Saturday, March 31, 2012


My first novel, Crazy Greta, is on the market. It is published by Urania, an imprint of Musa as an e-book.

Crazy Greta's titular protagonist is a 16th century Netherlandish tavern-keeper, living in a time of religious and political warfare. Having rival armies rampage across your homeland is bad enough, but things get really bad when the dead rise from their graves and begin slaying the living. Greta's adventures take her to Hell and Heaven. She meets mercenaries, playwrights, widows, fools, pirates, saints, devils, and angels and generally has a brawl with all of them.

I drew my imagery from the art of Pieter Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch, along with a rather broad swath of pop culture stored up in my brain: Night of the Living Dead, Sam Peckinpah, and lots of Sword & Sorcery stories.

Here's a little excerpt:

Someone was banging at the door. Gert stopped singing and the others looked up. The banging continued and Greta hustled forward. “Come in already,” she called. The door flew open as if of its own accord. Framed in it stood a small, wizened figure. It was dressed in a yellow tabard and wore a mask, as if at some mummer’s play. But the limbs were deathly thin and the skin seemed to have rotted in a grave. It capered in and the revelers drew back. The little dancer knocked the backgammon board from the table. Then it reached for the basin with the wine jugs and tipped them over.

“You damned little fiend!” Greta shrieked “I’ll teach you to spill my …”

Then another figure appeared at the door. The pot-boy screamed from the kitchen. Greta’s eyes widened in horror and shock, for there was no mistaking the newcomer. It was a skeleton, draped in rags of withered skin. Jan drew his sword but stood as if paralyzed. More dead poured into the room.

Greta fell back, shrinking into a corner. A skeleton seized Anneke, whirling her in a dance filled with lustful kisses from dead lips. Another skeleton seized Gert’s lute and serenaded the lovers with a dirge. Greta fled to the kitchen.

The back door was open. A figure in a green fools-coat stood with its back to her. Greta said nothing, but she saw the pot-boy crumpled in a pool of blood, red as Rhenish wine. The green fool turned and presented a serving tray, its skull face grinning in triumph. The pot-boy’s head was garnished with fresh cress.

Greta screamed in abject terror. God’s judgment was upon her and all the world. The crucifix she once had was long smashed, with all the other false images. She reached for the iron skillet.
~ ~ ~ ~

That's a little taste of the novel,  hope you enjoy it!
 -Dave Hardy


Charles Gramlich said...

LIving dead with Sword & Sorcery. Sounds pretty cool, man.

Dave Hardy said...

Thanks! Damon's response was to ask what I was smoking. :-)
Not that I'm complaining. Hey I ain't picky!

M. D. Jackson said...

Way to go, Dave! Looks good! May you sell a shedload of copies.

Dave Hardy said...

Thanks man. A digital shedload, my friend. ;-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Just thought I'd mention, my short story, "Harvest of War," is free for Kindle for a few days.

Eigon said...

Yikes! She shouldn't have told them to come in!
Nice to see some fantasy in a recognisably European setting, rather than Generic Muddy-evil.

Dave Hardy said...

Thanks Eigon! If I'm not writing fantasy, I'm writing historical fiction. Honestly, my preferred mode of fantasy is Sword & sorcery in a historical setting. "Worms of the Earth" is my model (though I could only dream of writing anything t hat good!)