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Eclipse Sale & Getting ready for the eclipse

Eclipse Sale on Forever the Road Anthony St. Clair

What are you doing for the eclipse?

In case you’ve missed it before, I’m a bit of a nerd. So after a summer of traveling, watching Once Upon a Time, doing Roadsong notes with Chief Reader and outlining another Rucksack Universe book, camping near Crater Lake with my cocktail group, and taking my kids to a gamelan performance and an art museum, it’s time to get ready for the total eclipse on Aug. 21.

As an Oregonian, I’m taking no small amount of pride in the fact that Oregon is the place for prime eclipse viewing. The Oregon coast is where the total eclipse first hits North America. Local authorities statewide are expecting a million visitors. Eclipse events have sold out. Despite wildfires and our notoriously cloudy weather, the forecast is clear skies. Eclipse glasses at the ready, my family and I are camping with friends up in the Coast Range.

I’ve also been geeking out on Atlas Obscura, one of my fave resources for Rucksack Universe story research. If you’re looking for some eclipse history, ideas, or inspiration, here are a few pieces you might want to check out from Atlas Obscura and onwards:

Wherever you’re going, whatever your plans are, and however much totality you get to witness, I hope you have a great—and safe—time watching the eclipse.

Eclipse Sale

An eclipse is also a key part of Forever the Road. So with the eclipse coming up, in addition to my own eclipse viewing prep, it just made sense to have an Eclipse Sale on Forever the Road. This is a great time to get some eclipse-themed viewing for yourself or someone you know:

Paperback

The regular price for paperbacks is $15.99. But… during the Eclipse Sale signed paperbacks are $11.99 when you order from my author store.

Forever the Road Signed Paperbacks

Want the entire series? The Rucksack Universe Signed Paperback Bundle gives you all 4 books currently in the series, but for only $39.99 instead of the usual $49.99:

Rucksack Universe Signed Paperback Bundle

E-books

Forever the Road e-book editions are $0.99 at all retailers, including:

Direct from my author store

Amazon

Apple iBooks

Kobo

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble




Revisions finished on next Rucksack Universe book

First bit of Roadsong, the next Rucksack Universe adventure by Anthony St. Clair

So this morning I finished revising ROADSONG, the next Rucksack Universe adventure. How’s your day going?

“You found me because you needed to pass on the best of yourself, and what you passed on was light, guidance, and inspiration. Now I’m passing it back to you. You must inspire others. Help them find the hero in themselves. That is the person the world needs.”

I’m pretty excited about this book. Set before the other 4 books currently available—100 years and 3 days after The Blast, to be precise—we are going to see a very different Faddah Rucksack. Someone shaken and guilt-ridden, who isn’t sure about his path and place in the world. (He also wears two gloves instead of only one. We’ll find out why that changes—and why it’s more important than you might think.)

ROADSONG will be a sort of prequel for the series. But it’s also a tale of what it feels like to be a stranger in a strange land, what it feels like to drop from the world you know into a place that is different. (Or, to put it another way, how I’ve felt my whole life.)

I don’t have a release date yet. Now the book goes to my Chief Reader and then my copy editor. I’ll let you know, probably later this summer, when ROADSONG will be coming out. In the meantime, catch up on the series here (and remember, you can read them in any order), or join my mailing list for other news and updates and some freebie stories I’m finishing up too.




Reading June 1 at Willamette Writers Authors Gala

"I love these. I like looking at the pages. I can read the letters. They are a puzzle." High praise from a certain junior assistant.

“I love these. I like looking at the pages. I can read the letters. They are a puzzle.” High praise from a certain junior assistant.

The Eugene Mid-Valley Chapter of Willamette Writers hosts their annual Author’s Gala. Anthony St. Clair and other area authors read from current and upcoming works, and books are available for sale and autographs. The Author’s Gala is a celebration of Willamette Writers, members, and the art they’ve put out into the world.

  • Tsunami Books, Eugene, Oregon
  • 6:30–9 p.m., June 1, 2017
  • Free to members, $10 general public



Free Rucksack Universe Fiction: Stars in your beer

Stars in your beer - B.S. Trotter - Rucksack Universe Anthony St. Clair

From The Lost & Found Travels of BS Trotter

Originally published in London Rising

Okay, we all know that after a couple of pints you can, well, see things. But for Londoners they were not expecting to see strange things in their beer.

I want to make a distinction here: they are seeing strange things in their beer, not because of their beer. We all sometimes see strange things because of beer, typically because we should have stopped about five pints back.

Street lights turn weird for me. After I’ve had a few too many I always find that the street lights, instead of just shining and being bright, in fact have a sort of halo. The light hangs in cloudy rings around the light bulb, as if the lampposts were strangely camouflaged angels. Sometimes I think I’m seeing the world how painter Vincent Van Gogh saw things when he painted his famed Starry Night.

Then I realize I probably just need a kabob and my bed.

However, Londoners are seeing the strangest thing in their pints. Reports and calls and letters have been flooding in to London Rising that all over the city, when someone first picks up a brimming-full pint of their favorite blackest stout, they see a star inside.

Folks, that’s not fancy talk from a humble itinerant reporter suddenly aspiring to be a poet. That’s what people have said, over and over and over. The same thing.

A star.

They look at their pint, which is dark as night sky, and in the middle of the beer, it’s as if they see a small spark. It’s there just a moment, then it either fades or simply can’t be seen anymore or wasn’t there to begin with.

First Call Brewing declined a request to be interviewed for this story. However, the cheeky buggers did point out that no stars are used to brew Galway Pradesh Stout.

Keep those reports coming in, though. I’ve heard it said that after a good pint you can understand the universe. Like you I didn’t expect to see the universe in my beer, but I’ve a feeling the universe is a better place for it.

The Rucksack Universe is Anthony St. Clair’s ongoing beery travel fantasy series of myth, intrigue, and adventure.




Free Rucksack Universe Fiction: Brewing School Launches in London

Brewschool - BS Trotter - Rucksack Universe

From The Lost & Found Travels of BS Trotter

Originally published in London Rising

BrewSchool has opened in London, England. Focused on “brewing brewers,” the teaching operation will train prospective professional brewers in all aspects of the beer industry. Areas of training include developing recipes; the brewing process; equipment selection, ordering, installation, and maintenance; finances and regulation; scaling business; packaging (kegs, bottles, and cans); marketing; and serving beer.

Founded by longtime homebrewer Zara Porter, BrewSchool is an interesting new initiative in the industry. “BrewSchool gives women and men the opportunity to understand every aspect of this ancient and complex process,” says Porter. “By the time students graduate BrewSchool, they will be ready to bring value to any of the world’s breweries, or start their own.”

Porter’s younger sister, Branwen, is the newly appointed second-in-command at First Call Brewing, which recently regained its independence from Deep, Inc., and left London to return to its roots in New Galway, Ireland. First Call is among over a dozen breweries that have already pledged support for BrewSchool and its first class of graduates.

In addition to setting up shop in London, Porter has also negotiated certifications and special offers for BrewSchool graduates. Students will be eligible for business planning services, apprenticeships at small breweries and large operations such as First Call, and will also be eligible for special financing offers for new business startups.

BrewSchool offers a new way to get into the esoteric industry. “Brewing will always rely in part on the apprentice model and being a self-starter,” says Porter. “However, all brewers benefit from an understanding of the full process, and they can then build on this strong foundation of knowledge and training depending on where their professional journey takes them.”

Porter is embarking on a two-month world tour to promote the school, develop and further relationships with breweries abroad, and recruit students. The first formal training sessions, each lasting six months, are expected to begin early next year.

The Rucksack Universe is Anthony St. Clair’s ongoing beery travel fantasy series of myth, intrigue, and adventure.




New Guidebook Shows the Real Independent Scotland

Rucksack Universe - New Guidebook Shows the Real Independent Scotland - BS Trotter

A FREE Rucksack Universe Short Story

Rucksack Universe Short Stories are available for free at anthonystclair.com. They may or may not be canonical, and may or may not be as polished as other stories. Enjoy.

Like what you see here? Visit the Rucksack Universe for available books in the ongoing series.

Originally published in London Rising.
From The Lost & Found Travels of BS Trotter

Scotland has been a favorite travel destination for years, and you’ll soon find, Constant Companion, that Guru Deep’s new Scotland Through the Third Eye guidebook will be a favorite for your backpack or suitcase. The timing couldn’t be better: 75 years ago this month, the signing of the Treaty of Stirling restored Scotland’s independence as a sovereign nation in a post-Blast world.

Scotland is a country of hard history yet enduring romance. The rolling hills of the Highlands. The lush Lowlands. The otherworldliness of the narrow yet boundless islands. Two powerhouse cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow, each pull you in its own way. There is so much to see that it can be overwhelming. Luckily, for any traveler hitting the road, there is nothing like a good guide to help you on your way.

Through the Third Eye guidebooks have become common sights with travelers over the years. This latest installment is an excellent reminder why the series has become essential to anyone from backpackers to business travelers. Available beginning this Tuesday (prepping for weekend adventures, anyone?), Deep’s Scotland is 300 pages of witty, concise, informative, encouraging travel information. At its core, an adventurous heart will have you swooning for everything from a taste of whisky in the Highlands and a romp through Edinburgh and Glasgow, to a boat ride to the Isle of Skye and a reflective moment in Stirling Castle, where the Treaty of Stirling was signed.

“Scotland is one of the most fascinating countries and cultures in the world,” says Guru Deep. “With the anniversary of independence approaching, it was time to put out the definitive guide to a country of such deep history and geographical variety.”

Deep’s singular style also accompanies you like a travel companion. Beginning with an introduction that lays out Scottish history and gives an overview of modern Scotland, the book’s organization is similar to other Through the Third Eye titles. After the introduction, a general planning guide addresses logistics such as getting there, transportation, money matters, passport and visa particulars, and other details. From there the book is organized by region: Lowlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Highlands, and Islands. Within each section, further breakdowns by region or city are included, along with well-organized chapters that cover accommodation, food and drink, top destinations, popular itineraries, and more.

Of particular note is the guidebook’s extensive history of Scotland, especially its details of Scottish independence. After The Blast, with the British Empire failing in the wake of London burning, Scotland (along with Ireland and India) was able to gain its independence through a bloodless revolution. Deep takes us beyond the history books, showing us the story behind the story that is as enthralling as a good novel. Post-Blast independence movements have been lauded as miracles. For the first time we delve deeply into the figures—and legends—that took Scotland from being part of a United Kingdom, to becoming the driving force that transformed the island of Britain into three separate countries: England, Scotland, and Wales.

“Independence movements seem like mandates only in hindsight,” Deep writes. “Scotland’s independence was not a foregone conclusion. It was a modern miracle: a confluence of circumstance, a triumph of negotiation over violence, and a legend of a singular figure who rose from the void and led a people and a country to a new vision of themselves.”

Reception among the travel community has been positive overall. Travelers have noted the ease of use that Through the Third Eye guidebooks consider a hallmark. “There is so much here that I never knew about Scotland,” says a traveler who gave his name only as Jay. “I could spend a lifetime there and still not see everything.”

Other travelers noted the quality of maps and photographs, always a friend to the traveler. There are enough photos to pique your wanderlust. The maps, especially of urban areas, are rendered with the best detail and accuracy in the industry.

Deep and his army of guidebook-writing travelers have gone over every inch of Scotland, meeting fascinating figures throughout its rural areas, villages, and cities. Never before has a guidebook on this fascinating place delved so deeply, especially into areas such as the islands, from the Shetlands and Orkneys in the north, to Inner and Outer Hebrides, such as Islay and even distant St. Kilda. You’ll see cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Inverness in a new light. Even if you’ve been to them before, you’ll be ready to go again and experience them as if for the first time.

Legend also accompanies fact, such as tales of a mysterious leatherworker on the Isle of Lewis. Does he exist? Is his genius real? Can you pay for his wares with a dead polecat you found on the side of the road? Does he, in fact, control the fate of Scotland?

Scotland has changed much since its days in the British Empire, and Scotland Through the Third Eye bravely shows this ancient, fascinating country in the detail and respect Scotland deserves. The care taken with detail is exquisite. The writing is evocative and inspiring. And you, dear traveler, might as well pick up your copy and then immediately buy a ticket to get you there as soon as possible.

“We set out in the Third Eye books to give travelers the world over a way to feel like they were in a place, even if they weren’t there yet,” explains Guru Deep. “Once they had arrived, we wanted them to feel like we were wandering together. Our new Scotland adventure is a culmination of research and on-the-ground exploration. We get to know the real Scotland, and the real people and history who make this place what it is. Scotland remains one of my favorite destinations, and this guidebook is not only the newest in the series, it is also the fulfillment of a personal quest. I have gotten to explore Scotland the way I have always wanted to explore Scotland—and now I hope you do too.”

Rucksack UniverseThe Rucksack Universe Series

The Rucksack Universe is Anthony St. Clair’s ongoing series of myth, adventure, beer, and globetrotting intrigue.




The circle: Why bend genre when you can break it?

Image: Stiller Beobachter https://flic.kr/p/og2Waz

The circle

We were all supposed to make noise and move around in whatever direction we wanted.

It was the last activity for an acting workshop I was attending in college, put on by a theater troupe who later would perform Shakespeare (Twelfth Night, if memory serves). Through the course of the afternoon we’d gone through various improv, blocking, and dialogue techniques. Now, in this last activity, we would just wander and react.

It was quite fun. At first, everyone was all over the place. People moved about, dodging and bumping into each other. There would be brief exchanges of words, some nonsensical, some with depth. There was a good bit of laughter.

Eventually, though, the most curious thing happened. Two people began moving in a similar direction. Then a couple more joined them. Then more and more.

Eventually, every person in the workshop was walking in a counterclockwise circle in the middle of the room, going around and around and around together.

Except for one person.

I was still wandering my own way—and had wound up in the middle of this stream of people. Only problem was, I was walking in the opposite direction as everyone else. I still wanted to move my own way. I still wanted to go in my direction. It just happened to be different from what everyone else was doing.

As soon as I could, I got out of the circle and kept doing my own thing.

I guess some things never change.

Don’t bend genre

I think about that afternoon a lot—how it felt to be doing something different from everyone else, and wondering why I was the only one. I think about it as a parent too, since early observations indicate my son and daughter will be walking their own directions too.

But I also think about it a lot as an author. Specifically, when I think about genre and book categories.

You know. You look online or go into a bookstore, and everything is categorized all prettily for you. There’s the romance and the horror, the fantasy and the westerns. Everything is tidied into stacks or web categories. You can whittle things down finer too. There’s sweet romance and paranormal romance, epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and even things more granular which I won’t even get to.

Then there’s poor buggers like me.

Thing is, so far my books don’t fit any tidy genre categories. The Rucksack Universe is categorized under fantasy. But just as Neil Gaiman has said, more or less, that he doesn’t necessarily see his books as fantasy but concedes they have to be put on the shelf somewhere, I figure that fantasy is about as good a fit as I’m likely to find.

But that doesn’t mean I play by the rules.

My books aren’t what come to mind when you think fantasy. If you envision swords and sorcery, wizards and kings, vampires and werewolves, and lots of scantily clad helpless women who need rescuing, well, you won’t find that in my stories. That makes it a challenge to attract readers and help them see that the Rucksack Universe is something they want to take a chance on.

Break it

The other day, Library Journal and their SELF-e program asked me for an author interview. It was a really cool bit of Q&A (should be out next month). I keep thinking about my answer to one question in particular.

They asked what I wished I had known about self-publishing when I was getting into this.

I thought and thought about that. Then it hit me.

Genre.

I wish I had understood how hard it was going to be to categorize my books, and what impact that would have on how I appeal to potential readers. I’ve been a full-time, self-employed, independent writer and author since 2011, with books on the market since 2013. Yet in all that time, genre continues to bust my balls.

Now I understand why. It’s ridiculously simple, of course. Been staring me in the face all this time. Hell, not even that. It’s part of my DNA.

I don’t fit the box. I don’t tidy nicely into the category. I don’t walk in the circle or the same direction as the circle.

My stories are different. Thing is, the people who come to them, tell me that’s what they like. They like that they’re unlike other stories.

I appreciate the validation, and I’m going to keep on keepin on with my oddball stories of travelers, beer, and living and breathing legends myths. But how do I appeal to new readers and bring them to the series? When someone is browsing, say, the fantasy category, they may already have a set of genre expectations—but I get to turn those expectations on their head. It’s what I’ve always done. It’s who I am and who I choose to be. Expecting X from a story? Here’s a heaping of A with a pint of B—and you’re going to have a feckin good time.

After all, why bend genre when you can break it?

Appealing to new readers has been a challenge because I’ve been walking the same direction in the circle with everyone else.

Now I’ve stepped out.

Image: Stiller Beobachter




CyberMonday sale

CyberMonday Sale on Rucksack Universe book bundles

This year, give them the universe… the Rucksack Universe!

Through Dec. 4, e-book bundles and signed paperback bundles are on sale through my author store. Each bundle includes all 4 Rucksack Universe books:

E-book Bundle, $5
(list price, $15.99)

Signed Paperback Bundle, $29.99 + FREE shipping*
(list price, $49.99)

Happy Holidays!

* Free shipping applies to free standard shipping in the contiguous US only



Night Attack and Scott Sigler praise the Rucksack Universe

One of my readers, known as Bishma in most spots online, got me and the Rucksack Universe a mention on Night Attack… while they were chatting with bestselling author Scott Sigler.

I gotta admit, I was terrified when I first pulled up this video… but here’s what they had to say:

“This is my sweet spot. If this gentleman can write multiple books in a series and you can jump into any book at any point in the series and not be confused or have to go back and re-read, that’s a pretty stellar accomplishment right there. That’s a ballsy choice. That’s impressive…. And an indie author with GOOD cover art? You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie there.”

Wow. Thanks guys!

You can find Scott Sigler and his books here.

Want to check out Night Attack? Here’s their website and YouTube channel.

By the way

If you’re curious about my Rucksack Universe series, right now I’m celebrating 5 years of being a full-time author and professional writer. I just kicked off a Goodreads Giveaway of 5 copies of Forever the Road:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Forever the Road by Anthony St. Clair

Forever the Road

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends August 06, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway




It’s here! THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY, out now

The Lotus and the Barley, Anthony St. Clair

It’s been an amazing journey, and I’m so, so thrilled to tell you that, at long last, The Lotus and the Barley, the fourth Rucksack Universe adventure, is out now in e-book and paperback!

Readers are saying they were “totally blown away” and were “surprised and delighted at every page.”

You can get your copy now, or gift a copy to someone you know, all direct from me or from your favorite bookstore. And if you prefer to shop in a physical bookstore, you can request the book and they can order it in, easy-peasy.

Buying my books and telling others about the Rucksack Universe makes it possible for me to continue creating and sharing these stories. Thank you again for all your support, and enjoy The Lotus and the Barley!



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.

FREE Sample

Check out this free sample of FOREVER THE ROAD

Anthony's third book, FOREVER THE ROAD, is a Best Books 2015 Fantasy pick from Library Journal's SELF-e, and a 2015 Oregon Book Award nominee.

Download your free sample to find out why Nth Degree's reviewer said this "high-stakes story, told with wit and compassion," left him "completely gobsmacked."

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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