I’ve put in some extra time to get The Emperor’s Pet out before May 1st. It is in one of two final edits and then I’ll be pushing it out of the nest. I have completed the cover and it is, for the first time anywhere…below.
My next book is coming along. I suppose I’m about ten days behind. I had the beginning of the baseball season, the Masters (I like watching golf) and a Neil Diamond concert to distract me this weekend. In addition, my editor is ill, so we will see what happens in the next few days. I should be done with the first draft by the 12th and will immediately head into rewrites.
The story is coming along nicely and I’m at the very end where tension is high. I like writing this part because twists start to pop into my mind. We’ll see how the end goes. I’ve got it mapped out, but sometimes it’s better to write with the flow and ignore parts of my scene outlines.
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.
After a few reviews and readers pointing out some typos, I decided to put the Disinherited Prince Series under another set of eyes. That’s a gruesome thought if taken literally. It turns out that I read fast and write fast and that technique churns out lots of errors.
One editor was not enough, so all four books plus the Demeron novella have been read again by another editor who takes pride of reading a word at a time. I generally do a markup on a hardcopy proof, but I must have been introducing more mistakes. There were twenty to thirty errors per book, but less for Demeron. Most of those were left out articles (a, an, the). Any words not spelled correctly were the kind not caught by spell checkers (for example, their instead of there)
I am happy to say that the process is over. The books have been corrected. I made no additional writing changes (other than rearranging a few clunky sentences), so I don’t count these as new editions, just cleanup. I did modify the cover titles for A Sip of Magic and The Sleeping God to match the rest of the series.
So, hopefully I’ll turn out better edited books in the future. I always appreciate feedback if readers find errors. I had a review where the reader spotted an abduction that didn’t happen. I reread the book and couldn’t find what they referred to. It’s really hard to spot your own errors, since you generally fix the errors in your mind.
Anyway, I thought you might like to know…
I just published Demeron: A Horse’s Tale. Here is the blurb:
A Disinherited Prince Novella Demeron: A Horse’s Tale Demeron, a Shinkyan stallion who can speak to human magicians, is cut off from his master and must find a way to return hundreds of miles to Deftnis Monastery, his master’s home. To do so, Demeron must travel through the country of his birth, eluding humans who would eagerly take posession of him.
Demeron, A Horse’s Tale is a novella (about 60 pages or 20,000 words) and is intended to be read after Book Three, A Sip of Magic and before Book Five, The Emperor’s Pet of the Disinherited Prince Series
It’s available on Amazon as a kindle book or as a trade paperback. I have put it on Kindle Unlimited, so if you subscribe you can download it. The price is $1.99. The cover is a little brighter than the initial one I posted below.
I don’t typically try to explain my characters’ motivations and how I wrote them, but it seems I might have gone too far in A Sleeping God. I’ll try to address a number of reader objections without any spoilers.
Let me be clear, Pol and Shira are teenagers. They are both exceptionally smart, talented, and capable people. They are in a relationship that is awkward for both of them. Neither have grown up in a natural environment. Pol struggles to react properly around Shira. Shira, on the other hand, has additional pressures (hang-ups?) that become more apparent towards the end of the book. She covers this awkwardness by pinching, hitting and bumping Pol. It isn’t because she is a shrew, it’s because she is having some real difficulties as she develops a relationship with Pol who is, shall we say, an Imperial male. She expresses that inner conflict through physical means. Note that her behavior doesn’t affect Pol’s feelings, but he is sometimes as lost in their relationship as she is. He just reacts differently.
In my own high school days, I observed the physical behavior first hand and didn’t see it then as abuse, but as part of a girl’s attempt to assert herself in a relationship. Perhaps I went a bit overboard, but when you get an idea, as a writer, you sometimes just go with it. I did.
Her reactions doesn’t make her a bad person. You will note she shows a great deal of affection along with her outbursts of whatever you want to call it. In crafting her personality, I consciously made her a very conflicted girl and a great deal of that comes from her upbringing in a unique matriarchal society in Shinkya. To me, as I wrote her, she remains a sympathetic character. Some readers don’t see it that way, and for them, I apologize.
For kindle books, maps have to be jpeg files. These don’t come out particularly well when published. I have embarked on a little project to set up a location on this site to house maps for my series. I will probably have them downloadable as PDF files so the maps can be enlarged without losing too much detail.
I intend on setting them up on a page on the menu bar below the title.
Demeron: A Horse’s Tale
I’ve also written the first draft of a novella (about 60 pages long) on Demeron’s adventures. Demeron: A Horse’s Tale is all about Demeron and his quest to return to the Deftnis Monastery after being left to his own devices in A Sip of Magic. I hope to have it out by the end of March, but my next book, Emperor’s Pet has priority, so I can publish that by the end of April. An excerpt has been plopped at that end of The Sleeping God.
All the Disinherited Prince books are in Pol’s point of view and I didn’t feel Demeron’s story would fit into the novels, so it will be a standalone story. It is intended to be read after A Sip of Magic and before Emperor’s Pet.
By the way, Mark Twain wrote A Horse’s Tale a century ago. I have appropriated most of the title from him. I have Clemens’s in my family history and there is one of those hoary family ‘legends’ that he was a cousin or something to one of my direct ancestors. I hope he doesn’t mind.
Book Four in the Disinherited Prince Series is now out. Here is the blurb:
Carrying an amulet given to him by his late mother, Pol Cissert seizes on an opportunity to travel to a far off city in search of his roots. He has no idea that the journey is no easy jaunt. Chased by magicians, thugs, pirates, and priests, he seeks his legacy by seeking the Cathedral of the Sleeping God. Pol finds that the truth isn’t always something everyone wants.
FANTASY – EPIC / SWORD & SORCERY / YOUNG ADULT
I won’t get the paperback finished until sometime in March. I had to push things to get the e-book version out before the end of February. I didn’t think it would make it, but it did. It is exclusively on Amazon.
I just finished the first draft of The Sleeping God, the 4th book in the Disinherited Prince series. Now I get to go over the manuscript for reviewing, edit, and publishing. I have a lot going on in February and it’s a short month, so it might be a challenge to get the book out by the end of the month.
This lastest installment features the escapees from Borstall and their adventures on the continent of Volia.