Open submission for 5th Tales of Fortannis anthology

I’m looking for stories for the 5th TALES OF FORTANNIS anthology. BardInHand-510

About the collection: The TALES OF FORTANNIS series is published by Double Dragon and is available in paperback, ebook, kindle, ibook, and nook. Double Dragon is perhaps the largest science fiction and fantasy e-book publisher out there, and has been around for about fifteen years. They have a good reputation, pay royalties on time, and make sure the book is available everywhere (Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, all e-book distributors).

Previously unpublished authors are encouraged to submit, but should be aware that we ask for at least two years of exclusivity which can limit your ability to resell or republish the story later. (You can negotiate the exact terms of exclusivity with Double Dragon.) Once your story appears in TALES OF FORTANNIS, it will severely limit its future possibilities, including a future pay rate.

Note as well that while the book will be promoted in a number of ways, sales will not be huge. Don’t give up your day job. You should be submitting mostly for the exposure. As a standard warning that applies in all similar cases, you need to decide if publishing your work in e-formats and/or on the web, giving up your First Publishing Right for a token payment, is really what you want to do.

About Fortannis: Fortannis is the fantasy land where my novels ARCH ENEMIES and THE AXES OF EVIL take place as well as Derek Beebe’s recent novel IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH. Your story does not have to take place in the same kingdom as these stories, and you can create your own kingdom and characters; however, the more you can tie your story in with previous stories, the better.

Fortannis is a high fantasy world with elves, dwarves, the mysterious biata, gryphons, goblins, and more.

Magic comes from the orderly progression of nature, and mages can learn to tap into that power to do basic spells that manipulate the earth, air, fire or water. Healing magics exist, as they speed up the body’s own healing process and tap into that power. Death magic also exists, because death is part of the orderly path of nature.

There is another source of power, and that is chaos magic, sometimes known as necromancy. This magic runs counter to the orderly progression and is used to harm and to do unnatural things like raise zombies and undead. This kind of magic is much easier to use and thus very tempting to those trying to learn the magical arts. Every spell has its chaotic counterpart which is stronger — you can either heal someone a little or hurt someone a lot. Chaos magic eventually corrupts the land and the mind of the user, and is illegal and frowned upon in decent society.

There are no gods, churches, or religions.

Keep in mind that although these are fantasy stories, you are not limited to telling tales of adventure, with knights fighting dragons and wizards casting powerful spells. abbey-bard-510The world is merely the setting for the stories. I am looking for a variety of tales, as you can see from the previous books. There is one story about someone trying to steal the recipe for his favorite pie. Another concerns three goblin children spying on the curious humans. A third involves a con artist trying to mislead a nobleman. The theme of the Tales of Fortannis series is the fantasy world, not the type of story.

If you want to submit a story, I first suggest that you read one of the Fortannis novels or one of the collections. It will help, and may give you some story ideas … and it should help prevent you from submitting a story idea that has already been done.

Submissions: Submissions are open for short stories of under 10,000 words with no minimum. (A good story should take exactly as many words as needed.) Unpublished authors are encouraged to submit, but will still face the same standards for submissions as the published authors. And of course, the less editing that your story needs, the more likely I am to accept it.

All stories should be double-spaced in rtf format with 12 point Times Roman font. There should be no spacing after the paragraphs. The first page must contain the name of the story, the word count, and your name, address, email, and phone number. Your cover letter should list any previous publications.

Note: You may want to send a proposal first to make sure your story won’t contradict another story and to make sure your idea fits within the world of Fortannis. If you’re an unpublished author, it may also be a really good idea to read all the advice columns here before submitting.

Proposals and inquiries must be emailed to michael.ventrella@gmail.com.

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It’s a Wonderful Death!

A brave knight breaks her vows to fight against a lunatic king calling himself “the Doomsayer” and ends up dealing with unreliable henchmen, political assassins, and a sarcastic disembodied head in a bag. Can she and her friends save the Hidden Kingdom from an unstoppable foe before her prophesied death?itsawonderfuldeath-510

IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH is a stand-alone novel in the shared fantasy world of Fortannis. The story takes place after my novels ARCH ENEMIES and THE AXES OF EVIL and features Terin Ostler and the squires from those stories. However, you do not have to have read those books (or any of the stories in the various TALES OF FORTANNIS anthologies) to enjoy this book.

It was written by Derek Beebe and edited by me … and by editing, I don’t mean proofreading. I did an editor’s job as I have discussed in this blog before! So I’m really happy with the result and hope you will be, too.

Zachary Didur from Random Chatter magazine had this to say:

“Simultaneously epic and hilarious, IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH tells a fast-paced story with a ton of heart. It focuses on a handful of characters and really makes you fall in love with them. Nevertheless, Beebe isn’t afraid to ramp up the action to 11 and deliver massive fantasy set-pieces.

Even though the book deals with some very dark subject matter at times, the tone was kept light by clever dialogue and moments of real levity. It never quite becomes a straight up comedy or farce but instead deftly toes the line, and in the end is an enjoyable epic fantasy story.”

So if you’re a fan of my earlier fantasy novels and want to know what happens to those characters later, please check this out! It’s available in Paperback, E-book , Kindle  and iBook !

Tales of Fortannis: A Bard’s Eye View

The new collection of short stories taking place in the world of my two novels is here!

TALES OF FORTANNIS: A BARD’S EYE VIEW is the first in a planned series. I’m very pleased with the stories collected here. There is a wide variety of tales being told in a myriad of styles.

“A Bard’ Eye View is a wild and weird collection of fantasy stories that present some of the freshest writing around. Derring-do with a great sense of fun. Highly recommended.” – New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry, author of THE KING OF PLAGUES and DUST & DECAY

“Rollicking good fun perfect for a beach read, subway read, airplane read—heck, just buy it and read it! Mirth, mayhem and magic in an intriguing world.” – Gail Z. Martin, author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series

“A Bard’s Eye View is a varied collection of adventures, whimsies, variously grim, grand and comedic; this book will appeal to fans of gaming and fantasy alike.” – Jay Lake, Campbell Award-winning author of GREEN and MAINSPRING

“You don’t need to know the background material to enjoy the range of stories from the talespinners assembled here. It has plenty of adventures that end with a twist that leave you shaking your head in pleased surprise. I’ll be happy to look for many of these writers in days to come.” – Jody Lynn Nye, author of VIEW FROM THE IMPERIUM and DRAGON’S DEAL

Here’s a short summary of the stories you’ll find:

The Zombie King’s Plan by Michael A. Ventrella: Squire Terin and his friends from the novels ARCH ENEMIES and THE AXES OF EVIL journey to retrieve the last magical ring for a biata girl whose memory was stolen. As they fight through zombies, they begin to discover that something isn’t right…

Stealing the Sky by Danny Birt: A brave admiral — who, as a youth, had his arm bitten off by a gryphon from the lands of Thessi — has been planning his revenge for a very long time. Determined that no one else should suffer his fate, he gathers his army and, with the help of the dwarves, moves against the gryphons with his plan.

Listen to a Tale, My Friends by Mike Strauss: A traveling minstrel fascinates the local townspeople with a horrifying tale of a necromancer — and and provides a surprise ending.

Bad Debts by Bernie Mojzes: A simple job turns out to be anything but simple. An evil ritual, a nameless monster, a dead patron — and a young woman must come to terms with her ex-lover and his new flame before she can defeat the threat.

Grip of Chaos by Laurel Anne Hill: When his squire brother does not return from his quest to fight the Ice Queen, an untrained young man has to face his fears and confront the necromantic creature himself.

The Great Green Kettle Pie Recipe Caper by Roy C. Booth and Brian Woods: A timid hobling decides the only way to obtain his favorite pie from the baker who refuses to share is to break in and steal the recipe — but things never go as planned.

Behind the Bar by Mark Mensch: Nigel the tavernkeeper has a successful business. And he has a secret panel in his back room and a secret retirement plan — a plan that not one of his satisfied patrons suspects.

A Rock is a Rock is a Rock … Or Is It? by J. Thomas Ross: When a group of goblin children sneak into the human’s cave to see what riches the humans are mining, they find no gold or gems … but discover a strange secret.

The Messenger’s Trap by Matthew C. Plourde: A mercenary is not sure who to trust when he is released from prison after promising to deliver a simple message.

Faith by Tera Fulbright: A biata bent on revenge learns his true mettle when faced with a life-threatening emergency.

A Child’s Tale by Davey Beauchamp: The kids love to hear stories of their heroes Oliver Songbringer and Aramis Llyrr, but will they act as bravely when they encounter danger in the woods?

Suffer the Liar by Ron. F. Leota: Two con men who spin fabricated tales of mighty adventures suddenly find themselves in an all-too-real situation fighting ice trolls. Can they discover a way to save their skins from both the monsters and the townspeople?

The Long Sleep by Nick Bond: The ancient forest has awakened its defender, who must seek out the necromancers who have stolen its heart.

The Otherside Alliance by Jon Cory: A lazy knight, whose king demands that he arrange an alliance with Duke Frost or die, comes up with a brilliant plan to obtain the Duke’s support — so long as no one sees through the ruse.

J. Thomas Ross was the copy editor and the cover is by Sheila Haswell.

Next week the authors themselves will introduce themselves and discuss their stories here!

Click here to order your copy!

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