East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Coming soon-ish: The Heart of the Lizard


There is one thing that can really make things look up even on a cold rainy day, when you are writing for a living, and that’s being asked by your publisher how many more stories in the same series can you write, per year, should the first one you just delivered be a success.

The obvious answer being “as many as you need,” of course – but in the meantime you feel real good because you know you’ve done a good job.

It happened to me a few hours ago, three days after delivering The Heart of the Lizard, my first (hopefully, of many) tie-in novella for Andrea Sfiligoi’s 4 Against Darkness fantasy solo roleplaying game, set in the gaming world of Norindaal.

The setting is classic old school roleplaying – you get a world with nations and races, and adventurers fall into classes like thief, wizard and warrior, and there’s monsters roaming the land and what not.
An dungeons, ruins and other places where treasures and traps can be found, not necessarily in that order.

The idea was to do a light sword & sorcery/heroic fantasy sort of thing – 18.000/20.000 words stories featuring a “typical party” that should not to be so stereotypical after all. We wanted action, a good interplay among characters, ironic banter, strange creatures, puzzles and adventure.

I had lots of fun writing this first story – as the “pilot” for the series I had to introduce the characters and define their roles and their personalities, and give them something to do.

I also liked very much the idea of light fantasy, without too much angst and without the overabundance of bodily fluids, obscenity and gore that seems to be what the audience is being force-fed recently in my country. I’ll have to write a post about that one of these nights. But right now, I am writing for an international audience, and the objective is having fun without the need to set our farts on fire. So, keep it light, keep it classy, have fun – these were my rules.

The end result is currently undergoing revision and design and all those things, and it is not half bad, in my opinion.
I’ll post some snippets and extras on my Patreon page, and then I’ll let you know when it comes out. Hopefully, if it sells enough, I’ll soon be working on another adventure. I like the characters, I like the world, and it would really be good to meet the guys again, and go exploring with them. 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

6 thoughts on “Coming soon-ish: The Heart of the Lizard

  1. Hey, Good Luck with this turning into a series. 🙂


  2. I do appologize if I missed it. Did they happen to give you a release date or general timeframe on that? Thanks.


  3. Good luck Davide, I’ll be buying it for sure!


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