questions, and passes them on to five more authors, who post their answers the following week and pass them on to five more authors, and so forth. You’ll find Violette’s … Read More

Writer’s Day #6

writer's day graphic

  The is the sixth in a series of videos showing how a typical writer (i.e., me) spends his day.  But this one is a special edition, shot on location in…well, you’ll have to watch and see. [media url=””]

The apocryphal soundtracks to some of my books


It’s no secret that music is a big part of many of my novels, from inspiring the titles to influencing the plots to being part of the story itself. I’m not alone in this, I’m sure. Recently my friends at Facebook’s Heroic Fiction League, Nathan Long and John R. Fultz, posted “playlists” of YouTube videos, songs that either their heroes … Read More

The Girl on the Cover

Jane from cover

This post is about cover art, and specifically the way characters are portrayed in it. I want to say up front, I’m not being critical of my own covers. A cover is designed to make potential readers check out the book; once they do, it becomes the writer’s responsibility to keep them interested. It goes without saying that often the … Read More

Of eddies, witches and titles

John Wayne as Captain Ralls.

It’s no secret that the Eddie LaCrosse novels owe as much to mystery as they do fantasy, especially the hardboiled pulps and films noir of the 30s and 40s. So when I wrote Wake of the Bloody Angel, I knew its title would have to be a play on a title from the mystery genre, much as Burn Me Deadly … Read More

The face of the Firefly Witch

Nancy Travis, my original idea of Tanna Tully.

When a writer creates a character, he or she generally has a very clear image in his or her mind’s eye. Sometimes it can be of a well-known, specific actor: it’s no secret that Alien-era Tom Skerritt inspired Eddie LaCrosse, hero of my latest novel Wake of the Bloody Angel. Conversely, there is no actress who completely matches my idea of … Read More