Cosmic Horror and Fantasy by Russell Archey – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Russell Archey will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Cosmic Horror and Fantasy

One of the biggest appeals of cosmic horror is humanity facing the fact that, in the face of the universe and the eons-old things that are out there, our existence is less than inconsequential. Either impossible, mind-numbing, deity-like beings roam between space and time and don’t even know we exist until we beckon to them too much and they destroy our world, or similar beings have more sinister agendas that will eventually come to pass and they destroy our world. The most a protagonist(s) can hope for is to delay this somehow.

In fantasy, our hero(es) often evil humans or humanoids, monsters of all sizes, or even very powerful beings bent on domination and destruction. Seeing strange things or ugly gribblies is common-place in a fantasy setting. Seeing something like Cthulhu or the King in Yellow may seem like old hat to a human wearing armor made by a dwarf and sword that lights on fire and telepathically communicates with them.

In Ashes of Aldyr and its subsequent books, I want to make the elements of cosmic horror still affect the residents of a fantasy world in the same way it would affect us. This led me to the idea of having these fantasy-dwelling peoples be invaded by unimaginable, madness-inducing being and creatures after an apocalyptic event. This trauma would increase the impact of the eldritch creatures’ arrival and make the humans, elves, and dwarves of Alda long for the simple monsters of past ages.

By putting the cosmic horror beings surrounding The Obscured Throne on a different level, I hope to make them seem like they are truly beyond nightmarish. If someone who’s used to dealing with goblins, dragons, and trolls is freaking out over the hunchbacked, blood-spewing toddler-monster with too many joints in its spine, then surely you should be, too, right?

The world of Alda is broken, destroyed by an event the survivors call “The Rupture.” The aldyrs, magical trees connected to the soul of the world and once grew in breathtaking groves, are dead. Elf-kind, who shared a close bond with these trees, are dying off due to shortened life-spans as a result. The dwarves have retreated into their mountain homes. Humans gather in crumbling settlements. Sinister, god-like beings, each uniquely horrific, exert their influences over the world. Each story is a different thread forming a larger tapestry that shows the scope of the horror and insanity brought by the elusive and mind-numbing entity known as the Obscured Throne. The world was once saved from this threat and Alda was hidden and sealed away. Now, an ancient and shadowy cult called the Black Gnarl have broken enough seals to expose Alda to the Obscured Throne…and It’s coming.

Enjoy an Excerpt

He looked over his shoulder, and his mouth fell agape in a silent scream. A face, a dark-as-midnight face with soulless, shark-black eyes and no mouth stared back at him. The smooth skin had a wet gleam; the limbs were too long for the shoulders they were attached to. The fingers ended in sharp, vicious claws and Edwin began to feel their sting as they flexed against his skin. The creature gripped effortlessly onto his ankle. Another one of them appeared from the roiling edge of the tear in reality and grabbed him with its hooked, elongated fingers. Edwin howled in pain and terror as they dragged him up into the inky blackness with the strange, out-of-sight glow.

About the Author: Fantasy and horror have always been Russell’s preferred genres. Some of his favorite stories often combine them–and the grittier the better. His eclectic tastes in this genre originated when he discovered Lovecraft’s stories of beings so vast and incomprehensible that just thinking about them will melt your brain. Later, he would discover the more sinister but equally unfathomable creations of Laird Barron and, combined, these two influences would create Russell’s desire to fashion his own story of cosmic horrors, but with a fantasy flair. Fantasy often holds many horrific aspects of its own, but Russell enjoys finding ways to take those facets and run with them.

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Creating Characters by Russell Archey – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Russell Archey will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Creating Characters

I like to try to create worlds and characters that feel as though they live and breathe, that have histories, backgrounds, that existed long before any pages were written. If it feels like I’ve written a story by looking through a window into their world and writing what I see, then I’ve succeeded. This is why I’m a fan of the “writing by the seat of your pants” style. The characters feel more organic if I write them reacting to the situations around them. When I plan things out, I try to create situations then write the characters as they would realistically react to that situation.

At the beginning of my writing process, I tend to create a general outline of characters: where are they from? What is their history? Are they high-strung or relaxed? Head-strong brave or will their bravery show at the right moment? I try to envision their physical appearance and mannerisms in my head. After that, I let the story tell itself. My dialogue is very rarely written out ahead of time. I let that previously constructed personality react to the others around it, and often surprise myself with the dialogue that comes from it.

I think this feels very organic; however, it also tends to lead me to write myself into corners. This is the biggest type of writer’s block I tend to get. How am I going to move forward from where these characters have ended up? At this point I tend to have to take a step back and look ahead a little at where the characters need to be. But, that’s part of the joy of writing—seeing how these situations will play out!

An incredible high fantasy adventure set in a world based on familiar fairy tales, folklore, and mythology, “The Seven Spires” is an epic story of dragons, magic, conquering evil, and discovering magnificent new places.

When a fearsome creature known as Wyvern begins terrorizing Emrallt, one of the seven realms of the continent of Septer, a group of heroes are brought together seemingly by fate to rally against him. A prince, warrior, wizard, and mysterious, sorceress-like sybil try to discover why a common maiden could be the best chance their kingdoms have against Wyvern’s growing forces that threaten to dominate each and every one of the ancient, arcane spires that bind their kingdoms, and world, together.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Wyvern recognized their broken language and knew that White-eye spoke of more than just a town guard or good-natured passerby. Ratlings cared little for the difference between common humans, merchants, and even nobility. It was only a difference in what goods they could pilfer; however, when a ratling described one as ‘important,’ that often meant ‘royalty’.

“The important man—what did he look like?” Wyvern asked.

The two deplorable rodents looked up at him in confusion. They looked through arms held in front of their faces as if toward off a pending strike. Wyvern leaned forward on his forelimbs.

“You said he was ‘important.’ He wore blue clothes. What did he look like? Face, hair—what?” he growled with small tongues of fire licking around his teeth.

“Also pretty, like lady!” Moss Blossom squealed. “Nice clothes! Long blue vest with another tower—different shiny stone, blue shiny stone…”

Wyvern growled in frustration. The Blue Prince of Avallonis. The little fop could bring Wyvern no end of misery; an army’s worth of misery to be exact. Especially if he had his sights set on the Maiden.

“He threatened you?” Wyvern asked of them.

“Y-yes, with sharp metal. He threaten blood,” White-eye answered. Moss Blossom nodded her head vigorously in agreement.

“Indeed, you had no choice but to flee,” Wyvern said. “But, rules are rules…” he added with menace.

About the Author: Russell Archey has been writing since he was old enough to hold a pencil. His love for narratives, world-building, and story-telling has fed into nearly every aspect of his life: from his video and board game hobbies to pressing his most cherished books onto his unfortunate children (who will, one day, read the Lord of the Rings trilogy whether they like it or not). When he’s not creating new worlds and horrifying things to threaten them with destruction, he’s bringing other author’s fantastic works to life as an audiobook narrator, spending time with his two children, and pressing his dear wife’s eternal patience with his quirky habits.

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