Note: I’m experimenting a little with the post scheduling, so please bear with me while I try to figure out what works best.
Note: I’m experimenting a little with the post scheduling, so please bear with me while I try to figure out what works best.
Assaph has had his nose in a book since he was five, so it wasn’t surprising that he turned to writing. All those years reading on ancient Rome, sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries while practicing various martial arts, travelling the world, and working odd jobs lead to some interesting combinations in his stories.
I read voraciously and eclectically, but I grew up of classic Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I also read a lot of mysteries, and was joyous when I found the sub-genre of historical mysteries.
I always dreamt of seeing my name in print, but that seemed something for retirement. Until one day, rather randomly, that I started to write. And haven’t stopped.
Considering my reading tastes, I write what I want to read – a mash-up of Ancient Rome detective and Urban fantasy.
This is the second Story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic. It tells of Felix’s second big case, where he was hired by a rich landlord who found tenants are abandoning his apartment buildings, spouting tales of horrific events and whispering that the old gods – the numina – came alive and cursed the buildings.
Felix, dressed in a toga and armed with a dagger, is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Whenever there is a foul business of bad magic, he’s hired to sniff out the truth. Now he must separate fact from superstition – a hard task in a world where the old gods still roam the earth.
The stories are set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. They are the cases of a cynical, hard-boiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.
If you like Urban Fantasy such as Harry Dresden and are curious about historical settings, or – conversely – if you love works of Roman detectives such Lindsey Davis and Steven Saylor and are open to supernatural and fantasy elements – this is the book for you!
Pretty soon after starting reading, which was before the official age to get a library card. I did end up getting my very own library card, reading voraciously, borrowing my sister’s card so I can start reading the adult fantasy shelf, and reading even more.
I haven’t planned on being a writer, until – decades later – my wife said she ran out of things to read. So that evening I started writing a story that has been kicking around in the back of my head. Thus Murder In Absentia was born. By that point I was fairly certain I not only want to, but am, a writer.
I don’t think there’s enough space to list them all here…
On the Roman historical fiction side, probably Colleen McCullough, Steven Saylor and Lindsey Davis stand out. The last two also cover historical mystery novels, and I will only add the amazing Boris Akunin for his incredible Erast Fandorin series.
On the fantasy side too many to mention, from classics like JRR Tolkein and Fritz Leiber, to modern authors like Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett.
There are other historical fantasy detectives out there too… I’ll mention Barry Hughart, with Bridge of Birds – one of my all-time favourite books!
If you want to write, write.
Unless you park your ass in a chair and put words on a page, you won’t get anywhere.
If you want to write well, read.
Read voraciously, in and out of your genres. Read anything that catches your fancy (and thing why). Read about writing. And then go and write.
If you want to publish, persevere.
If you’re going the trad route, it takes a lot of submissions, a lot of rejections, and a lot of time. So take a deep breath, keep writing, and keep submitting.
If you’re going indie, do it properly. Get yourself proper editors, proper cover designers, and proper book producers. Play to your strength, and pay for professionals to cover gaps.
My wife is too scared to read my books, so she reads them only during daylight hours.
Also, Felix (my cat) is responsible for Felix (my protagonist). Because he walked into the room and sat behind my computer when I was thinking what to name him.
Family, martial arts (30 years of practicing various arts), reading, avoiding yard-work, dealing with invading Australian wildlife. You know – life.
Currently writing a novella in the Stories of Togas, Daggers, and Magic series, and then it’s on to the third full-length book! Titled In Victrix, the novel sends Felix into the lives of gladiators and women in the republic.
This is the second story of Togas, daggers, and Magic – for lovers of Ancient Rome, Hardboiled detectives, and Urban Fantasy.
A rich landlord finds tenants are abandoning his apartment buildings, spouting tales of horrific events and whispering that the old gods – the numina – came alive and cursed the buildings.
Enter Felix, a professional fox. Dressed in a toga and armed with a dagger, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Whenever there is a foul business of bad magic, Felix is hired to sniff out the truth. Now he must separate fact from superstition – a hard task in a world where the old gods still roam the earth.
In Numina is set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.
Praise for the Stories of Togas, Daggers, and Magic series:
“Mehr creates a vivid cast and an equally vivid setting in which magic just seems to fit in perfectly.”
— Richard Knaak, NYT best-selling fantasy author of Legends of Huma
“Mehr’s imagined world based on ancient Rome feels at once familiar and dreamlike.”
— Ruth Downie, NYT best-selling author of the acclaimed Medicus series of Roman mysteries
Ed Ireland was born in Philadelphia in 1954. In January of 1955, the hospital he was born in was torn down. Presumably, they didn’t want anything like that happening ever again.
In 1972 he joined the military where his wanderlust surfaced. He has called many places home while on his way to his current place in Miami. He claims his penchant for wandering is now at an end here in the shadows of Hemingway.
On the personal side of his life, he is a rabid Philadelphia Eagles fan, a self-confessed video game addict and a proud supporter of wildlife issues.
Well, I’m the very proud father of 2. I enjoy gardening, cooking, and photography. I despise writing, but you know, the voices won’t let it rest. I wish I could say I was one of those precocious child writers who pushed their first novel at 4, but it just ain’t so.
I didn’t start writing until much later. About 40 years later. The voices were polite then…now they’re just demanding. I’ve asked for a divorce but they say no.
Anyway, I mentioned that I am involved in animal rights, and I am. I wish I could open my home to any and all animals that need help, but that’s what they call a zoo and you need special permits and stuff. And way more room than I currently have. So I work primarily with one group of animals, wolves.
Wolves suffer relentlessly. They are persecuted by those who just can’t or won’t understand them. I try to educate and a portion of my sales goes to a wonderful lady on Long Island who sends mine and the thousands of other donations to wolf sanctuaries across the nation. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure Tim doesn’t have enough web space for me to go on anymore.
My book is entitled “The Last Ranger of Sarn”, but it’s not quite my latest. Last Ranger was previously released by a new publishing company that promised the world and delivered a small dog park instead. But, I have taken it back, re-edited line-by-line, added a bit of new content, and recovered it.
It’s a classic epic fantasy with clear-cut villains and heroes. It follows the MC, Vespias from birth. I show her as a real person who has a typical child’s life. Then, an event changes her. Her story begins to take a dark turn, but with help and love from her family, she takes her lessons from the dark and moves on to a better time.
A better time that’s not to be had unfortunately. Hers is a story about normal, average people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. A person either rises to meet the challenge or doesn’t. But just because that ordinary person rises, it’s not a guarantee of winning.
My fellow geeks of course. I’m practical about it. I don’t expect my book will find its way into the boardroom of Chrysler or the pulpit of Saint Rita’s church. But, if you like adventure, if you like action, if you like romance, horror, and/or philosophy, then you’re my target audience.
My book isn’t YA, not that I even know what the hell that is anymore. It’s got mature moments. It has some adult language. It also has a good story behind it. It introduces characters that I’ve nurtured for years and presents them in a way designed to make you care about what happens.
This is the start of a series, so I need readers who are willing to become friends with my people. I can promise, they won’t let you down.
I still don’t want to be a writer. Writers do stuff. They walk around in fancy “smoking jackets” while they puff on pipes. They drink brandy. They have Irish Wolfhounds.
I quit smoking, my best jacket is in storage since it never gets cold enough to wear it here, and I have a Saint Bernard and a Pit-mix. My dogs aren’t regal, they’re goofy.
My problem is these stories that keep popping in my brain. Sometimes I can will them off, but other times…they are as persistent as a crack-head who saw a dollar bill in your hand. To make matters worse, and Tim can back me up on this, I have an old Cuban lady named Marisol as my muse. She just keeps pushing and pushing…
My inspiration was the first writer I ever read, J.R.R. Tolkien. I think that having him as inspiration is about the only thing I’ve done right. I also very much enjoy reading Gregory Maguire. Now, if you don’t know who he is, just avoid the dirty looks Marisol and I are giving and listen.
He wrote Wicked. Not the popular yet silly Broadway musical, but the book Wicked, The Life and Times of the Witch of the West. It’s a dark, political look at Oz before Dorothy arrived and started killing people. In that first book he taught me this; every tale has two sides to it. I try to incorporate that into my books. Yes, one side may be good and the other evil, but there can also be similarities to each other. Or sometimes, maybe good is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Stay with it! They say you don’t really get good until you’ve written a million words. I don’t know what my excuse is, but I know I refuse to give up. Don’t begin with the idea of becoming an international darling before you’ve even finished your first work. In my case, I write because I need to get these stories out.
Do I want to be on the NY Times Best Seller List? Of course, but if just one person buys my book and lets me know they liked it, then I’ve done my part.
No. Nothing amusing ever happens to me. Ever. Well OK, sometimes. Like when we went to go buy a puppy. We went with the plan of getting a Chihuahua or a Dachshund. We looked at them both and just out of curiosity, my wife wanted to see the “cute, little fuzzball Saint Bernard pup”. She was adorable, performing all the requisite puppy tricks to steal your heart.
Now mind you, I wanted a dog I could walk around the mall with. You know, while wearing a fancy smoking jacket and puffing on my pipe. Instead, I have this gigantic beast…she’s just under 7 months old and already tipping the scales at 80 lbs…who could drag me around the mall with little effort.
I know, what a madcap life I live.
My Philadelphia Eagles. I’ve suffered with this team all my life and they finally gave me a Super Bowl win! Dilly dilly!!!!
I’m also on the threshold of another life first achievement, buying a home. Once established in said home, I can start up that garden for real, instead of a few potted plants. I’ve already got the plans for all the veggies, blackberry and raspberry bushes and banana trees ready to go. And what goes hand in hand with all this fresh, healthy stuff?
Cooking. I love to cook. So much so that I’m also planning a cookbook with my Grandmother’s old recipes. But, I also have my vices. I spend too much time on video games. I’m addicted. But, it could be worse I guess.
Next up is a complete edit to the 2nd book in the series, “Blood Moon Sacrifice”. The third book is already underway, and then there’s the cookbook. Marisol has been kind enough to keep throwing plots at me so who knows which one she’ll pick to antagonize me with.
Castia is shrouded in hate. Darkness advances in the wave of undead that sweep across it. Undeath it seems, comes in many forms. The slow, shambling, unspeaking horror that makes the living run. However, it has other faces.
Faces of friends and neighbors. Faces of children and elders. Faces of loved ones.
Extraordinary times call for heroes, but who are they? They can take on their own faces, like war-hardened generals, mystics and wizards, or the bravest of soldiers. Heroes are those special enough to stand in the face of death and smile. There are other heroes as well.
Heroes that call on love and hope to help them stand and face the terror. The unassuming butcher or blacksmith who fights to keep his or her family alive. Sometimes, it is a young girl, thrilled to plan for her wedding. A wedding that will have to wait until the undead are no more. It may be that the most unlikely of heroes come from the most unlikely of places.
This is the story of one such hero. Vespias never wanted the war to turn its ugly head towards her lands. It came nonetheless. She is the last person who should fight, but without her knowing, life has prepared her for these moments. It has secretly forged a hero from the mundane and ordinary. A hero that might just win the war and return her world to normal.
The Last Ranger of Sarn brings you into Vespias’ world. It tells her story and holds nothing back. These journals of hers compliment the story, showing what she felt at the time. They appear throughout giving the reader a glimpse into her mind. A glimpse into what it takes to be a hero. A glimpse into what heroics cost and a sense of wonder if the cost was worth the end.
Lori Drake writes from her home office and assorted coffee shops around Austin, Texas. When not busily writing or editing, she enjoys reading, video gaming, fiber arts, and playing with kittens. These are all mutually exclusive activities, no matter what the kittens would have you believe.
I’m a red-headed scorpio, so my mom had her hands full when I was a kid. Writing has always been a part of my life, though I went long periods where I didn’t write anything. I wrote my first novel in 2008, and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back and edit it for publication, but I’m still rather fond of the story.
I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and two full grown cats that we still think of as kittens. My husband calls them “kittens-not-kittens.”
I have no children, so my books are my legacy. Think about that the next time you dog-ear a page. Just kidding! Buy the books, and do whatever you want with them. But definitely read them. I do recommend that.
I just released the third book in my Grant Wolves series, Grave Threat. It’s my favorite of the series so far, and it really challenges Joey–the female protagonist–to step up to the plate while her Alpha is out of commission. Joey is such an interesting character. She’s not your average smart-mouthed urban fantasy heroine. She has a lot of attitude, but she’s still figuring out how to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. In book one, we found out that she was sheltered for most of her life, not even trained in fighting the way her older siblings were. Since then, she’s grown into an “heir apparent” role, but she’s never been truly tested until now. It’s a trial by fire, and she learns a lot of lessons about how hard it is to make those tough calls she’s always been so quick to criticize in the past.
My readers are those misfits that love a good werewolf story that doesn’t revolve around an alpha looking for a mate. They don’t mind profanity, and enjoy a diverse cast of characters. (While my protagonists are straight–as far as I know, anyway–there are gay & bi supporting characters.)
I’m not sure! It was never a big dream of mine. Writing was always something I enjoyed doing, but I wasn’t able to see myself doing it professionally for a long time. I always worried that if I did it for a job, I wouldn’t love it as much. It wasn’t until 2017, when I was preparing to launch my first book, that I thought, “You know what? I can do this.” I haven’t looked back.
Music inspires me. I’m always listening to music while I write, and I make playlists for all of my books while I’m writing them. I fill them with songs that remind me of characters, scenes, or themes from the book. Once the book is released, I like to share those playlists in my newsletter. I like the idea of people listening to them while they read.
Don’t be afraid to share your work with someone. Write in a vacuum, but don’t edit in one. My writing grew in leaps and bounds when I joined a critique group, and it also helped to boost my confidence.
My best friend is terrified of werewolves. Seriously, she won’t read books about them or watch movies featuring them because the whole messy in-between of bones cracking and human faces growing snouts just wigs her the hell out. I purposefully designed my werewolves as creatures whose transformation was magical rather than physical. There are no snapping bones, contortions, or half-man, half-wolf forms. The air shimmers, and poof! That human is now a wolf. Finally, a werewolf story she can handle.
I dedicated my first book to her. She cried when she found out.
Hm, what to mention that isn’t in my bio… tea! I love tea, especially loose leaf tea. The coffee shop where I frequently write won me over with their wide assortment of loose leaf teas. I prefer black over herbal, and nothing too fruity.
I’m also a bit of a weather geek. I took a few meteorology classes in college and I find it completely fascinating. I’d like to go storm chasing one day, and I don’t care what anyone says… Twister is a great movie. (Rabbit is good, Rabbit is wise.)
I also volunteer with my local animal shelter as a foster mom during kitten season, because KITTENS. Need I say more?
Okay, just between you and me… I’m currently working on a spin-off featuring a popular side character from the Grant Wolves series. The only hint I will give is: He’s not a wolf.
I guess that was two hints.
Mind control is a terrible thing to waste.
Joey and Chris are finally settling into something remotely resembling normal in their new hometown. It’s great, aside from being in separate packs.
But when Joey’s Alpha is kidnapped, it’s all wolves on deck, and what begins as a ride to the rescue devolves into the road trip from hell. The situation only gets worse when Chris, too, is taken.
Now Joey is left seeking allies in unfamiliar territory while the captives fight for their free will as well as their freedom. Can Joey reclaim her loved ones before they’re lost to her forever?
Grave Threat is the action-packed third installment of the gripping Grant Wolves series. If you like strong women, powerful magic, high stakes, and underdog tales, this is the book for you!
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