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Heaven or Hell: The Afterlife in Grimdark Fantasy

“Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here today to get through this thing called life.” In the words of Prince, I think that’s why we read. Or write or do anything that sparks joy because at the heart of it, life sucks ass. The world can be a cruel, dark place. Grimdark offers us a catharsis forContinue reading “Heaven or Hell: The Afterlife in Grimdark Fantasy”

Beyond Lovable Rogues: Making Evil Characters Likable

It’s delicious as hell to root for a wicked character. That’s why the lovable rogue archetype lives on in literature and pop culture, from Han Solo to Aladdin. It’s fun to break the rules once and a while. Add a tyrannical force making the rules to the mix, and you can find yourself cheering forContinue reading “Beyond Lovable Rogues: Making Evil Characters Likable”

Lovers in the Grimdark

Every fucking book, grimdark or not, has some love plot. Of course, people fall in love often enough that we have a day to celebrate it! 90% of pop songs? Talkin’ bout love. 99% of stories you read? Same. There’s something sickly-sweet and enticing about whether a couple will or won’t. What obstacles will ourContinue reading “Lovers in the Grimdark”

Women in Horror, Fantasy & The Oscars™

When it comes to the Academy Awards™, there’s an annual elephant in the room for grimdark nerds like us: Will any horror, sci-fi or fantasy films get Oscar™ noms/wins outside of the obligatory costume, sound, and visual effects categories this year? You don’t need to tell us that fantasy, science fiction and horror all deserveContinue reading “Women in Horror, Fantasy & The Oscars™”

2022 Production Schedule

In the interests of getting this out there for my own motivation and accountability, here’s The Plan™ for this year. The next novel in the Temple of Vengeance series, is Raven Queen, Avenge. I expect her to be about 100k words when she ships, just like the first volume. Caveat: This schedule is tentative andContinue reading “2022 Production Schedule”

The Highlands Are Grimdark: How Scotland Influenced My Raven Queen

Scotland is a beautiful country. The mountains, rivers, forests, and lakes are really something to behold. The entire country looks like it was molded straight out of a fantasy world. A grimdark fantasy, that is. Everything about Scotland, the Highlands in particular, screams grimdark. From the frightful weather to the systems of governance, the mythosContinue reading “The Highlands Are Grimdark: How Scotland Influenced My Raven Queen”

Diversity in the Grimdark

The denizens of my fantasy realm are essentially color and genderblind. I don’t think having a society where this is possible is a further stretch than magic. Nor is having a diverse cast. Think about this: the potato was introduced to Europe in the Age of Exploration, about a century or two after the MiddleContinue reading “Diversity in the Grimdark”

Six Magical & Monstrous Winter Movies to Watch

That fuzzy Omen Punxsutawney Phil has declared we’ve got six more weeks of winter ahead. Whether you believe in groundhog shadow magic or not, February can be a little… blah. So let’s escape together with a movie marathon in the Grimdark. 😈🎬 Note: I’m not including The Thing or The Shining in this lineup, becauseContinue reading “Six Magical & Monstrous Winter Movies to Watch”

Ravens: Portents of Evil, And So Much More

In celebration of my new release Raven Queen, Arise, and Edgar Allan Poe’s 213th birthday week, here are some fun facts about the often-misunderstood raven. Intelligence Ravens are very, very smart. Scientists guess that ravens are some of the smartest animals in the kingdom, next to dolphins and primates. Ravens can remember thousands of locations for stashedContinue reading “Ravens: Portents of Evil, And So Much More”