The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart in Times Square

Something amazing happened on January 20, 2023! My steampunk fantasy novel The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart appeared on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square as one of the 2022 The BookFest award-winning independent books! I am humbled and thrilled to be up there with the other award winners!

The BookFest Awards honors authors who create outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction. Books are judged in categories based on genre, theme, and aesthetics.  Entries will be vetted by an initial team, then the final places will be determined by an elite team of experts in the literary and entertainment world.

To put this in perspective, at 9,300 square feet, this larger than life digital billboard located in the heart of the Times Square commands attention. I mean, to use a Donald Trump-ism, it’s HUGE!!!!

This is the third award for The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart and I am so humbled by the honor. My novel won 3rd place for Fantasy-Magic, Myths, and Legends with The BookFest, 2022 AMG Indie Book Awards Grand Prize for Fiction, and 1st place for Steampunk, 2021 Firebird Book Awards.

I’m not trying to make an Oscar-like speech, but I want to thank a few people for helping me earn this achievement. First, Anna-Lena Spies for designing a spectacular book cover. Second, my editor Ali Soleil, who did a great job refining my manuscript. And last, but definitely not least, my wife Georgiene who also read and edited my book but she has supported me throughout my writing journey. I wouldn’t have accomplished this if not for her.

Mark your calendar to pick up a SIGNED copy of The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart or any of my other books at my first events of 2023 . . . The Williamsburg Book Festival in Williamsburg, VA, on February 4 and the Tell-Tale Steampunk Convention in Baltimore, MD, on April 1-2. I hope you’ll joining me on this adventure into steampunk and fantasy!

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.

Cross over The River of Souls in my first fantasy novella from Curious Corvid Publishing and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, coming in January 2023. The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel and The Prometheus Engine: Book Four of the Forever Avalon Series, are coming soon. Stay tuned for more new fantastic stories from the imagination of Mark Piggott.

Support your indie author by leaving a book review

The River of Souls, Forever Avalon, and The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart by award-winning author Mark Piggott.

Book reviews are the “bread and butter” for any independent or self-published author. Good or bad, book reviews are great feedback for an author to work on their craft and make them a better author. I can remember the first “honest” review I received on Forever Avalon shortly after it was published in 2009. It’s my one and only 2 STAR review.

“Nice try, but the book seems to be the effort of someone truly not gifted in the art of writing. Skip this one and save your money.”

Carl W. Alvers (Verified Purchase)

Ouch! I can honestly say this one hurt, but it also made me take a closer look at my writing and editing. The “vanity” publisher I worked with pushed my book out with no real edit or comments. I think they just wanted to get my money (lesson learned) and I just wanted to be able to call myself published. When they went out of business and I republished Forever Avalon on Amazon, I did a good edit on my manuscript. In the time between my first publication and this one, I took the criticism to heart and worked to improve my writing style, grammar, point-of-view, tense, etc.

That’s what I like about book reviews. Most reviewers love my storytelling, its the mechanics of my writing that they criticize, and I understand that completely. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started working with professional editors to clean up my work. Their insight has made me a better writer.

Book reviews also help with promoting your book with Amazon. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it in searches. Book reviews are important for all books, but especially for self-published books, because most of their sales are online. When it comes to selling books online, Amazon customer reviews can make or break a shoppers interest in a book.

“Authors rely on reviews to build credibility and word of mouth marketing, while readers rely on them to decide whether or not to purchase a book. The more positive reviews an author has, the more books he or she is likely to sell.”

Author Learning Center

The problem is that people are not very reliable in leaving reviews. That leads to other problems, as in how to get reviews. I will admit that I have paid for some of my book reviews, but I no longer do that. It leads to spam email and unwanted followers offering reviews for cash. I prefer working with my fellow indie authors. We swap books and provide reviews for each other. Feedback from my peers is priceless.

I get a lot of my reviews that way, but also from people I meet at book fairs and festivals I attend. I like the honest reviews I get from them. They’re not always frequent and not always positive, but it helps me grow. By reading these reviews, I know what my faults are and what I need to work on as I continue in my career as an author.

So, my one piece of advice to everyone out there . . . Help and Author and LEAVE A REVIEW! We can take the criticism and we need the attention, so please help out. It may sound like I’m begging (well, maybe just a little) but its a few minutes out of your day and it helps more than you know.

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.

Cross over The River of Souls in my first 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.

The River of Souls nominated for two Next Generation Indie Books Awards

This is turning out to be a great Christmas, and it’s not even December! My latest book, The River of Souls, was nominated for two Next Generation Indie Book Awards, for best novella and fantasy. The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest International awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. In its sixteenth year of operation, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in 80+ different categories, for the year, and is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group  in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen Literary Agency.

First off, a big thank you to my poet, Ashley Valitutto, for adding her wonderful poetry to my story. Second, none of this would have been possible without the love and support from my publisher, Curious Corvid Publishing. Ravven White and her team made my dream of publishing with an actual publisher a reality, and The River of Souls is my first step into a new journey as a published author with plenty more to come.

As a bonus, The River of Souls picked up another FIVE STAR Amazon book review! And you can listen to an excerpt of my fantasy novella as read by voiceover artist Teri Schnaubelt on my new YouTube channel.

“This is not my usual genre…but maybe it should be! I absolutely loved this. Now I have a new author to follow and keep up with. I am a sucker for an authentic and genuine love story, and this delivered. I can tell I’m going to be thinking about this story for years to come. The morals and messages are timeless. A treasure.”

Aimee N Curran, Verified Amazon Review

If you want to get your hands on a signed copy of The River of Souls, hop over to the Curious Corvid shop for my novella and check out the other great books and merchandise from CCP. Or, if you’re in the Virginia area, I’ll be attending the last 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Art and Music Festival on Sunday, December 11, on North Boundary Street in historic Williamsburg, Va. So many great things happened at the end of 2022. I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings me!

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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.

Cross over The River of Souls in my first 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.

I’m not much of a TikToker, but I’m trying to be one

If you haven’t already noticed in my social media links, I now have a TikTok account. I will be the first one to admit that I’m not very good at it and I doubt the Chinese have any interest in the metadata of a independent author of fantasy and steampunk novels. It was the next logical step in further promotion and marketing as an author. I am nowhere near the expertise and zaniness of some of the people on TikTok. I primarily use it to promote my books, events, special announcements, and even some personal holiday fun. Beyond that, it’s difficult to wrap my head around this social media giant.

It’s so much easier in Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to just post a photo and write-up. With TikTok, I have to create a video, add music, stickers, effects, and text. It’s such a process to post a simple thirty second video. I think why I am struggling with TikTok. It’s too much work for one simple person. I mean, I use Hootsuite to publish to my other social media sites (highly recommend it to burgeoning indie authors). It’s FREE for up to three social media accounts and you can schedule up to ten times. There is a paid version but the free works well enough for me to stay ahead of the game.

TikTok, on the other hand, takes time and patience. There are a lot of great people that are fun to watch and they make it look so easy. Maybe its the old man in me. I am nearly 60 but I’ve stayed up on technology since I first typed on a TRS-80 (look it up if you don’t know what one is). I just can’t get into the videos of repeating voice overs of comics or famous movie and television scenes. Even the weird filters aren’t me. I just want to talk about my books, show videos from the events I attend, and that’s it.

There are a lot of great connections on TikTok. I met Teri Schnaubelt (@terischnaubelt on TikTok) a voice over artist who read a section of my book The River of Souls. It was great having a professional do something like that for FREE to hear my words come to life. Pop over to her TikTok page to hear more great books being read by a true professional and great lady. The other authors on there are supportive as well, promoting your books to readers and even giving ideas. Someone posted a video of using mini-candy bars as giveaways by wrapping them in book covers to look like little books. I did that and they came out great. You can really find a lot of good ideas on TikTok.

So, if you are on TikTok, come find me, follow and I will follow back, and hopefully I can get the hang of this new social media and make some fun and interesting content. I’m always open to suggestions.

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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.

Tales Untold: Mythos From Around The World now available from Ravens & Roses Publishing

Tales Untold: Mythos From Around The World based on folklore and mythology from around the world is now available from Ravens and Roses Publishing.

This is a collection of fifteen stories based on mythology and folklore worldwide. If you love stories from Greek Mythology, ancient Indian folklore, English Legends, or Scandinavian mythology, this anthology is for you. It includes authors Janie Kang, D.B. Carter, Amorina Carlton, Sathya Achia, Jessica Hopson, Brenda Radchik, Rashmi P. Menon, Sean Doyle, M.N. Kee, Max Turner, Kimberlee Caruso, D.M. Monkson, Chaz Beebe, Joel C. Flanagan-Granemann, and (yours truly) Mark Piggott.

I was honored to be selected along with a great group of authors for this anthology, allowing me to write a unique short story, The Emissary. Imagine a war raging for centuries between angels, demons, and gods, with humanity caught in the middle. While the pandemic reigns worldwide, it brings out the worst nightmare from the depths of Hell . . . Legion. After tricking the Pantheon Council to free it from the ninth ring of Hell, the demon secretly wreaks havoc on New York City. Heaven doesn’t believe the conspiracy. It’s up to the only man left on Earth since the flood carried Noah to safety to stop the monster and convince the heavenly host to aid humanity. He has gone by many names over the millennia, but he is simply known as Gray—The Emissary.

The ebook is now available across multiple platforms, and the paper will follow shortly. CLICK HERE to get your copy today!

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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.

“When the world sees him for who he truly is, there will be no place for those outlaws to hide. Tesla’s inventions will dry up without the financial support of the masses, and we will be there to pick up the pieces.”

Thomas Edison from Corsair and the Sky Pirates

Congratulations to THE RIVER OF SOULS and THE LAST MAGUS on their recent book awards

The River of Souls from Curious Corvid Publishing, Speak-Up Talk Radio 2022 Firebird Book Award winner.

I love getting good news . . . and I love sharing it even more! My fantasy novella The River of Souls won two awards in the 3rd Quarter of 2022 from Speak-Up Talk Radio Firebird Book Awards: 1st Place for Novella and 2nd Place for Fiction Book Cover. I want to thank Ravven White and Curious Corvid Publishing for their support of me and my writing, Ashley Valitutto for contributing her beautiful poetry to my story, and Mark Alexander McLish for the cover. He took my ideas for the front cover and brought them to fruition. This novella was a great collaboration, so I accept these awards as a team effort.

The Firebird Book Awards are unique in two ways. They are judged year round to give authors a chance to submit their novels into more than a hundred different genre categories. Lastly the entire entry fee is a donation that supports the women and children’s shelter renovation and transformation project, in conjunction with Enchanted Makeovers 501(c)3. They send handmade one-of-a-kind fun and colorful pillowcases and children’s books to homeless shelters – naming the author as the donor.

The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart from lulu.com, multiple award winning steampunk fantasy in 2022!

I received more good news just last night as my steampunk fantasy, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, won 3rd place for Fantasy – Magic, Myths, and Legends from The BookFest book awards for Fall 2022. This is the third award for The Last Magus, and I can’t tell you how great it feels to be recognized by your peers.

The BookFest Awards honors authors who create outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction. Books are judged in categories based on genre, theme, and aesthetics.  Entries will be vetted by an initial team, then the final places will be determined by an elite group of experts in the literary and entertainment world. The awards can be viewed on The BookFest YouTube channel.

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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.

One question I get a lot . . . What is Steampunk?

One question I get at a lot at all the events I attend is “What is Steampunk?” It is a defined genre but to me, it’s much more than that. There are two definitions of steampunk. One states, “a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology” while the others says, “a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction.”

I always consider Jules Verne and H.G. Wells the godfathers of the steampunk genre. The created a modern view of technology using 19th century views. We steampunk authors use their influence to create our wild and fantastic visions bringing the future into the past.

Steamboy (2004) Japanese animated film

To me, one of the best movies to understand steampunk is the 2004 anime classic Steamboy. “England of the 1860s receives a technological remake in this animated adventure. Ray Steam is a brilliant young inventor who follows in the footsteps of his father, Eddie, and his grandfather, Lloyd Steam. After his grandfather sends him a mysterious mechanical ball that contains revolutionary power, Ray finds his world turning upside down. It seems a lot of people want that power, and not all of them have good intentions.” It has an all star cast (Anna Paquin, Alfred Molina, and Sir Patrick Stewart) and a cast of historical characters including Robert Louis Stevenson, the inventor of the steam engine. This movie is quintessential steampunk in every aspect of the vision it presents. There is also anime like Arcane on Netflix and The Mortal Engines movie are great examples of steampunk.

Airships, trains, mechanical beings powered by steam are the vision of tomorrow to a steampunk enthusiast. Goggles, backpacks, Victorian-era corsets with top hats and long coats are all part of the unique style of steampunk. It can be seen at conventions and festivals around the world and in books, television, and movies. Gears, open mechanics, copper pipes, leather, and Edison bulbs all represent the idea of fashion when it comes to steampunk.

A Clockwork Heart by Dennis Saputra

Although most things considered steampunk revolves around steam power, I also like to include it in magic-powered machines. In my novel The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, I combined magic with machines in this futuristic dystopia. This includes trains running on Magius engines, automail armor, and a clockwork heart. I also did a little of this in my novella The River of Souls, where I created a land cycle powered by an engine that pulled in ether from the air for fuel. Magic and machines are a fun way to take the steampunk genre in a new direction. Technology has a way of migrating into fantasy stories of one caliber or another. I would also include a bit of alchemy mixed in to make it even more interesting to include it in fantasy story writing.

However, steampunk is primarily a historical fiction genre, and my next novel explores into just that realm. Corsair and the Sky Pirates is coming out in January 2023 from Curious Corvid Publishing. Imagine if Jules Verne and Nikola Tesla met and collaborated. What kind of world would come from it? That’s the premise of my new steampunk historical fiction as the war between Tesla and Thomas Edison takes to the skies. Corsair and his sky pirates believe in Tesla’s vision for the future—a world where the people are free to use technology without bowing to their corporate masters in ERP (Edison Röntgen Parsons). Edison has plans for world domination and its up to Corsair and his merry band to discover the secrets of the master inventor. Take to the skies on the airship Galeru, from the ancient ruins of Egypt to the English Channel, the New York City skyline and the American Southwest.

You can find steampunk at various junctures around the world. If you want to dine in steampunk style, try The Edison restaurant in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Or if your travelling internationally, The Abyss Pub in Italy was inspired by the Kraken, or visit the Les Machines de l’Île Nantes, which is in the city of Nantes, France is an amazing artistic and creative steampunk wonderful. Mechanical animals roam, which is in the city of Nantes, France, is an amazing artistic and creative steampunk wonder as mechanical animals roam the streets. Here in the USA, there are plenty of steampunk festivals to catch your interest. Maybe I’ll 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 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.

Soar to Forever Avalon with a new book cover

Forever Avalon by Mark Piggott, cover at by Mark Alexander McLish (IG @markmakesart247)

I want to start by saying that I’ve always loved my original cover for Forever Avalon. Since it was first published in 2009, the artwork done for my cover brought my story to life. Seeing the flying ships I dreamed about, which I wrote about in my first fantasy novel, was breathtaking. It made the story real to me.

But since I’ve started attending festivals, conventions, and other book signing events, I realized that my first covers were “cartoony” in their appearance. My wife told me that repeatedly, but I fought her on it. Then, when a few people stopping by my booth wondered if Forever Avalon was a children’s story, I changed my tune. If I’m going to sell my books, it makes it less of a “drawn out” pitch when I don’t have to repeatedly explain that it’s not a children’s book. So, I am happy to reveal my brand new cover for Forever Avalon by artist Mark Alexander McLish.

The cover still evokes my dreams of Avalon . . . the flying airships, the floating dragon island of Emmyr, dragons flying around the sky, and the city of Port Charles inviting the ships into port. It’s a perfect vision for my new cover, and great to debut a new edition of Forever Avalon. Now, it’s available as a hardback novel for purchase. The first book I published is now a hardcover, a paperback, an ebook, and an audiobook. This is so special for me, and it’s amazing to think about where I started and am today.

I really want to thank Mark Alexander McLish for the great cover design. I met Mark through our publisher, Curious Corvid. He is an award-winning novelist and an incredible artist. He not only redesigned my cover for Forever Avalon, but he also did the cover for my new fantasy novella, The River of Souls.

So, you can buy Forever Avalon on Amazon in all four formats or, come out to one of my future events to pick up a SIGNED copy from yours truly. The Williamsburg Book Festival this weekend was postponed due to Hurricane Ian. Keep an eye out on my Events for when they reschedule the festival. If you can make it, I’ll be at the 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Arts and Music Festival on Sunday, October 9, and at the Southern Maryland Comic-Con at the Capital Clubhouse in Waldorf, MD, on Saturday, October 15. I hope to see you there.

In the meantime, get started into your next fantasy book series with a copy of Forever Avalon.

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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.

My thoughts on the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, an inspiration to us all

Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms (6 February 1952 – 8 September 2022)

With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, thus ended the reign of the longest reigning monarch of the modern era. For 70 years, we have only known one queen and her name was Elizabeth. She was not only the queen, but she was also a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother. I am not a subject of Her Majesty, but I respect and want to honor her service to her country and the world. When she was only 21 years old, she pledged, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” She lived up to that pledge until the day she died.

As a fantasy author, monarchs are a part of my genre. I have loved the idea of a monarch since I first read the stories of King Arthur and Camelot, something I based my first novel, Forever Avalon, around. Britain and the monarchy are the stuff of legends, and Elizabeth II was no exception. She led Great Britain and the commonwealth by example in pursuit of nothing but the best for her people. She served in World War II at the tender age of 18 in the Auxiliary Territorial Service as a driver and a mechanic. Can you imagine, the future Queen of England driving an ambulance and performing tune ups on vehicles?

The world was a different place when she became queen. Women did not lead in many roles in our society in the 1950s and yet, she did it with steadfast determination. That’s the kind of inspiration a writer like me looks for in creating monarchs for my fantasy stories. Throughout my life, I have been surrounded by strong women, whether in my family or my military service, and Queen Elizabeth was a part of that. You can’t fake that kind of character when writing, you have to see it and experience it to believe it.

So now, we have a king, King Charles III. He has enormous shoes to fill to live up to the legacy his mother laid out for him, but at the same time, he had her as the best teacher possible. I hope and pray he will continue the great service of her life. These are trying times and leadership is desperately needed. Even as a writer, that continued inspiration is needed. In all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the eventual coronation of King Charles III, it fuels the fantasy stories within me. We live in an age where kings and queens, princes and princesses, and other royal titles are mostly found in storybooks.

Queen Elizabeth II was the true representation of what it meant to be a monarch. May she rest in peace. Thank you, ma’am, for your service to us all. God bless the Queen. God save the King.

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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.