Child of the Flames
AVAILABLE NOW on KINDLE and in PAPERBACK from AMAZON
See that up there? I doubt I have to explain what it’s supposed to be. I’ve been out of touch much longer than I expected to be–in fact, book four is supposed to be here, you scream at your computer screen. Let’s get into it.
So, yeah–book four is delayed quite a bit. Not by choice, but by necessity. There’s lots going on, so let me fill you in on what’s happening on my end of things.
There is some very exciting things (hopefully) coming down the pipe for Child of the Flames. I don’t want to jynx anything, but there’s a possibility that an audio version may soon become available. Keep your ears peeled for more on that in the near future.
This means there’s a bit of work to be done on my end, though. New covers, new paperbacks, new everything. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty business language, but this turn of events has necessitated a redo of a lot of stuff, which has taken a considerable amount of time. Expect to see some major changes filtering down within the next few weeks.
That’s the first reason The City Under the Mountain is delayed–lost time to reworking things. The next is that I’ll have to wait for the new artist to finish the covers, which I’m really excited about. You guys see that picture up there, right? It’s hand-painted. The new covers will be nothing to sneer at. He’s got to redo them all, though, so it will take a little time.
The next reason isn’t so fun–I’ve got to go to court against the wailing protests from the depths of my soul. I’m not in trouble or anything, it’s just legal stuff that needs to be taken care of. I’ve got a lot of meetings with lawyers in my near future, and that’s never fun. Anyone who’s been through it knows what I’m talking about.
So, all that said, expect The City Under the Mountain be released in mid-December. I know it sucks–believe me, I wouldn’t sneer at the money it would bring–but it’s necessary. Lots of stuff is happening, and at the moment, City is caught in the whirlwind of activity.
If you’ve tried to get in touch with me and received only silence in return, that’s why. In the meantime, though, I’ve got another recommendation to tide you all over.
Those of you who got my email about my friend Jacob Peppers will remember him. He released A Sellsword’s Compassion a couple of weeks ago, and he’s seeing some good reviews from it. The guy is a madman (and has a substantial backlist of books) and so he’s just released the first book in his second series, The Son of the Morning. Also, The Silent Blade–the novella in his Seven Virtues series–is currently FREE.
So head on over and check him out. Drop him a love letter and let him know I sent you there. It’ll put a smile on his face, and I can use the fact to strong-arm him into buying me beer. Much love and respect to you all, and I’ll be sending you something soon.
Also–The Ballad of the Outrider is similarly delayed for the same reasons discussed above. I was halfway through the second installment when I had to turn my attention away, so it’s coming within the next two weeks
Alright, everyone–there’s a bit of foolery incoming. I’ve just gone through the tiresome process of migrating all you wonderful Conclave members over to a new service provider, and also upgrading the book delivery process. What does that mean for you? More security where your information is concerned, and top-notch customer support for the books that I send you.
Here’s the thing–the moving process is dirty, and it can leave a few people behind. Information gets dropped between providers sometimes, and we all know the fickle nature of software. Here’s how to make sure you end up on the list:
If you’re a current Conclave member, as in you subscribed before the date of this posting (September 26th, 2017) then you should be alright. There’s an email incoming, just hang tight, click on the proper links in the email I send out to you, and you should be golden. If you don’t receive an email by September 27th, 2017, then follow the instructions below.
NOTE: The old list will be deleted (this is to protect your information) and if you don’t get an email, make sure you take action. Otherwise, your email could be lost in the sauce.
If you subscribed either ON or AFTER September 26th, 2017, then here’s how to ensure that your subscription went through.
*First, head over to the Conclave Signup Page, re-enter your email, download your new copy of The Ballad of the Outrider, and all will be well.
Most importantly, if you feel you were unsubscribed from the Conclave by mistake, or through software demons, shoot me an email at authordwhawkins at laconic.press, let me know what happened, and I’ll add you manually.
Much love to you all, and I’ll talk to you soon.
Alright guys, the sale for Child of the Flames ends today, so if you haven’t downloaded your copy yet, go to it. The world depends on you. Pretty sure something awful will happen if you don’t. Perhaps the beaches will be invaded by laser wielding alien frogmen…perhaps nothing.
Do you really want to find out?
BUY TODAY. TELL YOUR FRIENDS.
Don’t forget, little monkeys, that Child of the Flames is on sale today though Friday for $0.99 (£0.99 in the UK). Head over to Amazon and pick up your copy today, or share this with a friend so they can do it. You wouldn’t keep this from a friend, would you?
How could you?
GET YOUR COPY NOW
Just writing a quick update to let you guys know what’s going on. Work continues on The City under the Mountain, and the Conclave-exclusive serial, The Ballad of the Outrider, is also coming along. I’m still looking at a mid October release for City, but that is still a tentative date.
Also—I’m trying a new writing method. I’ve been hearing good things about dictation, so I picked up a program and decided to give it a try. There is a bit of a learning curve, but everything I’ve read says that it doubles your writing speed once the initial hurdle is out of the way. I’ve been doing it for the last two nights, and so far, it’s working pretty well.
In fact, I’m dictating this letter right now. It’s a little weird. In all honesty, though, I think this is going to seriously improve things. Once I get the hang of speaking all my punctuation, first drafts will flow like radiation from the sun.
The main reason I’m writing today is to let you all know of the sale I’ll be running starting Monday, September 18. Child of the Flames will be going on sale for $0.99 (£0.99 in the UK). It will remain at that price for the entire week and go back to $2.99 on Friday, September 22 (£1.99 in the UK). If you’ve yet to pull the trigger on The Seven Signs, or have friends who have been waiting to do so, next week would be prime time to get it done.
I know most of you have already read it, but you can help by heading over to Amazon and leaving it an honest review. If you haven’t already, that is. If you’ve done all that, then you can always share it with a friend. Nothing wrong with sharing, right? Right?
If you’re seeing this post on your social media, feel free to plant some hashtags on this bastard and let it sail. Send it to your grandma. After all, she’s always sending you those weird conspiracy posts about the flat Earth, and how the globalists want to control you with pop music.
Send it to Becky. She totally deserves it. She probably knows why, too.
As always, much love and respect. This thing makes you want to say all kinds of dumb shit. Playing with it is kind of fun. Tiddlywinks. But to lease breaks. Being KeyBank he bulky. Sheesh I’m in a period. Full fuck and stop. Be back in a month’s thinker Pinker piker pick a pack of pickled pepper Peter Packer. I ha ha ha Peter piper picked a pack of pickled peppers. BORE Snark!!! THE SHADOW MASTERS ARE WATCHING YOU
This dictation thing is so much fun. I’m leaving all that in there, too. Enjoy, and you’re welcome.
It’s time for another episode of Spam Comments, also known as the day I put aside to muck out the stalls of my comments section. It’s here that we dive deep into the nonsensical mutterings of Asian click farms, and say hello to the Russian hackers. Also, in all likelihood, the NSA.
Let’s start things off with this mushroom-enhanced poster:
|imitation bvlgari jewelry necklaces
|i got a sky dragon by breeding tropical and elctric
Approve | Reply | Quick Edit | Edit | Spam | Trash
Ooooooh, Sky Dragon, eh? I can’t tell if that’s some new, smack-you-in-the-face strain of weed, or some kind of lizard. What gets me about this comment is the lack of a shady link. What are they trying to sell? Sky lizards? Mushrooms? I love how the contact is “imitation bulgari necklaces.” I think someone got their A.I. drunk.
Next, we have an amateur poet…
|kem upsize nga
|What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity
regarding unpredicted feelings.
Approve | Reply | Quick Edit | Edit | Spam | Trash
I always try to infuse my posts with a certain preserveness of precious familiarity, thanks for finally noticing. Regarding those unpredicted feelings, though–the best thing to do is follow your heart. It is the most un-ambiguous part of your being. You’re welcome. Go now, brave flower, find a information your heart such desires.
This next one is not for those with delicate sensibilities…
|Daily porn blog updates
jerssey boys boat trip hamster sex videos hot oral sex site de sex maroc free school web proxy
Approve | Reply | Quick Edit | Edit | Spam | Trash
Those Jersey boys, and their crazy hamster sex boat trips. There must be a reason those keywords found themselves together. Maybe it’s something that happens; maybe I’m the one out of the loop, here. Maybe there’s a whole black market for people who want their sex with hamsters on a boat in Jersey. I just wonder, when the program that put this comment together was going out and grabbing random keywords, how it collected jersey boys, boat trip, and hamster sex. Maybe it was just hamster and sex video. It could have been hamster sex videos–the internet is a dark place.
Anyways, I hope everyone in the path of all those hurricanes is alright. All for now, more to come.
Actually one more thing–I’ll be running a sale pretty soon for Child of the Flames, so if your friends have yet to take a chance on it, a good opportunity is coming. Work continues on The City Under the Mountain, so keep your eyes open for more sales as October draws closer.
Much love, and JOIN THE CONCLAVE for some free stuff, like the new Ballad of the Outrider: Season One that I just released. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your email to get the serial directly in your inbox for FREE.
Come and get some.
So, having pushed out a bit of news on this subject weeks ago to my mailing list, I realized–somewhat belatedly–that I had yet to update everyone else. This is why I need an assistant.
With brevity, City is going to be delayed. I have someone very close to me who is very sick, and it has put a wrench in my planning. I had hoped to get three books out before the end of the year, but now it’s looking like only two. I wish things could be different, but some things in life are more important than work. I know that’s not anything people want to hear, but life sometimes (always) gets in the way of our plans. Every now and then you have to enjoy the time you have as much as you can, and this is one of those times. I will not go into much detail, but the delays are necessary and inevitable.
I’m putting the release of The City Under the Mountain off until mid-October. As of right now, that’s the earliest I see everything getting done. With that being said, I have made some arrangements to try and complete it sooner. I’ve hired some help around the house–most of you know I’m a single dad, which takes up a lot of time–and arranged my schedule in such a way as to give me ample time to complete the book before outside elements can have more of an effect than they already have.
I’m working on the final draft now, so hopefully these changes will be helpful. We’ll see.
Also, if you’re a Conclave member who has subbed in the last few days, check your email for the first installment of The Ballad of the Outrider: Season One. New subscribers should now have access to the serial in the final welcome email, so if you haven’t subscribed, it’s a good time to start.
Don’t worry. I won’t tell your mom.
All for now. More later. Much love.
So, I just pushed out the first episode of the Conclave-exclusive serial, The Ballad of the Outrider. For members, check your emails. For everyone else, come on over and subscribe.
Come on. You know you want to.
Updates soon to follow on The City Under the Mountain. Stay tuned.
Or, Where Did All the Fantasy Writers on the Staff Go?
The first time I picked up George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones was in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II, sometime around 2004. I had a sergeant who knew I was a big reader, and he’d heard that the MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) tent in camp was being cleaned out, the donated books kept within being shipped off to other bases. He got me on the detail to help with the effort so I could go through what they had and take my pick before the books took their next journey.
I read the first one, and ordered the rest of the books available at the time. I had to wait a long time for them to get there. I was so invested in that story that I carried it home with me, in all its vast paperback weight–which matters on a deployment, believe me. It has influenced my writing a good bit. Before I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire, my own work was much more jaunty and heroic.
(More?!–I can almost hear you saying it.)
Say what you will about Martin’s release frequency, his writing is subtle, interesting, and makes sense. The man knows his history–after all, he’s a historian–and he has created a deep and interesting world. For those of you who may have read some of his Thousand Worlds stories, you know there’s even more to the world of Ice and Fire than others might realize. Martin is infamous amongst his readers for killing your darlings. Just when you’re invested, just when you think you know what’s going to happen, how the good guys are finally going to win through, Martin stabs a big old ice spear through your heart. I remember laughing with glee when my mother called me after the Red Wedding aired on the show, and telling her this:
“That’s Game of Thrones, mom–it breaks your fucking heart.”
What I should have said was: It breaks your fucking heart in the most beautiful way. There’s another reason I love Martin’s stories more than other hard-hitters in the Fantasy genre–his writing holds a greater suspension of disbelief for me. His world feels real because anyone who has read any history knows that the ancient world was a brutal place. Hell, the modern world is a brutal place. A lot of Fantasy stories take place in settings where the heroes always win, noble knights marry chaste ladies, and the good-hearted stableboy is always a secret prince. That stuff is fine, too. I love the Belgariads and Harry Potters for what they are. In Martin’s world, though, heroic behavior is often rewarded with a brutal end, and things don’t just magically happen because everyone has been hoping for it since the first Christmas.
Television shows are rife with plot contrivances. It’s almost an understandable thing, given the visual nature of television. People have scenes they want to see, and any serialized story is in danger of falling victim to pandering. Can we not just have Dany and Jon Snow sexing it up because everybody has been hoping for that for, like, oh my god, like totally YEARS??? Television has to react to the audience by the season; it’s almost forced to alter itself and evolve in order to stay relevant.
This is a tendency to which HBO’s Game of Thrones has been slowly surrendering. Since the show has outgrown the source material, it’s been deteriorating. The show is beautiful, and I’ve been fine with it through season five, and most of season six. This past one, however, has really disappointed me. The sad thing is that I don’t see how such a story can be completed in another season, much less a six episode season.
Let’s just list out what has gotten under my skin. I’m including a map to help make my points.
First of all, where the hell do the Ironborn get enough wood to build Euron Greyjoy another thousand ships, and how the hell did they do it so fast? Even in the 1700’s it took at least a year to build a ship close to the type we see in Game of Thrones. Somehow Euron finds three forests of wood in good enough shape to build one thousand fuck-you ships, and enough men to crew them, all on these tiny fucking islands that don’t seem to have enough room to build a castle that won’t fall into the sea sometime soon. Right. And they do it all quickly enough to attack Yara’s (Asha’s) fleet. If you’re going to counter me with something like “time passes differently in Westeros”–well, obviously, but ask yourself the following question: Why do the Ironborn subsist on raiding in the first place?
Tyrion’s plan of attack makes no sense. So Dany lands on Dragonstone with a huge force of Dothraki cavalry, and thousands of Unsullied. She’s got three full-grown dragons. She has allies in the Reach, and in Dorne. Dany owns the southern third of Westeros, and has a distinct advantage in food, given that the Reach is the breadbasket of Westeros. She’s also got the strongest castle of all three monarchs. She’s got a dream team of advisors.
Yet, Tyrion decides to ruin it all somehow by giving the worst military advice ever given in the history of bad military advice. He says, basically, “let’s split our forces for no goddamn reason and send the Unsullied all the way across the continent to take a castle that hasn’t been relevant since the gold mines ran dry.” Why? Um…to win hearts and minds? Shouldn’t someone have pointed out that the Tyrells own all that land next to the Lannister holdings, and wouldn’t it be a better idea to use the fucking armies they already have on scene? I guess not. You’re going to tell me that Olenna Tyrell, who had time to plot war with the Sand Snakes and Varys, forgot to prepare for the coming war with Cersei?
You never split your forces if you don’t have to, and Dany sure as hell didn’t have to. Why take Casterly Rock? Even if you wanted to attack it, a siege and blockade would suffice to nullify whatever made-up advantage they wanted to contrive in order to justify even putting it in the storyline. And sure, they’re rewarded with failure, but you’re going to tell me that Tyrion, who has supposedly read all these great books on military tactics–as in the Battle of Blackwater Bay–suddenly becomes stupid?
Also, Euron’s magical fuck-you ships seem to be able to traverse the whole of the continent in no time at all, and be in two places at once. Dany had a pretty strong fleet, remember. You might say, “Yeah, but he could have split his fleet, too.” Sure, but how did he know where to send his detachment in advance? Can ravens find ships on the sea?
There are a million ideas that would have worked better. March to King’s Landing, put the city under siege. You’ve got the only aerial scouts south of Winterfell, and the biggest guns on the battlefield. Cersei has one zombie and a few ballistae. The Lannister armies are pretty much worthless in the face of all that, and dragons will probably scare enough lesser lords into swearing fealty, which would make Cersei’s reign as impotent as Dany’s infantry.
What happened at the battle between Jaime and Dany?
That spear line is way too thin. A single horse could break through that spear line, and why aren’t the people in the second rank wearing any helmets? Formations were strong because they were closely packed. That’s the only way to stand down a cavalry charge–in a strong block of men with a hedgerow of long spears. Why doesn’t a Westerosi army–a land famous for mounted knights–have any sort of heavy cavalry to counter the Dothraki? For such well-trained and well-funded soldiers, the Lannister boys are really eating boogers on this one. Guess they don’t have enough of that freedom and love that Tyrion was going on about in the last episode.
And–what were Jaime’s forces doing there? They said the gold’s already through the gates of King’s Landing, so what are they doing? Chilling out? Carting in the rest of the food? Which Dany decides to burn because, hey, burning wagons full of possibly useful things your armies might need is good fun.
Also, you will never be able to convince me that a horse, even a trained warhorse, could be goaded into charging a fucking huge dragon. Nope. Also, somehow Bronn drags Jaime a long damn way under water, while Jaime is apparently just flopping around with his golden hand in full plate armor. Right. He also doesn’t clean himself up before stomping into Cersei’s private office. What a dick. Honestly, though, Cersei deserves it.
Hey, let’s go north and grab a single wight, because that’s a good fucking idea. It would be quicker to stomp Cersei’s neck, grab up all the forces in the south, and then march north. But no, we’re not going to learn the lessons of the past…well, always…and we’re going to trust in the general goodwill and steadfast logic of Cersei fucking Lannister. Good plan. It’s not like everything north of the wall has been dead and animated for the past two years, or anything. We probably won’t get swarmed by murderous zombies. Can somebody give Jon a few lines that don’t involve “I’ve seen the Night King, I’ve looked into his eyes, I’m the only one that’s fought them,” and on and on and on. I don’t remember book Jon being so damned insufferable.
So they decide to send the most unlikely group of characters ever into the north on a heroic mission to capture a single zombie. Like there are just going to be stragglers hanging out, playing cards, or something. Maybe they meant to catch one pooping, I don’t know. Of course, useless Gendry (who just happens to have the dumbest looking warhammer ever made because nostalgia) comes along. Since he’s apparently the most useless, he’s also the one they decide to send running back the way they came, all the way to the wall, in an unfamiliar land, in a climate he’s not used to, because…reasons.
And, of course, Jon has another great idea–the only one that can save them after running onto this totally convenient rock in the middle of a frozen lake is Dany. Who is on Dragonstone. What was it that Jon said to Sansa earlier in the season? There’s a thousand miles between here and King’s Landing? Something like that? But she’s the one that they need to call. Why? Because the Night King needs a dragon, of course. Nobody saw that coming for the past twenty years.
Also, Dany flies north of the wall wearing nothing but a beautiful piece by the most famous designer in Westeros. Ser Gucci, Lord of Fabricton, apparently forgot to give her any warm clothes for the high altitudes. And why doesn’t she have some kind of saddle? She just holds on while that huge dragon flies really fast through the air? Right.
Jon is immune to hypothermia as well as sound planning.
Rhaegar and Lyanna’s secret marriage means nothing. I could understand Rhaegar and Lyanna being in love and having a child together–that part is believable for me. It’s even a good story. Jon being the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar has long been a fan theory. But you’re going to tell me that some random High Septon annulled the marriage between Rhaegar and Elia Martel–a political marriage that bore legitimate children–and just never told anyone? That information never came out during the course of Robert’s rebellion?
Sure, if he had gotten a bastard on her out of love (in the books his reasoning is a bit different, his character a bit more mysterious) I could see that. But now you’re adding the High Septon to the conspiracy, and the information was only written in some random diary? Also, Rhaegar’s children by Elia Martel were named Rhaenys and fucking Aegon. “Hi, I’m Rhaenys, this is my brother Aegon and this is my other brother Aegon.” Give me a break.
Also, how the hell do the Unsullied march all the way across the continent through enemy territory with no food to show up at King’s Landing? I guess we’re going to set up this plot line, then just pretend like it never happened. It must be all that love and freedom the Unsullied have that gives them their superpowers. Maybe they’re more aerodynamic without penises. We will never truly know.
Also, these guys are supposed to be the most badass fighting force in all of the world, but they’re dressed in useless half-leather (or whatever that is) armor, and all of them have tiny round shields instead of something that would make their phalanx worth a shit. We see the Unsullied stand in formation, kill some people individually, but it looks to me like their weapons and armor are quite inferior to those of Westerosi soldiers. Also, how come Varys gets all effeminate and fat when he gets his jewels cut off–which is sort of accurate–but the Unsullied are all prime slices of man-meat? Slices…hehe.
Grey Worm and Missandei have nub-to-clit sex, I guess. The most uninteresting romance in the history of television, ladies and gentlemen. Good thing we get that story line where Grey Worm is trapped in enemy territory with no food and has to march across…wait. Shit.
Littlefinger’s death was really anti-climactic. First of all, Sansa reveals some things that she had previously lied about in front of Lord Royce, who was supposed to be a staunchly honorable man. Yet, he’s quiet throughout this entire exchange. She seems very concerned with retaining his loyalty when she’s arguing with her sister, yet she forgets all this during the big trial. I know Royce has a problem with Littlefinger and probably wants him dead, but does it really make sense for such a man to compromise his personal sense of justice? Does he not have a duty as a Lord of Westeros to see justice is done?
Also, Littlefinger doesn’t have a right to a trial by combat? Suddenly in the north, we’re passing sentences and not swinging swords? They’re just going to cut his throat and let him bleed out on the floor? Really honoring the memory of their father, whom Arya and Sansa so lovingly cite in the last scene they have together. The guy who supposedly started this whole thing (even though there were some holes in the way they presented it) just dies, sobbing on the floor? He didn’t have a way out planned? He’s just hanging around Winterfell, waiting to be killed. Seeing the looks that Arya gives him, the weird shit Bran says to him, and the open threats from Jon. Yeah, seems like a good idea for someone who has been cunning enough to maneuver his way to such great power.
So if regular weapons don’t kill wights, then how was the dream team chopping them to pieces north of the Wall? In the books Martin is more consistent on this–fire for wights, obsidian for Walkers. In the show? Fire, dragonglass, sometimes a burning sword like Berric wields, sometimes Valyrian steel, sometimes regular old swords. Consistency, yay!
The writers needed things to happen, and it’s clear. They wanted on-screen reunions that served no real purpose other than to stroke the wishes of people in the audience. The plot lines weren’t well thought out, and as a result, this season kind of sucked for me. I love Game of Thrones, but since they’ve departed from the source material, their weaknesses have been slowly revealing themselves. There are only six episodes left, and I have no idea how they’re going to finish this up without it becoming a total shit show.
There were some good things. Lena Headey was amazing. I’ve been a big fan of hers for a long time. Peter Dinklage was awesome, even with the shit writing they gave him. The dragons looked incredible, but honestly I could have done with less CGI flying lizard, and more thorough writing. At this point I think I’m rooting for the Night King. He’s been shambling toward the Wall for seven years, between turning Crastor babies into inbred White Walkers. He’s been waiting on his 100,000 buddies to pick up the pace since season two. And he’s the only one who has yet to do something monumentally, story-ruining, fuck-you stupid.
The Night King for the Iron Throne!