Posts Tagged With: Calliome

Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy now on Smashwords

Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy has finally made it on to Smashwords (and thus, will make its way into the eBook stores for Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and every where else their premium catalog delivers).

In addition, I have fixed the files for Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos and Iron Fist of the Oroqs, so those titles are also now included in Smashwords premium catalog. There will be no such delay with my next title, Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra.

If you’ve been waiting to get them in ebook form, but don’t have a Kindle, now’s the time.

And while you’re at it, if you have the time, vote for me for Best Local Author in Nuvo’s 2014 Readers’ Choice Best of Indy!

Categories: Iron Fist of the Oroqs, Publishing, Zack Jackson | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Ballad of Twilight Dungeon

Iron Fist Cover for KindleI have secured permission to embed The Ballad of Twilight Dungeon on this site!

This song contains spoilers for the plot of Wings of Twilight. It was commissioned by my wife as a Christmas present. The song was written and performed by Dan Marcotte, aka Dan the Bard. If you’ve ever been to the Bristol Renaissance Faire, you may have heard him perform. You can learn more about his music at either the link above, or a http://www.bardsong.net.

The great thing about this song is that if it’s been a while since you’ve read Wings of Twilight, or you didn’t read it, but read Iron Fist of the Oroqs, the song will tell you the tale of what occurred in the first book of The Foundation of Drak-Anor series, much like the minstrel play in the prologue of book two. In fact, one could skip the prologue altogether, and just listen to the song instead!

The Ballad of Twilight Dungeon, by Dan the Bard:

I’m going to look into embedding the file in to the Kindle version of Iron Fist of the Oroqs, as well, though file size considerations may make that impractical.

 

Categories: Calliome, Iron Fist of the Oroqs, Wings of Twilight | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

New Review for Wings of Twilight

I just found a new review up on Amazon for Wings of TwilightIt’s short and to the point, but the reader liked my novel enough to give it four stars! Thanks, Valued Reader! What a great way to start the week off after two days of Snowmageddon!

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2013 in Review and Looking Ahead

Last year, I set forth several goals for myself. In case you don’t want to dig through the archives, they were:

  • Publish Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy
    I accomplished this goal! HUZZAH! It was released on June 9, 2013. I’m really happy with the way this novel turned out; I think it’s my best work to date.
  • Publish Scars of the Sundering
    This goal fizzled. I wrote about 22,000 words and just could not get into the characters. The novel was supposed to, among other things, deal with the meeting, courtship, and marriage of the two main characters (against the backdrop of the main plot), but I could never quite figure out what Vasco could offer Aveline as a husband (other than companionship) that she didn’t already have. They just weren’t all that compatible with each other. An attempt to skip the courtship and have them be married at the start of the story didn’t help, either. I just wasn’t feeling it. I struggled with this most of the second half of the year before deciding to shelf the project.
  • Re-release Wings of Twilight on Smashwords
  • Release Iron Fist of the Oroqs & Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos on Smashwords
    I accomplished both of these, though trying to get the formatting just right so their Meatgrinder (seriously, that’s what it’s called) software could process it just right for inclusion in their Premium catalog (which includes iBookstore distribution) was such a pain, I never finished it for Iron Fist and Zack Jackson. I haven’t had a sale on Smashwords since 2012 anyway, and I have yet to hit the royalty threshold where they’ll send me a check. I’m just not sure it’s worth my time to pursue this distribution avenue.
  • Release all my novels through Kobo Writing Life
    I did this. I’ve sold two books through the Kobo Bookstore. It’s as good for me as Smashwords, though uploading to Kobo is easier because they don’t make me run my books through a proprietary software that mangles my formatting.
  • Release all my novels through Drive-Thru Fiction (Wings of Twilight was previously offered there with distribution assistance from Rite Publishing)
    I did this. It’s not been profitable for me yet, but it does have an advantage over the other distribution channels: I can tie all the formats together and let customers pick how they want the book. Right now, I only offer ePub, mobi, and PDF, but that probably covers 99% of e-readers. If I wanted to, I could probably set up a POD solution there, too, but I’m happy with CreateSpace for that. Besides, people haven’t exactly been knocking down my door for more options on Drive-Thru Fiction. I think I’ve sold 2 books through that venue.
  • Write the first draft of Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra
    I did this. HUZZAH! The manuscript is currently with the first of my editors. It’s shorter than Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy, but it only covers a couple of weeks, rather than a whole school year. It’s very important to the metaplot of the series, though, and one can begin to see how things may develop. Of course, I’m not going to put any spoilers here, but I have some ideas that will take the series in a direction I think no one will be expecting (and hopefully not take it off the rails totally and leave people thinking “That’s it? WTF, man??”).
  • Get a good start on the first draft of the next World of Calliome novel
    When I wrote this goal, the novel I thought would be next is NOT the one I’m currently writing. Funny how that works.

One thing that wasn’t a goal that I accomplished was the writing of my Seven Galaxies short story, “Forgotten Dreams.” It will be appearing in an anthology being released by the good folks at Fear the Boot, hopefully in the next month or so (it was originally slated for last month, but they’re still waiting on one story from a rather prominent author from the RPG industry…one whom will probably drive sales just by his inclusion, so I get why they’re waiting on him). Once it’s out, it will mean that my fiction is no longer solely the product of self-publishing (I style myself an Author/Publisher these days, thanks to Chuck Wendig). I also managed to get interviewed by three podcasts (Jennisodes, UnderDiscussion, and Sci Fi Pulse Radio, though that last one hasn’t been released yet). I hope to do more of them this year. I hate phone calls, but I love talking on podcasts. Figure that one out!

When I started writing this blog post, I didn’t expect to see so many of the goals I set forth at the beginning of the year accomplished. What a great surprise for me! Of course, I have goals this year, as well:

  • Publish Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra
  • Finish writing and publish the next World of Calliome novel

I know that’s not a lot of goals, but based on how difficult accomplishing ANYTHING was in the latter half of 2013, that’s all I’m willing to commit to at this point. I want to have new things to sell at Gen Con, and I’m confident I can have a third Zack Jackson book out by then. I’d love to have the next World of Calliome finished by then, as well, but Gen Con is only eight months away, not twelve. Everything else, I’m just going to tackle as it comes up. There are a few secret goals in there (like revise & publish my superhero novel and finish Clockwork Cowboy), but I don’t want to jinx myself. (Oops, I guess they aren’t secret anymore, but since they’re not bulleted, I won’t feel bad if I don’t accomplish them :D)

To all my readers, thank you for your support in 2013! All I can ask is that you tell people about my novels that you enjoyed. Maybe throw up a review (it can be just a few sentences) or two if you haven’t done so. Apart from actually buying my books (which, as readers, presumably you’ve already done), it’s the absolute best thing you can do for me, or any author for that matter. Word of mouth helps.

Have a great 2014!

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Gen Con Wrap-up – An Author’s Perspective

If you’re looking for a gamer’s perspective, see here.

While I am only semi-recovered from Gen Con, I think I can be coherent enough to tell you all about it. Let me get something out of the way first. This is my reaction to the amount of books I sold while sitting at my little table on Author’s Avenue in the Dealer Hall:

So yeah, it was a successful con for me. I met with a lot of new readers and sold books to both people I knew and complete strangers. I truly hope everyone who bought one of my books enjoys it. I made some contacts with people who might try to get the Zack Jackson series in elementary school science classes (making an effort to use real science in those books is paying off) and I spoke with a representative from the local library system.

I did not sell out of my Gen Con-exclusive limited edition omnibus of The Foundation of Drak-Anor; I sold just over half of them. I’ll hang onto the rest of the until next Gen Con, but I won’t be printing anymore because I stand by my assertion that it was a LIMITED EDITION. I printed 50 copies and 50 copies there shall be.

Now that the convention is over, it’s time to get back to work on my next book. I have a short story called “Forgotten Dreams” that is going to be in an anthology. “Forgotten Dreams” takes place in a new science fantasy setting I call “The Seven Galaxies.” I’ll reveal more when the anthology is officially announced and more things are locked in; we’re all still in the editing & peer review phase of our stories. My next book, as I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post, is called Scars of the Sundering. It is a fantasy novel taking place on the World of Calliome (which you may remember from Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs), but we’ve moved further south, to the once-prosperous mining town of Curton. It is now five (five, five plus…still working that out) years beyond the events in Iron Fist of the Oroqs and we’ll see that a magical world like Calliome cannot be sundered and then healed without a few problems occurring in the deep places of the world. You’ll see what’s become of Tasha Galperin, though the novel focuses on a wayward transmuter and enchanter named Vasco Dragonblade from Maritropa and on the Constable of Curton, Knight-Commander of the Royal Order of the Shield, Aveline Durant, a woman whose family immigrated south from the coastal port of Vlorey to settle among the miners and mudders of Curton in a more prosperous time.

I will try to update this blog more often, but despite my success at Gen Con, I still feel like I don’t have a whole lot to say about my craft that isn’t already being said by folks more experienced than me.

Categories: Calliome, Scars of the Sundering | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

2012 in Review & Looking Ahead

2012 was quite a year, wasn’t it? Aside from personal life events, I managed to publish Iron Fist of the Oroqs and Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos, despite being somewhat late on both of them. I’d like to say “this is the year my books really took off,” but I’m satisfied with having given away over 700 books between Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs during the two Kindle-exclusive promo periods I ran. That’s a lot more people than I know personally, so hopefully, word will start to spread about my novels. I’m just happy people I don’t know are reading my books. I hope they’re enjoying them.

I have several goals for next year:

  • Publish Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy
  • Publish Scars of the Sundering
  • Re-release Wings of Twilight on Smashwords
  • Release Iron Fist of the Oroqs & Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos on Smashwords
  • Release all my novels through Kobo Writing Life
  • Release all my novels through Drive-Thru Fiction (Wings of Twilight was previously offered there with distribution assistance from Rite Publishing)
  • Write the first draft of Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra
  • Get a good start on the first draft of the next World of Calliome novel

You’ll notice I didn’t mention the iBook store for platforms on which I plan to release my books. I would like to, but all of my research thus far indicates that you have to use Apple’s software and it’s only available for Mac OS PCs. Well, I’m using a Windows 7 machine, and I don’t plan to purchase a Mac anytime soon. I think Smashword’s expanded distribution eventually reaches iBooks, so maybe I don’t have to worry about that, but they take a cut of my royalties. I’ll have to look into it further.

2013 is going to be busy. Here’s hoping I can keep to my schedule and get into a rhythm that will let me release two books a year (late spring & late fall)!

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ideas for the Future

So, I had an idea last night while driving home for another story set in the World of Calliome. I’ll be writing down a synopsis and some character bios over the next couple of days.

Not counting Wings of Twilight and its upcoming sequel Iron Fist of the Oroqs, that gives me six – nine more novels set on the Andelosian continent of Calliome (that’s the part of the world Jonathan Roberts mapped out for me). I say six – nine because one idea might have enough material to form a trilogy.

For the most part, these novels will not feature the same cast of character as Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs, though a character might make an appearance here or there (in fact, a character from those two novels will appear in a future novel or two, but they won’t really be part of a series, just a continuation of that particular character’s story). I even have working titles for most of them. One is as sophisticated as “Untitled Calliome Story” (that’s the potential trilogy). Of course, I won’t reveal most of the titles yet ’cause they’ll probably change. Certainly, Untitled Calliome Story will change. When I’m finished, I’ll have stories that take place pretty much all over this part of the world, including one that takes place after The Sundering, but before the world was healed.

I’ve alluded to The Sundering in Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs, but for those of you who haven’t read my books yet, The Sundering was a cataclysm that nearly destroyed Calliome. For several centuries, the world was split into many pieces, held together by powerful (and, as yet, unrevealed) magic. The Fae Realm was completely severed from the Mortal Realm (meaning no faeries, no elves, and very little magic). The Healing of the World was nearly as traumatic as The Sundering and much of the technology that helped people survive on the broken world was lost. You’ll be able to read about some of that in Sky Pirates of Andelosia (it’s an unfinished manuscript right now, about 55,000 words or so).

Two (or 5 if the trilogy happens) take place in Cardoba and Vlorey. One of them is an idea I had for a supernatural horror-romance story, but I’ve had to shelve that idea since Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series came out because, yes, it features a vampire protagonist involved with a human. Of course, my vampires don’t sparkle in the sunlight (it kills them fast and gruesomely) and neither protagonist is in high school. I think my idea has enough of a twist to make it a good idea, but there’s just too much supernatural romance out there and I fear it would get lost in the noise. The other deals with the King of Vlorey and various politics surround his situation and succession.

Another story deals with a knight and his companion discovering the remains of a dead god. That story will reveal more about The Sundering, I think, but will mostly be a character-driven story. It will start in Etrunia, but take us across the continent to the northeast over to the Wizard’s Rift.

I also have a story set in Etrunia dealing with a mis-guided death cultist, lost love, and a very young (pre-teen, in fact) Tasha Galperin. It is actually a story the character herself relates in Iron Fist of the Oroqs, but the novel will only feature her in a very small, bit part. She’s a participant in events, but the story isn’t about her.

Finally, there is a story set in Curton (it’s the town south of Raven’s Forest on that map) that features a character from Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs in a supporting role (taking place after those two novels) and ties in with Sky Pirates of Andelosia. Again, the protagonist is not in any other books, so it’s not really a sequel to any of the others.

I mentioned that one of the books is a mostly character-driven story. I think that’s true for all my books. They might get caught up in important events, but ultimately, all the stories are about them characters and how they deal with and grow in the situations in which they find themselves.

Couple these ideas with the half-a-dozen or more ideas I have for the Zack Jackson series, and I think I have enough books to write to keep me busy for many years to come.

World of Calliome logo by Gwyenth Ravenscraft.

Categories: Calliome, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

My Fantasy Fiction Line

All of my fantasy fiction (at least, for now) will take place in the same fantasy world. Since I don’t have a contract with a company that has a shared world for which I can write, I had to come up with my own world: the World of Calliome. I’ve been working on bits and pieces of this world for probably twenty years now, though a lot of it has changed since I started. Each novel set on the World of Calliome will reveal a little more about the world, particularly about the little corner in which each story is set. The good thing about having my world is that I don’t have to worry about someone else writing a world shattering event that totally screws up my plans.

I have a lot of notes. Hopefully, this will help give a sense of continuity to my stories and a sense that there’s a history and more going on in the world that just what you’re reading about at that moment. Not all the stories will be directly related to each other, but it is my hope that by throwing in nods and references here and there, it’ll help it all seem more real.

Logo by Gwyneth Ravenscraft. Her professional website isn’t active yet, but it will be within a month or so, I’m told. The logo went from rough concept to completion over the course of a weekend; she does quick work and I’m thrilled with the results. It’s like my mock-up, only, you know, GOOD.

Categories: Calliome, Publishing | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Character Sneak Preview! Kale & Delilah

Kale and Delilah are siblings. Twins, in fact. Kale is a talented engineer and trapsmith. Delilah is a sorceress with a particular fondness for boggins (small furry balls of hunger and pointy teeth generally considered to be nuisances).

What makes them special among draks is their striped scales. Stripes are very rare among the draks and considered a good omen. So good, in fact, that many drak clans call striped draks “Children of Destiny.” Cynics will tell you prophecies hold no water, but there are still some dreamers in the world. Kale and Delilah’s clan have mixed feelings about the twins, though. Being striped is very good, being twins born of the same egg, that’s considered a bad omen. Normally, twins are exposed; left to die in the harsh reality of the world before they’re old enough to fend for themselves. They were reluctant to do that to Kale and Delilah, though, due to their stripes, so they were raised in the clan until they were of age, then exiled. Now they live and work in Twilight Dungeon, looking up to Sarvesh and Soterios as sort of older brothers and protectors.

Artwork by Char Reed.

Categories: Wings of Twilight | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Character Sneak Preview! Soterios

One of many minotaurs living in a labyrinth within Twilight Dungeon, Soterios is Marshall Sarvesh’s second in command. He worries about others more than he should and is known to hit the bottle far too often. Still, he is loyal to Sarvesh and his duties as a Twilight Defender.

Artwork by Char Reed.

Categories: Wings of Twilight | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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