Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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My girl’s gonna be popular soon (well, maybe)

I wonder if this will have any impact on my sales.
Yes, I’m as mercenary-minded as they come, but really, bear witrh me.
Here are the trailers for the forthcoming reboot of the Mummy franchise.

Now, to be completely honest, my interest in this movie is not very high – I liked the first Brendan Fraser Mummy movie, great pulp entertainment, but the rest of the series bored me somewhat.
This new one does not tickle my fancy.
Oh, I’ll see it, one way or another, sooner or later, because, you know, it’s in my field and all that, but I’m not overly eager to buy a ticket.

But now turns out the mummy of the movie is the mummy of an evil Egyptian queen called… Amunet.
And that sort of rings a bell, so to speak. Continue reading


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Choreographing violence in stories

I said I was going to take the day off, but in the end I spent a fair part of yesterday afternoon planning and choreographing a big complicated action scene in the next Aculeo & Amunet story.

The hardest part, for me, when writing A&A, is the part about the fights.
Maybe I already mentioned this.

Fact is, I don’t like violence that much, and I’m not very good at describing it in an entertaining way because… well, because I don’t find it entertaining, I guess.
With some exceptions.

swordmagic1

And yet, considering my Aculeo & Amunet stories are sword & sorcery, there are to be swords in there somewhere, and someone got to use’em.
And Aculeo, being a soldier, is supposed to be the one trained in the use of swords (Amunet takes care of sorcery – nice and smooth). Continue reading


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Historically accurate…

… except where I screwed up.

I write historical fantasy (among other things).
My Aculeo & Amunet stories are set in the Third Century AD, and the historical details are as accurate as possible.
I try and keep the world historically real.
Then maybe a be-tentacled creepy horror pops out of some dark corner.
Historical.
Fantasy.

figure 8

Now, thankfully, history has so many dark corners and fuzzy borders, that finding the right place to fit in our invention is usually quite easy, or at least lots of fun (thus compensating the trouble).
The trick is blending history and fantasy as seamlessly as possible. Continue reading


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Brushing up my Egyptian Magic

Cover of "Egyptian Magic"

Cover of Egyptian Magic

The question might be phrased like this – do I read for fun anymore?
Some days it seems I do not any longer.

Back when I was a student – a BSc student, then a PhD student – I found myself reading an awful lot of geology-related books… not just for study, but for the fun of it.
Indeed, some of my teachers observed I was reading too much geology, and getting strange ideas, like this was the ’80s or the ’90s and not, as they seemed to believe, 1958.

And ever since I started working seriously on my writing, I also started reading a lot of stuff which is great fun indeed, but can still be filed under “research”.

Case in point – I’m reading Egyptian Magic, by the venerable E.A. Wallis-Budge.
Wallis-Budge was for a long time the leading authority on Egyptian magic and religion, and I’ve got a few books of his – including a wonderful thing that’s called The Mummy: A Handbook of Egyptian Funerary Archaeology.
As I said, this is actually fun reading… no, really!

Continue reading


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Lair of the White Ape

aculeo & amunet 2 - makeover-smallLair of the White Ape, the new Aculeo & Amunet novelette, is finally available!

“Soon after the last of their Mediterranean adventures, Aculeo and Amunet leave Tarsus and the agents of the Cult of Isfet behind, and ride north into the Caucasus, seeking a safe place in which to winter. This is the bailiwick of the Twelfth Imperial Legion – Duodecima Fulminata… “

Continue reading


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Bride of the LEGO God

Giacomo Dacarro, the webmaster of the blog Trasmutazioni and my long-suffering cover artist Giordano Efrodini had a go at a LEGO version of Bride of the Swamp God.
It’s great, and I think the world needs to see it.
My series work has just begun, and already I have fan-art and action figures!

aculeo-e-amunetLEGO


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Bride of the Swamp God!

Bride of the Swamp God

Bride of the Swamp God

It’s 276 AD, in the Roman province of Aegypt.
And in a late summer night, the stars are coming right.
In the swamps of the Nile’s delta, after strange aeons the sleeping Isfet is about to wake.
Young and ambitious, Aegyptian princess Amunet is here to become theBride of the God.
But she is not alone, as she descends in the depth of the lost temple: many are seeking the power of Betentacled Isfet to make it their own.
Sestus Cornelius Aculeo, centurion of the Second Traian Legion, is not one of them.
His problems are simple, their solution is equally simple.
But before the sun rises, Isfet will meet its Bride – and the problems of Aculeo & Amunet will become very complicated.

Sword & sorcery done the old way, Bride of the Swamp God is the first story in the adventures of Aculeo & Amunet.

Available now everywhere, through Amazon, in DRM-Free Kindle format.