We have more art! Joseph Phillips read the article about me in the Roanoke Times and took a moment to draw his favorite character from the first book, Hezekiah:
The next bit of art I have isn't fan art, alas. Back in high school and college, I used to draw a lot. I probably spent more hours drawing than I did writing. Yet, after I graduated, I stopped drawing and kept writing, and haven't tried drawing something by hand in probably ten years. (The drawing I did last year was done entirely in photoshop using the polygon tools). But yesterday I saw a photo of an eagle on Pixdaus and thought it would make a cool pose for a dragon. So, I sketched out a drawing of Graxen and scanned it in, photoshopped in a background, and wound up with this:
It looks like I owe myself a free book!
My next big news is that Friday night, at midnight, I finally finished a complete draft of the third Bitterwood novel, Dragonseed. When I wrote the first draft, I got near the end and basically outlined the final chapters as "And then everybody fights and they all live happily ever after, except for the characters who die." So, in the latest draft, I had to flesh that out a little bit. The fleshing out added six new chapters to the book. These final chapters contain the most ambitious action sequences I've ever written. I've thrown in gods and goddesses, angels and prophets, wizards and Cherokee ninjas, long-wyrms and giants, naked people, characters you thought were dead but aren't, characters you thought I'd never kill but do, and, of course, Bitterwood. Poocher gets his moment of glory as well. Coming to bookstores soon! By soon, I mean eleven months! It will be here before you know it.
Next: More reviews! Kirk Shaw at Vagabond Voice turns in a meaty review of Bitterwood. IGMS editor Ed Schubert talks about Dragonforge over at Sideshow Freaks. Award-winning author Eric James Stone does short reviews of both Bitterwood and Dragonforge at his blog.
Finally, I want to mention the next signing I have lined up. I'll be at the Barnes and Noble in Cary, NC on September 9 at 7pm, doing a joint signing with authors Lisa Shearin and Mark van Name. Lisa writes action packed fantasy, Mark writes action packed science fiction, and my own books straddle both fantasy and SF, so I'm anticipating it will be a terrific reading and discussion. Hope I see you there!