Monday, December 20, 2021

2021 r/Fantasy Holiday Megasale!

It's that time of the year again!

(Although there's never quite been a year like this one, so... yeah.)

Author Bryce O'Connor is once again going to be organizing his annual MEGASALE to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for the holidays!

All participating authors are pledging to put their books up for $0.99 or as a freebie on December 26th and 27th and will be donating $0.01 for every book sold or given away to St. Jude at the conclusion of the M-M-M-MEGASALE.

I'll be participating this year by offering up both WHAT WAS YOUR NAME DOWNRIVER? and A BAD RUNE AT ANGELS DEEP for a discount: Free and $0.99 respectively. In addition to St. Jude, I'll also be matching that donation to United Way of Stanislaus County this year.

Here's the link to the original r/Fantasy post on Reddit, and I'll be making another post when the sale rolls around that'll act as both an announcement and a connection to the other authors participating.

Snag some books and help out some good causes that might ease what's been a rough year for a lot of folks.

Hope to see y'all then!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

NEW SHORT STORY: "Ain't That Just the Way?" (and other various updates)

Long time since the last update! Just a quick rundown of what's been going on in my life since my last post in January:

  • I had to get my gallbladder removed! Yeah, I didn't see that one coming. Luckily, everything went a-okay and I was on my feet rather quickly. After three rather severe gallbladder attacks over the last year, I'm so, so happy to not have to worry about that happening again.
  • I got accepted into grad school! Yep, I'll be continuing my education in English so I can speak it gooder. (Nyeheheh.) Been fun so far. Lots of theory, which isn't really my bag, but it's interesting nonetheless. I'll be looking at my options at the end and figuring out if continuing on for my doctorate is right for me, but for now I'm just preparing to stress out about my thesis project along with the rest of my cohort.

That's mostly it. Also bought a lot of books and am preparing to move to a different part of California soon... these two developments are at odds with each other, I know.

But, anyway: new short story!

I'm always writing in the background and this is a short story that I wrote, that I loved, but just couldn't find a home for. If I get to the end of that open submission gauntlet and still think I have a fun story on my hands, I'll publish it to Amazon. It was a story that I wrote after rewatching one of my favorite movies, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, for the billionth time. I really just wanted to write some characters who just goof off, talk at each other a bunch, and have some modest adventures for a few pages.

I still really like it. I like Dial and Jim, and wouldn't mind writing some more short stories with them eventually.

That's about it! Outside of school stuff, I'm still mapping out Book 3 of The Shattered Frontier. It's not coming along as fast as the second book did, but the conditions are different and this is going to be a bit of a stopping point for the series. So I need some arcs to come to a conclusion. Depending on where things are at once this one is published (i.e. - folks are reading and enjoying it), then I'll get started on Evaline and Trivan's next adventure sooner rather than later.

Hope all is well!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

NEW BOOK: A Bad Rune at Angels Deep: Tales of the Shattered Frontier (Also, r/Fantasy Book Club stuff!)

Here it is! The second book in THE SHATTERED FRONTIER series!

I can't promise I'll be able to consistently deliver two books a year like this, but quarantine has been a heck of a thing. Let's jump right into the synopsis:


Runes: a form of deployable magick that caused untold devastation during the war. With the stroke of a pen, entire cities were demolished, entire armies decimated--and now one such rune may have come south to Ariasun County.

Acting on scant clues left behind by the vicious lynching of a smuggler, Evaline Cartwright and Trivan Esterhazy head north to track the rune’s passage through the county. All in the hope of destroying the rune--or its possessor--before it can be used for catastrophic ends.

RELEASE DATE: February 23rd, 2020

This has been an odd writing process for me. Legitimately, I haven't been able to write this much in many, many years. A big part of it, I think, was quarantine and just wanting something to engage with. Another part was most of the footwork already being done. Seems strange that WHAT WAS YOUR NAME DOWNRIVER? took years to finish, while A BAD RUNE AT ANGELS DEEP only took three months... and is almost twice as long.  But a lot of that time spent on Book I was planning the big steps and small steps alike, and with all that locked into place I could just get up and go.

It's also very likely that my mind needed a distraction. Losing my old cat took a lot out of me. It's been just shy of five months since he died, but it still feels raw. Taking some time and writing a novel definitely took the edge off.

So, it's up for preorder now! I'll probably still take some time to make a few last minute corrections before I walk away. I'm also in the process of getting the paperback version ready. The preorder page might not be up until the second week of February, but it'll definitely launch concurrently with the Kindle version.

Other bits of news:

WHAT WAS YOUR NAME DOWNRIVER? was selected to be a part of r/Fantasy's Resident Author Fantasy Book Club on Reddit! This was a great surprise and I'm very much looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say.

The book will be read through March, with a Q&A to be posted just before then, I think. If you want to join in, here's all the information. And I'll probably post all the relevant posts here as they drop.

To everyone who will be participating in the book club, I'll try to make the book free for a week beforehand.

Since Book II is right around the corner here, I'm lowering the price of WHAT WAS YOUR NAME DOWNRIVER to $2.99 as a means of lowering the barrier of entry to the series. This will likely be where it'll stay.

Lore of the Reluctant Paperbacks Temporarily Withdrawn

Now, I'm still fairly new to all this. I'm always learning, always fine-tuning. I started publishing the Lore of the Reluctant books several years ago to help myself get over the fear of putting my work out there. There was a sort of lackadaisical approach to publishing them that I'm still trying to correct, as a result. One of these was the formatting of the paperbacks of both THE OUTCASTS OF VAMPIRE FLATS and BLADES OF ELSINGR.

Basically, I'm going to spend a little more time fine-tuning the formatting for the paperbacks. Shouldn't take too long, but I didn't feel good about having them up for sale in the meantime.

The Kindle editions are a-okay, though I'll be going through and updating their "Works by" pages (I'm legit blanking on their formal names) to account for A BAD RUNE.

I think that's it! Be well, everyone!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Status Update: New cover, new projects, and fond farewells.

Hope everyone is doing well! (In this Age of Fire and COVID.)

New Cover:

Since my last post, there have been some new developments. Chief among them is that WHAT WAS YOUR NAME DOWNRIVER? has gotten a snazzy new cover! The old one was serviceable for what I was trying to accomplish at the time, which was to just get my writing projects out there no matter what. Cover art was always a barrier and I decided if it's between not publishing a story or making something for the cover, then I should go for the latter.

But! Circumstances allowed for the creation of a new cover that fit the tone of the story and I'm grateful that opportunity came along. So here is the new cover for the first story in The Shattered Frontier series:


Love the way it turned out and I couldn't be more happy about it.

I did a free promotion for the book recently and I got some very kind reviews/comments. I'm ecstatic that folks seem to be enjoying it so far. It's not a particularly long book, but it's something I've been working on awhile. Getting all the worldbuilding locked in, writing/rewriting after work, editing, formatting for both ebook and paperback. It's been a journey!

As always, if you happened to check it out, please consider leaving a review. I can't tell you how crucial reviews are for indie authors. They help expand the book's audience, take the edge off of any prospective sequel plans, and, dang it, they're a great form of encouragement besides.

New Projects:

As for the future, I think I've mentioned a number of projects since moving back to the States, but there are three main projects on the docket that I hope to see completed within a reasonable amount of time. In no particular order:

1. Lore of the Reluctant (Book 3): This Machine Kills Dragons - When I first started writing these stories, I made myself a promise that I'd see a trilogy through to completion. I've started writing the third book, but it might get knocked down in priority if WHAT WAS YOUR NAME DOWNRIVER? maintains the traction it has right now. It'll close out what I'm tentatively calling "The Long Road to Vellonae Trilogy" and leave the door open for more stories if there's some demand for more.

2. The Shattered Frontier (Book 2) - The adventures of Evaline and Trivan were always supposed to culminate in much larger novel. Book 1 shows how their friendship calcified, Book 2 would see them on a rather long journey of some personal import to Evaline. If Book 1 was a shorter adventure, Book 2 would be something closer to FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, somewhere in that ballpark. It would also firmly establish a larger story arc that would carry on through additional novels.

I've got a decent chunk of Book 2 already done. It was originally supposed to be Book 1, but I doubled back to write a smaller story that would act as a more effective introduction to the setting and characters. A nice vertical slice!

EDIT (Sept. 28): This plan will be shifting around a little bit. I think it's all but a certainty that my next book will be TSF Book 2, but I've changed the plan as far as what the story will involve. It will be longer than WWYND, but of a similar scope. I'd like to do one more of a similar size to round out a trilogy before jumping into the juggernaut that'll be the fourth book.

I think spending more time with Evaline and Trivan, in addition to getting more of the setting on the page and dropping more hints about the larger arc, will give me some much needed runway for Book 4.

Book 2 is in the works right now. It's rough, but there are 10k+ words locked in so far. Really liking where it's gonna go!

3. Realm of Avarill Online - A while back I wrote a short story called "In the Land of Dead Dragons," which I really enjoyed writing. So much, in fact, that I started work on a follow-up novella that's maybe 60% finished right now. It's been a good excuse to revisit all of my old MMORPG experiences from games like Nexus, EverQuest, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, and Lord of the Rings Online. Corpse runs and player-killing and griefing like crazy. It's irreverent, the protagonists are terrible, terrible people, but I'm hoping litRPG fans will get a kick out of it!

And, of course, I always seem to be writing short stories, so some of those might pop up on Amazon soon.

Social Media:

So think I'm finally getting the hang of Twitter! After playing around with it for a couple months, I've actually come to really enjoy it. Feel free to find me at @AntonymLowe and check out my Star Wars geek-outs, Japan pictures, writing and personal updates, and even more Star Wars geek-outs!

Goodbye, Hershey:

In a rather sad update, my cat of 18 years passed away a couple weeks ago. It was a devastating blow to the family. It's always sad to lose a pet, but Hershey has been around for more than half my life (and three presidents!) and there's still the expectation at the back of my mind that he'll be there when turn around since it feels like he's always been there.

He was a super-affectionate cat and made it a point to involve himself in everything the family did, at all times. Even though I'm thankful for every day we had with him for nearly two decades, it still doesn't seem like enough.

Goodbye, Hershey. I'll miss you like crazy, buddy.

Hate to end the post on a sad note, so instead I'll end with a link to what's currently my favorite YouTube channel. David Lynch of TWIN PEAKS and ERASERHEAD fame spending a few minutes of each morning everyday to provide a weather report in LA and wish everyone a pleasant day. Not a bad idea to make positivity a part of a daily routine!


Be well, everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

NEW RELEASE: My Battery Is Low and It Is Getting Dark

It's here! Starting today, you can pick up a brand new sci-fi anthology featuring one of my stories, MY BATTERY IS LOW AND IT IS GETTING DARK. The theme of this one is various forms of technology finding renewed purpose in obsolescence.

The immediate comparison is Wall-E, but for some reason my mind goes right to The Brave Little Toaster.

Anyway, here's the synopsis for the anthology:
A military attack drone turned shepherd. A train on the London Underground evolving into something new and wondrous. A troupe of robotic actors struggling to find meaning when the audience has disappeared. Explore the myriad ideas of what happens when out-of-date and abandoned technologies are given a second life—one that takes them in a new direction, far outside their intended programming and beyond their original purpose.

MY BATTERY IS LOW AND IT IS GETTING DARK features fourteen stories of quiet hope, heartbreak, creation, and death from fantasy and science fiction authors Dana Berube, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, Jacey Bedford, Anthony Lowe, Chris Kocher, Brian Hugenbruch, William Leisner, José Pablo Iriarte, Alethea Kontis, Kari Sperring, Edward Willett, John G. Hartness, Alexander Gideon, and Stephen Leigh. You may never look at your smart speaker the same way again.
I was able to take a look at some of the stories while doing some edits and there's some good stuff in there. My story is titled, "Ain't Done Haunting," and I'm pretty proud of this one. I'll probably talk about it more at-length once the anthology has been out there a bit, since I don't want to give anything away.

You can pick up MY BATTERY IS LOW AND IT IS GETTING DARK almost anywhere books are sold online. You can also purchase through the publisher if you want to support a small press directly.

I'll make a proper update about some upcoming projects in the near future, but in the meantime I've recently started a Twitter account. Still getting used to how to even, like, Tweet and stuff, but if you want to see me geek out about Star Wars or whatever game I happen to be addicted to recently (LOTRO), then look me up: @AntonymLowe

Thanks -- and be safe!


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Thursday, May 7, 2020

The paperbacks are here, yo!

After much to-do and a ton of back-and-forth between myself and the printers, the paperbacks for four of my books are available!

Now, the quarantine will probably mess with the availability of some of them infrequently, but it shouldn't be for more than a day or two. Not to mention shipping times are varying wildly. I'll be keeping an eye on it. But let's go over what we got:

Lore of the Reluctant: Books I and II


These books marked my first ever experience with publishing of any kind. I've learned a lot since then and I've tried to apply all of that to these new editions. Both the Kindle editions and these new paperback editions got another thorough editing pass for typos, inconsistencies, and formatting. I tried not to really touch anything relating to story; like Timothy Zahn says, to a certain extent once a book is published it's an historical document. If you keep going back and editing, then you'll never stop.

That being said, a few exchanges got tweaked and there were a couple vague lines that I cleared up. Overall, they're generally the same manuscripts, but they should look and flow nicer!

Since all the cleaning of their descriptions, the short story promotion, and these paperback editions, they've been getting a little more attention. If you've read them (or are currently reading them) and have enjoyed your time with them, a third book will be on its way soon. I can't promise it'll be here this year, but now that I'm back in America working on novels is much more realistic.

What Was Your Name Downriver?

This story just came out and the paperback not too long after, but I did a little more research and applied some cleaner formatting to it. Should look nice and clean now!

All the Stars in My Eyes: A Short Story

Not sure if buying physical copies of short stories will ever really be en vogue, but "All the Stars in My Eyes" is one of my favorite pieces. Not to mention the cover art is one of my all-time favorites as far as my sister's art goes. Lots of sentimentality wrapped up in this one, so I figured since it fit all the requirements, I'll just go ahead and make one.

If you liked the story and the art, too, it'll look good on a shelf!

And it goes without saying: if you've read any of my stories lately, please, please, please consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads. For indie authors, reviews can mean the difference between being able to write consistently or not at all.

Be safe everyone!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

NEW SHORT STORY: "Define Heroes: A Lore of the Reluctant Short Story"

FREE PROMOTION! - Starting tomorrow, April 29, this story will be free on Amazon for five days!

This will probably be my final story release until July-ish. By then, MY BATTERY IS LOW AND IT IS GETTING DARK will have released and I'll have one more short story ready to go.

"Define Heroes" is a standalone short story that's set in my LORE OF THE RELUCTANT series. Timeline-wise, it takes place after THE OUTCASTS OF VAMPIRE FLATS and BLADES IN ELSINGR.

Here's the synopsis:
Acys, Jasper, and Kalen are three friends from our world who woke up one day to find themselves in a fantastical realm of swords and sorcery. But it's been a few years... Now they're bored.
In this adventure, the trio of sellswords have run out of money in an eastern kingdom that is enjoying an era of lasting peace. In their bid to avoid skipping out on another bill, and to put a little extra money in their pockets besides, they might just commit regicide and plunge the entire kingdom into civil war.
More portal fantasy for ya!

This series has always been super easy to write. It was originally part of my goal to learn the ins and outs of self-publishing and so I thought up a concept that would be just plain fun to mess around with. I love the idea of fantasy adventurers who are in on all the jokes and are unimpressed with a lot of the tropes. And, also, they're kinda sociopaths at this point. Fun all around!

As I said above, I'll be running a free promotion starting tomorrow (April 29 @ 12 AM PST, as best as I can tell) and it'll run for about five days.

Be safe!