Saturday, December 31, 2011

Three Short Stories in Two Weeks: a wonderful way to end the year

The Dragons of Blood and Stone fantasy universe began with the novel The Stone Dragon, which was published this year, 2011. 

The sequel to The Stone Dragon is Dragons of Blood and Stone, awaiting the revising process. It was a great gift and surprise to me, though, that in the last two weeks I have finished the rough drafts of three short stories and have also had a chance to engage in multiple revisions of two of the stories. These three stories are set in the DBS universe.

What a wonderful way to end the year!

  • The first short story, set in il-Barat and the desert north of that village, is 8,500 words. (This is literally off the map of the DSB universe--to the southeast of the Sand Barrens.) Entitled "Who Listened to Dragons," I started with the idea of listening as a magical talent, to listen or attend so well that possibilities emerged from a situation that were so striking and extraordinary that they seemed . . . well, magical. I added to the drama of the story by making one of the two main characters a six-year-old autistic child--the "listener."
  • The second short story, 2,500 words long, is entitled "River's Daughter." It takes place on the Makepeace River and involves a water elemental. The challenge I set for myself was to create a dramatic story about a water elemental (or naiad), and how this embodiment of the laws of nature interacts with humanity yet is totally unattached to humanity--totally inhuman, one might say. I wanted the spirit to be totally good and giving, as nature can be, and equally totally deadly and dangerous, as nature can be. Two sisters who live by the river are the main characters. The forces of nature can be scary, and I tried to include that in this story.
  • I wrote the third story, "Cobb's Dragon," with a kinder, gentler ending. At 2,500 words, it is the story of--you guessed it--Cobb, a cobbler's son. The story takes place past Outland in the passes of the Eagle Cap mountains, above the timberline, between two lands--the Empire and the Freelands. The main conflict is that Cobb doesn't want to be a cobbler. His discovery is that one can be many things--some prosaic and some fantastic. I've been thinking about Cobb for several years, really. He will have a place when the Dragons of Blood and Stone series moves east from the Freelands to the Empire.
Who knows? Maybe on January 1, 2012, I'll zip off another short story draft. I'd like to write the story of Tucker and Tucker, two identical twins who are introduced in The Stone Dragon. I'd like to explain how it came to be that they are so strange--identical twins who have established two inns, each on the opposite sides of a small river out in the wilderness. Why is it there is so much competition between the two? There is a magical tale regarding Tucker and Tucker, more than just a comic situation.

I've had a wonderful end to 2011 and will let you know when the short stories are available. I will make them available as e-stories--and at least two of them will be for free. The best of all success and happiness to all in 2012! It looks like I'll be busy, and that makes me happy.

Copyright 2011 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved
Image copyright 2006 by Holly Smith, Flicker


  1. Congratulations!!! Happy new year, too.

  2. @Susan Gainen
    Thanks, Susan! And I did write that 4th story, too. It's called "T Uk's Dilemma," and came to about 1,500 words for D1. A great 2012 to you, too.

  3. A great way to end/begin, Tom. May the year continue to bring great things!

  4. @mackenziesdragonsnest I'm enjoying working on e-book covers for one of the stories right now. I've never used online stock photos, which is a wonderful resource.