Picture by Lilla Frerichs
Welcome to my imagination. Would you like to read a story that I wrote? How about one with cowboys? Or a warrior with a sword and a monster to slay? Or stories of strange ports and the sailors in them? Or a dark night with a man trying to make the right decision?
I like to tell stories. I like people to read them. Come through the gateway. Come inside and find a moment of entertainment and escape from the world.
Dateline: August 11, 2016
I just saw the proofs for the cover and the September copy of CIRVOSA magazine. Here's the cover:
Here's the table of Contents:
And My story is 'The Mad God's Scepter'. Wants a taste? Okay.
In the oldest part of the city, short, narrow streets led nowhere. The wharfs were close and sailors from a hundred ports wandered about with the men and women who preyed on such. Beauties in diaphanous clothing wearing bells on their ankles made a special type of music as they strolled along. They offered the promise of love and caring for an hour, at only the cost of one small silver coin.
Brant, the bastard son of the duke of Barella, pulled his cloak about him and kept his hand on the hilt of his poniard. The cutpurses here would slit his throat for his doublet and count themselves rich.
Not that any but the boldest would have tried. Any judge of men could see the fellow in the cloak had shoulders as broad as any son of the sea who rowed for a living. He strode the street with the arrogance of a lion and the terrible power of a panther.
After walking another block, Brant found the sign of the 'Laughing Sailor' and entered. He stood for a moment by the door before crossing the room and climbing the stairs to the more refined seating. There mates and captains as well as burghers often sat and haggled over a ship's cargo. He did find a ship's captain and a burgher waiting for him, well back from the balcony, close to the fire and talking in low tones.
"If ever I saw two men plotting some doom," Brant said, with a laugh, "it is you two. If I were the guard, I would arrest you simply because you look guilty."
"Jest not about the guard," the burgher replied as he stood and hugged the younger man. "If you say a demon's name, he will hear you. So with the guard."
There's more, but you'll have to wait.
Did you ever wonder why an author writes the stories he/she does? Let me try to explain what I write.
As a young man, I started reading fantasy because I found it mixed in with the science fiction in the used book stores. Now fantasy covers so much space it's broken into a thousand sub-genres. I'm not interested in all of them. I have read Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I write more sword than sorcery. My fairies are don't have wings.
Pole to Pole Publishing has decided to include my short story "The enchanted Tower" in their anthology "Hides the Dark Tower". If you have a taste for Fantasy stories, keep it in mind. As soon as I know what the publication date is, I'll keep you all in the loop.
Do your remember Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson? Classic books they have become historical fiction over time. We don't use candles anymore. Soon no one will use incandescent light bulbs. My favorites include Taylor Caldwell, Ken Follett, C. S. Forester, Rafael Sabatini, Frank Yerby, Mika Waltari, Samuel Shellabarger.
They are the reason I took up fencing and sailing.
During a low point in my life, as my daughter was dying from cancer, I stumbled across a book by Stephen King called Carrie. I still read everything he writes. I found his world of the macabre, filled with monsters either human or inhuman, far more comfortable than my reality.
An author doesn't write just one type of story. Some hide the results. Others publish them under a different pen-name. Stephen King wanders into Crime on occasion. John D. MacDonald wrote some Science Fiction novels. Louis L'Amour wrote mysteries as well as mystery-westerns, and more than one boxing story. So what should I call a story without a private-eye set in the present, without a monster? Literary? Ye Gods, NO! I'll settle for mainstream. These are an odd mix of stories. I don't write enough humor to have a collection of that, so the funny ones end up here. Other stories are about love. That could be first love or last love, or something in the middle. Finally some are about confronting the past. Why? Because the past is where we were formed, so it haunts us for the remainder of our life. As I said, a mix.
Dashiell Hammett, John Grisham, John D. MacDonald, Janet Evanovich, Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Parker. Oh, let's not forget Franklin W. Dixon. Remember him? I'll give you a hint. The Hardy Boys. I would rather write about crime than mystery. I don't do police procedural, or tea cozy mysteries.
I was about fifteen and fascinated by science when I discovered Science Fiction. I had taken 'The Time Machine' by H.G. Wells from the library. I sat down and read the book in one sitting. Did you ever do that? Well I moved on to Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov.
I'm still fascinated by the power of that simple question. "What if… ."
For a while, my attention span dropped. I found I couldn't read. That's when I discovered Westerns. Elmore Leonard (I read his westerns before his crime stories), Louis L'Amour, Max Brand, Loren D. Estleman. A simpler world. I still read them every so often. I like to write them because they are such fun.
Not all stories fall easily into a single category. I'm talking
about stories about ordinary people in the present without any genre
in them. A man tells his granddaughter about a Christmas Miracle for