Patreon! Now Boarding!

Friends! I’m excited!

After much wrestling of my own brain, I’ve finally created a Patreon page! Complete with land and titles! Well… alright, not land, but there are certainly titles.

Mostly I’ve set this up so that I have a place to put work-in-progress pictures of art, as well as worldbuilding tips, dungeon master stuff, symbolic analysis of tarot cards – yes you read that right – one-off vignettes and short stories, and honestly so that I can start growing a source of income that is actually going toward something. First it’ll be a poll for the first real, patreon-driven project (Five Realms Oracle guidebook, T-Shirt designs, Bring Back Skyrim, or something completely different), maybe eventually it’ll be for paying the rent! I have high-ish hopes, cautiously optimistic, and I’m sure I’ll come up with something proper to post for Patrons soon. (Right at the moment it’s just a welcome post.

So! If you’ve ever wanted to be a Bard, a Paladin, or perhaps (and gods bless your gizzard if you do this) a Knight of the Raven Queen, now you can! In the meantime… I’ve got books to write.

See you ’round!
-Ej

July: Method Writing & Tablet Weaving

Hi! How are you all today?

I hate July. I hate summer in general, actually. Between my own brain chemistry being hard-wired to over-react to just about everything (heat, noise, light, barometric changes) and the fact that my “office” is in perhaps the hottest room in the house, I’ve been in a bit of a rut since about the time when people started setting off fireworks. In June. That said, I’ve started working on the next book already. Yeah. I know. I just published New World. I don’t think this one is going to be out until sometime next year though, at the rate I write lately. Who knows? I might surprise myself.

In my last update I mentioned that my list had a three-way tie between another Redgate novel, a mythology collection, or the first of Esper’s prequels. I’ve decided on writing the prequels, since there’s five of them to get through and I can’t wait to meet everyone he meets. The series is tentatively titled Raven-friend’s Saga, or, in Old Norse, Hrafnavinasaga. Yup. The first book, currently going by the working title of “Oisinson,” follows Esper, his brother, and their best friend in their life way back in the old days when Boreas was still Boreas. One of the main characters is a weaver, since it’s something he can do that doesn’t require a lot of moving around.

Now, I like a bit of realism in my stories. Part of the reason very few horses show up in the books is because I’ve never ridden a horse in my life, even though I live down the street from a couple of gorgeous chestnuts. I actually have a saber, a bo-staff, and a bow, all of which I use for standing up and choreographing fight scenes when they’re being tricky (and I’m trained in one of those), which is why my characters tend to use pole-arms when they aren’t casting spells. I’ve studied HEMA and Kenpo. Everything I know about sailing I learned from my dad’s sci-fi books and playing AC: Black Flag. My sister pointed out once that this makes me a “method writer.” Which is like a method actor, but my screen is a blank page, and my actors aren’t myself.

I’ve never had a character who weaves before. I’ve never woven before, at least not in any historical way. So I decided to try my hand at tablet weaving, just to get a feel for it. It is so much harder than it looks. Especially if you don’t have a loom to work on. My back is so sore, but now I know. This kid – he’s older than me, but his elven heritage means he’s still a kid – must have the most amazing posture. It makes me think of my days in high school band, playing French Horn. When your instrument is the same size as your torso, you learn to have good posture real fast, otherwise you can’t reach the mouthpiece.

So that’s where I’ve been this month. I’m only three-thousand words into Oisinson right at the moment but it’s going to be a while until the end. I’m super excited to see what these kids do.

See you next month, probably!
– EJ

The Redgate Chronicles: New World

Chapter 0

Dragons

After making an irrevocable mistake, Marcus finds himself, Evaline, and Kisuke in a world where myth is reality and nobody is quite what they seem – or what the trio remembers. Dragons now rule over what were once Provinces, and the necromancers that defeated them before have been all but eradicated. Torn by forces both within and without, Marcus, Evaline, and Kisuke find old faces in surprising places, fight to repair the damage done, and survive as best they can in a war between powerful Dragon Lords. Their skills and wills will be tested equally, as these outsiders find their places on the stage once again. This is a new world, and the Champions of Redgate certainly aren’t in Laine anymore.

Author’s Note: This book also has a dedication that’s more important to me than most:

In loving memory of Jacob Thiess
1994-2016
Thank you for everything you were able to share, big brother.
Thank you for Tiberius, Evaline, Henrietta, Setok, and so many ideas.
Thank you for the smiles, the hugs, and all the raucous donkey-laughs.
Thank you for the endless hours of talking story and drinking chai in thunderstorms.
And yes, the Boop Ship made the cut.

NEW WORLD

redgatenw-cover

Now available for Amazon Kindle.

June Update: Snags and Sagas

Hello! Didn’t think you’d be seeing me back so soon, huh?

So my owned domain hit some kind of tech snag and appears to be malfunctioning. I don’t know if it’s bluehost being wonky or WordPress being frustrating, but for the moment I’m back here for updates. Because I like this blog. I’m real glad I kept it.

Alright! So between the last update and this one I actually did finish writing the newest Redgate Chronicles book, and the expected release date is June 30th. I’ll probably postpone that a bit if I don’t get it edited in time but for the time being that’s what I’m planning. On June 22nd I’ll be doing a countdown deal for the first Redgate Chronicles novel! It’ll be 99 cents for a few days, and steadily creep back up toward its normal price of $3.99. The countdown deal lasts a week, and the day after is when the second book should come out! If you’re a fast reader you might be able to snag the first one and get caught up before the second one goes live. Of course, if you have Kindle Unlimited it doesn’t really matter because they’ll be free for you anyway.

Next on my writing list is a three-way tie between the third – possibly final, though there might be a fourth one – Redgate book, a collection of short stories/vignettes on the Mythology of Omnia, or the first of Esper’s prequels. I’ve played around with the first chapters of two of them, and so far neither are working out the way I want them to. So, for July, I may end up writing the mythologies. I don’t know how long the collection will be, but if it’s over 100k by the time I’m done I’ll probably split it into two books. For now, though, I need to get my editing and formatting hat on.

See you soon, probably. Belay that last post.
– Ej

Aside: On the Move

Hello again! Didn’t I just see you all yesterday?

Well, since then a lot has happened. Namely, my dad suggested that I do an e-mail list to keep ya’ll updated on my books. He’s a full-time author, he knows what he’s doing. WELL. In order to do that I had to own a domain, and I don’t “own” the Tales of Ej Lowell. It’s a WordPress.com site. So, my kind sponsor helped me set up a new domain and I’ll be moving over there for the forseeable future. Don’t worry, all of my old posts here will still be here (and over there, because exports are a thing) and I’m not taking down this bad boy any time soon. Mostly because I’m lazy and as of yet can’t afford to redirect traffic by means other than a post. (Shameless plug: get my books and I might be able to! 😀 And big thank you to those who already have! Ya’ll are awesome!)

So if you’d like to stay updated about my projects as usual via blog post, OR if you’d like to join the Five Realms Book Club – which is basically just an email whenever I publish a new novel – head on over to my new digs at ejlowell.comI have a domain guys! And it’s so snazzy.

See you over there!

Slow Updates and Anniversaries

Hello my friends, long time no talk.

Seeing as my last update was in December and I haven’t spoken since I figured I should probably fill you all in on what my wee brain has been up to. Namely, too many things. So many things.

First of all I’m happy to announce that I’m in the process of scanning through the Tales of Esper Ravenwood and the Tales of Liserna, fixing typos and dialogue tags, and adjusting some personal and plot bugs that make me wince every time I think about them (like the end of Lightbringer). The Tales of Esper Ravenwood (Revenant, Scourgemarked, and Lightbringer) are all complete and have been updated in the Amazon Kindle store, as well as had a bit of a price drop. They and the first Redgate Chronicles book are also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited now, so you don’t have to pay for them in order to read them, if you’re a member. The Tales from Liserna (Runesong, Heartnet, and Winterdream) are still in progress but are next on the list. I’m also thinking about revamping the covers, but that’s on the back-burner.

Current projects in the works include finishing up the second Redgate book, New World, as well as a third(and maybe fourth) in planning, tentatively titled Other World. Esper Ravenwood is also bugging me about the tales from his “youth,” including how he met Veraggo, the beautiful Efreet fire dancer, and the rest of the band of bards he used to call family. His prequel series has a working title so far of The Adventures of Esper Ravenwood, or possibly The Bard Chronicles, I haven’t decided yet. Legion might be getting a prequel as well, currently titled “Gatewalker,” but I do believe that title is taken, so it will likely change. “A Long, Cold Road,” featuring Tiberius Winters and a shade named Erron Rook, is in a weird writing/planning limbo at the moment, while I try to figure out what goes where, and more importantly who. Blood of Hyperion is currently cryogenically frozen because the plot got so tangled that I might need a minor miracle in order to pick it up again. Last but not least, The Mythology of Omnia is a project that currently consists of a bunch of ideas for vignettes and short stores, Prose Edda style, about the First Gods, the Old Gods, and pantheonic shenanigans. My plan is to write the little vignettes in between doing other things, since they’ll all be in the same book, hopefully. I have dreams of short story collections, but short stories are very hard to write.

I’ve got a bunch of art projects going on behind the scenes, mostly for other people, but I did finally figure out what I wanted to do with the conglomeration of stories formerly known as both Charge and All’s Well in Asgard. I’ve never been good at sequential art, but I’ve decided to try vignette comics. We’ll see. I’ve got two pages done out of the first seven, so far.

It’s also April. This time last year – in a few days anyway – my best friend was in an auto accident and didn’t make it. First anniversaries are tricky at best. I’m dealing by way of having a list of projects the size of Mt. Evans. Obviously. Don’t worry, I have priorities. Just wanted to mention this as an explanation, if I’m a little bit more quiet than usual around the various tubes in the next few weeks.

See you when I see you, my friends.

ps. It apparently took me the better part of four years to figure out that having an undead main character definitely constitutes Dark Fantasy. WHOOPS.

A Big Project Win and NaNoWriMo Fail

Hello friends!

So I tried to do NaNoWriMo this year… and I got a bit distracted. I live in the United States, I’m not sure anyone can blame me if I’ve been a smidge preoccupied. With all that and the fact that I haven’t really written anything in about a year – I was going to back in April but due to an unexpected death of a close friend, it didn’t exactly happen – Marcus, Evaline, and Kisuke might have to wait a bit for their second book to actually get going.

However. Whilst in the middle of trying to do anything related to the Redgate Chronicles, I picked up a project I started back in February, which might seem a little unorthodox. I didn’t really want to say anything about it here in case it ended up being nothing but a pipe dream, but sometime in late November I started the project back up after a several month break (April was rough) and managed to bull my way through it in the space of a couple weeks. That’s the power of a Taurus, my friends.

What is this mystery project? The Five Realms Oracle. The art from which I’ve been posting on my author page over on Facebook since I started. Spoilers are kept to a minimum, I promise. Unless you’re really good at symbolism and theory crafting.

Why am I making an Oracle deck and not, say, a Tarot deck? I certainly have enough characters to do so, between all of the stories. I actually did try to create a Tarot deck once, but the characters and stories changed so much by the time I was done with just the major arcana that I couldn’t continue it. A full 78-card deck is also a massive undertaking, and one I didn’t really think I was ready for after completing the major arcana.

The Five Realms Oracle is a 40 card deck – which might change after I’ve gotten a chance to look at the proof copy, we’ll see – featuring 34 diverse characters from the Five Realms as well as five landscapes (one for each Realm) and a Wyrd card. The deck uses my own hand-made font, Ratatosk, and also pictures 33 runes from the Elder Futhark and Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. I plan to create a full guidebook for the deck at some point, and be able to sell the cards and the book as a set. There are a lot of steps involved in that process though, and I anticipate the cards won’t be out until sometime late next year.

This project has been and will probably continue to be a massive undertaking, for me at least. I find it an excellent way to pay homage to my universe and my characters, in a way that might help guide someone else through their life, or even just have around as a curiosity. It’s something I can hold and work with, which is important to me. At some point I might end up revisiting my previous attempt at a Tarot deck, but that will likely take more than a year to complete.

Have a good one, my friends!
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