East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Finding a Title

aculeo&amunetNobody appreciates the problems of a sword & sorcery writer.

Right now, I’m putting the finishing touches on the next Aculeo & Amunet book.
Granted, two stories still need to be edited, but I see the finish line, and I’m pretty happy: after two novelettes published as stand-alone ebooks, I’m going for a collection – the next A&A outing will include four stories

  • Mirror of Amunet
  • The Witch with Green Eyes
  • Island of the Goat
  • The Crypts of Eskishaar

Three short stories and a novelette. Continue reading


Historical Fantasy – Fleshing Out the Background

Sometimes being too clever is not so clever in the long run.
When I first sketched my characters of Aculeo and Amunet, I was not actually writing a story.
I was explaining how to play fast and loose when putting together a very basic sword & sorcery plot.

So, when sketching Aculeo, it felt like a good idea to make him a veteran of the Siege of Palmyra, AD 272.
Sounded cool.

revolt_barbariansFast forward 12 months, and Aculeo & Amunet had their own story – which is set in a swamp somewhere north of Menphis and south-east of Alexandria, Aegypt, AD 276.
Total background research required – one afternoon, plus one evening watching two old peplum movies.
Nice and smooth.

Another six months, and my heroes have their first ebook, a number of nice reviews, and their own series, with two other stories being written.

And here’s the problem – because it’s all right playing fast and loose when you are writing a one-shot short story.
But when you start handling a series, and your characters start exploring their world, you need to put down something more than six paragraphs of notes. Especially if you are using a psaeudo-historical setting.
The historical part is the one which requires some care – you can still improvise in the psaeudo- sections*.

And here’s the big surprise – choosing the Third Century AD in the Mediterranean area was either very smart or very stupid on my part. Continue reading