Fightin’ Fiction: 5 Melee Myths

A terrific post from Aeryn Rudel about melee weapons.

Aeryn Rudel's Rejectomancy

One of my many hobbies is HEMA, or historical European martial arts, wherein folks study various fighting manuals from the medieval and renaissance periods and attempt to recreate these martial disciplines as accurately as possible. Once you swing a sword the way it’s meant to be swung and then do a little historical research, you quickly find popular media presents combat with swords, axes, maces, and other crushy, stabby, pointy things . . . well, uh, incorrectly would the nicest way to put it.

So, from the author’s perspective, if you wanted to portray your melee combat more realistically, how would you go about doing it? Well, research is always the best answer, and it couldn’t hurt to at least watch some HEMA sparring to get an idea of what certain types of sword fighting probably looked like (or even take a few classes yourself). That said, I think the five “myths”…

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Sex & Knives

The Walrus Was Paul

This weekend was the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference. Year three for me. Before I tell you my highlights, most of which came in the form of author Steven James, who is really funny, let me start by getting my gripes out of the way, both of which happened the morning of the first day. I started the conference by attending “Sexy, Savvy, Sensational Romance,” a panel of romance writers, all female, no surprise. I thought I might get some idea of the crafting process and what is now acceptable sex in a romance novel, even though there’s no romance in my current project. The session was mostly about the business side, but the five women were all great and entertaining. Sex was mentioned once, and that was it, just mentioned.

I sat in the second row of a smaller meeting room, three seats from the wall. Halfway through the hour…

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New: Chase Baker and the Humanzees from Hell (A Chase Baker Thriller #8)

Best occult mystery action adventure book

Click here to get this hot title via Amazon.

When I write about weapons in fiction, I’m not coming from a place as an outsider looking in on creative writing. Far from it. I keep at that keyboard like anyone else, and I open myself up to the same criticism that others endure from me. That doesn’t make me perfect, but it does mean I’m not full of crap when I talk about these topics.

The latest example is Chase Baker & the Humanzees from Hell, available now at Amazon. It’s the eighth installment in a series started by award-winning mystery/thriller writer Vincent Zandri. Not those back alley awards, either, like the ones I give out. We’re talking the real deal.

Humanzees marks my third contribution to the series, and it’s by far my favorite of the three. I always say that about my new releases, but this time I mean it. Until the next one comes out. Here’s the synopsis: Continue reading

New: Chase Baker and the Apocalypse Bomb (A Chase Baker Thriller #7)

Chase Baker Apocalypse Bomb smallWhat If Humans Aren’t the Most Advanced Species on Earth?

I’m proud to announce the publication of the seventh in a long line of terrific thrillers, Chase Baker & the Apocalypse Bomb, available in digital and print formats exclusively from Amazon. Here’s the description. Continue reading

The Invisible Hand – A Crime Novel Set in the North Dakota Oil Boom

Murder in the North Dakota Oil Boom


Click the cover to get a digital or print edition.

I’m pleased to announce the release of my crime novel, The Invisible Hand, in digital and print editions from New Pulp Press. Some of you may remember the long road this novel took to publication and its appearance in the Kindle Scout program. The wait makes this moment all the sweeter, though, and I’m happy all the same. Continue reading