AISFP Podcast 259 – Grimdark Character Arcs with Ragnarok Publications

Ragnarok Publications

Timothy C. Ward hosts a panel with authors and editors from Ragnarok Publications to discuss Grimdark character arcs, what makes them Grimdark and what we love about them. Ragnarok is also offering a giveaway to one of our subscribers to pick an ebook from their catalogue. As usual, the giveaway will end next Monday at 11:59PM CDT. There is a bonus prize package from 47North, five sets of Mark T. Barnes The Echoes of the Empire trilogy, which will also go to our subscribers.

Topics Discussed:

  • How The Ten Thousand Things improved upon the first book, Those Poor, Poor Bastards
  • Faith/spiritual based magic systems and how to keep them from being convenient during scenes with conflict
  • How Timothy Baker uses point of view to blend Science Fiction and Fantasy in his Buddhist take on his Zombie Apocalypse novel, Path of the Dead.
  • Seth’s novel Damoren and the magical pistol and bullets (only 18!) which creates a bond with its owner stronger than man with wife or child.
  • Tim Marquitz discusses how Grimdark Character arcs work, with selfishness as a main characteristic to grimdark heroes. (~1630)

    Tim says “[Grimdark stories] are more about the characters going out of their way to satisfy themselves than it is about a story line or plot device. The idea is to bring a bleakness to their perspective–not just the world.”

  • Tim’s anthology, Grimdark Grimoir, is open to submissions. He discusses what he’d like to see. (sound effects left in to prove our theories about Tim’s nefarious hobbies and “research.” Is his tub the portal to ride The Bloop?)
  • J.M. Martin says “The Grimdark character’s method is almost always brutal. They will not hold back from doing violence if that is what they need to handle a situation. And a lot of times it might even be violence first.”

  • “A means to an end,” Baker summarizes. To which Mercedes says, “I just see strong characters who are exceptionally motivated.”
  • Seth’s Damoren book’s creating sympathy via the main character’s innocence and unrequited love for his gun.
  • Tim Baker’s Path of the Dead creating sympathy for his characters by just putting them in difficult situations and seeing how they react.
  • Tim Marquitz’s Demon Squad series, character growth from the first book through the sixth and beyond.
  • Mercedes Yardley showing how people can care for her antiheroes in Nameless and Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu.
  • I could go on, please enjoy the listen.

Our Panel:

Tim Marquitz Tim Marquitz is the author of the Demon Squad series, the Blood War Trilogy, as well as several standalone books, and numerous anthology appearances including Triumph Over Tragedy, Corrupts Absolutely?, Demonic Dolls, and the upcoming Neverland’s Library, and No Place Like Home.

The Editor in chief of Ragnarok Publications, Tim most recently compiled and edited the Angelic Knight Press anthologies, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous and Manifesto: UF.

Joe MartinJ.M. Martin wrote comic books and worked on-staff at Caliber Press—publishers of The Crow, Deadworld, The Realm, Kabuki, and more. He was a Gold ENnie-award-winning managing editor (2001–2005) for Privateer Press, instrumental in building the Iron Kingdoms and Warmachine intellectual properties from the ground up. He has also been a managing editor (2006–2008) for a nationally-syndicated magazine publisher called YOUnique. Martin recently started NineWorldsMedia.com, a company specializing in editing and design services for writers and publishers, and is the co-publisher and creative director for the newly-established Ragnarok Publications, publishers of dark genre fiction.

4x5bioMercedesYardley Hi. I’m Mercedes M. Yardley. I have two broken laptops, three kids, a husband and no time to write, although I try my very best. I like to write stories. I like to write poems. I like to write essays and sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they aren’t. I’m the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the “serial killers in love” novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, and my debut novel Nameless: The Darkness Comes. Nameless is the first book in The Bone Angel trilogy. I specialize in the dark and beautiful.

Timothy BakerTimothy Baker is a retired firefighter and an aspiring, perspiring, horror writer. His debut novel, Path of the Dead (Hungry Ghosts Book 1) is out and published by Ragnarok Publications. Timothy has short stories in the anthologies, Fading Light: Anthology of the Monstrous, Fifty Shades of Decay, Manifesto UF, all by Angelic Knight Press, and the forthcoming Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed from Tor. Timothy has also received a commendation in the Australian Horror Writer’s Association 2009 Short Story Competition.

Seth Skorkowski I’m Seth Skorkowsky. I write fantasy fiction. My debut novel, Dämoren, an urban fantasy featuring nasty monsters, modern-day knights, and a sentient pistol, was released in 2014 by Ragnarok Publications.
My serial pulp-hero/thief, The Black Raven, will also be making a grand (re)appearance in 2014. Rogue Blades Entertainment will be releasing two Black Raven collections, Mountain of Daggers followed by Sea of Quills, totaling twenty sword and sorcery adventures.

Their Books:


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Timothy C. Ward
Executive Producer

Timothy C. Ward has been podcasting since 2010, first as AudioTim, and now with AISFP. His first publication, Cornhusker: Demon Gene (A Short Story), is available on Kindle for $.99. His novel in progress, Order After Dark, is a Post-apocalyptic Fantasy set in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss. Sign up to his author newsletter for updates on new releases.

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