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Darkest Whispers Cover

March 7th, 2014

Hey folks,

My friend, Kate Martin, has the cover for her new fantasy novel (Darkest Whispers), so I thought I’d share it with you. Check it out!






It isn’t up for the sale yet, but you can get the first book, Eternal Shadows.


For more on Kate and her work, check her website at .




Magic of the Shadows

May 28th, 2013

Shadow Saga

For those who have read my Shadow trilogy, you know that it’s rife with magic and magical occurrences. One of the most integral magics of the series is the ability of the main character, Caim, to control shadows. This power begins humbly, with Caim barely able to manipulate the darkness around him, but grows throughout the series.


When I began writing the first book, Shadow’s Son, I didn’t know much about Caim’s magic, but it developed over the course of several writing drafts. The idea that his magic came from another plane of existence was something that just occurred to me during the revision. Because I was creating a low-magic world where magic and magic-wielders were relatively rare, it made sense that the power had seeped into Caim’s world from somewhere else. This place was the Other Side, where extrahuman races such as the Fae and the Shadowfolk originated. Of course, I had Caim’s Fae companion, Kit, to guide my storytelling choices. The key was that Caim possessed these powers because of his unusual parentage. His father was human, but his mother had come from the Shadow Realm.


Shadow’s Son also features an insane sorcerer villain, Levictus. Although fully human, he possesses magic similar to Caim due to his apprenticeship to a mysterious sorceress in the north, but it’s not until the second book, Shadow’s Lure, that Caim encounters this sorceress and realizes the threat she poses. And Lure also expands on Caim’s powers, exposing him to more shadow magic. Yet, as his powers grow, his control over them wanes, so this second book is concerned with the delicate balance of power versus control.


In the third and final book of the series, Shadow’s Master, Caim comes to the fruition of his power, and this brings new challenges as he faces off against the ultimate power behind the Shadow. Caim has come a long way since his days as a freelance assassin, both in maturity and the scope of his magic. The shadows are a part of him, allowing him to perform such magical feats as transport himself from place to place (shadow-hopping) and wrap himself in shadows to form a protective second skin. Yet, Caim also realizes that he is in danger of losing his humanity. By the end, he has some big decisions to make, and those choices will have resounding effects on his world.

Villains of Shadow’s Son

April 12th, 2011

In my last post, I talked about the heroes of Shadow’s Son, and this week I want to explore the other side of the tracks.

I’ve always enjoyed writing (and reading about) villains, sometimes even more than the heroes. Even when I was little, I was attracted to the dark side. Darth Vader, the Terminator, Hannibal Lector, the Ringwraiths – these were my idols. They didn’t take shit from anyone. Okay, so maybe they exterminated a few people here and there, but you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Am I right? (Don’t answer that. I know I have issues.)

When I think back to writing Shadow’s Son, the first villain that comes to mind is Ral. Ral was an accident. He just showed up on the page. I originally planned for him to be just a side character who shows up now and again to irritate Caim and then go away, but from their first interaction on the stairs at The Three Maids, Ral carved out a more unique role for himself.

Ral is Caim’s flipside. He’s what Caim might have become if he started actually enjoying his work. Ral was fun for me because he has no rules. While not as crazy as Heath Ledger’s Joker character, he’s definitely in it for himself and screw everyone else.

Levictus is Caim’s other flipside. Like Caim, he also has a troubled history, but instead of being raised by a nurturing friend like Kas, Levictus is adopted by a man with no scruples, and so any chance he had of letting go of his past and living a normal life is gone from the start. With Levictus, I wanted to show the effects of evil on other evil things. Levictus was created by Vassili, but then grows beyond his creator’s ability to control. That theme of unintended consequences really resonates with me.

Then we come to Archpriest Vassili, the spider at the center of the web. I’ll admit, I don’t really like Vassili much. He’s corrupt, faithless, cowardly, a hypocrite on several levels, and without a single redeeming quality. He ought to run for Congress. But he’s a man with a vision. To be sure, that vision is of himself sitting at the top of the world dictating to everyone else how they should live their lives, but he gets things done, dammit! Well, he tries to, but he’s largely ineffectual because he tries to manipulate events from the back instead of getting in front of them, and that’s something I personally cannot stand. So, killing him off was a pleasure.

There is another villain in the book, one who didn’t get much face time, but who influenced every page. I’m talking about the Shadow. In Shadow’s Son we only get brief glimpses of the real power behind the plots. But the next book will take Caim (and you, Gentle Reader) deeper into the rabbit hole. I suggest you bring a flashlight and something warm to wear.

The villains of Shadow’s Son. Whether you loved them or hated them, I hope you found them compelling.

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