Blog Tour

Author Commentary: More About Withlings

With the publication of The White Arrow last week, readers get to find out more about the world of Denaria, dwarves and even Withlings. I don’t want to give anything away about the book or what’s to come in The White Arrow, but I thought I’d share a little bit more about Withlings today as a bit of commentary.

Withlings are a mystic order who serve their deity, Eloch. Magdronu is in conflict with Eloch and, by extension, with the Withlings as well. These mystics practice their faith in service to Eloch by learning to remain in communion with this deity. As such, various wonders can and do happen around them as seen around Hastra in The Bow of Destiny. However, Withlings do not have magic powers so they can only do as they are instructed – or not.

As is often spoken by Hastra in the books of The Bow of Hart Saga, “What is need is given.” The opposite is also true – what is not needed is not given. Hastra is known for being tight-lipped. She’s aware of certain things but cannot speak of them because this could change things for the worst. In such cases, Hastra, and Withlings in general, ponder these revelations, pray and wait to be of assistance as instructed. What is given to the Withling is usually done. So at this point, it should be well established that Withlings can be used to do some sudden and astounding things. However, Withlings cannot fix everything or know everything. With this in mind, they are as fallible as anyone else.

In An Arrow Against the Wind, more of the history of Withlings is revealed through Hastra. However, while she does know some things will happen, she does not know everything – even when she does do something amazing. She’s not super-human or a magic-user and she’s certainly not all-knowing.

Events unfold in An Arrow Against the Wind that require a higher intervention. After all, the arch-villain is taking a personal hand in events too. But these miraculous changes do not mean that things are so easily resolved for the characters. It is well established in both books that there are some wild-cards on both sides that can make things happen. So what happens in the newest book should be interesting twists that may mean more in The White Arrow rather than be simple resolutions to situations in the present book.

What you think you know from these unfurling events is only seen through the eyes of the characters and nothing more. They happen not as easy ways to get out of a corner but more as a bigger construct within the greater conflict and sets up what is to come and nothing more. The interventions through what is given is not for simple escapes from plot corners on my part but what is needed for the characters to reach the end of the quest and their appointed tasks. I haven’t written these for mere ease of getting in an out of things but to show that there is a bigger plan within a bigger conflict. What readers see through the characters  as they consider events don’t just happen for a happy ending but, instead, because what is needed by Eloch is given for his purpose.

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Self-Scouting: How My Release Day Went

Introduction

Self-publishing means that most, if not all, responsibilities for publishing a book lie squarely on the author. Here’s my take on how I did with the release of my recent book The White Arrow.

The Plan

I had a simple plan to share the release blog which you can view. Additionally, I planned to share tidbits on the blog post all day long and direct visitors to the ongoing (it’s still going) blog tour to register for the gift card giveaway (you still can today: Indie Wish ListSpunky N Sassy). Also, were links to a Facebook post and a Goodreads discussion where I also planned to post updates on various announcements and news. I even planned a few promos and had The Bow of Destiny on special for 99 cents. My email subscriber list received news about the release and I announced the event to friends on Goodreads. Finally, I scheduled a Thunderclap to announce the release of The White Arrow. I added a twist where visitors could go take a short quiz about the series to find out what character they were most like.

What Happened

Most everything went off without a hitch. I made updates all day long and shared news about going to print with the series (hopefully beginning later this month with The Bow of Destiny). I’m low on funds so I shied away from spending on much of anything and just stuck with what was in my wheelhouse for my limited budget these days.

The quiz was well received so I plan to do more of these in the future.

What I’d Do Differently

I’d run the Thunderclap much earlier so that the announcement would go out in the morning. Because I was rushed, I hesitated to schedule the campaign until late in the game meaning I had much less time to get the necessary 100 supporters. Since the campaign neared the minimum for a free campaign, I was forced to set the time for the message back several hours until 4PM instead of noon. The campaign did get 106 supporters but the message was very late in the day. I’d prefer to have that sent out much sooner to get attention. At least it was sent and that’s a plus.

Also, I’d do more to invite individual people I know to the blog, Facebook or Goodreads venues. Many of my Thunderclap supporters ended up being friends so I should have invited them to the event as well and gotten them the chance to register for the giveaway. Silly me, I thought they would just come to the event but I should have been more direct with the invitation. Again, next time, I’ll send out more notices sooner than I did to friends.

What I’d Really Like To Do

I’d like to run a series of live event sessions via Hangouts which feeds into YouTube and can be embedded into social media like Facebook and Twitter. However, this requires some big planning and a fair number of visitors in order to get interaction. Next time, I’ll work on planning something this ambitious further in advance and make sure that I get visitors to the scheduled sessions so I can interact with people. This also gives me a chance to add videos to my YouTube channel.

Also, I might try using more PR, contacting appropriate media outlets and possibly hire a service to handle the plans. But for now, I remain low budget.

Conclusion

Overall, the release went well. The White Arrow has now sold several hundred copies and continues to sell well. With the series completed, I’ll continue work on other projects as well as adding print to the mix within the month – more news on this last item in the coming weeks. Maybe I’ll have time to put my big ideas to action on the print release!

You can find more information about The Bow of Destiny, An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow at their pages. It’s a great time to dig into the series if you haven’t already!

Share your thoughts and ask your questions in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

About the Author

Scrivener: The Essential Writing Tool

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page. Sorry for the hiatus in writing a new post for several weeks but my efforts have been directed elsewhere. I hope to share more posts on this topic in the future.

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Scrivener LogoI was pleased to release my book, The Bow of Destiny, earlier this week. As you can imagine, Scrivener was a big help in self-publishing this fantasy novel. There are so many ways I’ve used the software to get to this point that it’s hard to imagine doing it all without Scrivener. It’s been a long hike – like doing the Appalachian Trail – and Scrivener has been in my pack the whole way. Here are some ways that Scrivener has helped me self-publish over the last year:

1. Newsletters – I used my newsletter template to write each volume this year and email it to mailing list followers. Scrivener has been instrumental in this since I have a project for all my newsletters for this year. I can open the project, write my content and transfer it to mail out easily. If I didn’t use Scrivener, I would have been hunting for all my information in separate files.

Multi-Function Tool - photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Multi-Function Tool – photo licensed via iStockPhoto

2. Editing the Book – The Bow of Destiny was largely completed when I really started using Scrivener so I imported it and completed my editing and development in a novel template. The same is true of the next book, An Arrow Against the Wind. However, with this second book, I still needed to complete the rough draft and do some structural editing. Scrivener was perfect for these tasks after I imported the book since I could use collections to organize my structural editing – see my posts on the topic: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4. However, the third book, The White Arrow, will be entirely developed in Scrivener and I’ll start that process in November with occasional, related posts about how I’m using Scrivener to do the development.

3. Project tracking – Scrivener allows me to do all kinds of project tracking. There are the built-in tools that track a project’s stats. Also, there’s meta-data to mark the status of sections and scenes in projects. However, I also used my Author Platform Manager, a custom project template I developed, to track what I’m doing overall as a writer. I can put anything necessary in it. If I develop an idea in it I can transfer it to an open project with the Scratchpad.

4. Blogging – Part of growing as an author includes blogging. I couldn’t have blogged near as much without Scrivener. It allowed me to put all my blog posts in one project for the year and create an ongoing schedule to follow. Without using Scrivener, I would have been lost and disorganized in the effort. It’s allowed me to often work ahead when I needed to and still keep the busy blogging schedule.

Writing5. Blog Tour Development – I developed a blog tour project template based on my blog template and what a big help Scrivener was there. I was able to work on my tour ideas and posts well in advance as I developed all of my author content. It’s been a major help just to keep all that in one place and work steadily at the release. I’m starting a new one with ideas within the week for the release of An Arrow Against the Wind 4/18/2016. With editing on this upcoming title ongoing, there’s no time like the present to organize the next release.

6. Developing & Writing Short Stories – Part of my release has involved using short fiction. I’ve also written some other short stories this year that are being submitted to magazine markets. Without Scrivener I would have floundered through developing these stories. The good thing is that with Scrivener, I can easily import these into another project to develop an anthology if I want to go that route. I’ve been able to manage and organize my short fiction with ease using Scrivener.

7. Document Templates – This feature in Scrivener has been very important to me all year. I’ve been able to use these templates to create my basic blog structure in my blog project. What a time-saver! I’ve also been able to use this feature to save more time writing my newsletters, short stories and more. By making document templates in my projects, I’m able to do repetitive writing without duplicating the same material repeatedly. If the material for the template needs an update that’s simple enough to change – one time.

Scrivener has been with me all the way during the last year. It’s been indispensable for me as a writer. I would not have done near as much as I have without it. I look forward to continuing my usage and expanding how I use it. As I develop an entire novel from it I expect to use the composition tools more than I have such as the lay-out manger as well as features for word searches and more.

BOD FinalIf you’ve published using Scrivener, how has it helped you get there? If you use it for other writing, how does Scrivener make you more effective as a writer?

I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Book & Blog Block Party. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about the tour as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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