Sunday, February 26, 2017

Upcoming releases


Berand Torler: the Chronicles of the Elf Human Wars, the third and last novel of the Berand trilogy will publish on March 21, 2017.

The events of the two previous books lead to open warfare between elf and human. Can Berand stop it? Does he want to stop it? And what of his dear friend Dirkdyths, the dark elf, can he be saved?

And then more exciting news. A new Iounelle novel! 

Iounelle laefra!

Magic and Mathematics Book One: Ancient Science will publish on May 9, 2017

This book is very exciting and unique as the fantasy aspect of the characters will blend into real human history!

In Ancient Science, Iounelle, over a hundred thousand years old, has adventures and fights evil in Ancient Egypt during the building of the Great Pyramid, tracks her nemesis to Athens, Greece just after the death of Alexander the Great, and then struggles to break the Roman blockade of Syracuse where she meets someone very unique.

And then on July 3, 2017 the first book of the Strange Saga of Ostigris - The Tiger's Mouth will be published!
Ostigris is that human with the cropped blonde hair and the broken nose that has briefly appeared in many of the novels. 

Ostigris is a man who knows he's not in the right time who wakes up with no memory of how he was attacked or by whom. As he tries to stay alive in the Roman Republic, he has to wonder if any of his Time Traveling companions has tried to kill him, and most importantly WHY.

If all goes well, you might get another Ostigris book before the end of the year - The Serpent's Venom. Let's say Dec.21, 2017 to keep me motivated.

Then in 2018 you'll get the last Ostigris book, the Eagle's Talon, (July 3, 2018?)
and the second Magic and Mathematics book - Future Sorcery. (Dec. 21, 2018?)

2019 should see the last two Magic and Mathematics books: Present Horizons, and A Cold Night in Oslo and other Unverified Gossip. 

That will wrap up most of the story lines for a really awesome direction for the remaining characters publishing in 2020. But that's getting, way, way (like 200 years 😏) ahead of things.

Along the way I'm planning to rewrite the first two Wealdland books as they are a little clunky. I was only just learning how to write!

Thanks for reading,

K.J. Hargan

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Berand Brave

Berand Brave book two of the Chronicles of the Elf Human Wars is now available

click here for Amazon page

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Berand Brave tease

I am very, very close to completing the first draft of Berand Brave. And, it is a corker. (that means it's really good). Here's a tease:

Chapter Fifty-Three

Glothau dae Fellananthau
(Demons and Messengers)

Dirkdyths stood amidst the wildly whipping grass of the featureless meadowland. He still gripped his black sword and long knife. The night sky was overcast and dull. The wind moved in patterns across the dark sea of green blades. There was no glow of the moon burning through the thick clouds, and not even a hint of star shine. There were no trees, no animals, nothing. If he closed his eyes, all he heard was the low, pained growl of the wind. He could imagine he was nowhere, untethered, less than alive, uncreated.




Thursday, October 30, 2014

Which is which?

I've been reading my favorite author's blog.

If you haven't read anything by Ursula K. Le Guin, you must at least read the Earthsea trilogy: A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore. 

Some have criticized the three later books, Tehanu, Tales of Earthsea, and The Other Wind, but I find that they added wonderfully to a deep, resonant, connected epic. Read all six books without pause or diversion and I think you will agree with me. (not all at once, you ninny)


She posits in one of her blogs that Homer, of old Hellenic literature, not Mr. Simpson, was the first fantasist and it's hard not to disagree. Having read both the Iliad and the Odyssey, you can't help but smile when the gods take an active role in the narrative.

Ms. Le Guin in her blog breaks down the differences between these first two genre literary works as (my simplification here) The Record, and the Journey. Neither is better, nor worse. Both are just different forms.

And I had to pause.

I certainly didn't mean to, because I had no outward, conscience attempt to make my work so grand, but I realized I have approached my books similarly. 

Simply put, without asking you to guess, The Wealdland Stories are analogous to The Iliad. It is a description of a war, a Record, with the paths of many, varied characters intersecting.

The Chronicles of the Elf Human Wars, featuring Berand, is my Odyssey, The Journey, the story of one individual above all others. Funny that Berand's story is titled 'Wars' when the whole narrative is mostly about his personal journey of self discovery, much like Odysseus'.  

That's it. That's all I have to say.


Ursula K. Le Guin's blog: click here


Sunday, October 26, 2014


Today my blog went over ten thousand views.

Thank you to those of you interested and curious.

I realize probably fully a third of those clicks were spambots or webcrawlers.

But, still. It's something.




Friday, October 10, 2014

A collection of Ricky Gervais' hit

Ricky Gervais was in a band in the 80's.

You're welcome in advance:

Seona Dancing Bitter Heart

Monday, September 29, 2014

Battling the Ham with Tapestry

There is a D-list actor that has moved in across the way. I live in a quaint (meaning old) apartment building in Los Angeles County.

I like to have the windows open to get fresh air while I work.

The D-list actor moved in about four months ago, and man has this guy got the MOST annoying voice in the history of speaking humans. Is this how to get acting work? Because, his list of jobs is pretty extensive, although not impressive. I'm not going to tell you his name, because actors thrive on notoriety, good or bad, and I want this ham sandwich to wilt, and blow away.

Because of the structure of the building, our living room windows are about six feet apart. He lives right across the walkway. And Mr. Sandwich has nothing in his unit to soften his shrill, obnoxious, nasal voice. So, it ECHOES like he's got the reverb Elvis used.

And best of all, he has set up his home office, with desk and chair, where he can bellow at agents and producers for his late royalty checks right at his window. So it sounds as if he is screaming right in my living room, and usually at my shoulder.

Now I shouldn't have to close my windows. But, when I have, it has made no difference.


Have I told you about my sound system? It's AWESOME. Theatre quality sound. Dolby surround, with an amplifier. heh heh heh.

When he first moved in, I cranked that baby until he shut his windows and it smelled like victory.

But my son, being the good person he is, and not wanting to endure the Norse-god like power of our system said I should go talk to him.

So I did. Bringing him along to show that I was willing to compromise and be a good human being.

Well, what do you know. It worked. He toned down his voice and we all got along. For a while...

He's an actor and so oblivious to other people. His whole world exists in his tiny, bellowing mind, and he started to get progressively louder over the ensuing weeks, until today he was right back to his old volume.

That is when Carole King came to my rescue. I have always liked Tapestry. It is one of those albums that everyone should own. Today as the music filled my home, and drowned out the Ham Sandwich (he got the message) I really took note of King's soulful singing. I mean she sounds like she is tearing those notes right out of the core of her being. And yet, the music jumps and grooves. She sings some old standards that I had never realized she authored. The whole album is really beautifully crafted with the list of songs wonderfully moving from one theme to the next.

I looked down at the cover of the CD and was curious about the cat. Call me a dope. I just wanted to know. So three clicks later, I found this pretty good article: Carole King Interview

The cat's name was Telemachus. cool.

So. That's it. Tapestry saved my sanity today. If you haven't heard the album here it is: Tapestry

But you really should own a copy.




Thursday, September 25, 2014

What I'm reading right now - 9/25/14

To say that I'm on an Ursula K. Le Guin kick right now is laughable. I am spellbound, entranced, enchanted, enthralled.

Let me back up...

I was between writing Ancient Science and Berand Brave and thought I would pick out something to read from my personal library. 

I am a sucker for book sales, library sell offs, you name it. At yard sales I immediately go for the book boxes. Thrift stores are all about the shelves of books in the back for me. So you could say I got a few books at home...

About a year ago I picked up a reissue of the first paperback publishing of A Wizard of Earthsea with the subsequent books in the trilogy. The cover art, by Yvonne Gilbert (whose art absolutely delights me) that interlocks between the three books is what attracted me to the series initially. And so I got the chance to buy the editions I loved as a teen.

I first read the trilogy back in High School in the 1970's. I thought it was great, but all that resided in my memory banks from thirty years back was the cheesy, awful television series based on the books. So, with trepidation I picked up the first one. 

I devoured it.

I had forgotten how nuanced and deep the book was. With pleasure I dove into the remaining two of the trilogy. I had just started writing Berand Brave, but wanted to continue to read at night. I had put reading for pleasure aside in favor of reading for research for Ancient Science. (You'll understand when you read it. I tried to make the ancient world come authentically alive, but with entertainment and color.)

So after I had licked my chops, finishing the Earthsea trilogy I looked at The Left Hand of Darkness by Ms. Le Guin sitting up on my shelf. The copy I owned had been up there for over a decade. I just couldn't bring myself to read it. Something about the cover and all the awards just turned me off.

Now here's something about me: I'm a contrarian. If everybody loves it, I probably won't. If something is a limping, orphaned mutant, I will probably adore it.

The Left Hand of Darkness swept the Hugos and Nebulas when it was published. People raved. People recommended. I hesitated.

But I had just gone face first like a feeding hog into the Earthsea books, finding things I had missed before, style and form that meant so much more to me. A mature, studied, yet easy structure that resonated like a Beethoven symphony. Just beauty, sheer beauty.

So... I opened up the book.

...oh my gosh...

To say I was blown away would be an understatement. The book is darn near perfect. The author creates a full, truly alien world set against a Terran sensibility. The plot points and twists were so refreshing and gripping. The characters textured and heartbreaking. I came away from The Left Hand of Darkness changed.

But more than that...

Now. Please forgive me, this is going to sound egotistical, but I saw a similarity between my writing and Ms. Le Guin's. I have never compared my style and work with anybody else before, so this is something. Of course I don't assert that I am at her level, but the desire to write a certain way is shared between  us. And, something opened up in my mind.

I tell you, Ancient Science is good, if not great, and I'm trying to be utterly objective. But, after diving into Ursula's work and the effect it has had, I am now hyper-aware of the shape and flow of my writing as never before. Her work has opened doors for me that I never knew were always there. You know, I will take the flak and criticism, but I think Berand Brave, because of this epiphany, is shaping up to be something really, really special.

And I owe it all, and really mean it, to Ursula K. Le Guin.

I have since gone on to read The Word For World is Forest in Harlen Ellison's excellent anthology Again Dangerous Visions vol. 1. And then, Rocannon's World. All of these books by Ms. Le Guin in less than a month...

I am hooked in the worst way.

If you had asked me who was the best living SciFi/Fantasy writer two months ago,  I would have said without hesitation: William Gibson, whom I still love and eagerly await his pending book The Peripheral (due Nov. 2014).

But today I will shout from the rooftops that the title of The Best belongs to Ms. Le Guin.

Go get some and see for yourself.




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Berand Brave Chapter Two Hótei (Returner)

Chapter Two


The word had gone ahead of him.
Birds sang of him, breathlessly from every treetop, darting on the wing, perching on eaves, knowing the People of Light craved to know if and when he would return. Sentries ran all day, skipping across rivers on light boats, and then more tireless sprinting to the capital. Refusing water, the messengers pushed their way into the Yel Rakinne to tell, before the council, between gasps for air, of the news of his return.
They told how a corsair ship, with three enormous red sails, coming from the west of the Mere Lanis, had pulled into the narrow bight made by the Flume of Rith. The leethan soldiers at Gillalliath, protecting the gigantic battleships being built there, had warned the corsair vessel to sail away with loud shouts using the Voice and waving their spears and swords.
A single individual dropped over the side of the ship with the billowing red sails. As he swam for the port, Merebroder had played about him, leaping and sporting in the water, blowing happy spouts from the holes in the tops of their sleek heads. The swimmer seemed to be clutching a long staff as he thrashed the water towards the pier of Gillalliath.
The corsair ship came about and pulled out onto the shimmering horizon of the Mere, disappearing into the glare of the golden, setting sun.
“And then? And then?” The eldest of the leethan council asked, clutching his white beard.
“It was him.”
The elders of the Yel Rakinne fell together furiously whispering until a tall leethan wearing a large sword at his side entered the chamber. He strode to the messengers.
“It is true?”
“He has returned.”
The tall leeth put his strong hand to his mouth and quietly thought, and then he looked up. Was that a tear in his eye that he would not let fall? “Let no one hinder the progress of Berand Brave,” said Kelasael, first general of the leethan armies.