Category Archives: Book Background

The Qomolangma Sentinel

My dieselpunk/teslapunk story is slow-going because of a few things:

1. I have a lot of studying for work (that I really should be doing right meow),

2. I’m essentially a single mom for a while, and

3. I have writer’s block.

I also have a post prepared about what a crock of shit writer’s block is. I know, that sounds crazy. Wait for it. 😀 Continue reading

Max’s Lair: Wyoming

When Max moved to America, he wanted to build his home in a completely isolated place so he wouldn’t have to deal with things like neighbors or police or SWAT teams–just in case, you know, one of his victims escaped the dungeon. He chose Wyoming, because back then, the only people in Wyoming were Native Americans, rugged mountain men and (eventually) Mormon pioneers who were really optimistic until the winter showed up.

Max’s ranch is near Rock Springs, but how near? Pfft like I know. He keeps it hidden, and he’s been spending a lot of money buying up all the land that he can. His tiny little ranch house is just a blip on the huge tract of land that he owns.

So, where does the most monstrous creature in the history of Earth call home? Check it out.

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The History in the Books

I really like history.

Don’t get me wrong: I hate memorizing dates. Ask me a date for something and I’ll just stare at you. French Revolution? Without Googling it, I’m going to guess 1780something. After the American Revolution some time. Meh.

But I can remember events well. And actually, writing The Herxheim Chronicle has helped me remember dates better. Some dates. Not the date of the French Revolution, obviously.

I Googled it. 1789? Close enough!

I spent a lot of time researching interesting points in history so I could better flavor the Vorator. If you’re going to have a race of immortal creatures spanning the millennia, then you’ve got to make them interesting.

There are some populations that I didn’t get to represent because it seemed like reaching to include them. Australian Aborigines. Inuits. Native peoples of South America (unless you include Aztecs, which I don’t; they were more Mesoamerican).

Boom. Aztecas on the left.

One of the themes of the Vorator is that they were all involved in some kind of tragedy, whether it be large-scale or private. Connor’s tragedy was, at the age of 8, losing his father to WWI and then watching his mother’s suicide. The other Vorator’s tragedies vary–Han Li’s home was washed away when the Yellow River flooded; Sophronia Palaio battled Persians to defend her home in Greece; and Orson Laroche’s family was executed during that pesky revolution I couldn’t remember earlier.

I think one of the best parts of learning something cool is passing that information on to others. I learned a lot of neat stuff while researching the Vorator, and now I want to share what I learned!

So since this is the first day of a new year, it’s the start of my The History in the Books series of blog posts! This will pair up with the The Myth in the Books series, which examines my inspiration for the monster that the Vorator is!

Stand by, stay tuned, and get ready to learn!

P.S. Happy New Year!!


Connor retreated to the entrance of the camp and stood with his hands in his pockets there. Ulrich joined him as soldiers from the 89th arrived and took in the gruesome sight before them. They had been ordered to leave the bodies where they lay, so the Nazi atrocities could be documented.

Ulrich lit a cigarette. “This place stinks,” he said.

Connor didn’t respond. He stared at the pile of bodies in the middle of the parade ground.

Ulrich took a drag and blew the smoke toward his friend. “Stop, Connor. You’ve seen bodies before, in worse shape than this.”

Connor shoved Ulrich half-heartedly. Ulrich hardly swayed. “Yeah, but this… this is horrible. They didn’t just kill them. They starved them and tortured them.”

“So?” Ulrich said. In a low voice, he added, “They’re just people, Connor.”

Connor’s Shirts

I’ve been writing my posts in advance and scheduling them for assigned days (which is something you do when you have small children–make time when you can!), and I scheduled this post for Dec 18, 2014. So this is a little bit late, but better late than never!

Connor, the protagonist of The Herxheim Chronicle, likes his T-shirts. And, whaddayaknow, so do I! Collecting interesting, strange, funny, or otherwise notable T-shirts is a hobby of mine. What’s that, you say? I’m too old to wear T-shirts with Godzilla on them? Or unicorns? NO! I’ll never be too old! I’ll wear a dinosaur shirt to my grave!


Anyway, all the shirts Connor wears are real. I either own them or I want to own them. There are two mentioned specifically in Vorator: a My Little Pony Tee and a Jigglypuff shirt.

And there they are.

What’s the best graphic tee that you’ve ever seen or owned?

The Myth in the Books: Wendigo

The Herxheim Chronicle: Vorator features a race of monsters that are kind of like vampires, kind of like werewolves, and kind of like neither. The first of their kind, a Neolithic man named Max, has been roaming around and slaughtering people for close to 7,000 years. There’s no way that a man like Max–who could shapeshift into a monstrous beast and wasn’t shy about traipsing into a village and laying waste to everything–would go unnoticed or un-spoken-of. But I wanted my Vorator to be unfamiliar to the majority of humankind.


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