What's Dan Writing?I have finished the frustratingly secret projects that I rudely refuse to tell you about, and am now working full steam on the Dark One novel. Plus a lot of detours into the worldbuilding of my Cosmere series, which really should wait until I'm done with Dark One but it's too exciting and I can't help myself :)
What's Dan Reading?I just started Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls, a middle grade fantasy by my friend Kaela Rivera. For some reason I thought it was going to be a modern fantasy about our world with some supernatural elements thrown in, but it's actually a full-blown fantasy world inspired by Mexican mythology. I'm absolutely loving it--perfect for kids and adults alike.
What Does Dan Recommend?While searching for some good RPG battle maps last month I discovered Loke, a company that publishes full art battle mats, printed on wipe-clean material and collected into spiral bound books. Each two-page spread is a full fantasy map on a one-inch grid, perfect for D&D and other RPGs; they lay flat, you can draw on them with dry-erase markers, and they're incredibly easy to transport and store. I got two of them for Christmas, and loved them so much I immediately bought two more.
What Is Dan Writing?
So: we haven't sent out a newsletter in months, and that's because I was diagnosed with a shiny new Depression and Panic Disorder! It's so fun, and I recommend it to everyone. So I haven't really written much at all, but I'm starting to climb back out of the hole, and the last few weeks I've been doing a ton of writing for Super Secret Project X. I can't tell you what this is literally until it is out in the world, but here are some hints: it's three things, and they're in the Cosmere, and you should really come to Dragonsteel '24.
What Is Dan Reading?
Reading was another thing that took a huge step backward over the summer. Right now I'm finishing Priory of the Orange Tree and starting Yumi and the Nightmare Painter. I recommend them both.
What Does Dan Recommend?
I've been on an RPG-buying kick lately, and my new obsession is Monster of the Week. It's a "Powered by the Apocalypse" game, which is not a system I love, but this particular implementation of it works really well. It's basically X-Files/Supernatural/Buffy, with all the tools you need to come up with your own premise for a horror or urban fantasy "show" and play through it with your friends. It's fun, it runs smoothly, and you get to investigate monsters. I love it.
Dark One: Forgotten--the very first Dan and Brandon collaboration--is out! This is audio only because it is presented as if you are listening to somebody's true crime podcast. It is such a fun listen! Look for it wherever you get your audiobooks.
I was recently on "The Write Approach" where we discussed How Your Worldview Affects Your Writing. You can listen to the episode on their website through this LINK.
This month I read THE SPARE MAN, the new book by Mary Robinette Kowal. The premise is simple: someone gets murdered on a luxury cruise to Mars, and a wealthy telecom heiress has to solve it before her husband takes the fall. It's a delightful combination of the old "The Thin Man Movies," Mary Robinette's expertise with space travel, and all of the Writing Excuses cruises we've been on together.