Monday, December 31, 2012

The Eve....

As I write this, it has begun to snow in the St. Louis area. It's really rather beautiful as long as I'm not driving in it. The flakes are piling on top of one another and now completely covering the surface of the deck out back. And it's New Year's Eve.

It's always a time of reflection, isn't it? Another year ending, a new one beginning with so many possibilities, so many goals. I have promised myself that I will finish Book 3 in my In the Shadow of the Black Sun series. It may be the conclusion to the series, I'm not sure yet. I won't be one of those authors that stretch out the story just to have more books. Not a fan of that technique. At this point, I've written the first chapter and have started on the second.  Honestly, there are still times when I feel like I don't know what the Hell I'm doing with the story. Thankfully, as it has every time in the past, the pieces fall into place, the characters tell me where they are going and the tale unfolds in a satisfying manner.

There are times when I wonder who is really reading this. Is it a waste of time to add to this blog? Are there readers out there just waiting for the next installment? Some days I like to think so. Anyway, I'm glad that you are here, whoever you are.

I've started reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman and highly recommend it. He has a magic in his words without doubt. The sentences seem very natural and unforced. I like the observations that the characters make, the odd things that they notice. This is the way most people observe things, I think. I look out on the snow-covered deck and notice the white blanket of flakes, but what strikes me are the three dead and shriveled tomatoes that rest there in the cold.

I discovered Neil's writing when I worked at a local comic book store. Customers kept recommending Sandman to me and our store had every volume on our shelves. On a slow day I decided to crack open Preludes and Nocturnes and I literally could not stop until I had finished every book that we had. I loved the mythology that he had created. In a shop full of Superheroes, it was a welcome escape. The stories seemed so much more meaningful to me. When I finish American Gods, I will most likely read another Gaiman book. Any suggestions?

To you, I wish a Happy New Year. I hope that the obstacles standing in your way, fall to the side and dissolve into nothingness. I hope you have great success in whatever goal you have set for yourself. If you are a reader of the things that I write, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your support and feedback. There are so many more stories that I will publish. I can't wait to show you what is in store. I have a great futuristic story waiting to come out. All of the characters are fleshed out and the basic story as well. It'll be a fun ride.

Lastly, I would like to wish a Happy New Year to my brothers of Skulldust Circle. All great writers that you should be checking out. Visit the Skulldust blog. Links to all of their books can be found along the right side column.

Have a great night and be safe.

Walk with the Wind.

William

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New lower prices on In the Shadow of the Black Sun!

I bet you didn't realize the prices have been reduced for the 2 books of the In the Shadow of the Black Sun series, did you? I want as many fantasy fans to read them as possible, so I'm making them as affordable as I can. A Dream of Storms, once $4.99, is now only $2.99! Book Two, Shards of S'Darin was, until recently, $5.99. It can now be downloaded for a mere $3.99. For those looking for an exciting fantasy adventure with interesting characters and events, have a look. You can read a sample of each book free regardless of which site you visit.

Download A Dream of Storms from:

Amazon for the Kindle

Smashwords in any format. Scroll down for all of your options.


Links for Shards of S'Darin are here:

Amazon for the Kindle

Smashwords in any format. Scroll down for all of your options.


And if you are based in the UK, here are your Amazon links.

A Dream of Storms

Shards of S'Darin

Some of the other retailers have yet to update the pricing and still have the books listed at the old price. So if you visit Barnes and Noble or iTunes, it may take a few days for them to change it over.

I thank you all for your support. If you read the books, please leave a comment or send me an email with your thoughts.

Walk with the Wind,
William

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book 3

Hey there.

Well, I've been getting some writing done on Book 3 of In the Shadow of the Black Sun. Still working on the first chapter, trying to set things up properly. We will delve into the human cities in the south and bring in several characters from that region. Malhain will show no mercy as the darkness of his master shrouds the land. How will the side of good stand against this onslaught?

I have found that much of my time is spent thinking these things through, possible outcomes and character interactions. I write a few paragraphs, then stop to think. The beginning of each story is this most difficult part for me. Once things are set in motion, it becomes much easier to simply follow the characters as they set off on their own. It truly seems as if they guide the story. After all, the writer has created them, their personalities. They can only respond within those given parameters, right? Just a thought.

I'm hoping that with the upcoming release of The Hobbit film, readers will be more curious about books within the fantasy genre and therefore the books that I have written. It is no easy task to keep the reader's eyes on your creations. There's only so much you can do to get noticed. I hope that you will give the writers of Skulldust Circle a chance and download our books or better yet, try the anthology book, A Gathering of Dust. You'll have a sample story from each of us. See what you like and what you don't, then pursue the other books by the authors that you enjoyed. There's a lot of magic within those pages, trust me.

Do you have any questions about my stories? Wondering if I will ever reveal the background of a certain character or take you to far away places that have been mentioned within the books? Feel free to contact me. I enjoy discussing the characters, places and events and who knows, I may even reveal a secret or two?

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Gathering of Dust

My fellow writers from Skulldust Circle have assembled a collection of short stories (some based on existing novels) for your reading pleasure. It was released for the Kindle today and is selling for $5.99 on the US site.

If you've read book 1 of In the Shadow of the Black Sun, you are aware of the character Trune. He is thought by most to be nothing more than the town drunk. Nothing could be further from the truth. Find out the secrets of his past and the true reason that he wound up in Lauden. All of this can be found in my short story entitled Shadewraiths over Pandaria as part of A Gathering of Dust. Click the link to have a look.



A Gathering of Dust

As always, I appreciate your support and look forward to your questions or comments.

Walk with the Wind

William

Thursday, September 13, 2012

From the mouths of readers


 Just wanted to share some reviews that I am particularly proud of.



"The authenticity of this book really astounded me. Everything just seemed flawlessly believable, and the dialogue especially added to this. It just seemed to flow effortlessly, the language suited the text and the storyline perfectly, things that I appreciate in a fantasy novel."

"There are many things to keep going in any fantasy genre to suspend your belief for a few moments here and there and William does it like a pro. This novel is on par with anything in the genre for sale today in my opinion. His characters have depth, emotion, and motivations and the journey is worth it."

"The one thing I enjoyed about this book; the originality. It deals with the good versus evil theme but there are some characters introduced who are not all that they seem, and I do enjoy reading about complicated characters."

 "A great story that had me sitting on the edge of my seat, worrying over the characters and the ending (what an ending!) has made me very, very eager to read the next novel in this new (and promising!) series, a series that deserves its place on my bookshelf next to my fantasy favourites."

"His world building is excellent. It is skillfully done, rarely intruding on the action, and filled with wonderful details: the Woodwardens; the mysterious Wisp; the decrepit city of Overbrook; the Talon; Elfwhere; the Inquitis, demonic creatures. It hangs together with a real depth, a sense of history that is vital for good fantasy to work."

Download A Dream of Storms.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Has the heart grown fonder?

Yes, I've been a bit absent of late. Please forgive me. Starting a new day job has put a bit of a kink in my writing and art routine. I've also been re-reading my In the Shadow of the Black Sun books in preparation for writing book 3. I have now begun the outline for said book. Writing shall commence shortly, I promise.
Are you as eager as I am for the Skulldust Circle Anthology book? I've read some of the stories and readers are truly in for something special. Stefain (who has been hiding in the shadows up until now) has contributed several short Science Fiction stories that are very, very cool. Now, I wish I had written something in that genre.
Anyway, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of the anthology once it is published. It's a great assortment of stories by some gifted authors. I'm proud to be in their company.


William

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Skulldust Circle Anthology

The Skulldust Circle Anthology is going to be an amazing collection of stories. If all goes to plan, six authors will provide stories, giving readers an awesome sampling of their styles and it won't be strictly fantasy either. Stay tuned! It won't be long now. 

I'm sure you've all visited the Skulldust Circle Blog by now, but if not, here's the link: Visit Skulldust

What do you think of the cover?

Friday, June 8, 2012

3 Signed copies of Embremere!

That's right! To celebrate the release of the second book in the series (Return to Embremere), I'm running a giveaway on Goodreads until July 8th. Enter to win 1 of 3 signed paperback copies of Embremere by clicking that box over there>>>>>>>.

Good luck and enjoy the story!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Return to Embremere Cover Art

The cover to Tales of Embremere, Part 2. The Kindle version of the book is now available for $2.99. I've introduced a much bigger cast of characters in this story and I truly hope you enjoy it. Will there be a part 3? Only after I finish In the Shadow of the Black Sun, Book 3. Working on the outline right now.

You guys have an awesome night/day.

Thanks for visiting!

William

Monday, May 21, 2012

For your reading pleasure...

With all of this talk of cover art, I thought I would mention the books that I have written. These are all available on Amazon.com. Click the cover image and you will be taken to the product page. For those who love a great fantasy tale, I give you:

In the Shadow of the Black Sun 
Book One:
A Dream of Storms

Twelve years ago, The Battle of the Black Sun had left Hagan scarred inside. The scent of blood and the incessant ring of steel were etched in his mind. Though his sword had turned the tides, he had sworn off war and become a recluse, retiring to the hills above his hometown of Lauden and turning to drink. He had hoped to be forgotten. The world would not let him forget the oath that he had sworn in his youth, however, and an honorable Stone Troll named Gorin was sent to convince Hagan to honor it. Councilcrane, the ruling body of mages, had summoned him to the city of Harquinn and Hagan knew that the threat of war from across The Edge must have returned.

Gorin brought ill tidings. Autumn had never come to Elfwhere, but the leaves had begun to fall, foretelling the return of the dark lord Mournenhile, thought destroyed all those years ago. Like an ungodly pairing of bat and wolf, Mournenhile's army of Pith have swarmed into the Elven forest bent on their utter destruction.

Reluctantly, Hagan must once more step into the horrors of war and offer his blade to the cause. Joined by his inexperienced younger brother, D'Pharin and a small group of new companions (Vasparian, an Elf that served with Hagan under the Black Sun, Windenn, the Woodwarden and Shindire, the haughty Elf from across The Sleeping Sea) he sets off for the ancient city of Harquinn with a heavy heart.

What will the mages ask of him this time? Memories of atrocities committed in the name of Harquinn flooded back into his mind.

Can he become the hero that he once was, redeeming himself and driving back the horrific creatures within the armies of Mournenhile?

Book Two:
Shards of S'Darin

 Malhain and the forces of Mournenhile now occupy the west's most important stronghold. After narrowly escaping the battle, Davaris, possibly now the last living mage, pulls the others along on a seemingly impossible quest; to gather the remnants of S'Darin's staff, destroyed on the battlefield years ago. The only person that knows the location of S'Darin's staff is a madman, now locked away in Harrow Isle, an island asylum only accessible through Pahn Pirik, the underground kingdom of the Dwarves. The true nature of Shindire's visit to the mainland becomes apparent as they set off on their long journey into the barren south.

The forest of Elfwhere has nearly been destroyed. Vasparian and Gorin return to the forest of the Elves in the hopes of defending its capital and rescuing Vasparian's family. Can the Elves convince the mysterious Addrefae to fight, unleashing their ancient sorcery against their common enemy?

Thousands strong, a shambling column of diseased people travel mindlessly toward the north. What is Trune's role in Mournenhile's evil plan and will the true nature of the plague finally be revealed?

Tales of Embremere:
Book One:
Embremere

The majestic city of Embremere had been built on an immense platform high above the surface of the lake, with the poor and
criminal element creating their own society below it in a world they called The Under. Into this world, Grivvin Lo'Rynin is exiled. He is the last of the Wychan, Embremere's high order of wizards who have, over the generations, lost their power. And now he is an outcast.

As fate would have it, a young girl named Lyrica pulls him from the churning waves that night, saving his life and dragging him along on a dangerous adventure facing whirlpools, dragons and the grey-skinned fish-men called the Cuda, who cruelly rule The Under.

Can Grivvin survive in this strange land long enough to unlock the secrets of Wychan magic and seek revenge on the nobles that branded him useless?

What dark secrets lie at the bottom of Lake Embremere?


Tales of Embremere:
Book Two:
Return to Embremere

 Horrific creatures have begun to appear in The Under. Through the careless use of Wychan magic, Grivvin has unknowingly resurrected long dead monsters lying at the bottom of Lake Embremere. It is soon discovered that only magic can destroy them, physical weapons only stopping them temporarily. Even the vicious Cuda are threatened by the rising terror and through the kidnapping of a friend, force Grivvin to set about ridding The Under of this unholy horde.
Can Grivvin and his new friends find a way to destroy these creatures? Is his growing power strong enough? Will Modmargen, God of the Cuda live up to his end of their bargain?
Join a new cast of young characters in the latest installment in the Tales of Embremere series.


Undergrowth
A horror novella

A madness had hung over the Dinbury house for years. After his father commits suicide in front of him and on a public street, Chet sets about trying to unravel the mystery of his father's insanity. What secrets lie hidden in his father's study, full of odd artifacts and books of ancient lore. What is that sickly sound that he hears in the night and why can't his wife hear it? Are the demons of madness now coming for him?








The sequel to Embremere is in the final stages and will soon be release in paperback and for the Kindle. Then, it's on to the third book of In the Shadow of the Black Sun.


Thank you and happy reading,


William

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Newest cover painting - Covenant of the Faceless Knights

Here is my latest cover painting. It's the cover to the second printing of Covenant of the Faceless Knights: Beginnings by Gary Vanucci. I really like the way this turned out. I put a lot of effort into each cover that I do. It has to please the author and fit his vision for the world.

This cover should bring him more readers. The cover makes you open the book, right? After that, it's up to the author. This book should be released sometime this month, so watch for it, buy it, enjoy it and let Gary know what you thought by leaving a review. Prospective readers check the reviews to decide if they want to take a chance on the story. If you were going to order a blender from Amazon, wouldn't you read the reviews first? Exactly.

Gary's books can be found at this LINK at Amazon for the Kindle.

What do you think? If you are a fan of fantasy, would this get your attention?


William

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I believe in Magic

In a sense. Not in the sense that I believe one can throw one's hand in the air and conjure fingers of lightning to vanquish one's foes, but in another sense entirely. I believe that words are magic. How else can you explain the wondrous ability for simple black letters on an off-white page to transport you to otherworldly places populated with the most amazing characters that you either love or despise? For a short time, your mind actually suspends its disbelief. For a time, you are there. You can hear the wind in the trees of Elfwhere, feel the soft earth under your feet as you pass beneath the great, twisting branches. You can actually feel the tremendous heat in the underground passages that lead to Harrow Isle as you travel with a group of Dwarves from the kingdom of Pahn Pirik.
Mike Haufe
For a time, the characters are alive. They become your companions as you join them on their quest or stand by their side in battle. Your mind assigns each character its own individual voice, because you want them to be alive. Can you hear the rough, gravelly voice of Gorin, the Stone Troll. I know you can. Can you hear the unnatural hiss of Mournenhile's servants, the Inquitis? It sends shivers up your spine, doesn't it?
I call that magic, my friends. For these are simple pieces of paper with letters on them. Put the letters, words, sentences and paragraphs in the right order and it's the same as that lightning spell that I spoke of. Great books create a new reality in your mind. The characters feel as if they belong to you and in a sense, they do.

Could anything be more magical?

William

A Dream of Storms available on Amazon for the Kindle or in paperback.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Farmhouse Secret cover art

The cover to The Farmhouse Secret by Nicole Hardison

Here's the latest cover image that I've done. This shows you that I can do images other than guys with armor and monsters. Lol. See? No swords, no dragons and no alien-looking landscapes.

Once again, if you are an author in need of cover art for your next book, please contact me. You will not be sorry.



William

Sunday, May 6, 2012

New art and writing update

While I pound away at the keyboard, working on Ghosts of Embremere and outlining In the Shadow of the Black Sun, Book 3, I thought I would post a new piece of art here. It's a sample done completely in Photoshop as a submission to Wizards of the Coast. Think they can use me over there?

I'm nearly at the halfway point in Ghosts and hope to finish it before the end of May. Then I have to work on the cover art as well. Sigh. Very soon you will be able to see the cover I did for Gary Vanucci's re-release of Covenant of the Faceless Knights: Beginnings. It turned out really nice.

Until next time,

William

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Original Art - Vampirella and Spider-Woman


I'm offering original art for sale through my blog. If you are interested in purchasing either of the pieces in this post, please message me or email at WilliamKenney_author@yahoo.com. Make me an offer that I can't refuse. LOL. Each piece is rendered in graphite on 8.5 x 11 Canson bristol board. Paypal payments only, please. Paypal email is ElevenstoneStudios@Yahoo.com


Patient by William Kenney

Patient

 
 
 
I could only partially open my eyes against the white glare above. A blurry figure moved up alongside the bed and roughly touched my arm, encircling my wrist for a moment, then, releasing it. My mind was a jumble of thoughts, overrun by confusion. My eyes darted about as I tried to focus on the woman that attended me, but she remained a soft and formless, ghost-like figure, the darkness of her eye sockets staring back at me, hauntingly. Her stark white uniform shifted about like a hovering specter, the darkness of her hair, a black halo. I assumed she was a nurse, the owner of the soothing voice that addressed me from above as I lie in the bed.
"It's okay," she said, her voice caressing me. Her breath was warm and sweet in my face. "We're going to take care of you."
How did I end up here?
I tried to speak, but couldn't find my voice, gurgling and choking instead.
I felt cold and shivered a bit as the woman's movements kicked up a slight breeze. I noticed another figure, appearing like a shadow to my left. This person reached out both hands and there came a slight tugging in my abdominal region. I was still far too groggy to lift my head and investigate the procedure that was taking place.
Blinking repetitively, I tried to clear my vision, to no avail. Somewhere within the room, a machine beeped out a quick rhythm. My pulse, I assumed. It sounded much too fast. What was wrong with me? Was this normal?
"Something wrong?" this new figure asked in an almost sing-song manner. It appeared as if I gazed upon her from the bottom of the sea, her face distorted and altogether disturbing. I could hear an odd thumping as she drew close and my stomach suddenly growled with hunger.
There was a loud banging sound as the door to the room burst open, the nurses turning and shouting in anger at the apparent intruder.
"What are you doing?" shouted one of them. "You can't be in here. This is a restricted a-"
Her voice was cut off then and I could hear the low, wet thump of her body hitting the floor.
My thoughts were chaos.
Why can't I see? What is happening?
I heard the other nurse scream for security, then fall silent among a clattering of metal utensils and pans.
A large form loomed over me, darker than the others had been, and exuded extreme cold. A long, pale face moved in close to mine with a ghastly smile and an ancient, musty odor. He turned and addressed someone across the room.
"He's fine, he's fine. Everything went according to plan."
He then turned back to me.
"It worked," he said with a whispered laugh as he searched my body with his eyes. "You were right all along. It worked. I didn't think it was possible. You were near death and look at you now."
"They did a fine job extracting you. If they had only known..."
He and the other unseen person began to laugh quietly, their voices echoing oddly in the small, white room.
"Come over, Matthias. Just look at him. The first Vampyr Lord to make the transfer, reborn in the body of a human newborn. He will reign for eons."
They wrapped me in a blanket and took me from the nursery, their leathery wings dragging the floor behind us.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shards of S'Darin free this weekend!

 

This Saturday and Sunday, Part two of In the Shadow of the Black Sun, Shards of S'Darin will also be free. I am generating interest in this epic fantasy series by offering book 2 for free in the hopes that those who download it will also purchase Part one, A Dream of Storms for $2.99. Also available is Embremere, the first book in a new fantasy series aimed at a more Young Adult audience. Read the sample and give that one a try as well. 

Links to my books

With all of this talk of artwork for book covers, I thought I would remind everyone that I write as well. LOL. I'm posting links to each of my books in the hopes that you check them out, read the samples and hopefully purchase one or more. All of the stories have great reviews and I've gotten a lot of good feedback from readers.

In the Shadow of the Black Sun Saga
(All ages Dark Fantasy series)


Tales of Embremere
(All ages/YA Fantasy series)

  • Book 1: Embremere
  • Book 2: Ghosts of Embremere (In Progress)

Undergrowth
(A Horror Novella)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hidden Mountain cover art

Hello everyone,
Here's the latest cover that I've painted for author Sammy Sutton. It's an example of how I can adapt my style to fit different genres, from the fantasy and medieval to landscapes. Whatever your story, I am sure that I can create a cover that will be both eye-catching and convey the atmosphere and environment that you wish.

Thank you for stopping by, friends. Feel free to message or email me anytime with comments or questions.

William Kenney

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Embremere character art

 Lyrica from the new fantasy novel, Embremere
And Grivvin also from Embremere

Embremere sample


Here are the first few pages of Embremere. Enjoy!






CHAPTER ONE




The circular stone was pulled away as Grivvin struggled against the guards. A hole, roughly twice the width of his shoulders was revealed, the sound of the churning water crashing below easily heard. The ferocious storm had not relented for six days, battering the city of Embremere and costing the fishermen many days work. The rain beat so hard against the cathedral windows on this night, that he fully expected them to shatter from the force.
"Can you stop the storm now, Wychan? You'd better give us a display of your abilities or you'll be feeding the bottom dwellers," growled the guard known as Thax. Like most of the royal soldiers, he kept his head shaved, giving him a most sinister appearance.
"It doesn't work like that, I told you!" Grivvin explained as he tried to back away from the gaping hole to no avail.
"You are a Wychan, fool! Of course it works like that. Your father was a Wychan and his father before him. Since your dear sisters are away, you are the last of the bloodline. Now, stop this bloody storm!"
"My father's power didn't reach its full strength until he was nearly forty years old. I'm only seventeen and there's no one left to teach me! How can you expect me to bend the weather to my will at my age?"
Footfalls echoed throughout the room as another figure joined them. Grivvin could not see the man, despite twisting in the guards grip.
"You have the books. Can you stop this storm or not, Wychan?" said the commanding voice. Grivvin recognized it, the voice of Kelt, Prince of Embremere, he of jet-black hair and soul.
"Your grace....I-"
"Can you stop it?"
"No, your grace, but I-"
"I have heard enough! Throw him in!" Prince Kelt ordered and walked off into another chamber. "I've had enough of his disobedience. Wychan, eh? The word seems to mean incompetence."
"Wait, wait! You can't do this!"
The Prince chuckled, his voice barely audible. "I can do anything I want, boy."
With a shove, Grivvin dropped through the hole. He had enough sense to inhale deeply just before the turbulent waves took him in. The force of the water was unbelievable and struggle as he might, it tossed him about like a ragdoll. And it was cold, his muscles tightening in response as the current pulled him along violently and at an alarming speed. His body spun several revolutions, causing him to lose all sense of direction. With the darkness of night, he could not be sure which way was up.
Suddenly, something wrapped around his waist, entangling him, preventing him from swimming for the surface. His lungs were near to bursting as he fought against the thing, hands pulling at its thick, cold length. He knew that soon his body would surrender, the air in his lungs no longer enough to sustain his life, and on reflex, he would gasp for air. Upon inhaling the water, he would drown. It was inevitable. Something slithered beneath his arm and tugged hard, trying to pull him away to some deep and hidden lair. The pressure in his head was now unbearable and he felt his consciousness slipping away as he rose in the water. Something had pulled him free of the thing, but it mattered not. His air was gone. He had nearly reached his lungs capacity and would die here, floating in the Lake Embremere. He felt his head break the surface, moonlight filling his eyes as he opened them in shock. He gasped painfully for air, spitting out lake water, the constriction of his chest excruciating.
“Stop flailing about! You’ll drown us both!” someone called out next to him, she that had pulled him from the creature’s grasp. She had slipped her arm over his chest and was pulling him along on his back. He did his best to stop struggling and allow the panic to fade. He would not die this day.



Now, I know you're interested in what happens next, aren't you? Download the Kindle version of this new fantasy novel from Amazon by clicking HERE.

Embremere

Here's the news that everyone has been waiting for. My new fantasy novel is finished! Click here to visit the Amazon page! Here's a brief synopsis:

The majestic city of Embremere had been built on an immense platform high above the surface of the lake, with the poor and
criminal element creating their own society below it in a world they called The Under. Into this world, Grivvin Lo'Rynin is exiled. He is the last of the Wychan, Embremere's high order of wizards who have, over the generations, lost their power. And now he is an outcast.

As fate would have it, a young girl named Lyrica pulls him from the churning waves that night, saving his life and dragging him along on a dangerous adventure facing whirlpools, dragons and the grey-skinned fish-men called the Cuda, who cruelly rule The Under.

Can Grivvin survive in this strange land long enough to unlock the secrets of Wychan magic and seek revenge on the nobles that branded him useless?

What dark secrets lie at the bottom of Lake Embremere?

And here's another example of my cover art for you authors out there. A great cover can really push your books over the top. Well, that's all for now. It's midnight here and I'm zombified.

William

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Finished!

The new book is officially finished! I've sent copies off to a few people, to get their feedback before I publish. I also have to finish the cover art. This one is very challenging, which seems strange I'm the one who decides on the concept. Oh well, I guess I like to challenge myself. I hope to have the art done before the weekend is over. We shall see.

Digital Sketch-William Kenney
Anyway, this story features younger characters and feels a bit more like a Young Adult story. My other fantasy stories would also be suitable for young adults as well. This new book and the In the Shadow of the Black Sun books have no profanity or sexual situations in them. The horror book that I am working on has enough to go around.

If enough people like the new book, I would like to write a sequel. It's already outlined in my head and ready to be written.

I've also been getting a lot of questions about doing cover art, so I think that's going to keep me pretty busy. If you have a question or comment, just drop a note here or email me at WilliamKenney_author@yahoo.com

Have a great one, everybody.

William

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More art samples

Lately, I've been getting a lot of questions about cover art. I thought I would post some more samples of some of the fantasy art that I have done in the past. Right now, I am charging $300.00 for a full-color painted cover. Check around, that's very inexpensive for a book cover. If the author wants the text, title, back cover blurb, etc added for a printed book, you'll have to add another $50.00 to the price. That's graphic design stuff and that's my wife's forte, so she'd be doing that.
Email me at WilliamKenney_author@yahoo.com to start the process.

So, here's how the process works:
1) Contact me and tell me the cover concept that you would like
2) I do a sketch of the cover and email it to you for approval
3) Once approved, payment is made through Paypal for the full amount
4) In roughly 2 to 3 weeks, your cover is complete. I usually send in-progress images to you along the way as well.

$300.00 - Full color, painted cover
$100.00 - Black and white interior illustration

And here's some legal stuff, just so you know:

This is an agreement stating the rights of each party (artist and purchaser of art for publication in print or ebook format).

You have the right to use the art that you purchase from me (in this particular agreement) in print or digital form for your RPG supplement or in your novels, if you so choose. You may also use said art for promotional purposes such as flyers, internet promotion, on your blogs, anything to help you advertise your publication.
The things you do not have the right to do:
Mass produce any other items displaying my artwork for profit. (If you wanted to make a shirt or two with one of my images on it for promotion, I'm cool with that. Just don't sell them for profit.) So, no selling of posters, lunchboxes, toilet paper, action figures, mugs, bookmarks with my artwork on it unless we come up with a new agreement for said items.

I, the artist, still retain the rights to the art itself. So, I can make posters of it (as long as I do not use your characters names, etc. You own the rights to those and I can't use them.) I can continue to use the art in other ways as long as I do not infringe on your rights to the characters, story, RPG, etc. I will not show any of the artwork until you publish the work containing it, without your permission. That way there is still an element of surprise when people see your publication. Once you've posted the cover or published, then I can display the art wherever I choose.

Once I receive payment, I will send you an email stating which images are paid for and I will continue to do that as long as we do business.

You must give me credit anywhere that you use the image in some reasonable way. In the credits of the book is fine. It doesn't have to be on every page that has my image unless you want it that way. As long as it is easy for people to find out who did which piece of art, I'm cool with it. 

Let me know if you have questions about this or if I forgot something.

Anyway, on with the show. Here are some images that I have done in the past. I'll post more later.





Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You should be reading this book

I've created the fantasy world called Kirkaldin. This realm is divided, from north to south, by an invisible boundary known by the inhabitants as The Edge. Beyond The Edge, to the east, is the land ruled by Mournenhile, the embodiment of ultimate evil and bane of all that is good. He has returned. Throughout the land there are signs, omens that can point only to that very fact. The mutilated body of a young woman is found under Klaemen's Arch, tiny footprints leading away from her corpse, traveling east. The Pith, Mournenhile's horrible creatures, like a cross between bat and wolf, attack Elfwhere where autumn has now fallen. Never before have the trees lost their leaves, never before has an army dared to attack the Elves. Now, the forest burns.
In the city of Harquinn, one of the west's most important strongholds, the mages of Councilcrane send for Hagan Marindel, one of the land's most legendary heroes. It was his blade that turned the tides during The Battle of the Black Sun and sent Mournenhile's forces retreating back into the east twelve years ago. The Stone Troll, Gorin, had been given the task of returning Hagan to the Council, for now that the darkness once again crept across the land, Hagan's sword would be needed again.
Horrible things had happened during The Battle of the Black Sun. Hagan had cut himself off from the world, retreated into the hills and tried to forget the unthinkable things that he had done to protect the peoples of the west. Would he return with Gorin to Harquinn? Would he once again lend his blade to the side of good?

You'll have to read A Dream of Storms to find out. Find out why this book has a 4.7 out of 5 star average rating on Amazon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New fantasy novel

Time to write a new post!

How is everyone? March has proven to be the bestselling month for me since I started publishing my work. Thank you all for your support. I'm still a long way from where I would like to be. I'm still searching for better ways to reach readers. Twitter seams to be working out alright, I suppose, but I find that most of my followers are fellow writers. Nothing wrong with that, but I find that other writers will most likely not buy my books. Some will, don't get me wrong, but I need to connect with readers of my genres. Any ideas?
"Defiance" by William Kenney

I've been doing art for a few book covers as well. One for a collection of dark poetry by a friend and fellow writer named Stefain. I can't show the cover until he approves it, but it fits his stuff pretty well, I think. I'm also trying to put together the cover for the horror novel that David Woods and I are writing.

At this point, I am 28,000 words into a new fantasy novel. No, it is not part 3 of In the Shadow of the Black Sun. I felt that I needed to take a break from the story and work on something different. An epic fantasy series takes a lot of concentration, keeping your facts straight and avoiding contradiction. Don't worry, fans. The story will return with Book 3: Mournenhile. It's already bubbling and frothing in my brain.

This new book seems geared toward Young Adult readers, although that was not my original intent. It just came out that way.

In early posts, I put up some of my poetry/song lyrics. Should I continue to do so? Is that of interest to any of you?

Well, I appreciate all of you and thank you for stopping by my tiny corner of the internet.


William

Monday, March 12, 2012

Foolish Immortals.

King of the Bunny Wabbits!
Mickey Rourke as King of the Bunny Wabbits. Wait, is that a venus flytrap on his face? Seriously, this is from the movie Immortals, which I really wanted to like, but didn't. At all.

Things I learned while watching:

1. Anywhere that you stand in the world of the Immortals, you are sure to find a dramatic sky behind you.
2. Prophets wear lampshades on their heads.
3. When you remove your metal armor, it bends.
4. You can never see Mickey Rourke eat dripping pieces of fruit too many times.
5. Titans are man-sized, with charred, black, zombie-like skin.
Hi-Yah!
6. Athena was a Ninja.
7. The Olympians all wore armor fashioned from yellow Play-Doh.
It's Play-Doh, I tell ya.
8. You can always tell the magical bow. It's the one covered with black glitter paint.
9. Mount Olympus consists of a circular block of concrete on which the Gods congregate.
10. Trying to imitate the movie 300, will only bring epic failure.
11. If you are dying of thirst, having a hot chick drool in your mouth saves you every time.
12. Never substitute a guy with a metal bull helmet for a real Minotaur.
13. Every time one of your soldiers fail you, kill them.

There you have it. I learned a lot. I learned to never watch this movie again.

0 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Undergrowth, for sale on Amazon

The cover to Undergrowth
Have any of you given my horror novella a try? Any thoughts? It's my homage to Lovecraft and Poe. They always give me a certain creepy feeling when I read them and with this, I was striving for the same. If printed, this would be roughly 35 pages, so it's a fairly quick read. I plan to expand a bit and publish some of the things that I have written outside of the fantasy realm.
There are more horror stories coming and even a cyberpunk tale on the horizon. The story that I am currently working on could even be considered Young Adult.
In other news, I watched the movie, Immortals, Saturday night. Yikes. I'll leave my comments about that movie on a separate post.

I welcome any comments or questions.

Thanks,

William

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Meet Gary Vanucci!



Hello, everyone. I thought I would throw the spotlight on a fellow fantasy author and show some support where I can. 
Gary Vanucci is a writer with a definite plan. Last year, he published his debut novel, Covenant of the Faceless Knights: Beginnings and has recently begun releasing short stories revealing the histories and colorful pasts of the main characters of that world.
Also recently released by Gary Vanucci and Nicholas Titano, Realm of Ashenclaw 4e D&D Supplement.

All right, let's learn more about Gary.
 
Hi, Gary. Would you please introduce yourself to the readers?
Hello, all. I am from a small town in Pennsylvania just north of Philadelphia. I grew up reading comics and sci-fi/fantasy novels, which opened my imagination to degrees I never thought possible. I played role-playing games of all kinds and the experiences sent my mind somewhere different. I spent time in the late 80’s as a singer in a hard rock band, obtained a degree in Graphic Design and illustrated and wrote stories, games, etc. I found that as I grew older, my illustration and design fell to the wayside, but my love of writing moved forward. I am currently in the process of expanding on that love of writing. My goals in the next few years include improving on my current writing style, finding my ‘voice’ and adding more depth to my writing as I move forward. I live ‘outside the box’.

You and I have worked together recently. I’ve provided artwork for some of your publications so I am aware of some of the things you will be publishing, but for those that may not know, tell everyone what your plans are for the future with your company.
I intend on pushing the Realm of Ashenclaw for the foreseeable future, so people had better get used to seeing it! I have grandiose plans for the world, including 5 more full length novels (am currently working on #2) to hopefully finish the storyline that I am working on now with the current characters. I also plan on writing a few more short stories in the future that focus on the ‘bad guys’, as well as full length novel plans telling the story of the main protagonist: Zabalas Dimonia. I even started a story telling the Legend of Ashenclaw and how it shaped the current version of the world. I also have my sights set on giving away a few more short stories on my blog occasionally as I have a few more ideas floating around in my head that need to come out! In the next few years, I would love to expand the universe and possibly opening it up to other writers to share in it.


I know that you are an avid gamer. What role do you think gaming has played in your creative career?
Gaming had introduced me to so many things. It opens the mind to new experiences and really pushes your imagination. As a game master (the guy who runs the games), I found that I was under deadlines to get things done, so it really prepares you for many things, including public speaking, making your thoughts coherent and also provides leadership experiences.

What writers do you think have had the most influence on you?
Anyone that knows me knows that R. A. Salvatore is my favorite author. I aspire to his greatness and I will tell you why. When he tells a story, it brings vivid imagery to mind. His characters are fairly unique and extremely enjoyable to read and his combat scenes are the best I’ve read. I aspire to do exactly all of these things. I also enjoy a few lesser known authors, including James Silke and all of the writers that worked on the Wild Cards series that I enjoyed in the mid-80’s. That included George R. R. Martin as their editor. Those stories are a must read for anyone who enjoys superheroes, though it tells it realistically as opposed to what you read in comics. I also very much enjoyed the unmatched wit of Douglas Adams, the funniest writer to walk the face of the planet (in my opinion).

Do you have plans to write stories that are set outside the Realm of Ashenclaw? Other genres, perhaps?
If I do, it may be under a pen name! I have interests in many things and tons of ideas floating around in my cranium. I have a series of futuristic bounty-hunters set in the late 2000’s that I began writing in 1998-1999 that has 200 pages finished and is just sitting there…waiting. I would also like to try my hand at comedy in the future as well. Let’s just say that I am not ruling anything out.

How do you usually work? Do you outline a story first or just dive in and work out the details along the way? Do you give yourself a quota to meet, for example a specific amount of words per day or week?
The first novel was written with very few notes. I just plowed through it and let the chips fall where they may. I had an idea from the notes and kind of let them take me where they wanted to go. The world I spent a good deal of time on with a friend (Nicholas Titano of Infernal Titans), who helped me shape it and helped me name things. As far as the books go, I have gone back and outlined a good deal of it and I have an overarching storyline that makes sense to me. I begin to outline a book in greater detail before I start to write it and it goes from there. For the most part, I never know what I am going to write from one page to the next. It’s kind of fun that way! I also try to write 5k words a week. I often fall short with my blog and other commitments, but that is my goal. Last two weeks, I did write over 10,000 words though! I just started a new job, too, so I have another test period for a month or so until I get used to it.

What would you consider the drawbacks and/or benefits of self-publishing?
The only drawback I see is getting noticed. There is a plethora of self-published books that are out there and it is up to the people to decide what they like based on reviews and samples. I just try to put my best work out there and hope than when I am discovered, the reader sees that I put an effort into it and had it edited, etc. There is nothing worse than an ‘author’ who puts out an unpolished book and expects anyone to pay for it.

How important do you consider reviews on your work?
I will ask you to check out this post to decipher that! http://eyeonashenclaw.blogspot.com/2012/02/authors-need-reviews.html
It is one of my more popular posts and seems to have gotten support from most authors and readers. That being said, I suppose it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes I feel it is very important and other times I think it doesn’t make one iota of difference. Depends what day you catch me.

How much do you participate in social media? Do you think it has an impact on your book sales?
I am a social media maniac. I believe that it is important and really it is the only way we can get our work some exposure. It doesn’t cost anything and after a while, it seems to have an impact. I try to post some things that are personal in between promotional texts in order to interact with people. I also try to help other authors in retweeting and promoting them too, especially ones that have gone out of their way to aid me.

Just for fun, fast forward ten years. They are making a movie of Covenant of the Faceless Knights. Which actors do you see playing which characters?
I have thought about this a few times and am at a loss. I know that I would love for Mila Kunis to play Rose if she wanted the part! I would sprinkle in a few famous names with new talent and look for several new actors to try giving them the break that I want right now: Just a shot at dazzling an audience.

Do you have any advice for someone considering a writing career?
Yeah, don’t! All kidding aside, I was told by an amazing fantasy author once that writing is not for the lazy. I couldn’t agree more. First of all, do it because you want to and not to ‘make it big’, because that is a one in a million shot. It could be you, but it probably won’t be…lol. Do it because you love it. Also, if you plan on doing it seriously, then please do it right. If you put junk out there and call yourself an author, it makes it harder for the other talented indie authors to have any credence or validity. And above all: READ! I know plenty of authors who don’t read. Find time to do it. Writers who don’t read, in my humble opinion, will eventually become stagnant and their work will suffer. Do it and do it well is what I say.

Thank you very much for the interview, Gary! 

Do yourself a favor and visit Gary's blog. Read the samples of his stories that are available on his Amazon page. You might find it very much to your liking. I did.

William