New book finished – excerpt posted!

October 26, 2014



I’m very happy to tell you that I finished the first draft of Wrath of the Medallion a few weeks ago and have now entered into the boring but necessary editing process. I expect the book to be printed and ready in February/March of 2015. It feels a bit unreal that the story is finally done – writing the ending was always something that lay far into the future, and when I finally got there it was like visiting a place you’d wanted to see for a long time and when you finally made it there  you noticed that it wasn’t quite what you had expected. Without revealing any details I can tell you that the ending willbe very epic, with both happiness and tears and hopefully with a few unexpected twists.


Anyway, here’s an excerpt from one of the early chapters, which was a lot of fun to write. I hope it’ll keep your expectations up and make you look forward even more to the release of the book.


*                             *                          *


“You did what?”


Blanca spat out the last word as if it’d been a piece of rotten fruit. Commander Basordan recoiled from her wrath, almost falling backwards off his chair. The startled expression on his face would have made good old Alikos laugh his face off.


“I-I thought you’d be happy. Most people in the army see a promotion as the ultimate achievement.”


“Well, I don’t! At least not this kind of promotion. A captain? Why on earth would I want to be a fucking captain?”


Basordan gave her an uncomprehending look, probably wondering if she’d lost her mind. She glared back at him, determined to make him explain himself or be her enemy forever.


He cleared his throat. “I guess people see it as a chance to develop, to face new challenges and reach new levels of achievement. It also means a significant pay raise…”


“You can keep your money or give it to someone who wants it! And quit that fancy talk about achievements and challenges. I know damn well what a captain does. He suffers! I’ve known several of them during my time in the army, and every single one of them was miserable!”


That wasn’t completely true. The captain she’d been most closely involved with – captain Anadun – had enjoyed life in the army as much as she had. He’d been a skilled warrior, as popular with the officers as he was among the men he commanded. A good friend and a merciless enemy, a man any soldier would want to have beside him in a fight.


And he died. Captains tend to do that a lot.


“Please calm down,” Basordan said, sounding almost pleading. “Surely it can’t be all that bad…”


“It’s the worst damn rank in the whole fucking army! You’re in charge of hundreds of dirty soldiers acting like babies half the time and as grumpy old bastards the other half. You have to do all the dirty work of a junior officer, only now you’re responsible for ten or twenty times as many men. If this is your idea of a reward, then I suggest you start rewarding people who’ve behaved very badly!”


The commander rubbed his thumb across the rough cloth of his tunic, eyeing her with a dejected look in his eyes.


“I hadn’t expected this kind of a reaction,” he said at last.


“Why make me a captain in the first place? It’s not like I’m some great strategist or anything.”


“We intend to put you in charge of the scouts in the army we’ll send north into the Oronkili’s lands. Those scouting companies will almost always have support from more heavily armed forces, which means you’ll have command over a pretty large segment of the army. It doesn’t mean – as you seem to fear – that you’ll have to lead hundreds of soldiers into the middle of a battlefield. You’ll be in charge of scouting operations only, just like you were as a lieutenant.”


Blanca chewed her lip. She was still far from pleased with the commander’s decision. What she was beginning to realize was that yelling at him would accomplish nothing. He could give her whatever rank he wanted as long as she was part of the army. All she could do was try to make the best of the situation he’d put her in.


“I want to keep my old squad,” she said, forcing her voice to remain calm and cold. “Either that or I’ll resign from the army this very instant.”


That made the commander smile. “We can’t have that, can we? All right, the squad is still yours, and you can join them on missions whenever you feel like it. How’s it going with the new members, by the way?”


“They seem all right. Delian’s not pleased about having an Indesse fellow in the squad, but she’ll come around. Hervey and Gordal work really well together. I intend to make good use of that up there in the desert.”


“That’s good. Your squad has quite a reputation. It can’t be easy for newcomers to live up to the expectations.”


She frowned at that. “If they’re not good enough I won’t let them join. Are we finished here?”


“Sure.” Basordan shook his head ruefully, making Blanca’s frown deepen. Did the wanker find her amusing?


She gave him a curt nod before leaving the stone building where he had his office. Many of these glorified barracks had been damaged by fire when the hippos conquered the palace, but most of those were now restored to more or less their original state. The pale grey stone was still blackened in a few places, and Blanca could see a few cracks where hard objects had hit walls or roofs. But for the most parts they’d managed to wash away the remnants from the battle.


Most of the preparations for the upcoming invasion took place in other parts of the city, or in the open country outside its white walls. The Indesse engineers worked on new trebuchets and other siege engines to replace the ones that had been destroyed when they conquered Nouraline. The work here in the palace consisted mostly of reorganizing companies and appointing new officers where the old ones had been lost. Blanca’s squad had three new members, giving it a total of eight.


Two less than what’s customary, but I won’t add any more if they don’t order me to. Eight is the perfect number for the operations we’re expected to undertake. You can split into two groups of four, or four pairs. The more people you have in a squad, the harder it is to work well together.


She found her squad members lounging outside the barrack they shared with another group of squads. Forkers, Tygar and Delian were practicing with those weird Indesse crossbows. Blanca herself had only tried one of the damn things once and had almost shot off Tygar’s ear. Despite that, her three friends insisted they learn how to use them, and Blanca had to admit they were getting pretty good.


“What’s up, chief?” Tygar asked when she strode up to them. “You look like a bloody thundercloud. Was the meeting with the commander that bad?”


Blanca realized she was scowling and decided there was no reason to stop.


“The tall, lecherous bastard!” she growled. “How dare he? Having the nerve to… ahhh!” She buried her face in her hands, emitting low, dog-like snarls.


“Er, Blanks?” Forkers moved closer and eyed her worriedly. “What did he do? Sell you as a sex slave to the Oronkil king?”


“They don’t have a fucking king,” she moaned. “If they had, I would’ve taken the job without hesitating.”


“What, then?” asked Tygar. “Tell us.”


She looked up, her cheeks red with rage. “The inbred misanthrope made me a captain!”


There was a moment of silence, then all three burst into laughter. People standing nearby stopped what they were doing and turned to look at them. Blanca merely continued scowling, although now she wasn’t sure whether it was intended for that conceited fool of a captin or these so-called friends who dared to laugh at her misery.


“Oh dear, you really know how to get us worried for nothing, Blanks,” Forkers said when he finally was able to speak again. “I know you liked things the way they were, but being promoted to captain is hardly the end of the world.”


“It is!” Blanca snapped. “I’ll be in charge of all the scouts they’ll send north. And soldiers too. Ordinary soldiers! I haven’t dealt with ordinary soldiers since I was twenty! I mean, do they eat like normal people? Or do you have to give them some kind of fodder?”



Progress report

November 29, 2012

Hello everyone!

First of all I’d like to thank everyone who’s bought my books since my last blog update. I hope you’ve enjoyed the story and will continue to follow Rumpo and the other characters on their future adventures. Don’t hesitate to post comments and reviews, either here, on iUniverse or on Amazon. All feedback is welcome.

So, what’s happened since last time? I’m pleased to tell you that work on Wrath of the Medallion, the third and final volume of this series is progressing slowly but steadily. My estimate would be that I’m about one-third of the way through the first draft, which means it’d take me about two more years to finish it. This is definitely the biggest challenge so far – everything has to be tied together for the grand finale. I hope the end will be epic enough to live up to everyone’s expectations.

What else can I tell you about the new book without spoiling anything? There’ll be at least three new PoV-characters, belonging to three different races/nationalities. This far I’ve focused less on the battles and more on the other problems and tasks the characters face. There’s a lot going on in many different places, which will hopefully give the reader an even more thrilling journey than before.

That’s all for now. Thank you for your continued support!

Brothers In Arms – Book Two of the Hippo Chronicles

September 11, 2011

Hello my friends!

I know I haven’t posted anything here in ages, but now I have some very interesting news that will hopefully make up for the long wait. First, I’m very happy to announce that Brothers In Arms, the second volume in the series about the hippos of Filpini, will be released sometime in the near future. I finished the main text back in August, and am now in the middle of the long and arduous editing process. My goal is that the book will hit the shelves before the end of the year, but I can’t promise anything yet.

The new book will be quite a bit longer than On Hostile Ground. The story is bigger, there are often things going on in more than one place at the same time, and there’ll be seven PoV-characters compared to five in the first book. There will be some truly epic moments as well as some very humorous ones, so you’d better be prepared for both laughter and tears. I’ll post an excerpt here once the manuscript is finished, either from the prologue or from one of the first chapters. The book will begin with a scene taking place some 1275 years before the beginning of the actual story, hopefully adding some depth and providing background information that’ll help the reader understand some of the later events.

But this isn’t all I have to tell. On Hostile Ground will be featured in an upcoming edition of the New York Review Of Books (, a distinguished magazine with more than 150.000 subscribers. This will hopefully make more book lovers and retailers aware of the book and boost sales a little.

More news will follow soon, so don’t forget to keep an eye on this place. In the meantime: take care, and remember that autumn is the season for good books!

The new edition is out!

May 5, 2010

Hello people!

I have some great news for you! The new edition of On Hostile Ground is now for sale, and with some cooperation from the volcanos of the world it will hopefully find its way to your mailboxes. I`m very happy with this one: all the flaws in the first version are now corrected and there are a few changes in wording and layout that, I think, will make it a more pleasant read.

An important note: some sellers might still have copies of the old version they want to be rid of before changing to the new one, so if you want to be sure to get the new edition you should order it directly from the publisher (see below) or contact the author himself.

I wish all of you a pleasant spring with lots of sunshine and outdoor activities (don´t forget to bring a good book).

New edition of On Hostile Ground!

February 26, 2010

Hello everyone!

It´s with great pleasure I tell you about my new project. Soon there´ll be a new edition of On Hostile Ground, with corrected typos and a few other improvements. I´ve been working on this for the last couple of weeks, and the new manuscript is now finished and sent to the publisher. With a little bit of luck the new edition will be for sale around Easter. I´ll make another post here when everything is finished. I advise everyone who plans to buy the book to wait until the new edition is out.

Meanwhile, the work on the new novel continues. I estimate I´m about halfway through the first draft, enjoying some parts of the writing and struggling with others. It´s still too early to make predictions about when the book will be finished, but my goal is to have the first draft finished sometime during the summer of next year. But there´s still a long way to go and a lot of work to do.

In the meantime, take care, and don´t forget to spread the word about the book!

Progress report – sequel

January 8, 2010

Hello people! I´m sorry I haven´t updated this blog in a while, but there hasn´t been that much to tell about. In October I visited Rome, which is a good place for fantasy authors to find inspiration, with all the old architecture and everything.

I´m curently working on the sequel to On Hostile Ground, which I named The Alliance in the foreword but now goes by the name of Brothers in Arms. I´m just about to finish the first draft of chapter 12, so still a long way to go before it´s finished. I can reveal that part of it will take place in the island kingdom of Indesse, where Rumpo and Basordan are sent to form an alliance with the stubborn, morose inhabitants. There´ll also be some new POV characters which I hope the reader will find enjoyable.

That´s all for now. I´ll be back when I have more information to share with you. In the meantime: take care, and I hope everyone had a nice holiday season!

Excerpt from Prologue

August 16, 2009

This part might have more of a “traditional fantasy” feel to it than the rest of the book. I hope it won´t scare too many of you away.


Rumpo turned another corner and skidded to a halt. The corridor before him was empty. He took a few hesitant steps, listening for the sound of Alikos´s running feet. His cousin couldn´t be that far ahead of him, but the corridor was long and there were no doors in either of the walls.

Rumpo ran to the end of the corridor and looked both right and left. Still no sign of the other hippo boy. It looked like the rest of the afternoon would be spent playing hide-and-seek after all. Rumpo turned left and then right through the first opening in the stone wall. Then he stopped short.

He had passed through one of the back doors leading into the great throne room. Even if he was the king´s grandson the huge hall always made Rumpo feel a bit scared. Thick stone pillars ten or fifteen times Rumpo´s own height stretched up towards the vaulted ceiling far above him, and a long red carpet covered the floor from the main entrance almost all the way to the dais at the other end of the hall. On the dais stood his grandfather´s wooden throne.

There were only two other hippos in the throne room. King Mardius sat on his throne dressed in a red mantle, wearing Filpini´s golden crown upon his head. His younger brother Nauru, the commander of the king´s guardsmen, stood to the left of the throne, wearing chainmail and holding his iron helmet beneath one muscular arm. Across his back hung a formidable two-handed sword, its elaborately carved hilt sticking up above his left shoulder. Neither of them had spotted Rumpo yet.

“So you mean to go through with it?” asked Mardius, the worry evident in his voice, as unmistakeable as footprints on a dusty floor.

Nauru nodded. “It´s about time we showed the Noori that we still pose a threat to them. If we don´t put some fear into their hearts they´ll seek to expand their own borders, and sooner or later we will have them assaulting our own people. It has to begin somewhere, and I´m ready to strike the first blow.”

As quietly as he could Rumpo slipped behind a stone column. This sounded like a serious conversation, and if any of the other hippos were to discover him eavesdropping they would chase him from the throne room without further delay. If he was unlucky they would command one of the nurses to lock him up in his chamber for the rest of the day. With his heart pounding like a drum he peered around the pillar.

“But wouldn´t it be wiser to assemble a greater force?” the king asked. “Five hundred soldiers would be able to rebuild the hippozones and defend them against the Noori without difficulty. What do you seek to accomplish with only a handful of men?”

“Such a large company would be slow and make a lot of noise.” Nauru replied. “We would attract the Noori´s attention before we were halfway through our journey. A smaller troop of brave warriors will be able to avoid detection and strike swift and hard blows at the Noori´s patrols. We can cause much damage without them even knowing what´s going on.”

“Perhaps.” Mardius said, still with a lot of doubt in his voice. “But sooner or later they´ll draw the conclusion that a hostile force is moving about their territories. They will gather a great host and hunt you down.”

Nauru smiled. “If they do I will stand a better chance evading them with a small number than I would with hundreds of soldiers with supply carts and all. We can slip into our hidden fortresses in the woods, where they won´t be able to find us. We´ll be able to move much faster than the Noori army.”

“I´m still not sure.” the king said. “The Noori know this country. They have watchzones on every hilltop and they patrol each and every path and trail from Noori Lake to the western hills.”

“Do you really think so?” asked Nauru, still with a slight smile on his lips. “They haven´t seen a force of hippos for more than a hundred years. Soldiers grow lazy without battles, their vigilance slacken. The new recruits probably don´t even believe we exist.”

Behind the stone column Rumpo listened, eyes wide with excitement. Fighting the Noori was something all young hippos in Filpini dreamed of. There were not many who had not listened to the old legends about king Barloman and how he conquered Noori Vale more than one hundred and fifty years ago. Back then the hippos had been much more powerful than they were now, but many a young hippo boy dreamed of leading a new Filpini army to war against their ancient enemy. Rumpo´s attention turned back to the two men in the throne room as his grandfather spoke again.

“What do you mean to accomplish then?” Mardius enquired. “You can´t expect to hold even one hippozone with so few men.”

“Whether we hold a hippozone or not is of little importance.” Nauru answered. “What really matters is that we might be able to threaten the Noori on their own ground. If they feel that they can´t defend their own territory the risk is small that they will consider invading ours. A well-armed hippozone is something they can see, consider its strength and how best to assail it. But what about the enemy they can´t see? A silent threat wairing in the woods, always ready to strike them unawares. That will inspire more fear than stone walls with soldiers in armour on top.”

The king sighed. “All right. You´ve always understood these matters much better than I, dear brother. Pick the men you want to accompany you and all the supplies you need. I also want you to have this.”

He leaned slightly forward and removed the chain with the hippos´ sacred medallion that hung around his neck. Rumpo couldn´t stop himself from gasping silently. Legend told that the kings of Filpini had born this talisman ever since Flidsi the great founded the kingdom more than a thousand years ago. Was his grandfather really going to give it away, even if it was to his own brother? Rumpo was certain that such a thing had never happened before. The medallion was said to have magical powers.

“I can´t accept this gift, my king.” Nauru said softly. “The fate of the hippos is bound to it, or so it´s said. You must keep it here to protect your people.”

“The fate of the hippos may very well lie in your hands, brother.” the king replied resolutely. “If you´re right and the Noori may seek to invade our kingdom this quest of yours will be more important than anything I might face here in Hogbar. You will need it more than I will.”


August 13, 2009

Here´s a somewhat shorter introduction to the book than the one found in its Preface:

Ever since I was introduced to J.R.R. Tolkien´s the Lord of the Rings in the mid 80s I´ve wanted to write a book of my own. The problem was mostly to find something I enjoyed writing about. Traditional fantasy themes like elves, dwarves and wizards didn´t feel right. I wanted something different, something I could feel was entirely my own invention.

So, what was I to write about?

I had in my room a toy hippo and a toy moomintroll which I´d played a bit with a few years earlier (we´re still in the 80s now, in case you wondered). In my imagination I pictured them fighting each other with swords, and suddenly the first seeds of this story had been planted.

The first version of the story was written by hand in small notebooks. It was originally part of an overly grand historical cycle, spanning thousands of years (read Silmarillion rip-off), and if those notebooks still exist I hope no one will ever find and read them.

When I approached the age where you leave your childhood fancies behind and step into the complicated arena known as adult life I abandoned the hippos and moomintrolls in order to focus on more “important” things like beer and women. The story never left me completely, though, and I guess I always retained the dream of turning it into a “real” book. It wasn´t until a few years ago that I realized this was something I might actually accomplish.

It began with a discussion about old childhood stories at an online message board, and I think I actually considered showing people this horrible piece of writing from my childhood. Thankfully, the embarrassment was too intense, and the project was abandoned.

But something had struck a spark into the slumbering darkness of my imagination, and I found myself wondering whether I might actually do something with this old story of mine. The story about Rumpo and the hippozones had always been my favorite, so it felt natural to focus on it. So one day I began writing, convinced I would lose motivation after a few days and abandon the story once more.

But I didn´t lose motivation. In about five months, early in 2003, I wrote the first “real” version of On Hostile Ground. It ended up being about one-third the length of the final version, and I posted it in chunks at the aforementioned discussion board. Surprisingly, there were a few people who read all of it.

I was immensely proud of my work, the first time I´d written something that could qualify as a novel. Looking back now, this first version is almost as embarrassing as the one from my childhood. Perhaps I will find the final result as horrible in a couple of years.

A couple of years ago I went back to the text I´d written back in 2003 and tried to think of some way to extend it. There were many parts I was far from satisfied with, and my writing style had also changed significantly. So I ended up rewriting more or less the whole thing, and as I worked the story grew into something I felt more happy with..

Despite all the criticism I´ve aimed at the story from my childhood, there are names and elements that have survived the years. The major plot line is virtually unchanged, and throughout the story there are ideas and events that go all the way back to the beginning.

Unfortunately, the names Moomintroll and Moominvalley turned out to be heavily protected by copyright law, so the Moomintrolls in this story became the Noori and Moomin Valley was changed to Noori Vale.

The Noori in On Hostile Ground are very different from the Moomins in the books by Tove Jansson (just like my hippos are basically humans with big muzzles), but if you check them out you might get an idea of how I pictured the Noori in my story.

That´s all I can remember about the origin and development of this story. I hope you´ll find it enjoyable. It was certainly enjoyable to write.

On Hostile Ground

August 5, 2009

Hello and welcome to my blog. I´m B.A. Seloaf, a new fantasy author from Sweden. My first novel, On Hostile Ground, is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or directly from iUniverse. You can get it either with softcover binding (6*9 inches) or as an e-book. If you have any questions about the book, don´t hesitate to ask me. I´ll update this blog with any new information about On Hostile Ground and future releases. Thank you for showing interest in me and my writing!