A little about Norihame

In When We Were Kings, the tiny country of Norihame is an anomaly.  For generations, their over zealous neighbors, the Rhians, have conquered lands to expand their empire, just like the Romans of eons past.

Norihame, however, was based upon a small, Romanian-like country who refused to give in.  Due to a few geographical defenses, a strong and willing military, but some genius in their ruling family, they maintain their autonomy.  Unfortunately, their proximity to the diverse culture of Rhia means some will bleed over.  This is how the gladiatorial games became the basis of their judicial system.

The Aravatti family are well respected and beloved rulers – for the most part.  Ever since Queen Leandra sat on the throne and beat back the Rhian Empire with not only military might but also economic brilliance, her descendants have been seen as Norihame’s saviors, and time after time, they’ve risen to the challenge.

For me, the world of Rhia and Norihame is built upon the question of “What if the Roman Empire had survived into the Dark Ages?”  This is why eager readers may notice some inconsistencies in style and time frame.  I tried to imagine a “modern” roman mentality, swayed by the culture of the world and the pressure of religion.

The governance of Norihame, and it’s monarchy, was based on ancient Romania and the chief-kings of the time.  Sadly, there was no exact word for the position they held.  Modern English translates it to “King” and so that is what I used.  It’s also a title that readers are comfortable with, even if the setting is not quite the standard medieval European one they expect.

And, as Leyli continues to stand defiant, those things she takes for granted will become more clear.  From the politics she was never allowed to be a part of to the tense relations between nobility and neighboring countries, Norihame is a very diverse place.  Secrets are tucked in every corner.  Some even in the gladiatorial arena.  Sometimes its the things right under our nose, the things we barely pay attention to, that can affect the entire outcome of this saga.

What’s in the works

I have a secret.  It’s a series, nearly completed, that’s stuck somewhere between fantasy and science fiction.  Based on a planet colonized LONG ago, where Earth has become a memory so distant it’s not thought of, metals are nearly impossible to fine in pure form, and humans aren’t the only sentient species.

For thousands of years, humans have domesticated the iliri.  They are slaves, cheap labor, and all around second class people.  They’re also pissed.

Imagine a world where electricity is impossible to move because there’s no metal wires, where guns and gunpowder are too expensive to keep producing, where DNA manipulation is old world technology.  Where a single UN survival knife is worth enough to buy a city and armor is made of resin and acrylics.  Imagine a world where the servants are beasts who’d rather eat you than scrub the tile… Then imagine what happens when they learn to fight back.

Happy 2016!

As I wake up and wipe the sleep from my eyes, I can’t help but check my social media.  Isn’t this the way of modern society? 

I see stories of hotel fires in Dubai, recounts of what happened in 2015, and a lot of looking back.  For me, this day is about looking forward, about looking at the possibilities waiting to be achieved.  It’s about preparing to get down to some real hard work.

My goal for 2016 is to release a book each month.  I’m not sure if I can do it, but my backlist is long, and much is “almost done”.  From the last two books of the Wolf of Oberhame series (gladiators, woot!) to the Eternal Combat series (all about girl gamers, and the men who see nothing wrong with that).  I have a few pet projects I want to spend some time with, like the science fiction/fantasy mashup which begs the question of what makes technology.

Needless to say, with a project list consisting of almost 35 books, I have the potential to actually DO this.  The question is if I’ll get the time and the inspiration.  Thanks to the Spotted Horse Productions team’s amazing work, I also have to realize that by pushing, I’m not just asking myself to “knuckle down” but also the people who make these books possible.  From the trusty group of beta readers to my cover artist and editor, I can be demanding, and I know it.  No matter what, they always come through to make my books shine.  I plan to spend this year appreciating that a little more.

So, yes, 2015 is done and gone.  It’s time to move ahead, to wipe away last year’s excuses, and be the author I always wanted to become.  It’s time to get down to work.  Hopefully, my readers will appreciate it.