Orientation (WTF this guy?)
Something I’ve noticed about a great many authors–if I stumble across their blogs or am recommended by friends and fans, I
sometimes have the “WTF, mate?” moment–because I feel so lost and newbie-ish. A lot seems to be an inside story, and I only understand half the entries if I’m not “in the know.” ‘Course, I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but it just doesn’t have to be that way here on my blog!
Thus, I’m endeavoring to post a basic primer and guide to what-the-hell I might be talking about in any given entry.
If you’re new to the blog, I highly recommend you check this out. And if you’re an old, die-hard reader, who knows? You might note something you didn’t know before.
This entry will also contain links to the various avenues by which you might attain copies of said works.
*Ahem* No pressure.
NEW: Check here for my designated posts regarding my books . . .
Ghostwalker: A timeless tale of vengeance vs. justice, given fresh strength by a blossoming love that lasts beyond death. A warrior thought long dead rises from the grave to exact retribution from the so-called “heroes” who wronged him–and taste the life and love he has been missing all this time.
Depths of Madness: A psychological thrill ride where nothing is as it seems, and love might not prove enough to defeat the darkness. The sly elf rogue Fox-at-Twilight finds herself thrust into command of a treacherous band of adventurers–will her wits prove equal to the challenge?
Downshadow: A harrowing tale of secret identity and the thankless pursuit of justice by any means necessary–a quest so intense it can doom the hero to becoming the villain. The vigilante Shadowbane will go to any length to do what is right, but does that mean sacrificing his own soul?
Also, on THIS page, I keep a small repository of particularly nice quotes about my work that readers have offered in reviews and feedback. Check it out!
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A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME
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My name is Erik Scott de Bie.
(“de Bie” means “of the cleft,” and refers to my dutch ancestors who were horse thieves. In Scandanavian, Erik means “great warrior.” So Great Warrior of the Mountains. Pretty awesome.)
I’m a twenty-something author.
I write mostly fantasy, but I make overtures into other genres as I feel like it (I’ve even been known to write romance scenes on occasion–shh! Don’t tell anyone).
I have a B.A. in English Composition and Literature (minor in Philosophy) from Willamette University, which is located in sunny (and slightly smelly) Salem, Oregon. I have a day-job, working for Boeing as a technical writer (i.e. documentation, schematics, etc, for airplanes).
I’m engaged to a lovely twenty-something named Shelley, who has a B.A. in French and Music and holds a Masters in Music History from the University of Washington. I have three cats: Athena (dominant, chubby, female calico), Apollo (dumb, gigantic, submissive, male orange tabby), and Artemis (the youngest of the three, aggressive, mean, but surprisingly affectionate when you’re the only human in the house, black short hair). The first two cats eat a lot and whine a lot, and Artemis (my wife calls her Ebony, or “Ebby” for short) beats them up a lot.
I fence–my favorite weapon is the saber, though I’m finding I like epee more and more as well. I also play D&D, as you probably guessed, A LOT (as you’ve probably also guessed). I also love movies, computer games, and rock music.
I am a geek.
(“Hi, Erik,” the disconsolate crowd of game-a-holics at Geeks Anonymous murmured.)
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A (completely and utterly unbiased) GUIDE TO MY WORKS
Starting with . . .
STUFF FROM WIZARDS OF THE COAST
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“The Hunting Game,” a short story in the Realms of the Dragons II anthology
This is my first published fantasy work, in the anthology that collects and begins the honored tradition of the Young Dragons (see below). As for the story itself, while I look on it as a solid fantasy tale, my style has grown so much since then that I have a strange dizzy experience when I read any part of it. It’s like looking in a mirror, only seeing yourself ten years younger (though in my case, ’twas only three or so years). Again, though I am proud of my effort, I would hate for anyone to judge my current writing ability or style based on this story.
Ghostwalker, a Forgotten Realms novel, second in the Fighters series
This is the first novel of mine to see publication, and I couldn’t have picked a better debut. It’s a fantasy-western, in a sense–take Clint Eastwood, put him in a black cape, and give him a sword instead of a gun, and you’ve got the protagonist. The novel can and has been likened to such films as High Plains Drifter, Kill Bill, and Desperado. It’s very, very dark, and a pretty close reflection of how dark I like my fantasy.
I think I got my story just about exactly how I wanted it–though if I’d had more space . . . well, it is not given to us to know what might have been. Interestingly, this novel predated my participation (but not my interest) in fencing–if I were writing it now, the scene with Torlic would be different. I am quite happy with how the novel turned out, and I particularly like the ending–exactly what I was going for the whole time.
(I might also point out that this is the only fantasy work I have published thus far to contain any half-elves–it has three, all of them minor characters, two of them of little consequence [Amra and Torlic], and one very important [Lyetha]. I thought this was of use to point out, as the funniest criticism I’ve heard of my style with this book was the supposition that I had an “unholy fetish for half-elves.” Still cracks me up to think of it.)
Also, if you enjoyed Ghostwalker or want to see a sampling of that dark, frontier world, check out the (free!) online companion story “Wayfarer,” which is a prequel, of sorts, to the novel. Chronologically, it takes place shortly after the prologue, and before the main text, but I do NOT recommend reading the prologue, then the story, then the rest of the novel–the perspective is radically different and would break up the flow. Much better to read the story before or after the novel. It will mean different things, depending on what you do or do not know from the novel.
“The Greater Treasure,” a novella in the Realms of the Elves anthology
I was deeply and unfathomably honored to a part of this prestigious anthology, which includes big names from the Realms. Salvatore, Greenwood, Baker, Byers, Smedman, and Athans. Then me. Little “talented newcomer” (gasp!) me.
I wrote a story of wit and treachery–a struggle between the demands of the self and loyalties to one’s family and heritage. My main character Yldar (who might well be my most clueless male hero) has to choose between his only sister Cythara (an elf wizard of great power and dubious morality) and the sexy and iconoclastic Fox-at-Twilight (a mysterious and alluring elf thief). Ultimately, it’s a struggle within himself: whether he keeps with the traditions of the past and stays true to who he is, or whether he grows into a new being and accepts a life vastly different from the one he knows.
I’m very, very proud of this story, and think of it as one of my best. Perhaps not the best in quality, per-se, but best in terms of accomplishing exactly what I wanted.
Notably, the Fox-at-Twilight goes on to be the main character of my second novel, Depths of Madness.
Depths of Madness, a Forgotten Realms novel, first of the Dungeons series
Depths of Madness stars (as mentioned above) Twilight, this time in a leading role, where she has to unite a band of disparate strangers in a struggle to survive when they awaken as the helpless captives of a sadistic and demented villain. They work with and against each other, in a series of intrigues, betrayals, and desperate battles to escape the darkness of the underworld–but the greatest battles are within their own minds.
It’s written cinematically like Ghostwalker, only instead of Western, it’s Horror. I liken it to a mixture of “The Thing” and “Saw.” Some people say “Cube,” but I’ve never seen that movie, so I really can’t say. (UPDATE! I have seen Cube, and yes, it’s totally like that. Kinda.)
Similarly to how I posted an online companion story for Ghostwalker, there is one for Depths as well. Find “That Time of the Tenday” on the FR Library site! This story, like “Wayfarer” before it, was written substantially after the novel itself was written, but stands as something of a prologue to the main action. Read it before or after–again, it will mean different things, depending on whether you’ve read the novel or not.
(Following this link (Go Mad) will lead to more information about the book, including concepts of character casting in a movie version, playlists, and much more!)
Downshadow, a Forgotten Realms novel, third in the Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep series
Downshadow (as well as the other books in the Eddie presents series, take place in the 4e Forgotten Realms, which takes place roughly a hundred years later than the 3e Realms. Where GW and DoM took place in 1374-5, DS takes place in 1479. It is the tale of a vigilante paladin, slowly dying from a disease that makes him stronger and faster, searching for hope in a city on the verge of giving up.
Here is a link to Downshadow central–go here for any discussion of the book and for free stuff (sample chapter, companion story, etc): Watch the Shadows
Here is a direct link to the companion story, which can be read before, during, or after the book: The Last Legend of Gedrin Shadowbane
I have announced a follow-up to Downshadow called Shadowbane, which is due out in September 2011 (or so). See below for a teaser.
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NON-WIZARDS OF THE COAST STUFF
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I have been/will be featured in numerous anthologies, including:
“Racing Lights,” a tale in Close Encounters of the Urban Kind, by Apex Publications (ed. Jennifer Brozek): Drag-racing with aliens.
“Vengeance on the Layover,” a superhero yarn in the Cobalt City Timeslip anthology, by Timid Pirate Publications (ed. Caroline Dombrowski): A retired superheroine just trying to go on vacation, only to encounter delays, liquor, and a megalomaniacal super-villain with a thing for her.
“Witch Fire,” an urban fantasy in the (forthcoming) Beauty Has Her Way anthology, by Dark Quest Books (ed. Jennifer Brozek): Gun-toting witches—who can ask for anything more?
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WORKS IN PROGRESS
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Shadow of the Winter King (epic sword and sorcery)
This is a revenge-laden, intrigue-heavy, sword and sorcery that features awesome action, heavy magic, and twists in my best style. Currently shopping this to publishers.
Shadowbane, a Forgotten Realms novel
Wizards of the Coast, Fall 2011
Not much detail about this one, but I did post a teaser:
Only a lunatic would break *into* the filthiest, deadliest, worst city in the Realms.
But when the woman who gave him back his life is taken into that awful place, Shadowbane will get her out.
Come plague, come demons, come treachery, he’ll get her out . . .
Even if he has to kill every wretched son of a dog in that whole stinking city.
Whisper of the Betrayer (sword and sorcery fantasy)
This is a swashbuckling sword-and-sorcery revolving around the bastard son of a nobleman who gets quickly caught up in intrigues, treachery, and a quest to save the kingdom, if not the world. It’s snappy and more humorous than SotWK–more like DS, where SotWK is more like GW. Completed manuscript, though it needs some editing.
Lady Vengeance (superhero comic book)
Yes indeed! I am writing a comic book. Basically, a young man finds out that he is supposedly the son of a great, lost superhero and tracks down the last member of that group still living: a mysterious, dark woman called Lady Vengeance, whose powers are based on fear and darkness. This project is really vast, so I can’t put a firm status on it. I am currently working on the first story arc (and have about 15 planned). What can I say? I go for the long haul.
(Lady V is also featured in the Cobalt City Timeslip anthology.)
??????? (urban fantasy)
The big mystery–what’s he writing? What’s it called? What’s it about? No one knows, and since I’ll probably publish this under a penname anyway, likely no one ever will. It’s just a big tease.
Plagueborn (epic fantasy)
This novel is currently on hiatus (as of July 3rd, 2007, I’d written 105k words). It’s going to be a big one. “Epic” refers to the scale of the story, which is told from a dozen varied perspectives, some far across a great kingdom. This book I plan to come back to when I’m at leisure again to work on it. Also, I paused because I got to 75k words and realized I was maybe a fourth of the way through. This is going to be one of those projects I return to in the future.
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MISCELLANEOUS FUN STUFF
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We eleven who were published in the ROTD2 anthology (see above) have formed a loose brother/sisterhood (that will one day rule them ALL!) and maintain as close of friendships as we can. Many of us have gone on to publish more fantasy and/or scifi.
Rosemary Jones has written another Dungeons novel called Crypt of the Moaning Diamond, and she is also the author of the fourth Ed Presents Waterdeep novel: City of the Dead. Rosemary lives in Seattle–we’ve met once, despite frequent attempts to intersect again!
Ed Gentry (edgentry) will be publishing his first novel, Neversfall in November as well. He and I played a game at GenCon ’06 wherein he was a fastidious and fussy dwarf wizard and I was a bitchy redhead. (*ahem* These characters are works of fiction and any resemblance to any persons, living, dead, or undead is entirely coincidental.)
Marcy Rockwell (mrockwell) is an honorary member of the Young Dragons–she published the Eberron novel Legacy of Wolves in June. Marcy’s husband is a soldier and he has frequently been in Iraq, so we give her all the support we can.
There are just too many deserving members of our order, and I don’t want this entry to get substantially longer than it already is! So until I create my own Young Dragons shrine (and it *is* coming), I highly recommend checking out J.L. Collins’s site: http://www.jl-collins.com/
Seattle D&D Meetup
I used to be a part of this wonderful (and yes, more than a little geeky) organization, which has swelled to great numbers. If you live in Seattle and might be interested in meeting other D&D players, check out their website: http://dnd.meetup.com/192/ There are other meetups for D&D (and all different sorts of things) all over the country, as well.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association
I am also a card-carrying member (though I guess I don’t have a card) of SFWA.
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