Appreciation Post

February 28th, 2022 7:08 PM

We cannot achieve anything within a vacuum, by ourselves—alone. I want to reach the top. As audacious and delusional as that might sound to some folks, I do envision a day where my books sell well, where they’re somewhat popular and often enjoyed, where I can look back proudly on all that I’ve built.

But if I am fortunate enough to look back on such a career, it won’t be with the notion that I’ve done it by myself. I’ll never call myself—or allow somebody else to call me—self-made. No author is. An author is indebted to his readers first, but beyond them, so many other key players come into the picture, and, though those people’s names usually don’t grace the cover of the author’s books (if the author is gracious and thoughtful enough, the names hopefully do make it into the acknowledgements page of each book), these people are undeniably instrumental in helping the author achieve anything he has managed to do.

I want to make a habit of posting some appreciation posts as I progress through my career. Perhaps once every six months, I’d like to highlight and celebrate some of the wonderful folks who’ve helped me—in one way or another.

No appreciation post would be complete without a generous bit of gratitude devoted to my family. My wife and kids support and believe in me; they question and challenge me so that I’m not working in a silo; they sharpen me constantly. I owe them endless, sincere thanks.

Before I move on to linking to some of the people who’ve helped me, I have to mention that I’m not responsible for any of the content on any of these folks’ sites. Some of these sites may contain adult or NSFW content. I encourage you to visit each of these links as all of these people are working on interesting things, but, unfortunately, I’ve not been able to vet each creators’ content fully, so proceed with a modicum of caution.

Noah Naiman (Noah's site) is a forthcoming novelist. His debut fantasy novel, Inhuman Creatures, will be available soon. I had the immense pleasure of participating in one of Noah’s author interviews, and he also honored me by featuring my novel, The Gatherers and the Illness of the Isle, on his list of starred reviews. I’ve no doubt Noah’s work will be delightful, as speaking with him was a highly enjoyable experience. Please check out both the author interview and Noah’s review at the link above.

Sawnderz (Sawnderz on Reddit) is a skilled cartoonist with a unique, distinctive style. He is currently accepting commissions for character work (some of which is NSFW). He’s created a few unique pieces as a fan of The Tales of the Gatherers, but perhaps my favorite is his depiction of Aselle Attete. In addition to being a vocal supporter of my work and an engaged reader, he and I have talked for a long while about the craft of writing (among other things), and he’s helped me reflect on my work, find continuity errors within it, and has otherwise been a good friend. Please reach out to him if you’re looking for some character illustrations.

Here's his fantastic vision for Aselle Attete:

Sawnderz's depiction of Aselle Attete

Allan Macleod (Allan's site) is the voiceover artist who performed the audiobook version of The Gatherers and the Illness of the Isle (please do pick that up here). Aside from his exceptional skill for voiceover work (his voice is amazing, seriously), he sets a hard-to-reach standard for anybody I might work with in the future. He is remarkably professional, punctual, and polite. I hope I’m fortunate enough to continue working with him (or at least the likes of him) later on. If you’re in the market for creating an audiobook, look no further than Allan. You will not regret working with this man.

BrianaDrawsBooks (BrianaDrawsBooks on Instagram) is an amazing and kind supporter of fantasy authors. Her work includes breathtaking illustrations/paintings that feature scenes from novels she also takes the time to thoughtfully and thoroughly review. She was gracious enough to not only read my work but create a gorgeous depiction of Aselle Attete holding a myrra lantern for the first time. Please check out more of Briana's amazing artwork at the link above.

Here's Briana's beautiful artwork:

BrianaDrawsBooks's depiction of Aselle Attete

John Longtain (John Longtain's blog) is a novelist who’s currently working on an adaptation of the popular fairy tale Snow White. He’s also got an ongoing series of short stories called the Falsename Saga. His style is succinct, clear, and enjoyable. John has been a great companion. As a fellow writer, he’s offered up numerous pieces of advice, has shared his experiences, and has been an avid supporter of mine, too. Check out his work and subscribe to his blog at the link above.

Finally, I’ll offer a brief blurb about The World of Gundrim. This is a (currently) small worldbuilding project that I happened upon, and I spoke a bit with some of its creators, who seem like generous and insightful people. It has a pretty large team of dedicated creatives, so I’m interested to see more of the content they’re working on (The World of Gundrim's site).

I owe a lot of thanks to all these people, and I look forward to continued conversations with all of them, as well as to the opportunity to meet so many more talented and creative individuals and teams. In response to all the huge ways these folks help me out, I look for ways to similarly help them. I think I probably fail in the endeavor often—I know I cannot repay these people for their time, energy, and creative prowess, but I hope they never doubt how much I thank them.

Thanks again for reading!