Two years ago, I wrote this in response to the #WhyIWrite hashtag: “Because I love telling stories, and I love sharing them with everyone. Simple as that.”
I’ve thought it over today, now that the hashtag has reappeared, and I’ve come to realize it’s not that simple.
The world seems to be getting darker and crueler day by day. A lot of fantasy fiction that’s coming out nowadays reflects that – gloomy settings, hopeless causes, gray and gray morality. I won’t criticize anyone for writing or reading those books, and I’m sure some of them are very good.
That’s not what I want to read. Or write.
As silly as it might sound, especially at a time like this, I want books with hope. Characters that want to help others and make the world around them better. Stories that inspire, or at least make you smile and laugh and root for the heroes. Frodo and Sam in Mordor, Cimorene seeking to be free of the role forced on her, Rincewind or Tiffany Aching trying to do the right thing in absurd or tough conditions, Master Li and Number Ten Ox persevering for the sake of children who need help, Harry Potter facing down Voldemort.
The trend I mentioned earlier in fantasy is called “grimdark”. There’s been some debate about whether the opposite should be “noblebright” or “hopepunk”. I’d like to think that those are the stories I tell. Stories where the good guys win (but not always without a cost), where there is a difference between right and wrong, where people of every stripe are represented, where love is love and love beats hate. Where there’s hope that things will be better when all is said and done.
My stories may not make a difference in the world, but they’re what I want to read and share. And that’s why I write.

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Willow Wednesdays: She’s Baaaack!

Welcome to Willow Wednesdays! Featuring art by Willow, the cover artist for the Monkey Queen series, with her kind permission! Read on after the cut for more! Continue reading

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closed his eyes and moved his lips – “It’s time we should be blogging”

Sunday catchup! I’m back from Gaslight Expo 2017, rested and revved up for further writing and steampunk adventures! (Sorry about missing last week. The tea dueling started at a rather early hour on Sunday.) There’ll be a quick wrap up, and other things, after the cut, but this announcement first for those who might have missed it on social media:

Coming later this fall – the new Peavley Manor novelette, “The Missing Mallard (Or Duck, Macalley! Duck!)” The feathers will fly when Alice and Macalley get mixed up in a crazy yet sinister scheme! Stay tuned for more! Continue reading

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and we blogged as though nothing could fall

Sunday catchup time, and there’s news to report: Copper Cove is now available at iTunesKoboBarnes & Noble, and more! Find buying links after the cut! Continue reading

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Copper Cove: Out now!

It’s here! Copper Cove, my new novella, is now available on Amazon! It’s time to meet Tabitha Miles! If you haven’t read the extended preview yet, click here!

(I should have posted this on Tuesday, I know. I was busy moving bookshelves and cleaning up so the windows in my apartment could be replaced. Real life. Time to escape that for a bit!)

There’s been a snag or two in getting Copper Cove up at other ebook sellers and in paperback, but we’re working hard on that. With any luck, we’ll have news on that soon.

If you’ve already read and enjoyed Copper Cove, might I ask that you leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads? Reviews do help influence people who might be on the fence about buying an ebook, especially in a crowded market, and getting a few for Copper Cove could go a long way towards bringing in new readers. Don’t feel obligated to do so, but I’d be grateful if you did. Either way, thank you for your support!

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sometimes you blog so lonely, sometimes you blog nowhere

And Sunday catchup is back, with this reminder: Copper Cove is coming Tuesday, September 26! My newest book is a steampunk fantasy novella with adventure, romance and a great deal of tea! You can read an extended preview here, and preorder it through Amazon! More after this image, and the cut.

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Welcome to the official website of Robert Dahlen, fantasy and steampunk author! If you’re looking for the latest blog entry, just scroll down past this post.

What do I write? First, there’s Monkey Queen, the stories of Michiko, a young hero, and her geek girl partner Beth. It’s fantasy with heroines, humor and heart!

Tabitha Miles, steampunk fantasy about a crafter who gets entangled in danger and conspiracy. Adventure, romance, and tea!

Peavley Manor, about the trials and tribulations of heiress Alice Peavley and her faithful valet Macalley. Comedies of manners, mayhem and magic.

The Skyblade Saga, in which airship pirate Annabel Skyblade has to work with naval officer Victorie Brassfeld…and the sparks fly. Take to the skies!

Click the links above to read previews, short stories and more!

Thanks for coming by! I hope you find something here to enjoy!

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Copper Cove: Coming September 26! Preorder now on Amazon!

My apologies for missing Sunday catchup this past weekend, but I think this should make up for it. Copper Cove is coming Tuesday, September 26…and preorders are now open at Amazon! Steampunk fantasy with romance, adventure and tea!

Copper Cove, city of marvels powered by magic and steam, is abuzz over the coming of the new rail line. Crafter Tabitha Miles would love to be on the first trip of the Velessan Express, but there’s work to be done. Staying awake past midnight to make ends meet, difficult clients, runaway automatons, guild enforcers…just another typical day for her.

Tabitha’s latest commission seems like another job at first…but then she meets newspaper reporter Sophie Haverford and falls into a web of conspiracy and murder. Can Tabitha unravel the mystery, prevent a disaster, and win Sophie’s heart in time for tea?

Copper Cove will also be available through Kobo, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other places where ebooks are sold, and there will be a paperback edition! Keep checking back for updates, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook!
And after the cut, you can read an extended preview of Copper Cove! I hope you enjoy it!

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always blogging in the same car

And Sunday catchup is back! My apologies for missing last week. I had two things going on – finishing the latest draft of Copper Cove, and trying not to melt during the monster heat wave that California had going over the Labor Day weekend. Holy cats, was it hot. There are a few goodies after the cut, but first, this update: Copper Cove has been sent to two beta readers; one has finished and given some useful feedback, and the other should be done shortly. The cover designer is hard at work. With any luck, I’ll be able to announce a publication date sometime this week. Click for more! Continue reading

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waiting for the blog of sound and vision

Sunday catchup is late, I know, but that’s because…we have first draft sign! The first draft of Copper Cove is done! Review and rewriting will come shortly, but before long, the book should be ready to go!

So, things are a bit short this week, but I wanted to mention that the people of Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast could use your help after Hurricane Harvey. The crowdfunding website Global Giving has set up a donation page to collect funds to assist area charities with both short-term and long-term needs. Please donate here, or to your other charity of choice. Thanks.

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