Sunday, December 15, 2013

A look into the cover-painting process....

I'm working on a possible cover for the final book of my In the Shadow of the Black Sun trilogy. Using several photos as reference and painting it digitally with Photoshop. This is Windenn in one of the final scenes of the story.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Tower of Torment book cover

I finished this cover over the weekend. Painted for Gary Vanucci's book Tower of Torment. This book starts Gary's Embers of War series which, like his other books, takes place within the Realm of Ashenclaw setting. Fans of Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms should check out this series for it flows in the same vein as those stories.

Download Tower of Torment for the Kindle.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The State of the Black Sun....

Man....I have a hard time killing characters in my stories. I plan it out way ahead of time, but when the time comes it's not easy. It doesn't matter if the character is a good guy or a villain. I just wrote the death of a character that has been present in the In the Shadow of the Black Sun series since Book 1. I found myself becoming emotional during the scene. Hopefully readers will have the same response upon reading it.
I started this series in the year 2000, so these characters have been with me for 13 years. I know them. I know how they feel, what their goals are, what shaped them in their past. To send one into the garden of the Wind, well it's a sad, sad day. And there are others that will join this dearly departed figure before the story concludes.
I'm sure George R. R. Martin doesn't have this issue. He seems to kill someone every other page, no? He's used to it by now.

I've been reading the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. I had read the original trilogy when I was a teenager, but got sidetracked and didn't continue. Now I'm into the second series of books and enjoying them quite a bit. His descriptions of the Four Lands just makes me wish I could explore the place. I've got many more books until I complete that series. What to read after that? Doctor Sleep by Stephen King? The Recluce Saga by Modessit? The Elric books? Philip K. Dick books? So many choices....

I also need to decide what to write next. I have several stories brewing in the cauldron....A new fantasy novel. A horror novel. A cyberpunk/urban fantasy-type story. And so on and so on.....

Thank you to all of the readers that contact me. I appreciate your support and feedback.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Vasparian in Elfwhere

Vasparian Grael within the forest of Elfwhere. Painted in Photoshop. Comments are appreciated.

He first appears in A Dream of Storms, available through Vasparian served with Hagan twelve years ago in the Battle of the Black Sun and joins him on his quest to the city of Harquinn as the story unfolds.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

D'Pharin from A Dream of Storms. Work in Progress.

This is a piece of a bigger picture and some of you may be familiar with the scene that I am painting. It takes place in the ruins of Treetowers as D'Pharin runs off to secretly explore them on his own. What he finds leaves him shocked and saddened.


Sketching a Dwarf in Photoshop

Monday, July 29, 2013


Hey everyone,
Here's a bit of news for you. I am currently finishing up the cover artwork for my short story Shadewraiths over Pandaria. This story was originally published in the Skulldust Circle anthology book called A Gathering of Dust. Now it will be available on its own. The tale takes place roughly 40 years before Book 1 of In the Shadow of the Black Sun. Within this story we discover the truth behind the character Trune. Were all of his wild claims lies? Most think of him as the town drunk. Was that always the case? You'll never know unless you read it.
I highly recommend that you read A Dream of Storms before delving into Shadewraiths. The settings and circumstances of the story are developed within A Dream of Storms and many of the characters/places that are referred to assume that you have encountered them before. Most of all, I hope you enjoy this peek into the past and how I have fleshed out Trune's history. 
In regards to Book 3 of In the Shadow of the Black Sun (currently entitled Mournenhile), I have written 176 pages of the novel and it's moving along nicely. I can't really say how soon I will finish or how long the actual book will be, but it very well may complete the series. We shall see if  I can get everything in there that I want. 
If not......
Walk with the Wind,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year and an Elf painting

Hello all,

Just sketching in Photoshop. Happy Chinese New Year to all of you. I've written roughly 60 pages of In the Shadow of the Black Sun book 3. Can't wait to publish it. Many more characters, new settings and the conflict that everyone has been waiting for.

Now going downstairs for some breakfast! Man, is it raining outside.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sorcery in all its detail

I am currently reading my first Brandon Sanderson book (Mistborn) and I really enjoy his writing. The magic system of the Allomancers is a great idea and I wish I had thought of it first. His descriptions are very well done. I can see the people and places in my mind as I read. I strive for the same thing in my writing though I am not sure if I am as successful as Sanderson. This brings up a question:

How many readers enjoy having the system of sorcery within a story explained in detail? Is it better to leave it a mystery?

In Mistborn, I love the whole idea of different metals giving different powers, etc. At the same time, in Tolkien's work, he doesn't explain the extent of Gandalf's powers or how he goes about casting a spell, right? This makes the reader wonder about old Mithrandir. How powerful is he? How does he do what he does?

Both methods work, I believe.

What is your preference?

Snowed quite a bit overnight and into the morning here in the St. Louis area. Took the opportunity to give our little boy his first experience in the snow. Little bit of sledding, snow angels and a sad attempt at snowman-building. He enjoyed it immensely as did my wife and I. Everything's melting outside now, the sun shining very bright through the windows. Snow looks nice, but I very much dislike the cold. I know, what am I doing in St. Louis? Yeah, I ask myself that question frequently. Lol.

Have a great day,


Sunday, January 27, 2013

An excerpt: In the Shadow of the Black Sun, Book 3

For nearly three hours they descended. The touch of the ice tore the flesh from their feet on occasion, leaving smeared crimson prints behind them.
They felt nothing.
The chattering of unseen things sounded out around them, hiding in the dark recesses of the pit, watching the newcomers as they entered their world. The call of their father was so strong here in his home that it blinded their senses, pulled them along like a river's current.
At long last, the crystalline stairway came to an end, a wide translucent floor spreading out in all directions. The light from far above cast a circular shape at its center and at its edge the darkness began to deepen. All was silent, only the whistling of the frigid wind reaching them this far into the earth.
The boy hesitated, his eyes full of uncertainty as he studied the black areas around them. His sister grabbed his hand and moved ahead, skipping out of the light and sinking into the thick shadow. Their eyes adjusted immediately, an apparent gift from their father and all was clear to them. The way ahead led through countless pillars of ice, formed when the waterfalls had frozen. The bones and skulls of beast and man were embedded inside, their shapes distorted by the nature of their tomb.
Among these tall columns, thin figures stood watching, pale and fleshy wings hanging from their shoulders like a cloak of dead skin. There was death here. The smell of it filled the air like a long-slaughtered army of thousands. They soon noticed the shapes of unrecognizable things entombed within the walls of the place, mythic creatures only spoken of in fictional tales. They were preserved perfectly behind the transparent surface.
"Almost there," the girl encouraged, leading her brother down a narrow side passage. "Father is very close."
They passed scores of the Inquitis, the hissing breath of which emanated through the corridors. Their cancerous flesh was as grey-blue as the sky outside, yet the cold seemed to have no effect on them much like the siblings. Vaporous clouds hovered about their skeletal faces for, unlike the children, they breathed. Mournenhile had imbued them with the spark of life or a semblance of such.
The odor of decay grew much stronger and ahead they could see that the corridor opened up into an immense chamber. Then, the screams reached them, faint at first, thousands of voices shouting in agony. They glanced at one another, puzzled. The girl shrugged with an evil grin and pulled him along with a tug.
When they reached the end of the corridor, the floor dropped off and the roof rose to dizzying heights. At the edge, they carefully peered over, the overpowering smell and cacophonous noise sending them back a step. Far below, in the dim light, countless naked bodies thrashed, struggling to stay afloat in an icy underground sea of slush. Even from afar, it was apparent that they had been returned from death's veil, skin hanging like paper upon their bones. Sightless eyes looked to the ceiling of the chamber as they climbed upon each other in a futile attempt to escape the biting water.
They pulled and scratched with nails long rotten, intertwined hopelessly in a mass of broken limbs and ruptured organs.
Kripplemourn, the keep of their father, melted from below.

Thank you for stopping by,


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Characters from In the Shadow of the Black Sun

Baenstrom the Dwarf from Shards of S'Darin

Gorin Grimandin the Stone Troll
I've decided that I will be providing more artwork from by books. Let me know if there is a certain character or scene that you would like to see and I'll see if I can get it done. I always loved to see drawings and maps from my favorite fantasy stories and I hope my readers feel the same.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New cover painting

This one was created in Photoshop. I really like the way the Dwarf's face came out and the 'stache. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Comments or questions are always welcomed.