October 30

Off To World Fantasy Con!

WinterwodeCover-webNext week I will be in Saratoga Springs, NY with a whole host of companions from the SF/F not-so-hive mind, attending the World Fantasy Convention.

Special note: WINTERWODE will be having its official release party at the convention on Saturday (07 Nov.) at 6:00 p.m., with snacks, drinks, door prizes, the lot… and I will be signing copies of this newest Book of the Wode. Stay tuned for more info and, if you can, come say hullo!

#TheWode #WFC2015

October 17

It’s International Robin Hood Day…

And I was pondering how best to honour a Favoured Outlaw.  Some time ago I wrote Some Musings about a few of the reasons Robin Hood always lurks in the collective unconscious, and I could certainly ponder further upon that, but…

Well, it seemed that to list some creative retellings of Robin’s many faces would be a far more fitting tribute. I certainly cannot list them all — nor would I choose to, in some cases 😉 — but here are some of the prose examples that have, over the years, lain very close to my heart.

SherwoodSherwood-Godwin

&
RobinATKing-GodwinRobin and The King
both by Parke Godwin

Top of my list now, but at first I was hesitant to read them. Not because of the quality of writing (duh, it’s Parke Godwin), but due to the unexpected time frame. Robin Hood circa 1066 ACE? But I was young and foolish. Because why not? and yes!–Godwin took the Saxon/Norman conflict and put it where it truly belonged, with an amazing surround and strong, well-rounded characterisations… which meant, of course, they break your heart in all the right places.

Last of the GreenwoodLotG-Whidby by Sharon Whitby
This one has all but disappeared, which is a shame. (Even the verrry dated cover that really doesn’t do the story justice is my old battered copy scanned in–couldn’t find it online.) I discovered Last of the Greenwood years ago whilst first researching the rest of the then-trilogy begun in Greenwode… and the dark mysticism in it was familiar, compelling… and reassuring, particularly to a young writer trying her own wierd new take on a warhorse of a legend.

SoNotts-Kluger

The Sheriff of Nottingham by Richard Kluger
Told from the titular P.o.V., this was a refreshing take.  An anti-hero, certainly, but not a shallow villain with no story of his own.

MythagoWood-Holdstock
Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock
Robin is, in this book, a minor–and nicely ambiguous–character, but the Wood is the true wonder; a character in its own right, dark and magical and not-quite-friendly.

—————————
In all these examples, the prose runs from brilliant to sublime. Beautiful and evocative writing.

Of course, I also must mention the ones that lie closest to my heart.
WodeLogoIf I didn’t care about my own characters, didn’t love and hate and suffer with them… believe in them… even more than I cherish these other examples? There would be little point to living, loving, and suffering with Robyn Hode and his covenant of the Shire Wode.

So to the spirit of Robin and his band, in all their many incarnations — I salute you!

#RobinHood #RobinHoodDay

October 10

Podcast Interview Now Live

WodeLogoLAST WEEK I spent some time talking to the delightful, extraordinarily nice people of the WROTE podcast about the new release of Winterwode, writing life, subtext and research and many thought-y things. Hey, they didn’t even threaten me with duct tape!

As I said, Vance, Angel and Baz were very nice folks… and very patient interviewers. 😉  Check it out!      WROTE podcast with J Tullos Hennig

August 14

Sasquan Approacheth…

sasquanOff to Sasquan next week (19-23 Aug) for some immersion therapy with like-minded Speculative geeks. DSP Publications will have a table chok full o’ books, and yours truly will either be there or be sitting upon various panels and programming.  Like:

Legends and Lore of the Pacific Northwest–the Rapid Fire Reading with Broad Universe–a belly dance workshop (yes, in my other, less mild-mannered ego I like to shimmy to odd-metre dumbek music)a kaffee klatsch and a reading and a signing–and spending some lovely research hours at the Gonzaga library.

Come say hullo!

Well, at the con, not the library. I might growl if you disturb me in the stacks. 😉

July 10

Winterwode! Cover!!!

WinterwodeCover-webWinterwode is available for pre-order with DSP Publications!

I’m sharing the news and the cover goodness not only online, but this weekend as a guest author at BritishFest 2 in Council Bluffs Iowa. Pics to come later. Because, cover. ——>>

It is beautiful, isn’t it?
Shobana Appavu is a goddess of all things art.

You can find more info on Winterwode by clicking on the amazing cover art —–>>>>

June 5

Attending Anglicon!

AngliconLogoNext week, 12-14 June, I’m off to Anglicon, a British media convention at the Seattle Airport Doubletree Hilton.  I’m heading a few panels and will be in the dealer’s room with the Wode books and various Robin Hood goodies, accompanied by a glass of wine and Amazing Spouse.

Click the logo for more info and, if you’re in the area, come say hullo!

January 28

The Eternal Return of Legends

Celebrating Re-releases, the Collective Unconscious, and the Eternal Return of Legends

It’s in the water, right? Must be.

But it’s not always that simple. In fact it’s staggering–and humbling, really—how creativity channels itself. Not only in our hearts and minds, but in that undeniable cogency oft known as the ‘collective unconscious’. Things really do bide in the ether, surface for breath in the waters of the subconscious. And as of late, a certain Notorious Outlaw is making the rounds again.

Thankfully, that Notorious Outlaw makes those rounds on a regular basis. You can peer back through history and see nice, fat clusters of storytelling. It’s brilliant, in every sense of the word. Because those of us who are fascinated by something, who study it and obsess over it, love, live, and breathe it, are always willing for more. People who crave a well-told story will visit—and revisit—that story again and again. Each incarnation gives us new cause for either shattering insight or groans of utter dismay, brings new adventures and causes… all with which we can ponder the outlaw Robin Hood.

And there is so much to ponder. So much to explore and discover. He’s in the water, all right: a water horse, a kelpie who’ll cozen you to back him then throw you in to drown. Or even better, a pwca, a trickster who’ll give you that wild ride but perhaps relent, share some advice and goodwill to see you back home on wobbly legs.

You see, it was about thirty years ago when I wrote and nearly published my own first invocation and incarnation of Robin (or Robyn, even as the books have always been called Greenwode and Shirewode). England’s greatest archer was popping his wolfish head above the water then, too. Some amazing novels came from that particular surge—Parke Godwin’s retelling being amongst my all-time favourites of any genre. There were also movies: one so-so, one not-so. A man who was to become my friend was, unknown to me and across the pond, working on a very magical Robin Hood at nearly the same time as I was working on mine. Both of these were (and are) akin in their mix of historical tradition, high romance, and old magic. His went on to be an award-winning (and breathtaking) television series; mine was not so fortunate, though it did nearly go to contract twice before ending up in a file drawer as the cycle waned.

Such are the hazards of publishing. Yet bad luck can hold its own share of fortune. Those books that almost were thirty years ago now are. I’m a better writer than I was, and the Wode books are better than they were.  (Now with DSP Publications, a third in the series is slated to release Autumn of 2015.) Even more gratifying, when I dusted off an old manuscript several years ago and decided upon a total rewrite and restructure, it seems Robin was also dusting off the old longbow and taking aim back into the collective mainstream. There’s even talk of a new movie—definite cause for hope and dread and even perhaps a gnash of one’s teeth. 😉 It’s happening again: new tales and retellings, little wildfires popping up here and there… quite apropos to a firebrand archer.

I’m sure the signs have been there for a while, but admittedly I’ve been spending more time larking my own ‘swete greenwode’. Amidst my larking I’ve shaped a story which is garnering some loyal readers and critical acclaim; a satisfying debut for a world that has been poking at my back brain for… well, for much of my life, really. A strange thought, perhaps, to spend so much time in creation when our modern existence extols “hurry, put it out there, now!” But I don’t find it strange, not at all, and it is my sincere hope many others will find my books, sit back… breathe… and enjoy the ride as much as I have.

Robin Hood (aka Robyn Hode), more than perhaps any other figure from myth or history, is discontent to merely bide in the depths of history. In a very real sense he challenges it, both flaunts and mirrors those changes history and society would choose to reveal. How fitting that a figure often connected with the Green Man would be so wrapped up in the spiral of the Eternal Return, both mythic and prosaic. For someone whose historical existence is ever in doubt, Robin has the ultimate extant power: he sparks stories in those of us who are compelled to tell them.

He’s a pwca, all right.RobynIcon

Purchase SHIREWODE through DSP Publications
And GREENWODE is now on sale–a limited time for .99c

August 30

Re-release!–The Legend Begins Again

In late October, the Legend begins again…RobynIcon

DSP Productions and J Tullos Hennig present the re-release of Greenwode, to be followed by the re-release of Shirewode, and–

In Autumn of 2015, the Robyn Hode legend continues with the release of WINTERWODE, the anticipated third book of The Wode!

Greenwode and Shirewode will be re-released with new material, and shall be temporarily off-market in preparation for the event.  The audio books will continue to be available through Audible.