Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Boy's Life Fiction: "Kori and the Troll"

Huge news!

I have a short story in May 2016 issue of Boys' Life, the official youth publication of the Boy Scouts of America!

"Kori and the Troll" is a story set in the world of my Thrones & Bones novels. In fact, the Kori of the title has a special relationship with one of my two lead characters in Frostborn. I don't write many short stories. I'm very proud of this one, and I'm absolutely thrilled to be in Boy's Life.

Plus, Antonio Javier Caparo provides the art and it's fantastic!

The story is currently behind a subscriber wall, but if you are a scout or have a scout in your life, I hope you'll check it out!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Reflections from the Road: Alabama Library Association 2016 Annual Conference

With my handler Annabelle. Thumbs up!
Last night, I drove to Gadsden, Alabama for the Alabama Library Association 2016 Annual Conference. I was there for the Author Expo, which was held at 210 at the Tracks, an event venue in downtown Gadsden. I got there an hour early so that I could visit Dragon Quills, the local comic and gaming store. Dragon Quills even has a small SF&F book selection, and I was tickled to see some fantasy books I edited on their shelf.

4pm saw a reception for the attending authors, about thirty of us, and then we were paired at booths with an equal number of exhibitors from 5pm to 8pm to mingle with librarians from around the state and sign books. Booksamillion was on hand with copies of Frostborn (in paperback) and Nightborn (in hardcover). I signed lots of books, met tons of wonderful librarians, and nearly sold out of Booksamillion's stock.

Afterwards, I got into an intense discussion with Joshilyn Jackson (The Opposite of Everyone) about Grant Morrison's best work and her peculiar "every other Doctor" preference for actors in Doctor Who (a bit like even numbered Star Trek films).

Thanks to Amanda Jackson, Director of the Gadsden Public Library and Gadsden Museum of Art, everyone at the Alabama Library Association, Booksamillion, and my wonderful handler Annabelle Barrow (check out her design work here).

Monday, April 04, 2016

Reflections from the Road: Altamont and Hilltop

With Spring Break just behind me, I've been remiss about reporting on recent school visits for the Nightborn tour. But last month, I visited both The Altamont School and Hilltop Montessori School. This was my second time speaking to both schools.

On March 15th, I spent a day with students at Altamont. In the morning, I spoke to the entire middle school, then I had lunch in the library with a group of about twenty students. Then, in the afternoon, I drew on my ten years as an art director to give a presentation about how book covers are commissioned, illustrated, designed, and produced to the 5th and 6th grade English classes. It was a fantastic time with some great kids.

Then, on March 23rd, I visited Hilltop Montessori School during their Spring Scholastic Book Fair. I didn't speak this visit, but sat at a table at the end of day signing the Scholastic edition of Frostborn. The school had also purchased several copies of Nightborn for sale to the students, and I'm thrilled to say we nearly sold out of both books.

More school visits coming up later this month! Stay tuned. And if you are a teacher, librarian, or student interested in having me visit your school, see the "For Educators" page of my website for information on how we can make this happen.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Podcast: DM-Nastics 33: By Odin’s Beard!

Today I'm a guest on the Dungeon Master's Block. I join host DM Neal for DM-Nastics 33: By Odin’s Beard!, a short DM-Nastics session in which we discuss a fictional clan inspired by my previous appearances on the podcast and then Neal and I put our heads together and come up with a new clan of our own.  This was a short, fun exercise in world-building. Check it out!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Unboxing: TerraTiles The Misty Moorlands

As I have spoken about here before, I'm currently running a Fate Core System role playing game for my son, my nephew, and some other boys their age that is set in the world of my Thrones & Bones series. We've been on break since the Christmas holidays but we're gearing up to start back. For our next campaign, I wanted to kick things up a notch. Although Fate doesn't require it, I'm going to introduce pawns--I'm using pawns from Paizo's Pathfinder Pawn's from the Beginner Box and the Pathfinder Pawns: Bestiary Box 1 set. And we're also going to start using some terrain.

Towards that end, I've just gotten TerraTiles: The Misty Moorlands from Rainn Studios. TerraTiles are large, nine inch, double-sided tiles that depict a variety of terrains. They are modular, and you place them together on your tabletop to create customizable terrain for role playing games and war games. I've been excited about Rainn Studios for a while, at least in part because they were founded by two brothers in my hometown. So far, they've produced a strategy board game and two TerraTiles sets, the aforementioned Misty Moorlands and a Coast and Rivers set. They are about to launch a third TerraTiles Kickstarter. It's going to feature three different types of terrain, including a snow-bound land, for which I'm obviously very excited.

Meanwhile, here I am unboxing my first set of TerraTiles. I was utterly thrilled with the set and encourage all tabletop gamers to check it out.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Frostborn, "a ridiculously fun, super-exciting adventure" !!!

Frostborn just showed up on io9 again in a list of "16 Fun, Escapist Books To Get Your Mind off This Crazy Election Year."

Says the wonderful Charlie Jane Anders:

"OK so this is a middle-grade book, which means it’s technically for kids. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a ridiculously fun, super-exciting adventure. Karn is a nerdy kid whose dad expects him to run the family farm—but Karn just wants to play a complicated, fancy board game instead. And meanwhile, Thianna is a half-frost giant girl who gets bullied by all the other frost giants because she’s so tiny. (Only seven feet tall.) In other words, it’s about a gamer and a weird girl who have to team up to save the world. And it’s just non-stop fun."

Friday, March 04, 2016

Thrones & Bones in the Wild

The Spring 2016 Scholastic Book Fairs are in full swing. This week alone, I've received four photos of Frostborn sightings at schools in New York and Pennsylvania and two in North Carolina. I love seeing these! And I really love hearing the reports that they are selling out in these fair! Thanks for everyone who alerted me to the sightings!