Over the weekend, I had a good review of book cover art with the illustrator. I'm so excited for this next project. My test readers/editors are starting to kick me feedback and everything is coming together for an early August release! I do not know this author, but think Ylgolth might look like this.
So, let's talk bad guys - the Slaadi.
I have no idea who this artist is, but Syliri would love to see herself like this. Syliri & Bruce picks up 5 years after Dar Tania. On Dar's orders, the medusa Syliri and ranger Bruce (they met and had a thing in Dar Tania) begin exploring the territory considered by the dragons to be part of Morbatten.
Tellest.com is the world/game/books by author and creator Michael DeAngelo. They're fun. I was lucky to have him pick up and review Dar. The picture is clickable and will take you to his full promo.
It's fun to see these things out there, to connect with other writers, and also with you, the readers. My current project, Syliri & Bruce, is nearing completion of a first draft. I find myself thinking that the next one feature the characters strongly noted in reviews and emails. Hit me up with your thoughts.
May the dragons watch over you.
Free for Unlimited readers. It's 554 pgs. Sadly, I don't yet control paperback pricing, which is $18.99. The Kindle edition is $4.99.
Createspace keeps generating blank pages in the last 100 pages of Bomoki's Gate. It's killing me. In their process, you upload a file and then wait for about 30 hours for them to "approve" it. That process generates the final book file. My original submission did not have a random blank page. This is the 5th time I've tried to solve this. It's none of the obvious things like jacked up section breaks. This last time, I wrote extra content to fill this. There is no apparent reason, even in the doc code, that suggests why this is happening.
Editing is hard. First off, it's hard to see your own blind gaps. Test readers help and I want to call out the following people: Brian M, Mark F, Ben D, and Tony R. In a draft, I end up with so much mark up over 100s of pages and 10s of 1000s of words that I look at it and go, "Ugh." Like this demon in the picture (not my art; thank you Google search), Bomoki's Gate was always right there teasing me. "Come on," it'd say. "Come sit down, grab a drink. Start this editing for real."
I woke up at 5 am this morning and 7 hours later, I've finished the last 100 pages and incorporated notes from the test reader group. I'm exhausted. But, I thought I'd share some of my own learnings, for the curious and for other writers.
When I first started the indie publishing process, I wanted to do it correctly. I scanned a few "How to Indie Publish" books and found them all lacking. Most had titles like, "How to Publish in 17 Minutes". Amazon was the worst noting you can publish in just 5 minutes. Copyright setup took about 2 hours. Submission about 25 minutes. Confirmation and payment, 10 minutes. Waiting for this to come through took 9.5 months.
Wow, what a labor of love! Getting these 3 books to a state where I can even take a picture of them, has been a journey. The Bomoki's Gate copy is proof. When I'm done with the edits I've noted therein, it'll be live. I get really excited thinking about it.
This scene shows Malcor facing Cor'tanos, the Shadow Dragon Patriarch from outside the flow of Time. The artist, Darko/Paganus, did a great job on all main aspects. As an author, I have very rigid ideas about how these characters look but with the art, I give scene suggestions and let the artist do their thing.
In the Dragon Wars, where Tiamat separated from Bahamut - which also split the metallic and chromatic dragons - Cor'tanos refused to pledge to either. He led the shadow dragons down the flow of Time to see where it ended. They found the end, which they named the Gates of Oblivion, what everyone else named the Realm of Shadow.
Before her experience with the goddess Tiamat, Dar was just another girl in the barbarian tribe called, Horse.
Before Dar's experience with Tiamat, Dar was just another human, the 200th generation in the Tribe of Horses. The fire breather Alerius saw her as 200 generations of failed potential.
For thousands of years, the red dragon patriarch Alerius watched over a small group of barbarian tribes. He believed, and experimented to prove, that they could be molded as a society and culture to worship Tiamat (the goddess' kinder avatar) and Takhissis (her war avatar). Consumed with just surviving, Alerius had to increase their survivability while molding their worship of him towards having enough intelligence and wisdom to recognize that Tiamat stood behind Alerius as the real god. She was always there.
Most fantasy writing has some kind of ancient or super powerful society or civilization where its sole purpose is to contrast how fallen or different the current one is. Lord of the Rings has the Arda, etc. I could give more examples. The Forsaken Isles have the Eldar.
Meet Finn. The first, as far as I know, 13 year old boy to read Dar Tania. Courtesy of his mom, Em, they were kind enough to post a review on Kindle. I did not intend for Forsaken Isles stories for a Young Adult audience. But, because I began playing and reading fantasy when I was 8, it makes sense to me that there would be imaginative youth out there with a rich inner world in their mind's eye. There is a certain set of fantasy tropes I have put a lot of effort into avoiding... and they predominate YA writing.
Some trope examples:
- An unassuming/immature teen whose only redeeming quality is a sense of wonder OR frustration with something about their life
- Secondary characters who have it all figured out and keep the main character firmly on the rails of the plot
- Villains obsessed with some hidden "special something" that only the main character has; this is a way to prolong the reveal as a plot twist. It creates a climax long before the actual climax
...and then Amazon's review algorithm noted that the mother had friended me on Facebook and decided to not allow the review to stand.
There is so much great art out there. I remember, as a kid, sketching things and wishing I could draw better. As fate would have it, I wrote more than I sketched but now, you just enter a term like "dragon knight fire" and you get great stuff like this.