Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post-Christmas, Pre-New Years

The Christmas weekend went very well...low-key, relaxing, just the way I like it. We got a White Christmas too, as a couple of inches of snow blanketed Lexington. It was wonderful spending time with my sister, mother, the always gregarious Harold (a cat, for those of you who do not yet know of him) and a dear family friend that has officially been declared my "third grandmother". (both of my grandmothers have passed away, and this wonderful lady has been a dear friend of the family since early I decided to annoint her as my third grandmother!).

As we have a small group, we tended to spoil the heck out of each other. I got an awesome new black leather jacket which I will be wearing at appearances in early 2011, along with several other gifts ranging from some new clothes to an Ace Frehley DVD. It was a really wonderful, restful weekend!

I had peace of mind too, as we got all packages for Dream of Legends out before the weekend hit. We were a few days behind because it took a little longer than usual for the books to arrive for signing, probably due to the busy nature of the holiday season.

I was able to acquire a great pic of me and my editor, Karen Leet, just after she got to see the limited edition hardcovers for the very first time. I may look a little disheveled, but I definitely want to share this photo, as you can tell how pleased Karen is with how the book turned out.

I also got my Pluto Award in the mail. It is a beautiful, fully engraved award, which I will be taking a picture of in the next day or so. I will post it here, of course. It is just an amazing way to be wrapping up 2010, and definitely gives me a great deal of encouragement to head into 2011.

I will endeavor to get a nice "year in review" post up for the new year, but thought I would drop in and share a few things in the mid-week!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Crown of Vengeance wins the 2010 Pluto Award!

Today is a very special day, as I just received word that Crown of Vengeance was announced as the winner of the 2010 Pluto Award.

Six nominees were announced in November, with 2 finalists declared on December 4th, and Crown of Vengeance made the final cut earlier today. This is my first national/international literary award, so it will always be extra, extra special in my heart. It is a real thrill to know that a jury thought so much of my work to nominate it, and choose to move it forward in the following rounds.

So much work goes into these books. The series itself has been in development for over 15 years, even though book 2, Dream of Legends, is only now being published. An award like this is a real validation and encouragement, and I can't say enough how amazing it was to get the word that Crown of Vengeance won.

I would also like to recognize a couple of other individuals for whom this award is significant. One is Amanda DeBord, my hard-working editor on Crown of Vengeance. I have always loved working with her, as she is a very gifted editor, and know she will be very happy about this award. The other is Matthew Perry, who did the cover art and set of illustrations in Crown of Vengeance. As everyone knows, I have had a great collaboration with Matt with his artwork and my books, and I think Matt will be very pleased to hear about this award as well.

I extend a huge thanks to the board and jury of the Pluto Award. I promise that I will continue to put a 250% effort into all the future installments of the Fires in Eden Series, and that the confidence you have shown me in selecting Crown of Vengeance was well placed. This series is from the heart, and I put my all into it, to create an epic adventure that has rays of light within it, even if the challenges presented to the characters might seem impossible at times. I don't think you will be disappointed with where this series is headed! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dream of Legends now available on Kindle! Just $3.99 too!

A bit of welcome news arrived today...

the Kindle edition of Dream of Legends is now up and active!

All of Matt's artwork is included in the Kindle version, and I don't think that the $3.99 price, for a 746 page book, is too shabby, now is it? lol

If you have a Kindle, help us kickstart this release! I also want to say that Steven Shrewsbury, my friend and fellow SSP author, had his Thrall novel go live as well. Great heroic fantasy, if you like the Robert E. Howard and David Gemmell types of books. His book is also just $3.99 and has all the artwork too.

Here are the links:

Dream of Legends Kindle Edition

Thrall Kindle Edition

Exciting times! The elements for the limited edition packages are all in house as of today, so those will be shipping out at the beginning of next week, signed. Those that pre-ordered them are in for something special. They came out really, realy wonderfully!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Made it back safely, but a few close calls!

Being an author that strives to keep every committment, and one who really appreciates every media opportunity that is offered, I tend to find myself occassionally in the thick of some adventures, as happened last week during my trip to do the signing at That Book Place in Madison, IN. Last night was no exception, and turned out to be possibly the most harrowing author adventure I've had yet.

I went to Louisville to be on Fender's Den Radio Show, which is a great show that features live performances by bands, interviews, and the like. Louisville is only an hour outside of Lexington, so on a normal night, this is not a problem. Unfortunately, last night was not normal.

Getting to Louisville was a little difficult, as the snow had begun to fall. I had to keep it to about 40 miles an hour, but you could still see the road lines, and the main worry was about the slickness of the highway. I saw salt trucks out, so I had some hope. Got to the studio safely, where Dusty June and Fender, the show hosts, had myself and actor Sonny Burnette (one of my favs), who played Latacolc in Swordbearer, on for an interview focusing on the movie.

We followed a very good rock band called Your News Vehicles. Very cool bunch of musicians, and I definitely recommend you checking them out, as their performances was tight, and I really liked the vocal quality of the singer. Sonny and I were interviewed for about a half hour, and then we set off for the return journey.

While we were inside of the studio, the snow had fallen more thickly, and the interstate had a layer of it such that seeing the road lines was difficult at best in some stretches, and non-existent in others. This makes for a lot of fun as there are always some people that think that they, and their cars, transcend the laws of physics and come racing down the highway in such conditions, when two lanes cannot be seen, much less demarcated. These are the type of people that you see turned around backwards in ditches or perched up on embankments, I strongly believe, or who end up having intimate encounters with telephone poles or light poles.

I had some "interesting" moments, such as one curving stretch on the highway where I couldn't see the road, and the snow was gushing down, AND a big truck came rushing by on the left, and threw up a pile of slush that covered my entire windshield right as I entered the curve (and couldn't see the lines on the road, I must remind you, which means you can't see the lines marking the shoulder of the road or anything else like that). Literally blinded for a few moments until the trusty windshield wipers did their thing, but it definitely makes for a little elevation in heartrate.

I did have a Monster Energy drink to help me, though there was no chance of going drowsy. Went as slow as 20mph in some spots, and no higher than 35. Took easily over 2 1/2 hours to make a trip that normally would be under 1 hour. I finally got back to Lexington. Sonny and I had touched bases by phone a couple of times during our drives back, and I called him again to make sure he got home safe, which, thankfully, he did.

Dues Paying on my path has been going on for quite some time, but I definitely paid some extra dues last night. Hopefully I'll have some adventures of a less-harrowing variety in the future to bring a little balance into things!

Needless to say, I'm glad to be having an office day today!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Apex Day 2010 was a winner, and I will be on Fender's Den Radio Show tonight...

(photo is of me with the legendary Jason Sizemore of Apex Books, right after the event...if you look carefully, you can see the glow of success on Mr. Sizemore! )

Apex Day 2010 was a great deal of fun...met some new friends like Rodney Carlstrom and Debbie Kuhn, and saw some very special friends like Janet Harriet and Michael West, and got to hang out with the Apex legions at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Lexington Kentucky.

Jason, the head honcho of Apex Books, put together a great group of guest authors, with a spotlight on Gary Braunbeck, who did several outstanding readings. R. Thomas Riley came all the way from North Dakota, and Jerry Gordon, Lucy Snyder, Mari Adkins, and the always enthralling Maurice Broaddus rounded out the main group up front.

There were definitely some great moments, including seeing Jason Sizemore in a Santa hat, and THEN seeing Gary Braunbeck in one, after he requisitioned it from Jason during the giving out of the door prizes. Proof is below, and no, these are unaltered photos, LOL:

I finally got to take a photo with Mari Adkins, a great editor and writer who is one of the Apex editors, in I joked with her, you see her only slightly more frequently than J.D. Salinger's rate of public appearances when he was alive, haha.
I have proof of this visit with Mari as well:

Rhonda Wilson, Earl Dean, and many other great people I know were in the crowd, and attendence was really good. Rachel at Joseph-Beth produced yet another well-run, hospitable author event, and many that I talked to who were there for the first time now know what I mean when I say that this is one of the best bookstores in the entire country.

Now on to Fender's Den today in Louisville to be on their rockin' radio show, along with actor Sonny Burnette. we are supposed to go on at 7pm eastern time USA, and the show info and archives can be found at
that's it for now!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Appearing Tomorrow on Fender's Den Radio Show

As promised, here's the update on the radio show I was thinking I was scheduled to appear on... LOL...

I will be on Fender's Den Radio Show, a VERY cool radio/video show based out of Louisville Kentucky. Their site is at:

The time for the show is at 7pm eastern time USA. This is going to be a very fun one, and different from many of the media appearances that I've made, so I encourage you to catch it live, or, if you miss it, check out the archived version later. Go to the website to get information on the show and linking up to it!

If you are on Facebook, they have a brand new fan page up too: that address is:

That's all for now! I'm heading down to participate at Apex Day in Lexington today at Joseph-Beth from 2-4pm, where Gary Braunbeck, Maurice Broaddus, Jason Sizemore, Michael West, and many other great authors will be hanging out, signing, and more.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Apex Day on Saturday! Voyage of the Dawn Treader Today!

Okay, I'm pretty whupped at the moment, but there's an exciting weekend coming up!

The Limited Editions of Dream of Legends are in route to me to be personalized/signed for those who ordered, and I assure you, you will be really pleased with how this book turned out! :) It is one sharp-looking hardcover. Authors tend to get excited when they can actually hold a physical book in their hands. I only have the pre-print run proof copy, which I had to do a line by line last review/check of, not an easy task for a 740 page book, but it is a copy that I got to hold in my hands! LOL.

This weekend, I'll be one of the guests at Apex Day at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington. Gary Braunbeck, Maurice Broaddus, Michael West...the list is big and awesome. It will be from 2-4 at Joseph Beth, and I am really looking forward to participating, as Jason graciously included me on his list. Apex is one of the best independent presses in the country, and it is always an honor to be invited/included on anything with Jason.

There's a facebook page for the event. Link here:!/event.php?eid=146724642029668&index=1

I am supposed to appearing on a pod/video cast on Sunday, but I don't have final details so I'll have to update this later with a blog post if that is still happening.

Everyone should go see Voyage of the Dawn Treader this weekend! It was my favorite of the Narnia series growing up. I'm going to the theater in about an hour to see it, but from the trailers it looks magical. I hope the new director delivered the heart that the Narnia tale has, which is much more important than the flashy special effects. I've been looking forward to this one for a long, long time!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last Day to get Dream of Legends Limited Hardcovers

Just a quick note to remind everyone that today is the final day for getting the big deal on Dream of Legends Hardcovers. The hardcovers look fantastic, and they come with a ton of extras (and you can get the new t-shirt design as an added option). Only 75 to be issued. This is by far the best deal for the new book, and one of the best deals you will find on a new release anywhere, major or small press.

hope you give it some I like to say, the book will still be around long after the latest electronic gizmos are obsolete/inoperable/gathering dust... :) And those latest gizmos cost a lot mroe too!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crown of Vengeance in finals of Pluto Award-Signing in Madison Report

First of all, I am very pleased to announce that I just found out that Crown of Vengeance is now one of the two finalists for the 2010 Pluto Award, narrowing down from the initial field of 6 nominees. The 2010 Pluto Award will be announced on December 18th, so we'll have to see what happens! It is definitely an honor to have Crown of Vengeance be a finalist, something that is extra encouraging on the eve of Dream of Legends being released.

Staying a little warmer today, after a big adventure to Madison, Indiana yesterday for a signing at That Book Place. Madison is a small town right on the border of Kentucky, a very scenic, historic area. It is also known for its success and participating on the sport of hydroplane racing. One day, it is going to be well-known as the town where That Book Place is located.

This store, owned by Frank Hall, is an author-friendly independent bookstore. Frank is definitely one of the good guys in this often-hazardous business that authors have to deal with. I have seen Frank out on the circuit, and he was kind enough to invite me up for a signing.

As luck would have it, snow began to fall in Lexington and the region early on Saturday morning. Leaving town was an adventure, but as I always say, I will make every last effort on behalf of my reader-friends. The trip got out to a rocky start, as just as I was heading out of Lexington, 3 cars ahead of me and mine hit a particularly bad patch of ice. All of us went into slides. I was able to keep calm, go with the direction of the slide and regain control. The car ahead of me avoided collision, but the other two ended up over the curb and on the sidewalk. Fortunately, a police car was on the spot to take care of those two vehicles.

I had to be cautious on the drive up, as the roads were in various conditions depending on whether they had been visited by salt trucks. Drawing closer to Madison, it gets a little more hilly and winding, which made for some dicey stretches.

I got to That Book Place safely, about an hour ahead of the signing time. Frank and Dan, who helps him run the store, and Frank's wife were on hand, and it began what was a very nice visit. A.J. Scudiere, a thriller/science fiction author from Nashville, made it right on time for the signing, after having gone through some adventures herself.

One of the first reader-friends to show up was Anita, who showed me her Kindle, and the copy of The Exodus Gate on it. She told me that she really liked the wolf-creatures in the book (the An-Ki) and wanted me to assure her that they would continue forward in the series and would not be all killed off. She also indicated that while she likes e-Books, she did want print copies of the authors she likes. She picked up The Exodus Gate in print, as well as The Storm Guardians, and also got a copy of Dreams of Steam, which has my steampunk short story "In the Mountain Skies" in it. It was a great start to the signing, and I was really flattered that she thought enough of The Exodus Gate, as an eBook, that she wanted a print version signed and personalized.

A few readers had pre-bought books and left them in the store to be signed and personalized, and there were also a few customers browsing who turned out to be fantasy readers, such as one lady whose boyfriend was a fan of Robert Jordan and the Wheel of Time series. She thought he would really enjoy the Fires in Eden series and picked up a Crown of Vengeance for him.

A.J. Scudiere was great to do a signing alongside, and people should check out the audio movie versions of her books as well. Yes, that's movies, where her books are given a soundtrack, sound effects, and a full cast of actors bringing you an audio book like no other. Check her work out!

There were some humorous moments as well. Frank evidently runs an unofficial cat placement service, or so it appears, as a little kitten was dropped off to him, to deliver to a home that he had found. This evidently takes place on a regular basis, and Frank and his wife have no less than 10 cats themselves. I think that the kitten should have been given the job of being the bookstore cat, as it took quickly to Frank, even falling asleep on his shoulder. (as the pic proves). It won't be much longer before Frank will be giving a free cat to every author that signs at his store!

Frank has a really good thing going at That Book Place. Not only is he expanding the store size, but he is also adding a coffee shop soon, and he is founding a new small press publishing company. His brother owns a game store in Madison as well, so I can see Madison becoming a real genre hotbed in the near future!

Authors and readers should really get behind Frank and what he is doing. He's shown himself to be a straight-shooter, and he has a passion for the genre, cares about authors, and I really hope he has tremendous success.

All in all, it was a good day, and one that went much better than it might otherwise have gone given the bad weather.

As a last note, remember that this Wednesday, December 8th, is the last day to pre-order Dream of Legends limited hardcovers (and get an incredible price).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dream of Legends makes a top 5 list, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra Rocks Rupp Arena!

Yesterday I had a couple of very nice things happen. One was a surprise, and the other has become a bit of a holiday tradition.

The surprise was that a fantasy reviewer in Europe chose Dream of Legends as one of his 5 most anticipated book releases of December. The site was The Ranting Dragon, and the link to the anticipated december releases is here.

The other books on the list were by Brandon Sanderson, Glen Cook, Mike Resnick, and Nancy A. Collins. Obviously, I was both thrilled and stunned to be put in this kind of list. When you put as much work into a book, especially a larger type of book as an epic fantasy tends to be, it certainly uplifting to have something like this occur. I hope that things like this help to encourage folks to take a look at picking up one of the limited edition hardcovers, as they look very sharp and it takes a whole lot to put together the kind of package that we put together (which is why you don't see packages like this very often with any publisher's new releases, small or large press).

The other major thing yesterday was my third Trans-Siberian Orchestra show in Lexington. As everyone knows, I'm a lifelong hard rock and metal fan, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra fuses hard rock and metal with orchestral elements to create a really phenomenal sound. To go with it, they have a massive stage show, that of all the great stage shows I've seen, is second only to Kiss. Lasers, lights, fireworks, mobile platforms and trusses, fire jets, the works! TSO was founded by a couple guys from the metal band Savatage, who had a string of excellent albums from the early 80's right up through the early 2000's. They are often joined by other metal alumni, as when one of my favorite guitarists, Alex Skolnick of Testament fame, was on hand last year playing with TSO.

Make no mistake, this is an arena rock show, with a whole lotta rock, and some orchestral polish. The show went well over 2 1/2 hours, and I encourage everyone to go out to see this if it comes near. These guys and gals clearly care about the fans, as the tickets are much less than most arena shows, and you get 3 times as much of a show, visually, and in the length of the performance. I did get some nice pics at the show, a few of which I've put on this page.

The band members often go into the audience, and the bass player knew where to go to rock, when he came up into my aisle. I was only able to get a quick, blurry cell phone pic, but it does prove he knew where to go! LOL

It is a family tradition now, as my mother and I have gone three years in a row, and my sister has been aboard for the last two. This is my idea of a holiday concert, that's for sure!

Last, but not least, I would like to extend my warmest regards, and wishes for peace and happiness, to all of my Jewish friends and their families during the celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, which began at sundown last night and continues for 8 days. Be sure to eat more than a few latkes! You have all been wonderful to me and I hope your kindness and support of my own path returns tenfold!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Book and a Movie!

Worked from early morning until the evening, and then it was time to get away and take a little break.

I headed down to Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington to see Michael Williams, who was making an appearance in support of his new novel Trajan's Arch, which was recently published by BlackWyrm out of Louisville. Joseph-Beth is an incredible venue, and it was really great to see Michael, his wife, and Dave Mattingly from BlackWyrm at the event. Michael gave a presentation, discussing tendencies in genre fiction and literary fiction in regards to character and plot (I.E. genre fiction, on the average, tends to develop plot better while leaving characters thin, while literary fiction sets up great characters, and often doesn't have them doing much). Following the presentation, Michael gave a reading from Trajan's Arch, which is a very different kind of book from much of the work that he is known for (which includes some Dragonlance novels).

Trajan's Arch, at Michael explains it, tilts in the direction of magical realism. Someone very near and dear to me purchased the book at the Kentucky Book Fair a couple of weeks ago, and read it, and really liked it, so at least I was able to pass on some very positive feedback to Michael. I picked up a copy at the book signing, and will be diving into it over the holidays. I will certainly do a review on the SSP blogsite when I am finished.

Following the signing I headed out with the Tuesday Crew, a group of friends that gather for a later evening movie every week (I try to join them as often as possible, as it helps keep me sane with the work level I'm managing right now!). This week's film was Faster, the new one with Dwayne Johnson. Thankfully, there were no tooth-fairy outfits, and we got to see Dwayne where I think he is incredible, in an action-heavy role. It has a decidedly darker edge, but there are some redemptive aspects. I think that among the action stars, Dwayne Johnson exhibits some of the best range in his acting. He is outstanding at conveying a mix of emotions, and really shines in Faster. I would love to see him get more roles like this, ones that mix his excellence as an action star with his range as an actor.

Faster is filled with good performances, and I walked away a very happy viewer at the end...Dwayne Johnson is BACK!

I also wanted to mention that there was a trailer for a medieval film with some strong traces of fantasy, called Season of the Witch, starring Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman, that looks incredibly promising. Large crusader army was depicted, along with big battles, hints of the supernatural, and some really superb looking scenery and sets. Definitely inspired to see this one, which is a very nice bonus given that Voyage of the Dawn Treader looms in about a week! (Growing up, Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my favorite book in the Chronicles of Narnia)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday-Notes on my friend's new book, my new one, and more.

I hope that everyone had a great thanksgiving weekend! I had a relaxing one, including a fantastic dinner at with my mother, sister, and some of our closest friends. Kept up with traditions, such as watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (which was pretty amazing this year, with some super cool pizza dough twirlers that they needed to do a lot more coverage on), and loads of football (though I always find myself feeling bad for the Lions, who always host a Thanksgiving Day game and rarely seem to do very well).

I'm back at it here on monday, which in the US is called Cyber Monday, due to all the online shopping specials going on.

Right now I'm trying to get as much word out as possible for my new book Dream of Legends, which is no small task when you are with a small press publishers and have to contend with the big dollar marketing/PR blitzes from the major publishers. Thankfully, there are some bloggers who have read my books, and my reader-friends, who are helping me go against the grain in getting some word out there. Not an easy thing when the latest TOR release is requesting blogger coverage! LOL

I've just been given interview questions by a very well established blogger that I've not visited with yet, so there are some signs of new interest from the fantasy blogging community. I appreciate that so many of them are open to small press releases, which I think is a good approach, given that small press is where lots of new fantasy authors and very well-established ones are having releases with all of the consolidation and contraction going on at the major press level.

I hope that people do give the limited edition hardcover package some consideration this holiday. It is a very sharp looking book, with a special illustration not found in the regular edition, and it is accompanied by a big package of extras, with 2 posters, art cards, 8x10 cover art print, and bookmarks. Plus, you can add the newest t-shirt design from Dream of Legends for just over 8 bucks. All of it, including the new t-shirt, is signicantly less in price than a new video game, and the book will last a whole lot longer. Orders through the publisher are very helpful to the launch of a book, so do give it some thought.

And if you aren't in the mood for epic fantasy, I will give a shout out for my fellow SSP author Steven L. Shrewsbury, a friend of mine on the circuit, whose great heroic fantasy novel Thrall also has a limited edition version with extras. The deadline for pre-orders on his book is this Wednesday, and as prices go up significantly for any remaining packages after Wednesday, now is the best time to pre-order one.

Here's a link to the online store where you can see both Steven's book and my new one and the packages available. SSP does ship internationally too!

This week will involve a great deal of activity with the awareness campaign for the new book, but I will also be doing a lot of work for FandomFest, a great convention in Louisville Kentucky that I am serving as the Literary Track coodinator for. is the new website, and it takes place next summer from July 22-24. Expect some new media-related things with the convention that I will be participating in.

There will be a whole lot going on with Swordbearer post production throughout December, do keep an eye out for updates on that as well.

Those in the Madison Indiana area should come out and say hi this Saturday, where I'll be from 12-2 at That Book Place, a great bookstore owned by Frank Hall, a familiar face out on the Con circuit.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank you for being you!

On the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, the emphasis is upon gratitude, and being thankful for the good things in your life. As such, I definitely want to express my gratitude for all of the the wonderful folks that I have the honor to know on my path in life.

From every actor and crew person I worked with on Swordbearer, to every reader-friend, to all of the authors, bloggers, booksellers, filmmakers, and others that I have come to know in the past year, I want you to know that I appreciate your interest, encouragement, and support very much. I will honor it steadfastly by giving every last ounce of effort to bring out the best work that I can.

Now it is time for friends and family, including four-legged fellows named Harold! (not to mention good food, football, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a tradition in this house!)...

I'll be thinking of all of you today, and THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dream of Legends is here! Book 2 of the Fires in Eden Series!

Finally, I can announce the new book! LOL

Yes, Dream of Legends is here!

As always, a TON of work goes into these releases, and we really put every effort to make the book releases extra special, from Matt's Artwork, to all the extras that come with the collectible packages. I hope that everyone considers a pre-order of the Limited Edition, as these books in hardcover are going to be gorgeous. The value included with these is really strong, when you look at what's included.

There's loads of options, including a softcover package, optional new t-shirts with the big dragon illustration, and lots more... just browse through the options at the online store, by clicking here.

Help me get this kicked off strongly by spreading the link, encouraging fantasy readers to pre-order a copy, posting in message boards, etc. It is a tough road, and I can say with absolute certainty that every little bit helps, and it really encourages and validates an author when someone buys a book or helps to promote it.

Tell people to reserve many copies of the limited hardcover or first edition softcover to be shipped to friends for holiday gifts! LOL

We've also got a brand new video trailer for Dream of Legends, and you can take a look at it here:

And here's a copy of the new press release:

For Immediate Release
November 23, 2010

Seventh Star Press is proud to announce the release of DREAM OF LEGENDS, the second book in the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series from Stephen Zimmer.

Now available for pre-order in limited edition hardcover and trade paperback, DREAM OF LEGENDS continues the adventures begun in CROWN OF VENGEANCE, when it was released in fall of 2009.

DREAM OF LEGENDS journeys forward with several characters from the modern world, who discover that finding themselves in the fantastical lands of Ave was just the beginning. The assault upon the Kingdom of Saxany and the tribes of the Five Realms ignites, as the eyes of The Unifier turn southward, across the seas towards faraway Midragard. Within this maelstrom, some find themselves on a path of discovery, to uncover powers that lie within, while others must brave perilous journeys, to seek out the things said to exist only in the faded mists of myth and legend. Epic battles, plot twists, and new environments abound in DREAM OF LEGENDS.

Book Two of the Fires in Eden Series, DREAM OF LEGENDS is immersive, epic fantasy, for those who love to explore richly developed fantasy worlds alongside an ensemble of intriguing, diverse characters. Readers of the great epic fantasy authors such as Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkien will find a wondrous trove of adventure, characters, and depth in this next step of the Fires in Eden series.

Working with Stephen for the first time, and taking on the editorial reins of the Fires in Eden Series to keep the dedicated yearly release schedule on course, was Karen Leet.

"Working with Stephen has been a joy. He is totally professional about his work, meets deadlines and edits cheerfully," Karen commented. "He makes editing easy for me, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know his characters, who now seem to me like actual people with genuine depth. His plotlines stride across the pages on swift, sure feet and sweep the reader along with them."

“Having Karen as my editor on DREAM OF LEGENDS was a wonderful experience. She did a meticulous analysis of Crown of Vengeance to ensure full continuity of tone and style with the new book. I am fortunate to be working with two excellent editors on my two series. The new book is loaded with action, and there are some very big revelations in regards to the full series,” Stephen said. “DREAM OF LEGENDS builds strongly upon the foundation set in place by Crown of Vengeance, keeping storylines tight while introducing many new and exciting elements. I am confident that readers who enjoyed the first book are going to be elated with this new installment of the series.”

Continuing one of the most extensive collaborations between an artist and an author in the fantasy sphere, a brand new set of illustrations and cover art were created for DREAM OF LEGENDS by fantasy artist Matthew Perry. With the two Rising Dawn Saga books and the two Fires in Eden books, a growing body of over 50 full page illustrations have been created by Matthew for Stephen’s literary work.

In addition to writing two active epic-scale fantasy series, The Rising Dawn Saga and the Fires in Eden Series, Stephen also saw his first foray into the steampunk genre published a couple of months ago with “In the Mountain Skies”, which was included in the Dreams of Steam Anthology (Editor Kimberly Richardson, Kerlak Publishing). Stephen is also a screenwriter and director in the world of film, with a new fantasy short film on the horizon in early 2011, “Swordbearer”, which features professional wrestler Al Snow, and is based on the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant (Sam’s Dot Publishing).

By the third week of December, DREAM OF LEGENDS will be available in hardcover, trade paperback, and several eBook formats, for owners of the Kindle, the iPad, the Nook, Sony eReaders, and other compatible electronic reading devices.

Already maintaining one of the most active year-round appearance schedules of any fantasy author, Stephen will be hitting the road extensively in 2011 in support of the Fires in Eden Series, the Rising Dawn Saga, and the “Swordbearer” short film. The third book in the Rising Dawn Saga is slated for summer of 2011, and the next Fires in Eden Book for December of 2011.

Updates and additional information can be obtained at the official site for Seventh Star Press, at , or at the author's site at

Contact: C.C. James
Public Relations, Seventh Star Press
Seventh Star Press Mailing Address:
3801 Dylan Place Suite 116, #7
Lexington, Ky. 40514-1062

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Kentucky Book Fair 2010....Fantastic

The Kentucky Book Fair 2010 was wonderful!

It is such a well-run and organized event, and simply massive...over 200 authors on an arena floor in Frankfort Kentucky. Where else can authors rock an arena? :)

Authors were assigned 3 to each booth space, and I happned to be right under the row 7 sign at the end of the aisle, up front and centered near the entrance. My immediate neighbor was author Michael Williams, who was there to promote his brand new novel Trajan's Arch, which was published by BlackWyrm, an outstanding small press based out of Louisville Kentucky. (photo is of me with Michael on the right)

The day was constantly active...many current reader-friends stopped by the booth, and I met several new ones. I had my most successful single day event outside of Lexington in terms of sales. Many copies of The Exodus Gate and Crown of Vengeance were sold, as well as a number of The Storm Guardians, mostly by people that had read The Exodus Gate. Both Nick Valentino and I had Dreams of Steam, the great steampunk anthology from Kerlak publishing, at our tables, and we each sold many copies of that one as well. (photo is of me with my friend Karen, who I didn't know was coming and decided to surprise me)

It was great to see some other authors, like Gwen Mayo, Abigail Keam, Sarah Glenn, and Shane Berryhill, who I met at ConNooga last year.

It was such a postive, encouraging, and successful event. Connie Crowe, Jen, Amy, and everyone involved did a great job with the hospitality, organization, and presenation. Brooke Raby and the Joseph Beth gang were on hand to help with the transaction and inventory. (photo is of me with KBF staff member Amy, at the end of the event.)

Afterwards I got to go out to eat with Nick Valentino and Elizabeth Darvill, who are two of the hardest working authors out there. They are hitting bookstores and conventions coast to coast, and it is no surprise that they are really attracting attention in the world of steampunk. It felt good to have a Sam Adams Winter Lager after the day we had, and Nick got his first Kentucky Hot Brown, which passed muster in his view!

We had a great visit, and Elizabeth came up with some very intriuging programming ideas that we just might have to put to use in the future...some very creative ideas, to say the least! Needless to say, I haven't heard about anything like she described at any convention I've been to!

To sum it all up, I really hope to have the honor of returning to the Kentucky Book Fair in 2011.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Kentucky Book Fair this Saturday

Just a quick note about the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort KY tomorrow:

I had a great experience last year at my first appearance at the Kentucky Book Fair. It is an amazing event, and I have the honor of returning again this year. I went down this morning to set up my assigned space on the convention floor (it is at the main Convention Center at 405 Mero St), and lo and behold they have me at the end of the 7th aisle, which is centered at the front where the main entrance is. Maybe being a Seventh Star Press author and being on the 7th aisle is some kind of omen...I'll let you know what kind after the event is done, LOL.

Saw Shane Berryhill while I was there for setup, who is a great speculative fiction writer from the Chattanooga TN area that I met at ConNooga. Also appearing in the speculative fiction area is steampunk star Nick Valentino from Nashville, a great guy and friend I love to see out on the circuit.

If you are thinking about going, I encourage you to do so...admission is free, and there are over 200 authors presented, in all genres. VERY cool day with about 5,000 attending readers/book buyers. Be sure to look me up and say hi, though!

I will have a copy of fellow SSP author Steven Shrewsbury's new book Thrall with me as well, so you can get a sneak peak at that if you are there. It turned out FANTASTIC! Steven is a great guy so I was thrilled to see how good this novel looks.

I'll check in after the event and let you all know how the day went!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Help me spread the word on my friend's new book Thrall...

Just a little favor to me spread the word on Steven Shrewsbury's new book Thrall. Here's the info from the SSP site with a link to the page with the banners:

From the SSP site:

Please help us spread the word on Steven Shrewsbury's fantastic new heroic fantasy novel Thrall. Two new banners available promoting Thrall and the limited edition hardcovers (deadline on pre-orders is December 1)

Visit the following link to get code to cut and paste the banners into your blogs and pages.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ScareFest, the new book, and another SSP release

(thanks to Nic Brown, I got to do my very first "red carpet walk", which was interesting! Here's a pic from that moment taken by Bill Spangler,who is an awesome photographer)

I attended and exhibited at ScareFest 2010 in Lexington this past weekend. Thankfully, I didn't have far to drive for this one, maybe about 10 minutes, which was nice.

ScareFest is a large and growing horror and paranormal convention in Lexington, which has a big celebrity, visual media, and paranormal investigation core to it. While it does not have any literary/book related programming at the present time, it does bring in a large audience, many of whom do enjoy genres like fantasy, and science fiction.

I was based at the Deth Publications booth, at the invitation of Elizadeth Hetherington, a very talented horror author from Wisconsin. Her husband Vance, who is an editor, was also present, and the three of us had a great visit and weekend at ScareFest.

(Elizadeth Hetherington and myself)

As the Louisville and Lexington conventions tend to be, it was a time when a lot of the Kentucky filmmakers got a chance to come together, hang out, talk shop, and network.

(here's me with David Rupp of Infernal Dreams)

I really enjoy this aspect of a convention, and getting to see such folks as David Rupp (of Infernal Dreams), Jason Crowe and Roni Jonah (of Feathered Italian Films), Jacob Ennis (Tuckywood Productions), Eric Butts (director of Girl/Girl Scene), and others is great, as we don't get to visit in person all that often due to everyone's busy schedules.

(Suzie and Stephen Lackey of and the CineGeek Podcast, Elizadeth Hetherington, and myself)

(me with actor Ryan Buckley, who knows how to make some very potent punch!)

in addition to filmmaking friends, there were many other folks that I don't often get a chance to see except for conventions, such as Joe Garcia of Fast Custom Shirts Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications.

(me with Andrea and John Foley, Jason Jacob, and Abby Cook...John made some weapons shown in the castle scene in Swordbearer, and Abby was one of our two main designers and head of our costuming department)

As the convention went on, I did get to visit with some current reader-friends, and make some new ones. New friends included our neighbor in the exhibit hall, Don Sumner, who is the main guy behind the Best Horror Movies site, and he is the author of the new book, Horror Movie Freak, which looks like a great tome of horror movie lore.

(me with Don Sumner of Best Horror Movies)

(Me with my reader-friend Latosha)

(me with CT Brannon and his son!)

A big part of ScareFest are the celebrity film and paranormal guests. From what I observed, George Romero was the biggest draw, and others such as Danny Trejo and Adrienne Barbeau had very busy tables. Kane Hodder, Tom Atkins, Danielle Harris, wrestling legend George "The Animal" Steele, and many more were meeting fans, selling autographs, taking photos, etc.

Romero happens to be one of Eric Butts' favorite directors, and the following pic was taken right after Eric met George (notice the slightly dazed look, LOL)

On the book front, we are VERY close to the press release for the new Fires in Eden book, which will be accompanied by the unveiling of the new cover art, some of the illustrations, and a video trailer. Matt is doing more amazing artwork, and I can't wait to share it with everyone. This book has many elements that are VERY favorable to epic visual images, to say the least, and Matt has been having a lot of fun with the content in developing the illustrations.

On another note, if you haven't pre-ordered a copy already, you need to pick up one of Steven Shrewsbury's new Thrall limited hardovers. Not many in this batch, and it is the first appearance of his Gorias La Gaul character. Great price on it too and it comes with a poster, 5X7 glossy prints, and bookmarks. He's in the SSP family, so show him some love and pick up Thrall! here's a link to the online store. Check my previous blog post for the video trailer.

That's it for now! Keep an eye on this blog as it won't be much longer before the new book announcement.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My fellow SSP author Steven Shrewsbury's New Novel Thrall

(newly unveiled cover art for Steven Shrewsbury's Thrall, artwork by Matthew Perry)

Getting everything pulled together to make the sojourn downtown for ScareFest today! If any of you happen to be there, I'll be at the Deth Publications booth, with author Elizadeth Hetherington and her husband.

I didn't want to leave without putting a link up to the press release and video trailer for my fellow SSP author Steven Shrewsbury's Thrall release. His book is VERY good, to say the least. As a big fan of Robert E. Howard, and David Gemmell, I can say with the utmost confidence that if you like characters like Conan or Druss the Legend, then you are really going to dig Gorias La Gaul. This book is the first published appearance of Gorias, so you can get in on the ground floor of what may well become an iconic fantasy figure. As with my book releases, there's a cool limited edition hardcover, with extras featuring the always-awesome Matthew Perry cover art and illustrations.

Steven is a wonderful individual, and an excellent writer, and I will be doing many appearances/events with him in 2010, so I encourage you to support his new book, spread the word on it, and check out the press release and trailer.

Here's the link:

and if you can't wait to see the trailer over on the press release page, here's the trailer:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

ScareFest this weekend, Kentucky Book Fair next weekend!

First of all, be sure to check out a brand new interview accompanying a nice review of Crown of Vengeance on Bookworm Blues. I really enjoyed this one as it involved some questions that really got at the core of the book, with more than a couple that I have not been asked at all yet. Leave a comment or two while you are there if you enjoyed the interview! here's the link...

Just getting ready for ScareFest in Lexington this weekend, which kicks off the first of 2 localized events, the other being the fantastic Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort on November 13th. I am going to be a guest of Deth Publications this weekend, as author Elizadeth Hetheringon and her husband Vance have generously invited me to join them this weekend at their booth.

My last large event was Archon in St. Louis, so I am ready for a convention weekend, and it is doubly wonderful that I have only a whopping 10 minutes to drive to this one! ScareFest is held in downtown Lexington, and will have an attendence in the range of 3-5 thousand...primarily a horror and paranormal fest, it has a number of media/film celebrities from the horror genre signing autographs, along with some programming and parties and a very big dealer room.

I've gotten word that many good friends are going to be there, from Stephen and Suzie Lackey of Captain Pixel Productions, to Joe Garcia of Fast Custom Shirts, to authors Michael West and Crymsyn Hart, to Lexington publishing genius Jason Sizemore of Apex Book Company.

This will be a nice change of pace, as lately I've been slammed with things involving the new Fires in Eden book, as well as helping out my fellow Seventh Star Press authors, Jackie Gamber, and Steven Shrewsbury, whose new novel Thrall is imminent. I can't say how wonderful it is to have Jackie and Steven aboard...fantastic authors AND fantastic individuals. Keep your eyes out for the Thrall announcement, which will unveil the cover art, some Matthew Perry artwork, and the video trailer.

well, I'd better get back to work...lots to do, including working on screenings for a certain short film that has to do with David Blalock's Ascendent novel...hint, hint! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jackie Gamber joins the SSP family!

Will be reporting on my visit as a guest author for the Reading Extravaganza program at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in Lexington today, which went wonderfully, but I wanted to keep the immediate focus today and into tomrrow on the press release for the newest member of the Seventh Star Press family!

Award-winning author Jackie Gamber is now aboard, with myself and Steven L. Shrewsbury, at Seventh Star Press, and I'm ecstatic about this. Jackie is fantastic, and I absolutely loved the first release of Redheart on Meadowhawk Press. That book is going to be re-released by SSP, and the second book, Sela, is going to come out in the middle of 2011.

I've gotten to visit with Jackie at several conventions, and she is an outstanding panelist, as well as generous in her support of other writers. She will be a wonderful representative of Seventh Star Press and what it is all about. I am looking forward to teaming up with her at lots of events in the future.

visit her site if you haven't already at

Matthew Perry is going to be the first up to do cover art and illustrations for the Leland Dragon Series as well, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how he illustrates Kallon Redheart, an amazing dragon character in this series.

Be sure to check out the full official press release for Jackie at:

And get ready next week for Steven L. Shrewsbury's novel going live at SSP, with the introduction of the cover art and some more amazing Matthew Perry artwork.

There'll be another book announced right after that..which has something to do with the Fires in Eden Series!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Facebook Page for Seventh Star Press

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Seventh Star Press has a Facebook page, finally! :) Be sure to pass the link on and add it if you are on Facebook. For your convenience, a direct badge/link is here:

Seventh Star Press

Promote Your Page Too

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Book Around Corner, New Dates added!

Just wanted to pop in to give a small update...

the final text for the new Fires in Eden book has been handed in! It may well be the largest book yet, lol ...I took a quick picture of the manuscript, single-sided, with a Monster Energy drink can for perspective! Yes, it is going to be a little larger, but that's so we can end it with a major, and I mean MAJOR, revelation for the entire series. It caught my editor Karen Leet off guard, but she loved it. She's been really happy with the pacing of the novel, so don't be daunted by the size of this flows with action, action, and more a monster of an epic battle that fantasy fans and history buffs will get a real kick out of. I'm very excited about the new book, and Matt is working on new illustrations and cover art now.

I have just added some new appearances to the calendar. Thanks to Deth Publications, I will be attending ScareFest in Lexington after all. Deth Publications is going to be selling my titles at their table, and I will be going to help out over the weekend on November 5 and 6. The following weekend is the Kentucky Book Fair, and then December 11th is Apex Day at Joseph Beth, so it is going to be a very busy time locally (and I will be returning to Dunbar next week on invitation to take part in their wonderful Reading Extravaganza program, in regards to The Storm Guardians).

The new year is going to see MANY dates involving both the book world and the movie world, as Swordbearer will be premiering later in January. I will be attending many Cons both as an author guest and also to screen Swordbearer, and we will have some targeted premieres and festivals to announce very soon.

A while back, I talked about a new series of resin-cast collectible figurines from the book series, and it looks like that project is very close to launching the first figure. More on this soon, but wanted everyone to know that we are quietly advancing it forward.

On another note, keep an eye on the Seventh Star Press site the first week of November. Announcement coming on Steven L. Shrewsbury's novel Thrall out on Seventh Star Press. Steven has been a good friend and very supportive, and I can't say how happy I am that Amanda DeBord gave the green light to bring him onto Seventh Star Press. Those that like the dark fantasy of Robert E. Howard will LOVE Shrews. And in addition to that, a wonderful new addition is about to be announced to Seventh Star Press, and she's a fantastic writer! Wait until you find out who!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The latest visit to Archon!

(photo is of a new reader-friend, Martin Austin, with myself on the right, at Archon 2010)

I am about a week behind in my report on Archon, as I came right back from it and did the last two shoots for Swordbearer, and had to get a full set report up with pics on the final shoots.

The trip to St. Louis went very well, and I had another good Archon experience. Archon was held at a new convention site in the city, so it had a new layout and arrangement. The dealers room and registration was in one building, with most of the programming in another building that was a short walk away. It made for a little adventure upon arrival, as I first went to the programming office (as I was slated for 5 panels, a reading, and a signing), and had to do a little walking around to get my badge and such.

Literary Underworld was on hand in the dealers room, and were carrying The Exodus Gate, The Storm Guardians, and Crown of Vengeance, so I did not have to worry about running a dealer/exhibition table for the weekend. I did spend several hours there during the weekend so I could be on hand for Becky, who was the primary person running the table. Other "Underlords" as Elizabeth calls the authors that she stocks for The Literary Underworld, included Angelia Sparrow, Sara Harvey, Jimmy Gillentine, and Jon Klement. I finally got to met Angelia's mom, which was a very cool surprise!

Speaking of Jon, he was really awesome in that he picked me up at my hotel and was my guide on day one for getting to the convention site. Really helped, as my travel to and from the site was smooth on the following days.

Panels went very well. Elizabeth Donald and I were almost late to the Urban Fantasy panel, but we made it in the nick of time (Elizabeth had to get from the dealers room to the building with the panels and I was having my adventure getting my credentials). A promotion/marketing panel, focusing on low-budget promotion and marketing for authors and others, followed, which included Joy Ward, myself, and filmmaker Jack Snyder. This was a fun panel, where I found out about the mutual love of basset hounds that I share with author Barbara Hodges, who turned out to be one of my main new friends that weekend.

Later, I was on a "Not New York" panel, which focused on small press publishers. This was the second panel I have been on with Selina Rosen (chief editor of Yard Dog Press), who is one of the most out-going, informative, and fun panelists you can encounter. She doesn't hold back! Van Plexico was my other co-panelist, and this one turned out to be a lot of fun.

They day was rounded out with a signing hour on the lower level, where I was with Sandy Lender, Angie Fox, and Murv Sellars. Sandy and I met at ConText in 2009, and she is part of an exciting new publishing venture. Angie is one of the authors at the Something Wicked blog, where my friend Shirley Damsgaard does her blogging. Angie and I talked about new projects and some of the things in the state of the publishing industry. It is definitely a new frontier now, with the eBook element!

On Saturday, Elizabeth hosted a Literary Underworld panel, which included Angelia Sparrow, Jimmy Gillentine, Sara Harvey, Jon Klement, and Elizabeth, who was brandishing a riding crop, I suppose for keeping us in line! We talked about author's groups, such as The Literary Underworld and Imagicopter, both of which I participate in. I was able to give out copies of the new issue of Imagyro, the Imagicopter magazine, which has yours truly on the cover. If you haven't seen it yet, here it is!

I was also on a Book vs. Movie panel that Saturday with Jack Snyder, a successful independent producer, whose movie Ghost Image has met with outstanding success in both domestic and foreign markets. Jack is a great panelist, very knowledgeable and fun to listen to, and I found myself taking a few notes as he talked about his experiences.

Had a reading towards the end of the day, and ended up doing a section of "In the Mountain Skies", the new short story in the Dreams of Steam steampunk anthology from Kerlak Publishing (Kimberly Richardson, editor).

I did get to meet and talk with some new readers in the dealers room, and hang out a little with some of my author friends like Mike D'Ambrosio, a great science fiction writer out of the Philly Area. Mike is very active on the Con circuit, and also is working on the film/screenplay side of things, so we always have lots to talk about and catch up on. (Photo is of Mike D'Ambrosio talking with one of his fans in the dealer room at Archon).

I caught up with Haley Elizabeth Garwood and a new author friend, Barbara Hodges, at panels and author signings later on Saturday. The day definitely ended on a good note there, and I headed back for the night to my hotel, as I needed to get back earlier on Sunday to meet with Aaron Champion, the cinematographer on Swordbearer as we had the final two shoots coming up on that Monday and Tuesday.

Archon was definitely a good experience, and the new location is nice. My hat is off to Beth Bancroft for putting together another great programming track, which I really enjoyed participating in!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Swordbearer-the final two shoots

Last monday and tuesday, the final two shoots for the Swordbearer film took place.

The location for both nights was the Cane Ridge Meeting House, which is one of Kentucky's most historical locations. Dating back to 1791, the place served as a spiritual meeting house, a function that it still has today. In order to preserve the timber building, a stone superstructure was erected over the entire meeting house. The meeting house itself included a wonderful room of timber, in which there is a raised dais fronted by a wide podium/counter. It is a two level structure, with a second level gallery.

For our purposes, the superstructure and the meeting house itself were incredibly appropriate for the council chamber and Ascendant's private apartment locations for Swordbearer.

Assistant producer and unit production manager Cara Worick identified this site, and arranged for the shoots to take place from 5pm onward on both nights. (pictured Cara Worick, taken by myself)

The first night involved the Moorkai council chamber scene, at which the mage DJEMO addresses the Moorkai council regarding the conflict between Jarl Suum and Jarl Thran.

The cast for the night involved Roni Jonah (Djemo), Sonny Burnette (Latacolc), Nathan Day (Solesan), Matthew Perry (Thran), Jason Crowe (Suum), Kala (Abby Cook), Jeslon (Corey Stringer), Mendani (Natasha Smith), Jalanin,(Courtney Lantz), a second Djemoan mage (Cara Worick), as well as additional council members Russ Croley, Tim Stamps, and some extras/observers that included Rick Lawing and Rocco Pepe. (photo of Jason Crowe, taken by myself)

Roni had a tough task for both nights, as the two scenes were dialogue intensive and a great proportion of the dialogue involved her character Djemo. Roni conducted the address of the council with a commanding presence and intensity.

We did do a few takes involving some improvisation between Baliak and Thran (John Wells and Matthew Perry), for consideration on a possible insert to go at the beginning of the scene. We did some improvisation between Margaret Edwards and Matt when we did the beach scene at Ft. Boonesborough, which turned out fantastic and is definitely going to make the final cut. The improvisation on Monday sounded fantastic as well, as Baliak and Thran engaged in some brief conversation prior to the convening of the council. I have great hopes for this segment also making the final cut. Working with actors of the caliber of John and Matt allows for attempts such as this, which has the potential of deepening the scene and character development when it works. (photo of John Wells as Baliak, taken by myself)

We got an extensive amount of coverage, including some really nice jib shots targeted for the beginning and end of the scene. The council members turned in a great performance, and our coverage included many individual shots of council reactions. Cinematographer Aaron Champion worked a lot of the night in a stabilization harness, while Sven Granlund ran a second camera.

Several new outfits were debuted from the costuming department, including Solesan's, Gomaton's, and Jeslon's. As has been the case with this production, costuming looked fantastic. Abby Cook and Maggie Miller really excelled with the custom designs that were used in these two shoots. (Photo of Corey Stringer as Jeslon, taken by myself)

The crew really flowed well, including some new faces, like Tim, who was our sound recordist for the two nights, as well as Daniel (who was an extra in our tavern scene), who stepped in to help AD and grip for the night. As always, Robin Blankenship was a big help, straddling the costuming department and production assistant duties. Justin Powell,wearing his trademark hat, was everywhere on the set with the setups, putting lighting and assembling the jib on the 2nd level gallery or positioning lighting on the first level. Both nights we accomplished our entire shot lists, including the addition of a couple of additional shots not on the original list, with an hour to spare in terms of our projected shoot times each night.

It was a rather cold night inside of the building, which under other circumstances might have turned into a negative, but the cast and crew continued to show the "can-do" spirit and endured the chill while maintaining a positive vibe. Of course, as always, I had Monster Energy Drinks close at hand (and so did John Wells, who also has superior taste in energy drinks) to assist!

Tuesday night we moved to one of the side apses in the stone superstructure building for a different scene. The apse had 3 tall arched windows, in which we placed banners reflecting the colors of House Suum and Dejmo. The scene called for only five actors, Sonny Burnette, Jason Crowe, Nathan Day, Ryan Buckley, and Roni Jonah, who had another night with extensive dialogue.

As with Monday's shoot, Roni turned in another excellent performance, displaying some great intensity that I really feel came through very well on the midshots and closeups. Sonny, Nathan, Jason, and Ryan also turned in strong performances, and the lighting scheme used in this scene really looked nice, in terms of what Aaron and Sven were getting on camera. (Photo of Sonny Burnette and crew)

We were afforded a great opportunity due to the uniqueness of the location, in that there was an outer, second level window in the meeting house that looks over the center of the apse. I definitely wanted to take advantage of the free high angle shot, and we set up a jib to get an intro shot for the scene that I am confident will look very nice. (Photo of Matt Perry and Aaron Champion, taken by myself)

Everyone was in a great mood at the end of the shoot, even the curator of the property, James, which always is a good thing when shooting on location!

There will be a few small pieces to get for a montage sequence planned for early in the film, but the principle production phase has successfully concluded. A new phase gets underway, as there are a few key effects shots, a stylized montage, a full score, sound design, and much more to tackle in the post production period of Swordbearer.

The production on Swordbearer was a really fantastic expereince. This is the third project in a row as a director that I have worked with Matt and Sven and Cineline Productions, and I really believe that we took another large step forward. From Shadows Light, to Sirens, and now Swordbearer, we have made progressions in production and execution. (photo of Sven, me, and Matt)

I was elated to have Aaron Champion as my DP on this project. I had gotten him aboard Scott Sullivan's latest project, SantaBoy last spring, which I served on as a producer and first AD, and after being around him on that project I was really looking forward to working with Aaron on Swordbearer. Things were organized and flowed so well between Aaron and myself ... going over shotlists, discussing a few additional shots, looking at technical issues, or whatever the case might be, I feel that Aaron and I were on the same page all throughout. As with Matt and Sven, I hope that my next project has Aaron on it as well. (Photo of Aaron and myself)

I will be writing a lot more about this project and those involved with it, but figured this should be a good set report for the final two shoots.

I will be sure to keep everyone posted on progress in the post-production phase. We are tentatively aiming for a later January premiere of the film, with a trailer (perhaps a couple of versions) to be released before that.