The Demons Within – A Big Thank You To My Backers

I’d meant to do this Monday but I got a little distracted. SO! Today then. I want to acknowledge and thank the following people for backing the Kickstarter campaign for The Demons Within!

In order of pledge, a very orc-sized thank you to…

  • Eric DiCarlo
  • Steven Latour
  • Andrew Paterson
  • James Jakins
  • Thomas Moore
  • Bryan Young
  • Rachel Sharp
  • William Stafford
  • Shayna Wark
  • Steven Pope
  • Garrett Schmigle
  • Melissa Shumake
  • Samantha Tohtz
  • Dee
  • Alyssa Riggs
  • Cliff Tohtz
  • Benet Reynolds
  • Asher Stephenson
  • Jacob Townsend
  • Kibret Gordon
  • Sungrowler
  • Matthew W. Mueller
  • Alex Haigh
  • Lisa Richardson
  • Rebecca Roth
  • Jen
  • Christopher Hayes-Kossmann
  • Leigh Petersen
  • Krista Ball
  • Rachel N.
  • Jonathan Dean
  • Satya
  • Robert Woods Tienken
  • Prodigal
  • Mega Ninja Publishing
  • Justin
  • Michael Adam Childers
  • Jeff Lewis
  • Anonymous
  • Nick Kilburg
  • Caffeinated Zombie
  • Kerri Regan
  • Margaret Beldyk
  • Ryan H
  • Amalia
  • Andrew Barton
  • Benjamin Savell
  • Wes Hillman

Not only did you help me get this book out, but some of you were involved in the final 12 hour victory, which saw the campaign go from $1077, not quite half of my $2200 goal, to $2225! I hope you enjoy The Demons Within as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Orctober: Art – The Thinking Orc

The Thinking Orc by Turner Mohan

Do orcs ponder their lot in life? what do they think about when they’re not fighting each other or the free people? It’s a question Tolkien left largely unanswered in his books, and the role of the orcs as the all purpose “others” who are patently evil and may therefore be slaughtered indiscriminately by our tall, grim, piercing-eyed heroes is about the only thing in Tolkien’s vast legendarium that leaves me with some reservations. I always wanted to know more about the orcs (beyond their perpetual role as cannon fodder for various dark lords) Cirith Ungol and the uruk hai were two of my favorite chapters in LOTR because at least we get some glimpses of orcish society (same reason I always liked the goblin town part of the hobbit).

I imagined for this piece a scene of an orcish chieftain like Azog or the Great Goblin, now a few years past his prime, living in some conquered city built centuries earlier by more advanced people (like Tol Sirion, Minas Ithil, or Moria) laying aside his weapons and pouring curiously over old tomes deep in an abandoned study. Maybe he cant even read, just pondering the very act of writing itself.

I really like this piece. It’s been in my favorites on Deviantart for years at this point, the piece itself having been published in 2013. The artist’s comments make for an interesting bit of thought. Conceptually, an orc doing something besides being a ravaging dickhead obviously speaks to me. Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

It’s Orctober 2018!

the demons within-front finishedWelcome to the party fellow orcs and orc lovers! It is Orctober once again and the very first thing you need to know is that The Demons Within is live and for sale and ready for you to read and review! You check out the first chapter in the link there or pick your retailer of choice here!

Mostly this year, I’ll be hyping up this book but I’ve got a few other things in mind as well. Along with some snippets from The Demons Within, I’ll do some character introductions as well, a revised version of Grimluk in D&D (RAW and Homebrew versions), and a Grimluk AMA (Ask Me Anything) at the end of the month. If you’ve been wondering things about Grimluk, you can totally shoot me a message via the contact form on the Socialize page, or tweet me, or send an ask on tumblr, whatever way you prefer! Finally, I’ll be sprinkling some art and artists throughout as well!

Keep your tusks clean, everyone!

The Demons Within Pre-Orders are Live

It is September 1st, and that means that The Demons Within is available for pre-order! Currently, you can get your copy reserved on Amazon, Kobo, and Apple while some of the other retailers are still rolling out. I love my books but I am REALLY excited to get this one out. Laura Hughes, who did the editing, had nothing but nice things to say about the book when she finished. And my proofreader was utterly enthralled as well. I really think you’re gonna love this book, too!

Reserve your copy here!

Paperbacks will be available starting October 1st. Happy reading!

It’s Some News

First up, there’s a new post up on Patreon, finishing the first draft of my reimagined Ranger for D&D 5e. For a buck, you can follow along as I redesign what’s considered the least satisfying class in D&D.

Next up, The Demons Within is currently with a proofreader. Digital pre-orders should be up on September 1st. The time draws nigh!

Relatedly, my plans for Orctober this year are a bit simpler than last year. I will be primarily focusing on talking about The Demons Within. I may include some D&D stuff again but this year is all about promoting the new book.

That’s all for now. Enjoy your weekend, y’all!

Guest Post: Edward M. Erdelac Talks Merkabah Rider And Life

The Merkabah Rider series is about a Hasidic gunslinger (the titular Rider, who assumes a title to hide his true name from malevolent forces) tracking the renegade teacher who betrayed his mystic Jewish order of astral travelers to the Old Ones of the Lovecraftian Mythos across the demon haunted American Southwest of the 1880s.

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It’s an amalgam of several things I read and saw up the point in my life that I wrote it in; TV’s Kung Fu, Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane and weird western stories, Joe Lansdale’s Jonah Hex comics, Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, H.P. Lovecraft, a Roman Catholic upbringing, and fourteen years living in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood watching the men walk to Temple on Saturdays in those black rekel coats and wide brimmed hats.

On the surface.

But everything of worth has to be about something else, and I think deep down the appeal in writing Merkabah Rider for me, beyond the culture clashes and the marriage of Judeochristian folklore with the Mythos, is self-reflection.

I’m forty two now, and I’ve been writing for twenty years, ten of them professionally (meaning I’ve been paid, though not always at professional rates). I’ve had a book come out from one of the Big Four/Five, from mid-range indie publishers, and now I’m self-publishing. I’m sitting on two unreleased novels no agent wants to touch. I’ve got four kids, the eldest off in St. Louis making his own way in life, the next on her way to high school. I’m on the cusp of possibly losing my own father to cancer.

And I wonder if the writing is worth it.

I’m not in a place professionally where I can support my family solely by writing. Hollywood is not knocking. Well, to be honest, they did knock once and I had to metaphorically direct them to my landlord’s place, as they were interested in the one book I didn’t have the rights to. That was sorta the equivalent of having God call you on the phone only for Him to realize it’s the wrong number , mutter an apology, and leave you listening to the dial tone. I’m not at a place where if my father departs this world, I can be sure he thinks I’ll be alright, or that I can take care of my mom, or even his grandkids.

I pour my whole heart into what I write. It’s really the thing that gives me the most satisfaction, the most happiness. And as happy as it makes me, that’s how unhappy I am when it goes ignored.

And I wonder if it’s worth it, to keep doing it.

Merkabah Rider is the thing I’ve done that’s garnered the most consistent response from readers over the years. I got emails about it for a long time after it went out of print, up to the day before I re-released it with a new cover by Juri Umagami and interior illustrations by M. Wayne Miller, basically in the format I’ve always wanted to see it in.

And I think the appeal of it, for me anyway, is the conflict of The Rider himself.

Imagine a man who by years of hard work and study, has unlocked the secret of life and death, who has trained himself to be able to leave his body and explore the afterlife. Here is a man for whom death holds no mysteries. The Rider has been trained to look The Devil himself in the eye until the latter blinks. Such a man is a master of his craft. He has no fear of death.

But now imagine that he reaches a point in his life where everything he was previously assured of turns out to be untrue.

Kabbalistic mysticism has a concept called the Olam ha-Tohu, the World of Chaos, which existed prior to the Creation which mankind inhabits. To The Rider, this is an area of study forbidden by his mystic teachers. But his master, Adon, has not only studied the Olam ha-Tohu, he has discovered the existence of entities which swam in that Chaos prior to Creation, unimaginable beings of limitless cosmic power which predate the First Day, which may predate God Himself, and call the very nature of a monotheistic ordered universe into doubt.

When The Rider learns this, it necessarily shatters him. The Merkabah Rider series then becomes more than a story of angels and demons and revenge, it becomes about The Rider’s doubting of his entire reason for existence and all he has ever understood about his life and purpose.

Its central question becomes, if the universe is truly a thing of chaos and entropy and a benevolent god is not the ultimate power, can it still be worth fighting for?

You can find the re-released first book, High Planes Drifter, on Amazon.

You can find more from Ed on his website, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook or support him on Patreon!