Virtual Book Fair Booth–Robin Hood: Wolf’s Head by Eric Tanafon

I’m participating in The Virtual Book Fair! The event is live November 12-21. For more information, check out the event on Facebook here.

book_fair_booth

I’m Eric Tanafon. Thanks for visiting! I’m an eccentric, reclusive author with a large family, living in genteel poverty in New England.

Robin Hood: Wolf’s Head reveals, for the first time, the true nature of Robin’s band of merry….men?

Be warned, for Here There Be…

Creatures of darkness, not all alike. Kings without crowns, knights who left their shining armor behind. Witches, hermits, berserkers, and other honest outlaws. Ballads sung to the lute and spells spoken by moonlight.

Stories within stories, a Thousand and One Sherwoodian Nights.

And in the end…redemption.

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Right now, you can get a copy for only 1.99. Why not preview it first?

Scavenger Hunt Number: 10

Find more booths to visit here!

Stacking Wood

I and my family observe a special holiday each fall: Wood Stacking Day. I admit it’s a bit eccentric, but this is New England, so we’re allowed.

We celebrate it by spending pretty much all day lugging logs from our driveway to stack on the porch, or down cellar once the porch is full. Like most celebrations, this tends to cause a hangover. In this case it’s sore muscles, rather than an aching head.

Hauling logs from one place to another gives me a lot of time to think. Naturally, it occurred to me that this activity amounts to a metaphor for writing.

You start with a disorganized pile of logs. These represent all your story ideas. At first the task seems overwhelming, but you select some logs, a few at a time, the ones that seem like they’ll fit together. Gradually a structure begins to reveal itself–first an outline, then, if you’re lucky, an actual plot emerges.

You build up the layers of wood higher and higher, complication on complication. At last you place the last few logs and you’re done. The resolution has been reached and now you’ll begin to go through the stack, building fires to keep yourself warm on the cold nights that are coming. Since the wood burns faster than it grows, I’m going to say this is analogous to reading the finished story–years of work consumed in a few days or weeks.

What’s left? A smaller pile of chips too small for kindling, loose pieces of bark, and dirt. We use this as mulch for our hedge. I guess it would correspond to unused ideas, or bits of them, things that didn’t quite work out. So you recycle them, returning them to your subconscious to help nurture your stories yet unborn.

Happy Wood Stacking Day, all!

Guest Blog: A Hero’s Guide to Prophecies by Eric Tanafon author of The Road to Hel

A guest post I did on MighyThorJRS blog–thanks, James!

Mighty Thor JRS - Fantasy Book News & Reviews

As part of my Guest blog series for authors and fellow bloggers I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Eric Tanafonthe author of The Road to Hel has been kind enough to write a guest blog post for MightyThorJRS today. I am very excited and I would like to thank Eric for the opportunity to host this Guest Blog. 

The Road to Hel (Sean’s Saga Book 1) by Eric Tanafon 

is Out NOW

So go get your copy!


A Hero’s Guide to Prophecies

by Eric Tanafon

So you’re a character in a fantasy novel, and you think you might be a hero. What you need is assurance of your heroic destiny, especially if your track record isn’t very impressive so far. It helps a lot if someone made a prophecy about you. But even after you have that prediction in hand, there are no guarantees.

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A Bridge that Never Was

Bridge of Birds is a triumph, a huge, picaresque magical journey through a China that ‘never was’, but in some ways, will always be. I found this book initially because I had read Ernest Bramah’s Kai Lung books, and wished there were more of them. Bridge of Birds is not much like Kai Lung, really, other than the Chinese fantasy setting–the characters don’t speak formally, which is where much of the humor in Kai Lung comes in, and the story-within-a-story structure is absent–but the story is vastly enjoyable in its own right.

One of Hugharts’s triumphs is, paradoxically enough, making his characters universal: his magical China contains vulgar peasants, beautiful maidens, supernaturally gifted con men, matriarchs both good and evil, gods and goddesses who interfere in the mortal realm, misers with hearts of gold, and tyrants with no hearts at all. In other words, it’s like the fantastic world of any traditional culture from Europe to Japan. Also, this book has some of the most affecting and simply human passages I have ever read–for example, Miser Shen’s lament for his daughter.

Even given the large cast of characters, Li Kao and his protege, Number Ten Ox, carry the story as easily as Ox carries the old sage on his shoulders. They are wonderful characters and fully deserve the ultimate fate that the author had planned for them: to be accepted into the heavenly realm to live forever as minor deities.

For me, the other two books in this series, though still enjoyable, are a bit of a letdown. (spoiler alert) For one thing, they use the same basic plot outline as Bridge of Birds, though with varied characters and a different Chinese ritual as background. Also, the occasional bawdiness of the first book spins out of control, for my taste, particularly in The Story of the Stone.

But Bridge of Birds is a masterpiece–among the best modern fantasy books I’ve ever read and re-read.