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Progress Report on New Books

Good morning to all the Archer’s Aim readers. Taking a break from my fiction writing today to share some of what I’m working on with my newest books. There’s quite a lot to do so it’s sometimes difficult to parse it all out well. Even now, I’m beginning my plans to release the book and I haven’t even completed the edited version for my editor.

First, I’m going back to complete as much of the world-building for both Reformed Mage (aka RM) and Black Glove (aka BG). My main focus is on RM at the moment but BG will soon have my focus too. I’m using World Anvil and Notebook.ai which are development services which can be used for free or pay. I can keep my notes there and play around with the details as well as record what I’ve already written down to very specific levels. The main problem is that I wrote these originally at a very fast pace such that I never spent enough time on the world-building. Now I’m going back to fill-in the proverbial blanks.

In addition to the world-building, I’m working to split my initial book for RM into three books. Yes, it was that long and required I make the move after consulting with my editor who has been a big help. In conjunction with the world-building, I’m creating consistency throughout the books and include all the various points that occur in the books so that they don’t jar a reader with mistakes. Likewise, and I don’t want to share too much at this point, the book is organized in a different story-arc so I must create a balance of understandable progression that avoids confusion. It’s a challenging book in many ways with the depth of characterization, world-building and story details that it seems like a very tangled mess at times. Organizing the content and the details is a frustratingly slow process at times because I’m dedicated to making the book as fun and excellent as possible. Developing a user guide and writing some blog posts to use in the future help ground my thinking about the entirety of the series and the first book afford me clarity about it all. I am dedicated to completing and releasing the first book this year, maybe a second or third since I have the basic content available. Once I have the first book developed and edited enough, the next two books should be much easier to complete. But I’ll have to get there to know for sure.

Additionally, working with my artist regarding a thematic set of series covers is on the to-do list. Likewise, I’m going to print upon launch so I’ll be working with a formatter as editing on the first book progresses. Interestingly, I’ll also approach my audio publisher with the books in hopes they will pick the series up in time for launch or soon thereafter. My feeling on audio is that this will depend on possible pre-launch sales so it may well arrive several month later than the first book. But, if the series is accepted, the next two books may will be in audio when those are launched. The production of the series is it’s own job but I’ve done it previously and know what I want to do with this series more than my first one.

All that is just with RM but there’s more to work on this year too. BG is on the back-burner at the moment but needs to be run through a series of edits to get to publication. It’s already well along in the process and I’ve considered even placing it on Inkshares which is a hybrid publisher (meaning the expense is shared). If this book were accepted, it also gets full placement in all of the different sales venues just like a traditionally published book. I hesitate to give up the royalty percentage and any residual rights so I’m still thinking the option through at the moment. The plus side is that it’s doing something while I’m working on RM and increases the possibility of getting both series launched this year. I still think launching both is doable but the possibility of publishing two different ways is intriguing.

BG is a solid project and I want to get to it as soon as possible. Along the same lines, I want to begin planning a sequel series to The Bow of Hart Saga for next year, possibly dictating it on my commutes to get it going. That will take some doing as I want to improve the accuracy of my dictation software with some work. There are other series I want to launch that will be solid projects too but doing all of them requires more time than I have just now but I’d like to eventually get to where I’m releasing a book a quarter from a different series which is likely just a pipe-dream. I have at least two other first in series novels completed as rough drafts, both of which require more world-building. These are long-term projects but something I’m interested in completing as soon as possible over the next couple of years.

That’s what my writing looks like these days. The calendar is full and there something constantly in need of my attention. I’ll start sharing some of my related work on the series as soon as I can along with artwork, a release date and other news. Look for another progress report soon.

Characters from The Bow of Saga: Spark

This is the second of several posts revealing more about characters from The Bow of Destiny. You can read about Athson here. If you like dogs, you’ll love today’s post!

SparkSpark was a rather interesting and late addition to The Bow of Destiny. You see, Spark is a dog but not just any dog. He’s a dog that only Athson sees while he’s not taking doses of his elven medicine, Soul-ease. You might wonder if Spark is real and so does Athson. However, Athson considers Spark an old friend who watches out for him.
The idea for this invisible dog came from my daughter who did some alpha reading on the book last year. She suggested adding a dog so Spark is what I came up with. In the book, Athson identifies this dog as a Mountain Hound but to you and me he’s a German Shepherd – or very much like one.
If you’ve read my bio you know we own two German Shepherds so you can guess the origin of this character. But there’s more to the characterization than just being like a common breed. Spark is actually based on both of my dogs, appearing more like our female, Chloe, while sometimes acting rather like our male, Sam.

GSDsChloe & Sam
While Chloe is all guard-dog and ready for action all the time, Sam is more of a friendly bloke with a nasty side when necessary. But the unique quality of Sam is his way of communicating with us – he wags his tail for “yes” and doesn’t for “no”. Don’t believe me? Here’s a sample of Sam (Spark)-talk which is through a series of yes and no questions (and of course you have to catch Sam at a good time since he’s usually easily distracted like most dogs by things like food):
Me: “Sam, is it cold outside?”
Sam wags his tail – and it is (or was when this happened).
Me: “Sam, do you like the cold?”
Sam wags his tail because he really doesn’t like the hot Alabama summer but thrives in what cold weather we have.
Me: “Sam, do you want to sleep outside?”
Sam doesn’t wag his tail because, while he likes cold weather, he prefers to stay near his people like most GSDs do. This question is one that’s meant to ensure he’s really answering rather than just wagging his tail in distraction.
Me: “Sam, do you like Chloe?”
No wag because Chloe can really pesters him and bites him often since she’s rather feisty.
Me: “Sam, did Chloe bite you today?”
Sam wags his tail. Funny thing about dogs is that, being like wolf puppies, the males often let females win. Sam is much larger but always lets Chloe win.
Me: “Sam, do you want Chloe to sleep outside in the cold?”
Sam wags his tail. Yep that’s right, Sam wants Chloe to sleep outside while he gets to sleep inside.
We often can ascertain if Sam feels sick (he gets colitis) or achy (he’s getting a little older now and is starting to get stiff joints). We even found out that Sam wants a pet cat though this is likely the fact that he actually misses the old cat, Becky, who was still alive when Sam came to live with us. The cat hated Sam but he loved her. But you get the idea – Sam talks in his own way. He’s rather intelligent that way and even plays tricks on Chloe to get her to do what he wants. Now don’t think that Chloe is dumb by any means. She recognizes aggression easily and can solve some puzzles that Sam just won’t bother with.
So guess who speaks Sam-talk? Spark! I have a number of instances where Spark reveals something to Athson about his surroundings that Athson just doesn’t get. But you, the reader, get to understand that Spark may just know more about what’s going on at times than Athson.

Spark appears throughout The Bow of Hart Saga. To find out more about the character, click the links for The Bow of Destiny, An Arrow Against the Wind or The White Arrow. The entire series is not available on Audible from Podium Publishing:

Amazon

 

About 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. His first novel, The Bow of Destiny was named 2016 Book of the Year by Fantasia Reviews and is the first book of The Bow of Hart Saga. The sequel novel, An Arrow Against the Wind, was released in April of 2017. The third book of the series, The White Arrow, is due to be released during the Fall of 2017. P. H. Solomon also authored the award winning short story, The Black Bag, which won best published short story at SCWC 2012. P. H. is also a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Prequel short stories to The Bow of Hart Saga:

Trading Knives Amazon

What Is Needed Amazon

Download and listen to the prequels for free at AudFans

   Trading Knives 1   What Is Needed 4

 

The Bow of Hart Saga Sequel – Ideas From Readers

A recent email arrived in my mailbox from a reader who let me know not only had she re-read The Bow of Hart Saga, but she had a list of details she wanted to see in the sequel. First of all, authors love hearing that people are re-reading their books because there’s just no higher compliment. Next, a list of details to address in the sequel? WOW! That’s even better to hear from a reader because I know how much and what details of the book interest readers and what they want to know about in upcoming editions.

I’ve discussed getting a sequel ready at some point and had hoped to have already started this year. However, my health held me back for much of the first half of the year and other projects were delayed as a result. I’m working to get those projects edited and published as soon as I can, hopefully one new book in a new series this year. Regardless, the publishing calendar will be full next year if all goes well because I’ve got a long back-log of content that will soon be ready.

I’ve been deliberating about what book to draft next and thought I might work on the next one in my new Reformed Mage series – now it’s the fourth book since I wrote so much content in the original draft that I’ve split that one into three books already. Lots of work to do there, so what’s now book four can wait some. If I had it plotted, I’d be writing it now.

However, this news makes me take a step back and seriously consider plotting the sequel to The Bow of Hart Saga. I’ve already written down some ideas for the book and it may well require that I complete development of a parallel series to setup the sequel. This parallel series would contain a lot of information the leads into the sequel in terms of my planning. But, now I stop and listen to the readers and their interests – that’s where all of you come in. Below is a list of ideas already expressed to me and I love them all as aspects around which to write the sequel, but I’d love to hear from more people and their reactions to these ideas as well as share their own. Have a look at the list and then leave your comments about what you want to see answered in the sequel as well as what you loved best about The Bow of Hart Saga. If you are up for it, please leave a comment requesting access to the private fan group I’m developing on Goodreads where we can all share and discuss more about the series, sequels and other projects – no big commitment required.

Current list:

  • Write a short on Limbreth’s journey home
  • She (Limbreth) could have little adventures on the way home to reconcile with her father.
  • We could get to know the rest of Limbreth’s family.
  • Maybe toss in some letters from Athson
  • Have Makwi visit to sign an accord and sing her verse
  • Or Limbreth can go to the partially rebuilt Chokkra.

Just a quick comment; I’m up for writing that short but many of these ideas are actually good for including in a full novel too and would probably need more than a short book to actually cover. But I’m all about including these ideas in a possible upcoming sequel series of 2-3 books.

Here are some of my ideas when considering moving to a sequel:

  1. How will the previous outcome change Athson’s outlook? What will he do with his new role and all the revelations?
  2. How will Limbreth’s discovery of possible trouble in her home country and her relationship affect her decisions? Will she lose patience and move on from Athson?
  3. How will the wider political climate change? Will there be unforeseen ramifications?

I think those are good starters. For any readers interested, I’m willing to discuss these more in depth on my Goodreads group and share what rough drafts I write.for feedback. If you’ve read the existing series, please share if with your friends who love fantasy. Share it on social media too. Then come join the conversation by requesting access to my Goodreads group. I always welcome interaction with readers so come along to watch the development of the sequel and other books too.