Marketing Copy

So, I got a copy of what marketing has written for the back of my novel. This makes it seem very real to me:

The year is 1885. The city is the British colony of an alternate Hong Kong. Some of the city’s most powerful men are dead from what appear to be heart attacks. Though no evidence points to foul play, members of the British Crown’s secretive Obsidian Order know something is amiss. Owen Strong is a former member of the secret sect and a Master Sorcerer who no longer has any interest in the Order—or  its rules. He’s recruited by the Order to come out of retirement to investigate the mysterious deaths and save his island city.

Jinhao is Owen’s mysterious Chinese companion. She is a woman of many talents, whose razor-sharp intellect and unusual skills are a match for her partner’s unique gifts. When Owen and Jinhao discover that there are radicals in Hong Kong who are planning to assassinate key delegates to disrupt upcoming trade negotiations, it’s not just Hong Kong that they must save: if they do not succeed, a world war will be imminent.

In Strong Magic, Raven Bond has created an inventive and highly mystical world, where the undead are loyal servants, powerful Magians help keep peace (and sometimes cause trouble) in an Steam Era Hong Kong, and a dragon named Lohan watches over them all from his perch above the city. The mystery at the center of the novel gets more unpredictable as the pages turn and the characters must delve into both Hong Kong society and its seedy underworld to secure the fate of the city and the world.

The novel should be out in ebook form on Amazon in a few more days! Watch this space for more news!

Musing about writing

One of my favorite authors once observed that writers have peculiar egos. They spend much of their time working very hard in solitude, sure that some total stranger will surrender  their hard-won free time to read their work. Yet,  the most the writer can hope for is that when the stranger closes the book, they may say “Well I guess he wasn’t a total boffin after all.”

Yet, we still write on. Why? Some people like to go on about how you’re liberating the soul from the pain of existence, or some such. Personally, I believe that it is because we as writers are blessed, or cursed, depending on who you talk to, with having experienced something unbelievably pure and cool in existence. We can’t help but try to share that with others and go “Look! See how cool that is? It’s a perfect rose!”

Beginning as an author

As a kid, I always wanted to be an astronaut. To explore strange new worlds and civilizations… You can see where this is coming from. The space race was on, the arms race was not far beyond, and nearly anything seemed possible.

When I reached college, I knew I was not ‘actually’ going to become an astronaut, but it did not stop me wishing and believing in what was currently beyond my reach.

Many of my friends became authors, and I found myself in their collective company for more than one rollicking good conversation about writing. And I came to feel it was something I could do as well. Life, as they say, intervened for some things for which I have no regrets, bringing us to the 90’s and a small press publication called Shadowplay ( I wrote a regular column called News of Pagan Interest, which taught me much about writing, and how to work with editors and publishers. In time, I became one of the editors of the magazine, met and married the founder, not necessarily in that order.

My subsequent adventures in writing included two anthologies from Circlet Press, one a Steampunk Erotica collection called “Like a Corset Undone”, where my short story Skydancer appears. The other anthology was Queer Punk, and the short story was called The Real Thing.  Subsequently, I was accepted into the Northwest Writers Workshop at Norwescon in their novel category. The workshop was a great experience, and I have much gratitude for the generosity of the authors who volunteer their time for it.

I am currently working on two separate series. Books from both series will be published by Impish Press this year (2014).