All the things

Free short stories. Free book giveaways. Interviews. New books coming out. My book tour. And a cover reveal! You really should click the link and check it out.

There’s lots of stuffs happening in my world lately. As much for myself as anyone else, here’s an attempt to capture it in one place.

I had a novelette publish on Tor.com in January. It’s entitled, “A Beautiful Accident.” Vendanj is the POV character. Maybe my favorite review of this story was: “Holy fuck was that beautiful!” It’s set in the Mal region of my world, where ritualized torture is a way of creating long-suffering and humility and strength. A rare friendship is born as Vendanj undergoes the pain of cruciations. It’s free reading here.

I then had a short story, entitled “The Hell of It,” publish on Tor.com in February. The POV character is Roth Staned’s father, who’s a poor wharf worker. In many ways, this is an origin story for Roth, which is important since book two of The Vault of Heaven takes Roth as a major POV character. There’s also a wicked cool card game in this one, which my readers will remember from the riverboat in The Unremembered. Fair warning: This one’s heartbreaking. It’s free reading here

I have a story set in the universe of The Vault of Heaven in the Blackguards anthology, which is releasing as we speak. This story features Jastail. It’s also a bit of an origin story. It’s not what you think, though. It’s not really about his entrance into human trafficking. Not directly, anyway. It was actually a bit difficult to write. Some deep sadness in this one. It’s entitled, “A Length of Cherrywood.” More info here

I also have a story set in the universe of The Vault of Heaven in the forthcoming anthology Unbound. This one is entitled “A Slow Kill,” and features a member of the Dannire, a kind of holy assassin society in my universe. I’m proud of this one, because the assassin-work here is not your typical sneaky-poisony stuff. The Dannire aren’t your run-o-the-mill assassins. Oh, sure, they can off you with a knife in a stealthy throat-cutty way. But that’s not how it usually goes. I think you’re going to like this one. More info on it here.

I had a short story collection release in February. It gathers some of my previously published fiction, as well as some never before published stories—all set in the universe of The Vault of Heaven—into a single volume entitled: The Vault of Heaven, Story Volume One. There’s even a cut chapter from Trial of Intentions, and the first few chapters of the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered. Get all the info here.

And then there’s this whole Author’s Edition of The Unremembered thingy. If you haven’t heard about it already, I wrote a blog post on it. This is the definitive blog post on the Author’s Edition, including the answer to the burning question: Why do an Author’s Edition in the first place? Have a good read on all that over here.

The Author’s Edition of The Unremembered released this last Tuesday. So, if you’re inclined to own a copy, you can get it at your local bookstore. Of course, it’s likewise available online. I was proud of the original, but this edition is much closer to what I’d intended the first time out–you’ll understand if you go read my blog.

Around all this activity–which is essentially a relaunch of my Vault of Heaven series–there are some free giveaways going on now:

  • Free giveaway of the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered. Enter here.
  • Free giveaway of an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of Trial of Intentions (Book two of The Vault of Heaven). Enter here.
  • Free giveaway of finished copies of Trial of Intentions. Enter here.

And then this week, I’ve had some interviews and articles go up. It’s been tough keeping up with the job, and the writing, and the music, and the family (not necessarily in that order), and carving out time to do these write ups. But I’m glad I did. Here are a few:

 

Probably one of the better interviews I did this week. With some of the best questions. This interview made me think a time or two. Damn it. I mean, “Why do you write epic fantasy?” and “Let’s talk about tropes.” Gets thick, yo. Read it here.

 

And here’s an article I wrote for Tor on what to expect in Trial of Intentions. I compare readers to crabs, who I’m putting in a metaphorical pot of tepid water. Then turning up the heat. I think the closing line goes something like, “Cook you good!” Check it out.

 

I did an interview on Suvudu, which includes what’s different about the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered. Shawn does a great job with his questions. He asks some good ones, including, “What are you most proud of in Trial of Intentions?” Have a read.

 

I also have an article on SFSignal in which I share the books that influenced the Author’s Edition. I’m particularly proud of this one. My answers will probably surprise you. I mean, I start with something by Dickens. So there you go. Read it.

 

Then there’s my interview with Layers of Thought, in which I talk some about music and writing, and other thingys. Good question about “What I’m trying to show readers?” and “What’s your favorite part of the process?” Here ya go.

 

And there’s an article where (so far) I spend the most time on the topic of music as magic. I remember writing this one. I did it fast–stream-of-consciousness style. It’s not long, but I think there’s some passion in there. Read it over here.

 

Finally, I also have an article up on Civilian Reader. This one is all about world building. But that’s a ginormous topic. So, I focus it on magic. In particular, I talk about the approach I’m taking in The Vault of Heaven–my idea of what I call “governing dynamics”: a set of unifying principles for multiple magic systems in a world. I think you’ll dig.

 

And something I super excited about, which is A REVIEW OF TRIAL OF INTENTIONS!!!!!! This is the first sign that the hard work may be paying off. That the travails with editors and delays and being bludgeoned by work were all worth it! So metal! Check it out!

As for what’s next? Well, in a few weeks I have a roughly 200 page book releasing entitled, The Sound of Broken Absolutes. Wanna see the cover:

This is the novella I had published in Unfettered. This book will have Broken Absolutes, but also preview chapters from both the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered and Trial of Intentions. Broken Absolutes goes into the music magic system quite a bit. Watch for more information in the days ahead.

And, of course, Trial of Intentions publishes on May 26th.

I’ll be doing a short book tour for that:

 

I’m also looking at doing some conventions this year. Possibles: Miscon, San Diego Comicon, Gencon, New York Comicon . . .

Anyway, there you go.

Your Rock Lord,

Peter

New Book Out Today (Sort of)

It’s a bit of deja vu, I guess. Because today the Author’s Definitive Edition of The Unremembered releases. “What does that mean?” you ask? Well, let me tell you.

It’s a bit of deja vu, I guess. Because today the Author’s Definitive Edition of The Unremembered hits bookstore shelves. “What does that mean?” you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Almost four years ago the original version of The Unremembered was published. I was ecstatic. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work, and, of course, a bit of luck. But all things in life have a number of “sides” to them, don’t they?

Without going into detail, let me just say that not all author/editor matches are made in heaven. As a result, not all authors and their editors share the same vision for a book. Perhaps this is no one’s fault. But it does mean that things change. And these years later, I have a new editor. These years later, there’s a new version of The Unremembered.

So, what’s different, you may then ask. Quiet a lot, actually.

Let’s start with the length of the book. Typically, Author’s Editions are longer. Given the chance to go back to a book, most writers add the stuff they cut the first time around. Stephen King’s Uncut version of The Stand comes to mind. That volume was roughly 300 pages longer. But with the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered, I cut. A lot. I suppose there’s a risk that I ditched things some of my readers liked. It might also be true that gone are things other readers didn’t care for. Regardless, I “killed my darlings,” as they say. I kept the stuff the story needed. The rest–beloved or reviled–is gone. The book is significantly trimmer, faster paced, more focused.

Next, I added things. I believe it was about 15K words, which is still a fraction of what I cut. But given the opportunity to more closely tie books one and two . . . well, who wouldn’t take the chance to do so. There are some new bits I think readers are really going to love, as well as some entirely new chapters, including a music magic scene that I WOULD LOVE to see in a movie!

As I worked through the text, I also brushed up the dialogue, cut exposition where I felt it needed it, warmed up characters as appropriate, removed things cryptic (if being cryptic was appropos of nothing), sharpened motivation, made more clear the “why’s” for doing things, etc., etc. You get the idea.

There are some more cosmetic changes, too. There’s a glossary, for folks who dig such things. I’ve added an exclusive short story, set in the universe of The Vault of Heaven. This story takes as a viewpoint character a creature from inside the Bourne–a creature who becomes a main character in book two, Trial of Intentions. In fact, Tor also put the first few chapters of Trial of Intentions in the back of this Author’s Edition of The Unremembered. So, that’s cool. You get a little taste of what book two is like. Plus, I went back and added epigraphs to every chapter in this edition of The Unremembered. I kinda dig epigraphs. Nice little world building tools.

Oh, and to distinguish all these stuffs, Tor has put a little yellow star on the front of the cover, which says: Author’s Definitive Edition. So, if you’re interested in picking up a copy, be sure to look for the gold star.

Now, I want to be clear about something. If you read the original version, you don’t need to read the Author’s Edition to move on to book two, Trial of Intentions. You’ll be just fine. In fact, because it’s been four years, I wrote Trial of Intentions as an entry point to the series. So, if you haven’t read The Unremembered, or just want to dive in with book two, that’ll work. I get you up to speed. That said, if you decide to start at the beginning, or if you want to re-read book one in preparation for book two, I recommend you read the Author’s Edition. It’s a stronger book. That simple. Plus, there’s all the things I added to knit the books more closely together. Plus, goodies.

There’ve been a few reviews, so far, too. (Thank you to the folks who emailed these to me.) About the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered, here’s what a few have said:

The original version of the book had quotes and other nice things said about it by the Library Journal (starred review), Terry Brooks, Kevin J. Anderson, Piers Anthony, Ed Greenwood, Anne Perry, and Brandon Sanderson. Gee, wonder what they’d think of the Author’s Edition. Heh.

Speaking of the Author’s Edition, a few nice quotes from the following folks:

  • “Intricately crafted with its own distinct melody, The Unremembered is a groundbreaking work of epic fantasy.” –Bookwormblues.net
  • “Sometimes you just need a big, fat fantasy, and Peter Orullian’s remastered edition of The Unremembered delivers everything you’re looking for: a fascinating world, tense action, charismatic characters, and a magic system the like of which you’ve never imagined.”—Aidan Moher, A Dribble of Ink, Hugo Award Winner
  • The Unremembered captures the unique essence and mystery of music, and weaves it into every line of a compelling and exciting world, while telling a character-driven story that resonates through the ages … a work of art on par with the masters of the genre, Jordan, Rothfuss, Tolkien, and more.” –Elitistbookreviews.com, nominated for 2013 & 2014 Hugo Award for best review site
  • “Engaging characters, complex magic, and expertly written—a whole new kind of epic fantasy!” –Suvudu.com

The Author’s Definitive Edition of The Unremembered is in bookstores today. If you have the hankerin’, run down to your local B&N, or whatever, and pick up a copy. Or, if you like ordering online, you can get it at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com (these are direct links to the book on those websites), and other places online.

Remember, it’s got to have the gold star on the front. It’ll probably say Author’s Edition, or somesuch, too. It’s being released as a trade paperback, so I’m guessing it’ll run like $13–be sure it’s roughly that price, or you’re buying the old version of the book. There are ebooks versions, too, of course, though I hear Amazon has had some trouble getting their Kindle version of the Author’s Edition up–so you may have to wait a few days on that. And Tor is putting out the audiobook of The Author’s Edition on April 14, 2015–pretty sure that’s on Audible.

Effectively, Tor is relaunching my series, The Vault of Heaven. That starts today with the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered. And it continues next month, on May 26th, with Trial of Intentions. So, you know, you won’t have to wait too long between books.

Now, is this Author’s Edition of The Unremembered going to be ginormous and sell 100 million copies. One can only hope. What is true is that this is much closer to what I’d wanted to do the first time out. I’m grateful to Tor, and to my new editor, for giving me the chance to do it.

I hope you dig.

Your Rock Lord,

Peter

So, I have a New Book Out Today . . .

I love short stories. Novelettes. Novellas. And so it is that I give you a collection of short fiction set in the universe of my fantasy series: The Vault of Heaven, Story Volume One.

I love short stories. Novelettes. Novellas. The first modern popular fiction I fell in love with was a copy of Stephen King’s Night Shift.

There’s a beauty in short fiction you don’t get in novels. That’s an odd thing for me to say, given that my fantasy series is of the doorstop variety.

I suppose, then, it won’t surprise folks to learn that I’ve written a number of short stories set in the world of my series, The Vault of Heaven. More than ten of them, in fact.

Many of these tales have yet to be released. A few belong to forthcoming anthologies–I’ll be sure to let folks know when they hit shelves. A few more will come out on Tor.com. And more still, I’ll release myself. Just because.

These shorter tales set in the Vault of Heaven universe began as a way of telling stories I needed to tell. Stories that burned in my brain, needing release. And there just wasn’t room for them in the doorstoppers–strange as that sounds.

Part of it, too, was my fledgling efforts at transmedia–telling a larger story across multiple artistic mediums. These various narratives aren’t dependent on one another. You needn’t read the books to understand the short stories. Or vice versa. Still, if you read both, you’ll experience those deeper resonances that often make immersion in a second world so much fun. Leastways, that’s how it happens for me. These other worlds wind up being more vibrant. More real. More peopled, if that makes any sense.

Anyway, I figured one day I’d gather up some of these stories. Make it easier for my readers to get them in a bunch. There’ll be more of these books in the future, too. But this is the first. Thus, may I introduce: The Vault of Heaven, Story Volume One.

Click to embiggen

If you follow my series, inside you’ll find a few stories you might have read. But in addition to these, I’ve added some new stories, including a cut chapter from the forthcoming Trial of Intentionsthe second book in my fantasy series. I’ve had a number of readers ask about all the stuff I cut from book two, since its initial draft was 500,000 words. So, in this story volume, I’ve included a scene I love a lot, but just didn’t need in the novel. It’s a scene with Roth Staned–who becomes an important character in book two–and General Van Steward. It gets a bit tense. It’s lovely.

There’s also a new story from the point of view of a character in Trial of Intentions. An important character. It’s an origin story of sorts. There’s some humor in this one, entitled “With What’s Familiar.” Hope you dig.

Beyond all this there’s a surprise at the end of this story volume. A preview thing. Oh, and I wrote introductions to all the stories. You know, context? I always love it, personally, when I’m reading a collection or anthology, and the author gives me some insight to the story. So, there you go.

With the Author’s Definitive Edition of The Unremembered set to release April 7, 2015 (I’ll blog about that another time, but look for the yellow star on the front cover–and note that the “Look Inside” feature isn’t yet showing the updated book), and Trial of Intentions set to release May 26, 2015, I figured it might be cool to prime the pump, as it were. You do want to be primed, don’t you? Sure you do.

I have a few more primings coming, too. But I’ll save those goodies for later.

For now, I hope you dig The Vault of Heaven, Story Volume One. Here’s some ways you can get it:

Also, I’ll be at LTUE this week, where the awesome Howard Tayler will have copies of The Vault of Heaven, Story Volume One at his table. If you gets one, I be signing it fer ya.

Your Rock Lord

Come to an Epic Dinner with Epic Writers

How would you like to spend an evening with six Epic Fantasy writers? Have a good meal? Great conversation? And then head over to the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit at the EMP Museum here in Seattle?

How would you like to spend an evening with six Epic Fantasy writers? Have a good meal? Great conversation? And then head over to the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit at the EMP Museum here in Seattle?

Well, you can. And what’s more, if your bid wins, the money goes to Pat Rothfuss’s Worldbuilders fundraiser, which in turn benefits Heifer International.

A quick word about Heifer. Their idea is to give people in developing nations livestock and bees and such in order to help build sustainable agriculture and commerce in areas with a long history of poverty. These gifts then create both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can then form community savings and fund small businesses.

And Pat Rothfuss runs a fundraiser every year to raise money for Heifer. That fundraiser is Worldbuilders. And that, friends, is where the money from a winning bid on this Epic dinner I’m about to share will go. Not only will you get a night to remember with some of the best writers in the genre, but you’ll be helping people build a better life. That simple.

So, about the dinner. I contacted Pat with an idea. I suggested that I might be able to pull together many of the writers in the Pacific Northwest for some activities he could list in Worldbuilders Ebay auction. After a bit of back and forth, we landed on two things. One was a full day of writing discussion across games, short fiction, and novel writing–that auction ended a while ago. The other was this epic dinner, for which there’s still time to bid. The auction ends at about 5 p.m. Pacific Time today, February 2.

And while just hanging out with these folks I’m about to introduce would be cool enough. I mean, they ARE cool! I wanted to take a minute to say a little more about each of them, because the person behind the writing is even cooler.

Terry Brooks has more bestselling books than I can count. He’s created several successful fantasy worlds beyond the renown Shannara series. His work will soon be a major television series soon on MTV–think Game of Thrones.

But Terry’s a hell of a lot more than a writer. He’s one of the most gracious, generous, and willing people I know. As a punk writer, I approached him at Surrey many, many years ago and struck up a conversation. I wound up trading a couple of emails with him, and pretty soon we did a dinner. Terry’s very good at eating. As I reflect on it, I kind of shake my head. I mean, really, this man had no need to go to dinner with an aspiring writer, even though I was a fan. Which isn’t to say his dinner card is empty. And with the MTV thing, his time is going to become more rare. But along the way, he’s offered wonderful advice, been a rational voice in an irrational business, and added his easy good humor to it all. Terry’s the genuine article. A chance to hang out with Terry is just way more than taking in a meal with a bestseller. He has a way of making everyone feel welcome and comfortable. When was the last time you met someone like that?

Robin Hobb is another fantasy writer who has more bestsellers than I can count. She’s a pillar in the field. She writes dragons better than just about anybody. And for fans of her Fitz character (of Assassin’s Apprentice fame), you’ll be glad to know she’s writing another Fitz book.

Now, let me tell you a story. I post a song every day on Facebook. I can’t help it. I’m a musician. One day I post Nightwish doing Phantom of the Opera because I love Nightwish. I’d met Robin before, briefly. But a few hours later I get an invitation from her to go see Nightwish who was coming to town on their Imaginaerum tour. What?! Robin Hobb just invited me to a rock show! A Nightwish rock show, no less! Yeah, she’s cool like that. Of course, her music tastes are diverse. But the fact that Nightwish is in there gives me a happy. Since that night, I’ve gotten to know Robin even better. And take it from me, there’s not a more lovely woman. She’s witty, well spoken, knowledgeable, and kind. I don’t just throw that last one in there. Kindness isn’t a given. And atop all this, she’s encouraging. So, again, yes, you’d be dining with a bestseller. But the person will impress you more than the fiction. She impresses me every week.

Greg Bear . . . oh my lord. Here’s another bestselling writer whose career is just mind blowing. In addition to his fantasy writing, he’s also widely known for his science fiction, and has lately done amazing things with the Halo franchise, which is close to my heart.

But, true to my theme here, Greg is a man that is even cooler than the things he writes about. I first met him at a Clarion party. Here’s the thing: He asked ME what I was writing. At the time, I was more a submitter than a writer. But Greg’s attention was never drawn away, never slackened. He showed genuine interest and we chatted for longer than any host probably ought to. And it wasn’t just me. I watched him do this repeatedly. Then, more recently, he accepted my invitation to do a joint reading for SFWA. At the end we did joint Q&A. This was a science fiction crowd. And more than that, GREG BEAR. So, you can imagine where the questions were directed. Midway through the Q&A, Greg takes the mic and turns to ask me a question. Class! Go read Greg’s Wikipedia page if want to be stunned by his awesome.

Brent Weeks is not a rising star in fantasy fiction. He’s already there. He pretty much landed in the field as a star. His Night Angel trilogy set the fantasy world on fire, and Brent hasn’t looked back, adding new worlds and great reads for fantasy readers. He’s another bestseller, in case you’re wondering.

And Brent, like the others, is a great deal more than his books. Oh, sure, I’ve seen him trade quick retorts with the best in the field. One ill-conceived evening at World Fantasy in San Diego, I watched him shred another author who thought he was having the best of Brent in a battle of wits. It was pretty remarkable. So, a word of warning there. But then, get this. On my book tour for my first book, I was scheduled at Powell’s in Beaverton. Let’s just say that there weren’t many attendees. But Brent and his awesome wife Kristi came. There’s no way there weren’t several other things he could have been doing that night. He showed up to support me. What’s more, we had dinner. And he had some calming things to say. There’s an energy about Brent that’s infectious. He’s also hilarious.

Steven Erikson is yet another bestseller. His Malazan Book of the Fallen series is not only one of the best in recent years, it’s complete. How often can you say that? He’s also an anthropologist and archaeologist by training, which might play into what I’m about to say.

Steven is one of the brightest minds in the field. The dude’s just flat out smart. The real kind of smart. He’s the kind of guy who raises the IQ of the whole room when he enters. And like the others, he’s extremely gracious. At a recent World Fantasy convention, we had a short conversation. Steven had been on a panel–one where he’d shown how meaningful a panel on myth and history can actually be–but wasn’t feeling well. He excused himself and retired to his room to sleep. I later got an email with an apology for having to cut our conversation short. That kind of thoughtfulness is rare. I mean, the guy was sick. He needn’t have said another word about it. But he did. And his wit . . . well, you can imagine. Steve’s schedule is crazy, so we’ll be working hard to pick a date that he can make for the dinner, but there are dependencies.

So, there you have it. These are the kind and awesome folks who agreed to join me for a dinner to be auctioned off for Worldbuilders. I don’t feel right about going on about myself. Anyone interested can find info at my website. I’m a pup among these giants. And frankly, the fact that they accepted the invitation tells you an awful lot about them. You know them for their books. They’ve enjoyed amazing success crafting worlds and telling stories. One wonders if perhaps there’s a correlation between success and graciousness. That’s probably a stretch. But in the case of these dinner guests, I could defend the argument. And I just wanted to take a moment to share a few stories that might help you understand why I think this is a unique and awesome opportunity.

So, here’s your chance. Head over and consider placing a bid. Auction ends at about 5 p.m. Pacific time today. Like I said, it’s a night with a few of the best epic fantasy writers on the planet. It’s a night of amazing conversation. But more than this, it’s a night with some of the best people I know. Really. Sappy as that sounds, it’s just plain true. And after it’s all said and done, the money goes to help people who need help. Literally, everyone wins.

Something Happened on the Way to Book II

Well, folks, Book Two is done. Again. It’s really quite a story. Let me tell you about it.

Well, folks, Book Two is done. Again. It’s really quite a story. Let me tell you about it.

First off, let’s start with the fact that Book One, The Unremembered, was published in April of 2011, just for those who are keeping score. Then, what happened is largely two things: my day job, and an editorial snafu.

On the day job, you’ve maybe heard me talk about it before. But specifically, what happened over the last few years is that the day job became more demanding. While still getting up at 3:30 a.m. to write, I had had several very long stretches when instead of writing I had to go into work. We had some big things going on, like moving Xbox onto other platforms like iOS and Android, as well as something called Xbox One. It mean I lost more writing time than you can possibly imagine.

On the other thing, let’s just say that there’ve been editorial changes at Tor. My editor was fired. But again, for those keeping score, you’ll remember that I turned in Book Two in mid-October of 2012. My prior editor had done nothing up until the day he was canned which was this last June. So, my manuscript languished for nine months.

The good news is I landed with a great new editor. And after she got caught up, she gave me some input on the manuscript and away we went.

The work I finished today was taking her input and doing some things I had wanted to do for a while.

I’ve sent the manuscript in, and I suspect the book will come out in early 2015. As soon as I have a publication date, I’ll let you all know.

Thanks for all the email and support asking for me to get the damn thing done. It’s been great to have y’all express your desire to see what happens in the second movement.

I may blog more about all this later. Right now, I’m a bit numb. I’ve been putting in 16 hour days on it over my holiday break.

Your Rock Lord,

Peter