Visual Inspiration: Robin Olausson

The art of Robin Olausson

My buddy Darby shared concept artist Robin Olausson’s work with me and I had to post it here. It has that blend of grimy realism with a sharp pop of color that I absolutely love ( if you read Stars you’d know why.) Check out a few of Robin’s pieces below (click on them to see ’em bigger) or check out all his work over on his deviantART page. Good stuff.

Cargo District by Robin Olausson
Cargo District by Robin Olausson
King Tong Street YAO by Robin Olausson
King Tong Street YAO by Robin Olausson
Colors of a new Era by Robin Olausson
Colors of a new Era by Robin Olausson

Visual Inspiration: Nivanh Chanthara

Babel by Nivanh Chanthara
Babel by Nivanh Chanthara

If you follow my Pinterest Boards or have read The Stars Were Right you know I love epic megalopolis cityscapes. When I came across this piece from Nivanh Chanthara I had to share it here and figured it’d be great visual inspiration for someone out there. (Some of his work already appears in my board for Stars.)  There’s something so otherworldly yet ultimately approachable about his work, both futuristic yet grounded.  It’s good stuff. Check out his latest work on Deviant Art or see a larger version of “Babel” here.

Visual Inspiration: Gustavo Mendonca

1313 Header
I love cityscapes. Those of you who have read “The Stars Were Right” will know instantly why I am attracted to these concept pieces by Gustavo Mendonca for the now canceled Star Wars 1313 video game. There’s something in these three pieces that captures a seedy and gritty part of a sci-fi city while still remaining grounded and feeling like people live there. (Something missing from the prequels, if you ask me.) It’s a shame this game will never get to see the light of day. These even more over on Gustavo Mendonca’s portfolio I would encourage you to take a look. As always click any of the following to see them larger:

Star Wars 1313 Street Detail by Gustavo Mendonca
Star Wars 1313 Street Detail by Gustavo Mendonca
Star Wars 1313 Alley by Gustavo Mendonca
Star Wars 1313 Alley by Gustavo Mendonca
Star Wars 1313 Alley II by Gustavo Mendonca
Star Wars 1313 Alley II by Gustavo Mendonca

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My Ongoing Blog Series You Can Read Today

My Ongoing Blog Series You Can Read Today

There’s plenty of writers on the internet who user their blogging platform to dish out advice on writing or focus on the craft. While that is all well and good, I’ve intentionally chosen to do something a little different with my blog. For several years, among the book updates, pleas for reviews, and general news—I’ve been writing several reoccurring series about all manner of things. Fake swearing, my books, plants, riverboats, history, the list is large and full of interesting things.

In this post, I’ve collected all my ongoing series and have provided links so you can peruse the various categories—I even offer starting suggestions. So, if you’re looking for something a bit different than your standard author-blog content, consider starting with one of these…

Wild Territories

Frequency: When they’re ready
Category: Bell Forging Cycle lore
Current Number of posts:
Three
Start with: Faiths and Creeds of Lovat

It’s always fun to explore the backstory of a series. I love extending some of the lore and legend that surrounds my novels. I’m also a fan of PBS and Marty Stouffer’s Wild America. That all came together for Wild Territories, a series about the extended lore of my books. Currently, there’s only a handful of posts, but with Gleam Upon the Waves coming soon, I’ll have many more on the way.


Garden of Horrors

Frequency: Monthly/Bi-monthly
Category: The natural world is gross
Current Number of posts: Nine
Start with: The Clathrus Archeri

Nature is a wild and weird place, in this series, I take a look at the more unusual bits of the earth’s flora. Generally, it’s pretty gross, sometimes it’s disturbing, but it’s always fascinating to see what sort of bizarre adaptations exist. Sometimes that feeling of disgust can come from the most unexpected places.


Raunch Reviews

Frequency: Monthly
Category: Language
Current Number of posts: Sixteen
Start with: Mork & Mindy/Starsiege: Tribes

The English language is a stupid language. It evolves, steals, shifts and absorbs, and it never looks the same across centuries. Slang is often the driver of this drift. Raunch Reviews is a series about slang, particularly, profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not.


Riverboats! Revolution! Magic!

Frequency: Occasional
Category: History
Current Number of posts: Ten
Start with: A Riverboat’s Menu

Researching history for my big ol’ project Coal Belly has given me insight into bits and bobs of history and the details surrounding riverboats—stuff I never learned in school. In these posts, I share my findings, focusing in on the people or technology that made these vessels so unique and sharing a plethora of photos from dusty old archives.


#NoBadMaps

Frequency: Monthly (for 2019, at least)
Category: Cartography/History
Current Number of posts: Nineteen
Start with: #NoBadMaps

This started as a project to help fantasy indie authors develop their own maps for their books and has grown into something much more. Now, eleven brush sets and several tutorials later #NoBadMaps has become something greater, and it’s exciting to see people using these in their work.


Visual Inspiration

Visual Inspiration

Frequency: Occasional
Category: Art
Current Number of posts: Eleven
Start with: Yuri Shwedoff

I’ve been a graphic designer for nearly two decades now; I’m drawn to visual mediums. Often, I come across an artist’s work, be it paintings, concept art, or digital drawings that enliven me creatively. In this series, I share the work of artists who’s work I have found inspiring, perhaps they’ll inspire you as well.


Watching History

Frequency: Occasional
Category: History
Current Number of posts: One
Start with: Watching History 1

When I was a kid, my favorite TV channel was the History Channel. But in recent year, the History Channel has eschewed history in favor of scripted and reality programming. It’s a bummer. Thankfully, the internet has stepped in. There are all sorts of amazing creatives who run YouTube channels with a focus on making history come alive. In here, I share my favorites.


Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

Frequency: Yearly
Category: Cosmic Horror Gifts
Current Number of posts: Five
Start with: The 2019 Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

For the last six years, I’ve been assembling a highly-curated list of cosmic horror goodies that are perfect for yourself or the cosmic horror fan in your life. Books, Games, Music, Apparel, Housewares and a whole lot more! Loads of goodies worth checking out around the holidays or… at any time of the year, really.


I’m really proud of the work I’ve been doing. It’s been nice to work on blog posts in between writing sessions. Keeps me on my toes, lets me explore different concepts, and I think it makes my books better. Hopefully, you’ll find something entertaining or eye-opening among this list.

Have a question, comment, or want to drop me a line? Leave a comment below, or visit the Contact K. M. Alexander page for a list of handy ways you can reach out.


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Red Litten World arrives tomorrow! It's time to return to Lovat.

Tomorrow: Red Litten World

“…it had come from a mysterious inner realm beneath the red-litten world — a black realm of peculiar-sensed beings which had no light at all, but which had had great civilisations and mighty gods…”

— H. P. Lovecraft & Zealia Bishop, The Mound

I'm so freaking excited for Red Litten World!
Tomorrow, The Bell Forging Cycle, Book III: Red Litten World arrives. Are you so freakin’ excited? I am! This book has been a labor of love and it feels great to get it out into the world. I really hope you have a much fun reading it as I had writing it. So now, with less than twenty-four hours remaining, what to do? Here are a few ideas to pass the time until the official release:

Remember, you can always pre-order the Red Litten World eBook from Amazon, Kobo, or iBooks and it’ll arrive on your eReader after midnight.

Tomorrow we’ll brave the cold and return to the narrow streets of Lovat. I’ll see you in the warrens, roaders.