“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.” – Victor Hugo

The writer of Les Miserables knew of what he spoke. Writing and music go together like bacon and eggs or coffee and doughnuts. You can have one without the other, but together they lead to something truly special. And when one is writing in a speculative genre like fantasy or scifi, there is a lot to pick from.

It probably isn’t a surprise to say that I’m a prog rock. Every proggy band worth its name out there has put out at least one fifteen to twenty minute epic that takes the listener on a sonic journey to strange places populated by interesting creatures. When the creative juices need something to get them started, the Court of the Crimson King is a good place to begin:

or perhaps ride into battle with the Warrior on the Edge of Time:

and along the way, take a moment to see if the Stargazer really does fly when he steps off his tower:

(and yes, I know Rainbow is more hard rock than prog, but this song transcends petty subgenre distinctions…)

ending with a visit to Xanadu – just don’t go swimming in the River Alph, or eat the honeydews.

Inspiration found and put down on paper.

This Friday, the first two books of THE TALE OF AZARAN will be on sale!
Azaran is a man without memory. Pulled from the ocean and put in chains, he remembers nothing of his past beyond his name…and the magical runes branded on his chest that make him faster and stronger then ordinary men. Desperate and confused, he is thrust into a world where the strong prey upon the weak, where vile corsairs plunder the helpless, while hidden masters plot and intrigue to drive the world towards an apocalypse of blood and fire. Joining forces with an exiled priest and a rebel leader, Azaran will lead a revolution against the brutal lord oppressing the Isle of Tereg. With a band of escaped slaves and freedom fighters at his back, he will charge into battle, headed to the edge of memory…where the darkness of his past awaits…

Fresh from his triumph on Tereg, Azaran travels to Eburrea, the homeland from which his friend Segovac was exiled twenty years before. A land groaning under the tyranny of a mad King and the Witch Queen who controls him, soaking the realm in bloody sacrifice and endless war. A land burdened with fear and yearning for freedom.

But all is not as it seems. For the Master knows Azaran is alive, sends his two deadliest servants to hunt him down. Kings and Queens dance at their whim and warbands gather at their command, for Azaran must die and they will burn down entire kingdoms in the process.

Hunted and betrayed, Azaran and Segovac ally themselves with a rebel prince. Raising the banner of revolt, they gather an army of warriors eager to cast away the shackles of tyranny. And at the final, fiery battle, Azaran will face his enemies and learn the dark truth: that the Master who seeks his death was once the one he served…