Thursday, February 28, 2019

Proofs are in!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand there's a problem with them, LOL. The hardback is missing a very important page, so I'll have to get that fixed and re-uploaded. Oh well, it's not a huge problem, but it does cost an extra fee to fix. Again, not a huge problem, but remember when I said everything about publishing a book costs more and takes longer than expected? Yeah, nothing's changed about that.



Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Paperback Giveaway Next Week!

Welcome everyone!

Next week I will be doing a giveaway for the paperback version of my novella. All you will have to do is retweet my notice on Twitter and you will be entered. Two paperbacks will be given away randomly. Expect to start on Monday and carry thru until Friday!

Good luck to all :)



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Book Trailer! - Super Secret Project #2

Welcome everyone!

I've mentioned a few times that I've been working on some super secret projects. Well, here's the second: a book trailer for The Huntsman and the She-Wolf! It was done by a very talented artist and the work is fantastic, IMHO. It captures exactly what I wanted for my fantasy novella. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Without further ado, here it is:



Monday, February 25, 2019

What a Crazy Weekend!

Welcome everyone!

Well, this weekend was the first time I revealed to my extended family that I've written a book. The only people who knew before now was my wife and my daughter.

It was a great time to visit my folks and show them what I've been up to. Naturally, there was a lot of celebrating and happiness. There were also a lot of questions. The most frequent question was: How long did it take?

The truth is, I started creating the setting four years ago just as a fun expression of my creativity. I really had no idea what I would do with it. I started with a map then filled the empty spaces with little stories and legends.

In fact, much of what I wrote at that time you may have read on this blog or on my Twitter account. It wasn't until a buddy of mine got published three years ago that I really started researching how to write a book.

The research and consequent outlining took me another year. Then it was two years to write the novella.

That might seem a long time for a book whose hardback edition is less than 200 pages, but for a debut work of fiction, it really isn't. I had to do a lot of revision. Whole chapters had to be rewritten. That was frustrating and hard.

BUT, the final product was worth it. I am now author, and I couldn't be happier about that.

Look for more posts in the future to focus on nature. Being outdoors is what really inspires me and my book. I am fortunate enough to live in a place with lots of beautiful topography. I want to share what I've seen with you.

Until next time, take care of each other :)



Friday, February 22, 2019

The Huntsman & The She-Wolf is now ON SALE!!

Welcome everyone,

You can now order my debut novella ON AMAZON right now!  Click on the picture for the link:

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Super Secret Project #1

Welcome everyone!

I hope you have enjoyed the reveals so far this week. What comes next is VERY excited. Now, however, I get to reveal something I’ve been working on for a while. 

Three years ago, when I began toying with the idea of writing a fantasy book, I knew I had to do some research. I started following multiple blogs and watching hours and hours of videos on YouTube. One thing I ran into over and over was The Hero’s Journey.

The problem, though, is that very few of the blog posts or videos took a deep dive into any individual part of the journey. They almost always covered the whole journey or used the stages of the journey as a springboard into something else. So, I was intrigued but felt like my self-education was incomplete. So after I saw it often enough, I decided I needed to go to the source.

I picked up a copy of Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces from my local bookstore and read it and annotated it. It was a fascinating read. I can’t align myself with everything Campbell wrote and thought, but his work was still an inspirational look at storytelling from ancient times, particularly when he wrote about non-European cultures - which he did extensively.

Going back through the videos and blog posts I had seen before made much more sense after reading Hero with a Thousand Faces. However, I was still stuck with the problem of no one person taking a deep look at each individual step or even the major archetypes of The Hero’s Journey.

Consequently, I sought to solve my own problem. That is what I am presenting to you today. My super secret project #1 has been a series of podcasts dedicated to looking at The Hero’s Journey in stages through my own interpretations and uses. My ideas may not align with other thinkers on the subject, and that’s perfectly fine with me. This is about my relationship with the journey. And at times, my thoughts will diverge greatly from Campbell’s on the subject, especially with his thoughts on female heroes - which he dismissed quite famously.

Anyway, here’s the first episode. In it, I lay out my plan for looking at Campbell’s work, how I will build on it, and explain why I think The Hero’s Journey is still relevant to examine and think about in today’s modern world. Hope you enjoy!



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Announcement For Tuesday: Book Title and Series Title

Welcome everyone!

How about a two-for-one? My first novella is actually the first book in a series. My hope is to do five books in total. I've fully outlined the first three so far. The fourth and fifth books are still in the brainstorming phase, but I have done a seven-point plot structure for both. Wish me luck as I go down this road. It's going to be tough.

Aaaaaaaaanway, let's get to why you're here. Titles:

Book Title: "The Huntsman and the She-Wolf"

Series Title: "The Hunter's Rose Series"

How about that? I'm very pleased with the titles I've ended up with. It took me at least a half-dozen tries to get the ones I finally settled on. Coming to a final decision was difficult. In the end, I wanted a title that told a story. I think this one does. Upon first reading it, you immediately know the major players, and I believe it will provoke instant questions. Are these two figures enemies? Friends? Lovers? The idea, of course, is to snag the reader's imagination and get them to linger on the title for just an extra moment or two. If a title accomplishes that, I think it is a successful one.

So, what do you think about my titles?

Also, I've included an image below from my cover (extra bonus, more cover tease!) that shows the title. Hope you get to enjoy it as much as I have :)



Monday, February 18, 2019

This is a Very BIG WEEK, Everyone!

Welcome everyone!

I am so excited about this week. All my work is finally coming to fruition, and I get to share it with all of YOU! The cover artist and layout artist have sent me all files for my book, and I am in the process of getting them ready for production. That means, I AM ABOUT TO BE PUBLISHED!

So what I'm going to do outline a series of announcements that I'll be making this week in preparation for that. Check back each day to see what's going on:

Announcement #1 Monday: Cover Tease!

-I will reveal a portion of the front cover of my fantasy novella.

Announcement #2 Tuesday: TITLE REVEAL!

-I will reveal the full title of my novella in public for the first time.

Announcement #3 Wednesday: Super Secret Project #1 Reveal!

-I will let you in on a supplementary project I've been working on for the last few months.

Announcement #4 Thursday: COVER REVEAL!

-I will reveal the full cover of my fantasy novella.

Announcement #5 Friday: Pre-Orders Go Up!

-You will be able to order my book from Amazon!

So let's go ahead and get things kicked off with the cover tease. The setting for my novella is an ominous one. I've talked before about how it's filled with gothic monsters such as vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and such. I wanted to make sure those elements were represented on the cover. And what about reveals more about who or what we really are than our eyes? So naturally, that's what I chose to reveal in the picture below.

Come back later this week to see the full cover!



Friday, February 15, 2019

Goals for the Weekend 2019-02-15

Welcome everyone!

So, this weekend might be huge for me. It's very possible I get the final drafts of all the interiors and covers for my novella TODAY. That's eBook, paperback, and hardback. If so, then my plans for the weekend are pretty clear. If not, then it's time to really reevaluate my marketing plan and try to do it as right as possible. So here we go.

Goals for the weekend Plan A:

-Review all covers
-Review all interiors
-Send final approval of all covers
-Send final approval of all interiors

Goals for the weekend Plan B:

-Review articles and videos on book marketing
-Set daily, weekly, and bi-weekly goals for marketing plan
-Being working on meeting those goals



Thursday, February 14, 2019

Just Got To See The Hardback Cover!

Welcome everyone!

I was just sent the first draft of my hardback cover. It's glorious and weird at the same time. Seeing my own picture on the inside flap of a book almost seems incongruous with reality. I find myself asking strange question. Was I meant to be an author? Is this something that was decided at my birth? Have all the decisions I've ever made led to THIS?

This novella isn't my first creative project, but nothing compares to it. Creating a work of fiction forces you to put yourself in a vulnerable position. You have to expose the dark, secret aspects of your mind and soul. As I near the end of this step in my journey, I'm coming to terms with that.

I'll very likely lose old friendships because of my book. I'm certain to gain new ones. I'm not sure there's any way to prepare one's self for that. It's exhilarating and frightening at the same time.

I just want you to know, that I'm doing my best for you. This book will be the finest artwork I am capable of making. It isn't perfect. I'm sure I made mistakes both in the prose and in the concept of it. I'll atone for those down the road.

But for now, I'm going to enjoy this. My face is on a book!



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Darking Moor

Welcome everyone!

Today I'm going to tell you about one of the more insidious places in the setting of my book: The Darking Moor.

Often called “The Slough”, the Darking Moor is a low spot in South Celandine Valley. Dense foliage dissipates into a brackish legion of interconnected swamps. These dank and eerie waters are known as a home for evil. They are a cursed place, infested with vile creatures and those practicing dark magic. It is the last place anyone from Vitalba should want to go, yet so many travel here. The lure of power, mystery, treasure, and more call to villager and huntsman alike. Only the most stalwart members of the Huntsman’s Lodge traverse this rotted land to keep their village safe.

The marshes stretch out in all directions. The black waters ebb and flow as if controlled by an invisible will. Ever year, the Darking Moor grows larger. The huntsmen monitor the water’s creep, but there is little they can do about it. Only in the dead of winter is its undulation stalled. The icy winds from the west freeze the swamp solid. In these times, the slough takes on a strange and horrifying beauty. The deafening silence and hoary frost only magnify the dangers the lurk among the dead vegetation.



Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Paperback is Done!

Welcome everybody!

I got to see the full wrap for the paperback version of my fantasy novella. It looks awesome! The artist totally captured exactly what I wanted. The interior is done too, so that's a big step toward completion. Let's hope the rest gets done quickly as well so I can show you what it all looks like!



Monday, February 11, 2019

Infuria's Den

Welcome everyone!

The main antagonist of my first book is Infuria. She is queen of the werewolves and on a mission to eliminate the threat from the Huntsmen once and for all.

Her den is located in the far southwest of the valley. It first appears as a humble cave with only a few rooms, but it is part of a much larger network of caverns.

The huntsmen do not know the true location of her hideout. Many have searched, few have returned. The she-wolf always keeps a retinue of four to six werewolves with her at all times along with a half-dozen dire-wolves that keep a sharp lookout for intruders.

These make up her pack that she uses to harass valleyfolk. For almost 60 years she has attacked the villagers of Celandine Valley, and unless the huntsmen can locate her cave in the mountains, there is no reason to believe she will be slowing down any time soon.



Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Calycanthus River

Welcome everyone!

Today I just have a short post about the setting in my novella. It's about the Callycanthus River.

The Callycanthus flows from Lake Serenity until it meets up with two other rivers in the far east of Celandine Valley. The rivers flow together only a short time until they break apart into a multitude of river islands before flowing over the Thunder Falls in the east.

Seasonal farms trace the southern side of the river. The rich soil is used to grow vegetables of all sorts as well as oats and spelt.

The northern side of the river is never farmed. The Unhallowed roam the forest to the north, and even though Dreadstone Keep is many miles away, its vile influence seeps through the ground to the rivers edge. Only twisted trees and poisonous plants grow on the northern banks.

Callycanthus is not used much for transport given its varying depths and lack of proximity to Vitalba Village. There once was another town built along the river farther east, but it was destroyed long ago.

For now, it acts more or less as a boundary between the corrupted northern part of the province and the embattled southern reaches.



Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Deeping Wood

Welcome everyone!

Today, I'm going to discuss the "Deeping Wood." It's a forest that's often forgotten in Celandine Valley since it lacks any strategic locations or resources.

South of Empyrean Falls and north of Tatterdemalion's Tower lies an evergreen forest. It was once a lush arboretum, planted ages ago, and filled with nut and fruit trees. The valley's citizens would harvest a great bounty from the wood each year during fall.

However, warlocks sent by Lord Dreadstone burned it to the ground a century ago. It happened during a great war between the huntsmen and the werewolves. While the huntsmen were busy fending off the wolfmen of the east, the warlocks struck.

The forest has not yet recovered its past glory. Few deciduous trees of any kind grow here. Instead, the forest has developed a thick carpet of pine needles. And the evergreen trees have grown close and thick.

Pitch pines, short leaf pine, and spruce are the most common trees found here. The Deeping Wood is a quiet place, ideal for contemplation and reminiscence. It is rare to find huntsmen or unhallowed here, though. Little is left in this wood that either side can use.



Monday, February 4, 2019

The Interior Is Done!

Welcome everyone!

The interior for my book is now finished! I got the final layout for approval just this morning, and it's great. I can't wait to share it with you ASAP.

The best thing about my interior is that it's not just plain text on pages. There are little embellishments on every page, and each chapter starts a watermark.

Also, if you remember, the artwork I commissioned for the book like the one you see below will appear throughout the story. I'm very happy with how it all turned out.

Now, the layout was technically just for the paperback version, but the layout artist uses that as the basis for the eBook and Hardback versions as well. So those will come along in the coming weeks.

Once all that's done, I think we will just have the spines, back cover, and inside flaps to do, and it will all be finished! I can't wait. I've grown wearing of having patience. I just want to be published! Know what I mean? ;-D