Map for Book Two!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I love fantasy maps. One of the first things I look for when I open a new fantasy book is the map. When I finished the first book in the Soulstone Prophecy series, The Cradle of the Gods, I kicked around using various cartographer’s software to create a map.

There are some really talented folks out there who make jaw-dropping maps. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. So, I decided I would hand draw one. To keep to the same theme, I’ve hand drawn the new map for The Time of the Stonechosen and I wanted to share it. So, here it is below. I would love to know what you think?

The Time of the Stonechosen is due to be available by the end of the month!

TofS Book Map

The Time of the Stonechosen Book Map

The Perfect Pitch!

You know, it’s funny. You tell yourself, “I’m going to write a book.” You never tell yourself, “I’m going to write a book and then spend all my free time learning how to market it.” There is a lot of advice out there on selling your book. I’m attending the first London Author Fair next week and was lucky enough to land one of the coveted PitchUp slots. I’ll get fifteen minutes to pitch my book to a literary agent. No pressure. So on come the pages (and pages) of advice on how to write a killer cover letter, the perfect pitch, and the succinct, yet oh so deep, summary page. All the while, all I want to write is the next chapter in book two, Time of the Stonechosen. First world problems, huh? Well, I thought I would share my 300 word pitch for Cradle of the Gods. Let me know what you think.

“A thousand years ago, a war among the gods nearly tore the world of Allwyn asunder. Haurtu, god of learning and wisdom, turned on his fellow gods and tried to consume them. It was only by combining their powers that the gods were able to defeat and imprison Haurtu.

But a prophecy was discovered in sacred dwarven texts. Haurtu would return and finish what he began. It was written in the Book of Hjurl, “through his creations, his links to Allwyn, the Hungerer would return.” Of all his creations, it was the humans who were most numerous. It was humans who were most prized by Haurtu. The God Wars were over and the Great Purge began.

Now humans are almost extinct. Dwarven overseers test their human charges each year, looking for signs of the Hungerer’s return. Those humans who fail the Rite of Attrition are culled from the population for the good of all.

In time, truths became history, history became myths. Those humans who survive until today know little of the God War and the time of the Great Purge. Their simple life and subjugation at the hands of the dwarves is accepted by most as their lot in life, a necessary evil to protect them from themselves.

In a small hamlet in one of the outlying human settlements, on the edges of a great dwarven empire, Ghile, an awkward young sheepherder, prepares to take his manhood test and his first Rite of Attrition.

But a visit by a sorcerer and his apprentice triggers a series of events which thrust Ghile into the Soulstone Prophecy. Some will come to his aid, while others will seek his demise. For Ghile to survive, he must fulfill the prophecy and release an insane god. The time of the stonechosen has come.”

Meet the druid, Daughter Gaidel

With just under a week until the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, my excitement about this event is palpable. The convention booth is coming together and I think the idea of cos-playing a group of Redwood villagers relaxing at the Lady’s Grace inn to help sell the book was an inspired idea. The poster, bookmarks, and first print run of the book is in hand. sigh of relief here>

Now, the part that really has me stoked is along with those of us at the booth, a friend has coordinated for a couple to walk around the festival’s three huge convention rooms dressed as the druid, Daughter Gaidel, and her shieldwarden, Two Elks. They will be handing out bookmarks and directing people to the booth. I just received photos of the costume and vision this talented young woman, her name is Inge, has for Gaidel and wanted to share them. The photos were taken by, Tracey, a friend of hers. Oh, and no, she did not shave her head for this event; that is well applied makeup.

I would love to know what everyone thinks?


Gaidel in Hood


Gaidel Unhooded

Knight Justice Finngyr


Knight Justice Finngyr

This is a sketch I did in pencil. It is of the dwarven Knight Justice Finngyr from my book, “The Cradle of the Gods”. It is part of the new cover design I’m currently having made for the hard copy release.