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A video blog in which Henry answered questions from readers on everything from his inspirations to his creative process, The Maelstrom, and what may come after The Tapestry is complete.


Posted on Sep 29, 2012                         
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In a Perfect World...

One of the most important things any writer or artist can do is reflect upon their work, recognize what's gone well, and — more importantly — what they have learned and would do differently if given the chance to tackle the project again. After all, almost any major creative endeavor has its learning curve and even the most talented and seasoned professionals inevitably miscalculate and make mistakes — errors of substance or style or some combination thereof. As a novice author, I've made more than most and hope that you can benefit from my experience. Here are three aspects of The Tapestry's story and structure that a more veteran me might have handled differently.

PERSPECTIVE:
Perspective, or point of view, is the vantage from [...]
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Posted on Aug 02, 2012                         
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Creating Compelling Villains

In the fantasy genre, heroes enjoy the spotlight, but villains inevitably steal the show. A compelling villain can terrorize, dominate, and even seduce our sensibilities as they lurk in the background or emerge to play havoc with the narrative. Let's be honest - the Joker is much more intriguing than Batman. Without Darth Vader and his iconic mask, would Star Wars have become such a global phenomenon? Speaking of masks, who can ever forget Hannibal Lecter's comically hideous restraint in The Silence of the Lambs? By the end of the movie, half the audience was rooting for Lecter to escape. Even Clarice Starling's most devoted fan would have to concede that Lecter is the real star of the show.

When creat [...]
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Posted on Jun 06, 2011                         
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A Deleted Scene - The Monster's Letter

One of the toughest things about writing a book is editing the same. Those who have read The Fiend and the Forge know that Max encounters a particularly horrifying monster that has been terrorizing a farmhouse in the Kingdom of Blys. While trapped in the monsters' well, our hero discovers a strange arrangement of furniture and possessions - akin to an office or study. In the original draft of Fiend, Max also discovers a letter that gave grisly clues to the monster's past. It was interesting read as it gave us some insight into the events of The Second Siege from a third party's perspective while further fleshing out the character of Prusias. Here's the letter...

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Posted on Feb 15, 2011                         
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The Fiend and the Forge Trailer is here!
The video trailer for The Fiend and the Forge is finally ready - right before the book arrives in stores. Have a peek and share it with your friends on YouTube or Facebook. More coming soon!


Henry Neff - Fiend and the Forge - Book 3 of... by expandedbooks
Posted on Nov 21, 2010                         
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Meet the Smee!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing a fantasy series is the opportunity to create new characters and creatures. The smee is a one of my latest creations and readers will be meeting him in The Fiend and the Forge. Here's their description:

Harmless but incurably lazy, the smee is a master of mimicry. In their natural state, the smee is a yam-like, limbless creature with a mouth in its midsection. Incomparably vain, they may don various wigs, hairpieces, and even sparkly sequins to jazz up their plain and - let's be honest - somewhat revolting bodies. Their real talent, however, lies in their ability to shape shift. Smees can take almost any form and with such unparalleled skil [...]
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Posted on Nov 16, 2010                         
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The Fomorian

One of the more intriguing characters in the upcoming Fiend and the Forge is the Fomorian Giant. We've heard about him in the previous book, but you'll get a chance to see him up close and personal in the next book.

Things have been hectic lately as I've been working on website updates, a book trailer, a school visits schedule, and the next book. More updates coming soon on all fronts, but hopefully you're finding the blog a little easier to read. We've change the layout and made it a bit more user-friendly - personally, I used to find it a little irritating that it was almost impossible to read an entry without clicking. Hopefully, you'll find this a little easier.

We'll be making more changes soon, but be sure to check out the Character Guide, which has some of your favorit [...]
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Posted on Oct 25, 2010                         
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Character Guides, Book Trailers, and Fiend...Oh My!

Been a busy boy these past few weeks as I put Fiend to bed and embarked upon Book Four. These days, however, it's not enough for an author to simply write his books and hope they find an audience. An author has to promote them too, and that can take a variety of forms - anything from traditional book tours to school visits, websites, games, book trailers, blogging, etc.

This website is one of those initiatives and I'm happy to say that I'll be adding some new content soon. This will include a character guide so that visitors can see and learn about The Tapestry's major players (and some minor ones, too). Not all of The Tapestry editions are illustrated and thus many readers have never seen how I envis [...]
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Posted on Aug 12, 2010                         
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Meeting the Fomorian....

Here's a sketch of a drawing that will come later in the book.  In this sketch, I'm not really bothering with facial expressions and character details as much as I'm trying to capture an atmosphere and composition.  I keep the background loose and focused most of my efforts on the Giant as that's where the reader's attention will naturally fall....
Posted on Apr 23, 2010                         
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The Haglings!

Sketch of the Day: I'm working on plates these days (full page illustrations scattered throughout the book). Here's a little beauty - or eight of them. Haglings have arrived at Rowan. Not quite as cute and cuddly as they might initially appear, please note their little muzzles.... Regarding the sketch itself, I lik...e the overall composition, but have some things to work out with the lighting. Also, Mum's a little too "pretty"...

Posted on Apr 21, 2010                         
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