Today marks the official kickoff of the The Skald’s Black Verse Book Tour presented by Storytellers On Tour, and throughout the week we’ve got a great lineup helping us spotlight this incredible Epic Grimdark Fantasy tale! The Skald’s Black Verse is the first installment in Jordan Loyal Short’s The Dreadbound Ode series, a series that has been on my radar for far too long. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what our hosts have to say in the coming days, so be sure to keep an eye out for some incredible content.
Jordan was kind enough to stop by to chat about what led to the creation of this book, his writing process, and what lies ahead for him, so keep scrolling for the tour schedule, more info about the book, and the interview.
We’ve enlisted a group of wonderful and talented bloggers and Bookstagrammers to help us feature The Skald’s Black Verse. This is what we have going on, so make sure to check out each and every one throughout the week for some brilliant content, including reviews and more.
SEPTEMBER 9TH–THE WELCOMING
Whispers & Wonder
Book Steff’s Bookish Blog
Woven From Words
Beneath A Thousand Skies
The Writer’s Alley
I Can Has Books?
Spells & Spaceships
Jake is Reading
The Bookwyrm’s Guide to the Galaxy
SEPTEMBER 15TH–THE ENCORE
For more about this tour visit Storytellers On Tour.
When a soldier’s murder sparks rebellion in the tiny village of Skolja, Brohr’s past marks him as the prime suspect. Haunted by his brother’s ghost, and drawn into a web of dark pacts and tangled loyalties, Brohr must choose between the path of vengeance set before him, and a chance to forge his own fate.
From the shadows, an all but extinct race of alien demigods have begun the end game of their millennia-spanning war, and one has chosen Brohr for his closing gambit.
But Brohr’s grandfather harbors a dark secret that will change everything.
Above it all, a dread portent looms in the sky, spelling the death of Brohr’s world. With doom spiraling toward them, Brohr must lead an unlikely rebellion, unearth disturbing family secrets, and tame the raging ghost that haunts him. Can Brohr lead his people out of darkness, or will he succumb to his own terrifying bloodlust, and destroy the very people he has sworn to save?
Meet The Author
Jordan Loyal Short is a debut author of epic fantasy. His first novel, The Skald’s Black Verse, is a dark and beautiful story about families, cultures, and beliefs at war with themselves. The protagonist, Brohr, must navigate the tangled loyalties and unforgiving biases of a planet conquered by invaders from another world. Using black magic, and the bizarre bond he shares with his stillborn brother’s spirit, Brohr unravels the truth about himself and an eon spanning war that has reached its end game. Jordan has worked in a variety of industries, as a waiter, bartender, copywriter and more. He lives in Washington state with his wife where he is currently daydreaming about the end of the world.
Thanks so much for stopping by for a chat, Jordan. Since we already have your official bio, care to tell us about yourself in ten words or less?
Massive nerd, happily married, loves RPGs, quaffer of fine(and coarse) brews.
What’s a day of writing like in the shoes of Jordan? Do you have any quirks, routines, or rituals?
I’m a night owl and I fairly recently quit my office job to have more time for writing, so I currently work as a bartender a couple of nights a week. Thus, my morning begins in the afternoon. On a day off, I wake up and drink coffee, read in bed for an hour, and then take my laptop into the spare bedroom and write for a couple of hours. Probably about this time I get distracted by doomscrolling social media and take a lunch break. Then I go back to it for a couple of hours. After that I try to go outside on a walk or drive to the lake to go paddle boarding. I work on editing and marketing stuff in the evenings while I watch TV. I was going to sacrifice a goat to the productivity gods but the little sucker was too cute, so instead I still procrastinate.
Give us an idea of how The Skald’s Black Verse came to fruition.
It actually took seed from the concept of the ending. So without getting into detail, the core concept of Brohr and his twin being bound together is at the heart of it all. From there, the big supernatural figures Tyrus and Moriigo, who are also brothers, followed. Everything really coalesced around the central idea of siblings divided. I’m naturally a daydreamer, so bit by bit I just let the idea percolate in my brain until it had gathered enough detail to start writing the story, which took a few months.
Can you share with us something about The Skald’s Black Verse that isn’t in the blurb?
The blurb only mentions Brohr’s story. In fact, the tale also revolves around two more characters from the village of Skolja. Henrik is the mayor’s son, a fledgling mage who guides the townsfolk through the utter shitshow that awaits them. Then there is Lyssa: the daughter of a local barkeep, not to mention an amateur thief and shameless snoop.
Was there any specific research you’ve done or inspiration you’ve pulled from for The Skald’s Black Verse?
I’m a fan of mythology in general, but I’ve used Norse mythology for inspiration in a number of ways for The Skald’s Black Verse. I think there are a lot of little nuggets that will trigger a fleeting glimpse of Norse mythology in the story. Just little tidbits that are twisted and changed to fit the new world I’ve created, but the inspiration is there for anyone l with a sharp eye for detail.
What comes first, the plot or the characters?
Definitely the characters. As I mentioned earlier everything really formed around Brohr and his strange relationship to his brother. But let’s be honest, epic fantasy needs a strong plot too. Part of what excites me about this series is the plot, and how each book in the series raises the stakes.
Do you have a favorite character you’ve written? If so, who? What about them sets them apart from all the others?
I think Lyssa is my favorite character. She is just a lot of fun, a good mix of no-nonsense pragmatism and a sharp sense of humor…like any good barkeep.
What do you think makes a good story?
You need an intriguing character who wants something badly, and then you have to make it really friggin hard to get. Plus wizards.
Is there one particular book you hold dearest to your heart?
Oh jeeeez. My favorite author is John Irving, I’ve read every book he’s written. As far as fantasy, my new favorites are Ed McDonald and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan. Picking one book is like picking your favorite child, it’s impossible (but also it’s Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson).
Writing can be a stressful pursuit. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
It’s a marathon. Seriously, it’s actually several marathons with no break to speak of in between. Most of us won’t get some meteoric break that dumps it all in our laps at once. It is a long, slow journey with a lot of roadblocks and disappointment. But we’re writers, and for a bunch of neurotic shut-ins we are tough as nails. Just keep writing, and see things through to completion, and then bit by bit all of the rejections and scrapped attempts will start to turn into finished works, and successes, and positive reviews. It is genuinely one of the most difficult paths you can take in life, but ultimately, if you are a writer at heart, nothing else will be as rewarding.
Ok, let’s see what kind of person you truly are.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee! And mint tea. But mostly coffee.
Winter or Summer?
Summer, except allergies. Blech.
Physical books or Ebooks?
Physical…I mean what is the smell of an ebook? It’s like a Zen Koan.
Mountains or Oceans?
Mountain, I have an inner ear thing so I get seasick. (Told you I was a nerd)
Beer or Wine?
Books or Movies?
Books. You may not know this but I’m somewhat of a writer myself.
Cowboys or Aliens?
Aliens. My dad’s favorite movie franchise is Alien. So I was reared on it.
Pie or Cake?
Cake. Wait! Scratch that– coconut cream pie.
Rural or Urban?
Urban. But currently I live rural because Seattle got crazy expensive.
Work hard or Play hard?
My head and my heart are somewhat at odds here.
Thank you again for taking the time have a chat, Jordan. Tell us what lies ahead for you!
Thank you! I’m excited for a lot of upcoming stuff. Book two of The Dreadbound Ode, The Weeping Sigil, is currently getting a final proofread by Sarah Chorn. It comes out November 12th! The audiobook for The Skald’s Black Verse, narrated by Matthew Jackson, is at the editor now and will be out this fall. Also I’m looking forward to some positive changes in the world we are living in, I tend to prefer dystopian nightmare in my fiction rather than my day-to-day life. Anyway, on that chipper note, thanks again!
That’s all I got for ya! Be sure to keep an eye on the official The Skald’s Black Verse tour page over at Storytellers On Tour (https://www.storytellersontour.online/2020/08/09/tour-schedule-the-skalds-black-verse-by-jordan-loyal-short/) to see what the other bloggers and Bookstagrammers have to say!