Mother to a slain child…
Hunted for her power…
Some fear her…
Others adore her…
Those who know her best have named her…
Nadya the Deathless
Episode 8 in the Hollow Empire series
Lys & the Heart Stopper (Episode 7) – Imprisoned as a little girl, Lys awakens in the world’s lowest prison. She’s to become a concubine to a faceless noble in a land far from her native home. But when fate intervenes, she seizes her only chance at freedom. She means to cross the wasteland of Vhur, in which the diseased Iritul have hunted humanity near to extinction.
No distance is too great.
She’ll do anything to rescue her friend.
Even if it means a confrontation with the deadliest man alive – The Heart Stopper.
Nadya the Deathless (Episode 8) She’s mother to a slain child. She’s hunted across the wasteland. She’s feared, beloved, and she’s immortal. When the red & black armies come for Nadya, they have no idea what awaits them…
In a far and ancient land, Emperor Chakran dreams of conquest. His desire to resurrect the evil, world-ending Ur casts a dark shadow across an unsuspecting world. But as his army butchers its way across the realm, leaving only a vast, storm-riddled graveyard in its wake, a small band of warriors rises up to oppose him. They know what will become of the world should Chakran succeed. They know the Emperor is but a puppet to the true evil – the Tyrants of the Dead.
Follow Rellen Gryphon, Garrett Croft, and Andelusia Anderae on their voyage to stop the darkness.
If they should fail, the sun will die.
…and the night will forever reign.
Tyrants of the Dead – The Complete Collection includes all three epic volumes in the series:
Down the Dark Path
Dark Moon Daughter
21 Questions for Humanity
Is there anything that hasn’t already been said? Any topic at all?
If revealed to you, and if they challenged everything you thought you knew, could you discard all of your previous beliefs?
Is it better to participate in the grand human social machine or seek contentment alone?
If and when scientists perfect a method to extend life indefinitely, would you take the plunge?
Beyond money, why do people choose to be Police Officers? Attorneys? Politicians?
Purely bio-chemical? A genuine spiritual event? Or a survival mechanism to overcome the perils of being utterly alone?
Do boys really want a little more booty to hold at night?
If, long from now, the world is completely mechanized, thus eliminating the need for most people to work, what will we do with our lives?
Which one rules the roost: Opinions? Or facts?
Does every single human life…have value?
If you could ask ONE question of the universe and have it answered utterly and completely, what would it be?
Why do so many people get so angry about politics?
From the following, choose the worst thing you could possibly be addicted to: Alcohol, Drugs, Sex, Gambling…or TV…
If you could lock any two historical figures (dead or alive) in a cage for a fight to the death, which two would you pick?
A fascinating new planet is discovered far from Earth. You can journey there safely and live out your life, but it’s a one-way ticket for you and whomever you take. Do you stay or go?
Let’s say science perfects an absolutely lifelike robot for use as a spouse. And let’s say this beautiful, intelligent, customized-to-you robot will do anything and everything you ask. You buying one?
Perfect body? Perfect face? Or perfect intellect?
Considering everything, does humanity deserve to exist?
Is there any such thing as absolute good or evil?
You’ve built a time machine. It only goes one direction in time. Do you want to see how it all began? Or how it all will end?
Pretend you’re a deity for a day. What’s the first thing you do to the world?
The Tyrants series contains three epic stories. Each can be read on its own or as part of a larger, darker adventure.
Of course, the individual books are available on their own:
Down the Dark Path is book I in J Edward Neill’s Tyrants of the Dead trilogy. When a young woman leaves home in search of a better life, she plunges into a world-ending war. The deeper she falls, the more she senses dark powers rising within her, and the more she realizes she is not so different than the enemy.
Dark Moon Daughter – Book II in the series. Three years have passed since the Furyon war, but the memories of her time in Malog haunt Andelusia every night. When an emissary from a distant land arrives in Graehelm to beg her aid, she sees a chance to uncover the meaning of her inner darkness…and learn the source of her unnatural powers.
Nether Kingdom – Book III. At the world’s edge, Andelusia awakens to the terrible realization that all her dreams have come to nothing. When the shadows in her heart cause the seasons to change and deadly storms to sweep across Thillria, she knows what will come. The Black Moon will descend. Grimwain will return. The Ur will rebuild their haunted civilization atop humanity’s graveyard. Unless she alone wages war against the nether kingdom, the world will burn.
Darkest of ALL dark fantasy trilogies.
Creepy gothic cathedrals.
Ancient dark towers.
Fantastical sky-piecing minarets.
Some of these are among my older (and therefore cruder) works.
Others are more recent.
Quality notwithstanding, painting dark towers is among my favorite things to do, second only to drawing attractive women.
For more, go here.
“Can you paint a portrait of me, but as a sexy, armor-wearing warrior queen? And thirty lbs. lighter?”
No. And you mean forty-five lbs.
“Can you paint my dog? He’s really cute. Look how his tongue hangs out the left side of his mouth. I really want to capture him in a painting.”
No. Your dog isn’t cute. Also, you have no money.
“Can you paint a lovely little orange barn with a giant Florida Gators logo on the side?”
Instead of that, can I paint a giant dark tower with a logo of a massive alligator demon devouring the souls of the innocent?
“Can I wait until you finish painting my commission to pay you anything?”
No. Go download something free off the web.
I know why artists do commissions.
At least…I think I do.
For artists who have a strong foothold in the industry, who sell every single painting they create, and who can demand a high commission fee, doing custom-to-client work can be lucrative.
For everyone else, not so much.
In the past, I’ve entertained commission work. The orange barn with the Gators logo? Yeah, that was a real commission I did. I spent a ton of time and materials in an effort to make it perfect. I delivered, and the buyer paid me as promised. Only trouble was – I lost money on the sale. I invested far more time than I could ever hope to recoup. And more than the money, I lost self-respect.
Not college football logos on cheesy barns.
In my humble experience, I find more reasons to turn down work than to accept it.
Oh, you want examples?
Last year I painted a huge wood panel piece for a buddy of mine. I quoted him my fee, spent most of two full nights sharpening the image, and delivered earlier than promised. Now, I love this guy like a brother. But here we sit, six months later, and he still hasn’t paid. I’m not willing to lose a friend over the issue, and so I don’t mention the money anymore. Though I do feel a little pain whenever I see the panel hanging on his living room wall.
No, I’m not bitter.
If anything, he helped me.
When I sit down late at night, a fresh canvas before me, a glass of scotch in hand, and my paintbrush whirling, I’m in my element. I’m right where I want to be. Whatever I’m about to create will bring me great enjoyment. It could be something grand – a giant mural of skulls. Or something simple – a swirly drip-painted tree. It doesn’t matter. I’ll love it because it’s mine. No one told me to do it. No one cares whether or not I succeed.
If I’m creating the piece for a commission sale, none of this is true.
I’ll feel pressure to make it ‘perfect’ as if perfection is something that exists in art. I’ll feel hurried. I won’t feel like a creator anymore, but rather like a business. It’ll become work instead of pleasure. Rather than savor every moment, I’ll want the process to end as quickly as possible.
I’ll hate it.
What’s weird is..
Even though I’ll strive to make the commission look fantastic, I won’t do my absolute best work. My creative engine will go idle, and my brush won’t move with the kind of freedom to which I’m accustomed. That’s just the way it goes. With freedom comes passion. With rigid expectation comes pain.
Not a week goes by without at least one person requesting some kind of work from me. “Draw me a tattoo?” they’ll ask. “Paint a forest scene for my wife’s bathroom.” “Paint my portrait, only not exactly like me. Make me look better.”
Some people want me to do this work for free. Or at rock bottom cost. Or they want to wait until I’m done to decide whether or not they’ll pay.
To a degree, I understand these approaches. Art is a luxury to most people. More important things exist, like utility bills, car payments, and food on the table.
The solution feels simple.
Don’t do it. No commissions…ever. No worrying about other people’s ideas, needs, and wants. Make art a meditative, peaceful thing, a creative avalanche instead of a business goal. Separation from commission angst means not worrying about whether or not I’ll get paid. It means growing my skill organically, not forcing myself into styles I either haven’t yet mastered or have little interest in studying. It means painting at a self-chosen pace, not hustling to push something out the door I never wanted to do in the first place. And it means a friendly but firm “No” to everyone who asks the question, and then peace of mind afterward.
Is it a bad idea to say, “No commissions! Ever!” Yeah. Maybe. I’m probably eliminating a segment of the population who might otherwise be interested in my style.
Am I going to lose sleep over it? No.
I’d rather be broke and free than wealthy and enslaved.
This philosophy applies to much more than art.
It’s life, man.
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