Monday, December 23, 2013

The year in the review... and the year ahead.

Hi everyone,

I'd like to reflect a little about the year that was... and talk about the year ahead (spoiler: I have some Requiem news!).

But first, I want to thank you, my readers. You kept reading in 2013, allowing me to keep the gas on, the heat pumping, and the water flowing as I sat here every day, writing more books. THANK YOU.

A few big things happened in 2013.

The year began with the release of A Night of Dragon Wings, the third Dragonlore novel. This is still the longest, most complex novel set in Requiem. I wrote the Dragonlore trilogy during a crazy time in my life. Many chapters were written in trains, plains, and yes -- automobiles (really... automobiles too. Don't ask.) While writing Dragonlore, I was often traveling, I left my old job, I landed in the ER at one point, and went through a bunch of big life changes. When you see all the nutty stuff in Dragonlore (those crazy nephilim...) that probably reflects the craziness my life was going through while writing these books. Hopefully that at least resulted in an interesting read. ;)

But the CRAZIEST thing with the Dragonlore trilogy happened in the summer. All three Dragonlore novels hit the Amazon Top 100 bestsellers list. A Dawn of Dragonfire (the first book) even cracked the Top 20, hitting #18 in the Kindle store. This resulted in a very nice offer from Random House, which bought the books for publication in Germany. I never imagined so many eyeballs would see these books. It was scary, exciting, fun, and terrifying, and you--the readers--made it possible. You made me very happy but also almost gave me a heart attack! ;)

Soon after the third Dragonlore trilogy was released, I sat down and wrote The Dragon War, the third trilogy set in Requiem. The Dragon War is probably my favorite of the dragon trilogies. I think this trilogy -- telling the story of a civil war in Requiem -- is my best writing in this world. I'm glad that you chose to keep exploring Requiem with this new series.

In late 2013, after nine novels set in Requiem, it was time for something new. After years of planning and imagining it, I finally sat down and wrote Moth.

I think that, among all my books, Moth might be my favorite. Moth is about a world torn in two--one half always in sunlight, the other always dark. It explores themes that are important to me: the dangers of blind faith, the conflict between east and west, and the heroism found not only in warriors but in those who strive to stop war. Moth is different from the Requiem books. It's slower, focusing more on world building and exploration than action (though of course there's plenty of action too). I'm proud of it and hope you enjoy this series too. Amazingly, Moth did what Dragonlore achieved in the summer, hitting Amazon's Top 100 bestsellers list -- something I never imagined I'd be able to repeat. Empires of Moth, the sequel, was just released two weeks ago. I can't wait to hear what you all think about it.

That's 2013. Crazy year. What's planned for 2014?

Well, in a couple months, I plan to release Secrets of Moth, the third Moth book. That will conclude one story arc set in this world. If you like that one, I'd love to someday write even more Moth books. I have a bunch of ideas for a fourth, fifth, and even sixth book set in this world.

In 2014, we'll also have... * drumroll * a NEW REQUIEM BOOK!

Requiem's Song will kick-start a brand new trilogy (titled Dawn of Dragons). This time around, we'll get to see Requiem's ancient history. The book will be set thousands of years before the events in Song of Dragons. We'll see the Vir Requis before they had a kingdom of their own, when they were outcast and misunderstood and wandering the wilderness. The new trilogy will be set in a world just leaving the stone age, a place of wide open spaces, herds of mammoths (yes, mammoths!), roaming tribes of hunter-gatherers, and the rise of the world's first dragons.

I hope you keep reading in 2014. These books are a long and winding road of exploration and discovery. Thank you for walking this road with me. Every time you buy a book, review a book, talk about the books online, or simply hang around my Facebook page, you help create these stories.

Happy Holidays, everyone. Find the sky and be the night. ;)

December 23, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Moth Music

Moth, my new fantasy series, will feature an original soundtrack by musician Ekaterina. Here's the first track, titled "Legends": 

You can learn more about Moth (and hear more music) at:

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Unfinished Song

Tonight a guest is visiting my blog to tell us about her book.  Welcome Tara Maya, author of The Unfinished Song!


Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.


Blue-skinned rusalki grappled Dindi under the churning surface of the river. She could feel their claws dig into her arms. Their riverweed-like hair entangled her legs when she tried to kick back to the surface. She only managed to gulp a few breaths of air before they pulled her under again.

She hadn't appreciated how fast and deep the river was. On her second gasp for air, she saw that the current was already dragging her out of sight of the screaming girls on the bank. A whirlpool of froth and fae roiled between two large rocks in the middle of the river. The rusalka and her sisters tugged Dindi toward it. Other water fae joined the rusalki. Long snouted pookas, turtle-like kappas and hairy-armed gwyllions all swam around her, leading her to the whirlpool, where even more fae swirled in the whitewater.

"Join our circle, Dindi!" the fae voices gurgled under the water. "Dance with us forever!"

"No!" She kicked and swam and stole another gasp for air before they snagged her again. There were so many of them now, all pulling her down, all singing to the tune of the rushing river. She tried to shout, "Dispel!" but swallowed water instead. Her head hit a rock, disorienting her. She sank, this time sure she wouldn't be coming up again.

"Dispel!" It was a man's voice.

Strong arms encircled her and lifted her until her arms and head broke the surface. Her rescuer swam with her toward the shore. He overpowered the current, he shrugged aside the hands of the water faeries stroking his hair and arms. When he reached the shallows, he scooped Dindi into his arms and carried her the rest of the way to the grassy bank. He set her down gently.

She coughed out some water while he supported her back.

"Better?" he asked.

She nodded. He was young--only a few years older than she. The aura of confidence and competence he radiated made him seem older. Without knowing quite why, she was certain he was a Tavaedi.

"Good." He had a gorgeous smile. A wisp of his dark bangs dangled over one eye. He brushed his dripping hair back over his head.

Dindi's hand touched skin--he was not wearing any shirt. Both of them were sopping wet. On him, that meant trickles of water coursed over a bedrock of muscle. As for her, the thin white wrap clung transparently to her body like a wet leaf. She blushed.

"It might have been easier to swim if you had let go of that," he teased. He touched her hand, which was closed around something. "What were you holding onto so tightly that it mattered more than drowning?"

Tara’s blog
Tara’s Twitter
The Unfinished Song on Facebook
Barnes and Noble

Initiate is free everywhere except on Barnes and Noble (where it’s $0.99). You can download a free .epub version via Smashwords.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


My upcoming fantasy series will be set in Moth, a world torn in two -- its one half always in sunlight, the other always dark. The first Moth novel will be released on October 22. In the meanwhile, I invite you to visit the Moth website, where you can find Moth artwork, original music, maps, and more. You can even pre-order the book now! 

Begin to explore the world of Moth here:

Pre-order your copy (Kindle) here:

Monday, September 9, 2013

The precious...

I was looking everywhere for my wedding ring, and... damn. Somebody stole it.


Some dragons keeping me company while I write the books...

Friday, May 24, 2013


Today I sold my 200,000th book. What a crazy milestone.

Thank you everyone who bought a copy!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

So... what's next?

I recently released A Night of Dragon Wings, the third and final Dragonlore novel. This completes the second trilogy set in Requiem, following 2011's Song of Dragons.

Wow. Two Requiem trilogies. Six novels about this troubled kingdom of dragons.

The question now is:  What's next?

The answer:  The Dragon War, a third Requiem trilogy.

This one is about an uprising in Requiem. It's about a terrible, bloody civil war that's tearing the kingdom apart. It's about a cruel tyrant and a scattered, almost hopeless rebellion. Requiem has defeated enemies from across its borders; its never had to fight itself.

The Dragon War is set seven hundred years after the events in Dragonlore. New readers can leap into the saga here. For fans of the older books, this continues Requiem's story.

The first Dragon War novel, A Legacy of Light, will be released this spring. I can't wait for you all to read it.

Thank you everyone who's supported these books!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Behind the scenes...

For those curious about such things, here's a "behind the scenes" look at where the Requiem novels are created.

Here is the Writing Corner.  This is where the books are written!  Items of interest:  a Chinese sword, a TARDIS and Dalek, a Tim Hortons mug, and a good luck cat.

And here's the Editing Corner.  This is where my editor, Anne Victory, edits the books!  Items of interest:  Battlestar Galactica clock, a plush griffin (on top of the printer), and a hand-crocheted cat mat.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Guest Blog -- Editing a Manuscript

Hello everyone.  Today we have a guest blog post from Meghan Ivarsson from Scholar Advisor.  Meghan talks a little about editing a manuscript.  Thanks, Meghan!

How to edit a manuscript

There are several options available to a writer if he wishes to edit his manuscript. Editing may need to be done a certain way if you wish to submit your text to a publisher. Having your text printed by a publisher means you not having to pay the costs of publishing and printing a book that you want to offer and sell to the public. In order to do this you should contact several publishers and ascertain their editing, formatting and submission guidelines.

If you do manage to have your text accepted by a publisher then the publishing costs will be borne by the publisher. In addition, when a writer manages to enter into a contract with a publisher, the writer is normally paid by the latter, who determines the amount of the fee according to pre-established contractual agreements between the two parties. In other cases, you may personally edit the manuscript, but before you do it is a good idea to contact a printer, whom will advise you upon your best options for layout, coverage, format and other parameters, but in this case, publishing costs remain the responsibility of the writer.

Proofread repeatedly until your eyes weep

Hunt for misspellings and typos. A typo can create a perfectly spelt word and plonk it in the wrong place. The transition from reading to writing to reading is an important step. When we write we are encased in writing bubble, and we lose the ability to judge the true quality of our text. The confusion comes from the balance between the pleasure he took in writing and the pleasure that comes from reading it. This is why it is a good idea to proofread your text again in a week so that you can look at it with a colder and more analytical eye.

Don’t trust your friends and family

You can try to hand your manuscript to those with whom you have real confidence, but their input will be faulty for a number of reasons, and you risk your relationship with them. The important thing is not just to rely on their continued support, because they have no vested interest in your success or failure. They may be useful for ideas and encouraging phrases, but you cannot rely on their judgement being sincere or accurate.

Writing is more than just content creation

The value of writing is often much more than the end result. It may be used to experience free thought or make a personal confession, maybe even to engage in a confrontation with oneself. Literary value however is another matter.

Targeting the editor is paramount

Even if you edit your work yourself, if you wish to have your work accepted then it will need to be edited again. Nothing is more exasperating for a publisher to receive a manuscript that does not correspond at all to the spirit of his house. Many aspirants indeed commit the blunder of sending their texts haphazardly. If you want a publisher to become interested in your text, make the effort to get interested in his.

Learn about the specific publishing houses and take the time to browse their books in book stores and libraries. Fairs are also a great way to become familiar with the production of smaller publishers. You can make contact with a publisher and figure out what sort of introduction they prefer, so you can send your manuscript a few days later. But above all, do not make the mistake of soliciting an editor at a trade fair, because they do not come to collect the prose of aspiring writers, they are there to publicize and sell their books.

Follow the guidelines of the publishers

Doing this will also include following certain unspoken guidelines, which you should have discerned from your research to target the editor. For example, some publishers will ask that you edit out any foul language, but your research into their current publications will show you how far to go. Some publishers will accept words such as “Bastard” even if it is used in the expletive sense. Others however will not even accept the word “Hell”, even if it is literally describing the pit of fire. Your research will show you if using the word “Bitch” in the expletive is okay, or if it is completely out of bounds even for describing a female dog.

Edit for the spirit of the publishing house

Again, your research should give you an idea of the spirit of the publishing house. Do they prefer gritty and convoluted text, or do all of their narratives have a happy ending? Are most of their publications filled with some kind of Ork or sword bearing hero? Or do most of their texts aim for exciting the usually inhibited woman? How much fantasy will your publisher accept? And would it help you to edit out some of the more unbelievable aspects of your manuscript? Are there texts mostly negative or positive? Do they seem to have an agenda? Do most of their books push a Green angle or a Republican angle? Could you edit your text so that it leans more heavily in the direction your chosen publisher prefers? E.g. more Green, more republican...

Learn from your editing mistakes

You are bound to make some, and poor editing may be the reason for your repeated rejections. However, you should be aware that publishers retain only 1% of the texts they receive (and they receive a lot). If the refusal is served upon you via a letter or email then it may hold some clues as to any editorial mistakes you made (overly long descriptions, slow pacing, etc). However, publishers do not want any comebacks from their rejection letters, and will know that giving explanations often results in you getting back in touch to dispute their claims.

You can try to get some additional explanations by sending a letter of request. This is your chance to get a professional critique of your work, and despite barrage of mortifying criticism it may evoke, it will nonetheless be useful and constructive for you. Most publishers will ignore you or give you a boilerplate excuse. If, however, the letter indicates that your text has been read carefully, and gives reasons why it has not been successful, stay in there and try your luck with another publisher.

The article was written by Meghan Ivarsson, a Scholar Advisor writer. Scholar Advisor is and educational portal for students by student. If you need help with your college assignment there you can find a lot of essay writing tips.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Night of Dragon Wings

Dragonlore, the bestselling fantasy series beginning with A Dawn of Dragonfire, concludes with a tale of blood, steel, and flame. 


Requiem burns. Her marble columns lie shattered. Queen Solina's army sweeps across the land, searching to kill every last dragon. 

Among the ruins, Requiem's dragons plan a desperate attack. To survive, they must strike Solina at the heart of her desert empire. Yet as Requiem rallies, Solina raises her cruelest champions yet. 

The nephilim, the spawn of demons and their mortal brides, have languished underground for epochs. Giants of rotted flesh, razor fangs, and clawed wings, they crave to crush the world that imprisoned them. When Queen Solina frees this unholy legion, the nephilim marshal under her banners... and swarm into Requiem. 

Requiem's light dims. Her hope is but a flicker in an endless night. As ancient evil engulfs the world, Requiem's dragons roar, blow their fire, and fly to their last stand.