Countdown to a special book cover reveal!

A quick note to announce that next Friday, September 30, I will be revealing my NEW BOOK COVER for my fantasy novel, Forever Avalon. Shout out to Mark Alexander McClish, a.k.a. Mark Makes Art, for breathing new life into my original fantasy book with artwork that steps out of the pages of my novel.

Not only is my book getting a new look, but it will now be available (for the first time EVER) in hardcover, my FIRST book published as a hardcover. All in time for my appearance next weekend at the Williamsburg Book Festival on Saturday, October 1, at the Stryker Center in Williamsburg, Va. Click the link to check out the fantastic event coming to historic Williamsburg next week!

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Mark Piggott is an award-winning independent author of several fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. A 23-year U.S. Navy veteran, his stories will take you from the shores of eternal Avalon to a dystopian steampunk future and other worlds.

The Forever Avalon fantasy book series—including Forever Avalon, The Dark Tides, and The Outlander War—is available online at Amazon and other booksellers. His fantasy steampunk novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for The River of Souls fantasy novella from Curious Corvid Publishing. Coming in 2023 from Curious Corvid—the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel. Stay tuned for more new fantastic stories from the imagination of Mark Piggott.

Check out an early preview of The River of Souls next weekend at 2nd Sundays Williamsburg

Stop by my booth at 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Art and Music Festival on Sunday, August 14, from 11am to 5pm to check out the debut of my fantasy novella The River of Souls from Curious Corvid Publishing

In case you missed it, I did an unboxing video of the arrival of my fantasy novella, The River of Souls, on TikTok. I’m taking copies of my latest novel from Curious Corvid Publishing to the 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Art and Music Festival on Sunday, August 14, on North Boundary Street in historic Williamsburg, Va., for the last festival of the summer. This will be your opportunity to get your hands on this new fantasy book a week before its planned release.

Across the river of souls, the boundless cosmic lifestream that connects all worlds, a young man lay dying underneath a crumpled automobile. He hears a voice crying out for help, begging not to be left alone. Desperate to make something of his life, he offers himself to God to cross The River of Souls to be there for her. Now begins their new life together—a human magi-gunner and Dragonkin oracle—in a world filled with distrust, bigotry, and hatred between races. Can two people from different worlds find love and peace to show what truly lies beyond . . .

The River of Souls by Mark Piggott, poetry by Ashley Valitutto, from Curious Corvid Publishing

2nd Sundays Williamsburg Arts and Music Festival on North Boundary Street in historic Williamsburg, Va., is Virginia’s only ALMOST Year ‘Round Arts & Street Festival! This Street Fair of over 115 unique artisans, musicians, street performers and food vendors in six blocks along N Boundary Street from Richmond Rd to Lafayette Street, along Scotland from Armistead to N. Henry and in the 400 block of Prince George Street. You can usually find me on the corner of N Boundary Street and Prince George Street.

Come to Colonial Williamsburg for the sun, fun, music, arts and crafts, and plenty of books right near the College of William & Mary. I’ll have all of my award-winning fantasy and steampunk novels for sale, and I will personalize and sign it for you. This is my last event of summer 2022 so I hope to see you there!

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Mark Piggott is an award-winning independent author of several fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. A 23-year U.S. Navy veteran, his stories will take you from the shores of eternal Avalon to a dystopian steampunk future and other worlds.

The Forever Avalon fantasy book series—including Forever Avalon, The Dark Tides, and The Outlander War—is available online at Amazon and other booksellers. His fantasy steampunk novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for The River of Souls fantasy novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid Publishing, along with the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky PiratesThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of his current fantasy book series, plus so much more new fantastic stories coming soon.

Cross over The River of Souls, coming August 21

My fantasy novella “The River of Souls” with poetry by Ashley Valitutto from Curious Corvid Publishing.

We are a month away from the release of my next novel, The River of Souls. This is my first novella, but it was not the length of the story but how I told it that was important to me. I wanted to include poetry in the story to give it some breadth and a deeper meaning to the themes behind the story itself. Thankfully, I met a great poet in Ashley Valitutto who saw my vision behind the story and wrote some wonderful prose for my novella. It was a collaboration that brought this story to life, and it was this story that brought me to the attention of Ravven White and Curious Corvid Publishing. This is my first step in being a published author, not a self-published author.

Official trailer for “The River of Souls” from Nights with Ebon Pinion YouTube page.

From award winning author Mark Piggott comes a dark fantasy novella of love and triumph . . .

“Reach beyond heavens veil; do not let death prevail. Instead, open the door through God’s grace; let this not be his final resting place!”

Fawleen and Drogon fought what people called “The Endless War,” as it went on for more than 300 years. The humans of Fawleen and the Dragonkin of Drogon clashed over borderlands, water rights, trade disputes, and the biased views of leaders on both sides of the conflict. Four generations fought and died in the war. That all changed when one sect of Drogon—the Oracles of Delphis Kai—joined Fawleen against their people and worked to end the war. The Oracles were healers and pacifists, the opposite of the Acolytes of Hecat Tei and their dark chaos magic that ruled Drogon. In the end, it was the deciding factor that brought peace to the troubled land.

Malcom Seger, a human Magi-Gunner, and his wife Alyssa, a dragonkin of the Oracles of Delphis Kai, moved to the parish of Fairhaven to begin a new life together. But just when they were getting settled in, Malcom succumbs to deadly “dragon dust” and lies near death. Grief stricken, Alyssa uses her magic to save her true love through the spell of restoration, powerful magic combining two souls into one.

Across the river of souls, the boundless cosmic lifestream that connects all worlds, a young man lay dying underneath a crumpled automobile. He hears a voice, crying out for help, begging not to be left alone. Desperate to make something of his life, he offers himself to God to cross the river of souls to be there for her.

Now begins their new life together in a world filled with distrust, bigotry, and hatred between races. Can two people from different worlds find love and peace to show what truly lies beyond THE RIVER OF SOULS.

From Nights with Ebon Pinion YouTube page

Sign up for the Curious Corvid newsletter and follow me, Ashley, and CCP on social media for updates on this epic adventure!

I will be hosting a special preview for The River of Souls on Sunday, August 14, at 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Arts and Music Festival. I hope to have some of the first copies of my new book (fingers crossed) at the festival, so please stop by and pick up a signed copy!

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available as a paperback/ebook at iUniverse Publishing,  Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series, is available as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for The River of Souls fantasy novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid Publishing along with the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky PiratesThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of his current fantasy book series, plus so much more coming soon.

July is going to be hot in more ways than one

Sorry to be AWOL for a while, but its been a busy start to my summer, and its not over yet. I traveled from Virginia to Manchester, Connecticut, for the Book Fiends Readers Festival, June 25. It was a long weekend but I met so many wonderful steampunk writers, artists, crafters and performers. It was a great experience (thank you Oddball Newt)!

Now, we’re in July and I have two new events coming up for this award-winning steampunk fantasy author. If you are in the area, please stop by and pick up some great books to take to the beach or read in bed during a stormy night. Either way, I’d be honored to be included on your bookshelf.

Every second Sunday, from July through December, you’ll find me at 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Arts and Music Festival on North Boundary Street in historic Williamsburg, Virginia. My first one is this Sunday, July 10, from 11am to 5pm. Williamsburg, Virginia’s only ALMOST Year ‘Round Arts & Street Festival! This Street Fair of over 115 unique artisans, musicians, street performers and food vendors in six blocks along N Boundary Street from Richmond Rd to Lafayette Street, along Scotland from Armistead to N. Henry and in the 400 block of Prince George Street in Williamsburg, VA, on the 2nd Sunday of each month. This festival is a great time for family and friends alike so I hope you’ll stop by! Visit 2ndSundayswilliamsburg.com for more information.

Next, I’ll be at the Historic Moravian Book Shop in “the Christmas City” of Bethlehem, PA, signing copies of my novels The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart and The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon Series on Sunday, July 17, from 1-3pm. Founded in 1745, the Moravian Book Shop is the oldest bookstore in America, the oldest continuously operating bookstore in the world and home to the Moravian University student bookstore. For nearly three centuries, booklovers near and far have looked to the Moravian Book Shop for its curated selection of books and iconic Moravian- and Bethlehem-themed gifts. This is my second visit to the Moravian Book Store and I appreciate their continued support for independent, self-published authors like me.

The River of Souls by Mark Piggott, poetry by Ashley Valitutto, from Curious Corvid Publishing.

I also want to mention my upcoming release from Curious Corvid Publishing. The River of Souls is my first PUBLISHED novel (not self-published) through my new publisher, coming out on August 21! Across the River of Souls, the boundless cosmic lifestream that connects all worlds, a young man lay dying underneath a crumpled automobile. He hears a voice, crying out for help, begging not to be left alone. Desperate to make something of his life, he offers himself to God to cross the River of Souls to be there for her. Now begins their new life together in a world filled with distrust, bigotry, and hatred between races. Can two people from different worlds find love and peace to show what truly lies beyond THE RIVER OF SOULS. This fantasy novella includes poetry by Ashley Valitutto, a great collaboration between author and poet. I hope you pick up my new fantasy read on AUGUST 21 from Curious Corvid Publishing.

Stay tuned here at authormarkpiggott.com (make note of the NEW website address) for more information on upcoming events and releases. I will be at 2nd Sundays for the rest of the year ( August 14, September 11, October 9, and November 13) and I have two major book signing events in October. More to come!

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available as a paperback/ebook at iUniverse Publishing,  Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series, is available as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for The River of Souls fantasy novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid Publishing along with the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky PiratesThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of his current fantasy book series, plus so much more coming soon.

Come out to pick up some great reads at the Book Fiends Readers Festival in Manchester

One thing I realized after attending my first steampunk festival last month is how much they love to read. When you consider classic authors like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells are considered the Godfathers of Steampunk as we know it today, this much true. The steampunk genre revolves around everything from science fiction to romance, historical fiction to fantasy. But for some, its an obsession, and as an author, I want to encourage that type of obsessive behavior in people.

One of those groups is the Silk City Steampunk and Oddball Newt from Manchester, CT. They are hosting their third annual Book Fiends Readers Festival on Saturday, June 25, from 11am to 5pm at Cheney Hall, 177 Hartford Road, Manchester, CT. It is a celebration of steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, supernatural, paranormal, and poetry authors. The event is FREE and open to the public.

Besides meeting some great authors (including yours truly) and artists, there will be sword fighting demonstrations, food trucks, author panels, and BYOTC (Bring Your Own Tea Cup) for the Tea Cup contest. There will be a VIP meet & greet after the festival from 5pm to 7pm (tickets $10 per person). Visit Oddball Newt Productions for more information and for future steampunk events in Connecticut.

Events like these are great opportunities for you, the readers, to meet the authors of your future favorite books and pick up some great bargains to add to your summer reading list or to your bookshelf. Let’s help each other out in this endeavor. If you’re in the New York/New England area, I hope you take the time to come to the festival. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available as a paperback/ebook at iUniverse Publishing,  Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series, is available as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for The River of Souls fantasy novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid Publishing along with the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky PiratesThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of his current fantasy book series, plus so much more coming soon.

I love being back with readers and fans alike!

I first wanted to send a big THANK YOU shoutout to the Watch City Steampunk Festival! It was my first time both at a steampunk festival and with my books in Massachusetts. Steampunk fans are, without a doubt, brilliant, imaginative, and a lot of fun. The creative spark generated by everyone at this event kept back the rain and cold all day long. I met a wonderful, eclectic group of fellow authors and readers at this festival. It was so exciting to mix it up with people again. This festival had been postponed for two years, and it felt so good to be out surrounded by people with similar interests as your own. I made a few connections for future events that I will definitely be posting more about in the days to come. I can say, without a doubt, I will be back next year!

For now, I have another event coming up next weekend in Washington, D.C. The Imaginarium Fantasy Book Festival will be held at the National Press Club in our nation’s capital on Saturday, May 21, from 11am to 4pm. This event is FREE, and tickets are available at www.imaginariumbookfestival.com.

Founded in 2018, the Imaginarium Book Festival was the idea of two authors who sought to spotlight books and writers in the science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and paranormal genres — all realms and genres of escapism. The Imaginarium Book Festival welcomes readers of all kinds to join in celebrating fantastical storytelling. Again, it has been a long two years, but we can finally have a LIVE event in such a prestigious place as the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. I am blown away by the fact that a self-published, independent author like me can be in such esteem company and talk about my fantasy books with fans of my genre. It will be a great day, right in my own backyard. I encourage any avid bookworm (or book dragon in this case) to come out for the festival.

I’ll also add here that I’ve added another book signing event for the summer. I will be returning to the historic Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA, on Sunday, July 17, from 1pm to 3pm. I love the opportunity to visit the Lehigh Valley, the area I consider part of my hometown growing up. The Moravian Book Shop is the oldest bookstore in America, the oldest continuously operating bookstore in the world and home to the Moravian University student bookstore. For nearly three centuries, booklovers near and far have looked to the Moravian Book Shop for its curated selection of books and iconic Moravian- and Bethlehem-themed gifts.

For any self-published, independent author, events like these help with recognition and reaching out to people who appreciate finding new reads. So please, whenever you find yourself at a convention, festival, or any event where authors have a table set up, support them. Think of us as small businesses looking to grow. Every book sale and review (especially the reviews) helps!

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, coming soon from Revolutionary Press; and The River of Souls fantasy novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid PublishingThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of my current fantasy book series, coming soon.

Put a little fantasy into your holiday gifts this year with these wonderful books

Lorden Awakening by Krislee Ellsworth, On the Edge by M.J. Glenn, Jax Marlin by T.K. Toppin, Bound in Darkness by Kim ten Tusscher, and The Publishing Room’s From Dark Corners

Most authors would put a shameless plug in for their own fantasy books, but I want to highlight some great books from some of my fellow independent authors that I read in 2021. I would highly recommend any one of their books for the fantasy or sci fi lover and avid book reader in your home. I met all of these wonderful authors through our independent author social media connections and it has been an absolute joy getting to know them and reading their books.

On the Edge by M.J. Glenn is the first book in the Dweller Hunter series. The novel tells the story of Ebony Wick, who for two years has survived alone as an outlaw and highwaywoman in Rundlewood Forest. She doesn’t need people. She only needs to survive. But when Hunter Sparrow breaks into her camp and invites her to join his gang, the Bounty Hunters, she finds herself facing a difficult choice. With a burning desire for revenge against a powerful enemy, Ebony must choose between reason and instinct. But in doing so, she discovers a long-hidden secret that will change her world forever. I loved this story and how independent minded Ebony is, even when confronted by a haunting past and revelations that change her world forever. I am looking forward to reading more of this series and the continuing adventures of Ebony Wick!

Bound in Darkness by Kim ten Tusscher is the first book in the Lilith Trilogy. I have only read the first book and just started reading the second, Broken in Twilight, so I will just cover Book One. This is the story of Lilith, a woman who has only ever lived with anger and destruction. The sole dragon shifter known to humankind, she despises her life as an instrument of terror at the hands of a prophetic sorcerer. Finally fleeing years of abuse, she’s distraught when she’s captured for stealing food and forced to answer to a bitter king for her crimes. Hiding her fiery past from the monarch’s shrewd advisor, Lilith grits her teeth and endures brutal lashings to keep her powers secret. But when her former abductor sends spies to reclaim her and threatens carnage in the name of God, she’ll have to choose for which captor she’s willing to spill more innocent blood… Can the tortured woman escape to freedom before the land beneath her burns? You really feel for Lilith, the pain and suffering she’s endured, as you read each page of this wonderful novel. I am just getting into Book Two, and it is enthralling and captivating as the first.

Jax Marlin: The Complete Short Story Series by T.K. Toppin is my kind of sci fi noir novel. The vigilante, Jax Marlin, and the special inspector who chases her, Michael Pedroni, find themselves on a journey of deeper self-discovery and mutual understanding as they battle the criminals of the world. What was once black and white and by the book, no longer applies. The world is filled with myriad shades and perspectives, and in order to conquer evil, one must do what one must. Learning this prompts Pedroni to make a life-altering decision. As for Jax, her once-resolute focus wavers when her driving force, the fire inside her, takes over with violent results. She battles her inner demon in a life-long war, she realizes she can’t change who she is and what drives her: bad people must be punished. She must make the ultimate decision: destroy the beast within or continue down the destructive path of homicidal abandon. I love watching classic noir crime dramas on TV and reading this book was like stepping into one of those classic films. The no nonsense detective, the female fatal, the spark between them, and its all done with a sci-fi vibe that I love.

Lorden Awakening by Krislee Ellsworth was, I think, the highlight of my reading this year. Magic has not existed for three centuries, and the world is dying because of it. Anaver has never seen the sun through the foggy dome that surrounds the island of Tamrose. She’s heard tales of other lands and magic, but no one can prove that such things ever existed. When fate pulls her from her home and places her in a land of sun and starlight, she discovers that she harbors a power that can awaken the earth’s dormant magic. Rothrin has watched as the world around him fades away. The elements have long lost their state of Lorden, or harmony, which has caused a decades-long famine to sweep over the continent. All seems lost until he meets Anaver, and the elements begin to awaken. They set out on a quest in a land on the brink of collapse and starvation to unleash the earth’s power before time runs out. Like the other fantasy books in my list, Lorden Awakening has an original magic system that is captivating as the story itself. These are great characters that you’ll fall in love with and villains you’ll hate.

The last book I want to mention is a bit of a shameless plug, but not just for me, for the other authors in this anthology. From Dark Corners is a collection of horror short stories published by The Publishing Room. Their mission is “to ensure that anyone with a dream in publishing a book can accomplish their goals.” They also publish short stories from independent authors in various collections. I published with them previously in their fantasy anthology, On Distant Worlds. This time, I wrote a horror short story called The Chalice for this anthology, my first leap into the genre. Along with authors Samayra Rashid, Danni Grace, Ruchi Acharya, and Jesse Fletcher, this book is a great addition for any horror fans on your holiday gift list. They support independent authors like me, you can too!

Click on the links above to order these books and, if you’re interested, click on the links below to check out my other fantasy novels for your holiday gift list! By the way, I am always open to book review exchanges between authors. I love getting new books to read and helping out other independent authors.

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, coming soon from Revolutionary Press; and The River of Souls novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid PublishingThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of my current fantasy book series, coming soon.

These authors should be required reading for any up and coming fantasy author

The Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock

This may be a bit cliché of me to say, but there are some authors I would consider required reading for anyone wanting to step into it as a fantasy author. Sure, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, George R.R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey and Terry Brooks are names everyone is familiar with. These stories are the “bread and butter” of any fantasy author. They provide the basis for what we write and the stories we develop, but there are some others you need to consider (in my opinion) to make you well rounded. Please remember, these are my opinion and I may miss some of your favorite fantasy authors. So please, add your own to the comments!

I’ll start out with my all-time favorite fantasy author and the person who inspired me to be a writer myself. Michael Moorcock, author of the Elric of Melnibone saga, is one of the best fantasy authors on par with Tolkien and others. His world-building is amazing, something I’ve never read before. The mythology of the Lords of Order and Chaos, the Eternal Champion, and more are terrifying to say the least. His stories span centuries, millennia even, and yet they flow together in such perfect harmony. It’s not your basic Dungeons & Dragons type of story, but unique in every sense of the word, from magic to mythos.

Elric is the perfect anti-hero, doing whatever must be done to in order to survive and defeat his enemies. He sacrifices friend and foe and its such a sad, solitary life, and you feel for him, every step of the way. All of his characters, from Elric to Cymoril, Yyrkoon, Moonglum and Rackhir are deeply intertwined and carefully written. I adore his wistful yet colorful descriptions of people, places and events. The Sailor on the Seas of Fate and Stormbringer will always be my two favorite novels of this series, because the Seas of Fate introduces the concept of the Eternal Champions to the reader and Stormbringer brings the series to a close like I’ve never read before. It’s a shame that Elric still hasn’t made it to the silver screen, and he would shine amongst fantasy epics.

The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin

Next up is Ursula K. Le Guin and the Earthsea saga. She is both a fantasy and science fiction writer, but I’m focusing on her fantasy epic here. It’s interesting to note that Le Guin meant for A Wizard of Earthsea to be a standalone novel, but then she wrote The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore after discovering loose ends in her first book. I think this is a great example of what plagues fantasy writers when it comes to a single story or a series, and she handled it brilliantly. Then it took her nearly 20 years to write what is considered my many as the second trilogy in the Earthsea cycle.

This demonstrates the patience she had as a writer to properly flush out the story, something many of us (me included) don’t do with our own writing. What I love about her story is the fact that she didn’t plop it down into your standard “middle ages fantasy” where the characters are all white. She went out of her way to differentiate the races of Earthsea into something unique and different, especially for a novel written in 1968. That’s the beauty of Le Guin in all her writings. She does not stick to the boundaries of race, sex, color, creed, or religion in her stories, always outside the norms. She is a must read for just that fact alone.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones

The next one might seem a bit unusual but its Diana Wynn Jones, author of the classic Howl’s Moving Castle. Yes, we all know about it from the beautiful and inspiring Hayao Miyazaki film, but have you read the book? It is completely different from the movie and just as inspiring. I read the series after I saw the movie and I wish I had done the reverse. Her writing style reminds me a lot of Frank L. Baum and his Oz stories, tales with such frivolity and backwards talking that its just fun to read to try to get into the mind of the writer. The other great thing about her is that she has been an inspiration to many great fantasy writers of our time, including J.K. Rowling, Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman. She is an award-winning children’s author and yet her stories are beloved by all. Her books are a lot like Harry Potter in that she brings magic into our regular world and makes it a part of everyday life. It’s a joy to read her stories and be inspired in my own.

The Dark Elf Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore

Lastly, I would like to mention R.A. Salvatore . . . Yes, he’s not one of the more well known fantasy authors, but he’s one of my favorites because of his attention to detail in writing novels based on Dungeons and Dragons. As a teenager and young adult, I played D&D religiously, and reading these novels kept me in the game when I wasn’t playing. His books were especially provocative on different levels. I think he was responsible for taking the Drow Elf from a regular villain (in the game) to a hero in his Dark Elf Trilogy. Drizzt Do’Urden became so popular as a supporting character in his first book, Icewind, that he moved him to main character for his next three books. The other thing I love about Salvatore is he was once just like many of the independently published fantasy authors I collaborate and communicate with on social media. He worked as a bouncer, writing his fantasy stories in his spare time until he was picked up by TSR to write for the D&D Forgotten Realms novels. His publishing story gives me, and others like me, hope for own stories.

As I said at the beginning, these are some of my favorite fantasy writers that truly inspired me in my own stories as a writer, along with many of the classic and legendary authors of the fantasy genre. Let me know your thoughts or add your favorites in the comments.

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers. Get ready for The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel, coming soon, and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates.

Download a FREE audiobook today

You can download a FREE audiobook of my fantasy book Forever Avalon, available on Audible! Narrated by voice artist Traci Odom, Forever Avalon is a journey to an island beyond time and space, a place of eternal magic where the descendants of King Arthur rule over Elves, Dwarves, dragons and more! Follow the adventures of a modern family, stranded on Avalon after surviving a storm at sea. As Outlanders, they are hunted and hounded across the enchanted isle. Only the Gil-Gamesh, Knight Eternal and Champion of Avalon, steps up to protect them from the machinations of sorcerer Kraven Darkholm.

All you have to do is comment on any of my blog posts and follow my blog . . . It’s that easy. I’ll send you a code to download your FREE audiobook from Audible and you can listen to the adventure and fantasy of Forever Avalon!

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers. Get ready for The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series, coming soon, and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates.

Follow jenniereads.com for great book reviews, like the one for The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart

I am from a small town in northern New Jersey called Phillipsburg. Our little town sits on the shores of the Delaware River, right across from Easton, Pennsylvania, and the Lehigh Valley. Our claim to fame is our high school football team, always ranked top in the state of New Jersey (“I bleed garnet and gray!”) and our high school football rivalry with our neighbor across the river in Easton High School. That rivalry has been going on since 1905 and we fight it out on the gridiron every Thanksgiving. It’s a Stateliner tradition!

I have a good friend from Phillipsburg, Jennie Rosenblum, who is an online book reviewer (jenniereads.com) and she has been a wonderful supporter in my literary career as an independent author. Jennie gives comprehensive and honest book reviews of a variety of genres. If you’re looking for a good book to read, check out Jennie’s blog and I know you’ll find a something worth your while.

Add to that list my latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart. Jennie surprised me this past week when she posted her review. You can read her entire review HERE, but this is the highlight for me . . .

Magic, Fantasy, and Steampunk all rolled into one very enjoyable adventure story.  I have read other books by this author and he always pulls me in with incredible covers and beautifully laid out interiors of his books.  When an author takes this much care, I’m already into the story before the first line.  Oh, did I also mention that the main character has lost all memory of who he is or what his life was before we see him on that very first page?”

Jennie Rosenblum, jenniereads.com

Plan to visit the Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival and West Virginia Book Festival in October

I have two upcoming events to mention here! I will be signing and selling my novels at the Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival on Saturday, October 2, from 10am to 4pm at Riverfront Park on Sophia Street in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia. This is my first book festival EVER so I’m looking forward to attending!

Their mission is to provide a venue for local authors, graphic novelists, publishers, book artists to market their work, and to foster an interest in reading, writing, and literature. By bringing writers and readers together to promote indie authors and creators in the community to inspire the next generation of writers. Visit fredbookfest.com for more information.

UPDATE: The 2021 West Virginia Book Festival has been cancelled, at least for in-person events. Due to COVID concerns, the festival is now virtual so I will not be attending. The pain of COVID for independent authors continues…

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers. Get ready for The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series, coming soon, and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates.