John Burroughs – Doing

Note: I’m experimenting a little with the post scheduling, so please bear with me while I try to figure out what works best.

Confucious - Stopping

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John Burroughs – Doing

Note: I’m experimenting a little with the post scheduling, so please bear with me while I try to figure out what works best.

John Burroughs - Somebodies

Author Spotlight – Assaph Mehr

Author Spotlight - Assaph Mehr

Introducing Assaph Mehr

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.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

G’day!
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.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

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.

Who is your intended readership?

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!

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

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.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

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!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

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.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

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.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

Family, martial arts (30 years of practicing various arts), reading, avoiding yard-work, dealing with invading Australian wildlife. You know – life.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

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.

In Numina

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

Buy Now: Paperback, E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find Assaph Mehr:

Website (Felix the Fox Mysteries), Twitter, Instagram, Blog, Facebook

Seattle News Headline Meets Urban Fantasy Author

Seattle News Headline Meets Urban Fantasy AuthorSometimes when you’re a writer, you come across a news article that you’re sure would fit right into one of your stories.

I setup Google Alerts this week, and asked it to produce alerts for articles, news and events in Seattle, Washington. And the top item on day one was something amazing…

From KIRO 7 came this headline:

Woman arrested after trying to break into Seattle family’s home through a dog door

My Thoughts…

  • This headline has story written all over it
  • As an urban fantasy writer, this sounds like something that would fit in my stories easily
  • Since I write about shapeshifters, I’m thinking I missed the boat when it came to drunk shapeshifters
  • I may well have myself a new character to feature at some point
  • It’s a shame this headline wasn’t about a guy caught doing the same thing, I could have used it as a promo for “The Lupine’s Call”

So… Who Was This Woman?

I didn’t see a lot of information about the would-be burglar, so that got my thoughts churning. And yeah, this is pretty much the order I wrote my notes down…

  • In the Seattle of the “Shadows Over Seattle” stories she would likely be a member of the Lupine breed of shapeshifters.
  • Since the supernatural creatures keep a low profile she’s probably an outsider to the city who’s visiting family.
  • She was probably drinking because of a loss in the family (the reason for her visit).
  • Having mistaken the house for her family member’s she’d tried to open the door but found she’d lost the key, or left it behind when she went out.
  • She’d tried under the doormat for a spare key, and couldn’t find one.
  • The dog door was her drunken solution to not wanting to wake sleeping family members.

And that’s how my brain works sometimes…

Unbelievable! – My Pinterest Followers Are 1500 Strong And Growing – Discover Why!

Unbelievable - My Pinterest Followers Are 1500 Strong And Growing - Discover WhyI’ve been running my Pinterest account for quite a while now, and I just passed 1,500 amazing followers. Here’s some quick stats on the site, before I give you a peak at what those followers are seeing…

  • 59 Boards, including writing advice, story prompts, wildlife pictures, codes, magic, quotes, writing research topics, my latest blog posts, and more
  • 187,300+ Monthly views, which if you consider things is a huge number for a small-time Pinterest user.
  • 28,100+ Individual pins
  • And now 1,500+ devoted followers, and growing by the day.

Here’s a sample of my top boards.

  • Birds of Prey (5,143+ pins, with 6 topics) – For those who know how much I love falconry, and getting up close with raptors, or love these amazing creatures themselves.
  • Writing Prompts (6,219+ pins) – Looking for a story starter, or something to kick-start a scene? This is where you want to be looking.
  • Big Cats (1,400+ pins, still being sorted into topics) – Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cougars… If they’re larger than a house cat, they’re here…
  • Bullet Journalling (1,910+ pins, with a whopping 29 topics) – If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve seen how I use my Bullet Journal to stay organized. This board covers everything from starting your own bullet journal to hacks that can help you really personalize it.
  • Character Creation (1,140+ pins, still being sorted into topics) – This covers character building, character descriptions, fashion notes, and even a collection of character ideas.

Readers Might Enjoy These Boards:

Fellow Writers Might Enjoy These Ones:

Not only will you learn something about me personally, but you’ll be getting an insight into the kinds of research that I do for my stories… Who knows, you might just find clues to an upcoming plotline…

Check out my Pinterest Boards Today!