A lot of people can say they were creative at a very young age. What kid doesn’t enjoy drawing and coloring or writing the occasional story? This doesn’t mean we all grow up to become Picasso. But for me, writing has always been serious business. I had my future planned as a novelist by age six. My earliest bits of fiction are too remote for me to recall, but I know I wasn’t yet old enough to write my name, so I started with a cassette recorder. Eventually, I learned the rudiments of grammar and spelling. That was 1983.
What follows is a sampling of my literary life, from my earliest work as a child, to my most recent fantasy novels. These include sample chapters from The Princess of Aenya and Ages of Aenya; my first full-length novel and modern Greek myth romance/adventure, The Nomad; a nautical horror novella, The City of the Drowned; a children’s book featuring art by my seven year old daughter, No, Sophia!; a comic book starring my childhood inspiration, The King of Castle Grayskull; a bit of magic realism, Anna and the Devil; flash meta-fiction, The Protagonist; Sci-Fi humor, Pizza Planet; fantasy tragedy, The Gorgon’s Lover; and my first ever superhero as featured in Panther and the Bull.
The Princess of Aenya: When Zaibos seizes control of Tyrnael, Princess Radia is forced to flee from her kingdom. But at fifteen years of age, she is innocent to the cruel realities of life. Her only protector is Demacharon, an aging soldier tormented by his past, and from visions of the afterlife. But neither he, nor Radia herself, can imagine her true nature, and importance to Aenya.
Ages of Aenya: The people of Ilmarinen know nothing of hunger, war, or clothing. When this primeval paradise meets famine and the plundering hordes from the Eastern Hemisphere, Thelana learns to hunt and steal to survive. Hated by civilization, she keeps forever in hiding, until the day she meets Xandr, the last of the Ilmar, a man destined to prevent a second world-shaping cataclysm. Read the prologue and first three chapters here!
Download the first four chapters for free as a PDF: [Ages of Aenya Sample]
No, Sophia!: Sophia is just two years old, but her enthusiasm always gets her into trouble, sometimes improbably! But it’s OK, we still love her. This is my first children’s book, featuring original art by my seven year old daughter, Jasmine.
The King of Castle Grayskull: After Skeletor conquers the castle that holds the secrets to limitless power, can even He-Man hope to save Eternia and rescue Teela, the beautiful warrior priestess under Skeletor’s spell? Find out in my retelling of the original 1981 comic, starring He-Man, my childhood inspiration.
Anna and the Devil: Cloistering herself in the Greek Orthodox Monastery at Mistras, Sister Anna thinks herself safe from life’s many misfortunes, until a special visitor comes knocking.
The Nude Equestrian: An abused housewife is irrevocably transformed after a thief invades the family stable.
The Gorgon’s Lover: A tragic tale of obsession, sex, and romance between a shipwrecked soldier and a priestess forbidden from love. Semifinalist in the 4th Biennial Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award!
Pizza Planet: With a nod to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Pizza Planet reveals how, one million years ago, the discovery of one simple recipe brings social equality to an alien world.
The Protagonist: A man discovers he isn’t interesting enough to exist.
The Window: Fred is content with his typical life and family, and his job as a law clerk, until the day he discovers a window with a magical view.
The Song of Strom: Inspired by the Viking myths and the Finnish epic poem, The Kalevala, The Song of Strom tells the origin of Strom, Thunder God of the Delian people, who contests against Magmus, King of the Giants, for dominion over the world.
The City of the Drowned: A nautical Lovecraftian horror/adventure novella: Xandr, Thelana and Emma are forced into a civil war between two seafaring city states. To legitimize the rule of their captor, Queen Frazetta, they must venture into the ruins of a drowned city, where tens of thousands have died. Should they manage to find the relics they need, their 50-oared pentaconter, Mare Nostrum, may never find port, as one-by-one the crew finds death, from being stabbed in the neck by a quill to being engulfed by flames to being disemboweled by undead demons of the deep. Our trio of conscripted heroes, all the while, must overcome both the curse of a doomed city and their mad zealot captain.
Download the complete novella for free as a PDF: [The City of the Drowned]
The Dark Age of Enya: My first novel to be sold to the public, printed as a POD book by Xlibris. Poor sales, however, turned me off from independent publishing. Using the same characters and basic outline, I spent nearly a decade rewriting it, into what is now Ages of Aenya.
The Grayskull Library: During my early Internet days, nobody knew to look for my writing. My only way to connect with readers back then was through fan-fiction. This is a portal into my work as an unofficial writer for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. It went on to win a number of fan-based contests.
The Nomad: A Love Story: Dynotus was once a demi-god. Now, he is mortal, searching the desert twenty years for his abducted wife. This is my first full-length novel, which I wrote in high school. It is a love story and an adventure, a modern take on The Odyssey, set in a mythological past where all of the world’s pantheons coexist.
Download the complete novel for free as a PDF: [The Nomad]
Dynotus’ Adventures: The Island of Fotiaskotoma: Written when I was 14, this is the first of many adventures starring Dynotus, the demigod grandson of Zeus and Amaterasu Omikami. In this story, Dynotus saves an island village from cannibals.
Thangar II: The Omen of Sint: Written when I was 11, this is the sequel to one of my earliest stories, which tells the tale of Thangar and Sint, two warriors who journey to Castle Palantine to rescue a princess and bride to be. Includes artwork by a very young Nick!
Panther and the Bull: The Red Panther is my first ever superhero, which I created when I was 8. This high-tech ninja (which predates Power Rangers) was often featured in prose form (in incomprehensible grammar and spelling) but he sometimes appeared as a comic book character.