“In Memory of Jianhong, Snake-Devil”

I’ve been dropping annoyingly vague hints here and there, but now it’s all out in the open—I’ve apparently started a new fantasy series. I didn’t really plan to do it and I certainly didn’t think I was ready, but then I’m not always in charge. I know writers who strongly disagree with that perspective. “I’m in charge and my characters do what I say.” And that’s often true even with me, as in sometimes I am and sometimes they do. But for me it usually works out better when the characters do what they want and I just follow closely and mark it all down, then cut out the bit where they stared at the horizon for an hour just for the hell of it and add the bit where one of them tripped and fell into the icy stream. Just for the hell of it. Or maybe because they deserved it…ahem. Where was I?

Right, the new series. The first one, “In Memory of Jianhong, Snake-Devil” is now up in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #226. I’ve already written and sold the second one and started blocking scenes for the third. As I said, after Yamada I wanted to do some stand-alone stories, since some of my favorites of my own work have been books or stories with no befores or afters, except what was implied in the story itself. I once attempted a few befores and afters in the case of Jin from All the Gates of Hell, because I liked the character so much, but none of them worked out. She was done, and thus so was I.

Pan Bao and Jing were different. I’ve had them in my head for a while, wondering what they were about. I first had him pictured as a bumbling Taoist priest kept successful (and alive) by his far more competent daughter, and there are still echoes of that, but the man himself turned out to be quite different. Then Mei Li showed up, and well, that was that. So it’s a series. I hope you like it. If you don’t I’ll write it anyway.

It’s not like I’m in charge.

All the Gates of Hell – Incarnate Edition

ATGOH-Proof CopyTo our left is a picture of the printed proof copy of All the Gates of Hell that arrived on my doorstep day before yesterday. The picture isn’t that great (cameraphone), but the book itself turned out pretty good, in my own opinion. So for anyone not yet ready to embrace the ebook revolution, there is now an actual, real book that you can hold in your hands and, you know, read. You can order from Amazon at the link above or directly from your favorite bookseller.

ISBN-10: 1492993263
ISBN-13: 978-1492993261
300 pages, $11.99

“Legal Assistant Jin Lee Hannigan thought she had problems enough as a single woman in rundown Medias, Mississippi. That was before Jin meets a homeless man on Pepper Street who just happens to be the King of Hell, and learns that she’s really the mortal incarnation of Guan Shi Yin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, charged with the rescue of unfortunates trapped in the various — and nasty — hells scattered around the cosmos. That doesn’t even turn out to be her biggest problem. It seems that the Goddess of Mercy is on the run and in hiding, which is why she incarnated as a human in the first place. Hiding from what?
Love.
But why would anyone fear love? Jin already knows that love is powerful, but what she has to learn, and fast, is that the wrong kind of love is also potentially the most destructive force in all the universe and–even more important–how to stop it.”