Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fantasy trilogy giveaway plus excerpt from Sorcerer's Blood by Christopher Kellen

The March 1st release of the third novel in the Elements of Sorcery series is approaching fast, and fantasy author Christopher Kellen is promoting the new novel with the Sorcerer's Blood blog tour and giveaway of the trilogy. 
Christopher is an interesting guy and hopefully on his way to becoming a powerhouse fantasy author. Get to know him through the following interview, enjoy an excerpt from Sorcerer's Blood, and enter to win the ebook giveaway through the rafflecopter form at the bottom. See all his novels and short stories and find out where to get them at
1. You began publishing in 2011 and have been writing furiously ever since with the release of 3 more novels. What is your writing routine like?
CK: I try to make sure that I'm writing at least something every day, whether it's work on one of my current projects or following a lark. I try to write in and around my everyday life, so I don't really have a set routine. Whenever something strikes me or whenever I have a few spare moments, I'm trying to add words to the page. I know for some people it works better to sit down and have clear, uninterrupted time, but my inspiration really comes in sporadic fits, so I have to work with it when it comes. Unfortunately, it tends to come a lot when I'm driving... and it's really hard to write stuff down when you're driving! (I'm kidding--don't write and drive, folks.)
2. Describe what you enjoy most about writing the Elements of Sorcery novels.
CK: Well, they're novelettes, technically (although this new one is a novella!)--ranging between 14,000 and 19,000 words so far, although they keep getting longer. I'm finding myself enjoying writing the shorter work. It's a very different experience than writing a novel; when I'm inspired, I can sit down and write the first draft of a novelette/novella pretty quickly, compared to the months of work that it takes to set down a novel.
Besides the format, though, I really love writing the character of Edar Moncrief. He was an unexpected creation during a novel drafting process back in 2011, and he quickly moved up to be among my top 5 favorite creations of all time. He's smart, acerbic, full of wit and generally cowardly, which makes him an incredible amount of fun to speak through. Discovering what this character has to say when I put him through hell is just amazing. It's not all funny, though--particularly during the second installment, SORCERER'S CRIME, things got pretty real there, and Moncrief's voice still came through clearly despite the drastic change in tone.
3. Based on reader feedback and reviews, what do people enjoy most about your work?
CK: My readers really seem to love Moncrief (everyone's always clamoring for more!). Everyone seems to appreciate the professional-level editing and clarity of my work as a whole. More than one reviewer has mentioned my world-building--I've done a lot of work to make Eisengoth feel as real as I can. Also, even across genre lines (to my science fiction work) reviewers talk about the quick pace of my books and how they draw in the reader and don't let go until the end.
4. You participate in an indie-focused review site called the Genre Underground. How did you get involved in this group?
CK: The GU is the brainchild of my good friend M. Todd Gallowglas, and I'm very proud to be a founding member. I met Todd via Twitter late last year after reading and reviewing his first book on my blog, and we really hit it off. He invited me out to San Jose last year for the San Jose Fantasy Festival, and I decided to go. We had an author's table and basically spent the weekend hanging out and talking about all kinds of stuff.
The result of this was that we came up with the idea for the Genre Underground, which will hopefully be a lot more than just a review site. We want to form a community of authors and readers to help find the best genre (sci-fi, fantasy & horror) stuff in the indie marketplace and share it with everyone. The focus will be on the readers, not on the writers. You'll be seeing a lot more of the Genre Underground throughout 2013 as we get it rolling!
5. You live in the company of a "monstrous black dog". I like dogs and would like to know more about the furry behemoth that presumably guards your fortress.
CK: Hah--guard the fortress indeed! No, she's a 160-lb Newfoundland, which means that if anyone ever tried to breach the fortress walls, she'd happily lead them to the silver for a pat on the head and a treat... maybe just the pat on the head. She is, however, the smartest and sweetest animal companion that I have ever been blessed with. Every single day with that wonderful animal is more than worth the fur and slobber.
6. Your picture at your website shows you in a cloak. Are you into costuming like for live action role playing or Renaissance faires?
I was blessed with cool parents! They got me into playing D&D when I was very young, and I spent a lot of my youth at Renaissance faires. The picture in question is actually from my wedding--my wife's dress and my clothes were made by my mother for the occasion, who is a wonderful costumer. I, unfortunately, do not have the gift of working with cloth myself =)
On the flip side--yes, I am a total gamer geek. My true love is cooperative roleplaying via pen-and-paper RPGs, and I am always ready to get dressed up to go to a Faire, convention or LARP event when I can find them!
7. Any additional comments?

Thank you so much for having me as part of the Elements of Sorcery 2013 Tour--I really appreciate you hosting this interview. I'm giving away three full sets of the Elements of Sorcery so-far as part of the tour, so I hope that your readers will enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for their chance to win!
SORCERER'S BLOOD is a critical chapter in Edar Moncrief's character development, with bearing on my flagship fantasy series, The Arbiter Codex. This is a turning point for the entire fantasy world that I've created, and I hope that many readers get the chance to enjoy it!
Find all of Christopher's novels at:
Get into reading Sorcerer's Blood right now. Part 1 of the novel preview appeared earlier at the Vaetra Files blog of Daniel Marvello

Enjoy Part 2 from Sorcerer's Blood

That was my first thought when consciousness returned. The second made me wrinkle my nose against the steady drops of water that fell upon it.

Realization crashed in.

My hands flew to my chest, poking and prodding my center of mass. The pain had vanished. I was lying in a rapidly-diluting pool of my own blood as cleansing rain poured through the worn thatching that covered the alley, but I was no longer losing any more precious life. I rummaged through my robes, but found only smooth skin where the blade had entered.

After a moment's panic, I found the heartblade caught up in one of the folds of my robe's sleeve, its light gone dark. I plucked it out and wrapped my fingers around it, carefully. On the ground beside me lay the silver manacle which had been clamped around my wrist, the sign of my servitude. It had broken into two pieces, with black scorches marking the shattered edges.

With careful precision, I checked the rest of myself. The large gold ring which clutched an amber gem had not moved from its place on the second finger of my left hand. My bag of tricks, consisting of several small magical artifacts which I'd imbued with various enchantments over the last several months, still hid away in a concealed pocket inside my robes. Whoever had killed me hadn't been interested in my trinkets and treasures—just my life.

A quick look around revealed no sign of other people nearby. The ambient light had vastly dimmed, but the sun had not yet set. The sunny day that I remembered had been replaced by the iron-gray storm clouds above.

For a moment, paralysis gripped my mind.

What have I done?

The haze clouding my vision pushed back at the edges, and I forced myself into an upright position. A rush of dizziness almost took me back down to the cobbles, but I managed to sit up straight and look around.

How much time had passed? I had no idea. I tucked the heartblade back into the leather case at my ankle, safely away into the velvet-lined interior. A brilliant warmth suffused me, I slowly realized, as though a hearth fire had been kindled at the very center of my being. In fact, I felt better than I had in years.


I flexed my fingers experimentally a few times, finding myself mostly unchanged. No immediate defects that made themselves apparent to my eyes, and as I at last climbed to my feet, the lingering haze of unconsciousness dissipated.

I glowered down at the broken silver manacle with every ounce of sneering contempt that I could muster. It had been my chain for six months. A shock collar to keep the good little lapdog in line. If only I'd known what I had agreed to when I'd accepted it, I might have chosen to starve on the streets instead.

Ah, what's the point in lying to myself? I'd never have nobly starved if there was another option available.

Gingerly, I picked up the blackened silver pieces and stuffed them into an inner pocket of my robe. The enchantment was gone from it now, but one never knew when pure silver might come in handy.

As I tucked away the broken manacle, a thought recurred. I stood on the street alive, but I was supposed to be dead.

"Black gods," I muttered under my breath. "Who did I piss off now?"

In that moment, a thought percolated its way through my mind. If I'd been left for dead in an alley, my assassin was convinced of my death. Indeed, there would have been no way for me to have survived such an assault, had I not been holding a trump card in reserve. Two things logically followed from this train of thought.

One, my assassin did not know about the heartblade that I carried, which meant my efforts to conceal it had been successful.

Second, the city of Selvaria thought I was dead.

A weird chuckling snort escaped me. "By gods," I murmured. A new glow, this time one of inspiration, warmed my mind. "I get to investigate my own murder!"

Find all of Christopher's novels at:

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