About

I live in the Pacific Northwest with my wife and two sons. By day, I’m a hardware design manager. I can’t recall now if I discovered fantasy before or after D&D but since a bewildered evening in eighth grade playing D&D in the basement of an old house at West Point with a bunch of intimidating cadets, I’ve been smitten by the fantasy bug. Over the years I’ve added CRPGs and MMOs to the mix but at heart fantasy novels and fantasy RPGs have always called to me.

We have a literary, if still aspirational, household. My wife is also a writer, mostly romance. You can find her at Stumbling Towards Ecstasy. My older son has long been a keen writer and now my younger son has just finished his first story outside of school work.

Some years ago I dabbled in computer generated graphics and much of the artwork for the site and some of the blog pictures are from those days. Towards the end, I was experimenting with a “hand drawn” style but don’t mistake any of my work for by-hand, my manual artistic skills are rather poor. Before that I had dabbled with writing, drafting my first novel. I enjoyed the artwork as a diversion and would like to get back to it some day, but for now while I still have a day job, having to choose between artwork (which was never going to go anywhere) and writing (where I can still dream and hope, can’t I 🙂 ), I’ve chosen the latter.

My  bookshelf of things to re-read every few years includes Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and Shelby Foote’s Civil War, a Narrative along with other fantasy. For me, any good fiction, or a great narrative history is as much an inspiration as fantasy.

Welcome to my site. Hope you enjoy!

Slaying Trolls, Writing Novels and other hopeless tasks
Slaying Trolls, Writing Novels and other hopeless tasks

12 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: On my Shelf « M. Q. Allen

  2. I love it when fantasy writers admit inspirations beyond other fantasy writers and history. I try to be influenced by any genuinely good storytelling (or good non-fiction writing) I come across.

    Btw, did you get Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s permission to use her artwork as your banner? If so, do you know her? Just wondering. I’ve seen her beautiful artwork for years, going back to when I joined Elfwood in, oh, 2007 or so.

  3. Pingback: A New Look to the Site « M. Q. Allen

  4. Kevin Dunne

    Awesome blog, lovely pages, faultless. I particularly enjoyed your flat world article. I have to ask though, as one without the most scientific of brains, concerning the flat world where the sun rises at the world’s edge, why is it cold in the center? I thought the sun would be be at one of its hottest points there, apart from when it is near the world’s edge. 🙂

    You’ve certainly made a great informative resource. Loved the thermal images.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it!

      Regarding the flat world, in this particular conception, the sun orbits close to the disk, just beyond the rim mountains. So the warmest parts are the rim mountains, which are the coldest parts. When the sun is directly over the middle of the world, it is also pretty far away from that middle spot. There are parts of the disc that get farther from the sun (for instance, when the sun is just over the east rim mountains, it is the full disc diameter from the west rim mountains), but the difference is, there are times when the west rim mountains are also very close to the sun and there is never a time when the middle is close to the sun. The sun may pass over the middle but it passes high over the middle.

      In other arrangements, the sun may be far away (like on earth) and then solar radiation is just a matter of the incident angle, which on something flat like a disk, would be the same everywhere. But it seemed more interesting to model a close sun.

      1. Kevin Dunne

        Fascinating stuff. That would make some odd days, the complete opposite of us.

        Having read alot about the being uts strongest at a 90 degree angle, therefore midday, I would have thought we’d have got a hot morning, warm midday and hot eve on such a planet but I suppose the 90 degree angle of the sun can be offset, as you say, by the fact it is at it furthest. So midday would be the coldest/coolest?

        Thanks for the awesome and quick reply btw. I have a similar flat world i made over 15 years ago for myself so I’m trying to finally figure out the weather and celestial elements.

        😊

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