Monthly Archives: August 2016

On the Painting Table – Hydra Miniatures Special

I love the miniature hobby and play a number of board and wargames. Miniatures inspire me. I especially enjoy bringing them to life by painting them, and it so happens that we live in the Golden Age of Miniatures with lots to choose from.

There are a couple of companies, such as Games Workshop (thank you for letting me write Space Wolf novels!) and Privateer Press, who have fantastic games and are often found displayed in your FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store – I have three in my area).

There are also a number of companies that make wonderful miniatures, but are much smaller operations, sometimes a couple of partners with a garage for storage. They may be the sculptors of the figures or the writers of their own rulesets.

One of these companies is Hydra Miniatures. Unlike many gaming companies, I’ve never worked for or with them. To the best of my knowledge, we’ve never met and I doubt that they’ve read any of my books. I’m just a regular customer. Quoting from their website: Read the rest of this entry

I don’t believe you, Captain America

A few months ago, Marvel announced a storyline in which it was revealed that Captain America was, and apparently always had been, a sleeper agent of the criminal organization, Hydra. This inspired a number of online rants and set the social media world aflame. Before I begin, I want everyone to know that I understand Captain America is fiction. Cap is Marvel’s character. They have a right to do what they want with him, and the current writer has a right to do a creative storyline. In many ways, this is similar to what happened when Spider-Man was replaced by Doc Ock ‘The Superior Spider-Man’.

So here’s how I feel about Captain America. Brace yourself. Read the rest of this entry

Trapped by The Dark Lord

“Hello, my name is Avery, and I am the Dark Lord.”

Since the end of January, I’ve been working on my next Jack Heckel novel with John Peck, The Dark Lord. It’s a new series, separate from The Charming Tales, focusing on a grad student at an otherworldly mystical university and what happens when his experiment to unite the heroes of a magical world goes terribly wrong. Like the other Jack Heckel novels, it’s a comedic fantasy, though this one is about university life and epic fantasy. In other words, my college experience.
TunnelThe process of writing consumes a great deal of mental energy. I come home from my day job and after spending time with my family, I shift gears in my head and enter my novel. If things go well, the words flow from my fingertips. If not, I end up forcing myself to write sentence after sentence or worse, I just play some version of Civ or stare into space, becoming more exhausted and hoping inspiration will strike.

This book in particular kept running into real world obstacles. In order to finish the edits, I had to lock myself away at night. As a result, I’ve done a terrible job of keeping up with emails. I know that I currently owe one of my wonderful cousins an email, as well as one of my best friends from high school, and any number of other authors, fans and friends. I haven’t even gone to many baseball games this year, and I love the Richmond Flying Squirrels. I even managed to let my SFWA membership lapse, but it’s back now. In any event, I apologize to everyone awaiting responses from me. It has felt a little like I’ve been walking through a long, dark tunnel.

Fortunately, I’ve escaped. And please don’t get the wrong impression – I really like The Dark Lord and it’s always fun to write with John Peck. It’s just nice to not be writing on a deadline at the moment. Of course, this means I should be working on the next book in The Charming Tales or the sequel to The Dark Lord. Or maybe something else entirely.

Anyway, thank you all for bearing with me and continuing to check this blog. I hope to have some new posts coming, including one on my thoughts about some recent comic book events and one about Doctor Strange.

All the best!


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