Monday, March 25, 2019

THE CHRONOSMITH CHRONICLES: Who Is Savalia?


As we continue to approach the first series of The Chronosmith Chronicles, we'll be popping in between book news and other business-y stuff to talk about the characters. Of course, the easiest way to meet them is by picking up one of the last few copies of Seasons of War: Gallifrey — but the book won't be required reading, as the new series will take the four leads off into a new universe.

Recently we talked about Mordicai, the engineer of the group. Today, we take a moment to talk about Savalia, the "soldier-poet."

Savalia is very much a mixed bag of characteristics. She values giving of what you have, thanks to her life in a poor village that focused heavily on hospitality. She's a lover of art, as well as a trained soldier. We knew when we created our team for Gallifrey that we wanted our soldier to be an artist of some sort, rather than having our muscle be an out-and-out brute.

As a character, Savalia was influenced somewhat by Lady Oscar from Rose of Versailles, a manga and anime series about the French Revolution. While Savalia never undergoes any confusion regarding her gender, we wanted her to have that same noble aesthetic, as well as a duty that is at odds with her love for Mordicai.

Poetry, Poetry Album, Old, Saying, School, Memory

So what does life in The Chronosmith Chronicles hold for Savalia? As before, she values love, hospitality, and protecting those she cares about above all else. Her relationship with Mordicai is a core aspect of the team, despite (perhaps slightly because of) their different philosophies when it comes to people and conflict.

She, and the rest of the Chronosmiths, will also be meeting new people who challenge their group structure. But you'll have to wait and see who they are. In the meantime, look forward to more about our heroes!

Monday, March 4, 2019

UNEARTHED Artists: Meet Ginger Hoesly


If you've read Seasons of War: Gallifrey, you're already familiar with the art and design work of Ginger Hoesly. She created the art for the front cover — plus she designed the Altrix logo! So we're excited to have her back again, this time contributing to Unearthed.

Fans of Doctor Who may have seen Ginger's work on Doctor's Notes, at the World Tour in 2014, or at San Diego Comic Con. Some of her art has also appeared on The Doctor Who Fan Show's YouTube channel, as part of Frances Barber's reading of the Eleventh Doctor story "The Gift."

She's also one half of the team behind Owl's Flower, the light novel series she co-created with our own Kara Dennison. The pair create every story line together, with Kara on words and Ginger on art.

Additionally, Ginger is in the process of heading her second charity fanzine, Moon Man, while also co-moderating the Digimon 20th anniversary fanzine Gokigen na Chou. Her first zine, The Hybrid, raised more than $2,000 for One to One Children's Fund.


Ginger will be handling the cover for Unearthed, as well as contributing art to Kara's story, "Kill the Cat" (which takes place in the Owl's Flower universe). You can look forward to seeing more from her via Altrix in future.

If you like her art, be sure to check out her Etsy shop for prints, accessories, and more. She can also be found on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

UNEARTHED Artists: Meet Sophie Iles


As we've mentioned before, Unearthed will feature new art by guest illustrators for each of our stories. We previously featured Monica Marier, and will have one more artist (handling our cover and a piece of interior art) to show off in the near future. Today, we're spotlighting Sophie Iles, who joins Monica Marier in creating multiple interior art pieces for the book.

Doctor Who fans may recognized Sophie's art as it coincides with the classic series's runs on Twitch. She's also been creating artwork for all eras of the show and featuring it at conventions in the UK.

Recently, Sophie headed up publication of Mild Curiosities, a charity anthology centered on Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. Her work can currently be seen on the cover of the anthology Defending Earth, now available for pre-order.

You can find out more about Sophie Iles on her website. Look forward to seeing her work, along with art from Monica Marier and the soon-to-be-featured Ginger Hoesly, in Unearthed this spring!

Monday, February 18, 2019

UNEARTHED: Story Announcement!



We're very pleased to announce the title and author listing for the upcoming Unearthed anthology!

The book will feature 12 new stories of mystery and curiosity, from underground tombs to interstellar relics, from a feast fit for a king to a . Appearing in the anthology will be:

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Disinfection Protocol by Michael O'Brien

The Sarcophagus: Or, Look Upon My Works, Ye Mighty, and Tremble by Graham Tedesco-Blair

Hearing Things by Meredith Peruzzi

Rán for Your Life: A Tale of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet by Keith R.A. DeCandido

The Jar of the Alabaster Assassin by Paul Driscoll

Long Time Dead by John Peel

Quadrireme by James K. Maddox

In the Heart of the King by Richard Gurl

Whose Cuisine Reigns Supreme? by Sharyna Tran

Raffles the Amateur Cracksman: An Egyptian Cameo by James Bojaciuk

Was I a Viking Old? by I.E. Kneverday

Kill the Cat: A Story from the Owl's Flower Pantheon by Kara Dennison

Featuring illustrations by Ginger Hoesly, Sophie Iles, and Monica Marier

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More information will be coming soon, including sneak previews of the art and stories!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

THE CHRONOSMITH CHRONICLES: Who is Mordicai?


While the upcoming series The Chronosmith Chronicles jumps off from Seasons of War: Gallifrey, we make sure to note that Gallifrey is not required reading for the new books. And that's completely true! While readers of the charity novel might catch some things that new readers won't, the new books will be completely stand-alone and enjoyable on their own.

That said, according to Kara's calendar of weird holidays, it's National Inventors Day in the United States. And no one fits the bill there better than our own Mordicai.

So who is Mordicai?


When Kara and Paul first teamed up to write Gallifrey, they had to create four characters. Funnily (and luckily!) enough, each of them quickly took to two of the four plotted-out personalities. Kara "adopted" Savalia and Kendo, with Paul in charge of Mordicai and Tor Fasa. Once their personalities and histories were worked out individually, the notes were brought together of a series of Skype calls, and their stories intersected into what became the charity novel.

Each of the characters had (and has) a short title, with Mordicai's being "The Engineer." This was a very on-the-nose term in Gallifrey, being the name he actually ended up calling himself by. But Mordicai will just be himself as a Chronosmith: an engineer who keeps things working.

Mordicai and Savalia—our Soldier-Poet—make up the romantic leads of the team, and we have very firm rules in place for them. They've had a lot of their relationship trial-by-fire already, after all. At first glance, the two have very little in common: Mordicai is very logic-bound and rule-driven, while Savalia learns rules for the purposes of bending them (from a creative standpoint, at least). They're both past attempting to change each other's ways, though; both ways of thinking have their uses, after all, and aren't necessarily at odds with each other.


Going forward, Mordicai is absolutely the brains, and the designated driver, of the Chronosmiths. Where Savalia leans on emotion, Kendo on diplomacy, and Fasa on influence, Mordicai will always be the most down-to-earth (so to speak).

Saying much more would give away what we have planned... and we have a lot planned! In the meantime, there are still copies of Seasons of War: Gallifrey, both digital and physical, should you be curious about the origins of the series. Pick up your copies now, as we won't be doing a second printing of this particular book!

And stay tuned for more news about The Chronosmith Chronicles and our other upcoming projects.

Monday, February 4, 2019

UNEARTHED Authors: Meet John Peel


Sci-fi congoers and fans of Doctor Who—among other things!—will already know of John Peel. He's known in the Who community for being one of a very few people to commit Terry Nation’s* legendary Daleks to print, both in TV novelizations and original books. Star Trek and Eerie, Indiana fans may also be familiar with his books in those franchises.

And he's joining us for Unearthed!

John's done much more than contribute to the lore of your favorite shows, though. He's the creator of the Dragonhome, Diadem, and 2099 series as well. And he's contributed to a variety of anthologies, including charity works!



So what will you find him in right now? Most recently, he penned his very first audio play as part of the Sounds of Thunder 2019 annual. Toby Hadoke stars in the production, which also features writing from Kate Orman, Simon A. Brett, and more. Check out the website to find out more!

Plus, his short story "The Gutter God" appears in the anthology Tales of the Shadowmen 15: Trompe l'Oeil.

Coming soon, you can read his contribution to the charity anthology Unearthed, coming from Altrix Books and raising funds for the American Research Center in Egypt. What can you expect? Obviously we don't want to give too much away, but his story deals with a a pair of resurrectionists who dig where they shouldn't, and come up with much more than they bargained for.

Check out John's story, and many more, in Unearthed this spring! And to follow his work, drop a like on his Facebook page!

* Amended. Our co-creator isn’t allowed to type names anymore until she’s off the post-surgery painkillers.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

#FunAtWorkDay: How Exactly Does Altrix Work?


The Internet is amazing, isn't it? Bit by bit, it makes the world around us a little more accessible. Within our own lifetimes, our reach has increased exponentially, enabling us to meet, befriend, and collaborate with people anywhere in the world.

That's a big part of why Altrix exists, why it functions... and, occasionally, why we have to get a bit creative with how we do our business.

First, a little setup for those of you who haven't known us very long. "We" are Paul Driscoll and Kara Dennison, two writers who collaborated on a charity novel and created an imprint under which to release it. Once the book was done, we fancied doing more... and so Altrix Books became more permanent. We hire and collaborate with other writers, printers, artists, and designers to get our work done, of course. But, at the core, Altrix is Paul and Kara.

The two of us met online, and were introduced mainly for the purposes of writing the book. We don't live near each other at all; Paul is in the northern UK, and Kara is on the East Coast of the US. We have been in the same room before, but for most of the time, we're an ocean and a bit apart making things happen.


At present, Paul handles things that involve numbers—sales, orders, shipping, and the like—and Kara handles social media and online presence. In the future, though, we're hoping to ship out of both the US and UK, to make sure readers have a variety of options when it comes to getting their books.

As for editorial work, we divide that up, too! Both of us handle editing, a pitch to Altrix (as opposed to an anthology overseen by one of us) requires the all-clear from us both, and we divide up editing duties on major projects.

Interested in learning more about us? We'll have more information on our 2019 slate soon, including what each of us has on our personal to-do lists!