Frequent visitors may notice a slight change to the site. I rearranged the options on the menu bar at the top of the page and added one: Visions of Art.
Visions of Art is the page on which the various pieces of character art, maps, and concept art will reside. I already posted everything on Pinterest (including logos and covers), but if you don’t have an account, using Pinterest can be kind of a pain.
Thanks to everyone who came out to my event at Indy Reads Books this past weekend, despite the crummy weather. The staff was helpful and friendly, and I appreciate the support of everyone who came out to hear me read an excerpt from Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra or to get books signed.
My next local event will be Gen Con (Jul. 30th – Aug. 2nd), but before then I’ll be at ConQuesT in Kansas City (May 22 – May 24). I was hoping to debut book one of Scars of the Sundering, Malediction, there, but due to illness-related delays, I don’t think that will happen. Meanwhile, I’m over 30,000 words into the first draft of book three, Salvation (Lament sits, patiently awaiting the completion of Malediction).
I’ll have some art from Scars of the Sundering to show off in the coming weeks, and I’ll be posting snippets from the first chapter, as well.
If you want to buy a signed print version of any of my books to give as a gift, you can buy direct from me by sending an e-mail. Just click the e-mail link under Contact Me to the left. Include the titles, quantities, and whether or not you would like them signed and/or personalized. I’ll need your complete mailing address, including phone number for shipping. No P.O. Boxes, please. When I get your e-mail, I’ll send you a PayPal invoice for the total including shipping.
There’s still time to get books in time for Christmas if you’re in the United States (probably Canada, too). If you’re overseas, I will make the attempt, but cannot guarantee results.
Pancras the Putrid, First Wizard of Drak-Anor (Art by Lily Yang)
While I was at Gen Con, I met an impressive young artist, Lily Yang. Her portfolio impressed me so much, I decided to commission her to do the covers for my next three fantasy novels. I’m currently working on the first of three books that continues the story of Pancras and the drak twins, Kale and Delilah from my previous fantasy duology, The Foundation of Drak-Anor. I also commissioned her to do some character art for me that I can use in promotional materials. You can see the first such commission to the right.
The new trilogy is tentatively titled: The Necromancer’s Tale and will consist of three volumes: Malediction, Lament, and Salvation. The titles are still works-in-progress and may change as I continue writing.
Gen Con was successful for me and I sold through all but two or three of the remaining copies of The Foundation of Drak-Anor Gen Con-exclusive hardcover omnibus. Once these hardcovers are gone, I do not plan to produce more of them, although the individual books, Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs will still be available in paperback and for e-readers.
I also have an announcement to make regarding the third book in the Zack Jackson series, but I will save that for a separate post.
If you’re local to Lake Geneva, WI (or if you just want to come up for the day), I will be having a book signing at the Breadloaf Book Shop in Lake Geneva on the afternoon of August 2nd. I will have copies of all five of my novels, and possibly a limited number of the Sojourn anthology in which I have a short story.
For those of you new to this blog, I have two series available. The Foundation of Drak-Anor (Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs) is a fantasy duology told from the point-of-view of the “monsters” as they struggle with finding acceptance in a world who just wants to kill them and take their stuff.
The Zack Jackson series is on book 3 of a possible 6-7 volumes. It’s a YA series (though suitable for all ages) set in the 43rd century as the Earth-Alpha Centauri Alliance considers membership in the Galactic Confederation. It follows Zack Jackson, a young boy from Wyoming as he goes on Junior Ranger trips to alien worlds, goes to school at the prestigious Cytherean Academy on Venus, and learns of a galactic conspiracy to ensure a defeated enemy is wiped out of existence. Things are not always what they seem, of course, and Zack discovers sometimes the defeated are not always the bad guys.
I was interviewed this weekend by the fine folks at UnderDiscussion: The UnderGopher Podcast. We talked about Zack Jackson, my other novels, and gaming. Of course, since I’m bad at off-the-cuff things, I forgot to bring up a few points about the Zack Jackson series that I knew I should talk about.
I spoke about how part of my inspiration for Zack Jackson was Star Trek and the optimistic view of the future it has. I wanted to write about a future I felt was cool and would actually want to live in. A big part of the Zack Jackson universe is the wide-spread acceptance of, well, just about everything. I make an effort to show how diverse and interesting life and people are, and if a character doesn’t understand or is just being exposed to something for the first time, I use it as an opportunity for character growth. I’ve found that to refrain from beating readers over the head with a message of acceptance and diversity, the best thing to do is just mention such things briefly and have the characters accept it without a word, as though it is the most natural thing. After all, diversity is natural and we should be accepting of it because that is the way things should be.
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!
On December 13th from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, I will be signing books at Half-Price Books in Clearwater Village on the north side of Indianapolis. Books make great Christmas gifts and I will be happy to sign and personalize any of my novels for you or your loved ones. I write fantasy novels appropriate for ages 16+ and science-fiction appropriate for ages 10+.
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)!
Edits for Iron Fist of the Oroqs are coming along. We’re probably 2/3 – 3/4 of the way finished with “internal” edits (i.e. edits I define as things my wife & I discover through our read-throughs before I send it to a paid editor).
Cover art is finished, so hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I send it to my paid editor. It might be challenging to get it finished before I go on vacation at the end of May, though. Of course, there’s nothing that says I just can’t take everything I need with me and launch it while I’m at the beach.
Once I send Iron Fist of the Oroqs off to my editor, I need to get cracking on revisions for Zack Jackson and the Cult of Athos. I wanted to publish them within weeks of each other, but I think it may have to wait until the beginning of summer. No biggie.