Hello again and welcome to another round of heresy. Today in the confession booth we have Allan Batchelder, author of Steel Blood & Fire, and he’s here to admit to you all his sins. Let us gather round and judge him together.

  • I started writing fairly seriously in 8th grade. The teacher would ask us to write stories two or three pages in length, and mine was thirty-seven pages. The class loved it, ‘cause when I read it, it took up most of the period. Also, people died.


  • Speaking of which, I was very angsty in high school because my best friend died when I was sixteen and then my dad fell over dead in front of me when I was 17. I wrote a lot of bad poetry and worse song lyrics.


  • From that point until I was about 32, I pursued and then enjoyed a career as a professional actor. I entertained myself and friends writing nasty parodies of professors and directors we all disliked.


  • I once accidentally-on-purpose goosed a Tony Award winning actor, thinking he was someone else.


  • When I got out of grad school with my oh-so-special MFA in acting, I had a hard time paying the bills. I thought maybe, somehow, I could supplement my income through writing monologues and plays. Ha!


  • I then started my nine-year career as a stand-up comedian. I got a lot of writing gigs out of that – dialogue for computer games, sentiments for greeting cards. Usually I got about a dollar a line, but I was desperate and had no shame. It was hard getting all of those bills in my bikini underwear, let me tell you!


  • Still poor, I took a teaching job, which is like selling your soul to the devil, on it’s the devil’s halfwit step-brother Morrie.


  • One day, I had a temper tantrum during an extended D & D session and decided I could write better stuff than we were playing.


  • Joe Abercrombie once tweeted that he didn’t really “get” semi-colons (or something to that effect). I get them. I make mad, passionate love to them. And I suspect they kinda like me, too.


  • You know how people say they’ve “let themselves go?” I chased myself the hell outta town.

  • I’m a cat person. Don’t even. Cats are gods, and they know it.


  • Some people have a love/hate relationship with the Oxford comma. I once got chlamydia from the Cambridge Ellipse.


Rob: And Allan has graciously provided a video of himself dressing up in a tutu… Without any prompting.

Allan is a professional actor, educator, writer and former stand-up comedian. During his years on stage, he’s gotten to participate in countless battles – some even with other people – involving longswords, rapiers, daggers, staves, pistols, bottles, loaves of French bread and, of course, his grimy little fists. Allan is a lifelong fan of epic fantasy and horror, so you can just imagine how much he loves Grimdark. He’s currently working on the fifth and final book in his series, Immortal Treachery, before he tries his hand at a) steampunk and b) horror. His books are available in paperback and kindle formats on Amazon. Allan lives in Seattle, within a few miles of the two richest men on Earth and can thereby assure you that there’s no such thing as financial osmosis.


On the march, around the campfire, and in the taverns, they tell incredible stories about Tarmun Vykers, the Reaper – how he’s never been cut in battle, how he once defeated hundreds of men by himself, how he exterminated an entire people over an insult. These stories make Vykers seem like a god, but he is a man, an arrogant, ruthless and bloodthirsty man. For all that, he may be the only thing standing between the human race and utter annihilation at the hands of the mad wizard who calls himself the End-of-All-Things. Against this backdrop, smaller, lesser folks struggle to fulfill their own destinies, folks like Aoife, burdened with a secret so dark she is driven to do the unimaginable and seek an alliance with fey powers no mortal has ever encountered.