The Unexpected Traveler Project

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The Unexpected Traveler Cover

Final cover art for The Unexpected Traveler. I took the picture and Brett Pfister did the finish work. That's his sword too.

The Unexpected Traveler, now available on Amazon here for $4.99, is my latest fantasy book—a juicy, thick fantasy epic action adventure. Peter helps a curious little man interpret some carvings in a mine. The carvings refer to a portal that the odd man desperately desires to pass through. A frantic attempt to help the man back into his own world results in both Peter and his irresponsible roommate Matt coming through the portal as well. The man isn’t a man at all, but an elf stranded on Earth. In the five years Rainier, the second son of the High King, was away, everything has changed. King Randinier is dead and Prince Rainier’s brother, Ranfolger, is now king. The peace that governed the land has been shattered in the Tax Wars. The book chronicles the adventures Peter and Rainier must traverse to set the High Kingdom in order, involving all seven sentient creatures created by the seven gods: elves, sprites, dwarves, faeries, gnomes, eagles, and, yes, dragons. Pitted against them are the conspirators: senior elves who wanted back the power that Rainier’s grandfather, the fabled King Rainden, had worked so hard to contain. With the inept Ranfolger on the throne, these old men have slaughtered thousands in their quest for ultimate control. Read of deep friendships, loyalty, tragedy, treason, intrigue, murder, battles, and magic. The Master of the Orgon Library, a refuge for humans, speaks to Peter:

“Peter,” he said, bringing his focus back to me, his eyes intense, “the forces of good are like a candle on a dark, windy night: a tiny light, easily extinguished. Once blown out, it can be hard to relight. It seems as though evil can never be conquered, only contained. I’m afraid we must constantly start again.”

Sink into this fat, juicy fantasy novel and travel with Peter, Rainier, Matt, many others, and, above all, two swords: Royal and Dag, both carrying more magic than has ever been seen before.

The Unexpected Traveler in Depth: The Maps

A lot goes into a reader-ready book. One key element is a set of maps that cover the fantasy world. You can see and download high resolution maps in PDF format for printing by clicking here. And this 7-1/2-minute video gives you an in-depth look at the map creation process.

From the moment I met Brett Pfister, I was completely enchanted with his work. He has converted my hand-drawn maps into art. Brett’s own website is here. Of course, a Kindle device or Kindle app can’t render them appropriately, so you can click on this link to see and print the maps in much higher resolution (PDF format). When I read fantasy books, I like to be able to follow the map as I read. You may be the same way. In that case, print these maps and follow along.

Drawings

My wife, Loretta (see her website), created drawings to go with each chapter. Here are some of them:

Behind the Scenes: Building Peter’s Character

Watch this video as I explain how I built Peter’s character and Matt’s character and discuss the idea of characterization in general.

Behind the Scenes: Research for the Book

This video provides some background research I had to do on swordsmanship and archery.

Behind the Scenes: More About the Story

Here I describe the basics of the story and explore some of the themes.

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