Category: Production

Writing and Ricky, Trak, and Pol

I read an interesting review by Magnus Liber about A Sorcerer’s Rings on Amazon. He called my writing potato chips of the genre, meaning that my writing is snack food. I can’t disagree with him. The term I use is literary candy. Same thing. My fiction is meant to be an easy, quick, enjoyable read. Literary candy.

Magnus has my writing style down pretty well. He taught me a new term that I had to look up, Marty Stu. I’d never heard of that before, but Ricky, Trak, and Pol are indeed in the mold of Marty Stu, the too-perfect hero. They don’t start out that way, but they all ended up being a Marty Stu.  I also agree that I like to throw in romance and travel.

The travel part is where I generate places where conflict can occur. Readers will note that I use three mechanisms (among others) to induce interest. A change in locale, a new character, and putting people in peril. I will continue to do so, since such things interest me and that kind of thing makes reading enjoyable. It’s part of the flavoring I put into my candy.

I may not be able to deviate much from my style, but my next series will differ from Ricky, Trak, and Pol. The protagonist is a non-magician in a world of magicians. Everyone else has magic, but my guy. That automatically puts him out of the picture for a lot of things in his world. Perhaps I will have to turn him into a Marty Stu, but I hope not.  The idea came to me months before I spotted Christopher Nuttall’s Zero Enigma series. His series has a twelve-year-old girl find she has extraordinary powers as a ‘zero,’ a person who has no magical ability. I was disappointed that he had used a version of the concept that I had already been thinking about.  Actually, Song of Sorcery was meant to follow my non-magician series, but I decided to write Song of Sorcery first and wait a bit to see how Nuttall’s series panned out before working on my original idea.

I’m happy to say, his plot line did not end up matching up to mine. My protagonist does not attend a boarding school. The era is medieval rather than the 1600’s where my latest three series are based (The Disinherited Prince is more Rennaisance, actually). Ricky started out as a pariah and that changed by Book Two in Song of Sorcery. In my new series, the protagonist is likely remain a pariah, at least on some level. He is like a blind man in the society he finds himself, but he will find some advantages due to his unique circumstances.

I’m still working on the last book in the Song of Sorcery. When that wraps up, my next project will be the first book in the non-magician series and might take a little longer to publish. I’ve got a lot of worldbuilding to do and I have a new magic system to create. The new book will still be literary candy, but hopefully a different flavor from the others.

 

The Fractured Empire – Progress Report

I finished the first draft of The Fractured Empire on July 7th and have completed the first re-write.  I do at least three before handing it off to my editors. I have a conference to attend this week, so my time will be limited. I am still aiming for the end of July to publish the last book in The Disinherited Prince Series, but realistically, the release might happen in early August.

The last book is rather large in scope and will be a little longer than the others. There is a lot of stuff that goes on and things to tie up. I didn’t wrap every character’s story up in a bow, but there is no cliffhanger at the ending and Shira behaves herself, mostly.

I like the ending, but then I would, wouldn’t I?

Writing Status – The Emperor’s Pet

Publishing Demeron’s tale has put my publishing schedule behind a bit. I knew it would. I’m only halfway through The Emperor’s Pet and have been dealing with a reader revolt over my treatment of Pol and Shira’s relationship in The Sleeping God.  My mea culpa is below in another post, but after The Emperor’s Pet is out, I will go back and rewrite The Sleeping God as a second edition with less aggression on the part of Shira.

I’m probably about two weeks behind, so it looks like my next book is targeted for release after the first week in May.  I’ll definitely shoot to have The Emperor’s Pet out before Mother’s Day.

A Sip of Magic – Now in Draft Mode

The third volume of The Disinherited Prince is in Draft Mode.  Since this is NaNoWriMo, I am dedicated to finishing the draft by the end of the month.  I’m about a third of the way through and my wife is going out of town next week, so I’ll have some great opportunities to tickle the keyboard and make a man out of Pol Cissert.

As always, the process of writing always produces surprises and this draft is no different. Pol gets a new companion that plays an unexpected role in the book. There are reversals of fortune and plenty of surprises along the way.

A big thanks to those of you who have joined Pol in his journeys. The Disinherited Prince series is a record seller for me. Tell your friends and neighbors about the fun you’ve had reading about him. I know that’s a shameless plug, but then this is a website for shameless plugs, I guess. 🙂

Next Installment in Power of Poses Series slated for March-April Release

The next installment of Power of Poses, Book Three, is scheduled for a March-April release.  Titled Magician in Captivity, it continues the two storylines of Valanna and Trak as they pursue different paths in different countries.  As you might surmise, Trak is imprisoned, at least once and Valanna has to fight troubles of her own as new revelations entwine our two star-crossed couple into the turbulent events of their world.

The first draft is about fifty percent completed.  For those of you who have waited a long time for the second book, have faith.  The third book is definitely coming.

Darkstone | An Evil Reborn – Now Available for Pre-order, Launches April 2nd.

The final book in the Warstone Quartet, Darkstone | An Evil Reborn is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.  It releases on April 2nd. The blurb:DarkstoneFlourish1

Book Four: Darkstone | An Evil Reborn

As the 22nd son of the Emperor of Dakkor, Vishan Daryaku grows from boy to man, learning that he must use his unique powers and prodigious knowledge to survive. He succeeds until his body is taken over by an evil power locked inside of the Darkstone. Now Emperor of Dakkor, Vishan is trapped inside, as the ancient force that rules his body devastates his homeland while attempting to recover all of the Warstones.

As the amulets are all exposed, the holders of the Moonstone, Sunstone, and Bloodstone combine to fight the Emperor’s relentless drive to reunite the Warstones and gain power over the entire world. The armies of Dakkor and the forces of those allied with the three other stones collide on a dead continent in the stunning conclusion of The Warstone Quartet.

I had a great time creating The Warstone Quartet, but now that it’s complete, it’s time to move on to my next project, the first book in the Mechanisms of Magic trilogy.  I haven’t quite decided on the title of the first volume, but it takes place in a world where there are magical ‘eddies’ where only certain people can use magic to power useful devices.  After a long period of time (approx 500 years) there is a Shift where the eddies change and magician’s magic no longer works in that eddy.  More info on that is to come.

My Current Job Stream for Publication

So I had problems getting Quest of the Wizardess turned into an epub.  It turns out that the recommended method for creating an acceptable document for Smashwords doesn’t work with simple epub conversion tools.  The primary problem is creating a table of contents using bookmarks and hyperlinks.

I ended up buying a epub creation and editing tool called Jutoh.  It was recommended at a writers conference I attended last fall (IndieReconLive).  I had to pick apart all of the bookmarks and blast through all of the hyperlinking.  Along the way, I eliminated drop caps, which also got in the way.  After I did all of that work, I was rewarded with a clean epub file which I was able to upload to iBooks.

printpressSince I do my own publishing through CasiePress, I’ve had to learn to create job streams to accommodate various input engines. So now, I create in Scrivener.  I export that to MS Word and use their spelling and grammar checker.  Then I export that into InDesign for the creation of my print file for Createspace.

For ebook distribution, I’ll now export back to MS Word (Jutoh likes .docx files) and reformat for ebooks.  That becomes my gold standard for input into Jutoh.  For Smashwords and Amazon, I’ll create a separate file that has the bookmark/hyperlink table of contents and input .doc files.  For Kobo, Barnes & Noble and iBook, I’ll create an epub in Jutoh and submit that.

Lots of work, but I do that to have better control over my distribution.

Moonstone | Magic That Binds due for release in December

Following on Bellia’s heels, the first Warstone book will release in December.  The proof will arrive after Thanksgiving and then it will go up.  Here is the cover.  A change from these pages is that I put a tag line on all of the WMoonstoneCvrMedarstone books.  Book 1 is Moonstone | Magic That Binds, Book 2 is Sunstone | Dishonor’s Bane, Book 3 is Blood Stone | Power of Youth and Book 4 is Darkstone | An Evil Reborn.

Each cover will be a derivation of the Moonstone cover, the gem behind some illustration.  This one has the Moonstone in the pommel of the sword.  It sure is easier to create a cover without people.