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The latest Rucksack Press news, releases, updates, events, announcements, mea culpas and huzzahs

2 new author events

Join Anthony St. Clair 2 events in Oregon

Heya fans and readers, I’ve got 2 new events on the calendar. Please check them out, spread the word, and I hope to see you there!

You know how sometimes things come together in the most unexpected ways?

Earlier this year I made arrangements to attend a writer business workshop in late October in Lincoln City, Oregon. A few weeks ago, Lincoln City’s Driftwood Public Library emailed me. They saw my interview in Library Journal and invited me to give a talk as part of their Dark & Stormy Nights Author Program. And the date? Right when I’m already in town. Funny ole world.

Thurs., Oct. 26, 2017: Dark & Stormy Nights at Driftwood Public Library

On the stormy Oregon coast, join author and freelance writer Anthony St. Clair for insights on how travel, beer, and an outlook for the world have come together in his ongoing Rucksack Universe series. Anthony discusses his craft, how he writes while raising 2 children, and his ongoing journey as an author-publisher. Sponsored by the Driftwood Library Foundation, this is the 14th year Lincoln City’s Driftwood Public Library has presented their Dark and Stormy Night author program.

Dark & Stormy Nights – Facebook Event

Driftwood Public Library, Lincoln City, OR

Thurs., Jan. 4, 2018: Mid-Valley Willamette Writers Author Talk, Tsunami Books, Eugene, Oregon

6:30-7:00 p.m. Social Time and Refreshments
7:00-7:15 p.m. News, Upcoming Events, and Member Announcements
7:15-8:30 p.m. Author Talk by Anthony St. Clair
8:30 p.m. Drawing for Free Gift
8:30-9:00 p.m. Questions and Book Signing

Free to Willamette Writers members or $10 general public. You can also join Willamette Writers at the door.

Mid-Valley Willamette Writers Author Talk – Facebook Event

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:


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


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

Direct from my author store


Apple iBooks



Barnes and Noble

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

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

What I’m doing now, September & October 2016

Me in a nutshell

I’ve been a full-time self-employed professional writer for 5 years. I’m the author of 4 travel fantasy books in my Rucksack Universe series. I write about craft beer. I help other people with their online content and marketing. Outside of my home office, I spend lots of time with my wife, son, and daughter, in lovely Eugene, Oregon, in the US Pacific Northwest. And I love to cook.

This month I’m…

Glad to be home.

My 22mo daughter Aster was a flower girl at my sister-in-law's recent wedding. I've now walked my daughter down the aisle for the first time.

My 22mo daughter Aster was a flower girl at my sister-in-law’s recent wedding. I’ve now walked my daughter down the aisle for the first time.

September was a month of intense deadlines, story work, and travel here at Author World HQ:

  • Finished outlining the next Rucksack Universe book, a prequel called Roadsong.
  • Outlined 3 short stories that will be prequels for the prequel book—in other words, each short story ends right where Roadsong begins. Each prequel features one of the main characters in Roadsong. I’m going to be making these stories available for free as I finish each one.
  • Drafted the first of the stories, which focuses around Faddah Rucksack—and specifically an adventure he was on before The Blast
  • Wrote and filed 7 articles

All told, in September I wrote 33,117 words over 18 days, an average of 1,840 words per day. That’s my highest per-day average for the year and my second-highest number of words per month for the year. Not bad, given that then my family and I went out of town for 10 days.

The wedding

My in-laws live in Colorado, and my sister-in-law was getting married. My wife, two kids and I flew out to Colorado Springs for a few days of beer from Bristol Brewing, rides and spring water from Manitou Springs, and wedding prep. Lots of wedding prep.

From there we drove 4 hours west, into the mountains, to the wee town of Crested Butte, where the wedding was going to be. Fall is a beautiful time to be in western Colorado. The mountains may have some dustings of snow, and the aspens are golden—oh, the aspens—aspens in the fall are possibly the prettiest trees in the world:

Me and my wife in Gothic National Park near Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado

Me and my wife in Gothic National Park near Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado

It was a busy few days. My sister-in-law and now-brother-in-law had opted for a DIY wedding, and family and friends rallied to lend a hand. My main job was food prep—we had packed our kitchen knives, and I’m so glad I had my own steel on hand to thinly slice 16 English-style cucumbers, plus a few gallons of other vegetables.

The wedding was beautiful, and I’m so happy for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. The kids did brilliantly at the wedding, and it was a bittersweet farewell when we packed up to head to Denver for the flight home.


Home from 11–3: Author’s Fair at Crescent Park Senior Living #Eugene #IndieAuthors #Bookfair

A photo posted by Anthony St. Clair (@rucksackpress) on

In September I also did a couple of author events. I’m looking at my experiences there to figure out some more things I can do with online video. I get told over and over that I should be doing more video, and I’m figuring out how I want to get rolling. More on that soon.

In the meantime, I’m always down with events, and please get in touch with an event I should know about.

This month

October will have a few articles to write, and I’m nailing down some of those assignments. My main priorities will be drafting and editing the 3 Roadsong prequel stories, so I can get those out to you. Roadsong will be digging deeper into the Rucksack Universe than we’ve ever gone before, and these stories will give some exclusive perspective and adventure on the things that lead right up to the start of what’s going to be the most ambitious Rucksack Universe book so far.

From there, I’ll be working on Roadsong itself. The book is outlined and planned, and now it’s time to get on the writing. I’m looking to have Roadsong out in 2017.

Roadsong in one line

A wounded hero wakes. A wanderer falls between worlds. A growing shadow will cover all in darkness.

Ominous enough fer ya?

Current summary

Follow the black road.

From the west coast of Ireland to England’s Black Cliffs of Dover, the mile-wide line of ash is known as the black road. In the hundred years since The Blast scarred the world, none have traveled this road… until now. A wounded hero, a wanderer who fell between worlds, and a mysterious sage undertake a quest: for home, for purpose, for a light to stop the shadow covering the world. Pursued by a hunter of strange souls, the trio must overcome many trials—and their own mistakes—if they are to find answers to their questions… and if they are to survive the unwelcome surprise that also awaits at the end of the road.

Writing about beer and more

To-date for 2016, I’ve filed 53 articles, and just about all of those are already published (a few are over the next couple of months). Here are some recent published articles:

Yoga once a week and walking over 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) each day, aiming for 13,000-15,000 steps (up to about 7 miles) at least a couple of days each week. My 4yo son is also now really good at riding a big-kid bike, so I regularly put my daughter in a toddler seat on my bike so we can all 3 go riding around the neighborhood.

Always intrigued by other people’s stories, so feel free to email me:

10 ways you can support this indie author & THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY

web-TheLotusandtheBarley-AnthonyStClairA quick favor for The Lotus and the Barley? By now, you’ve likely heard about my latest Rucksack Universe novel, The Lotus and the Barley. There’s good momentum building, but the more momentum the better for my books, especially this fourth installment in the series. It’s also an exciting time because this book comes out as I’m passing the 5-year milestone of being a full-time author and professional writer. Your support is part of what makes that possible.

Long post to follow, so here’s the too-long-didn’t-read (TL;DR) version. Please… tell someone about my books; or come to the July 15 Facebook launch; or come to the Aug. 25 community launch at Tsunami Books Eugene; or buy a copy; or request from your library; or read it with your book club; or review it online. Or all of the above. Buy links and book info:

About the book

This latest book is about two sisters who have to choose between their dreams and each other—and it’s about two enemies (Faddah Rucksack and the often-mentioned, now-to-be-introduced Guru Deep) who renew a bitter vendetta. Set in a rebuilt, post-Blast London, the story is also my most “beerpunk” yet. Readers are saying they love not only the characters (especially the sisters, plus some have said Guru Deep is a new favorite villain) and a few bits with some swords, but also all the insights into the process and poetry of brewing—and enjoying—fantastic beer.

How you can help

Are you willing to help this book? Here are 10 things you can do, some of them in 5 minutes or less, most of them for free. I’d be so grateful if you’d pick just one and let me know how I can return the favor.

1. Tell someone about the Rucksack Universe.

If you know someone who is interested in… travel… fantasy… beer… complicated fascinating characters… alternate worlds… themes of decision, destiny, transformation, and identity… then that’s someone who would really enjoy my books. Spread the word.

2. Come to the online book launch on Facebook on Friday, July 15.

I’ll be on Facebook all day, answering questions, doing live video chats, talking books and beer and travel and such, and offering 5-year-anniversary specials on the Rucksack Universe.
 Here’s the event page so you can put it on your calendar.

3. Come to the community book launch at Tsunami Books in Eugene on Aug. 25.

There’s absolutely no obligation to buy a copy of the book—we just want to pack the store with support for The Lotus and the Barley, as well as for my 3 fellow authors who are also launching new books:

  • Valerie Ihsan, The Scent of Apple Tea
  • Tanya J. Peterson, Twenty-Four Shadows
  • Gina Oschner, The Hidden Letters of Velta B.

Here’s the event page so you can put it on your calendar.

4. Purchase a copy of the book for a friend or loved one.

The book is available from any online or physical bookstore. You can also purchase e-books and signed paperbacks directly from me—e-books bought from my store include versions for all devices, and signed paperbacks are available only when buying direct.

5. Request a copy from your local library.

That goes for e-books too: nowadays many libraries lend both printed books and e-books. (You can also mention that Forever the Road was a top fantasy pick for 2015 in the American Library Association’s SELF-e program.)

6. Consider reading a Rucksack Universe title with your book club.

Each title in the series is interconnected yet stands alone, so it’s easy to try out one or many. Special book club discounts are available, as are discussion materials. I’m also available for online and in-person chats. If you’d like Rucksack Universe books for your club, just get in touch with me directly.

7. Keep an eye on my Facebook author page and new YouTube channel.

I’m realizing that some people probably think I just bake bread all day. Now that I’ve (finally) gotten a post-book launch, post-kitchen renovation haircut, I’m doing more online video to talk about The Lotus and the Barley, answer reader questions, as well as to discuss my work, why I use fantasy for my stories, and lots of other things that I think you’ll find worth watching and sharing. Keep an eye on my Facebook author page and new YouTube channel for more videos, and please send me your questions too.

8. Review it on Goodreads

If you read The Lotus and the Barley and like it, post a review on Goodreads at this link: and share on social media. Heck, feel free to post if you don’t like the novel. I can take it. 🙂

9. Or post a review at your favorite bookstore.

Bookstore websites let you post reviews, so please post a review to one of these: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, iBooks (or whichever is your favorite). Please share your review on social media too. Reviews sell books, and yours will help so much.

10. Follow my email list or social media for the latest Rucksack Universe news.

Sign up for my author email list, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter @anthonystclair.

Thank you for all your help. And please do let me know when I can return the favor!

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!

Release Date for New Rucksack Universe Travel Fantasy Novel

Available June 16, 2016: THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY

Pre-order THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY, available June 16

Buy now from
Get it on iBooks
Buy now from Kobo

This is a special day at St. Clair World HQ. It’s my wife’s birthday (happy birthday, my love!). And, it’s also 10 years ago to the day that we found our house. In 2006, when we first saw the room that is now my office, it was covered in horrid wallpaper and 70s shag carpet that was, I swear, the same color red as Elmo from Sesame Street.

Today is special for another reason: I’m announcing when my fourth book, THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY, will be available!

Before we get to that, some of you may be coming to the Rucksack Universe for the first time. Just to set the stage, the Rucksack Universe is an ongoing fantasy series of globetrotting intrigue, myth, and adventure, set in an alternate version of our world. It has a diverse cast with stories set all over the globe, with action that ranges from global peril to the deeply personal. There are travelers, lots of beer, an evil company, bartenders who influence the course of all existence, and, above all, Faddah Rucksack, the world’s only Himalayan-Irish sage, the wanderer of wanderers, the hero of old, the hero who fell, and the hero of now. You will get all this and more in THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY.

In a nutshell, here’s what the book is about:

In a rebuilt London, trouble is brewing.

In a world where a bottle of stout can change destinies, all Branwen Porter and her sister Zara want is to become brewers of the world’s oldest and most popular beer, Galway Pradesh Stout. But the brewmaster won’t give them a second glance, much less try their homebrew. A chance encounter with a man in black and a stolen briefcase changes everything. Zara and Branwen find themselves on a collision course with the most dangerous man in the world and his terrible plans for the beer. Two ancient enemies will renew a bitter vendetta, and the sisters will discover their new destiny—but only if they can choose between their dreams and each other.

THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY will be available worldwide in e-book and trade paperback on June 16, 2016.

Starting today, you can pre-order the e-book and it will be auto-magically sent to you the day the book comes out.

Pre-order today

The regular e-book price is US$4.99, but prior to release you can get it for the special pre-order price of $2.99. THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY is available at these major online retailers:

Buy now from
Get it on iBooks
Buy now from Kobo

If you need to catch up on the series, you can also get the other 3 books: The Martini of Destiny, Home Sweet Road, and Forever the Road, all available in e-book and trade paperback.

You can also get these 3 books direct from me at my author store. When ordering direct you also get exclusive box set savings and autographed paperbacks:

Buy now from Selz

So that’s the news! THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY will be available June 16 and you can pre-order it beginning today.

Please check it out, pre-order the e-book, and tell your friends. Thank you for being part of this journey!

My Writing Routine – Anthony St. Clair

Interview about author Anthony St. Clair's writing routines

New interview about how I work—my writing routine, what I work on, how I get things done—etc. is now online.

Source: My Writing Routine – Anthony St. Clair |

What’s the first line of my next book?

As you might’ve seen, I’m now underway on my final proof and out-loud read-through of my fourth Rucksack Universe book, THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY. And if you were wondering, here’s the first line:

The Lotus and the Barley - first line

And if you want that in good ole text:

No one knew about the problem until the alarm rang, but Feckniss imagined the man in the orange suit at the top of the world was the only one who smiled about it.

Now back to work. The sooner I finish the proofing and read-through, the sooner you and I both will know when this book is coming out.


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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