New short story collection published!

My new short-story collection, Paths to the Stars: Twenty-Two Fantastical Tales of Imagination, has just been released by Shadowpaw Press. The stories in it span my writing career–the oldest is one I wrote at age 19 (or possibly 18, I’m not sure) at Harding University; the newest just came out earlier this year.  They’re roughly fifty-fifty young adult and adult stories (but don’t worry, the “adult” stories are also YA-friendly).

Where can you get it? Well, you can buy it in all popular ebook formats or get an autographed directly from me through my new online shop (where, I’ll remind you, you can also order any or all of the Shards of Excalibur books!)

You can also buy it at any of these links:

Shadowpaw Press | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Chapters/Indigo | Barnes & Noble

Here’s the official description:

From Edward Willett, Aurora Award-winning author of Marseguro, The Cityborn, and Worldshaper (DAW Books), among many others, comes twenty-two tales of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, drawn from a long career of telling fantastic tales.

A young musician dreams of playing his songs among the stars…A Broadway performer on the lam is forced to direct aliens in The Sound of Music…Strange vegetables with dangerous properties crop up in small-town Saskatchewan…A man with a dark secret gets his comeuppance on a windy night on the prairie…An elderly caretaker on the Moon preserves the memory of the millions who died on Earth’s darkest day…A woman and a bat-like alien must overcome their own prejudices to prevent an interstellar war…

From the far future and the farthest reaches of space to the Canadian prairie, from our world to worlds that have never existed to world’s that might some day, rich realms of imagination and the fascinating characters and creatures that populate them await within these stories, some previously published, some seeing print for the first time.

Time to go exploring…

And the first review…

“From exploding fruits and vegetables to a shrine on the moon, dedicated to the memory of a devastated Earth, these stories will not disappoint. If you’re a Fantasy and Science Fiction fan like I am, you’re sure to enjoy this rollercoaster of stories every bit as much as I did. I can sum my thoughts up in two words: ‘READ THEM!'” – Lorne McMillan, Author of Isaac’s Blood

Permanent link to this article: http://www.shardsofexcalibur.com/2018/07/11/new-short-story-collection-published/

Announcing the Edward Willett bookstore!

For a long time I’ve wanted to set up an online store where people can order books directly from me–autographed, of course (except for the ebooks, because I haven’t figured out how to do that, yet). After a not-inconsiderable amount of work, I’m pleased to announce that my very own personal bookstore, The Fantastic Worlds of Edward Willett, is open for business!

Among other things, you can buy autographed copies of any of the Shards of Excalibur books, or even buy a complete set (for just $65 Can.).

Browse!Better yet, buy!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.shardsofexcalibur.com/2018/06/23/announcing-the-edward-willett-bookstore/

Announcing Shadowpaw Press

Like many authors, I’ve got a few projects that I’d like to get out into the wide world for which I do not have a publisher handy, and so I am turning to my own publishing resources–something far easier to do today than ever before.

Rather than simply self-publish, however, I’ve decided to go the somewhat more complicated (but offering-more-opportunities) route of setting up my own independent press, which I’ve named Shadowpaw Pressafter our black Siberian cat (because, why not? Also, he has a publishing pedigree of sorts–see “My publisher brought me a kitten!“) who also serves as the logo. (Preliminary logo–I think I’ll be doing more work on that.)

I have several projects that will appear under the Shadowpaw Press input, and the first will be out in short order: a collection of my short fiction, which I’ve entitled Paths to the Stars. Here’s the cover art and description:

From Edward Willett, Aurora Award-winning author of Marseguro, The Cityborn, and Worldshaper(DAW Books), among many others, comes twenty-two tales of fantasy, science fiction, and fantasy, drawn from a long career of telling fantastic tales.

A young musician dreams of playing his songs among the stars…A Broadway performer on the lam is forced to direct aliens in The Sound of Music…Strange vegetables with dangerous properties crop up in small-town Saskatchewan…A man with a dark secret gets his comeuppance on a windy night on the prairie…An elderly caretaker on the Moon preserves the memory of the millions who died on Earth’s darkest day…A woman and a bat-like alien must overcome their own prejudices to prevent an interstellar war…

From the far future and the farthest reaches of space to the Canadian prairie, from our world to worlds that have never existed to world’s that might some day, rich realms of imagination and the fascinating characters and creatures that populate them await within these stories, some previously published, some seeing print for the first time.

Time to go exploring…

Release date is July 10. You can pre-order the ebook now through Amazon. A paperback version will also be available–it’s in the final stages.

What else will be coming from Shadowpaw Press? Up next mightbe Blue Fire, a re-issue, with a new cover and layout, of Flames of Nevyana, taking it back to its original title (might be, because my editor at DAW Books is taking a look at it first to see if she might be interested). If I release it myself, I’m leaning toward releasing that one as an E.C. Blakebook, since that might garner interest from readers of the Masks of Aygrimatrilogy.

And after that? I want to pull the First World War memoirsof my grandfather-in-law, Sampson J. Goodfellow, into a book. It needs a good edit and some other work, but I think it could be interesting to readers, especially with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice coming up–which is approximately when I’d like to have it out.

Lots more to come after that: my Andy Nebula books in print again (currently they’re only available as hardcovers), re-issues of some of my earlier novels…who knows? If this actually proves profitable (a big “if”) maybe I’ll open up to submissions. An original anthology might be fun…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.shardsofexcalibur.com/2018/06/23/announcing-shadowpaw-press/

Available now: an illustrated collection of science fiction/fantasy poetry!

I Tumble Through the Diamond Dust, my new collection of science fiction and fantasy poetry, officially launched recently, with a great event attending by thirty-five people or so, in the basement of The Artesian on 13th (a former church converted into a theatre).

The book was published by Your Nickel’s Worth Press.

Here’s the book description:

Within these pages lie twenty-one poems…and twenty-one worlds: worlds in the farthest reaches of space, worlds steeped in myth and legend, worlds that never were, and worlds that yet could be.

Written by award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Edward Willett, and beautifully illustrated by Alberta artist Wendi Nordell, each poem was inspired by—and contains—two lines of published poetry from Saskatchewan poets, sent out every weekday by former Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Gerald Hill as a Poetry Month challenge to members of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild in April 2016.

Every poem tells a story. Some are frightening. Some are funny. Some are poignant, some surreal. Enter a realm of unfettered imagination…and embrace the fantastical.

Here’s an excellent review by Shelley A. Leedahl, herself a Saskatchewan poet:

“Prolific Regina writer Edward Willett took a great idea and ran with it…and the result is this creative, entertaining, and occasionally spine-tingling collection of poems that no one but Willett – well-known for authoring sixty books, including twenty science fiction and fantasy novels – could pull off.”

Read the whole review!

Like a copy? You can get it here:

Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Kobo | Chapters/Indigo | Your Nickel’s Worth Press.

In addition to reading from the book at the launch, and saying a few words, and introducing my niece, Wendi Nordell, who is also the illustrator, I sang a couple of songs (and my daughter, Alice, performed as well).

One of my songs was “Unusual Way” from the Broadway musical Nine…and here it is.

Enjoy!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.shardsofexcalibur.com/2018/06/23/available-now-an-illustrated-collection-of-science-fiction-fantasy-poetry/

Twist of the Blade audiobook now available!

Twist of the Blade is now available in audiobook format, narrated by the wonderful Elizabeth Klett, who previously narrated Song of the Sword and will be narrating the entire series over the course of this year.

Audible reviewer Krista Jasper writes, “Elizabeth Klett does a great job of narration and bringing the characters to life. It isn’t easy to do justice to the voice of a teenage boy and then a middle aged British magician…I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a mystery wrapped in Fantasy and Lore.”

Here’s the official description:

Having saved the first Shard of the sword Excalibur from Internet mogul Rex Major (aka Merlin), Ariane and Wally are on the lookout for the second. Wally is worried that the power of the first Shard is already changing Ariane, giving her the strength to do good and evil, and when she badly injures his bullying sister, Flish, it seems he’s right.

Meanwhile, they have a serious problem: Ariane’s located the second Shard in France. Sure, her inherited powers from the Lady of the Lake enable her to travel magically through fresh water, but it hasn’t escaped their notice that there’s a huge saltwater ocean separating them from their next target. And Rex Major is already on his way there.

As Major uses Wally’s doubts – and his secret wish to be more than just a nerdy sidekick – to cause a rift between the friends, Ariane takes the chance to go it alone. But if the first Shard’s power is barely controllable, how will she fare when two Shards are united? And what can Wally do to get his friend back?

Critic Reviews

“The sequel to Song of the Sword improves on its foundation…. Willett realistically explores the difficulties Ariane and Wally face and paints Rex Major in such a light that readers may be unsure as to whether he is a master manipulator or misunderstood hero… Engrossing.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A satisfying second instalment… Twist of the Blade offers an enticing sense of danger and excitement… It’s refreshing to read a story in which the heroes and villains are not cut-and-dried, and readers can look forward to three more instalments in this genuinely entertaining myth-based series.” (Quill & Quire)

Go forth and listen!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.shardsofexcalibur.com/2018/06/09/twist-of-the-blade-audiobook-now-available/

Cover art reveal: my next novel from DAW Books!

Worldshaper, my ninth novel for DAW Books, comes out September 18 in hardcover and ebook. It’s the start of a new series called Worldshapers. Here’s the fabulous cover: artwork is by Juliana Kolesova, who happens to also be from Canada–she works out of Toronto.

Here’s the description:

From an Aurora Award-winning author comes the first book in a new portal fantasy series in which one woman’s powers open the way to a labyrinth of new dimensions.

For Shawna Keys, the world is almost perfect. She’s just opened a pottery studio in a beautiful city. She’s in love with a wonderful man. She has good friends.

But one shattering moment of violence changes everything. Mysterious attackers kill her best friend. They’re about to kill Shawna. She can’t believe it’s happening–and just like that, it isn’t. It hasn’t. No one else remembers the attack, or her friend. To everyone else, Shawna’s friend never existed…

Everyone, that is, except the mysterious stranger who shows up in Shawna’s shop. He claims her world has been perfect because she Shaped it to be perfect; that it is only one of uncounted Shaped worlds in a great Labyrinth; and that all those worlds are under threat from the Adversary who has now invaded hers. She cannot save her world, he says, but she might be able to save others–if she will follow him from world to world, learning their secrets and carrying them to Ygrair, the mysterious Lady at the Labyrinth’s heart.

Frightened and hounded, Shawna sets off on a desperate journey, uncertain whom she can trust, how to use her newfound power, and what awaits her in the myriad worlds beyond her own.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.shardsofexcalibur.com/2018/03/30/cover-art-reveal-my-next-novel-from-daw-books/

Great new review of Door into Faerie

On her blog, Saskatoon author Shelley A. Leedahl reviews Door into Faerie:

“…I read it without reading its predecessors, and also, admittedly, with a bit of a bias against the fantasy genre. Magic shmagic. I’ve oft said that what I really value in literature is contemporary realism: stories I can connect with via details from the here and now, geography and language I can relate to because I recognize it, I speak it. The old “holding a mirror to the world” thing. Well surprise, surprise: I loved this YA fantasy. Willett wields his well-honed writing chops from page one, and my interest was maintained until the final word…I can’t imagine teens not enjoying this entertaining story, perhaps especially if they’ve read the books that’ve preceded it. This adult enjoyed it, too … magic and all. “

Read the whole thing.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.shardsofexcalibur.com/2018/03/30/great-new-review-of-door-into-faerie/

Song of the Sword now out in audiobook format!

Song of the Sword, Book 1 in The Shards of Excalibur series, is now out in audiobook format (click here to buy!). The rest of the books will be following over the course of the year.

The narrator is the talented Elizabeth Klett:

Reading books out loud has long been a passion for Elizabeth. She has been a professional audiobook narrator since 2011, with over 100 titles available at Audible and elsewhere. She has been recording free audiobooks for LibriVox since 2007, and has produced over 60 solo recordings of novels, short stories, and poetry. She can also be heard voicing various characters in audio dramas at The Online Stage, and reading poetry at Rhapsodize Audio.

Here’s the official description from Audible:

Ariane’s life is complicated. Her mother suddenly disappeared two and a half years ago, she’s trying to get used to living with her aunt after bouncing around a series of foster homes, and she’s taking a lot of grief from the clique of “in” girls at school. To make matters even worse, now she’s having strange dreams involving swords and knights and battles, and things seem to get weird whenever she touches water.

The weirdness comes to a head the morning the lake starts singing to her. Next thing she knows, she’s underwater, talking to the Lady of the Lake of King Arthur fame (who turns out to be an ancestor), has acquired a nerdy sidekick, Wally, has been bestowed magical powers, and has been sent on a quest to find the five scattered shards of Excalibur before the powerful wizard Merlin, in his unsuspected modern-day guise, can get his hands on them. Can Ariane and Wally figure out how to use her new abilities to meet the challenge…or will they die trying?

Reviews

“Every so often…a writer is skilled enough to utilize the stories of King Arthur and Camelot to significant effect. Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy is definitely on the list. So, too, is Song of the Sword, the impressive new YA novel from Regina writer Edward Willett…a taut, compelling narrative, well-drawn characters, and a keen sense of genuine peril and true wonder. It’s a powerful, fun, engaging read, and it’s the first of a series, so readers have much to look forward to.” – Quill & Quire

“This is a fantasy of epic proportions, with the perfect blend of suspense; well-developed, likable characters; and a touch of sarcastic humor…this is just the beginning of the fantastical journey.” – School Library Journal

Permanent link to this article: http://www.shardsofexcalibur.com/2018/02/15/song-of-the-sword-now-out-in-audiobook-format/

Door into Faerie shortlisted for 2017 Aurora Award!

I’m honoured that Door into Faerie has been shortlisted or a 2017 Aurora Award (for the best Canadian science fiction and fantasy) in the Young Adult category. This is the second Shards of Excalibur book to be a finalist for the YA award: Twist of the Blade was also shortlisted. Other titles on the final ballot include Day of the Demon by Randy McCharles (CreateSpace), Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun (Harlequin Teen), Icarus Down by James Bow (Scholastic Canada), Mik Murdonch: Crisis of Consience by Michel Plested (Evil Alter Ego Press), and The Wizard Killer – Season One by Adam Dreece (ADZO Publishing).

Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident can vote for the Aurora Awards! All you have to do is pay a $10 membership fee to the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. Not only will you be able to vote, but you’ll receive a voters’ package that includes many of the nominated works in all categories in electronic format–including Door into Faerie!

It’s a great way to support Canadian science fiction and fantasy and reward your favourite writers, so please consider joining and voting!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.shardsofexcalibur.com/2017/05/29/door-into-faerie-shortlisted-for-2017-aurora-award/

Door into Faerie featured in Fall 2016’s Best Books for Kids & Teens

bbkt-fall-cover-2016Door into Faerie is featured in the Fall 2016 Edition of  The Canadian Children’s Book Centre‘s Best Books for Kids & Teens.

As the website says:

Best Books for Kids & Teens is your guide to the best new Canadian books, magazines, audio and video for children and teens. Whether you’re stocking a bookshelf in a classroom, library or at home, every title in this guide has been given the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s stamp of approval.

Expert committees of educators, booksellers, school and public librarians from across Canada have handpicked the materials listed below. Committees look for excellence in writing, illustration or performance. Most importantly, these committees focus on selecting materials that will appeal to children and young adults.

Yay!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.shardsofexcalibur.com/2016/12/04/door-into-faerie-featured-in-fall-2016s-best-books-for-kids-teens/

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