The Halfling and the Spaceman

Howard Andrew Jones, Author and Game Designer

August 06, 2023 Janet & Roger Carden Season 3 Episode 4
Howard Andrew Jones, Author and Game Designer
The Halfling and the Spaceman
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The Halfling and the Spaceman
Howard Andrew Jones, Author and Game Designer
Aug 06, 2023 Season 3 Episode 4
Janet & Roger Carden

Today we’re talking with Howard Andrew Jones.    He has written several historical fantasy novels.  He served as Managing Editor of Black Gate magazine and is the Editor for the Sword and Sorcery magazine Tales from the Magician’s Skull, published by Goodman Games.

References and Links:

Show Notes Transcript

Today we’re talking with Howard Andrew Jones.    He has written several historical fantasy novels.  He served as Managing Editor of Black Gate magazine and is the Editor for the Sword and Sorcery magazine Tales from the Magician’s Skull, published by Goodman Games.

References and Links:

Howard Andrew Jones, Author

[00:00:00] Halfling: Thanks for tuning in to the third season of the Halfling and the Spaceman: Journeys in Active Fandom. We're having great conversations with people who have turned their love of fandom into something creative. We're fans talking to fans, and today we're talking with Howard Jones. He's written several historical fantasy novels, served as managing editor of Black Gate Magazine and is the editor for Sword and Sorcery Magazine Tales from the Magician Skull, published by Goodman Games.

[00:00:32] Halfling: Welcome, Howard.

[00:00:34] Howard Andrew Jones: Oh, thank you for having me.

[00:00:36] Halfling: Well, it's our pleasure. Great to have you here. Let's go ahead and get started. You just tell us a little bit about yourself and what your background is.

[00:00:46] Howard Andrew Jones: Well,

[00:00:47] Halfling: Oh.

[00:00:48] Howard Andrew Jones: well you, uh, you hit it right there. I, uh, worked for Black Gate. I now work with, uh, tales from Magician Skull. I had two small series from St. Martin's. Uh, one was, one was an epic fantasy, although it's really sword and sorcery disguised as epic fantasy. And that was the Ring Sworn trilogy. And that's kind of a love letter to the original Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. And the one prior to that was, um, an Arabian Fantasy Series fantasy, and it's kind of like Sherlock Holmes crossed with the Arabian Nights and also written four Pathfinder novels. And, uh, prior to all that, what can I say? I was working to become a writer and spending a lot of time doing it

[00:01:31] Halfling: Alright, well here you are. I mean, you know, working to become a writer and you're a writer, so success. Yay. Oh, well that's

[00:01:41] Howard Andrew Jones: well, still working to get better. It's a constant process

[00:01:44] Halfling: Oh, I'm sure. Um,

[00:01:46] Howard Andrew Jones: don't just give up, right.

[00:01:48] Halfling: No, and you know, pretty much any profession, you know, you, you just, you get better as you do it more and more the experience. You learn things and you learn from your mistakes and you go forward and you just become better in your craft.

[00:02:01] Halfling: So, absolutely. 

[00:02:03] Howard Andrew Jones: That's the hope at least. 

[00:02:04] Halfling: Yeah.

[00:02:07] Spaceman: Howard, we always talk to people from the point of view of how they began their craft and how they progressed in their craft. So growing up, would you say that you've been a fan of anything such as Star Wars or video games, and what is your earliest memory of being a fan of something I.

[00:02:24] Howard Andrew Jones: Yes. My earliest memory is being a fan of the original Star Trek, and it began very early. Friend of mine called me. It was the first phone call I ever received. I must've been four or five years old. I re, I distinctly remember this, the phone rang. And so I didn't pay any attention and I was probably playing with Legos or something.

[00:02:42] Howard Andrew Jones: I didn't pay any attention. This would've been in, uh, gosh, like 72 or 73. And my mom says, Howard, it's for you. And I had never received a phone call before. Keep in mind, so I. So I was like, uh, yes, hello. And it was my friend Mike Boone from, I guess it was nursery school, possibly kindergarten. And he says, Howard, that cool new show I told you was on, it's on right now on Channel 38, I think.

[00:03:09] Howard Andrew Jones: Channel 38. But I know it was Mike Boone. He and I are still dear friends. Anyway, to us a new show was one newly discovered. We didn't realize. Star Trek, the original Star Trek had been in reruns. This was the seventies. It had been what, since '69? 

[00:03:21] Halfling: Right. 

[00:03:24] Howard Andrew Jones: Anyway, I turned it over and it was after the, you know, the opening stinger of the original Star Trek. So this episode had begun and there were Kirk and Spock beaming down, and I was hooked right there and then, and I became a huge original Star Trek fan and remained one for many years. And I guess I still always will be.

[00:03:44] Halfling: Sure keep up with the newer series? 

[00:03:48] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, I tried, I, I really wanted to love the next generation, and I watched that first season and it was so terribly disappointing, and I've just never watched any of them as faithfully since. Uh, I understand I've missed some really good seasons of the next generation. I've heard that it gets really good by the fourth or fifth season.

[00:04:07] Howard Andrew Jones: And I always felt a little bad by that because Star Trek, the original one that I loved, didn't even get a full, the third season was truncated and kind of lobotomized after, after the people in charge of the first two seasons mostly left. And so I've always been a little jealous that the next generation got three seasons before it got good apparently.

[00:04:27] Howard Andrew Jones: I don't know. Um, but I've tuned into some of the others and I've caught some very excellent episodes, but I've never followed any of them, as religiously.

[00:04:34] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:04:35] Spaceman: Did you watch the animated series?

[00:04:37] Howard Andrew Jones: Yes, I did. I was very young when that came out. Of course. And it was a way to get New Trek.

[00:04:43] Howard Andrew Jones: I don't think I've seen too many of them since.

[00:04:45] Spaceman: Yeah, I had a, a Star Trek bridge set when I was a kid. I remember that from the animated series.

[00:04:51] Howard Andrew Jones: Oh, I had that. Yeah, I sold that on eBay about 15 years ago. I kept my Captain Kirk, but I sold all the other stuff.

[00:05:00] Halfling: Well, during the, uh, pandemic, we decided to watch all of the Star Trek series. And we started, I think we started with Next Gen. And then went back to the original series and then we just, you know, and then Deep Space Nine and, you know, the animated series. And so we just, you know, because it was the pandemic and what else are you gonna do?

[00:05:25] Halfling: So, you know, , we did the same thing with, uh, Stargate. Um, well, we tried to do the same thing with Stargate. We got all of Stargate and Stargate Universe. Stargate Atlantis was not available. So we still haven't watched that series.

[00:05:42] Spaceman: Eventually we will. Eventually we will. Howard, did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?

[00:05:50] Howard Andrew Jones: Yes. Yes, I believe I did. I have a sort of silly story about that too. I used to draw sequential pictures before I could even properly make my letters and arrange them in order, and I'd ask my mom to write down what I told her was happening me picture, and then they would get stapled together. I'm a terrible artist.

[00:06:10] Howard Andrew Jones: What? I always wanted to tell stories.

[00:06:12] Halfling: So that's good. I mean, you, so I guess you, you really started at a, at a very young age, 

[00:06:19] Howard Andrew Jones: Right, I think it's because my mom was always reading me, reading me stories. My father was too, but my mom was the main driving force behind that. One of the earliest things I remember her reading me actually, and I must have been older. I was probably five or six at this point. I know she's reading to me from birth, but I remember her reading me The Hobbit.

[00:06:37] Howard Andrew Jones: She had it for a college class and, she enjoyed it a lot more, seeing my reaction to it as she read it out loud to me.

[00:06:44] Halfling: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that's good memories. Yeah. That sounds like really good memories. So I do have a question though, because you have sort of focused on one genre. I mean, you've written some other stuff, but mainly, you know, you've been writing kind of historical fantasies or you know, that type of thing, or adjacent. So what sparked your early interest in, in that particular genre as opposed to, Oh, I don't know space.

[00:07:13] Howard Andrew Jones: hear you. Uh, this is science fiction. I mean, I grew up reading and reading, uh, star Trek photo novels and reading Star Trek comics. I was a, I was deeply in love with the original Star Trek, and so you would've thought that I'd ended up writing Space Opera opera of some kind or Star Trek novels perhaps.

[00:07:31] Howard Andrew Jones: So I got introduced to Dungeons and Dragons in the seventies, right when it was getting big with the hardback books. I don't, I, I never got the, the little paperback manuals. I didn't see those, those, those were archaic and strange. Well before my time, even though of course it was only a few years before, but they were hard to find.

[00:07:52] Howard Andrew Jones: Whereas the Advanced Dungeon and Dragons Monster Manual, dungeon Masters Guide and Player's Handbook, my God, those used to be nearly everywhere. Not even just in game stores. You'd see 'em in Walden's bookstores. Anyway. At the back of the Dungeon Masters Guide was Appendix N and Appendix N listed all of these interesting sounding books about fantasy.

[00:08:14] Howard Andrew Jones: I knew that I liked fantasy, but I hadn't explored it in any depth. And so I rode my bicycle to the used book store in the library. Well, the library didn't have hardly anything from that list, but the used bookstore had a few things and it had, Fritz Library swords against death and the library did have some of the Chronicles of Amber, but not the first few books.

[00:08:36] Howard Andrew Jones: So I borrowed those from a friend and the used bookstore did have Michael Moorcock, Corum Saga, not Elrich, just the Corum stuff, which well between, between those three things, my reading changes sort of got transformed overnight. I really loved what I saw there. Chronicles of Amber. It was great. Um, I'd never read anything like it, I'd never read anything quite like Swords Against Death.

[00:09:03] Howard Andrew Jones: These, uh, ongoing interconnected stories about these two rogues having, uh, wild adventures with supernatural elements and swashbuckling and, uh, the doomed Hero of, Moorcock's Corum Books. I, I loved it. I was just enraptured with the whole feel of this, and I, I was like, man, I gotta get me some more of this.

[00:09:21] Howard Andrew Jones: What is this? And There wasn't enough education about genre. Maybe there still isn't for me to understand mostly. And what I was grooving on was the heroic fiction or sword element. And I thought, oh, I'm in love with fantasy and it took me a while to go, well, no, I don't necessarily love all fantasy, although I enjoy a lot of it.

[00:09:39] Howard Andrew Jones: It's more of the heroic aspect and the sword play. I should say that I was a huge fan of, uh, Three and Four Musketeers when those came out in my childhood.

[00:09:49] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:09:50] Howard Andrew Jones: seven, yes.

[00:09:52] Halfling: Okay. 

[00:09:53] Spaceman: we're both big fans of the Chronicles of Amber.

[00:09:56] Halfling: Oh yeah. Yeah. Oh 

[00:09:57] Halfling: yeah. Oh 

[00:09:58] Spaceman: Yeah. Massive. Massive.

[00:10:00] Halfling: Loved him.

[00:10:01] Howard Andrew Jones: Oh, that's great. My dog is named Corwin. Actually,

[00:10:03] Halfling: Aw,

[00:10:04] Spaceman: Not Random? 

[00:10:05] Howard Andrew Jones: No, 

[00:10:06] Howard Andrew Jones: no, not Randy. Yes. Corwin's one of my all favorite characters. Him and Benedict, as a matter of fact. Um, I really wanted to see them so much more that when, if you ever try my Ring Sworn Trilogy, you'll see a little bit of, some characters have a little bit to do with, the personalities of Corwin and Benedict in there. I just love those guys.

[00:10:26] Halfling: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, writers tend to draw inspiration from other writers as well as their own life experiences and, you know, so that, that makes perfect sense.

[00:10:39] Halfling: Uh, so tell us a little bit about. Your discovery of Harold Lamb. Tell us a little bit about who he is and what influence he's had on your writing.

[00:10:51] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, He's had a tremendous influence and he's rather obscure. So, uh, that's a good question. Uh, so I've always been a bit of a history nerd, and I think that's because I had a really wonderful history teacher in seventh and eighth grade. He made me very curious about history. His name was Bill Johnston. He. And he did a great job making history, not just a dry recitation of facts, but stories, interesting stories about interesting people and interesting events. So I can remember going to the library and looking up interesting parts of history, like, well, I don't know anything about that. I don't know anything about this. Pretty early on I cabbage my, my interest level focused on ancient Egyptians and ancient Sumerians and ancient Rome. All of the ancient Near East and the ancient Mediterranean, because I don't actually know why it was as fascinating to me as imaginary places.

[00:11:44] Howard Andrew Jones: It was so different and yet so similar to us. In some ways, I think the similarities made the differences stand out even more strongly. But anyway. I think I was about 16 and I chanced upon this biography, Harold Lamb had written called Hannibal One Man Against Rome. And I loved that book The Way I hadn't loved anything since I'd read Chronicles of Amber.

[00:12:07] Howard Andrew Jones: I read the original five books of Chronicles of Amber. I must have read multiple times. Well, I started doing the same thing with this historical biography and I thought, wow, this is so great. I wonder, I see that he has a whole bunch of other books written and here at the front of, you know, the front matter.

[00:12:23] Howard Andrew Jones: I wonder if any of these others are about Hannibal. Well, I was, gimme a break. I was 15 or 16. So one of 'em is called the curved saber. It sounded like it would be about swords. I had no idea that Carthaginians weren't involved with Saber, but I, I, I went to the library and they had the book and I checked it out and wow.

[00:12:41] Howard Andrew Jones: It, it didn't have anything to do with Carthaginians, but it was chock full of these swashbuckling historical adventures. And they reminded me a little bit of Fritz Library Swords against death, actually, because they were all interconnected. They had ongoing character, and sometimes events in one story, had influence upon events in another story, even though they could all, they all stood alone just fine. I loved that book too, and I, uh, checked it out again and again and again from the library. Keep in mind, this was in what, probably the late seventies or early eighties. And, so there were probably used book services at the time, but I had no idea how to get ahold of them. If you wanted a used book, you had to haunt, used bookstores, and so I would've loved to have gotten my hands on my very own copy of that, so I didn't have to keep checking it out.

[00:13:28] Howard Andrew Jones: But there was no way to do it. I didn't find it until years, years, years later. Anyway, that was how it became fascinating with Harold Lamb, who it turns out. Eventually became a very well known historian and biographer and even, co-wrote some scripts for Cecil b de Mille plays, uh, b dede Mille.

[00:13:46] Halfling: Oh.

[00:13:47] Howard Andrew Jones: But before that, he kind his start in the pulps, uh, and he wrote for one of the most prestigious of all pulps called Adventure Magazine.

[00:13:54] Howard Andrew Jones: And that's where these stories originally appeared. And, he wrote a whole cycle of Cossack stories and I discovered. I began to read sort of the history of fantasy and science fiction. I discovered it, the, introductory material to a book called, well, it was a reprint of one of Harold Lamb's older books called Marching Sands, which isn't actually one of his strongest works, but it has, uh, it has some science fictional elements in it, sort of a lost race thing.

[00:14:21] Howard Andrew Jones: And L. Sprague de Camp had written an introduction to it, and I thought that was pretty cool. He mentioned an entire cycle of Cossack adventures, many of which had never been reprinted. I, I thought, oh no, because at this point I had tracked down two reprinted books of, uh, Harold Lambs. One was the Mighty Manslayer, one was the curved sword.

[00:14:40] Howard Andrew Jones: And I thought, oh, well they've collected everything. No, it turns out that they had not collected everything. So then I thought, well, they've probably done a best of, I'm sure that's all the best, this stuff. And I chanced upon some of the unprinted things. It was just as good as the stuff that was in print, but it hadn't ever been in front of readers since like, I don't know, 1930. And some of them were more adventurous of the same characters who were from these favorite story of mine. Keep in mind, this would be like finding, I don't know, suppose you ran across some Jimi Hendrix tracks that had never been released that were just as good as Purple Haze. Like, oh my God, you guys, you've gotta check this out.

[00:15:17] Howard Andrew Jones: So eventually I, um, I became an editor. Long story. But I ended up as an editor, so I knew how to talk to editors and I chanced upon previous pulp collectors, pulp collector's, collection of Harold Lamb stories that he'd taken from these magazines and preserved. And so I saw that. Bison books is University of Nebraska Press. Was reprinting a bunch of Robert E. Howard historicals. So I just cold called them and I said, Hey, I know that you guys are reprinting this historical fiction of Robert E. Howard. If you've heard of Harold Lamb. And I put a proposal together and they ended up printing eight books of Harold Lamb's historical fiction. Anyway, was a huge influence on the entire field of sword and sorcerer because it turns out he was one of Robert Howard's favorite writers. He's certainly one of this Howard's favorite.

[00:16:16] Halfling: Oh, well that's, that's quite a story. I mean, you know, and, and it puts you on a mission.

[00:16:24] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, it, you come across something great like this and you're like, oh my God, this is just moldering away. No one's seeing this. And other people would, uh, I'd run into other held Lamb fans. Not that there's a huge number of us, but they'd hear about it. It's like, you know, I hear that there's some lost Cossack stories.

[00:16:39] Howard Andrew Jones: What's up with that? Can they ever be reprinted? You know, they ought to be reprinted. Someone ought to do something about that. And we kept saying someone ought to do something about that. And then someone ended up being me and some, some friends who were, uh, of great assistance scanning these documents.

[00:16:54] Halfling: Um,

[00:16:55] Spaceman: That is an awesome story. That is an awesome

[00:16:57] Halfling: it, it really is, you know, it's rare to find a writer who is so influenced and so motivated. By the works of another writer. You know, usually, I mean, usually writers will, will have an influence, from another writer and, you know, they've enjoyed the stories or whatever, and, and there's certain elements to their writing that you can tell they've pulled from.

[00:17:23] Halfling: That person's writing. But it, it is a rare thing indeed to have somebody go to the, go to the links that you did to bring, you know, bring lamb's works, to the public eye and, and make available. So, so kudos to you. Shout out to you for that. That's wonderful.

[00:17:46] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, thank you. It just was a tragedy that this great work was getting forgotten, and it really is great. He has this wonderful headlong, pacing, inventive plots. He was multicultural. In a time when a whole lot of fiction was all about the white man's burden, you would have, good guys and bad guys on either side of the cultural divide.

[00:18:06] Howard Andrew Jones: It didn't matter. And my goodness, the action and the wilds of the characters, it's, it's really something I, I'm really glad to see that a new generation is discovering them now.

[00:18:20] Halfling: yeah, well, you put him on my radar. I'm gonna have to, uh, I'm gonna have to find at least one of his books and, and, and give it a read. Ostensibly, I'm starting a blog where I review spaceman is laughing 'cause I've been saying this. But

[00:18:38] Spaceman: Any day now. Any 

[00:18:40] Halfling: any, yeah. Yeah. Uh, but I'm gonna start a blog, um, where I review books that I read from people that we've had on the show.

[00:18:49] Halfling: So, um, so I'll, I'll get one of your books and I'll give it a read and eventually I'll get a review up. Now, I've been saying this for a while, so don't hold your breath on that, but that's the plan anyway. I. I'm only two years away from retirement, so you know it, it will happen.

[00:19:09] Spaceman: Oh, believe me, I've already got her figured out what she's doing when she retires. You know? It's it's podcast. Podcast and more

[00:19:16] Spaceman: podcast. Yeah. So, and and podcast tie-ins.

[00:19:20] Halfling: It's a good thing I like to read. Uh, it really.

[00:19:24] Howard Andrew Jones: I, both of you probably did. I sort of picked up on that.

[00:19:29] Spaceman: You know, the thing, the irony about it is Howard, that Janet is now the reader of the family. I just don't have time to read anymore because of my mundane job. So we listen to audio books. I. We commute. We commute and we listen to audio books and she reads at lunch. So if I had a lunch I could read at, I would, yeah. But I'm usually so busy to that. I, I don't have any really time for reading. Um, but I do read when I go on vacation, that's one of the things that I reserve for myself when I go on vacation. I pick up one of the older sci-fi novels that I have on my bookshelf and, um, I like, do you remember those two in one books where the covers were?

[00:20:15] Howard Andrew Jones: the doubles?

[00:20:16] Spaceman: Ace doubles. I got a bunch of those. And I haven't read all of them, so I, every time I go on vacation, I grab one or two of those, and I love it because you get two full novellas in a single package.

[00:20:28] Howard Andrew Jones: No, no, I get it. I get it. I've, uh, I can look across my room and see a number of those. I also have some Ace double, uh, westerns as well, and they're, uh, they're green and white rather than, the blue and white.

[00:20:41] Halfling: Oh, okay.

[00:20:43] Spaceman: Oh, all right. So moving along, we've talked a little bit about how you got your start in writing. What do you think your jumping off point was? When did you realize that this was gonna be the thing that you did? I.

[00:20:55] Spaceman:

[00:20:58] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, I wanted it to be the thing I did probably forever. I, I was writing short stories from very early on. I mean, as soon as I got into being able to write letters, I was write my letters. I was, I was writing short stories. I was really powered by Ray Bradbury there at first. He was the most interesting thing in those grade school readers. He was the only one writing about rocket ships and robots and interplanetary adventures, and I love the sort of melancholy feel of them. Even as a kid. I really responded to the poetry of those stories. But you're wondering when I, when I really got started, well, I got really good at collecting rejection letters pretty early on, and I just kept submitting and reading because you have to read if you're gonna be a writer.

[00:21:48] Howard Andrew Jones: But I read because I loved it. I wanted to be part of the discussion. I had my own story as I wanted, I guess sometimes sometime in my late twenties or early thirties is when I finally broke through with some really small press stuff, but I didn't get consistently involved in the industry until I started working with Black Gate Magazine and I started there as a reviewer.

[00:22:08] Howard Andrew Jones: And this is a story I like to tell people who ask, how do you get involved in the industry? Well, if you wanna get involved in the industry, you need to get involved in the industry. Uh, and so I came on as a reviewer and. Like any job, nine tenths of it is showing up, doing the work, doing good work, and having a good attitude.

[00:22:28] Howard Andrew Jones: If you just do those things, you begin to stand out a little bit and you get more assignments, you get more trusted, and if you get more trust, you go more places. Uh, and doors started to open and of course I continued to write and as the halfling was just saying a little bit ago, hopefully as you write, you get better at it.

[00:22:48] Howard Andrew Jones: Eventually I began to get. Published in more prestigious publications. But I think more importantly, the connections I made along the way through joining writing groups and changing, exchanging stories with other writers is what really opened the door. Because I showed a manuscript to my friend Scott Oden, and he was so excited about it.

[00:23:08] Howard Andrew Jones: He wanted to show it to his editor, uh, at St. Martin's. And I thought, well, that sounds great, but please let me finish the manuscript for it. And so he did. And a year later I had the manuscript finished and it got sent off. And keep in mind, at this point, I had, I've actually lost track of how many novels I'd written that got rejected. Uh, this was, uh, the first of my Arabian Fantasy series, novels, the Desert of Souls. And this went out to St. Martin's. And I don't know how long it was, it wasn't actually that long. Maybe a, maybe a couple of months. And I got an email from the editor at St. Martin's. Saying that he read my book and liked it, and he'd like to call me, could I call him at this number? Which was very different from a nice rejection letter or even a form letter, rejection letter. So I figured, well, this could be really good news. And I made sure I was calm. I, I went and I poured myself a cup of tea and I slowly drink it.

[00:24:08] Halfling: A cup of tea. Okay.

[00:24:09] Howard Andrew Jones: Cup of tea. Yeah. Yeah. I wish I was still drinking tea. I kind of got hooked on the soda again. But, uh, at the time I was, at the time I was drinking tea and then I, then I called up and, I got to hear about how cool he thought my book was and how he wanted to give me a, a book offer. So that was, that was the turning point there.

[00:24:29] Howard Andrew Jones: But it was a whole series of turning points that started with me just wanting to be involved in the industry and, uh, showing up and doing good work.

[00:24:38] Spaceman: Well, Why don't you, uh, continue on talking about the various turning points because, you know, we like to uh, reveal people's journeys. So it sounds like you've got that big, that, that big break, that kind of turning point in your career, how did it progress from there?

[00:24:54] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, I was offered a two book deal, and so I wrote the two books and

[00:25:01] Howard Andrew Jones: at the same point. So I, I told you I'd been reviewing for Black Gate Magazine. I started as one of their game reviewers and I struck up a relationship with, some of the guys who do the Paizo work, Paizo Pathfinder. I noticed that I was really enjoying this stuff that was coming from Pathfinder. And so instead of just, Hey, here's some stuff to review, do you wanna review?

[00:25:23] Howard Andrew Jones: It began to exchange longer notes. Like, Hey, I really enjoyed this, sincerely, uh, blah blah, blah, blah, blah. And we started talking about our influences and I discovered that, uh, Eric, Mona and James Sutter both loved the old pulps. As a matter of fact, Eric Mona started this, uh, line called Planet Stories that we printed all of these wonderful old stories like.

[00:25:43] Howard Andrew Jones: Some Lee Bracket and some Seal Moore and uh, some Manly Wade Weldon, a whole bunch of other stuff. That's how much he loved these things. Anyway, so I was, I was pretty friendly with both of these guys. And shortly after Desert Souls came out is when the Paizo Pathfinder line was getting ready to launch their novels.

[00:26:01] Howard Andrew Jones: And so I got a email from James is like, Hey, I saw that your novel's launched and it's getting good reviews, would you be interested in talking to me about writing Paizo Pathfinder novel? So I said, of course I would. And so that's how that door was opened. I wish that the Arabian Fantasy series had really taken off. I feel like I was, I don't know, eight or 10 years too early.

[00:26:26] Howard Andrew Jones: Um, because now it seems like there's more and more Arabian fantasy stuff all the time. But then it was me and Saladin Ahmed. And Scott Oden had one as well, but none of those series really, really seemed to take off very big. Uh, so I had to, I had to put those aside, which made me sad. And then I, uh, then I tried more of a epic fantasy.

[00:26:47] Howard Andrew Jones: But as I said, it was kind of Roger Zelazny style, epic fantasy. I was, uh, I was playing a little fast and loose. I wanna do more of a, I don't like slow fantasy novels. Lemme take that back. I don't mind slower paced fantasy novels to read, but I don't like to write them. I'm, uh, I'm kind of impatient. Uh, so, so the ring sworn trilogy is sort of disguised as an epic fantasy, but the pacing, I tried to give it more of that whole propulsive forward momentum thing.

[00:27:19] Howard Andrew Jones: Otherwise I would've driven myself nuts. Um, and so I wrapped that up. I realized I really wanted to do more of a, more of a sword and sorcery thing with even more heroism right up front. And so I went shopping for a different publisher and that's how I ended up with Baen. And I've been very happy here so far.

[00:27:40] Howard Andrew Jones:

[00:27:41] Halfling: I think it's good for, potential writers or you know, up and coming writers to, to realize that you don't have to be stuck and that you can, you know, you can move forward, you can move the benchmark forward and you can, if you're not happy with one publisher, you can seek out another publisher if you are not happy with what you're writing is doing for, you know, in terms of sales and what have you. You can switch gears a little bit or whatever. And every experience for writers is, is unique. I mean, that, that's your experience and obviously you've, you've done very well. 

[00:28:18] Spaceman: Well, we've, talked about your successes. Tell us about your challenges and, uh, what you did to overcome them.

[00:28:24] Howard Andrew Jones: My goodness. Well, I think. The, the biggest challenge was just all those years of collecting the rejection letters. I look back at it now and laugh, but it really wasn't very funny at the time. You kept plowing away and sending it off, and I remember when there was a little magazine called Adventures of Sword and Sorcery, and I really enjoyed that magazine.

[00:28:43] Howard Andrew Jones: I think there were maybe eight issues of it. Uh, I, I realize I probably have a couple of letters and letters column back there. I desperately wanted to be in that magazine. I look back now and I realize, well, I wasn't quite good enough to get into that magazine. My, maybe my stories were okay, but my characters weren't original enough to really stand out.

[00:29:01] Howard Andrew Jones: Maybe I hadn't really found my voice, but I didn't have enough perspective at the point to realize I hadn't found my voice or the capability to create really interesting characters yet. So I think that's a hard lesson to learn, and sometimes I feel like I've succeeded because I was stubborn. And it took, sometimes I feel like the slowest learner in the world when it comes to my writing.

[00:29:24] Howard Andrew Jones: I see some, some of my friends and colleagues have, uh, have figured out a lot faster than I have. So there's a challenge. Gosh, I, I don't know. Could you ask me more specifics on the challenges? Because I guess there were a lot of em.

[00:29:40] Spaceman: The thing about it is, is that challenges are unique to the individual, so.

[00:29:45] Spaceman: I taking this sort of on a tangent, you were involved in Dungeons and Dragons pretty early, you know the, it is still in the seventies, right? How much did that influence your writing? I.

[00:29:59] Howard Andrew Jones: You know, not as much as you might think. I, uh, I think that it really helped me in the sense that I was always the dungeon master, so I got used to telling stories and shaping events that would make interesting stories. But I don't think that my fiction really sounds like you can hear the roll of the dice and it very much at all, except of course for the Pathfinder books, which are game fiction.

[00:30:23] Howard Andrew Jones: But even those, I tried to make it feel less gamey. As a matter of fact, the thing I liked least was some of the, the gamey spells, which are great at the table, but I don't really like 'em in my fiction where, oh my God, I'm wounded. Well I'll, I'll drink this healing potion and I'll be, I'll be groovy. I like my.

[00:30:41] Howard Andrew Jones: I didn't feel like there were consequences in, in some of that stuff, which is fine at the game table, but it's hard to lend gravitas if any, anyone could be resurrected or anyone can get a healing potion. Uh, the biggest impact fantasy gaming had upon me was that discovery of Appendix N and the treasures it held, and giving me confidence and experience as a storyteller.

[00:31:06] Halfling: Well, did you play any other, uh, RPGs?

[00:31:10] Howard Andrew Jones: Oh my goodness. Yes. As a matter of fact, we didn't play D&D that long. I think for three or four years. I already confessed how much of a Star Trek nerd I was. There was a wonderful game from FASA called Star Trek. The role playing game and the rules for that were pretty invisible. They were percentile.

[00:31:27] Howard Andrew Jones: So there was a little bit of a steep curve taking your, creating your character. But that was fun. It was almost like the old Traveller create your character, except there wasn't a chance of the character dying. And once you created your character, I don't know that I hardly ever cracked open the rule book.

[00:31:43] Howard Andrew Jones: I just ran the adventure and because it was all percentile based, one to 100 chance, on things, and your skill levels were set somewhere around 40 to 60 if you were really good at it or lower. And then there were minor modifiers. Anyway, I'm going down the game minutiae tube here. It was an elegant system and the rules really got out of the way.

[00:32:02] Howard Andrew Jones: So it was just about the creation of story, and that spoiled me because just about any other system I read were used after. I wanted to be something that got outta the way, so I wasn't having to constantly look up rules. I wanted me in the players to be creating a story together. I didn't want us to be looking up rules constantly. So I tended to really like rules, light systems or to downplay the rules if we were playing with a heavier rule system.

[00:32:31] Spaceman: Never let the rules get in the way of a good story.

[00:32:34] Howard Andrew Jones: Right? 

[00:32:35] Halfling: no. Uh, I think, I think I would enjoy playing, playing in a game under you. Uh, sounds, sounds definitely like, like.

[00:32:43] Spaceman: That sounds like your kind of game 

[00:32:45] Halfling: it really does because I'm, I'm always in it for the, the role playing and the storytelling aspect. Like you said, you know, let the rules get out of the way. Just, you know, focus on the story, focus on the characters, and, you know, so, yeah. So other than Harold Lamb going, backtracking here a little bit. Going back to back to,

[00:33:08] Spaceman: Circling 

[00:33:08] Halfling: around.

[00:33:09] Halfling: we're gonna get in the way back machine. Other than Harold Lamb, who would you say has been the biggest influence on your writing?

[00:33:18] Howard Andrew Jones: Oh my goodness. Well, it used to be easy, I would say Harold Lamb and Robert E. Howard and Lee Bracket, but it's actually a lot more complicated than that anymore. I fell in love with hard-boiled fiction writers,

[00:33:34] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:33:34] Howard Andrew Jones: Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, and more obscure ones like Frederick Nebel, and Ross McDonald, who was not obscure, but he's not as, not mentioned as much.

[00:33:45] Howard Andrew Jones: He, he was lauded as a Chandler's successor and he just did some beautiful work. The literary people love him just as much as the fiction writers, and I guess I was always afraid of trying something that the literary people. Loved because they so often have their nose in the air about the things that I love.

[00:34:04] Howard Andrew Jones: So I wasn't sure that I would like it. But not only is it beautifully written, it is beautifully plotted. It has great pace, it has deep characters. So I've really fallen in love with that. And then there's a number of, more obscure Western writers I've been reading. Gosh, I didn't want to go.

[00:34:20] Howard Andrew Jones: Into too much depth. That's, that's where I am now. Lately, I've been on a real western and hard boiled detective kick. I, I've really left the fantasy and science fiction reservation for the last few.

[00:34:31] Halfling: Well, just as an interesting side point, uh, spaceman and I, before we started this podcast, we were doing an online zine called Crimson Streets. And Crimson Streets was short stories. In the pulp style, um, nor, or, you know, like aviation pulp or just what have you. 

[00:34:56] Spaceman: Touch of horror or touch of fantasy.

[00:34:57] Halfling: Yeah. Um, so it might be something you, you might be interested in checking out?

[00:35:02] Howard Andrew Jones: It sounds pretty cool. It sounds like right up my alley.

[00:35:04] Halfling: yeah. I mean there, there's short stories I don't take very long to read, but, uh, but you can check out Crimson Streets, 

[00:35:11] Spaceman: It's currently on hiatus though, so we can get the podcast really going.

[00:35:14] Halfling: mm-hmm. But you can still read the stories. And there's also, we, we've also published some anthologies, that's available on Amazon as well. So just as a side note, because you were talking about, because you were talking about pulp, uh, you know that, why are you laughing?

[00:35:31] Spaceman: I never miss a good opportunity to promote.

[00:35:38] Halfling: Uh, spaceman, I think a ball's in your court.

[00:35:41] Spaceman: Well, since I'm not gonna go to the other room and put my suit and fedora on, uh, we'll go back to the topic at hand, which is Howard Jones writing. One of the things we always ask our guests is, do you have any advice for listeners who may be interested in starting out their own career as a writer? And are there things that you wish you had known then when you started that you do now?

[00:36:06] Howard Andrew Jones: Oh my goodness. So I would go back in time and I would tell. Make sure you know what the villain wants before you start writing the story. Uh, yeah. My God. So that's so important and I wasted so much time revising and revising, and it seemed like the mistake I kept making for the longest time. Before that, the mistake I was making, probably because I had grown up watching Star Trek, was that I too often wanted my characters to. Not be so much characters as philosophical points that could be made.

[00:36:41] Howard Andrew Jones: So rather than a Good Star Trek episode, you know, they were kind of bad Star Trek episode characters,

[00:36:47] Spaceman: Oh, they were Spock's Brain character.

[00:36:49] Howard Andrew Jones: Yeah, yeah. You got it. You know what I'm talking about. So yeah, do those things. I guess the other thing I would say is, so my writing. Got substantially better when I decided, well, if I'm serious about being a fantasy writer, maybe I ought to understand where the fantasy genre comes from.

[00:37:09] Howard Andrew Jones: So I started, I went back and I read the grandmothers and the grandfathers of fantasy and early science, fiction as well, but mostly the fantasy, and really got to understand the roots of it, what had been done before. So first, if you wanna get good at a thing, understand where it comes from. The other thing is, once you understand what your genre is, you need to go off the reservation.

[00:37:32] Howard Andrew Jones: I feel like I turbocharged my writing once I began to read stuff other than fantasy. When I began to read the, the hard-boiled guys and the Western writers, I feel like my writing got powerful and more nuanced. A genre sometimes begins to sound too much like itself. It almost begins to parody itself. It's so what it's doing, it forgets what can be done elsewhere.

[00:37:59] Howard Andrew Jones: I guess case in point is, I find that a lot of, a lot of the longer Fantasy today feel padded to me. Now, sometimes that's deliberate. Sometimes it's because the story is proceeding in a slow, stately pace. But sometimes I think that's because the writers no longer understand it's possible to tell a story without giving a very long background before the interesting things happen.

[00:38:25] Howard Andrew Jones: And these other writers, they were writing shorter books in the fifties and sixties. They didn't have the leisure to do that. As a matter of fact, they would've been told not to do that. They would've found it boring. Instead, if there's a mysterious backstory, it becomes part of the hook, pulling the reader forward.

[00:38:43] Howard Andrew Jones: If there's a mysterious backstory, it's not really told to the reader until it is germane to the plot, until they're desperate to find out, well, what really happened? What is motivating this character so much? What's the, what's the secret? and I like that better.

[00:39:02] Spaceman: As somebody who's game mastered, do you find yourself doing that in game sessions too? You have, uh, as the game master, you know what the hook is, you know what the motivations is, and you have to dribble out these clues to the players. And sometimes along the way you change the motivation. You retcon it in your own mind because of something the players have come up with that you just weren't expecting.

[00:39:26] Howard Andrew Jones: I completely agree. Sometimes the characters will come up with a much better. Solution than the one you had. And a good game master will roll with that. A bad game master will insist on sticking with the original idea. But if the characters have something in mind that's even more awesome, my God, let's, let's do that instead.

[00:39:43] Howard Andrew Jones: You can, you can confess to them later or maybe never, but, uh, do the thing. It's about the story. It has to be about the success of the story, not about sticking with your outline or your plan, we can't be dogmatic about it. It, it can't be about your ego. It has to be what does the story require to succeed?

[00:40:04] Halfling: Right we have played under some game masters that, if the plot that they have come up with involves the characters going through door A on the right, I. But the characters decide they're gonna go further down the hall and they're gonna go to a different door. Whatever was behind door A is now gonna be behind that other door.

[00:40:29] Halfling: So even though they have allowed the character some, a little, a little bit of, um, autonomy, The end result is gonna be the same. So either way they're getting, they're getting what they wanted, uh, you know, and, uh, it, it's a little disappointing because I'm, I'm with you. Uh, you know, the characters can often make the story or the players can often make the story better than what you had originally thought of.

[00:41:00] Spaceman: well,

[00:41:00] Spaceman: it's been called the quantum ogre problem, where, you know, you've planned an adventure where the characters are gonna, um, uh, travel a certain way and they're gonna encounter an ogre. Well, No matter which way they go, they encounter the ogre. So the ogre is in both places at once and in neither place.

[00:41:18] Spaceman: It's an interesting conundrum.

[00:41:20] Howard Andrew Jones: Oh, that's cool. I had heard Quantum Ogre, but I never knew what it meant. That's really cool. Okay.

[00:41:27] Halfling: Well, you know, you come on our show and. You learn something. I mean, hey, 

[00:41:34] Spaceman: No, the spaceman just hangs out with a bunch of really geeky people. 

[00:41:37] Halfling: this is true. This, this is true. No, but, , I actually ran a game one time that they ended up calling the psycho game because I, and, and they called it that because I had almost no plot in my mind. The only thing I said was come up with a character that you could imagine meeting on Franklin Street, which is a street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

[00:42:08] Halfling: its one of the main, basically the main street in Chapel North Carolina. And that was the only thing that I gave them was come up with a character that anyone could meet on Franklin Street. So they came up with all these different characters and. As it went forward, they came up with these wild ideas and speculations about things that were going on at night, and I just thought to myself, yeah, okay, sure.

[00:42:38] Halfling: You know, we'll go with that. And, and by the time it was over with, they, they, I think they had decided that they were actually, beings from another dimension and it was just really crazy, but it was, it was a lot of fun. But, uh, but they definitely drove it because I had almost, no, the, the only thing was whatever, whatever they came up with during one session, I had to kind of remember for the next session and sort of, you know, and sort of go just a little bit forward that, and then they took it on to the next level.

[00:43:14] Spaceman: Yeah, we, we were all gobsmacked that you didn't have this at all planned.

[00:43:22] Howard Andrew Jones: As long as you have players that are wanting to cooperate, I suppose you could get a group of players that just wanted to sabotage the entire situation, but if you have creative players that are willing to work with you, that could be really fun like that.

[00:43:36] Halfling: Well, so tell us what you've got coming up. What, what books have you got coming out?

[00:43:42] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, the newest is. Releasing on August 1st, and that is Lord of a Shattered Land. And the second in the cycle is coming October 3rd, so only two months apart. And that one is called the City of Marble and Blood.

[00:43:58] Halfling: Okay. Well, tell us, can you tell us a little bit about the, about them?

[00:44:02] Howard Andrew Jones: Yeah. Yeah. So let's see. The elevator pitch for them is, it's sort of like, What sort of adventures would Aragorn have had if Sauron had won?

[00:44:16] Spaceman: Ooh.

[00:44:18] Howard Andrew Jones: The longer pitch is, let's see if I can remember my best wording on this one. Picture an ancient Mediterranean vibe, right? Gladiators, Spartacus. When the Durban Empire came for the city of Lanis, its people fought block by block, house by house until most of them fell with sword in hand. Only a few thousand survivors were let away in chains. The durans looted the treasuries. They set fire to the temples and they sewed the fields with salt. Their destruction was complete except for one small factor they had overlooked the greatest Vilani general.

[00:44:57] Howard Andrew Jones: Escaped alive alone against a vast empire. Hvar has only an aging sword arm, a lifetime of wisdom, and the greatest military mind in the world bent upon a single goal, no matter where his people have been taken from the furthest outpost of the empire to its rotten heart, he will find his people, every last one of them, and he will set them free. That's what the series is about, and I got signed for five books from Baen and the first two will be coming out in the next few months, and I am revising book three right now. So I don't think people will have to wait too long before they get the whole sequence.

[00:45:39] Halfling: Wow.

[00:45:40] Spaceman: You know that is a good pitch.

[00:45:41] Halfling: It, it, it is. Yeah. It, it is. You can tell you've done this a time or two, so

[00:45:48] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, thank you. I love the character and I love the setting. I've just been having a blast with it.

[00:45:53] Halfling: yeah. Yeah. I can imagine. I can imagine. That's great.

[00:45:58] Spaceman: One of the things that I think that authors find difficult is writing that pitch. Some people have really, really hard time writing a good pitch and, and writing a good pitch is it's not easy because you have to entice the buyer or the reader into work without giving too many things away while hinting at the action and you have to walk that fine line.

[00:46:25] Spaceman: And that was an excellent, that was an excellent pitch slash summary.

[00:46:30] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, Thank you. you Well, I really believe in the character and I really believe in the story. So yeah, I guess I'm kind of passionate about it, so I think if you're passionate about something, it's a lot easier to describe.

[00:46:43] Halfling: Abso absolutely. Ab absolutely. Yeah, , that's great. I mean, you, you got me with it, so, 

[00:46:51] Howard Andrew Jones: Well plus a 10, or what is this, 10th or 11th published book at this point? I've done it a few times,

[00:46:56] Howard Andrew Jones: so I've I've tripped a few times and gotten back up and figured out how to move forward.

[00:47:03] Halfling: Well, I guess as a writer you have to, you, you have to get a really thick skin, cause because almost nobody succeeds with their first story. It's, you know, it's just rejection after rejection until finally. Finally you get it right. And finally somebody says, oh, you got something. And so yeah.

[00:47:22] Halfling: And that's, I mean, I think that's advice for writers out there, or would be writers out there, is to be prepared for that rejection too.

[00:47:33] Howard Andrew Jones: I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who said, fall down nine times. Get up 10.

[00:47:38] Spaceman: Hopefully this is our 10th time.

[00:47:40] Halfling: Nice.

[00:47:40] Howard Andrew Jones: Right.

[00:47:45] Spaceman: Hey, I was gonna go someplace, but I've completely lost it.

[00:47:50] Halfling: this is why we get to edit

[00:47:52] Spaceman: okay, Howard, so you've written a lot of prose. Have you ever written. Any gaming books specifically for different tabletop games, not literature, but actual rule books themselves.

[00:48:07] Howard Andrew Jones: Yeah, actually that's, how did you know? Um, So I, uh, I really liked the Savage World system. I, Halfling was asking me just a little bit ago what other systems I played, and I think all I did was talk about Star Trek, as I tend to do Star Trek or the Beatles. You get me on any of those topics and I won't shut up.

[00:48:26] Howard Andrew Jones: But, um, one of these systems I liked was Savage Worlds and they did a Solomon Kane system and Solomon Kane is of course another Robert Howard character a vengeful Puritan and they had a whole campaign system set up for Solomon Kane and I wrote, uh, I wrote an adventure for one of their anthologies for that.

[00:48:48] Howard Andrew Jones: But they also did Lankhmar for a while. They had the Lankhmar license, and of course that's Fritz Libber Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. And I'm not sure how I got the offer. I don't even remember now. I know I was in conversation with them. And they wanted to know if I wanted to write a, um, an entire venture module and said, so I said, sure.

[00:49:08] Howard Andrew Jones: And so I ended up writing the, I think it's called the Savage Seas of Lankhmar . At least that was the working title. And so that was, I don't know, 40 or 50,000 words all about, um, I got to, heaven forbid I got to comb through all of the sea related stories of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. And then I had to come up with the bestiary and come up with other beasts that might be in the oceans.

[00:49:30] Howard Andrew Jones: And then I had to, describe the ships and I had to describe the seas and I had to come up with, uh, I was just terrible. I had to come up with, uh, cool adventures that Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser could have on the seas of, on the seas of their world. So yeah. Yeah, I did that. That was cool.

[00:49:48] Spaceman: That sounds cool. One of the things I like about R P G books is sometimes they're the best references for your favorite fiction.

[00:49:58] Howard Andrew Jones: Absolutely. The, uh, there's a couple that really stood out. Uh, iron Crown Enterprises did a whole slew of these books, uh, set in different time. Um, One for Arabian Knights, one for Viking era one. There was a, one of the very best supplements I've ever read was their Robinhood supplements. Uh, if you ever wanna run a sort of Merry men that Old Iron Crown Enterprises one.

[00:50:21] Howard Andrew Jones: And of course there's those, uh, lovely GURPS historical supplements, which are just chock full of information about recreating the period, what people wore, what their names were. What a one stop, introductory stopping point. And of course it has great reference materials listed at the back too, so Yes, yes,

[00:50:40] Howard Andrew Jones: indeed. 

[00:50:40] Spaceman: I have a whole bookshelf full of them.

[00:50:42] Howard Andrew Jones: Do you? Yes. Yes.

[00:50:45] Halfling: Yeah. Yeah. For the longest time, GURPS was our, our go-to system. We actually haven't played any, uh tabletop RPGs in, years

[00:50:55] Spaceman: In about a decade now. Yeah,

[00:50:57] Halfling: We just can't seem to get a, a group together. Time just things happen over time. People move away or

[00:51:05] Howard Andrew Jones: No,

[00:51:05] Halfling: Ha.

[00:51:06] Howard Andrew Jones: I get it.

[00:51:07] Halfling: It, it's not for lack of wanting to, um, yeah,

[00:51:11] Spaceman: knows? You know, when we both retire in a couple years, I'm gonna start looking for a new group and I'm gonna run something every other week in addition to doing the Halfling and the Spaceman and the YouTube channel, which we're, uh, desperately trying to start and maybe getting the magazine back going again.

[00:51:28] Spaceman: So, yeah, I've got more planned out for my retirement than I do in my regular work life. Hmm.

[00:51:35] Howard Andrew Jones: No, I hear you. I have people that would like to play, but I've been so busy with writing the new series that now it's been probably a good three years since I had a proper group together. Uh, I was running a very cool solo campaign. Me and my wife were enjoying based on the, there was a five e supplement called Runewild, sort of a Faye wilderness setting.

[00:51:55] Howard Andrew Jones: Is just chockfull of ideas and story hooks. And it was something I kickstarted on a whim. I wasn't really familiar with the company and you'll, pardon me, I've forgotten I've forgotten. Both the writer who I adored and the name of the company, but it's called Runewild, R U N E W I L D. And it's a wilderness hex crawl.

[00:52:14] Howard Andrew Jones: And it is one of the finest, hex crawl Forest Faye products I've ever read. It's actually one of the finest hex crawl I've ever read. The ideas just kinda leap off the page and once you get started, the stories that get generated, it was wonderful. Anyway, I was having a wonderful time running it from my, from my wife, and she seemed to be really enjoying it.

[00:52:35] Howard Andrew Jones: And then I was focusing more on the storytelling than the fighting because she's more, much more interested in meeting interesting creatures and speaking with them and going on adventures and solving problems. But, um, you know, I just became more and more obsessed with writing and revising this current series, and I'm afraid it's taken, taken over our lives.

[00:52:54] Spaceman: It happens that way. It really does. It does. You know, one passion gets in the way of the other passion. So Howard, it's about time to wrap things up. Can you let our listeners know where they can find out more about you and the books you have on offer? I.

[00:53:12] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, certainly my website's pretty easy to find. I don't think it's too much simpler than that. And of course you could find me on Baen and you could find all of my work on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Chapters, all of those, uh, the new one is called Lord of the Shattered Land, and the sequel is called City of Marble and Blood.

[00:53:35] Howard Andrew Jones: You can find me on Twitter or X or whatever the heck it's called. I don't really. Twit too much or X or whatever it's called. But I'm @HowardAndrewJon because there wasn't enough room for Howard Andrew Jones. And I'm also on Facebook, which I'm on a little bit more often because I've got a couple of groups there I really love.

[00:53:56] Howard Andrew Jones: Um, and that I believe is just howard.andrew.jones.1 maybe. I don't know. Search for the Howard Andrew Jones, who's publishing books and it'll probably be me.

[00:54:06] Spaceman: All right. We'll make sure that we get that in the show notes so everybody can find more about you and your work. So thank you so much for talking to us today. We've had such a great time getting to know you and hearing about your journey in active fandom.

[00:54:23] Halfling: And we wanna thank our listeners for tuning in with us today, and we hope that you have enjoyed and been a little inspired by our guest, Howard Jones. Howard, we've given you a huge thank you and shout out. We appreciate you taking the time.

[00:54:39] Howard Andrew Jones: Well, I've really enjoyed myself. It was nice getting to know both of you. I enjoyed our chat. I hope we can do it again.

[00:54:44] Halfling: Sounds great.

[00:54:47] Spaceman: This is the Spaceman for the Halfling and the Spaceman. Over and out.

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