Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dragons, Books, and Something New!

Life is change. Or change is life. Or is it time is money?  Stitches in time save goats?

I can never keep all that eldritch wisdom straight.

Regardless of my lackluster grasp of homilies, I'm going to do two new things in today's blog.

First, I'm going to talk about someone else's book for a change. Hey, stop all that clapping and cheering, I can hear you, you know.

Next, I'm going to introduce a segment I call 'Out on the Patio.' This will be an audio segment, recorded out on my patio, in which I blabber on about whatever inane subject strikes my fancy. There will be a link below.

Why am I doing this?

Mainly because I wanted to give you guys a change of pace. You come here week after week and read my rants and raves, and if I keep doing the same old same old I'll wind up boring you.  That's the main reason.

Also, I went to great lengths to purchase this nifty chrome-plated Blue Snowball professional microphone, and aside from a few ill-fated sessions of singing along with musical legend Billy Idol the Snowball hasn't gotten any use. My plan was to start a podcast. I still plan to do that, but I have to first get over this stage fright, and the 'Out on the Patio' segments seem like a good way to do this.

Finally, you'll all get the chance to marvel at my thick Mississippi accent. Mock away. But I'd really appreciate it if, when you're done laughing, you'd zap me an email and let me know how the sound quality was.  Too soft? Too loud? Muffled? Distorted? Made your dogs bark and your ears bleed?

Let me know!

First, let's talk about a book I just finished, Dragons of Wendal by Maria Schneider.

Before starting Maria's book, I plowed through several zombie novels and a couple of 'extreme' horror anthologies. To say I was aghast at the poor quality of these books would be a vast understatement. Formatting problems? All over the place. Grammar errors? Right, left, and rife. Bad storytelling? Oh yeah.

Dragons of Wendal was, if you'll forgive the analogy, a breath of fresh air. Spot-on perfect formatting. Impeccable grammar. Engaging characters, skillfully drawn, in a story that was by turns funny, frightening, and even (gasp) romantic.

Zoe, the heroine, is smart and plucky and accomplished. Her world is filled with magic and peril, but it is not just another Standard High Fantasy knock-off complete with red-faced blustery innkeeps and wise old whiskery mages. I loved Zoe's world. It lived and breathed, and visiting it was great fun.

I don't do spoilers, so I'd better shut up. Look, if you like my stuff, or Pratchett, or classic high fantasy with a modern twist, grab Dragons of Wendal. It's only $2.99 at Amazon for the Kindle; there's also a paperback version there for just a few bucks more.

And now for my audio debut!

Out on the Patio

You guys are my guinea pigs -- er, valued pre-release focus group. Let me know what you think by emailing me!

Thanks. And stay cool out there!


  1. I'm a big fan of Maria Schneider too. Good stories and wonderful characters.

    Out on the Patio was great! Poisonous snakes, birds bursting into flame and Markhat!

    It was actually very clear and there was no discernable background noise. The only trouble was when you apparently turned your head to try to read the thermometer and your voice got fainter.

    Fun, thank you!

  2. Thanks! I know better than to turn my head. I also forgot to take my pop filter outside, so the next one should be even better.

    Next time I'll also boost the recording levels a bit. I was using my tiny netbook as a recording device, and I couldn't see the screen in the glare well enough to set the levels properly.

  3. LMAO...great Frank. Haven't read any of Maria's books but you've not steered me wrong so far.

    Sound was good for me. I even understood you ;^)

    Any news on the latest Markhat?


  4. No news yet, Debi! Keep your fingers crossed!