What should readers know about Sailing on the Tides of Burning Sand?
This book is a compilation of short stories from the past five years of work. Almost all of them have been published previously, and it was time to collect the best ones and put them all together in one place. There’s a mix of fantasy, science-fiction, and horror stories, so, something for everyone! Some stories are award winners as well and several are written in the same universe as my Behindbeyond urban fantasy series.
Sounds interesting! What more can you tell us about the stories?
The fantasy stories are also the most humorous. Something about magic is entertaining and somehow loosens up my funny bone. I don’t write to a specific genre, usually, but I try to tell each story in the most interesting way and each one finds its own genre. Some stories are a mix of genres, really, like “Grandmother Who Breaks the Sky” which one reviewer said was Ray Bradbury meets H.P. Lovecraft. I thought that was a nice compliment!
The title story, “Sailing on the Tides of Burning Sand” is fully sci-fi. It relates the story of a couple trapped on a boat as it moves across a nameless desert. There’s a lot about love and marriage and forgiveness to it. I spent ten years as a professional magician, and I wondered what would happen if technology or evolution gave everyone special abilities. How would pretend magic have value to people who could actually do magical things? That’s how Harry Houdini and Charles Dickens meet on a distant planet in “Spera Angelorum.” Readers who like that one might also like my novel Hollowfall.
The scary ones are more primal. “The Hollow” is about a scientist finding out it’s possible to scare someone to death—and what happens next. The shortest story, less than 1,000 words, is “Feasty-Feast” about brain-eating parasites with a surprisingly sweet story to tell. Really! There will be an animated film for this story in the next few months. Meanwhile, I’m including it for your readers to enjoy for free!
Awesome! You mentioned several stories set in the Behindbeyond universe?
Yes. There are three stories that are connected to my book series. You don’t need to know anything from the novels to enjoy them, although fans of the novels will read them from a different perspective.
“The Mark” is a backstory for the villains of the series. It’s always fun to write anti-heroes.
“Lucky Day” coincides with the setting and events from chapter one of Got Luck and adds a whole lot of depth along with a separate adventure for that story’s main character. The man character of the series also falls in love with another character, named Erin. They accidentally get married in book one, which was fun to write, but that’s not the beginning of their relationship.
“The Morrigan’s Sister” starts with how these fan-favorite characters meet but the story is all hers. This story has never been published and will remain exclusive to this collection. Each of these stories, however, provide a solid introduction to the series and, hopefully, readers will enjoy them and crave something more lengthy and involving. I’ve included an excerpt from the latest book, Got Lost, for your readers to try.
What’s life like for you at home?
Our family has resided in the same house since before my wife and I had our first anniversary. The house has been the victim of my efforts to add and improve on it. It’s also experienced the swelling required to accommodate a growing family as we have added kids, pets, another kid, another pet, as happens in life. Our children are starting to venture out on their own now, and it’s amazing to see how accomplished and interesting they are. To keep us company, we have a big St. Bernese dog. He looks like a St. Bernard but he’s half Bernese mountain dog. While we didn’t intend to do so, the Darlings do have a “Nana” dog, which makes for a lot of jokes.
Before the pandemic, we liked to travel, and hope to resume at some point. A lot of settings for my stories come from our trips to Europe, South America, and various favorite spots around the United States. Being stuck at home, however, isn’t too bad. We like to cook and most of us take turns putting together meals that an uninformed stranger might mistake for “gourmet.”
What are you working on next?
That’s a situation that seems to change almost every day. I made a conscious marketing decision to spread my work across multiple genres and now I’m working on going deeper. I’m working on a young adult sci-fi novel next. It’s titled Earthplum and it’s about a teenage girl with synesthesia on the run from the FBI and aliens. It’s a high-concept plot that might redefine sci-fi to a degree and it would make a great movie. After that, I have a middle-grade epic fantasy series that I’ve been working on for a while. Then it will be time for another novel from the Behindbeyond. I hope to get at least two of these projects finished for next year.
How can readers find you?
I have all the usual social media. Find me at the links below! At the moment, readers can get a copy of “Grandmother Who Breaks the Sky” for free by visiting my website.
Thanks so much for hosting me today!