The Hollow March Anniversary Photoshoot

Yes, you read that right. This frigid little month marks the fourth anniversary of The Hollow March‘s debut, and for that, I decided to have a little fun (AKA be a dork and play with sharp, pointy things). For those of you lurking about Facebook and Twitter, of course, this will come as no surprise, but yesterday I garbed up and got medieval on the Internet, essentially cosplaying as one of my novels’ main characters, Rurik Matair.

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The results were filled with grim shadowplay, filters, and were ruddy mysterious, but had the added advantage of a fancy hat and a scimitar. I would like to have kept both, but alas, neither was within my photographer’s purview to grant (woe is me).

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It has been a long, strange ride friends. In these four years I have not only seen birthed a series I had been dreaming up for the better part of a decade, but concluded it as well. Three books in four years; not too shabby for someone still fending off the latter half of their twenties, wouldn’t you say?

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Like the silliness? Want more? Want to dress up, too, or have great cosplays from other literature to share? Pop your thoughts and links into the comments, and share around. It’s an anniversary, after all, and that means it’s time for a party.

And for those of you that have stumbled across this site for the first time, and for whom this is their first introduction to me: where have you been? Here’s the link to my books, so you know who I am: http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Galford/e/B007A9XDXK/

On Turkeys, Great and Small

Alright everybody, just a heads up. There’s been a lot happening in the world; you know it, I know it, me posting about it here would just clog the Internet up with another voice shouting about senselessness into the void. Many have expressed my heart’s feelings on the matter better than I could, but if you really wanted to hear me screaming, go through the backlog of my Twitter. It’s filled with late night laments.

I know I write entertainment. It’s what most people turn to literature for. That said, the way the world’s been spiraling, well…it hasn’t been terribly conducive to that process. One of the burdens of being creative? Your heart gets pulled in a lot of different directions.

So, right, the heads-up. Basically, I wanted you all to know I’m taking the rest of the month off. Partly because I’m going to be spending the upcoming (American) holiday in Virginia, partly to finish up Christmas gifts for those close to me (you probably know who you are, and you’re going to be getting some stories), and partly because I’m trying to figure out next steps.

Next month marks the anniversary of the release of THE HOLLOW MARCH and that’s always a nostalgic and interesting time for me. A number of projects have also fallen through in recent days, and that winter depression is already clawing at my bones.

In other words? Drawing lines. Taking care of myself.

As I hope you all are doing. I’ll see you in December with plenty of new stuff. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to write. I see you, I hear you, and I have mad amounts of those heart-related feelings for you all.

Angry Turkeys for everyone!

The Pedigree of a Novel Family

Do you know what doesn’t last long? A half-way decent emperor. They drop like flies. They kick the bucket. They are…well, incinerated. Troubling, that.

Fortunately, if you haven’t noticed, the royal family in my books is rather extensive. Bearing that in mine, I thought I would give you an idea of the scope you’re working with in my books for their maddened political frenzy.  If you couldn’t tell: today, we’re talking The Hollow March and its sequels, so bust out those fantasy hats, people. Now, some of the folks below don’t even appear in the books, mind you—either fled or already dead, and the list is far from complete. This is not nearly so complete as something George R.R. Martin would whip out, for example. This list references those mentioned in the books and, in some cases, more prominent offspring. It does not capture the full embodiment of spawn, grandspawn, or the namesakes of the reigning house’s offshoots—the lines of Mauritz and Portir.

It is but a recording to give you some semblance of the House of Durvalle, and the uphill battle anyone (Cullick lions, perhaps?) facing them must surmount.

But really, do you see how eye squinting an experience this COULD have been?

But really, do you see how eye squinting an experience this COULD have been?

House Durvalle (Royal House of the Idasian Empire)

Foremost of the houses of Idasia, following their rise to power in “The Children’s War” a little over a century prior. Few still name them pretenders, though, largely due to the success of their reign. Three Durvalle Emperors have claimed the throne since then, with the current Emperor Matthias having the distinction of being the longest reigning monarch in the history of the Empire. Their descent is traced through the southwestern Duchy of Dexet, where a branch of the family still rules.

Emperor Matthias Rogimer Durvalle, styled “the Bold” and “He Who Rides,” aged 77 years.

  • His wife, Empress Noelia Tirozzi—deceased 15 years. Visaj.
  • His wife, Empress Surelia Jerantus. Binding their house to the Kingdom of Banur. Farren.

And their children: (13 children and 3 known bastards)

  • Joseph, aged 54 years. A Lord General. Visaj.
    • His wife, Mariline Debourge, binding their house to the Kingdom of Asantil.
    • His son, Prelate Barise
    • His son, Ser Haruld
    • His son, Yorne, the youngest, considered lost at sea.
  • Sarre—Deceased 30 years. Visaj.
  • Moira—Deceased 12 years. Visaj.
  • Leopold (later Emperor Leopold II), aged 38 years. Prelate. Visaj.
    • His wife, Ersili
    • His son, Anatole, aged 8 years
    • His daughter, Fiore, aged 6 years
  • Heinrich, aged 37 years. Principal Secretary to the Chancellor. Visaj.
    • His wife, Marren Certeri, binding their house to the Principalities of Ravonno.
  • Sara, aged 32 years. Handmaiden to Empress Surelia. Farren.
    • Her husband, Count Hernando of al-Saif, of the court of Narana in exile.
  • Gerome, aged 28 years. An Ambassador. Visaj.
    • His wife, Jesmere Turgitz.
  • Matthias, aged 25 years. Visaj.
    • His wife, Mecthilde Rusthöffen
  • Rufus, aged 23 years. A Count and Cavalry Officer. Visaj.
    • His wife, Anna Marie Venier, binding their house to the Principalities of Ravonno.
  • Molin, aged 20 years. A Cavalry Officer. Visaj.
  • Kanasa, aged 18 years. A Maiden. Visaj.
  • Rosamine, aged 9 years. Farren. (From the line of Surelia)
  • Lothen, aged 5 years. Farren. (From the line of Surelia)
  • Kyler Tessel, a legitimized bastard, aged 36 years. Styled Ser Tessel of Affing. Farren.
  • Gerhard of Torruf, a bastard.
  • Ilse of Anscharde, a bastard.

His brothers, Mauritz, called “the Wild,” aged 75 years. Master of Arms and Lord Justiciar. Visaj.

Portir, called “the Devout,” aged 70 years. Master of the Imperial Treasury. Visaj.

  • His grandson, Duke Urtz of Dexet

His sister, Atilde Debourge, wife of King Jon III of Asantil, aged 63 years.

Symbol: Two white, coiling, snake-like Gryphons, their heads ringed by the silver halo circlets of the Holy Church, a scepter in one’s claw and a sword in the other’s.

Traits: It has been said that all Durvalle eyes are green. This is baser rumor than earnest truth, but it is a trait which holds strong in their line, regardless.

The Hollow March Audiobook

Fantasy bandwagon: activate!

Fantasy bandwagon: activate!

There comes a time in every book’s life when it needs–nay, deserves!–to be adapted into the realm of vibrant verbosity. That is to say: the time has come for an audiobook up in this house. Over the next however long it takes I’m going to be converting The Hollow March into appropriate audiobook format, now that I have the proper equipment and it doesn’t sound like a day trip through the whistling Mammoth Caves when I drop into my narration voice.

Yes, that is a reference to my previous reading of the prologue, in its present incarnation on Youtube. Go there. Bask in it. Chuckle haughtily at what once was the peak of Galfordian recording technology, because I lack the connections or mad money for bigwig narrators and voice actors. I’ll wait.

Got that out of your system? Good. It will be replaced in due time.

At the same time, I’m also currently working on transforming my short story, New Frontiers, into an audiobook as well, which I intend to submit to Audible and opening up a new market for it, beyond its current Amazon debut. With all of these books currently in production, suffice to say, it’s shaping up to be a busy Autumn.

It wouldn’t do to make such an announcement without proof and tasty treats, though, so I would like to present to you all the new, improved, revamped version of The Hollow March’s audiobook prologue! Enjoy.

https://soundcloud.com/galforc/the-hollow-march

Fantasy Summer Sales and Indie Week Giveaways

Fantasy bandwagon: activate!

Fantasy bandwagon: activate!

It’s one thing to have written three books.

It’s quite another to share them with the world.

Well, this week I’m aiming to do just that. In concert with the approaching American Independence Day (sorry Brits), I figured it’s only right to celebrate Independent Authors, too, so there’s going to be a FLASH SUMMER SALE running on THE HOLLOW MARCH all week long. From today through Friday, July 3, the first entry into my fantasy series–THE HAUNTED SHADOWS–will be available on the cheap. So if you know anyone looking for a new fantasy series to lose themselves in, that’s the bandwagon to jump on.

And by bandwagon, I mean gryphons.

And by jump on I mean get eaten by…

Er, you know what? The details really aren’t important, are they?

Contemporary fiction at its finest.

Contemporary fiction at its finest.

What’s more, I’d also like to take the time to incline your ever-so-thoughtful heads towards another Indie sale going on this week. Fellow author Bryce Salazar’s debut novel, SHE SEES METAPHORS will be available for the low, low price of free through tomorrow. Absolutely no cents involved. Plenty of nonsense, though.

Bad jokes? Hey, that’s just part of our appeal.

Seriously, though, Salazar is a brilliant writer, with a piece that will blow the pants off any character-intensive reader out there. It tells the tale of one Jacqueline Schuler, who sees the world in metaphors. Literally. From streets of violent rivers to broken hearted mannequins, it’s a unique outlook on the world, with some truly intense imagery. It’s not quite magical realism, but it’s certainly magical in its modernity.

So give it a read, why don’t you?

A little geography lesson…

Interested in learning more about the geography of The Hollow March and At Faith’s End? Like any bit of fantasy, it can sometimes seem like there’s a lot of names being tossed around therein, so it never hurts to provide a little point of reference for the undertaking. Here are some of the more important names to remember from around the world of Lecura:

A (*) next to a name indicates a capital city.

Those figures listed next to the provinces are the leading figures of those provinces.

Geography

Idasia; Anscharde*, and its provinces: (The Main Focus of the Novels, located on the continent Marindis.)

  1. Dexet—Duke Urtz
  2. Varstein—Count Palatine Veldhart (The Sheep) [As of At Faith’s End, Bishop Hargrove of Tennesburg]
  3. Karinth—Baron Yohan Wendoc
  4. Sorbia—Duke Burkhard Rusthöffen (Lord Steer)
  5. Baharia—Count Haisher Hendensleuce
  6. Thorinde—Count Corwick Ibin
  7. Usteroy—Count Palatine Walthere Cullick (The Lion); Fürlangen*
  8. Jaritz—Count Witold; and Verdan, with Lord Matair; Gölingen*
  9. Berundy—Count Palatine Diedrich Kurste
  10. Lucretsia—Baron Erim Pordill (The Black Goat)
  11. Momeny—Margrave Dustan Scheyer; Ungerührt Tor*
  12. Turgal—Count Herbst Irkaller
  13. Dornitz—Baron Milbard Bresche
  14. Fritensia—Count Palatine Hewlitt Mayse
  15. Brabeck—Baron Kraste Uschent
  16. Khetzen—Baron Othmann Joher
  17. Waibar—Baron Perstin Osich
  18. Wassein—Duke Turgitz
  19. Arlaine—Margrave Kasch Hiris
  20. Corvaden—Crown Land

Kingdom of Effise; Mankałd* (Located to the east of Idasia, sharing a border with its provinces of Arlaine and Momeny. It is presently in a state of war with Idasia.)

Kingdom of Surin (A chaotic, utterly decentralized nation to the east of the Idasian provinces of Jaritz and Baharia, beyond the River Jurree. Following a previous war with Idasia, a loose confederation of barons has seized control, with its king being little more than a figurehead)

Principalities of Ravonno; Turnina*; Palace of the Holy Seal (Located to the south of Idasia, separated from the Empire by a chain of mountains. It is the religious heartland of the Visaji faith, and dominated by four principalities united under the Patriarch of the Church.)

Frmr Kingdom of Narana (The westernmost nation of the Marindi continent. A broken nation now, reduced to a mere province of the invading Zutam Empire.)

Kingdom of Asantil; Calvijon* (Borders Idasia’s western provinces. A devout nation nevertheless viewed as responsible for the rise of the Farren heretics. Widely regarded at the last true check of Idasian power on the continent.)

Kingdom of Banur; Sayerne* (Located to the southeast of Idasia, this rugged land is an ally of Idasia, through marriage to the Imperial family and the Count Palatine Walthere Cullick.)

Dutchies and Baronies of Lorace (Once a collection of tribes, and now a collection of interlaced city-state-like baronies and dutchies, Lorace is located south of Asantil, along the sea. Regarded as vicious fighters, their independence is their own great issue.)

Grand Duchy of Walim (Often regarded as independent in name only, this erstwhile ally of Idasia sits on the Empire’s western border, serving as a sort of buffer state between it and Asantil.)

Island Nations of Karnush (Northwest of the continent lies the isles of Karnush–a smattering of atolls, sandbars, and large islands in their own right, regarded as some of the finest traders of the modern era. A fierce navy and savvy knowledge of the seas is their greatest shield.)

Confederacy of Forlia (Adjoining Banur in the east, this confederacy of states is a sort of half-effort in democracy, with an elected tyrant sitting over the citizens in question)

Holy Empire of Zutam (Zutam the Holy. Zutam the Mighty. Zutam the Terror. A continent and an Empire in its own right. Its origins lie in a continent south of these others’ landlocked existences–but since it crossed the sea and smashed Narana, its presence has become very real for all.)

Talimphate of Tajalik (The easternmost state known to most residents of the Marindi continent–a land of silks and spice, hard men and women, and a rugged landscape dotted at least as much by tribes as civilization–it is the subject of many tales among the Marindi nations, and few of them true. Its size is of some dispute, but its power and elegance is not.)

An Interview with Lorna Suzuki

I’m honored today to have been invited to speak with Lorna Suzuki, author of the fantasy series The Imago Chronicles and The Dream Merchant Saga–a real heavyweight in the community (She even has a major motion picture optioned and in development!). She invited me to interview on her blog, All Kinds of Writing, and it was my pleasure to set to scribbling out some answers for her.

Therein, we discuss my books, The Hollow March and At Faith’s End, as well as the state of modern publishing, my inspirations, and even my literary ambitions for the future. Really, it’s a wealth of goodies that includes some history and future alike – including the finale to The Haunted Shadows series. Family, Vengeance, and a bit of magic-laced gunpowder–it’s all there, goodly people.

Head on over to All Kinds of Writing to read the interview.

You can also find Lorna:

Going Literary: The Imago Books Fantasy Realm Website
Blogging: All Kinds of Writing Blog
On Twitter: @LornaSuzuki