The Black Bag

Fantasy Friday! The Roots of My Fantasy Writing

Lots of writers have roots for their writing. Sometimes we know exactly from where our source material springs. However, other pieces from our work may not be so obvious.

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OregontreesI’ve been thinking about the various settings in my upcoming book and realized there are a number of places I’ve visited in the past that serve as the basis for these fictional locations. They seem common for fantasy but they are more specific for me and aren’t based on previous fantasy worlds, familiar though they may seem.

For instance, Auguron Forest is actually based on a place I visited in Oregon as a child where the trees were enormous, some of the largest cedars in the world exist west of the Cascade Mountains (notice #2 on this list). Eagle’s Aerie which appears early in the book is based on an actual rock formation on the coast of Oregon, though not exact in reference. It’s called Haystack Rock and you’ve probably seen it in pictures. Without giving too much away, there are settings that occur underground that remind me of caves I’ve visited.

haystackrockLooking forward to the next book, there are travels in mountains based both on places I’ve been and those about which I’ve read. Another location is The Funnel where pivotal events from the main character’s life occurred. I was rather surprised a few years ago to visit a place very familiar to me and realize that it was the basis for that setting (I don’t want to give that away yet so maybe in about seven month’s time I’ll write about it).

The point is that, especially in fantasy, you may think you are influenced by other fantasy writers who have gone before you. You may think your ideas come from nowhere. You may think you have no experiences from which to draw. However, there may be more to your writing than what you think. Seemingly forgotten, or even mundane, events or trips from you life may be the real roots of scenes, settings, characters and pivotal events.

BOD FinalFantasy is fantasy – it’s filled with places like almost anywhere you may have visited. What I write often references what I’ve seen but it’s not necessarily something from what I’ve read from any other author. What’s more, what a reader associates with a fantasy locale may be entirely different from what I envision – that’s personal, what someone’s read or where they’ve been. The trick is to get the reader into what I’m writing enough so that they envision story from their own experiences.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Interested in more of my writing? Just click one of the retailer banners on the sidebar to see more.

About the Author

P. H. SIMG_4154-Editolomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, ru
nning, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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Curses Dark and Foul – Blurb Reveal

Hi everyone, I’ve been remiss about posts the last few weeks but I was away over the weekends and there just wasn’t time for a post.

First, I want to thank everyone for visiting today with the blurb reveal for Curses Dark and Foul, my first fantasy anthology. Before I a go any further, I do have one request: please this post in some way to help spread the word about the release of the book.

The title of the anthology has a rather grim connotation to it as well it should since all three stories involve a curse. Each of the stories places a main character in a situation of coping with an insurmountable challenge from a curse. These characters are in a situation where they likely have no way out but forward into the teeth of an inescapable fate. Dark and foul certainly well describes the circumstances which hopefully makes for an intriguing read.

Here’s the blurb for the anthology:

Grim words spoken. Foul intentions invoked. Curses never offer surrender.

Within Curses Dark an Foul are three fantasy tales of unlikely hope in the shadows of dark fate.

The Black Bag: Coryss finds herself alone against three powerful witches. Young and foolhardy, she confronts her foes and challenges them to a simple contest. Hopeless, Coryss finds help from an unlikely source. But the dark and foul curses fly without mercy. Can Coryss save herself?

Shadow of the Beast: Sa’hatap serves the Seddessan Empire faithfully as a foreign conscript, his people merged into the political scenery of merciless overlords. An enemy tasks the warrior and holy-man with ending a curse upon the missing empress. Unwilling, yet with his people under threat of annihilation, Sa-hatap sets out to accomplish the impossible and kill an accursed beast that cannot be defeated. Will his sword and his faith save him?

For No Reason: Dax is haunted by the curse upon his village as the living emblem of the revenge of a witch. No one can kill him and his touch is death. But the curse will take Dax’s mind and transform him into a beast of retribution. His only hope is helping the village, but they hate him. How will he ever save himself, and them?

If you like short fantasy with a mix of sword and sorcery, dark fantasy and noblebright, then you’ll like Curses Dark and Foul. Bestselling fantasy author, P. H. Solomon, presents three short stories of curses both dark and foul, where characters never had a chance. Yet in the darkness abides the glimmer of hope and the slimmest of chance against overwhelming odds.

Dire curses threaten these characters with inescapable fate. Will each hero make a choice and take a stand regardless of hope or chances of success? Click the BUY NOW button at the top and join these cursed journeys.

Curses Dark and Foul will soon have a link on Amazon for pre-orders which I’ll share here on the blog as soon as it’s ready.

As you read, there’s little doubt as to the danger in which all the characters find themselves. One curse may have been for a shorter period of time another curse may have stretched out for years. Either way the consequences are fraught with an emotional strain that reveals an underlying attitude toward life. Hopefully you’ll find the stories interesting and entertaining.

Thanks for stopping by today for the blurb reveal. Don’t forget to share the post with a reblog or on your social media. I’ll be in and out all day to reply to any comments. Have a great week!

Curses Dark and Foul – A Personal Story

Hi everyone! It was a blur last week, especially over the weekend since I’ve been attending the SFWA Conference online. It’s been both fun and busy. The SFWA conference was busy and the Nebula award winners were announced with great fanfare on Saturday night.

This week, I share a continuation about Curses Dark & Foul as progress continues toward publication of the anthology. With the cover ready, compiling the final manuscript and creating the book blurb are on my radar. The final manuscript is underway and I’ve been studying a blurb for an anthology to write. With some solid progress, I hope to schedule the release over the next week or so for later in the month.

The last of the stories in the anthology is For No Reason. It’s another story involving a curse, but much more personal to the main character who has a vested stake in the outcome. The curse not only endangers him but the entire settlement and there’s nothing that can be done.

Haunted with the curse, the main character is hardly able to live with a sense of normalcy as his well-being, both physically and mentally, erode under the effects of the curse. There is but one way to break it and the way is seemingly closed. It’s a broken life and a broken community, with everyone waiting for the curse to take them all. What can be done with no answers at hand?

Such is the scene for the final story of Curses Dark and Foul. For No Reason was written back in 2012 and is a story I spent a little time shopping around to short fiction markets. Again, it was a story that editors liked but simply could not use at the time. Such is the case with much short fiction but it does not mean that these stories should not be read. I now share them as an anthology and open the door that these can be picked up in other venues some time in the future. Perhaps these will gain a bit more life of their own over time, just like The Black Bag has over the years.

Curses Dark and Foul will be found initially on Amazon in several categories. I again share the artwork and hope anyone reading will also share it on social media and elsewhere, especially when the sales link is announced. I’ll post a few more ways you can support the release with a minimum of effort. I have a few places where I can communicate more about the book and other upcoming releases – two private groups – one on Goodreads, named Marston’s Station, and the other on Facebook, named The Broken Bow Inn. Simply click the links and request membership and I’ll get you in where you can view more about this release as I post plans.

Thanks for reading today and I’ll be along throughout the day to reply to your thoughts in the comments section. Please share on social media and reblog as you are able.