Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

SpecMusicMuse: Interview with Stephen Zimmer

StephenZImmer_AuthorPhotoToday, for the Rayden Valkyrie Blog Tour, I interview Stephen Zimmer and ask him questions about the editor/author relationship. Enjoy!

 

What would you like to tell readers about your Rayden Valkyrie novels?

The Rayden Valkyrie novels have loads of action, and all kinds of characters, creatures and other elements that fantasy and sword and sorcery fans love. But above all, these novels center around a very special character, one that I have found to be inspirational to me in my own life.

HeartofALion_CoverThough she travels another world in a setting that we would find ancient, she is a character that in my eyes is needed in the world of today. In a world that is shrouded in uncertainty, she serves as a beacon of resolve, self-determination, and self-confidence.

How important is having a good editor?

It is critically important, as a good editor saves you from yourself in many instances. When you are a creative individual, and at the center of a project like writing a novel, there are simply things that you may not see. A good editor helps in catching those potential pitfalls. They are your literary guardian angel.

ThunderHorizonCover_1200X800What are vital parts to the author/editor relationship?

It centers around the ability to trust and communicate. The author must see that the editor has their best interests at heart and wants the final manuscript to be in the best form possible. The author needs to be confident that the editor is not working to change their voice, but instead bolster it.

An author and editor have to have the kind of relationship where both feel comfortable discussing things that come up in the editing phase, without worry of anyone getting upset or offended. Authors should not be “thin-skinned” about the things that an editor might point out. In some cases, an element initially seen as problematic may just be a matter of the author explaining what is being set up for later in the case of a series.

Trust and a good environment for communication are essential for navigating the editing phase.

How many revisions do you go through before you feel a novel you write is ready to be sent to the editor?

I don’t have a strict number of revisions, but I do go back through a manuscript several times before turning it over to an editor. I aim to get my copy as clean as possible, and also work hard to try to find any problematic elements possible, and address them, before turning it over. Writers can easily find themselves revising things forever, but once I find that the manuscript is going smoothly and I’m not finding anything problematic on my end, I turn it over.

If your editor could be described as a song, what song would that be?

That’s a great question! I can think of many options to consider, but I’ll take the Joe Cocker version of “With a Little Help from My Friends” (I like his vocals!), because an editor certainly is your friend and they stick by you to help you get by, with more than a little help too!

Where can readers find your novels?

My novels are available in both print and eBook format, and can be found at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and all other retailers (and if you cannot find the print version on the shelf, the novels are available in the Ingram distribution catalog that most every library and bookstore orders through).

RaydenValkyrie_SolGeirsdottir_PhotoCreditSilvioWolfBuschRagnarStormbringer_BrockOHurn_PhotoCredit_SilvioWolfBuschSay, isn’t there also a trailer to a TV series pilot somehwere…?

Yes there is, the first teaser trailer to Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart! And you can find it right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7w_UI_RCg4&feature=youtu.be

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August 21, 2017 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Review—Hellscapes, Volume 1, by Stephen Zimmer

81cOwvEPHLLWhile Stephen Zimmer’s Rising Dawn Series contains some dark elements, Hellscapes Volume 1, a collection of short stories that all take place in Hell, is his first contribution to the Horror genre. There is variety to the stories, for Hell ends up being different for each main character, based upon that character’s psychology and the manner of deeds that led him or her to Hell. At the same time, they all share a similarity in that each character starts off not knowing he or she is in Hell. In that way, the stories reminded me a lot of The Twilight Zone TV series.

But of all the characters, Jared, in “Drowning in Tears,” was the only character I felt any real sympathy towards. All the characters in the other stories more than deserved their fates, and because of that, rather than feel any fear, I found myself rooting for the minions of Hell, instead. Despite the visceral elements and the horrific torment they go through, it really didn’t feel like Horror to me. More like Dark Fantasy.

There was, however, some good character development involved. Even the most despicable characters didn’t feel like cardboard cutouts, at least (however, if you’re aware of the New World Order, and those involved in it, some of these characters will be quite familiar to you despite the name changes). And it felt quite refreshing to see these evil bastards get their come-uppance.

So if you’re looking for something scary, as in Nightmare on Elmstreet scary, this collection might not be for you. But if you’re a big fan of The Twilight Zone, or would just enjoy reading about certain sociopathic power elites finally getting what they deserve, then Hellscapes is the collection for you.

Best to listen to while reading: anything from Midnight Syndicate, Slayer, Megadeth, or Helloween.

November 17, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Review—Chronicles of Ave, Volume 1, by Stephen Zimmer

Having not read any of the novels, Chronicles of Ave, Volume 1, is my first introduction to Stephen Zimmer’s epic fantasy world. A collection of short stories, Chronicles of Ave provides a rich and diverse array of lands and cultures from the view of heroic characters as they partake in adventures and quests against the forces of darkness.

I greatly enjoyed the stories and loved the characters. The Trogen, Marragesh, in “Into Glory Ride,” was by far the most interesting. My only problem with “Lion Heart” was the main character’s name (Sigananda? Signanda? Siganda?) kept getting spelled differently, which almost threw me out of the story. Almost.

Of the stories, themselves, “Winter’s Embrace” bears a theme vitally important for current times as it delves into the very nature of faith, itself. It would be the best of the stories, but the Trogen in “Into Glory Ride” steal the whole show (so to speak).

Overall, Chronicales of Ave, Volume 1 is a mut-have for any fan of epic and heroic fantasy.

Best to read while listening to: Iron Maiden, Enya, and Loreena McKennitt.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Guest Post by Stephen Zimmer – Challenges of Writing Short Stories That Tie Into a Fantasy Series

For the first ever Guest Post done in SpecMusicMuse history, I have the honor of introducing the great Stephen Zimmer, who is both a great author and certainly one of the hardest-working in the field. And if you haven’t heard about him by now, then you need to stop living in a cave.

So, without further ado, hhheeeeeeeerrrreeeeeee’s the Zimmster!

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StephenZimmer-smallI would like to thank Scott Sandridge for the opportunity to be here today on SpecMusicMuse to discuss short story tie-ins with a large series.

Chronicles of Ave, Volume 1, is a collection of stand-alone short stories that are set in the world featured in my Fires in Eden Series.  Readers of the short stories do not need to know anything about the Fires in Eden novels to enjoy these tales.

However, readers of the Fires in Eden Series will find more depth and content relating in some way to the novels, whether it be the backstory on a figure referenced in the series, more about a place or culture that are not yet shown in the series, or a historical event that might be simply mentioned in one of the novels.

In developing the history of Ave, and writing the Fires in Eden novels such as Crown of Vengeance, Dream of Legends, and Spirit of Fire, I have created a trove of material for short stories.  There are so many things about Ave that cannot be delved into during the novels, as to do so would take things on a sideways tangent from the course of the various story threads.  The short stories afford me the opportunity to immerse into those references, whether they relate to a figure, land, or historical event.

In writing these kinds of short stories, I find myself gaining an even deeper foundation for my series and the elements within it.  So, in a sense, it strengthens the process of writing for the novels too.

There are a few specific challenges involved in writing a short story related to a series.

For one thing, the nature of the short story itself presents its own challenges versus the writing of a large novel.   In my novels, I work with multiple story threads, and I have the kind of range and depth in a multi-book structure to plant seeds, foreshadow, let things take shape and develop, and build towards big payoffs down the line.

In a short story, the structure employed is much more linear, following one character, sometimes two.   With a much shorter structure, the plot, main character, and setting must unfold much faster.  You do not have the range of space to include the kinds of foreshadowing, twists, and turns that an epic-scale novel can contain.   You must connect with the reader fast, establishing  a tone and pace that will carry you through that particular story.

As mentioned before, I also work to make sure that the stories do stand on their own, so that a brand new reader who has not read any of the novels can understand everything taking place.  This sounds kind of obvious, at first, but after writing several novels it is possible to make assumptions on the things native to the world of Ave.  I keep an eye out for that and feel that new readers will have no problems whatsoever discovering the world of Ave if their first encounter with it is through the short stories.

Also important to me is to select cultures, lands, historical events and characters that will provide further content and depth for the readers of the series.  I want this to be their chance to explore some of the things that can only be mentioned or referenced briefly in the novels, and to gain more background on how Ave’s history developed.

With Chronicles of Ave I am confident that I have achieved that.  Readers will get to visit a diverse array of settings, from a medieval China style atmosphere in “Touch of Serenity” to the wintry forests of an Eastern European-like vibe in “Winter’s Embrace”.  “Into Glory Ride” is a story focused on the fully original Trogen race, and two non-human races that have not yet appeared in the novels are introduced in “Land of Shadow.”   There is even a little romance, in “Moonlight’s Grace”, and a flare of the heroic in “Lion Heart”, which takes inspiration from the Zulu Nation.

Loaded with action, fully stand-alone in nature, and each distinctive in terms of plot and main characters, the Chronicles of Ave serve as a nice introduction to the world of Ave.  I really hope both new readers and readers of my series find the adventures equally enjoyable!

Stephen

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Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author of speculative fiction, whose works include the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Rising Dawn Saga (epic-scale Urban Fantasy), the Harvey and Solomon tales (Steampunk), the Hellscapes tales (Horror), and the Rayden Valkyrie tales (Sword and Sorcery). He is also a writer-director in moviemaking, with feature and short film credits such as Shadows Light, The Sirens, and Swordbearer.

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AuthorFilmmaker-Stephen-Zimmer/221620254562078

Twitter: @sgzimmer

Website: http://www.stephenzimmer.com

Blog: stephenzimmer.blogspot.com

October 5, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , | 2 Comments

SpecMusicMuse: Spirit of Fire Blog Tour Interview w/Stephen Zimmer

And now for an interview with one of the best small press authors since, uh, that other Scott guy….

1) What got you interested in Epic Fantasy? Who were your inspirations?

Epic fantasy interests me because it gives you the broadest possible range to tell a story.  It allows a story to be viewed from inside a character’s head all the way to a cosmic level, and everything in between … and it works.  The fantastical dimension gives you even more range.

Epic fantasy lends itself very well to weaving in all the layers and intricacies of real life from an individual to a societal level, from the forces of politics and religion, to the flow of history within a world.   It has depth and a real sense of how things fit together and influence each other, and gives the reader the perspectives to appreciate those kinds of dynamics.  It really takes in the essence of a world, its cultures, and history.

Take Middle Earth for example, from the Silmarillilon to the Lord of the Rings, you have everything from a creation mythology, to a world’s entire history, to invented languages and a wide range of very engaging characters, as well as the tremendous stories told in books such as The Hobbit and the trilogy itself.

This kind of complexity can be challenging, but for storytellers and readers it can be immensely rewarding too.  I can cite many examples of richly developed series, from George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire to Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen novels.

As far as inspirations, the big two for me were J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and since then there have been many more, including Guy Gavriel Kay, Glen Cook, Clive Barker, R.A. Salvatore, C.S. Friedman, George R.R. Martin, and others.  I have been inspired by each for different reasons, as all of these authors have a distinctive style and particular strengths.

2) What’s it like being a small press author? What are the advantages/disadvantages compared to the big press?

Life as a small press author is very tough, make no mistake, but I think it is very tough for any level of author in this weird publishing climate that we have right now.  Don’t forget that many major press authors still have to work day jobs to make ends meet.  This is one of the hardest sectors in the entertainment world to make a living at, without question.

You also have to wear many hats these days.  Managing and growing your online presence is a full-scale task in itself that authors in past decades did not have to worry about, yet it is a necessity in today’s publishing atmosphere.   Can you even begin to imagine C.S. Lewis sending out daily tweets for example?   Can you imagine J.D. Salinger making a status update on Facebook?

The big pluses of small press are that I really get to work closely with my editor, and I get to be involved in the art phase with Matt when it comes to the covers and interior illustrations.  I also feel much more connected to the promotion phases of new releases, and have been able to support my work as much as I possibly can, with activities such as this large blog tour I’m doing right now.

The minuses are the difficulties in getting shelf space in bookstores, without question.  This is becoming less of a factor overall with the continual rise of ebooks in terms of market share, but wherever I’ve been given a chance to be on a shelf, and had individuals in the store familiar with my work, I’ve seen new readers emerge.   I think that there is going to be a solid place for independent bookstores in the future, and I hope to work with more and more of them in the future.  Hopefully as the market shifts further from chainstores to eBooks and independents, the barriers to shelf space will ease up a little more as it won’t be one national buyer rendering a decision but instead the individual stores themselves.

I have talked to quite a few chainstore managers, including some who already read and buy my books, who would be glad to carry them on the shelves but could not due to corporate policies and buying controls from higher up.  I know it will be nice when individuals like that, in the context of independent bookstores, will be able to bring the titles into the store without hindrance.

3)If you could summarize Spirit of Fire in one sentence, what would it be?

When darkness shrouds the world and all seems impossible, reach within and find the spirit of fire inside!

4) So, what’s the death count at in this book? lol!

Pretty massive, but not in the George R.R. Martin way, as far as main characters go.  I won’t go so far to say that they are all safe, but I’m not into killing off my strongest characters en masse!  Haha!

However, I do have some pretty large, vivid battles, and I don’t pull punches in them.  A great many die in these clashes, and the battles carry a realism that reflects combat in medieval times.   When you are using swords and axes, the results are not nice and clean.  I don’t feel I go over the top in conveying these realities, but neither do I shirk from them.

5) Your novels tend to provide a good balance between characterization/setting and action/pacing? what are the ways you manage that balance, to make sure the story doesn’t get bogged down in detail or end up with scenes that flash by too fast?

I am always trying to improve in this regard, keeping a nice balance between action/pacing and characterization/setting.  I feel my book three’s in my two series, The Seventh Throne in the Rising Dawn Saga and Spirit of Fire in the Fires in Eden series, show good progress in these areas.  Of course, the book one’s of my series are perhaps a little heavier on characterization/setting by default, as they are the foundational titles for the entire series and really need to set the parameters for the worlds the stories are set in.  I don’t forget that I am a reader too, and if I see areas that I would get bogged down in as a reader, I work to address to those sections.

I am careful about the ordering of my threads as well, and try to be sure that threads that follow each other are not of similar types.  Sometimes there is a need for slowing the pace down in a big story for a moment, but you don’t want to stay there overly long.

6) What’s it like writing a series? How different is it from writing separate novels in separate worlds? Easier? Harder?

I enjoy writing a series, and having room to work in layers and depth, planting seeds for later harvest, in a sense.   I don’t think it is necessarily easier or harder than writing stand-alone novels in separate worlds, but I do think there is a specific art to crafting a full series.  Each title of a series, in my view, has a specific purpose in the overall story being told.  The unique challenges in writing a series is to make sure that each title achieves its own goal while simultaneously serving its proper role in the context of the series as a whole.

7) Anything you’d like to tell potential readers?

I am an author that understands that without readers, an author is nothing.  Seems like a simple concept, but not all authors seem to understand that reality.   I am not the kind of author that will leave readers waiting years on end for a new title, nor will I come out with a title in a series where nothing really happens.

As a huge, lifelong fan of epic fantasy, I do understand what frustrates readers and what makes epic fantasy exciting, and I will do my best to bring you series that grow and deliver more and more with each new title.  I feel strongly that both of my series reflect that kind of progression over the course of the first three books of each.  Not every reader is going to like my work, and that’s fine, but for the ones that do, you will have the commitment of an author that puts every last bit of energy he has to give you as much as he possibly can.

 

Map of Ave

 

Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker, whose literary works include the epic urban fantasy series The Rising Dawn Saga, as well as the epic medieval fantasy Fires in Eden Series.

The Exodus Gate, Book One of the Rising Dawn Saga, was Stephen’s debut novel.  It was released in the spring of 2009, with The Storm Guardians following in 2010, and The Seventh Throne in August of 2011.

Crown of Vengeance, Book One of the Fires in Eden Series, was released in the fall of 2009, with Book Two, Dream of Legends, following in December of 2010.  Crown of Vengeance received a 2010 Pluto Award for Best Novel in Small Press.

Stephen’s short fiction includes the Harvey and Solomon steampunk stories included in the Dreams of Steam and Dreams of Steam II: Bolts and Brass anthologies from Kerlak Publishing.

As a filmmaker, Stephen’s film credits include the supernatural thriller feature Shadows Light, the horror short film The Sirens, and the recent Swordbearer, a medieval fantasy short film based upon the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant.

Further information on Stephen Zimmer can be found  at:

Website:  www.stephenzimmer.com

Facebook Page:http://www.facebook.com/sgzimmer

Twitter Page: http://www.twitter.com/SGZimmer

June 21, 2012 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Spirit of Fire Blog Tour

For Immediate Release

May 25, 2012

48 Date Blog Tour Announced and Cover Art Unveiled for Stephen Zimmer’s Spirit of Fire


Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the cover art and illustrations created by award-winning artist Matthew Perry for Spirit of Fire, Book Three of the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series by award-winning author Stephen Zimmer, as well as announce the dates and sites for the 48 day Spirit of Fire Blog Tour.  A pre-order window for a limited edition hardcover is also open in advance of the book’s official release.

(Illustrations by Matthew Perry from the first edition of Spirit of Fire)
The Spirit of Fire Blog Tour is being hosted by Babs Book Bistro, and will feature 50 events over 48 days, beginning May 29th  and running through July 14th. The tour will feature a number of activities, including reviews, video, interviews, podcasts, guest blog posts, and contests/giveaways.

Spirit of Fire is the third title in the Fires in Eden Series, following Crown of Vengeance and Dream of Legends.  Also associated with the epic fantasy series is a growing collection of short stories, the Chronicles of Ave, that have been released on eBook and are part of the Seventh Star Singles catalog.

In Spirit of Fire, a maelstrom of war engulfs lands resisting the designs of the Unifier to bring about a new order, of a kind that has never existed within Ave.  Battered by a massive invasion force from Gallea, the tribal people of the Five Realms and their Midragardan allies are being driven eastward, towards the sea, while the Saxan lines are wearing down ever thinner on the Plains of Athelney.

Time is running out quickly, as an ancient creature of legend soars through the skies with a brave young Saxan.   They carry the desperate hopes of two realms sorely beset by a voracious enemy.

Diabolic entities conduct a great hunt, as a malignant darkness deepens across all of Ave.  Exiles from another world must gain refuge, or find themselves ensnared by the long reach of the Unifier.  The very nature of creation itself stands in the balance.

It is a time when the honor and fortitude of many are put to the test, and terrible prices are paid for resisting great evils.  It is also a time of awakening for many, old and young alike, some of whom may yet discover the spirit of fire that lies within.

The third installment in the Fires in Eden series, Spirit of Fire is richly imagined epic fantasy with a diverse ensemble of characters that offers a new world to explore for readers who enjoy large-scale tales along the likes of George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Steven Erikson, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Spirit of Fire will be released in softcover and eBook versions during the first week of June.  The novel is now available for pre-order in a beautiful hardcover edition that is strictly limited to 75 copies.

The limited hardcover edition will be signed and numbered by Stephen Zimmer and includes a bonus illustration from Matthew Perry not included in other editions.  It will be accompanied by an assortment of collectibles, including a set of glossy art cards, bookmarks, and magnets.  The limited edition hardcovers will also be bundled with the eBook version (provided as a direct ePub file for users with Nooks, iPads, or Sony eReaders, and gifted as a Kindle file for Kindle users).  Those interested in securing one of the 75 limited hardcovers can place a pre-order at: http://seventhstarpress.com/documents/pre_orders.html

The Spirit of Fire Blog Tour Dates and Participants Are As Follows:

May 29  Fantasy Book Review

May 30  Ginger Nuts of Horror

May 31  Mom Cat’s Gateway Book Blog

June 1   Splash of Our Worlds

June 2   Soliloquy

June 3   Ritesh Kala’s Book Review

June 4   Jess Resides Here

June 5   Reading Away the Days

June 6   Vilutheril Reviews

June 7   A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

June 8  Red Headed Bookworm

June 9   Lisa’s World of Books

June 10  Kentucky Geek Girl

June 11  Goatfairy Review Blog

June 12  Book and Movie Dimension Blog

June 13  Full Moon Bites

June 14  Stuck in Books

June 15  The Independent Review

June 15  Alchemy of Scrawl

June 16  Watch Play Read

June 17  A Book Vacation

June 18  Eva’s Sanctuary

June 19  That Book Place Blog

June 20  Edi’s Book Lighthouse

June 21  SpecMusicMuse

June 22  Once Upon a Time

June 23  Azure Dwarf Horde of Sci-Fi & Fantasy

June 24  Bad Girls, Good Guys, and Two-Fisted Action

June 25  Eden Road Blog

June 25  Ali’s Bookshelf (live podcast)

June 26  Workaday Reads

June 27  Bookishly Me

June 28  Earth’s Book Nook

June 29  Darlene’s Book Nook

June 30  The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

July 1     Evie Bookish

July 2     Urban Fantasy Reviews

July 3     The Cabin Goddess

July 4     TheSci-Fi Guys Book Review

July 5     The Speculative Salon

July 6     Ali’s Bookshelf

July 7     Bunnys Review

July 8     Bee’s Knees Reviews

July 9     In the Dark of Night with James Tuck

July 10   Edin Road Radio (live podcast)

July 11   A Few Words

July 12    Bab’s Book Bistro

July 13   Alchemy of Scrawl  (live podcast)

July 14    Babs Book Bistro (live podcast)

June 20, 2012 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Review: The Seventh Throne (Rising Dawn Saga, Book 3) – Stephen Zimmer

The third book in Stephen Zimmer’s Rising Dawn saga, The Seventh Throne, continues the adventures of Benedict Darwin and the gang while introducing new big bads like Ares and Set.

 

Benedict gets kidnapped and tortured for information by the government, Gregory leads an armed resistance against the hijacked UCAS, and Friedrich partakes a quest into the Abyss in search of Erishkigal. And all as martial law gets declared on the UCAS, the Abundant Harvest virus is unleashed onto the world, and war is declared between the UCAS and Mandaria.

 

You’ll find twists and turns galore as Zimmer continues his epic saga. And his descriptions of the Abyss is just as vivid, detailed, and (darkly) fascinating as Purgatarion—drawing from myths from many diverse cultures. The third installment is just as much a page turner as the second was.

 

Also, Erishkigal FTW!

 

Best to read while listening to: Epica, Nightwish, Metallica, Megadeth…and maybe some Enya for the Abyss scenes just to mess with your head even further (hehehehe). Just kidding. Enya works for Purgatarion. Midnight Syndicate is perfect for the Abyss scenes.

October 15, 2011 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Review: The Storm Guardians (Rising Dawn, Book 2) – Stephen Zimmer

The second book in Stephen Zimmer’s Rising Dawn saga, The Storm Guardians, starts out strong and stays that way. Where the first book, The Exodus Gate, primarily set the saga up, it’s in the second book where it picks up the pace.

The setting is like a paralell modern day world. A very familiar world where mostly the names have changed: the UCAS=USA, Grand Charter=Constitution, Yorvik–you get the picture. Although I’m not exactly sure about the small town Godwinton…. (Godwin’s Law?)

The shapeshifting An-Ki are now divided into three clans and despite crossing time and space to escape the global flood and find themselves in a time period they know nothing about, they still find themselves pursued by their ancient Nephilim enemy that managed to cross the Gate as well. Fortunately, they now have help, in the form of a new order of Avatars known as the Watchers.

However, in the spirit world, Beleth leads an army of nasties out of the Abyss and invades Purgatarion in what is quite possibly the most epic and imaginative battle I have ever read in any fantasy novel. Heck, you even get to root for spiders (for once).

All this while Dagian Underwood, Jovan, and the rest of the conspirators (a mixed bag of human and Dark Avatars) continue their march toward a one world government with the revealing of Living ID, along with a federal assault on a home in Godwinton reminiscent of real world events such as Waco and the Brown residence.

The second book reveals many mysteries as Benedict Darwin and the gang continues to find themselves caught up in a conflict so big that no single world can contain it. It contains a large cast of characters, yet Zimmer manages to keep the pace going while still giving each chracter’s proper time in the spotlight. If anything, The Storm Guardians, is a promising continuation to the saga.

Best to read while listening to: Anything from Rob Zombie (no joke). Also, there’s a new band called the Sons of Liberty….

October 8, 2011 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Interview of Yours Truly

And, I might add, one of the best ones yet:

Meet Scott Sandridge-Author and One of Small Press’s Biggest Characters

Enjoy!

January 14, 2011 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dreams of Legends – Stephen Zimmer

Just got word of another awesome book:

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For Immediate Release

November 23, 2010

Seventh Star Press Proudly Introduces Stephen Zimmer’s DREAM OF LEGENDS, Book Two of the Fires in Eden Series.

Seventh Star Press is proud to announce the release of DREAM OF LEGENDS, the second book in the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series from Stephen Zimmer.

Now available for pre-order in limited edition hardcover and trade paperback, DREAM OF LEGENDS continues the adventures begun in CROWN OF VENGEANCE, when it was released in fall of 2009.

DREAM OF LEGENDS journeys forward with several characters from the modern world, who discover that finding themselves in the fantastical lands of Ave was just the beginning.  The assault upon the Kingdom of Saxany and the tribes of the Five Realms ignites, as the eyes of The Unifier turn southward, across the seas towards faraway Midragard.  Within this maelstrom, some find themselves on a path of discovery, to uncover powers that lie within, while others must brave perilous journeys, to seek out the things said to exist only in the faded mists of myth and legend.  Epic battles, plot twists, and new environments abound in DREAM OF LEGENDS.

Book Two of the Fires in Eden Series, DREAM OF LEGENDS is immersive, epic  fantasy, for those who love to explore richly developed fantasy worlds alongside an ensemble of intriguing, diverse characters.  Readers of the great epic fantasy authors such as Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkien will find a wondrous trove of adventure, characters, and depth in this next step of the Fires in Eden series.

Working with Stephen for the first time, and taking on the editorial reins of the Fires in Eden Series to keep the dedicated yearly release schedule on course, was Karen Leet.

 “Working with Stephen has been a joy. He is totally professional about his work, meets deadlines and edits cheerfully,” Karen commented.  “He makes editing easy for me, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know his characters, who now seem to me like actual people with genuine depth. His plotlines stride across the pages on swift, sure feet and sweep the reader along with them.”

“Having Karen as my editor on DREAM OF LEGENDS was a wonderful experience.  She did a meticulous analysis of Crown of Vengeance to ensure full continuity of tone and style with the new book.  I am fortunate to be working with two excellent editors on my two series.  The new book is loaded with action, and there are some very big revelations in regards to the full series,” Stephen said.  “DREAM OF LEGENDS builds strongly upon the foundation set in place by Crown of Vengeance, keeping storylines tight while introducing many new and exciting elements.  I am confident that readers who enjoyed the first book are going to be elated with this new installment of the series.”

Continuing one of the most extensive collaborations between an artist and an author in the fantasy sphere, a brand new set of illustrations and cover art were created for DREAM OF LEGENDS by fantasy artist Matthew Perry.  With the two Rising Dawn Saga books and the two Fires in Eden books, a growing body of over 50 full page illustrations have been created by Matthew for Stephen’s literary work.

In addition to writing two active epic-scale fantasy series, The Rising Dawn Saga and the Fires in Eden Series, Stephen also saw his first foray into the steampunk genre published a couple of months ago with “In the Mountain Skies”, which was included in the Dreams of Steam Anthology (Editor Kimberly Richardson, Kerlak Publishing).  Stephen is also a screenwriter and director in the world of film, with a new fantasy short film on the horizon in early 2011, “Swordbearer”, which features professional wrestler Al Snow, and is based on the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant (Sam’s Dot Publishing).

By the third week of December, DREAM OF LEGENDS will be available in hardcover, trade paperback, and several eBook formats, for owners of the Kindle, the iPad, the Nook, Sony eReaders, and other compatible electronic reading devices.

Already maintaining one of the most active year-round appearance schedules of any fantasy author, Stephen will be hitting the road extensively in 2011 in support of the Fires in Eden Series, the Rising Dawn Saga, and the “Swordbearer” short film.  The third book in the Rising Dawn Saga is slated for summer of 2011, and the next Fires in Eden Book for December of 2011.

Updates and additional information can be obtained at the official site for Seventh Star Press, at www.seventhstarpress.com , or at the author’s site at www.stephenzimmer.com

December 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment