Monday, November 18, 2019

Welcome Back, Monday

Welcome everyone!

So kind of a tough weekend for me on a personal level. I experienced some wonderful highs and some crushing lows.

The triumph and tragedy of it all got me reflecting on what it means to have a successful or fulfilling life.

One thing I've decided is that if I ever get to see my great-grand kids, that will be a good accomplishment. I, personally, never got to know my great-grandparents. That's always been something I've regretted.

I also feel that a good life will leave something behind for the next generation. Not for personal glory or fame, but as a source of wisdom, knowledge, and history. That's why I'm so thankful for all the support I've been given with my books. Thank you SO MUCH to all of you who have encouraged me and brought me your books to sign. You are all dear to my heart.

I'm really not writing them for my own benefit, though I'd be lying if I ever said there wasn't any. The truth is, though, I'm writing them for young people: young people who are alive today and young people that will come along way after I'm gone.

I don't do this to preserve my name in the hopes I'll live on in memory or esteem. I do it because I've learned some hard lessons in life, and I would love it if my experiences help others through their own difficult times.



So anyway, yeah, I'm a little melancholy today. I hope your week is productive and bright. Don't forget to check back on Thursday. The next sliver of my cover will be revealed!

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, November 15, 2019

Goals for the Weekend 2019-11-15

Welcome everyone!

This weekend I have a lot of personal items to attend to. I won't have any time at all for writing or recording, unfortunately. There are times in life when hobbies must be set aside for other, more weighty matters.

Nevertheless, I'll still be able to bounce ideas for Book 3 off some friends, family, and colleagues. So, that will have to suffice for this weekend.

Goals:

  • Continue conceptualizing the plot for Book 3
If I can do that, I'll have a good weekend. I hope you do as well.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, November 14, 2019

*SPOILERS* 11th Reveal for Book 2 - THE TITLE!!!!

Welcome everyone!

I've been waiting a long time to share this with you. Since August, I have slowly revealed more and more about the interior of the sequel to The Huntsman and the She-Wolf.

I have greatly enjoyed that ride. We've been able to see some gorgeous locations as well as the unique roses that adorn several of the major characters in the novella. Each image is dear to me and resonates with a different emotion. I truly hope they mean as much, if not more, to you.

So now, we are ready to move from the interior to the exterior. The title will appear on Book 2 much like it did on Book 1. Many of the design motifs will be carried over from the original. I think that makes the series more recognizable as well as shows the evolution of the story over time.

One of the biggest decisions I had to make concerning the title is how it should be phrased. Should I keep the "The Huntsman and the ___________" or should I go with something different. I toyed with several names like:

  • Hunter's Sun
  • Hunter's Rise
  • Hunter's Quest
  • Journey of the Huntsman
None of those worked for me. I decided to keep the "The Huntsman and the ___________" format but what should go in the blank? There were a lot of options:
  • Judge
  • Tower
  • Keep
  • Vampire
  • Secret
  • Garden
  • Fountain
  • Scepter
  • Sword
  • Hound
I had to think which one would best describe the story and which one would best tie in to Book 1. It wasn't an easy choice, but if you scroll below, you'll get to see what I ended up selecting:
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I give you "The Huntsman and the Vampire" for your enjoyment!


And so now you know. I hope the title intrigues you. The cover is nearly finished. There just needs to be a few finishing touches to the hardback version. The interior is almost done as well. I'm waiting on about a dozen small corrections there. 

That means, by the end of this month, I could publish if I wanted. But why hurry? There is so much more I want to reveal before I do.

Until then, take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Are you Ready for the Title of Book 2???

Welcome everyone!

We are getting closer and closer to the launch of Book 2. As we are counting down the weeks until it goes live, I've been revealing bits and pieces of it to you. Now, this week, I am ready to reveal the name!

As always, the revelation will be on Thursday (tomorrow). Make sure you check back to see it then. I'll be following the format I did last time with The Huntsman and the She-Wolf.

If you want to see how I did that, you can check out that post HERE.


Hope to see you back tomorrow. Spread the word!

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, November 11, 2019

A Good Weekend and A Great Blog Post

Welcome everyone!

I had a good weekend. I hope you did as well. I am glad to announce that I'm half way done recording the audiobook for Book 2 now!

It's a long road, with editing and mastering still ahead of me. Yet, I feel I'm starting to make real progress, which is a relief.

I also want to highlight a great blog article I read today. It's all about creating good villains for a story. If you're a writer or aspiring to be one, you might check it out HERE. It's written by the esteemed Kristen Lamb, who's always a good read IMHO.



Anyway, just checking in on a Monday. Until next time, take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, November 8, 2019

Goals for the Weekend 2019-11-08

Welcome everyone!

This weekend, it's back to the audio book grindstone. I'm still working away at that thing and probably will be for a while. 

Other than that, I just saw the first draft of the hardback cover! It's looking good but I'm going to try something different with it. Hopefully, the artist can accommodate me. We'll see.

Anyhow, here's my goals:

  • Record more audio chapters
  • Continue preparations for Book 3
If I can to all that, I'll have a good weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, November 7, 2019

*SPOILERS* 10th Reveal for Book 2 - A Beautiful View

Welcome everyone!

Hard to believe it's been ten weeks since we started this. We're getting down to the last of the interior images that I have for Book 2. So what does that mean? Haha! That means the cover is next!

So, be looking for reveals concerning that in the very near future. Anyway, let's move of to what we're revealing for this week.

One of the things I had to accomplish in The Huntsman and the She-Wolf was a brief tour of the setting. Everyone starting a book series wants to get a general idea of what the places are like and what the history says about the people.

While the main characters are on their way to investigate the coal stoppage in the mines, Phen and Mersha basically describe all the significant locations in Celandine Valley to Tristan. He, of course, was kept from the village school most of his life. His father provided all his education, and while it was full of reading, writing, bookkeeping, and pottery, it was very light on history and geography. Thus, his troupemates had to fill him in.

One of the locations they described appears in Book 2. Its location is far in the north nestled against the mountains. Anyone coming to Celandine Valley must pass by it in order to enter.

Last chance to avoid any spoilers!

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I give you Everpass Hold:



It's an impressive fortress, isn't it? Sadly, it's almost all empty. The numbers of valley-dwellers willing to serve as huntsmen has steadily dwindled over the years.

As a result, only about a dozen or so work in the keep anymore. Most of them are young and barely trained for combat.

Instead, Everpass Hold has become a place of refuge and care. Many wanderers from the outside world first visit this place as they look for a new life inside the valley. The hunters here feed them and minister to them until they are strong enough to make the journey to Vitalba village on their own.

As you can see, there are towers and lookouts all up and down the mountainside. They've been sealed off, for the most part, in a bygone age. None of the workers living there now have any idea what's inside them.

Despite all this, the keep is still warm, well-maintained, and welcoming. The front gate is barred open and guests are never turned away.

Everpass is one of my favorite locations. The lost grandeur, the joyful mood, the brilliant white towers, and the air of mystery surrounding it constantly pique my imagination. I can't wait to share it with you in Book 2.

Until next week, take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Motifs I'd Like to Use #9 - Ancient Beasts

Welcome everyone!

This week I want to talk about something else that I thoroughly enjoy in fantasy writing: ancient beasts.

In this case, I'm not talking about something that's just old like dragons. I'm talking about something more primordial, something from a forgotten age unlike anything else seen in the setting.

For instance, in Middle-earth you have the Fell Beasts that the Nazgul ride in The Return of the King:


In Harry Potter you have the basilisk:


In Star Wars, we have the Sarlacc Pit


In the Wheel of Time there is the Grolm:



And so on. Sometimes these ancient beasts are conglomerations of other animals. Manticores, Chimeras, Hydras, Sphinxes, and Dragon Turtles fall into that category. Those kinds of monsters interest me the most because they seem unnerving more than anything. Your brain tells you that such a creature can't be right.

So, at any rate, I hope to use a creature or creatures like that at some point in my books. However, if I do, it will be sparingly. The impact of such an odd and terrifying monster is lessened the more it is used. So if I really want the reader to remember it, whatever strange creature appears in my series will be cloaked in mystery and seldom seen.

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, November 1, 2019

Goals for the Weekend 2019-11-01

Welcome everyone!

Just one goal this week: Have a successful BOOK SIGNING! Yes, just a reminder that I'll be at the Marion County Public Library from 11am to 1pm. I hope to do a reading, maybe some questions and answers, then - if all goes according to plan - have a HUGE reveal for everyone who stays until the end.

I hope to see as many there as possible. I think we'll have a good time. Don't be shy! I will have copies for sale, so if you don't have yours yet, you can pick them up there.

Goals for the weekend:

  • Have a successful book signing.
Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, October 31, 2019

*SPOILERS* 10th Reveal for Book 2 - A Tower of Dark Ones

Welcome everyone!

It's Thursday and that means it's time for the Weekly Reveal!

So this week, I'm expanding on a location I've been talking about for a while now. It was mentioned in Book 1, so I don't feel that exposing the name here is much of a spoiler.

So one of the place the characters will have to account for in Book 2 is Tatterdemalion's Tower. As explained in Book 1, it was originally called "Greyfell Tower" and served as a type of lighthouse in the middle of Celandine valley.

Before many of the roads and small hamlets disappeared, wanderers and travelers would stay at the tower on their way to their destinations. When it fell, much of the western part of the valley had to be abandoned. The villagers were all squeezed into Vitalba.

Now, it is a place of evil. Most huntsmen avoid it if possible; villagers never travel there voluntarily. Only those captured by the bloodborn, the vampires, enter its unhallowed gates.

Last chance before spoilers!

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You might notice that the tower seems disjointed and broken. That's intentional. The vampires remodeled much of Greyfell when they took it over to suit their own needs. With vile magic borrowed from Lord Dreadstone, they reshaped the once proud haven into a twisted heap of disjointed architecture.

I do want to point out one thing, however. A small reminder of the huntsmen still remains. A single rose bush hugs against the side of the tower. The vampires never removed it, and it has evaded notice ever since they came. That's some amazing tenacity in my mind!

Anyway, come back next week for something new. And don't forget about the book signing this Saturday 11 to 1 at the Marion County Public Library in Lebanon, Kentucky. Hope to see you there!

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Creatures of Celandine Valley #1 - The Werewolf (Part 1)

Welcome everyone!

A while back I did a series of entries on locations of Celandine Valley. Now I'm moving on to the creatures. I plan to talk in-depth about each one and provide you with background on the mythology of each as well as my own rationale for using them.

We'll begin with The Werewolf.

Werewolves have become ingrained in popular culture thanks, mainly, to movies. From the Wolf Man in 1941 to Teen Wolf in the 80's to the Underworld series, werewolves have been portrayed in may different ways on the silverscreen.

Transforming into a wolf, though, goes WAY back in olden times. How far is hard to say, but the ancient Roman writers like Ovid and Petronius wrote of such transformations.

One thing that has not really transferred to the movies from the old stories is the idea that in order for a human to turn into a werewolf, he or she would need a part of the wolf that bit them in order to do it. Usually, this was the pelt of the wolf but could also be just the tail or a tooth.


I did not fully carry that tradition forward either. However, I did want to make the pelts meaningful nonetheless. So, what I did, was have the werewolf pelts be especially valuable in the world of the huntsmen. This way, they could support themselves and their Lodge with what they hunted.

I'm just scratching the surface here with what I want to say about werewolves. More is coming.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for this week's reveal, which has nothing to do with werewolves, LOL!

See you then!

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, October 28, 2019

This is an Exciting Week!

Welcome everyone!

We've got some great things in store for this week. I am so ready for them!

First, this Thursday is Halloween. As a result, this Thursday's reveal will have a spooky theme to it. I'll give just a small hint: it's a location, one of the scariest locations in all of Celandine Valley. It's going to get an illustration in Book 2, and the description of it is going to blow you away.



Second, I have my second book signing this Saturday! It is at the MCPL from 11am to 1pm. IMPORTANT: If all goes according to plan, I will have make a VERY SPECIAL unveiling at the signing. Only those who attend will be able to enjoy it. So if you can, be there, and stay the whole time!

That's all for now. Keep checking back for updates. If I can, I'll confirm the unveiling. Until then, take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, October 25, 2019

Goals for the Weekend 2019-10-25

Welcome everyone!

I have a busy weekend planned. I'll be doing a bit of traveling during the day and having get-togethers in the evenings. As I've said many times, fall is my favorite time of year, so my family is incredibly active during this time.

As a result, I probably won't have time to get a lot of work done. Still, there are a few things I'd like to accomplish:

If I can get any of that done, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, October 24, 2019

*SPOILERS* 9th Reveal for Book 2 - A Corridor of Horrors

Welcome everyone!

As we approach Halloween, I figure it's time to start discussing some of fantasy-horror aspects of Book 2. So this week, we're going to reveal a location in Celandine Valley inhabited by the vampires.

One motif that I really enjoy in fantasy literature is this idea that old buildings get repurposed as time goes on. For instance, take Orthanc from Middle-earth. Most people know it as the tower of Isengard where Saruman the White Wizard takes residence.

It wasn't always that way. Long ago, it was a fortress of Gondor, not a wizard's tower. However, as the decline in Gondor's kings inevitably led to the decline in Gondor as a nation, Orthanc was locked and abandoned. It wasn't until many centuries later, after a siege against the Dunlandings, did control of Orthanc come back to the free peoples and the steward of Gondor pass the keys of the tower to Saruman.

So why the little history lesson? Today's reveal is of a place with a similar history. In the center of the valley (as depicted on the map in Book 1) is Tatterdemalion's Tower. It wasn't always his. It belonged to the huntsmen once, until they fell into despair. But I'll discuss more of its history next week. This week, let's take a look at the inside.

This is your last warning to avoid spoilers!
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I know it may be hard to see, but the door at the end of the hallway is similar to the door I revealed three weeks ago. This is intentional. The huntsmen used the same symbols throughout their history, just as any organization would. Since this tower once belonged to them, it shouldn't be surprising to see their markings everywhere.

The vampires (also known as bloodborn in Celandine Valley) never bothered to erase what the huntsmen had built. They just turned the tower into their own den of villainy. So when our heroes visit the tower, they'll have some knowledge about its inner working that will give them an advantage.

Anyway, that's all for this week. I hope you enjoyed the reveal. Next week, on Halloween, let's have a look at the outside, shall we?

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Vids I Enjoy #3: Beginning With The End In Mind

Welcome everyone!

In my research for how to write good stories, I came across a wonderful channel called "Lessons from the Screenplay." While I am no writing a screenplay, I still find the creator's words extremely relevant to what I'm doing.

In this instance, he comparing two stories and how the ends inform the beginnings. It's really good, and it's something I'm trying to work with myself. It isn't easy to write this way, especially in a book series like I'm doing. But thinking ahead, setting up the end in the beginning, are really important skills all writers should have.


Peace,

-Troy