Month: May 2018

Friday Book Cover ~ Old and New

Good choices of covers today by Joan Hall over on Story Empire. See if you agree with her thoughts about the Mary Higgens Clark cover…

Story Empire

Hello SE Readers! As a reader, a good cover is often the first thing that draws me to a novel, particularly with a new or unknown author. If the artwork isn’t impressive, I’m likely not going to read the blurb, let alone purchase the book.

There have been times when I liked a cover, found the blurb interesting, and purchased the book only to be disappointed. But if I were to guess, I’d estimate that ninety percent of the covers that drew me in ultimately led to a satisfying read. Such was the case when I read my first Mary Higgins-Clark novel.

Although I read a variety of genres, I prefer mystery and suspense. I still recall one evening visiting a brick and mortar bookstore with my brother in the late 1970s. I hadn’t intended to purchase anything, but while waiting for him I began to peruse the fiction section…

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Tuesday Tales: Endless Doors Part 3

The Tuesday Tales feature continues with a new story this week. The previous story was Shadow of the Beast  To read the story, click on each link: Shadow of the Beast Part 1Shadow of the Beast Part 2Shadow of the Beast Part 3

This story is a a departure from fantasy for me and into a bit of science fiction where the science is more setting and the fiction is nuanced with it. Click this link to read Part 1 | Part 2

Endless Doors

by P. H. Solomon

Part 3

The shuttle arrived at Shady Oaks with a soft landing. The engines hummed during cool-down like a choir ended a song. Passengers exited whenever their cards signaled for them.

Archangel Lassitter’s card flashed in his hand and he disembarked. He almost searched for bags. He cleared his throat and shrugged at the lack of his possessions. Nothing to carry. He inhaled and released his breath, feeling like it was his first taste of fresh air in years. The lack of belongings left him invigorated.

More light led him to an attendant who stretched her arm toward an entryway. “Welcome to Shady Oaks. Your resting place is this way, Archangel.”

Jake wet his lips. He hesitated at the black tile line marking the room boundary. “It’s what I requested isn’t it? The, er, coffin?”

The attendant pecked her projected data interface. She smiled. “As you requested. It’s just inside. A military design.”

Jake swallowed the lump in his throat. It would be over soon. He entered the room where soft light illuminated the container mounted on a platform tilted for his ease. An old man’s ease. He allowed himself a grimace. “Such a small room. I expected a large one for all of us at once.”

“We’ve found everyone needs privacy in these moments.” The attendant handed him a smock. “Change into this and place your ID in the pocket. When you’re ready…” She motioned toward his coffin.

“I wore my best uniform for this.”

“The smocks are best but we’ll make sure it’s handled appropriately.”

Jake changed into the smock behind a screen. He laid the uniform out neatly and patted the garment. He frowned. It was his last comfort.

“Archangel? It’s time.” She took the ID from his hand and slipped it into the pocket at his chest.

Jake shuffled on bare feet to the container. He climbed in and leaned back.

From Myriams-Fotos via Pixabay.com

The transparent lid slid over him. A recording initiated. “Archangel Lassitter, welcome. You are about to be sent to The Afterlife. Do you confirm these instructions?”

“Yes, The Afterlife.” Jake’s heart lurched and his breathing accelerated.

The coffin tilted toward horizontal. “When the light changes to green, close your eyes and breathe deeply.”

He nodded to the instructions. Jake resisted pounding on the lid or screaming but he trembled. He hated closed spaces.

The light changed to green after extended moments. He inhaled fast and squeezed his eyes shut. His breathing calmed. His thoughts staggered into nothingness. Archangel Lassitter left his world.

Thanks for reading today. For more information about my writing, please see the page about my epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga, which includes two award-winning books.

About the Author

Behind the Scenes Writing Updates

Hello to all the Archers Aim readers! The blog has been a little more quiet than usual the last week or so, but that’s because I’ve been busy writing elsewhere. Last week, I did have some freelance work that needed to be completed, but that’s not the really big news. It’s just one reason why I’ve been distracted, but the others are much bigger. Here are the top items:

Mage

As most of the readers on this blog will remember, I finished the rough draft of this book last month. Since then, I’ve been spending my evenings editing it to a more polished draft so that it will be ready for proposals that may require an initial reading by publishers. This particular fantasy novel is quite a bit longer than normal, so it will take some time to complete this process. However, I am about 25% through the book and I’m really creating a lot more consistency in it. I’m able to make notes about details that I had forgotten since writing on the manuscript began in March 2017. I was forced to write the early parts of the book for my agent around publication of An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow last year. It’s been good to get back to this book, finish it, and now begin to create a sense of cohesion throughout the manuscript. I’m having a lot of fun with it and hope to share more about it over the upcoming weeks.

Glove

Writing did not stop once I finished Mage. I immediately shifted over to completing Glove which I also began during 2017 to get to my agent as well. This novel is much shorter, so I’ve already finished it over the last week. Dictation has made completion of both of these novels much easier around my regular work schedule. I’m pleased to have completed Glove and look forward to editing it very soon.

Publication

Regarding both of these books, I don’t have a specific news at this point. It would be good to have some decisions from traditional publishers so I will know how to plan for the rest of the year in terms of editing and such. However, I’ve decided that I will be as prepared as possible if one or both of these books are turned down. With that in mind, I will prepare some proposals for hybrid publishers and also engage my editor’s schedule just in case I need to proceed in either of those directions. For me, a rejection from traditional publishers is not a big deal. It would be easier to handle the publication with a traditional publisher, but I understand that not all books fit a publisher’s needs at any given time. So, being self published means that I am willing to go that route if necessary. I’m confident in my editor and my cover artist so that I know I can produce a quality book. However, this time around I would like to be able to do more than initially publish in e-book only. For this reason, I am considering hybrid publishers so that I might be able to produce one or both of these books and release them in multiple formats, which is my preference.

What’s Next

I may have finished Glove and Mage in terms of writing the first drafts, but since I now dictate during my commute time, I still have time to write. So, even though I am editing in the evening, I’m also dictating while I drive. I have quite a few shorter books that I would like to see published as soon as possible so I’ve also started a LitRPG-style book which I hope will become the first of a series. I made quite a lot of progress so far, and, since it’s a novella that probably will be no longer than 50,000 words, I’m already about one third finished with the rough draft. This e-book may be done so quickly that it may wedge it’s way into my editing schedule so that I can possibly publish it within the next few months. I’ll share more news about it as work on it progresses, but I should have a faster schedule with this novella, considering it will most be likely self-published as an e-book.

Audio and The Bow of Hart Saga

Last week, I was also working on some of the details for my audiobook publisher, Podium Publishing. We had a number of regular email exchanges about various details of the upcoming production. I have been able to provide all of the pronunciation and character notes that should help the narrator and other people on the production team getting started. I’m pleased to announce that production will begin next week and it sounds like the narrator has a number of wonderful ideas concerning character accents. It should make for a very interesting audiobook production. It’s very exciting to be able to work with a professional narrator like this and it will be just a few short months until the series is released in this format.

Also regarding The Bow of Hart Saga, I have begun discussions with a hybrid publisher so that the series can make it into print, possibly this year. Since the entire saga has sold so many copies, and I have had a fair number of requests for the book in print, I feel that I should pursue every avenue possible to gain bookstore and library distribution channels. So I’m going to try a hybrid publisher and see how that works out. The series is pretty much ready for print so I don’t think that it would be a major project to get ready within a few months. The main work would probably be marketing. As soon as I find out more I will be certain to share it here on the blog.

Writing has become a very busy venture for me. I did not anticipate my first series carrying me as far as it has as an author. I always like to thank all of the readers because all of you are the reason that the books have done so well. Readers are also a big reason that I am pushing very hard to complete my next projects. I am very thrilled to have the reading audience that has come my way and I really want to share more of the stories that I have, including a possible sequel to The Bow of Hart Saga as soon as I can get to it.

I mentioned several months back, that I do have a lot of projects that need my attention. I’ve only mentioned three new ones in this post, however I do have at least two other series that I would like to start as soon as possible. It may seem that I’m juggling quite a lot of different projects and some people might even wonder how I’m doing all of them (or will be able to write well), but the dictation helps me keep moving with all of the projects that I have. I’ve learned quite a lot from the three books that I’ve published so far and I’m moving along very well with the editing. I certainly do need professional editing regardless of what direction these projects go. Since I have several ways that I can go to accomplish production of these books, I am confident that they will be of high quality.

Thanks for stopping by today and checking in with my writing progress. If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave them in the comments section and I’ll be happy to reply as soon as I can. I’ll share more about what’s happening behind the scenes in coming weeks so readers can have a good sense of what it’s like to write and publish fantasy books.

About the Author