Please welcome Seth Skorkowsky
to The Qwillery. Seth has a two novels out this month: Hounacier
(Valducan 2) and Mountain of Daggers
(Tales of the Black Raven 1). Both novels are published by Ragnarok Publications.
So We Saved the World...Now What?Valducan
It seems that many sequels subscribe to the formula that every installment should up the stakes from the previous one. We need a bigger threat, a harder foe, and a greater risk for the heroes — that's the formula. Hollywood has made billions with it.
Dämoren was an international action novel that (SPOILERS) ends with the surviving heroes saving the world from a giant monster/demigoddess and an army of demons. It doesn't get much bigger than that. So what now? Am I to offer my readers TWO giant demigoddesses and an even bigger demonic army to escalate the stakes? That sounds like a bigger obstacle, sure. It also sounds terribly boring.
I don't want my Valducan books to be something that can be summarized as the, "Save The World From Monsters" stories. The series is about the Valducan knights and their demon-hunting adventures with their holy weapons. So instead of making the stakes bigger, I decided to make them personal.
Hounacier changes the game by focusing a different knight: Malcolm Romero. Readers will remember Mal from Dämoren, but he was a character that we never really got to know that well. He butted heads with Matt Hollis and because of that, he butted heads with the readers, too. Now we get to follow him and learn who he is and where he came from. The novel follows Malcolm as he attempts to solve the murder of his adopted father and mentor, and then as things go from bad to worse, Malcolm struggles to save his very soul.
While Dämoren took place in five countries, the majority of Hounacier is set in the city of New Orleans. I'd hinted at Malcolm's expertise on that city in the first book, and of his relationship with voodoo. Now we get to fully explore those things, and see how he operates in that particular world.
We still have monsters, actions, and twists, but we're not plotting along the same path as before. We're expanding the world that we've already been introduced to, and we're going to see it much more intimately than we could have before.
The stakes are big, the emotion is intense, and (in my slightly biased opinion) the story is engaging. Bigger does not mean better. Better means better.
Ragnarok Publications, March 14, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 287 pages
Cover by J.M. Martin
Eleven years ago, atheist MALCOLM ROMERO met a god. Now he’s a demon-hunting voodoo priest armed with a holy machete named Hounacier.
After the murder of his mentor, he returns to New Orleans to catch the killer. But more is at stake when Malcolm finds himself betrayed, and his holy blade stolen. Now Malcolm’s only hope to save his soul and to recover HOUNACIER, is the Valducan knight sent to kill him, MATT HOLLIS, the wielder of the holy revolver DÄMOREN.
DämorenTales of the Black Raven
Ragnarok Publications, April 14, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 Pages
Cover by J.M. Martin
Fourteen years ago a pack of wendigos killed Matt Hollis’ family and damned his soul. Now, Matt is a demon hunter armed with a holy revolver named Dämoren.
After a violent series of murders leaves only fifty holy weapons in the world, Matt is recruited by the Valducans, an ancient order of demon hunters. Many of the knights do not trust him because he is possessed. When sabotage and assassinations begin, the Valducans know there is a spy in their ranks, and Matt becomes the core of their suspicions. Desperate to prove himself, and to protect Dämoren, Matt fights to gain their trust and discover the nature of the entity residing within him.
Mountain of Daggers
Tales of the Black Raven 1
Ragnarok Publications, March 9, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 294 pages
Cover by Alex Raspad
Some call him hero. Others, a menace. But everyone agrees that Ahren is the best thief in the world. Whether he’s breaking into an impregnable fortress, fighting pirates, or striking the final blow in political war, Ahren is the man for the job.
After being framed for murder, his reward posters named him the Black Raven. To survive, Ahren finds himself drafted into the Tyenee, a secret criminal organization whose influence stretches across the world. Their missions are the most daring, the most dangerous, and the penalty for failure is death. When no one else can do it, they send the Black Raven.
Seth Skorkowsky was born in Texas in 1978. He currently lives in Denton, Texas, with his wife, and works for the University of North Texas. His short story "The Mist of Lichthafen" was nominated for a British Fantasy Award (long list) in 2009. Dämoren is Seth's debut novel and was recently nominated and shortlisted for the Reddit Fantasy Stabby Award for "Best Debut Novel."
He recently signed a two-book deal with Ragnarok for his "Black Raven" sword-and-sorcery collection. When not writing, Seth enjoys travel, shooting, and tabletop gaming.Website
@SSkorkowsky ~ Facebook