George Straatman

Biography

At the beginning of this year, I made the difficult decision that I would offer my entire catalogue of novels (which currently stands at eleven, with a twelfth and thirteenth to follow in the not too distant future) free of charge. There are a number of reasons that inspired this decision, but in the name of brevity, I’ll confine my explanation to the two most pertinent. After several months of honest introspection, I finally was forced to admit that I possess neither the aptitude, nor the desire for self-promotion (as one would quickly glean if they were to bother to check my paltry social media footprint)…an aptitude that is essential for an indie author’s chance at acceptance and recognition. Even more damning is the fact that I choose to write in a neoclassical style, the appeal of which is confined to an extremely miniscule segment of today’s reading devotees.
After more than thirty years, it is time to accept reality and stop flogging this particular dead horse. I toyed with the notion of completely removing my works from the various outlet platforms, but decided to offer them for free instead. Recalling the motivation that had inspired me to start writing in the first place, I realized that a less money oriented individual would be a challenge to find and I was driven by a desire to share my creative efforts…these tales of epic fantasy and dark horror with those who might appreciate reading them as much as I enjoyed scribing them.
Thus, the e-book versions of my novels will henceforth be free on Smashwords and all of their distribution channels…Barnes & Noble, Apple, etc. Unfortunately, Amazon does not allow for authors to offer their creative works gratis and they will remain available through that platform for a nominal price (I will remind readers that Amazon does price match). The paper version of my novels are available through Amazon, but for a price that most might find prohibitive for a comparatively unknown indie author.
My aspiration now is simply this; I hope that readers who happen across my works will take the time to delve into the poignant, heartfelt tales of these characters for whom I’ve developed such an affection while setting their stories to paper. Both the Journey fantasy series and the Converging supernatural series (a classification I roundly detest) are nearing the ends of their long arcs. It is my hope that the day will come, after the last word of each has been set to paper, when, as an even older man than I am now, I may sit on a bench near the St Lawrence River in Quebec City and read both series from start to finish…and draw my own conclusions on their relative worth.
For those who do delve into these tales, over which I have labored so long and lovingly, and which you may now enjoy free of charge, I have only one humble request. If you do make your way to their endings, please leave a rating or review on the site from which you obtained the book. I ask this not with a mind to accruing cash or notoriety…only for the wish to see Elizabeth, Lorio and my other creative children’s tales reach as many readers as possible.

George Straatman

Smashwords Interview

1. What are the inspirations and influences that drove you to write Journey through the Land of Shades?
The primary influence and inspiration for the Journey series springs from my loves of the tales of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. To my mind, this cycle of stories, in its many incarnations, is the foundation upon which all western fantasy is constructed. As I began to develop the story line for this first novel, it was my intention to pay homage to the myth and legend that is King Arthur. This is by no means a retelling of those great legends…rather; it is an elaboration on the concept of some of the pivotal characters in the original tale. In the first novel of this series, the weaving of the Arthurian lore into the fabric of the story is so subtle that it may go unnoticed even by the most devoted of Arthur fans.
2. What is the central theme of this novel?
The extended teaser I’ve written to accompany my book release probably is the most effective way of summarizing the central premise of this novel…
Islena Doraux was an extraordinary woman living an ordinary life. Daughter of the Tempest…this vague yet indelible memory whispered at the edges of her consciousness; echoes of lives lived that were the stuff of legend in a dozen worlds. Compelled by an insatiable desire for dominion, an ancient nemesis would reach across the boundaries of our reality and draw Islena into an antiquated world in search of the Proclamations of omnipotence and compel her on a Journey through the Land of Shades.
Daughter of the Tempest…Champion of Light…Mother of Iniquity; these three ascendant souls stand as sides of an equilateral triangle that has spun endlessly through the eternal river of time...the physical manifestations of a conflict that has been fought at different junctures through the history of a thousand worlds…a thousands realities. With each tragic resolution these three adversaries are set adrift in the current of time until the inevitable moment of confluence when they will fight their battle again. In our world, beyond the veil of legend and myth, they were known as Arthur, Guinevere and Morgana. In an antiquated world, where time seems frozen and progress is measured in centuries, these three will come together yet again to resume the struggle for apotheosis…and should the Mother of Iniquity stand at the apex of the triangle when the final blow is struck, the flow of time will stop and her darkness will extinguish all hope…every flower of salvation and light.
Journey through the Land of Shades recounts the latest incarnation of this recurring conflict between these three pivotal ascendant beings…essentially, these three figures represent the personification of good and evil and the balancing factor of ambivalence. It is Islena Doraux (Daughter of the Tempest) who is the living embodiment of ambivalence and it is upon the hinge of her actions that the central conflict of this story will be resolved.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find George Straatman online

Books

Spiralling into Chaos
Price: Free! Words: 269,460. Language: English. Published: February 22, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
In the years after Islena Doraux vanquishes Myrhia on the ramparts atop Castle Kammlogran, the Antiquated Land gropes its way toward healing and recovery. Yet, on every horizon, deepening shadows gather. On every tongue, whispers of disquiet foretell the approach of a new and terrifying era of darkness…of familiar ghosts and new menaces that will send the beleaguered world spiralling into chaos.
Tales of Lorio: Daughter of Dust
Price: Free! Words: 311,600. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Lorio, the wanderer and heroine of legend, and Karosyn Nierosean, the benevolent Queen of Emercia…two icons of light in a world of heavy-fisted misogyny, these extraordinary woman strive toward diametrically opposite goals. Linked by a ghost of a lingering failure, these icons unite to confront a mad theology of misandry that has arisen from the sands of Majeer and would see men dead or enslaved.
Tales of Lorio and Issidris: A Parting of Ways
Price: Free! Words: 61,190. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Over the course of thirty years, Lorio and Issidris Il’s improbable friendship carried them to every far-flung corner of the Antiquated World on a rambling adventure that would galvanize bonds that would make them inseparable. Together, they would experience pain and poignancy, joy and camaraderie, but all stories must see an end…and the tale of Lorio and Issidris would prove no exception.
A Fallible Goddess and The Enduring Sorrow (Journey Book 4)
Price: Free! Words: 393,640. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
After a cycle of recurring violence that has stained the soil of endless worlds, Islena stands on the cusp of omnipotence. She accepts her role to ascend and become not a god, but the god, but is beset by indecision when confronted by paths that flow in opposite directions. Plagued by dark ambition and those who would manipulate her for personal gain, she must choose which path to embrace.
The Final Converging: An Immortal Heart Asunder
Price: Free! Words: 286,300. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
After escaping the apocalypse, Elizabeth finds peace, but as those who populate her life die, she is faced with eternal isolation. In a Greek village, Elizabeth finds sanctuary, but in a future where privacy is lost, she is drawn into a deadly snare by a dying madman desperate to defy mortality. She turns to Cynara for aid and a dark twist of circumstances brings their tale to a tragic end.
The Chains of Capitulation (Journey Book 3)
Price: Free! Words: 236,260. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
‘I will forewarn you, when the last of these shadows has been swept away to reveal the brutal reality of your existence, all that awaits you is the embrace of bitter despair.’ Myrhia to Islena Doraux. After surviving the harrowing trek through the Land of Shades and locating the legendary king, Islena’s burgeoning hope is crushed by the truth of her own insurmountable inner darkness.
Circle of the Witch
Price: Free! Words: 378,280. Language: English. Published: May 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
After a controversial shooting ends Raymond Saddler’s LAPD career, he accepts a sheriff’s position in the small town of Quinsett, believing that the isolated and sedate town will be the ideal place to rebuild his shattered life. Instead, he discovers a long-harbored secret, a dormant evil and an adversary, who may well be history’s greatest villain…or most tortured and aggrieved victim.
Abjection along the Road to Apotheosis Journey book 2
Price: Free! Words: 164,510. Language: English. Published: July 4, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 1 review)
Pursued by an inexorable enemy and the crushing weight of inescapable destiny, Islena Doraux finds sanctuary in the West, carrying a dying world’s slim hopes on her shoulders. Myrhia’s relentless evil will not be denied and Islena is forced to flee to the fabled Land of Shades in search of a legendary king. Yet to gain the path to epiphany, she must suffer abjection along the road to apotheosis.
Journey through the Land of Shades
Price: Free! Words: 217,220. Language: English. Published: July 13, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 1 review)
Islena was an extraordinary woman living an ordinary life. Daughter of the Tempest…a memory whispered at the edges of her consciousness; echoes of lives that were lore in a dozen worlds. Driven by mad lust for dominion, an ancient foe rends the borders of reality to draw Islena into an antiquated world in search of the Icons of omnipotence compelling her on a Journey through the Land of Shades.
The Converging: Closures in Blood
Price: Free! Words: 227,340. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
After destroying Cynara, Elizabeth Simpson returns home in search of the one man she’s ever loved and absolution for sins committed under the demon’s thrall. Reviled by Heaven and hell and pursued across a dying America by zealots and satanic assassins, she turns to a sworn enemy…a dark mistress who is her one hope of eluding her relentless pursuers and finding closure and redemption.
The Converging: Mark of the Demon
Price: Free! Words: 228,490. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2009. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
After laying waste to the town of Semelar, The Demon Cynara Saravic returns to her ancestral homeland of Romania with Elizabeth Simpson firmly in tow. The ancient soil howls with the screams of Cynara’s past victims. In answer to those cries their descendants come together and as Cynara prepares to meet their challenge, she discovers her two greatest enemies; love and her own conflicted nature.
The Converging
Price: Free! Words: 185,980. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2009. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 8 reviews)
The Converging recounts the tale of ethereal Romanian demon Cynara Saravic who after building her legend as Satan’s most prolific reaper of souls, decides she must have a soul, not for the dark father, but her own companionship. Her search for a perfect light reflection of her own darkness leads her to a small Washington town where she spins an insidious web of terror while claiming her prize.