July ’17 State of the Author

Warm. It’s July in Texas.

August 5 and 6 I will be at AmaCon, the pop-culture Con in Amarillo that is sponsored by the Amarillo Public Library. I will be with Peter Grant, Dorothy Grant, J. L. Curtis, and the Lawdog. I will have books available for purchase and to sign, or you can BYO. (Carpathian Campaign and Alexander, Soldier’s Son. Ivan’s paw-tograph is available for the Alexi book).

Shikhari, the first book in that series, will be out in September. It is suitable for younger readers, say 13 and up, but I’m not marketing it as YA. Continue reading

A Day in the Life

People what’s the life of an author like. Um, quiet, unless Life has decided to Happen. Far quieter than school (accidental fire drills, student cabals, a murmuration of teachers, the occasional parental explosion, the occasional chemistry explosion…)

Johannes Gutenberg, being introverted. Or the author, hiding.

So, in an attempt to cure any of my readers who suffer from insomnia, here is a day in the life, in this case a Sunday. Continue reading

Friday Fiction: Of Merchant and Magic Part Five

Tycho Galnaar Rhonarida settles in for a quiet winter. Perhaps.

Chapter Five – Winter into Spring


The notary-mage studied Tycho and the seal, then stood. He walked around the merchant and out the open front of his work-area, into the main market and currency exchange. The stocky man pulled a stout cord hanging beside the door.

Clatter-tap, clatter-tap, clatter-tap. Everyone within hearing paused and looked to the notary. He raised his hands to his mouth and called, “Is there any man of good repute who can identify this person standing beside me?” He pointed an ink-stained finger at Tycho.

After a moment, three men in merchant’s or craftsmen’s clothes walked up, along with one of the ship-captains. “I know him. I am Ventris Bormanson.”

“I know him. I am Henk Wesserman,” the captain said.

“I know him. I am Gregor Smithson.”

“And I am Haako Peltzerman, and he is Tycho Galnaar, husband of Gerta Galnaar born Krewatzi.” Continue reading

Being a Professional

I consider myself a professional musician. I do not sing or play an instrument for a living, although I have been paid in the past, and the chorus I sing with at the moment gets paid as an organization. However, I do additional private practice sessions, I show up for rehearsals and concerts even when I do not feel like it, and I do my best to support the organization and its goals. Although I do not earn income from singing, I act as if I were under a financial contract instead of a purely moral one. That’s what a professional does. Continue reading

Friday Fiction: Of Merchant and Magic Part Four

Chapter Four: Home and Winter


Gerta patted one paten-shod foot on the rear stoop-stone, the wooden tap tap tap warning passers-by of her possible irritation. “Your son,” she began, fist on hip.

“Half of him is yours,” Tycho reminded her. They had been not-arguing over the boys’ behavior for twenty years. “And you have delegated authority in my absence.”

“That is true, but you are larger than I am, and the council frowns on hitting your own children on the head with broomsticks and fish-gaffs.”

Depending on which son had done what, Tycho doubted the broomstick would be strong enough to attract the young man’s attention. Gerta moved out of the way, allowing him into the narrow door leading to the residential part of their house. “I just came back from the called meeting about letters of credit from Liambruu.”

That explained the patens and her formal dark attire, along with her wearing his chain of mastery. The flat gold and silver links shimmered, if one could see the spells cast on them, and showed that he had formally given her business authority to act in his name in his absence. She slid the patens off her fine embroidered leather shoes, removed her flat-brimmed hat, and lifted the chain over her head. “This I return to my husband and master.”

“This I accept from my wife and lady.” He accepted the chain, held it up for a moment, then lowered it over his own head and accepted the weight of duty. She put her arms around his waist and he pulled her close, kissing her thin, firm lips. Oh he had missed her! Continue reading

And Then some Gods Snuck In

The book about Tycho the trader was supposed to be straight fantasy, very simple magical system. Nothing deep, no scientific underpinnings, just some basic rules that everyone understands and we go from there.

My Muse struck again. Some gods showed up. And they are demanding a bigger part. I should have known I couldn’t get away without religion. Continue reading

New Release Update

Golden Summer, the next Colplatschki book, will release on Wednesday July 12, if all goes well.

Pjtor Adamson Swendborg defeated the Harriers and opened NovRodi to the lands across the White Sea. But his wife has not born another living child, and there are whispers that Godown has cursed her or him. He chafes at the old men and old ways that surround him. He may be emperor, but even he must bend to the will of the nobles and the church.

Change is coming as spring ripens to summer, but every man knows that he cannot count the harvest until it is in the barn. Pjtor’s own temper may undo all that he has won so far.