William L. Hahn


Will Hahn has been in love with heroic tales since age four, when his father read him the Lays of Ancient Rome and the Tales of King Arthur. He taught Ancient-Medieval History for years, but the line between this world and others has always been thin; the far reaches of fantasy, like the distant past, still bring him face to face with people like us, who have choices to make.

Will didn't always make the right choices when he was young. Any stick or vaguely-sticklike object became a sword in his hands, to the great dismay of his five sisters. Everyone survived, in part by virtue of a rule forbidding him from handling umbrellas, ski poles, curtain rods and more.

Will has written about the Lands of Hope since his college days (which by now are also part of ancient history). His first tales include "Three Minutes to Midnight" a slightly-dark sword and sorcery novelette, as well as “The Ring and the Flag” and "Fencing Reputation", the first stories in the ongoing Shards of Light series. The first novel-length tale of Hope, "The Plane of Dreams" was published in September 2012.

You can find much more about the Lands of Hope at the links below, including a Compendium of information about the Lands and a Facebook page on the History of the Lands.

Check out other online authors at Independent Bookworm, where you can also find The Maps of Hope, a free resource for readers about the Lands.

Smashwords Interview

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Cats. Sure work, and passion and hunger and lots of the usual things. But those all get me up around 7, maybe 7:30, later on weekends. I get up not one second later than QUARTER OF FIVE every morning without exception; that's because I have three cats and I really don't wish to go into the details.
Do you remember the first story you ever heard, and the impact it had on you?
I was four years old, and ready for bed when my Dad came in to say goodnight. But instead of leaving, he sat by the bed, put on his glasses, opened a book and read without really looking at the page. "Lars Porsena of Clusium, by the Nine Gods he swore/ That the great house of Tarquin would suffer wrong no more/ By the Nine Gods he swore it, and named a trysting day/ And bade his messengers ride forth, east and west and south and north/ To summon his array."
I could hardly breathe. "Dad," I dared to interrupt, "what is this?" He looked over the brim of his glasses at me and said "This... is history."
It wasn't, of course. But that was good enough for a kid of four. A mighty engine of fascinated passion roared to life and hasn't needed to refuel since that day in 1963.
Read more of this interview.


Judgement's Tale
Solemn Judgement, an orphan and stranger to the Lands of Hope, unravels mysteries and fights the scheming of the forces of Despair, staying steadfastly loyal to the lore his father taught him before his death. After twenty centuries of piece, the Lands of Hope face their most dangerous threat yet as the liche Wolga Vrule plots escape from his extra-worldly prison. He longs to unleash a tide of undeath, and enlists the Earth Demon Kog, who ruled the Percentalion millennia ago, as an uneasy ally. New heroes must arrise to fight an enemy this evil.
Games of Chance
Price: $0.99 USD.
Strength of Conviction
Price: $3.99 USD.


Strength of Conviction
Series: Judgement's Tale. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 37,940. Language: English. Published: April 24, 2015 by Independent Bookworm. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Literature » Literary
For twenty centuries the Lands of Hope prospered, but suffer now from their Heroes’absence. Chaos slowly grows in the central kingdom when the liche Wolga Vrule plots escape from his extra-worldly prison, and enlists the Earth Demon Kog as an uneasy ally. On the western coast of the Lands of Hope, Solemn Judgement comes ashore, both a stranger and an orphan, driven to study no matter the danger.
Games of Chance
Series: Judgement's Tale. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 43,560. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2014 by Independent Bookworm. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
For twenty centuries the Lands of Hope prospered, but suffer now from their Heroes’absence. Chaos slowly grows in the central kingdom when the liche Wolga Vrule plots escape from his extra-worldly prison, and enlists the Earth Demon Kog as an uneasy ally. On the western coast of the Lands of Hope, Solemn Judgement comes ashore, both a stranger and an orphan, driven to study no matter the danger.
The Book of Tales
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 18,410. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Children’s books » Animals » Mythical animals
A collection of short tales told by the Children of Hope. Some are Animal Tales, others are Legends of the Heroes. An indispensable resource to understanding Hopeful culture and customs.
The Plane of Dreams
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 115,440. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
The greatest tales begin when the adventure ends. The Tributarians have won fame across the Empire, but also triggered a threat from beyond the bounds of reason to tear the waking world apart. Will newfound wealth sunder their company and remove their last chance? Or will they sacrifice fame and fortune, and risk their lives, to become the unknown saviors of the Lands.
Fencing Reputation
Series: Shards of Light, II. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 46,830. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
When the elven lords, preachers and merchants of Cryssigens need wrongs righted without clues, they look for the stealthic Feldspar to solve their problems. But the legend without a face is hard to find: and when Feldspar takes a commission from the most famous, and beautiful, priestess in the city, he finds problems of his own piling up, and is forced to choose between Hope and safety.
Three Minutes to Midnight
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,370. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 5 reviews)
Never call Trekelny a thief, he's the greatest stealthic since Astor himself. It's true, just ask him. He won't end the night a coin richer, instead exchanging mortal risk for a hero's reputation. But on this night, he won't succeed to live in song, or even survive, without the help of a woman who hates him above all others. If he is to despoil her temple, he must also take her love with him.
The Ring and the Flag
Series: Shards of Light, I. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,980. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 5 reviews)
Newly-graduated imperial officer Justin is convinced he has no future, and hearing the details of the secret mission he's assigned for the Emperor won't change his mind. Civil War threatens the North Mark. Justin must race against time to form a company, and lead his men into the center of the web; but what happens when his loyalty to the Empire means the death of those who follow him?

Smashwords book reviews by William L. Hahn

  • Urchin King on Oct. 10, 2011

    I was delighted as I was surprised to see this foray into historical fantasy by Ms. Gerlach, previously known to me for her middle-grade work in more modern settings. I find Urchin King to be a rollicking, fast-paced adventure that moves easily and quickly between castle and forest, city and wilderness following the delightfully harrowing adventures of its hero Paul. This lad is thrust into an unfair situation and under a heavy burden as he is taken away from ruffians to live among royalty. Readers of classic works may think they can see where things are going, but any similarity to "that story" ends fast, and Paul finds that he must access the talents of both his lives to survive and succeed, only to face the seemingly insoluble dilemma of his oracle and an awful law that hangs over the kingdom. As Ms. Gerlach deftly moves the story ahead towards its climax, we find that Paul, who began the tale too young yet to be a man, discovers it's fast becoming too late to remain a child. If you enjoy the maturation of worthy young characters, a detailed world in which the kingdoms and their religion, culture and society easily fit, and stories where fate exists but not doom- I recommend Urchin King to your attention as the most recent of Katharina Gerlach's successes.
  • A Singular Gift on Nov. 09, 2011

    I truly enjoyed "A Singular Gift", despite some "uphill" factors for me. I don't generally read about the present day/real world or female protagonists, I'm a heroic fantasy fan by nature. But Sue Santore shows such a deft and confident hand in her writing, I was completely absorbed within minutes of starting this book. It would have been so easy to fall down with the classic plot elements; the dying relative, the mysterious box, those first moments that prove magic does exist. But I was drawn in, and found myself moved by the remarkable story of a heroine who at first acts less than heroically (as so many of us would I think, when tempted or pressed). Jean's character is among the most believable I've encountered since beginning to read tales online. I truly raged at her mistakes, and I rejoiced when she realizes them and resolves to do better. The story matters here, and the level of detail as well as pace created a marvelous reading experience. Even some of the characters I wanted to hate turned out to have hidden depth, revealed by the conflicts of the adventure, that made them much more human. I was busy the week I started and kept having to stop, but I never wanted to. I assure you, "A Singular Gift" is a marvelous choice for any young-adult through adult reader. I highly recommend this story.