Brandon King

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Author Profile

Brandon  King

Brandon King is an award-winning author living in SW Idaho, not far from epic rock formations that find their way into his stories. While his stories are straight-up fantasy he, like favorite authors J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, infuses his novels with allegory for perceptive readers. He intends The Gargoyle Chronicles to be a seven book series. With Books 1 and 2 published, and Books 3-5 nearing completion, his fans have many characters—human and otherwise—to love. Or fear.

Books

The Quest for the Temple Key

Science Fiction & Fantasy

A young girl. A diabolical gargoyle. A sacrifice to save the world. A smart young girl is unwillingly thrust into a frantic quest to save mysterious people and bizarre creatures from a deadly foe, determined to destroy everything--and everyone--she cares about. Thirteen-year-old Danielle had never thought of herself as adventurous until, alone, she must face two enormous gargoyles, Ercen and Kimar, and decide whether she trusts them. Was she kidnapped--as all the evidence indicates--or rescued from doom, like they say? Can she believe their assertion that she has a power to save the entire world from a diabolical gargoyle and his minions? How can a simple girl break the monstrous power of the key to the enemy's ghastly temple, crafted from the very soul of a broken, elderly woman? Danielle's epic journey will captivate readers as she confronts powerful threats, and finds perplexing friends along her dangerous path. With the help of a gargoyle names Lohxnahr, Danielle struggles against forces beyond her worst terrors. She must dig deep to find enough courage and resilience to challenge the rogue gargoyle commander of the renegade army, bent on seizing control of the human race. Full of wonder, suspense and adventure, this novel is a fun, page-turning fantasy that also asks serious questions about the true meaning of love, faith and friendship.

Book Bubbles from The Quest for the Temple Key

A Gathering of Two

The fantasy stories I most enjoyed growing up (and still do) not only have great adventure elements, they also include moments of whimsy. Something I didn't expect, but could not help but smile at. In this scene, we meet a new gargoyle character that is very different than the others we've met in Book 1. He's clearly different in size, but his speech pattern is unlike anything Danielle (our protagonist) has encountered. My daughter loves this scene still, many years after first reading the draft. I hope you like it, too. #fantasy #gatherings #partyoftwo #adventure #crucialconversations #whimsy

Between the Rock and the Hard Place

Already deep inside a mountain littered with a maze of tunnels, the kids found themselves literally between rock and a hard place. Definitely hard to understand. Would it prove to be hard to retreat from? They could only discover that by investigating it. #fantasy #adventure #epic #betweenarockandahardplace #toughdecisions

A Community Within A Community

As I started The Gargoyle Chronicles, a key focus was to explore how community works. Even looking at how you can have a community within a community. In this scene, we begin to discover how cousins can be best friends, even when they're sweet on the same girl. And how her parents often function as surrogate parents to the boys. #truefamily #community #fantasy #epicadventure #friendsarewhereyoufindthem

Travel Plans

Growing up on fantasy and science fiction, I've always enjoyed not only the exotic and weird places the characters travel to, but also the manner in which they get there. In the first book in The Gargoyle Chronicles, my primary focus was on the manner in which gargoyles get from one place to another. Wouldn't it be great to make travel plans this way? #fantasy #travelplans #gargoyles #epicadventure

Back From the Brink

As a reader of fantasy for, well, a long, long time, the most believable stories for me made it clear that when the characters I cared about made it through the most desperate threats they wouldn't be the same. Indeed, they could not be the same. Not after what they'd gone through. Either they've grown--or lost--something during their quest. Probably both. This scene near the crescendo in Book One, we see hints of how at least one member of the group will never be the same, now at the edge of the brink. I hope you enjoy this bubble. #fantasy #protagonist #thebrink #comeback

Promises, Promises

In this scene, Kimar makes several promises to his friends. Some are full of hope. Some drip with foreboding. All of them come true. Because Kimar keeps his promises. My promise to my readers is that they'll get a cracking good story, full of adventure, faith and friendship. Enjoy! #promises #fantasy #foreboding #YA #epic

Dangerous Times

I recently read that most people believe we live in incredibly dangerous times and that we all desperately need a hero. The writer argued that's why a certain movie series is so wildly successful. Maybe they're right (about the movie series). As for me and my house, we believe people need a hero regardless of what's happening in the world. In fact, we're born with the need for a hero. That's why, even as young children, we love hero stories. In my novels, I put each of my main characters into the role of a hero, at some point. Often, they fail. But they do act bravely, and that counts for a lot. #brave #hero #fantasy #gargoyles #dangerous

Idling Time Away

As I've developed my "creature characters" in my gargoyle series, I'm always trying to show them "doing what gargoyles do." Since I generally don't know what they "do", I'm the first one surprised when a scene like this one pops into my head. The chances are, though, that if you've ever been camping in the woods you will have seen someone doing what Kimar does. Maybe you've been that someone. Except you used a knife. Enjoy! #fantasy #gargoyles #whittling #kindlingstarter

The Triple Hook

When I sat down to begin writing this novel (my first), the only person I was writing for was my daughter (about 15). At about that age, I had a paper route. Not many of my YA readers interact with newspapers, if they even know what they are. So, I thought that could be a good hook. But I wanted something more to kick off mysterious intrigue. Remembering how anxious I was when delivering a paper to some homes, that was my next focus: create a creepy house. The final piece came when the word "portico" popped into my head. A creepy house with a portico...the last house on Danielle's paper delivery route. Yep, that works. Enjoy! #fantasy #bookhook

A Mystery-Wrapped Conundrum

Most of the time...maybe all of the time...the best we can do is move forward, hoping for a good outcome. We make our plans, and then life happens. Once in a while, life coincides with our plans. Most of the time, it doesn't. And when our plans fail, it's time to go with your gut. That's what Freida is doing in this scene. Enjoy! #girlpower #grit #guts #keepmovingforward #fantasy

What Is Now Uncommon Valor?

In my worklife, I've encountered toxic masculinity more than I have valor. In fact, I was unfortunate enough to be the principal reporter that resulted in a life sentence for a horrifically toxic male. Still, I reject the notion that somehow all males are toxic when they are being brave. In my stories, most of the males are brave. But, indeed, all of the females are. Gender isn't what defines toxicity, behavior is. Males can be toxic. So can females. Daring to face down a determined foe is masculinity ...and femininity ...at its best. #valor #daring #donotdarenottodare

In It To Win It...Together

In a culture that seems to have lost its collective mind celebrating how different we are, my goal is to write stories that show very different groups working together for a common goal. In other words, I write to show how unified we can be. So, here we have humans from two eras and very different walks of life, working with dangerous gargoyles whose help they must have...to rescue an abducted teenage girl...with the help of her dog, who won't be left behind. Boys, girls, parents, gargoyles and a canine. That's something worth celebrating, at least to me. #one #together #alotincommon #love

Normality In The Midst of Chaos

You, like me, love great fantasy stories that include lots of chaos, danger, plot twists and cliff hangers. But back when I was a young reader, it took me a long time to recognize the reason that the exciting stuff worked so well was because there was some normality baked into the story... characters just doing life. That's why I work hard at baking scenes about normal living into my stories. Since you are probably one of many people in the middle of a severe cold snap, here's a scene that includes warm pancakes on a cold morning. Enjoy! #weather #PolarVortex2019 #warmpancakes

Why Gargoyles?

If you've followed me for a bit, you know by now that I wrote this story for an audience of one. My daughter was a teenager with a desire to read great fantasy books that didn't revolve around zombies or vampires. I'd had a fantasy story in my head for decades, but didn't have a sense of what creatures would be in it. So, quite randomly, I chose gargoyles as the primary creature in my fantasy series. This scene is where two important protagonists are introduced. It was a lot of fun to write, and my daughter fell in love with them. Two wins!

Need To Regroup

I enjoy writing fantasy. As a pantser, I'm the first person to be surprised by a scene or a witty bit of dialogue. This scene is one of those moments where I had no clue where the story was going, but as I typed...there it was! That doesn't mean, of course, that its always smooth sailing. After this story was first published, it soon became clear that everything about the cover needed to change: the title, the image, and even my name (this is when I switched to my pseudonym, Brandon King). So, just like and Paign and his friends, I had to regroup in a big, courageous, and determined way. I hope you enjoy this scene. BE BOLD. BE COURAGEOUS. #resolutions #grit #fantasy

Warmth and Wonder

Chances are high that you will be traveling during the holidays, if you're not already. My wish is that your journey is safe, your visits pleasant, your food is warm, your gratitude deep, your love widens...and that you don't care if things are messy when you return home. Be like Anders and Paign. #safetravel #merrychristmas #family #friends #gratitude

Courage and Oranges

Some people think that courage is a characteristic of only the bravest person, someone who is utterly fearless. But courage isn't fearless. Being courageous is choosing to act from a place beyond our fear. Think of courage like an orange. An orange's tough outer surface protects the delicate fruit inside. Without the outer portion, the fruit wouldn't last. In a way, when people take a deep breath and confront whatever frightens them, they are forming a tough surface out of the desperate need for protection, of themselves or someone else. Courage is to humans what a rind is to an orange. Courage is a shield.

The Best Heroes

I've always loved stories that reveal heroic actions that come from characters "doing their best." They didn't view themselves as a hero. They simply did what came naturally to them, and their focus wasn't on themselves. Heroic actions are always taken for the benefit of someone or something else. And the best heroes are just like you and me; they're normal. Nothing particularly special about them. Yet, because of their love for another, they do something amazing...something heroic...for someone else. That's what I'm thinking about as I write scenes for my characters. It's love and care that turns them into heroes. And if they can be heroes, so can we.

Musical Writing

Some writers seek stillness while they write. Others love hanging out in busy coffee joints, with a lot of background noise and distractions. I prefer to have music playing while I write, most often with no lyrics. When I wrote this scene a song I'd never heard from streamed onto Pandora. It's called "Snow Over Arizona," by the Stone Lions. The song became an instant favorite and actually inspired the entire chase sequence. I love this song and will always be grateful for it in forming one of my readers' favorite fight scenes. Thank you, Stone Lions!

Uninvited "Guests"

Isn't it strange that in this age of "social platforms" dedicated to bringing people together, most people feel less connected and more isolated? When writing this story, it was important to me that I show how friends--real friends--can be found in the strangest places. Even more important was showing what real friendship looks like...and what it costs. Real friendships often begin like an uninvited guest. But eventually they become a priceless treasure.

Strong Examples

Because I wrote this novel with only an audience of one in mind (my daughter), I wanted to show her, with strong examples, what deep parental love can (and should) look like. In this scene it was easy for me to tap into how my wife and I would be acting if our daughter was abducted. So, even in a fantasy novel, I was unintentionally following the famous rule: "Write what you know."

No Storm Is Chosen

Alas, we are in the season of epic storms. Hurricanes are appalling even when they're "small" Category One storms. No one asks to be in their path, yet they come. Because I love to write adventure-driven fantasy I'll often weave roaring weather into the plotline. Still, the worst storms my characters face do not come from the random vagaries of barometric pressure swings. They come from methodically crafted and executed schemes.

Desperate Actions

How do handle stress? Have you ever had a time when you had to deal with something so frightening that the hit of adrenaline makes your body feel odd, like it does not work right? In writer's parlance, your writing improves the more you "show, don't tell." In other words, try to get your reader to feel like they're in the character's shoes. That's always my aim. So, when my characters face their worst fears, my goal is that you get a small hit of the adrenaline my characters are feeling.

Camping Surprises

One of the things I enjoy the most about camping are the surprises that come in the morning. Most of us are daily cocooned in our house, then our cars and finally another building (work or school), so we don't experience much of "The Great Outdoors." Camping changes all that. The smells of morning greet you: cool, fragrant air, scented by grasses, bushes, flowers and even trees. And the colors of the morning, unfiltered by glass or windshields, can be wondrous. Danielle discovered this on an unscheduled overnight stay in the high mountains.

A Parent's Worst Nightmare

Parents rightfully fear for their children's safety. Because they know that there really are monsters out there. But nothing could have prepared Freida's parents for the horror of their daughter's abduction by a real monster. Now fear could become their greatest enemy.

Getting Real...Bad Guys

Character development can be a tricky thing. How much detail is actually too much? I suppose that's decided in the mind of the reader. There are a few fantasy novels I've read that frankly killed my interest in finishing them because of the massive detail injected into the story, like a cream filling gone wrong. My goal is to keep the story interesting and compelling...and easy to visualize, as if it's on a movie screen in my head. Although Gahrspat is a truly frightening bad guy, I love this scene.

With Great Power

It's funny how stories I grew up with influence the stories I write. When I wrote this passage I wasn't particularly thinking about the conversation Peter Parker had with his uncle, but it's in there. "With great power... comes great responsibility." And, more often than not, great suffering comes with the actions of responsibility.

Let's Not Panic!

A new teen brings a new world of challenges to her parents. Not the least is letting up on their impulse to protect. But like all good parents do, Danielle's parents still wondered, "Is she ready to handle the responsibility of looking out for herself?" Their worry was about to be severely tested.

The Cave of Parting

Bearing grudges is a common human experience. But it never ends well, especially for the grudge-bearer. Can you imagine holding a grudge for hundreds of years? What would the result of that kind of hatred look like?

Strong Parents

The world is changing. But change isn't always positive. As adults, we sometimes forget that kids don't want or need their parents or guardians to be their friends. They need them to be strong adults: reliable, caring, predictable and nurturing. So when I wrote The Quest for the Temple Key, my goal was to include strong parents, just like strong boys and girls. Not that they'd be superheroes. But that they'd rise to the challenges life throws at them. Often they fail. But they always stand up for what they believe in. See who you relate to in this excerpt and please consider reading The Quest for the Temple Key. #strongparents

Strong Boys

Everyone loves a hero. But have you noticed that it's often the quiet person who unexpectedly rises to face the danger? There's something greater than fear that drives them. It might be curiosity. It might be an overwhelming desire to see justice done. But more often than not, they simply wish to protect those they love. Anders is strong like that, though he doesn't see himself that way. That's why he's a hero in the making. He thinks of others first.

Strong Girls

I wrote this novel with an audience of one: my daughter. She was a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, as well as The Chronicles of Narnia. So Hermione and Lucy were characters she was attracted to. But I wanted her to be able to identify strongly with girls more like her. That's why the protagonist in The Gargoyle Chronicles is Danielle, because she is modeled after my daughter. It worked so well that she wrote a novel of her own with...you guessed it...a strong female protagonist. Girls that face their fears. Girls that are compassionate in the face of unkindness. #stronggirls #amazingdaughters

Not What It Seemed

Not all heirlooms are welcome. Not all discoveries are good. And not all keys open doors you want to go through.

Hunter? Or hunted?

What would you do if faced with confusing information and frightening prospects? When dealing with difficult choices, are you the kind of person who goes with your gut, or do you need to seek all the data possible before making a decision? Most importantly, if you're with a small group of threatened people, either someone needs to take charge or the group must come to an agreement. But time is against you all. Waiting to make a decision is still a decision. But it could spell doom.

Be careful what you ask for

When I began writing this first chapter (in my first novel), my goal was to create a world--and a girl--that my teenage daughter could relate to. A regular girl. A normal girl. Nothing special about her. Nothing glittering. No vampires. No zombies. Since she was (and is) a hardcore fan of Harry, Hermione and Ron, plus the Pevensie kids and Aslan, it was important to kick the novel off with someone very relatable to her, but also humming with mystery and the promise of epic fantasy adventures. It worked! She loved it. Which required that I write a second chapter. Then a third. Now I’m working on the 5th novel in the series. Cooler still, seeing her dad dare to write a novel inspired her to write her own. She was 17 when it was published. Now, she’s editing the 2nd in her fantasy series.

The Discovery

You know those dreams you wish you could remember when you wake up? How about the ones you wish you could forget? Or the worst ones--those you can't seem to get out of? Those kind of dreams can take more than one shape.

Fierce Friends

When you're leaving childhood to enter the realm of the teenager, it's always good to have at least one close friend. Even when they're a pain most of the time.

Bewildered

Have you ever discovered something that bent your understanding of "how things should be"? How about discovering something that can't be explained? And what if the best theory that can be made changes the world as you know it?

The portico

Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? Then, you spin around and you see no one. Danielle was so excited going around her neighborhood, collecting her paper route money. But in her haste to get done, she went to the wrong house. Only when she knocked on the door did she realize it was the creepy abandoned house she and her friends avoided. By then, it was too late.

All His Wrath

Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Menace Returns. Friends Are Threatened. Trust Is Challenged. A year older and cleverer, Danielle distrusts the growing sense of dread that haunts her. She knows nothing of what hunts her friends. They know nothing of her foreboding. Soon they are all thrust back together in a relentless series of hunting or being hunted by an unholy foe, a mutant possessing horrifying powers and schemes. Or is there more than one? All His Wrath is a fast-paced story layered with complex twists and revelations. The adventures of Danielle and her friends take them deeper into the fantastical gargoyle kingdom than they would have ever chosen to go.

Book Bubbles from All His Wrath

Terrible Gatherings

If you've read any of my stories, you probably figured out that I'm a "dog guy." That's why I incorporate dogs into my stories. One small goal of mine is to show readers that are unfamiliar with--or even scared of--dogs, just how important they are in the lives of those who love them. In this scene, we see a gathering of warriors doing what they do best: visiting war upon each other. But we also see an unexpected warrior acting in an utterly brave and selfless manner. I hope you enjoy this #bookbubble. #fantasy #gatherings #epicbattles #dogs #weekendreadermarathon

Difficult Conversations

Being understood is a universal human need. Achieving it is not a certainty, however. For scenes heavy with dialogue, my goal is to capture the reality that it takes work to understand...and be understood. It also requires patience, determination and respect. I hope you enjoy this book bubble. #fantasy #hardchoices #toughdecisions #communication #staywithit #weekendreadermarathon

A Community of Care

It matters little that you can access a community of like-minded thinkers. They'll give you a false sense of security. However, having a small group of thoughtful and caring helpers? That's what true community is about. And if your community is comprised of brave and resourceful friends, that's even better. #realfriends #community #fantasy #epicadventure #writing

In-Between Places

"Are we there, yet?" The question parents cringe at, and the one every child asks at some point. The question always comes before reaching the destination, somewhere between the start of the trip and the end. In this scene, I introduce the idea that in-between is actually a destination to be sought out because of the insights it can bring. #fantasy #travel #strongemotions #clarity #itsnotaboutangeritsaboutfear

Fume and Flame

I've always loved a great comeback story, especially when the odds of achieving a comeback look terribly unlikely. When I wrote this chapter in Book Two, it flowed out of my fingers nearly as fast as I can type. It's important to me to create scenes that the reader can easily "see" and, better yet, see themselves in as if they're right next to their favorite characters. My hope is that happens for you in this book bubble! #fantasy #comeback #epicadventure #writing

Promises Unstated

The antagonist in this novel is the leader of the renegade gargoyles, those bent on subjugating the human race. Kahrnahrgx (pronounced car-narx) delivers an unstated promise to one of his soldiers. A moment later, one of his generals delivers an unstated promise to his master, Lord Kahrnahrgx. Not all promises require the word to be said. #promises #fantasy #darktimes #epic

Hopeless and Alone?

Rather than employ gratuitous violence in my novels, my goal is to convey just enough information for the reader to fill in the rest. That's the writing style I enjoy the most, starting back in my "YA" years. I want the reader, as much as possible, to step into the life of each character so they feel and see the world through the other's eyes. At the same time, though, I often inject a bit of humor. This helps keep the story moving along by not getting overly dark. Still, I want my antagonists to be believable...and frightening. I hope you enjoy this book bubble! #fantasy #badguys #neverhopeless #neveralone #gargoyles

The Perils of Breakfast?

I enjoy writing scenes that capture "normal" moments in the lives of my characters because it makes them relatable. Readers can easily identify with "normal" characters. And the more they identify with them, the more surprising--or even delightful--it is when characters do something out of the ordinary. The bottom line is that you root for characters you care about. When you relate to them, you care about them. Especially when those characters are thrust into a terribly abnormal situation. That comes right after this scene. #morningcoffee #gymnasticsathome #dogsrock #fantasy

Introducing a New Character

Adding a new character to my second novel required an early hook. Because we're a family of dog lovers, this was both fun and easy to do. But there still needed to be a solid hook for the reader. The Wheelen's dog, Anja, instantly becomes a crucial member of the family because she hears and sees things the human members of her family can't. Plus, there are moments in the storyline when Anja's sense of smell (dogs sense of smell is roughly 40 times stronger than humans) literally saves them from disaster. I hope you enjoy this book bubble! #fantasy #bookhook #dogs

Words Have Power, For Good Or Ill

One of the most important goals I have as a YA fantasy author is to express emotions in a manner that young people can identify with. When I was that age I felt plenty of strong emotions, but could barely identify any of them correctly. It's not as if young people have improved at this imperative skill set. Frankly, neither have adults. #transparency #emotions #fantasy #theperilsofgettingitwrong

Gargoyle Politics

In an age of tribal politics in the human realm, it's fun to explore what that would look like in the fantasy realm. In this scene, we see the supreme commander of the opposition trying to discern the minds of his most trusted advisors. And it doesn't seem to be going much better than it does on an average day in Congress. I hope you enjoy this quick peek into gargoyle politics. #politics #tribal #classwarfare #fantasy #badguys

Interactions That Matter

Did you know there may be as many as 27 distinct human emotions? One of the things I'm intentional about exploring in my stories are emotions. My favorite stories are the ones where I most strongly identify with a character's emotions. I suspect that you, like me, react in a similar way. When writing this scene, I was surprised when Anders, feeling alone and downcast, is comforted by his gargoyle friends. I hope you love this bubble. #friendship #compassion #one [NOTE: we're working on a fix to how this books displays. When Anders is thinking, the text should be italicized.]

Freezing But Not Cold

Think about all those old police shows where the good guy yells at the bad guy, "Freeze!" Of course, the bad guy never does. Or if they do, it's only long enough to try to defeat the good guy. Well, sometimes people will freeze without cold temperatures getting involved. In this scene, Paign "freezes" so as not to aggravate his captor. Because if he does so, the life of his mother is at risk. Freezing from cold is terrible. I've been in 50 below (not including the windchill); it was brutal. But freezing when cold is nowhere near is worse, far worse. #PolarVortex2019 #weather #freezinghot

Why Parents?

It's tough to be a kid these days. There are so many streams of worldviews coming at them, constantly, that it's far too easy for them to feel disconnected to the world around them. And too many of them could use an extra caring adult in their lives. That's why I include "grownups" in my stories. I love The Chronicles of Narnia, in part, because Lewis mashed up 2-3 generations into his plotlines. Kids need mature adults to guide them along. If they don't have access to them at home, maybe my grownup characters (some of the, anyway) can be a beacon for them, if even in a small way. [Apologies that italics are missing in the formatting of this section, for some reason.]

Some Days Are Harder Than Others

Did you know that ~80% of the human face feels like they have a book inside of them that needs writing, but only ~1% of us write that book? One reason for that huge gap is that writing is hard work. And once you write your story, then you discover a load of other challenges. Some days are harder than others. I'm sharing this scene with you because I like it. BUT I'M FRUSTRATED that after all the work that went into publishing it, none of the formatting came along for the ride. So, you'll need to sort out when Peter is thinking to himself, because the italicized text that instantly gives you a clue...isn't there. *sigh* #publishingproblems #writing #persistence #grit

Family and Friends

As we head into Christmas week, are you excited to spend time with friends and family? For me, growing up was a special time full of seasonal events. Most of those I recall with warmth and gratitude. I hope that's true for you. In this scene from All His Wrath, we catch up with the Wheelens (who are remarkably similar to my own family). They've just discovered that something very magical had lain secret within their home. #happyholidays #merrychristmas #family #magical

Grit and Fury

When I was a teenager, my favorite stories were full of characters rising to face the challenges they were forced to contend with. I'd thrill to vicariously meet their challenge, hoping that I could bring those characters' daring into my real world. In other words, if they could overcome in a make-believe world, perhaps I could overcome, too. Our ancient ancestors relied on sharing timeless truths through spoken stories. Truths like bravery, loyalty and faithfulness. My goal is to do that, at least a little, using written stories.

Stuck in a Bad Dream

If you've ever had a terrible fever (say, 103-104 degrees) for any length of time, you feel absolutely wretched. There are the aches and pain, so bad that it's hard to even want to move. Actual moving instantly brings regret. Then there's the difficulty of focusing on anything, so you'd just rather keep your eyes shut. Everything is surreal and awful, like a horrible dream you can't get out of. Yep, I used my experience of that kind of fever to write this scene, even though Paign's suffering comes from an entirely different source than mine did.

When Silence Is The Best Communicator

Can you remember a conversation where the primary means of communicating was through volume? Yeah, me too. In my experience (and I bet yours, too), the greater the volume the less understanding takes place. Which pretty much defeats the purpose, right? Silence is often the best communicator. Especially when we really want to understand... and be understood.

The Great Stories

When i was a teen I first read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (in 3 days). My favorite character was Samwise Gamgee. And my favorite quote from Sam is this one: "It's like the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered." It was clear to me, even then, that the "great stories" have great conflicts, terrible odds, and frightening enemies. But more importantly, they have courage, grit, resolve and faith.

Best Intentions

As a fantasy writer, I want my characters to feel like real people, like people you know. Maybe even like yourself. And the truth is, real people are generally doing their best to be their best. In other words, they have the best intentions at heart. But what matters most in our interactions with others is what we do when their "best intentions" fail miserably. Because that's when our best intentions are tested.

Dark Night of the Soul

Long ago, a mystic wrote a poem about the dark night of the soul. In my story, I infuse this poem into the life of my character, Paign. Why do you suppose that's his name? There are seasons each of us must face that lack consolation. They require faith from us. And courage. A great deal of courage.

A Strong Defense

By the time I was writing Book 2 in my series, a primary goal was to show normal people facing down great threats by working together. We all need help to get through the regular challenges life brings, right? How much more so, then, when the threats are very real and extremely dangerous? A strong defense isn't found in a party of one.

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

As a fantasy fiction author, you do a lot of "world building." Which is great fun, of course. But its also great fun when I can weave real places into my stories (which I do a lot). Some years ago, a family trip took us through the wonderful town of Colton, WA. While we drove by the school, I instantly knew that something in my fantasy series would happen there. Eventually it did. Instead of a gargoyle protecting a gothic church, Kimar settles down on the roof of Colton's school because he needs a quiet place to think. See a little of what happens in this excerpt. Please consider reading the award-winning All His Wrath. #quietrooftops

Fearful Things

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." But isn't that exactly what the enemy wants? Most importantly, what if the terror isn't unjustified? What people do when they're terrified reveals a lot about how they deal with fear.

Because Dogs

I'm a "dog guy." That's why I integrate them into my stories (even non-fiction). Because when a dog bonds with their human, they'll protect them against anything. Even gargoyles.

One of Those Dreams?

In my experience of dreaming, the worst ones come during a fever. Nothing makes sense. Everything seems to be "off." Unbalanced. Bizarre. Be happy if you've never had one of these dreams born in smoldering synapses. But if you have had this kind of dream, you know what I'm talking about and you have my pity. Here's the thing, though. How would you react if you discovered that your fevered dream, oozing weirdness and dismay, wasn't a dream? What if it morphed into an unimaginable nightmare?

Dreaming of dreaming

I suppose we all have them. You know, those dreams where you realize you're dreaming? Once in a great while, I've even been able to take a dream in the direction I wanted it to go. But a bad dream? Nope. A strange dream? Again, nope. The problem here is that Danielle can't determine if the dream she is aware of dreaming is one she wants to stay in, or if it is starting to go wrong in a hurry. And the gargoyle she's talking to in her dream isn't helping.

A Country Neighborhood Goes Wrong

It often seems like the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, that your neighbor has it better than you. But that's not true. In fact, sometimes it couldn't be less true.

Morning Coffee

Now, I like my morning coffee. But I also like it in the quiet hours. At least to begin the day. In the Wheelen home, coffee and quiet rarely go together.

A girl and her dog

Danielle's life changed for the darker when she was thrust into the bitter conflict between two factions of the gargoyle kingdom.

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