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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Ashes Of Onyx by Seth Skorkowsky

Official Author Website
Pre-order Ashes Of Onyx over HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Dämoren
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Hounacier
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Ibenus 

Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Redemptor Read Fantasy Book Critic interview with Seth Skorkowsky
Read Building The Perfect Revolver by Seth Skorkowsky (guest post)

Seth Skorkowsky is an author who has wowed us since his debut. Since the release of Dämoren, his Valducan series has gone from strength to strength.

Today we are proud to exclusively reveal the cover for his newest book Ashes Of Onyx. With design provided by Mibl Art, Ashes Of Onyx is a deep, dark dive into many genres. So checkout the striking cover below and be sure to pre-order it when it releases on 28th January 2020.

Welcome back to Fantasy Book Critic Seth. Thank you for your time. Can you tell us what you have been up to in the past year?
SS: The past year has been really busy for me. Apart from writing, I have a regular YouTube channel that mostly covers Tabletop Roleplaying Games. It won the Gold ENnie Award from Best Online Content this past GenCon, and takes a lot of my time. But it’s been a whole lot of fun to do.

Since you signed with City Owl Press for Ashes Of Onyx, can you tell us about this title and how this story came to be?
SS: Like any novel, it didn’t really come from a single idea, but a combination of lots of different ones. I’ve always been a fan of Clive Barker and enjoyed the way he regularly blended Horror and Portal Fantasy in many of his novels, and I’ve always wanted to try that. I also wanted to pull in certain elements of the occult as well as my own spin on the Carcosa mythology.

From the blurb, it’s pretty obvious that this book is an amalgam of many genres. You have also called it “new weird”. What would you say is unique about this story and its genre?
SS: New Weird is a term used to describe works that break genre molds. Back in the early 20th Century, Fantasy was called Weird Fiction. They didn’t have the sub-genre limits that we have today, and authors mixed contemporary fantasy, horror, and science fiction freely. It was like the Wild West of speculative fiction. Only later did the massive number of sub-genre categories emerge, which are nice for identifying which stories are similar to each other, however, they also created constraints and rules. New Weird is a return to that style.

Ashes Of Onyx begins as Urban Fantasy but then shifts to more and more High, Portal, and Epic Fantasy, with Horror and even a dash of Sci-Fi for flavor. I hadn’t planned on it being New Weird story, as much as I wrote the story I wanted, and once it was done, I realized it didn’t really fit in the normal sub-genres. That made selling it a bit difficult. One rejecting editor even explained that he just didn’t know what genre to put it in.

Was the writing process any different for this new book and did you face any challenges with this subgenre shift?
SS: The biggest shift for me was Kate. She’s very different than my normal protagonists in that she’s tough, but comes with a lot of baggage. I wanted to show her addiction problem in a realistic way, in how she constantly justifies her behavior in a way that makes sense, but is also clearly a mask for her real desire to use the drugs she’s addicted to.

The biggest challenge in the genre shift was showcasing new and interesting worlds that follow some of the rules as our own, but clearly don’t in others. It was a bit of a dance to make them as strange as I could without making them too alien and not losing attention to the story itself.

Let’s talk about that striking cover. How did it all come together? What were your instructions/suggestions for it? How did you and the designer collaborate to create the cover?
SS: For the cover, I said I wanted Kate as well as the Viatoric glyph in her hand. I mentioned elements I’d also like to see, such as the ruins of Carcosa and swirls of misty, black aether. When they showed me the original draft, I loved it. My only suggestion was to add one or more moons behind her to show that the world the story takes place in isn’t Earth. They did, and I’m very happy with the final result.

Can you share something about the book that’s not mentioned in the blrb and why fans of your previous works should be excited for this new story?
SS: The blurb nails a lot of the big points, but one that it doesn’t is the monsters. Like with my Valducan stories, I have some gruesome monsters, many of which are based off of creatures from folklore, but from older interpretations than are normally seen in popular fiction. My fans should be happy to not just see the monsters, but the fight scenes. As they might expect, characters will die.

Is this story a standalone or part of a new saga?
SS: It’s a stand-alone, but I’ve got ideas for a sequel. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.

What are you currently writing? What will be next for you after this release?
SS: Currently, I’m working on some Tabletop RPG scenarios. Due to contracts, I’m not at liberty to say much about the project, but I’m very excited to be working in the industry that’s brought so much entertainment to my life. As far as my normal writing, I’ve been tooling around with a story about Fantasy-era spies. Sort of a James Bond Flintlock Fantasy.

Thank you again for taking the time to chat with us, Seth. When can we get our hands on Ashes Of Onyx? Anything else you have going on right now that you'd like the world to know about?
SS: Thank you very much for having me. The book is set to release January 28, 2020. Physical, e-book, and audiobook. Pre-orders have already opened for the Kindle edition.

Anyone who enjoys TTRPGs should swing by my YouTube channel. I try to make it both informative and entertaining (meaning I wear a lot of silly costumes). It’s fun.

Pre-order Ashes Of Onyx over HERE

Official Book Blurb: They stole her magic.

They killed her friends.

Nothing in the multiverse will stop her quest for revenge.

Kate Rossdale once held all the promise of becoming Baltimore’s greatest sorceress. But promise is a hard thing to hold when your coven is murdered, your magic is stripped away, and the only solace left to you comes one powdered line at a time.

When she’s offered the restoration of her power by a man she doesn’t know or trust, Kate sets in motion the retribution of her enemies.

Soon she finds herself racing across the globe, and across worlds, venturing into exotic realms of forbidden dreams, to the spires of Lost Carcosa, hunting for the magic-thief who robbed her of everything she held dear, including the most dangerous magic any sorceress can possess—hope.



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