Light Dawning

Which is worse… the darkness, or the light?

LightDawningCovWebVersionFollowing previous sci-fi novella “Empty” from 2016,  new full-length horror novel “Light Dawning” pivots away from the emptiness of space and dives headlong into the waters of fantasy, but with a seriously grimdark twist.

This next foray into the bleaker corners of human existence is out now and can be picked up on Kindle here or paperback at this location.

As with all my work, this story is inspired by a real life experience translated into a fictional setting, and completing this book took a lot out of me.

It is set in an unquestionably fantasy universe, but you won’t find any elves or farm boy chosen ones saving the world. My take on the genre draws more from cosmic dread and the horror of war than anything with unlikely heroes or lovable rogues. Don’t expect any happy endings.

Once known as the City on the Hill and revered far and wide for its independence and boundless opportunity, Cestia has become home only to the damned. Surviving under the brutal occupation of a southern empire for three long years, the oppressed populace has lost hope of liberation, turning instead towards an increasingly desperate rebellion willing to commit any atrocity for a chance at freedom.

As total war approaches, four lost souls trapped behind Cestia’s walls are on a collision course with fate, destined to either save the city or see it utterly destroyed while calling on forces beyond mankind’s comprehension. For good or ill, the light of a new day is about to dawn.

Like its predecessor, the creation of “Light Dawning” was driven forward by the power of music. To get an advance preview of the themes and tone of the novel, a music playlist matching several scenes can be heard via the Spotify player below.


Character Profile: Casterly

What would you be willing to sacrifice for vengeance?

Brushstroke Picture Frame:

There’s just two more days till the official “Light Dawning” release on Kindle and paperback!

During the past few weeks, three of the four main characters were unveiled via character profile snapshots:

Today we’re wrapping up the character profile reveals with a fourth and final entry for Casterly, another unfortunate citizen trapped behind Cestia’s walls.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father and take the life of a simple craftsman, Casterly has felt the flame of rebellion burn within since his family was broken apart by the knighthood.

Horribly disfigured and partially blinded after taking a stand against the soldiers who were tearing apart his home, he has abandoned Cestia’s former gods and will follow anyone offering a chance at vengeance.

Torn between the reluctant Myrr – who has no interest in calling on his inner darkness to fight the city’s occupiers – and the unhinged Erret – who will happily use any weapon at hand – Casterly’s very soul hangs in the balance.

Read a full chapter from Light Dawning

Get an advance read of the book’s second chapter ahead of release!

LightDawningCovWebVersionWe’re now only three days from the official “Light Dawning” release date – many thanks to everyone who has already pre-ordered a digital or physical copy!

With Friday’s release just around the corner, there’s still more from this grimdark horror story to be revealed. Today a full advance chapter is unveiled and can be read below. This chapter introduces the main character Tala, who was covered in a character profile reveal last week.

If you missed, the book’s opening first chapter also recently premiered online via here. You may want to read that one first to get a better grasp on what’s occurring in the city before this chapter begins, although they can be read interdependently of one another.

TRIGGER WARNING: This chapter includes a graphic depiction of sexual assault, extreme violence, pregnancy gone horribly wrong, and a dead child. If any of those scenarios will offend you, now would be the time to stop reading.

The writing of this entire book was driven forward by the power of music, and if you want to experience the chapter as it was written, be sure to hit play below.

Keep on reading!

Character Profile: Erret

Heaven or hell – it’s all a matter of perspective

Brushstroke Picture Frame:

We’re getting very, very close to release now, but there’s still more coming before Friday! Following profiles on Myrr and Tala, today we look one of my favorite characters from upcoming grimdark novel “Light Dawning” – the unhinged Father Erret.

A missionary seeking to spread his northern religion that worships the light and focuses on reaching the limits of human potential, Erret sees the occupation not as something to fear, but rather as an opportunity to turn the city towards his god’s faith.

One of those delightfully obnoxious religious fanatics who is more devoted to his cause than even the higher ranking members of his order, Erret found himself exiled to convert unbelievers in a hostile environment far away from priests and bishops who were tired of his sermons.

If he’d had more followers, likely a religious schism would have occurred, as Erret finds the leadership of the clergy to be entirely derelict in their duties, wasting away on golden thrones when their religious text clearly commands them to spend their lives on the move in service to the light.

Unlike the vast majority of Cestia, which is in deep despair or numb indifference over the brutality of the occupation, Erret views the entire ordeal as something holy, existing in a state of religious rapture. In his view, pain is growth and a sign that you are on the right track.

In his twisted worldview, he’d happily watch the entire city burn to the ground if it meant the few remaining survivors would accept his god’s truth.



Examining how “Light Dawning” differs from traditional fantasy

New interview explores the many facets of grimdark and the book’s four main characters

There isn’t a chosen one here certain to rise above adversity and save the world. A humble farm boy doesn’t go on an epic journey to become a sword master or arch wizard. Magic is by and large a very bad thing here, because if anyone in this particular universe finds themselves with supernatural powers, it probably means they drew the attention of some insane cosmic being far beyond human comprehension.

After the book’s opening chapter was premiered online yesterday, today we’ve got an interview up at MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape.

This time we take an overview look at the four main characters,  discuss how the book differs from traditional fantasy, explore the many facets of grimdark, and see the surprising reactions from advance readers.

Just eight more days till “Light Dawning” is officially released!

1st Advance Chapter Online

Get a look at daily life in Cestia from a below ground view

After the character profile for Myrr came online, now its time to get your first real taste of what to expect from upcoming grimdark fantasy novel “Light Dawning” and meet Myrr up close and personal!

In today’s stop of the book promo tour, has premiered the entire opening chapter!

Here we meet two main characters, Myrr and Casterly, as they hide in a cellar with a group of freedom fighters, hoping to simply survive the day without being discovered by the soldiers searching for them. Give it a read right here and let me know what you think!

Special thanks to U.K. progressive metal band Code and Norwegian depressive black metal outfit Shining for the music that fueled the writing sessions for Myrr’s segments of the story.

Character Profile: Tala

How far would you go to keep the world from knowing what’s truly inside you?

Brushstroke Picture Frame:

The “Light Dawning” character roll call continues! After covering Myrr last week, now we arrive at Tala, who is introduced in the second chapter.

Traveling from her monastery home, this quiet and mysterious woman was trapped in Cestia just as the occupation began.

She finds herself in a desperate situation in Cestia’s waning last days, accosted by uncaring soldiers who are unaware of the deadly danger lurking within. Stoic in the extreme after a lifetime of unimaginable hardships, she bears each new indignity of daily life without breaking.

Infested with insane whispers from a realm beyond the physical, Tala must spend every waking moment holding them back, or the world will know true despair. Even the slightest crack in her mental shield could see something anathema to stable reality slipping through. For Tala, motherhood is a gift and a curse.

The light to Myrr’s dark, Tala teaches her fellow fugitive to restrain the darkness possessing his soul, but secretly wonders if perhaps they should both give in and put their unwanted parasites to use.

You can meet Tala, Myrr, and the rest of the cast when “Light Dawning” sees official release on May 26th! Before that we’ll introduce two more characters in the coming days: the freedom fighter Casterly and unhinged missionary Father Erret.