Guest Author: Tim Akers

Today, I am excited to welcome Tim Akers, author of the fabulous novel, The Horns of Ruin to Literary Escapism.

Eva Forge is the last paladin of a dead God. Morgan, God of battle and champion of the Fraterdom, was assassinated by his jealous brother, Amon. Over time, the Cult of Morgan has been surpassed by other gods, his blessings ignored in favor of brighter technologies and more mechanical miracles. Eva was the last child dedicated to the Cult of Morgan, forsaken by her parents and forgotten by her family. Now she watches as her new family, her Cult, crumbles all around her.

When a series of kidnappings and murders makes it clear that someone is trying to hasten the death of the Cult of Morgan, Eva must seek out unexpected allies and unwelcome answers in the city of Ash. But will she be able to save the city from a growing conspiracy, one that reaches back to her childhood, even back to the murder of her god?

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a signed copy of The Horns of Ruin.

The Value of Failure

Like most writers, I get questions about how long I’ve been writing, how I got my start, and what advice I have for young writers. I’m bad at this kind of thing, mostly because I’m pretty sure I was just asking those questions myself, and I don’t remember getting any satisfying answers that then led to me becoming a writer. That was something I had to do for myself, in my own time, and in my own way. But the most important thing I learned along the way was to fail. Fail repeatedly, fail gloriously, fail like your life depended on it. And then do it again.

I think I can make this clearer with a story. Everything’s clearer with a story, right? That’s why I’m a writer, and not a physicist. There are no stories that explain the Higgs-Boson, are there? So. A story.

When I was fifteen years old, I went to a writer’s conference, to learn the secret of the only profession I could see myself doing. Young? Yes, but I was a serious son of a bitch. So I went to this conference, and I attended panels, and I talked to writers. I was adorable. And at the end of the conference, I had the opportunity (as provided me by my entrance fee) to present some work to an editor and have him look it over and give me advice. His advice? Priceless. I can still hear him, to this day.

“Son,” he said, because he was a charming old southern gentleman, and that’s how we talk to one another in the south. “Son, if you haven’t made it as a writer by the time you’re thirty, you’ll have betrayed your talent.”

Great! That’s a great thing to say to a kid of fifteen. I thought so at first. Practically a guarantee of success, right? And then I got home and realized he hadn’t actually told me how to go about “making it.” Kind of key to the whole procedure. All I knew was that if I hadn’t “made it” by thirty, I would have betrayed my talent. So. I knew the failure condition, but had no clue about how to succeed.

This ended up dogging me for the next fifteen years. I spent a lot of time saying that I was writer, and taking writing classes, and attending conventions, but I was leaving one thing out. I wasn’t writing. Nothing outside of class, nothing for magazines, nothing to send to prospective agents or editors or publishers. Nothing. And it was all because I couldn’t face that fine old southern gentleman’s declaration. It was success or nothing, and anything less than absolute success at a young age was the same thing as failure.

I couldn’t face it. The only way to not be branded a failure was simply not to try. If I didn’t submit work, it wouldn’t be rejected. If I didn’t write the book, it wouldn’t languish in a slush pile. So I did nothing. And I did it very well. I’m sure that says something about my psychological makeup, but I’m a writer. Crazy is part of the job.

And then I turned thirty. I was no nearer my lifelong goal of being a writer than I was on the day I sat across from that editor and had my fortune read in the scratchings of that early manuscript. So I got up, and I went out, and I started becoming a writer. I started writing stories, started submitting to magazines, started talking to editors and agents and publishers. And I started failing. Gloriously. But I wasn’t scared of that, anymore. And that’s how I succeeded in the end. I failed and I failed and I failed, and then one day I stopped failing. Stories sold. Editors returned my calls. Agents circled.

So. Go. Fail. Fail until you succeed. And then fail some more. Because it’s the only way forward.

Tim Akers is a failure of a writer, living outside Chicago. His next book is The Horns of Ruin, out from Pyr in November 2010.

Want to purchase Tim’s novels?

Burn Cycle

  1. Heart of Veridon at Amazon or the Book Depository
  2. Dead of Veridon (2011)

Horns of Ruin at Amazon or the Book Depository


Horns of RuinThank you Tim for visiting Literary Escapism.

Contest Time! Tim has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of The Horns of Ruin (when author copies are available).  All you have to do is answer this one question: What magical places in the real world have you written or read about? Are there some that inhabit larger amounts of real estate in your head than others, places that are absolutely unforgettable?

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
  • +10 Purchase any of Laura’s novels (listed above) or any novel through LE’s Amazon store or the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.

There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until November 9th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. I haven’t written about any magical places but I’ve been to Scotland a couple of times and the scottish highlands always seems like a place that I could imagine magic happening.

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  2. The Horns of Ruin sounds GREAT! Thank you for posting and for the chance to win this book!*_*
    About magical places, I read books on the Snow Queen’s Lair and Stonehenge. These places are unforgettable. I wish I could visit them!

    +1 a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and Twitter (Giada Mariani) (@hatshepsut0011)

  3. I’ve seen pictures of Sorcerer’s Castle in Switzerland, and it is breathtaking, but I think I might be too freaked out to actually go inside. It is called Sorcerer’s Castle because supposed sorcerers were tried and tortured there. It might not have the best energy, but I’m willing to bet it has to have some palpable energy.

    follow you on twitter bcardoo79 and fb bethany cardone


  4. Ha! I love this guest post. I like your motto. If you’re passionate enough about something you try and put yourself out there. It’s great that you came to a point where you weren’t afraid of failing and that everything worked out for you in the end.

    Magical places in the real world that I’ve read about? Hmm. Places that come into mind at the moment are Stonehenge in England, Scottish Highlands, and Sedona, Arizona. European locations are usually the ones I find more fascinating and stay with me longer.

  5. GREAT advice. “It was success or nothing, and anything less than absolute success at a young age was the same thing as failure.” Yes, that. That’s what I struggle with. Fear of failure. Eek!

    I write about magic in Seattle–Thunderbird, Raven, Crow, Kivati, and the other Giant Animal People that used to inhabit this land, and their mortal enemies the Great Dragon. I’ve always been fascinated by Ireland’s rich tradition of myth and magic, and have read many books set there, including Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. The whole British Isle, really. Recently, with all the Steampunk I’ve been reading, the most magical city in the world is London.

    I’ve had my eye on the Veridon series for a while now. Horns of Ruin looks awesome. Beautiful cover!

  6. I’ve planned (but not yet written) about cenotes and jungle ways between the cities in the Yucatan. I’ve also written about magic in Boston, but that’s not quite what the question meant, I think.

    I love the last line about failing until we succeed. Thank you!

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