Saturday, September 1, 2012

Read "The Dragon Weeps" in Kazka Press

A fantasy story of mine called The Dragon Weeps goes live today in the current issue of Kazka Press. This story and plenty of others are completely free to read on their website. They also offer complimentary epub and PDF files if you'd rather read them on your e-reader or mobile device of choice. Kazka also publishes themed anthologies for purchase if you like what you see and would like to support them financially (and read more rad fiction in the process). A big thanks to L. Lambert Lawson and everyone at Kazka for publishing the story, and to Ted Wilson for the awesome artwork they commissioned (not referring to the photo up top; you can see the art on the Kazka site). This is my first story to have an art piece based on it, which was a very nice surprise. 

As I did with A Giant Mess of Darkness, I figured I'd post some commentary here for those of you who wouldn't mind a little insight into its creation. There will be spoilers ahead though, so if you haven't read the story yet, please do before reading further.

On "The Dragon Weeps" (spoilers inbound) . . .

Those of you familiar with my writing exploits know that I'm primarily a science fiction writer. As a reader, I enjoy a multitude of genres, but sci-fi just seems to be what the muse brings me most of the time. This story, however, was the culmination of an experimental deviation into the world of fantasy. Once I dipped my toes, I had to have more.

I wrote what would eventually become The Dragon Weeps while taking part in a small online workshop last year, and an early version of it actually ended up winning a contest hosted by the site. While I was pleased to have won, I ended up regretting my involvement in the contest, partly for reasons I'd rather not get into (dun dun dun), and partly because I felt there was real potential for the story (which had a different name then) to be fleshed out and put to market.

Ultimately, what came as a part of that process was the story you've read today, which not only cemented my new found love for writing fantasy, but birthed an entire history full of stories waiting to be told. I call the realm this story takes place in, "The Forged World," and I hope you enjoyed the small glimpse of it you had today, because I have grand plans in store. I hope one day I can draw the curtains back and reveal the maelstrom that's brewing in my head.

As for the story itself, this also marked a different approach to writing for me. Usually, the basic backbone of a story already exists in my head by the time I actually sit down to write. In this case, however, I sat down with a completely empty slate and plucked a single sentence out of the aether. A man stands alone, watching the night sky. From there, I asked questions. Why is he alone? He's waiting for someone. Why is he watching the sky? He's nervous about a reluctant decision. What decision? And so on, until I met poor Oswyn, torn between loyalty, compassion, and fear, with a little moral ambiguity thrown in for good measure.

I hope you enjoyed The Dragon Weeps, and I'd love to hear what you thought of it. If you found your way here from Kazka, feel free to stick around and say hello. I won't bite.

A quick note:

Since this is going up on a Saturday and Monday is a holiday here in the States, I've decided to wait until next Monday to post my next entry in the Speculative Fiction Tropes series so that people have a chance to catch this entry. I'll still be posting for the IWSG on Wednesday. Enjoy your weekend, folks.

photo credit: Zachery Jensen via cc


  1. Didn't want to read the spoilers, so jumping over to download your story. Congratulations!!

  2. Oh my. You definitely have a voice for fantasy as well. That was what my curiosity was aimed at, since I knew you could tell a gripping story from the first to the last word. And though I'm not a reader of fantasy (only a watcher), I'm really astounded at the consistency and... weight of your "fantasy voice". Blew me away.

    Great story too, James. Of course. :)

    1. Wow, thanks, Vero! I really appreciate it. One of the reasons I ended up loving fantasy so much was how naturally the voice seemed to emerge for me. I still have a lot of sci-fi ambitions, but fantasy is definitely here to stay.

      Glad you liked it! Thanks again. :)

  3. Another success for the JW! Awesome news and congratulations on this my friend. Definitely checking out this story ASAP. I loved your last one! WTG :D

  4. Congratulations! That is awesome news for you. I also have reserves at times for submitting my work in case I want to flesh it out later. Nothing wrong with that. :)

    1. Thanks, Diane! I'm just glad to have this one published in a good place now, as it was kind of a milestone piece for me as a writer. Thanks for reading, as always.

  5. Sounds like a cool story. I'm downloading it now!


Thanks for reading!