October Update: Lotus, New Interview & Universe Bundles

As far as the blog goes, it’s been a quiet few weeks. That’s by design, pretty much. I’ve been focusing on talking up Forever the Road and the Rucksack Universe, and I was also finishing up some planning for a certain wee something. We’ll get to that in a sec.

I’m also making some overall changes to the blog. Overall I expect to be posting less and less frequently, using social media and my email list more instead. But I’ll always have something here to let you know the latest in this wee author’s life & scribblings and such.

Such as now.

Announcing Book 4: Lotus

The Rucksack Universe is both ongoing and non-sequential. Each book builds on the others, but they all can stand alone too, sort of like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. So when it came time to finally look beyond Forever the Road, there was all this opportunity in front of me.

And boy howdy, I’m running with it. The fourth book is codenamed Lotus (but no, it’s not set in India. Far from it, in fact). That’s just a working title, btw. I started outlining this book in August, and just finished the planning last week. As I work up this post, so far I’ve written 2 scenes.

What’s it about? The Sword and Laser described my work as “beerpunk,” and Lotus is the most beerpunk of anything I’ve done so far. But really, this book is going to be all about…

Well, I can hardly tell you that, now can I?

The other day a friend noted that it seemed this book was coming along fast. “I suppose it is,” I replied. “It’s the first one without any baggage.”

I’m really excited about Lotus. As fun as it was to write and publish The Martini of Destiny, Home Sweet Road, and Forever the Road, those books all came about during a very different time in my life and career. Each of them went through multiple versions and revisions; some started as short stories, the original drafts are completely unrecognizable from their final forms.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. As an author-publisher, I knew I was learning a lot about how to write, revise, project manage, and publish a book. I was really getting a working understanding of my world and this varied cast.

I also didn’t have my writing process down. It’s taken 3 books, lots of trial and error, a few barrels of coffee, and lots and lots of words I’m glad my son wasn’t in the room to hear, but I’ve worked hard to become a better author. I knew that I needed a process to my work, that helped me write quickly and true to story.

Lotus is the first book I’m creating where I feel that process, that confidence and experience, are in place and working together.

It’s an exciting story. We’ll meet some new characters, and we’ll get to know some new things about people we’ve met before. We’ll also meet some folks who have only been indirectly mentioned in other stories.

I’ve got a wee teaser of some of the early draft here.

Lotus will be released in 2015.

New author interview

And Then They Author Interview with Anthony St. Clair

Carolyn Frosaker-Williams is an Oregonian teacher, book lover, blogger, crafter, mama, and much more. She and her family are really cool people, who my family and I know through a really cool playgroup we’re part of. So when Carolyn came to me and said she wanted to do author interviews on her blog, And Then They, I pretty much ran not walked to be part of it.

I’m starting a new project where I will have author interviews up on the blog. I’ve read a lot of author interviews on the internet. Mine will be a little different. As a middle school English teacher, I have different questions than most bloggers. When I sub in classrooms, or have a long term job, I hear a lot of things that lead me to believe that middle schoolers are at a precarious literary place. So, my questions are (selfishly, I must admit) partly aimed at inspiring the kids I am aiming to inspire. Also, (selfishly) I’m hoping to get some hints at how to be a better writing teacher, and a better writer myself. If I can share that with my readers, then we’re all getting something out of this!

Carolyn just posted her interview with me, the first in the series:

My stories are both realistic and fantastical, and since they are all based in globetrotting and wandering, I refer to them as “travel fantasy.” There’s urban fantasy, the supernatural, alternate history, mythology, and lots of beer, but ultimately every story comes back to travel. Traveling the world has defined my life in more ways than I can count, and the world of the indie traveler is the world of the Rucksack Universe.

AND THEN THEY Author Interview with Anthony St. Clair »

Check out Carolyn’s blog for more cool posts and future author interviews »

Universe Bundles

Rucksack Universe Paperbook Bundle

Behind the scenes, I’ve also been adding some new things to the site that have been on my list.

A while back I added direct sales to the website, so you can now get Rucksack Universe books directly from me. (Thank you Selz for the cool e-commerce system!)

I started off with individual e-books. But now you can do far more:

When you get books and e-books directly from me, you are directly supporting me and my work. I love having my books available through other stores, but the bottom line is that I also make the most money on books that I sell directly. The signed paperbacks are also only available from me (at least until Jeff Bezos clones me and has a proxy Anthony signing books in an Amazon warehouse).

Check out my online store »

And That’s the news from the Rucksack Universe, where the beer is always fresh, all the locals are friendly, and the food never makes you sick.

Have a great day. Now to get back to work on Lotus!


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Teaser Tuesday: Book 4 is underway!

From the Big Board

From the Big Board

3 travel fantasy books are out. My wife and I are days away from meeting our second baby. So what am I doing now? Starting the fourth Rucksack Universe book! Technically I’ve been working on it since August, when I first started outlining the story. I recently finished meeting the characters and planning the book—so now it’s time to write!

Book 4 is codenamed “Lotus,” so that’s how I’ll usually refer to it, btw:

Here’s a snippet from this week’s ROUGH drafting:

ON THIS DAY over 10,000 years ago, the man and the woman stood at the edge of the smoking field. Their sad eyes watched the gray-and-black storm clouds roll away, toward the mountains beyond the valley. Where the clouds went, rain came. Where rain came, life followed. Unless the fire came too. And the fire had come, slashing silver through the storm’s thick air and gloom, into the center of vast field.

“The barley had just gone from green to pale,” said the woman. “It was almost ready for harvest.”

The man nodded. He reached for her hand. When she squeezed back, silent tears made tracks through the dust covering their dark brown faces. “All that work,” said the man. He stared at her growing belly. “All that food.”

The smoke had brought them. Though they had come with buckets of sand and buckets of water, the terrible orange flowers had bloomed blazing. The heat had driven them back, until all they could do was watch, refusing to turn away.


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Halloween Beer: McMenamins Black Widow Porter

McMenamins Black Widow Porter 2014

The other night, my wife and I settled down to watch Great Estates Scotland: Rosslyn Chapel on PBS. I popped a beer that had come my way recently: McMenamins Black Widow Porter.

It was a lovely companion for learning about one of the world’s most mysterious buildings.

Black Widow poured thick and dark. On the palate, a silky, rich texture gave a pillowy mouthfeel, while bringing on flavors of plum and a hint of licorice, with a nice balance of sweet and roasted malt plus a refreshing bitterness. Given the pleasant tang on the finish, I was all the happier to savor this beer.

McMenamins Black Widow Porter 2014

  • Malts: British Pale Malt, Munich, Flaked Barley, Wheat, 135/165 Crystal, Black, Roast
  • Hops: Horizon
  • Additional Ingredient: Licorice Root
  • OG: 1.074
  • TG: 1.017
  • ABV: 7.35
  • IBU: 40
  • SRM: 38

Black, roasty, smooth, and scary good, Black Widow Porter is available only during October at select McMenamins locations throughout Washington and Oregon.


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Reading at The Bier Stein, Today, 6pm, Eugene

Forever the Road paperbacks in a box

OK, today’s the day! Join me at Eugene’s The Bier Stein at 6 p.m. PT for an evening of wit, adventure, and beer. I’ll be reading from the newest Rucksack Universe book, Forever the Road—and who knows, maybe some of the other books too.

P.S.: Word is there’ll be plenty of stout on hand too :)

The Bier Stein
1591 Willamette St.
Eugene, OR
thebierstein.com
541-485-BIER


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There’s only one thing better than a box full of books

The only thing better than this:

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Is this:

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A week after launch. Wow. And thank you. To all the friends and family, Beta Readers, fans, you name it.

Thank you.

Now to get a new box of books emptied…

P.S. See you at The Bier Stein, 1591 Willamette St., on Sept. 22, 6 p.m., for an evening in the Rucksack Universe of readings and signings!


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“Working on these stories is like one lifelong trip” – New Author Interview

Morgen Bailey Author Interview with Anthony St. Clair

Writer Morgen Bailey has posted her author interview with me:

“When he landed in Edinburgh, Scotland, Anthony St. Clair thought his first international trip was merely a semester abroad during his senior year of college. But in the midst of learning what a hostel is, drinking good beer for the first time in his life, and immersing himself in new people and culture, Anthony was, in fact, changing the very direction of his life.”

Check out the full interview »


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A Dark Fantasy StoryBundle you should check out

Dark Fantasy StoryBundle

The very cool folks at StoryBundle have a Dark Fantasy bundle of 9 books for one price that you should check out. There are also options for 4 more bonus books, and to donate to your choice of 3 charities.

Whether or not you get this bundle, keep tabs on StoryBundle. They’re always releasing new bundles under different themes all the time. Really cool stuff.

Check out the Dark Fantasy StoryBundle »

StoryBundle Homepage »


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Sept. 22: Reading & Book Signing at The Bier Stein, Eugene

Mon., Sept. 22, 6 p.m.

Events at The Bier Stein, Eugene

Beer and books!

See you at The Bier Stein!

See you at The Bier Stein!

Travel. Destiny. Beer. Join local author Anthony St. Clair in the back room of The Bier Stein for an evening of wit, adventure, and beer as he reads from Forever the Road, his newly released third Rucksack Universe travel fantasy novel. Audience Q&A, book/travel/beer chat, books sales and signings of all 3 Rucksack books too. Sláinte!

FREE admission.

More events & interviews


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Eugene Readers: The Rucksack Universe is at Tsunami Books

Tsunami Books, local Eugene indie bookstore

Eugene/Springfield readers, if you’re looking locally for my books, you can now find all 3 Rucksack Universe books on the shelf at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette St., Eugene (541.345.8986).

Each copy of The Martini of Destiny, Home Sweet Road, and Forever the Road is dated, signed, and numbered too.

Have at it, folks. Support your local indie bookstore!


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New Interview! Two Ends of the Pen

Two Ends of the Pen interview with author Anthony St. Clair

The wonderful folks at Two Ends of the Pen just posted their interview with me. We talk about Forever the Road, my writing and editing process, Home Sweet Road, why I’m an indie author, life, hobbies, and a lot more:

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Egads, yes. I’m just as avid a reader as an author, so I know how important it is for a book to be high-quality, error-free, and more polished than the finest diamond.

After intense planning and writing, I have a chief reader and a team of beta readers who read the manuscript first, then I go through multiple revisions until I’ve fixed everything I can possibly fix. From there the manuscript goes to my copy editor, who won my business over half a dozen others. (I will work with him as long as he’ll have me.) Once he’s done, I do a read-out-loud-with-red-pen-and-paper edit, then a final read-through on my Kindle.

On the copyright page of my books I’ve also started including an email address where readers can send corrections. Quality is everything to me.

Check out the interview »


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Hi.

Anthony St. Clair - Travel Fantasy Author / Craft Beer Writer / Business Copywriter

Author and copywriter Anthony St. Clair has specialized in online content since 2000, blogged since 2004 and is the author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series.

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Rucksack Universe

Travel fantasy tales
of wit, adventure & beer

Forever the Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novel - learn more and buy now

Home Sweet Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

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