Michael B. Koep has been INTERVIEWED!!! on the Creation of the Newirth Mythology Trilogy

The Final Installment in The Newirth Trilogy is now out in The Shape of Rain.

Question: The fantasy genre is a crowded market, can you tell us what sets The Newirth Mythology apart?

Michael B. Koep: The Newirth Mythology invites the reader to accept the story as a reality. From the very start I wanted to play with the idea of myth and truth to see if I could figure out how the power of a story can change one’s nature, perception and behavior. Myth and fantastic stories have captivated, entertained and sculpted entire cultures throughout history—gods, heroes, wars, magic and the like— The Newirth Mythology contains elements of classic fantasy, but so, too, it is filled with a modern perspective—modern characters that must come to terms with the reality of myth in all of its manifestations. For me, I’ve not encountered a story like it before. 

Question: Which elements of the books are your favorite, and are they the same elements readers most connect with?

Koep: I love that the centerpiece to the entire story is a story itself. The words of a Poet that can alter existence—change history— a sought after book—a journal with a frightening supernatural element that characters are willing to risk their lives to obtain. Like a kind of Holy Grail, words are the quest and the curse. The settings align themselves within this theme as well. Battles are fought within medieval libraries—discussions of art and writing transpire over writing desks and ancient tomes—characters travel to the the exotic locations of myth: the Pyramids of Giza, the canals of Venice, the Aegean Sea. Lastly, the reader is invited to enter into the story and attempt to balance between what is real and what is fiction. The Newirth Mythology is a story about story.

Question: Was it important to you to have a compelling female character join Loche as a major protagonist, or did it just happen?

Koep: When I was on a national book tour in 2015 for Part Two, Leaves of Fire, I was scheduled to sign at bookstores during late afternoons in the heat of the summer for several months all across the country. As you can imagine, bookstores at that time of day in that time of year are not especially busy. However, the majority of bookstore visitors, I noticed, were thoughtful, intelligent and witty women ranging in ages between 29 and 60. Some stops on a book tour can be tedious and extremely lonely—but from one signing to the next, these same types of women (book lovers) always took the time to talk with me, share some of their favorite books (while we chatted they often carried an armload to take to the register) and stories about their families and their kids while taking a sincere interest in my work. Their presence made the sometimes alienating book tour not so lonely. When the time came to begin work on Part Three, The Shape of Rain, I found myself wanting to craft a character that these women would love. A thoughtful, bookish type with a dash of sardonic wit, a bit of loneliness and a thirst to learn more about the world and the people in it. Professor of Mythology, Astrid Finnley became an amalgam of these bookstore dwelling women.

Question: Tell readers a little bit about your process. A fantasy epic of this scale involves a lot more than just honing your craft as a writer. What was it like to do so much world building?

Koep: The world of the Newirth Mythology is both modern psychology and medieval epic. It is hard rock music and soliloquies delivered with a nod to Hamlet. It is a new myth told by a modern prophet. An ancient language and a pop song all in one.That seems like a lot—but for me, the process was much like throwing my favorite things and interests at the wall and keeping the things that stuck. Strangely enough, most everything stuck. I believe I managed to weave these relatively disparate elements together because I am involved with each in one way or another. Since I was very young I have harbored a love for myth and fantasy. At twelve I began working on what would later become the language of Elliqui (an ancient tongue of a forgotten immortal race). With that came the necessary step of creating the mythology that would be the foundation of this race’s belief system. Meanwhile, twenty years ago, I cofounded a fencing consortium to appease that weird place in me that has always wanted to learn the sword. The experience has not only fed my love for duels and things medieval, but it has also provided for me the rare occasion to raise a glass of ale or scotch at a tournament and deliver a Shakespearian speech or a poem or drunken toast with big words and pithy sentiment (with a sword dangling at my side, of course). In college I loved psychology, philosophy and literature. Most of all, Poetry. To this day I am a touring rock drummer and lyricist. Music has taken me all over the world. It has also taught me the importance of a well crafted pop lyric or a hooky melody. It has taught me to connect art to an audience. In a lot of ways, the world of the Newirth Mythology wasn’t really world building—it was rather me attempting to capture the world in which I live.

 

Michael B. Koep has been a college educator, an international touring musician and a dynamite

waiter. He is still an author, a swordsman, an avid world traveler, a visual artist, and a professional

rock drummer. Koep has climbed the pyramids of Giza, fenced an Italian master, and done battle with

the infamous North Korean propaganda loudspeakers by aiming a massive PA across the DMZ and

taking a drum solo. Winner of a Costello Poetry Prize, he lives in North Idaho with his son in a house filled with books, vinyl records, paint brushes, maps and musical instruments.

Connect with Michael B. Koep at MichaelBKoep.com, Twitter.com/MBKoep and

Facebook.com/AuthorMichaelBKoep.

The Newirth Mythology Trilogy is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and wherever books are sold.

Publisher Will Dreamly Arts, located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is committed to producing

works that possess an artistic standard defined by originality, integrity and excellence in

the craft of fiction, poetry and nonfiction.

Connect with Will Dreamly Arts at WillDreamlyArts.com, Twitter.com/WillDreamlyArts

and Facebook.com/WillDreamlyArts.

Siren Suicides

Siren Suicides: Second Edition  by Ksenia Anske  description:

On a rainy September morning 16-year-old Ailen Bright flees her abusive father by jumping off the Seattle Aurora Bridge. Instead of a true death, in the water she finds several silver-skinned sirens who convert her to one of their own. As a newborn siren she is dead, supernaturally strong, and hungry for her new sustenance—human souls.
Ailen refuses to kill…at first. With time she must face the agony that comes with starvation, while being relentlessly pursued by a siren hunter. An enthralling and dark look into the mind and heart of a suicidal teenager, this urban fantasy follows Ailen’s struggle to figure out the meaning of life, her confusing feelings for her best friend Hunter, and her desperate battle for her father’s love.

Siren Suicides   3 STARS

The best thing about this book is how wonderful the writing style is. Anske does a beautiful job of drawing you into this world, and making it so vivid. She doesn’t just tell you what a room looks like, you discover it through the characters interactions, their insight and emotions, and it’s all done with ease. I loved her new take on sirens, how you become one, and the fact that she harkens back to the original Greek mythology with the names, and that she didn’t make the mistake of turning them into mermaids with a fishtail. The best part of this book though was the very beginning before Ailen turned into a siren. Seeing into her mind, and knowing why she loves sirens so much, and her still suffering from the loss of her mother, it was something that was tangible and understandable. I’m glad that Anske didn’t in any way romanticize suicide. She gives you the harsh reality of what it would be like hitting the water, what it does to your body, and how it feels to drown and the regret the victim goes through during it all. But once Ailen becomes a siren it’s like everything went into overdrive. It felt like everything was so on the nose with the whole siren bit. And as the story goes the way it circles around death can be extremely depressing and worrisome. I will say that right there at the end it finally began to really flow and Ailen goes through some real self-discovery and there is a lot of character growth that helped make this a book worth reading in the end.

 

Holding Out for a Hero

So it’s my Senior Thesis time and it’s part of the reason why my posts are going to probably be fewer and fewer… I’m having to put all my efforts and time into my research and while I still do read it takes me longer to get through a book and luckily I do have no other English classes to distract me… but that also means that I can’t even whip out some reviews off of my required reading list… so sorry if you’re all sad out there missing my amazing posts… and if you’re wondering about the title up there, well my Senior Thesis is actually on comic book heroes… I grew up watching a few such TV shows like Batman Beyond and even the old Flash… but honestly it wasn’t until the last few years that I’ve really become intrigued by them… starting with the Dark Knight Trilogy and Iron Man and all the ones that have been following those successes… I started watching all the movies and the shows and began looking into the characters history and seeing how they’ve changed over the years… still not much for the actual comic books but I do have a few… mainly Batman because he is my favorite…

Then I got the chance to write an essay (which sadly I didn’t post on here, maybe will later) comparing the heroes from Greek mythology to comic book heroes today to show how our views on what makes a hero have changed… because if you’ve ever read the original stories you know those Greek heroes did a lot of things we’d consider unforgivable now… and so that started my real interests into what makes these guys heroes and why they’ve survived over the years and why they’re so popular now… considering it’ll be about 40 pages long I will most likely never share it with all you wonderful people… please try not to cry… but I did want to give some explanation as to why I’ve been such a slacker and to also share the song that’s been stuck in my head since I’ve started this project…

Once in a Blue Moon

Once in a Blue Moon  by  Ken Christopher Ping  description:

Three short stories: Of Sand and Castles; The Mother’s Day Gift; and the title story, an enchanting fairytale, Once in a Blue Moon.

blue moonOnce in a Blue Moon   3 STARS

I think my main problem with this book is that there is no rhyme or reason to the short stories… it’s just 3 random short stories that Ping wrote… and it makes me wonder who the target audience is… because they’re each aimed in different directions… it’s like you may like one but hate the next… and that makes it difficult to recommend to anyone…

Sands and Castles 2 STARS

It’s told in a fairy tale style that is fitting to the short story set in a medieval time… but the problem is that though it felt like it was building up to some deep meaning it basically tapped it and bounced off quickly into some strange twist that didn’t even make sense with the rest of the story and ultimately ruined whatever he was aiming for… and with the fairy tale style you do expect something perhaps magical, meaningful, or humorous… and you get none of that… which felt wasteful to such a promising beginning…

The Mother’s Day Gift  4 STARS

This was a really sweet and touching story… it had me tearing up by the end… it was a little odd that it was told in an almost children’s book sort of simplicity… but still an endearing story that I think anyone could feel for…

Once in a Blue Moon  3 STARS

This was perhaps my favorite story and yet the worst written… it started out in a children’s book style even worse than the previous… but by the end it became exceedingly well written tale that if the whole book would’ve been written in such a fashion would’ve improved it by leaps and bounds… it deals with the Greek gods and the creation of the blue moon… which was interesting… but then Zeus calls on the Almighty God in Heaven… and at the end it again references the Christian God… which is crossing religions in a rather disconcerting matter… there are many stories that have the One God running out the old gods… but this was almost trying to turn a myth story into a Christian story… which was just odd…

Alex Howerton has been INTERVIEWED!!!

author pic cropped1.      What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

I am Alex Howerton. My pretentious author’s name is B. Alexander Howerton (and like Rumplestiltskin, I’m not telling what the “B” stands for!)

I have a blog that discusses the ideas in my books, and whatever else strikes my fancy, here:

http://gravettiangoddess.com/

I have an Amazon author page

and I have a Goodreads author page

2.      Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you enjoy for fun?

I’m a pretty boring dad these days. I love playing MarioKart with my kids and catching up on movies. I watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report avidly, and my wife and I crack up together at Modern Family.

But when I was young and energetic, I loved bicycling, skiing, sailing, all-night Risk marathons, and bonfires. Maybe I’ll do all that again when I’m a Man of Leisure from my bestselling novels 😉

3.      How long have you been writing? How many books have you written? They don’t have to be published.

20 years. 4 books (and countless other types of writing). They’re all listed at the author page links

4.      What genres do you like writing the most? And why? Is this genre the same as the one you prefer to read?

My books are “genre jumpers,” and that’s why I’ve had such a hard time interesting the traditional publishing industry in my books. That is why I love the growing indie author opportunities that sites like Amazon, Goodreads and Smashwords are making available.

My latest novel Gravettian Goddess, for example, weaves together the styles of many genres without falling squarely into any one of them: thriller, suspense, paranormal, historical, alternative history, fantasy (retold myth), speculative fiction. I write to express my hard-to-categorize ideas, not to fit into a preconceived genre.

When I read fiction, I prefer hard SF. The best SF takes a technological innovation and examines its social and cultural ramifications. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein is one of the finest examples. Also the recent Divergent series by Veronica Roth nails it for me. Aliens are cheating – Unless it’s a brilliant examination of what First Contact would really be like, like Carl Sagan’s Contact.

I also read a lot of non-fiction, mostly history and biography. Well-told history is as good or better than any work of fiction. Justinian’s Flea, about the causes of the collapse of the Roman Empire, was brilliant.

5.      Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…GG cover amazon

I am plotting out the sequel to Gravettian Goddess, called “13”. It is the story of how the world represented in Gravettian Goddess came into being (and why 13 is the luckiest number possible). So when you dear readers make Gravettian Goddess a smashing success and start clamoring for more, I’ll be ready for you!

6.      How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

I strive to answer questions I have as an observer of culture and history. I am a lifelong student of mythology and Joseph Campbell, so for Gravettian Goddess, I asked myself, “We have been fully articulated and creative humans for at least 40,000 years, but writing only goes back 5,000 years. What were the stories we told ourselves for that 35,000 year period when the tales were only told around campfires?” The result of that inquiry is Gravettian Goddess. But, I felt a need to dress it up for a modern audience, so I wrapped the whole package up in a Dan-Brown-type adventure/thriller.

My previous novel, the Wyrding Stone, came about from a relationship gone bad. We seemed like soulmates, but when we got into bed, it all fell apart. She really bought into the whole past lives thing, so I asked myself, “What if we knew each other in past lives, but screwed things up so badly that we’re still paying the karmic price?” The result is The Wyrding Stone, a love story that spans 40,000 years (and launches well into the future).

7.      What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

I am strong on the ideas behind the story. I have no weaknesses (just kidding!) I’ve been rereading The Hobbit with my 8 year old. Tolkien was the master of creating a landscape and a geography through words. I bow to the Master, because I am not worthy.

8.      After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

With Gravettian Goddess I’ve gone full on electronic and social. I only offer the book through Amazon Kindle Direct (for now), and I’ve created a blog and author pages. I found indie-sympathetic reviewers here: http://www.stepbystepselfpublishing.net/reviewer-list.html and here: http://www.theindieview.com/, of which our current kind host R. G. Dole is one.

9.      What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

Well, as I’ve said, it’s almost sinfully easy to get the word out these days, with all the internet resources and social media. As an old horse who’s been around the track a few times, I would say this: Be patient, keep your day job, know why you’re writing and what you want to get out of it, realize that everything you do and plan is going to take at least twice as long as you expect, and don’t expect to be an overnight sensation. With that being said, follow your bliss, and never give up.

 

Our Brothers Grimmest Is Here!

Our Brothers Grimmest Is Here!.

Please go get a free copy of The Grimm Report’s collection of all the stories contributed by outside writers… including yours truly… I was honored to begin with that they even wanted me to write some stuff for their blog but in their continuing show of graciousness they have put all our stories together so that people can keep enjoying them for as long as they’d like… so if you like fairy tale stories and mock-tabloid satire you should definitely check it out…

No One Messes with the Olympains… Unless your name is Percy

The Lightning Thief  by  Rick Riordan    description:

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

lightningBOOK 1: The Lightning Thief    5 STARS

I loved the fact that it was full of mythology… obviously… but more so they seemed to have got the facts straight and didn’t really try to make it more PC… the gods and goddesses apparently can’t keep it in their pants and you get the demigods such as Percy an all the other main characters in this book… and though they’ve moved the world to a modern day America Riordan still kept it some how very much like a piece out of an old greek tragedy… though not nearly as tragic… it’s exciting and fun and the whole series is worth a read…

Though if you watched the movie I’ll say that it was similar to the book though they did change one major thing that really makes me wonder how they’ll continue the rest of the series…

Darkness of the Light

The Goodreads description makes no sense and kind of gives some stuff away so everyone avoid it…

Darkness of the Light by Peter David     description:

On the Damned World, it’s every man for himself. Only it’s not just mankind who inhabits this desolate world. Twelve different species, creatures out of Earth’s mythology that live on the land, in the sea, and underground, vie for survival in this hostile world.

Jepp, a human woman, is about to be carried off as a battle prize by a pair of Mandraques when she is saved by Karsen Foux, one of a motley tribe of bottom-feeders.nThe two team up on a quest to find the mysterious Orb of Light, fabled to be the key to the world’s salvation, and bring it to Nagel, king of the one-eyed Oculars.

Across the world, the Merk race is using a powerful sedative to control the helpless Markenes. Only Gorkon, mysteriously unaffected by the drug, stands alone among his sleeping species. Ruark, the leader of the Merks, plans to use the drug to manipulate the Travelers, a clan that serves the Overseer, whose godlike omnipotence governs much of the Damned World.

As each fantastical expedition develops, so do the stories of all the Damned World’s creatures, their own lives intertwining with the others in an intricate web of epic fantasy, magic, and danger. The fate of the entire world will depend upon the quest for the Orb and the strength of those who pursue its power.

darknessBOOK 1: Darkness of the Light       4 STARS

First off I just want to say I’m so happy because the 2nd book finally came out… hope it’s as good as this one…

This book is pretty awesome… there’s multiple stories going on in it but they begin to slowly converge on each other… as people are searching for answers and trying to save their own world… as you get deeper into it you begin to truly discover the truth of this world and there’s a lot of twists and turns that make this an epic adventure…  and it’s kind of awesome because it flashes back to explain where some of our myths came from and I like how it ties in different tales but it doesn’t make it part of the main story… in fact it’s not really about myths at all its just kind of like part of these creatures journey in the Damned World…

There’s only the slightest bit of a romantic angle that may become more in the next book… for the most part this is all about them trying to find the Orb of Light and discovering what it truly is… along with Gorkon trying to keep his people from being used as they come off the high of the drugs they’d been given… There are no low points… nothing boring or confusing… it’s an amazing fantasy novel…

It ends on a big cliffhanger which is why I’m glad the next book is out and will be snatching it up as quick as possible…