THE MANY SHADES OF GORIAS LE GAUL (or a guest post by Steven l. Shrewsbury about some sword and sorcery goodness you need)

Alrighty kids, gather round for another guest blog by a good friend of mine (and fellow Outlaw) Steven Shrewsbury. Steven’s a helluva guy writing some terrific sword and sorcery today. One of his stories appears in THUNDER ON THE BATTLEFIELD : Sorcery which is volume 2 of the double anthology I did for Seventh Star Press. (Go buy it and Sword which is number one)

He has new work coming down the pike. The newest Gorias Le Gaul, which he is telling you about today and shortly a sword and sorcery retelling of the story of Goliath. Yes, THAT Goliath. I read it, it rocked, I wrote the introduction for it. So sit back and enjoy!

the cover!!!!

the cover!!!!


My novella sized story collection BLOOD & STEEL: LEGENDS OF LA GAUL VOLUME I will be out really quick here. It features yarns about my character, Gorias La Gaul (central figure of the novels OVERKILL, THRALL and more to come) in various stages of his long life.

Some fantasy works are considered character driven fiction, rather than the epic world itself being the star of the novel. Don’t get me started that most ‘world building’ exercises in fantasy are just masturbatory sports in rearranging ancient Earth history and geography. Gorias La Gaul’s tales take place in a pre-flood world of mine that I prefer to think of as a time forgotten in our own history. While I’ve told much about the 700 year old flawed hero, who is equally as interested in woman as well as risky adventures, Gorias remains a mysterious character. In the tales of the new BLOOD & STEEL release, I’ve told selective things about him, events that may help his fans or a casual observer understand a bit more about him.

Do the stories paint a picture of why he loves women so much, loves to drink and is such a kick ass fighting man? Not entirely, but I’m not through with him yet.

The first tale, DAY OF INIQUITY tells of the rather violent circumstances of Gorias’ birth. We get to see his father in this story (as well as ASHES OF THE ALL FATHER and then, post mortem in INSURMOUNTABLE) and learn a bit about the tribal nature of how La Gaul was raised. The events in DAY are pretty horrific and the end of that one has a jaw dropper of a punch line, but, that’s how I roll at times. ASHES OF THE ALL FATHER shows us Gorias at 11 or so, and the way his tribe treated children and his own audacity with weapons at the climax, notably a stone member of a statue of Marduk.

The other stories tell of Gorias as an older man, one where he is drunken and heartbroken, somewhat out of character to his older self in OVERKILL and THRALL, Gorias indeed is haunted by a woman (aren’t most strong men?) and she is seen in the take WHORE OF JERICHO the Sorcery anthology currently out from Seventh Star.

Will it totally make the reader GET what makes Gorias tick? Perhaps a little, but I’m telling things as they present themselves to me. Gorias is in no way CONAN but as Howard said of his Cimmerian, the tales are coming to me out of sequence.

A reader will get to see his birth, how he coped with death and action, and even shouldered the sadness of loss of love, plus a duty to his dead father that is bizarre to modern eyes, yet, all to real in the realm of the past and for men of courage.

But why Gorias? Why an aging character, from a once raw beginning to a lordship and back to a mercenary sort of vagabond life? Why write of an enigmatic guy more comfy with whoring and whiskey than proper protocol (but he does remember the ropes)? Writing about someone with the moral character of Clark Kent must be a challenge. Gorias does have a certain code, maybe even great chivalry buried in his bearded face that’s probably more at home on DUCK DYNASTY that in a high bred fantasy realm.

I created him to be the vehicle for a fantasy setting where he wouldn’t be a barbarian warrior, nor a trained assassin, or any other real templates. The story is what works in these yarns and novels, but he is passing through them.

Fair warning: These tales aren’t for the squeamish nor the easily offended. They are rough, but move fast. They are grisly at times, yet will have one stopping to be revolted or laugh alternately. Gorias, while a flawed character with a capital F, well, ya won’t be able to help rooting for him. That is my hope.

How did I create Gorias? Well, that’s a topic for another blog.




STRAP ON THEM IRONS BOYS (or the announcement of a new project)

If you been paying attention to my social media (and if you haven’t then why not?) then you know I am a part of the Outlaws Of Fiction. We’re like the Four Horsemen of WCW. Four authors who write edgy stuff and buck the system making our own way. If you like my stuff, you will probably like theirs and vice a versa. We see eye to eye and all.

The Outlaws are: Yours Truly, D. A. Adams, Brady Allen, and Steven Shrewsbury. (click their names to go to their respective sites)

See what I mean? If you are familiar with any of them I can see you nodding your head and going: “Yep, them and James are cut from the same cloth.”  We got a BLOG, a FACEBOOK PAGE, and lot of fire in our bellies (but that might be the bourbon….or Brady’s chili.)

Well, this is the post where I tell you we ain’t all talk. We have decided, as writers are won’t to do, to collaborate on a new project. So allow me to introduce to the world formally:

LOWDOWN, DESPERATE, AND DAMNED Four Tales Set In The Weird West.


There was a time in America’s past that never happened. Where mythic heroes strapped iron on their hips and strode across the frontier and far reaches of the American West to make a name for themselves. A time of gunslingers and bounty hunters, outlaws and lawmen; a bloody age where you lived by the gun and survived by your willingness to use it. In this fictional past, the West was weird: heavy laden with bloodsuckers, skinwalkers, monsters not yet named, and dead men walking. Discover a West of old gods and dark magick, of demons and witches, where the razor-thin difference between life and death hung on being a ruthless bastard, a cunning cowboy, or having just one more bullet.


This is just a mock up to give you a taste. Not the final cover.


So the skinny is this: We each are writing a weird western novella. these novellas will be gathered into a 4-pack and published. We haven’t looked for a publisher yet, but we have a few in our sights. We’ll finish our part while it’s still winter, but it will be in 2013.

I’ll keep you posted with updates, snippets, and the like but my story will probably either be a Caleb Donner story (survivor of the Donner Party and now a bounty hunter with a dark secret living inside him), possibly a novella set in my WASTELAND world (more on THAT later), or a story about Robert McGee which is this guy.

This is a real picture of a real guy who survived being scalped AS A CHILD. Imagine the tough sunnuvabitch you have to be to live your life with your skull open to the world like that.


MORE THAN ALE WILL BE SPILLED TONIGHT! (a guest blog by Steven Shrewsbury)

Alright kiddos, gather round. Today we have Steven Shrewsberry stopping by to entertain you. Put on your raincoats in the first four rows, this might get messy.

Me, Steven Shrewsbury, John Hartness, and Brady Allen. Shrews is about to go on a rant.

I met Steven at Fandom Fest where I was privileged to not only lift a glass of moonshine with him (and Brady Allen and John Hartness) but to also sit and discuss the late, great Robert E. Howard with him and Brady Allen. It was a blast. Steven is a helluva guy. He writes some kick ass sword and sorcery as well as kick ass horror. I loved  HAWG, OVERKILL,  and THRALL and highly recommend them. Steven has promised me a story for THUNDER ON THE BATTLEFIELD, the sword and sorcery anthology I’m editing for Seventh Star Press for next year and, by Crom I plan to hold him to it!

What’s on the mind of Steven Shrewsbury?

So kick back and listen as he tells you about creating a new story.


As a guest blogger, I’ll try to behave and not wreck the place or wipe anything on the curtains as I go. Much. I’m author, Steven L. Shrewsbury, by the way, writer of sword & sorcery hardcore horror and a good dad, so I hear.

I’m enjoying going through the third draft of a novel. There seem to be so many folks doubting themselves or unsure of how they should approach things. Just do it, well, it cannot be that simple all the time, of course, but getting after it, yeah, do it. I like it. I feel good about it. I’m not filled with doubt, worry if I’ll offend anyone or any of that manure. It feels right. Now, that isn’t valid in every scenario in life, but this time, I feel the burn. It’s warm.

At times, I smile at things I write, stuff I forgot in the earlier drafts. There are times I have qualms that I wrote it at all. But that doesn’t scare me. Then there are the moments of passion, or outright Christmas morning glee when everything hooks up and the answers are revealed. Those are the times I feel it, I feel something, or someone in my mind. Maybe it’s my higher self, or my low-life, baser self, conducting an orchestra of the mad. Whatever the cheesy application, it’s damned good to listen to. It burns through the darkness and light splashes on the page. Does it smell like victory or just a mental napalm barbecue with legions of victims? Dunno.

All writers have a God complex. Some fess up to it but others whack off against the idea for eternity. It’s a creation thing, some are weirder or more obsessive than others. Some, their balls never drop and they work their jaws in discussion on a topic instead of working it out in a tale. Others, spread it out too much and the money shot gets old after a spell. Today, though, I looked at what I made. And it was good.

Why do writers write? That’s a complex one for a panel, but frankly, my answer has always been because I have to. Not out of financial need, but really that the tales must come out. I’ve been telling tales since I started re-fighting the battle of Jericho in my sandbox as a kid. Granted, Joshua didn’t have part off a Navarone play set and the will o’God behind him together, but I’ve always had the urge to relate a story. Many a tale is told easily and others have a terrible habit of torturing me for years. This novel I’m brushing up about a Confederate in his 90s facing a band of maniacs the Coen brothers would love is killer, at least to me, anyways, and it came out right. It isn’t S&S, and while parts are horrific, it is more survivalist/thriller, but I hate labels. Someday, I’ll share with the class.

Someday, someone will read this book and tell me it blows chunks. They may say they didn’t care for it, it wasn’t their kind of thing or, it fell short of what I must’ve had in mind. That’s okay as well. I told the story. It exists. It belongs to no one else. Those who cannot try can bite me. There are people that bitch to God about the weather, their taxes and why a platypus lays eggs. Today, I’m God. If only for a little while.

I’m sure He understands.

Steven Shrewsbury