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Today, I begin writing THE RED WINTER's final chapter. While I realize many people wish I'd arrived here sooner, I'm very happy with how it's turned out and the journey Max and myself have taken since I started writing the THE HOUND OF ROWAN almost a decade ago. When that book was published in 2007, I was a bachelor living in California. Fast forward 7 years and I'm living on the east coast as a happily married father of two beautiful boys. That is a lot of change in a relatively brief period of time. It boggles my mind to think of it. While I wish I could have written more books in that span, I'm proud of the five I managed and am optimistic that you'll enjoy The Tapestry's final installment.

Let's talk about THE RED WINTER. In my opinion, it is unquestionably the best book in the [...]
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Posted on Mar 26, 2014                         
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More Workshop Monsters...

Here's the original pencil sketch and a more complete concept for a Workshop gargoyle that we'll be seeing in The Red Winter. Some similarities to the dreadnoughts we met in The Maelstrom, but if you notice the human operatives, you'll know that Prusias isn't trusting his machines to any more imps!
Posted on Feb 21, 2013                         
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The Maelstrom, Chapter One!

The Xebec

The harbormaster’s bell rang clear and cold as the xebec slipped past the tall breakers and entered Rowan Harbor. Witch-fire burned at its prow, an oily plume of green flames that sputtered in the breeze and cast a spectral gleam on the dark swells. A dozen fishermen and smugglers scattered out of its path, coaxing their smaller vessels beyond reach of the ship’s oars as it skimmed toward the main dock like a huge black dragonfly.

On the cliffs above, Max McDaniels slung off his heavy pack and stopped to watch the ship’s progress. Despite the predawn gloom, he could make out a weather worker on the xebec’s deck. The [...]
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Posted on Aug 28, 2012                         
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Designing Creatures

One of my favorite things to do is design new creatures and concepts. In The Maelstrom, there will be a number of new oddities, including cheshirewulfs, pinlegs, dreadnaughts, Stygian crows, etc. When I'm writing a new creature into a scene, it's important that I have a sense of what it looks like. That's when I reach for a pencil and start sketching.

While I like the book's illustrations to have an old fashioned feel to them, I'll confess that technology makes it much easier to experiment with concepts, color, etc. For this creature - the notorious Stygian crow - I began with a quick pencil sketch (15-20 minutes) that I then scanned into my computer. Using Photoshop, I then gave the creature an underlying paint job and then added some textural details and color on top so that it wo [...]
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Posted on May 19, 2011                         
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Some Maelstrom Teasers...

So here I am - working away on the manuscript while New York shakes off winter and eases into spring. Some nice days lately, blooming flowers, crowded ice cream shops, and strollers, strollers everywhere.

I find myself staring at strollers quite a bit (and probably frightening the parents). My wife and I are expecting our baby boy in less than two months now and the reality of becoming a father is starting to set in. We've been tackling a project each week - putting up drapes, building a crib, attending birthing classes, etc. Babies are complicated creatures who need a lot of stuff...who knew?!? We're very excited to welcome our little guy into the world and no...he will not be named Max ;)

But enough of that stuff - let's talk Maelstrom! I've been racing against the baby to [...]
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Posted on Apr 27, 2011                         
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Possible Frontispiece for Fiend!

Sketch of the Day:  Here's a sketch I'm working on for the frontispiece of The Fiend and the Forge.  The frontispiece is the illustration that goes right inside the cover and is thus critical as an attention grabber and mood setter.  This scene is a powerful one in the book and I think could serve quite well if I can hammer out the final tweaks. 

On a more involved/complex drawing such as this, I'll work with pencil sketches, architectural models, and a digital drawing tablet to compose everything on the computer and experiment with different lighting, details, etc. before I'll commit to doing the final artwork by hand using pen and ink and water.  The computer is fantastic for [...]
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Posted on Apr 14, 2010                         
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A New Building at Rowan...

Here's a sketch of the day.  In The Fiend and the Forge (Book 3) many new buildings will grace Rowan's campus and Sanctuary.  While most are constructed to accommodate new businesses and residents, there are conspicuous exceptions.  For example, the building in this sketch is an embassy and Max McDaniels will give it a wide berth (when he can)....
Posted on Apr 11, 2010                         
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One month and counting....

Well, you may have noticed a dearth of postings.  There are many factors at work, not the least of which is I'm getting married next month.  In fact, February 27th is the big day - exactly one month from now.  Very exciting!

I never knew there were so many details when it came to marriage - paperwork, licenses, showers, meetings, floorplans, etc.  I blame my misconceptions on the existence of Las Vegas drive-through weddings.  Danielle and I will not be getting married in Las Vegas, but Chicago - where we both grew up.  Not only will we be a stone's throw from the Art Institute (where Max's adventures began), but my nephew, Michael, will deliver the wedding rings on a copy of The Hound of Rowan.

In many wa [...]
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Posted on Jan 27, 2010                         
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