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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”

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”

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”

Betrayal: Just Another Weapon in the Antihero’s Arsenal

“So many vows…they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vowContinue reading “Betrayal: Just Another Weapon in the Antihero’s Arsenal”

Weird Real, Grimdark Schools

If you like to escape by jumping headfirst into a dark fantasy read, you’ll know that your trip to faraway lands is always too short. Far sooner than you’d like, you’re back to the prosaic reality of dishes in the sink, yardwork you’ve been postponing, and the knowledge that tomorrow will be exactly the sameContinue reading “Weird Real, Grimdark Schools”

Real Faeries Are Grimdark

There’s a reason the Irish curse the “fucking Fairies” under their breath. Forget everything Disney told you about these creatures. Human treasures are not what fae value. They don’t grant wishes (at least, not for cheap) and they don’t serenade you on your way to the ball. But that doesn’t mean the fair folk areContinue reading “Real Faeries Are Grimdark”

Enter My Grimoire #TBR Giveaway

ICYMI in my Dark Tidings newsletter and out on social media, I’m giving away an eBook copy of Raven Queen, Arise and a $25 Amazon eGift card to one lucky winner this holiday season. There are many ways to enter. The more ways you enter, the more your chances of winning. Click here to useContinue reading “Enter My Grimoire #TBR Giveaway”

Unpopular Opinion: The new Dune didn’t suck.

The new Dune didn’t suck like the previous attempts, but it left a lot on the cutting room floor and changed some things that weakened the plot. It was good, but too much was cut and changed for me to think it great. Even though they only got through the first third of the storyContinue reading “Unpopular Opinion: The new Dune didn’t suck.”