Ah, 2013, what should I say about you? The first thing that comes to mind is good fucking riddance. I don’t say that to be melodramatic, but 2013 was a bum year for me personally. It started with losing my grandfather, followed by the death of two of my family’s dogs, and then my other grandfather’s health began to fail, oh and did I mention 2012 ended with the death of my last grandmother? No? Yeah. That happened too.
Don’t get me wrong there were bright spots. I went to Singapore, England, and China and Seattle, Denver, and Chicago. I had an opportunity to see the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and the Terra Cotta warriors with my amazing wife. In England, although that was mostly work, I traveled to Stonehenge, saw Big Ben, and crossed the London Bridge (and it didn’t even fall down!).
For those of you who don’t know me that well, I love collecting swords (preferably real functional swords made of high carbon steel graded 1050 or higher); they can be swords from any age or time or even fantasy ones. This year, I picked up the Conan: The Barbarian sword and it is a fucking beast (picture below of it stabbed into my backyard).
In April my guitar died. Sad face. We’re still mourning its loss.
My car hit 100,000 miles in 4 years (we’re way past that now, buddy). – Sorry for me this was a milestone. I’ve never owned anything that’s lasted so long in my life.
I went to a few amazing shows and a few not so amazing shows. Notable mentions include the epicness that is Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles and Denver Comic Con. The others shall remain nameless.
Book 2 of the Legends of Amun Ra series, The Soul of the World, debuted in November and I’ve been really happy with some early reviews. Two comments about The Soul of the World made me literally laugh my ass off. This one:
“As for the detail in the book… all I can say is Wowza! Was this guy a hardcore D&D player? I was having flashbacks from my brief time attempting to play Rifts (it’s an RP game much like D&D) and all I could think was “This guy had to have been a game master!” I don’t think I have ever read a story that was so detailed in all my life.” – Melissa.
And this one:
“Shirin is an absolute psycho…” – Amanda
But all in all, we’ve got 26 reviews in for Soul so far and are hovering at an average rating of 4.30 – a huge step up from Emerald’s average of 3.7. So that’s something to be proud of. Yay me.
On top of that, I’m just a few short days away from completing the manuscript for book 3, The Island of Shadows, and will be sending that off to beta readers shortly. Let me tell you something, this book is a beast, coming in at a hefty 243,000 words (or about 700 pages depending on how we end up formatting it). Island was a grueling ordeal and quite frankly, kicked my ass up and down the field. Hopefully ya’ll like it.
Which now brings us to some more awesomeness: I decided to write two more series. I know, I know. You’re saying, “Josh, you just complained about how exhausting it was for you to write Islands, how in the world are you going to add more to your plate? Truth is, I have no fucking clue. But I want to so deal with it.
The first series is going to be first released (if we can get the funding for it) as a graphic novel and it’s called A Spirit of Hate (Typhon Rising, 1). Here are some awesome test pics to check out. “Hate,” as I like to refer to it, tells the story of Typhon who is the daughter of the Red Lord of Violence, Set. Born a monster and shunned by her homeland of Heliopolis, Typhon finds refuge on Earth and falls in love. Everything’s going according to plan until Q.T.A.R. (who you’ll recall was Alex’s company in The Emerald Tablet), gets ahold of the Pillar of Thoth. Then things go haywire and a bunch of awesome shit happens that you guys will love.
The second series is going to be children’s/YA series which focuses on the last oracle, Eos and her experience growing up as an oracle in ancient Potara. That should be a fun series – the first one is entitled A Conspiracy of Queens and has to do with a young Eos getting a vision of her father, King Rohir, murder. Since it’s a children’s book it will obviously be less intense than the Legends of Amun Ra series.
Other than that, I read 72 books this year and by far my favorite was Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings. All I can say is fucking awesome. It blew my mind away about what could be achieved with epic fantasy – the flash forwards – the flashbacks – the mystery, intrigue, the new planet – all of it was mind blowing.
Until next time. Keep writing.