Creativity

Out of the Shadows with Reformed Mage

Hi everyone! I’m done talking about Reformed Mage and I’m ready to really start sharing about it. For well over a year, I’ve mentioned this upcoming series with hints about the progress but no actual information about the book. Today marks when I get to talk about that book. The reason I only hinted around about it is that I haven’t wanted to share the details publicly, but now I’m throwing caution to the wind. Thanks to my friend Craig Boyack, whose chatty posts about his own work progress, inspired me to begin sharing about my own work more specifically and I hope will encourage me to soon complete the first book in the series.

Reformed Mage revolves around Manny and Wish who are two very different characters thrown together by difficult circumstances. They’ve formed a business partnership to make proverbial lemonade out lemons. Manny is the de facto main character, a talented mage and a discredited spy who is out of work. Likewise, Wish was out of work as a copywriter with low prospects and practically living on the streets. He also serves at the narrator of the story. The two have formed a partnership intent on investigating magical irregularities and crimes in hopes of making a living.

The interesting part is that what got Manny kicked out espionage was a curse he incurred during his activities as a spy. I won’t go into all of the background, but he’s intent upon clearing his name if possible – if the curse doesn’t kill him first.

There’s all kinds of trouble the pair can get into, both regular and magical. The setting is somewhat familiar in a large city during burgeoning technological growth. So there are all kinds of aspects to the story which can be exploited and one of the reasons why I’m taking so long with series. It’s no small feat to paint the full backdrop complete with all the details for readers as well as discover all of the many facets of the characters.
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Of course, there is a nemesis for this odd pair of investigators, as well as several characters who give them some trouble in a variety of ways. One of the befuddling mysteries about their nemesis is that the character is rather well hidden, even from general knowledge. Manny and Wish have discovered that the criminal exists with no known background and less information about this mastermind’s intentions. With few clues to guide them, they find themselves in danger while they work to protect the city in which they live from this shadowy figure.

At the moment I’m a little bit stuck on exactly how to revise the book, mainly because I want get it right. Maybe I’m being a little perfectionistic. However, I think this series will be quite a lot fun and it requires a lot of forethought about the series and a clear vision for how it will read. I want to take my time to iron out all the problems, fill the holes and create an excellent series for readers.

That’s all I have for to day. It’s your turn now. What are your thoughts about my rather spare and general description of my upcoming work? Thanks for stopping by and the post today. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section and share or re-blog this post.

Progress from Uncertainty

Like everyone else, I’ve watched the uncertainty of current pandemic playing out across the media with almost momentary updates. There’s so much information that it becomes overwhelming, even discouraging. During the last week, I’ve stayed busy with my wife’s recovery with her knee and she’s doing very well.

But, the upheaval and struggle with personal events have left me more energized. It’s likely nervous energy, but why not put it to good use? Sure, I’ve distracted myself with some entertainment and such, but along with a commitment to getting solid rest, I’ve decided to re-double my efforts with my book.

For too long, I’ve sat considering how to revise Reformed Mage without enough progress. In the midst of uncertainty, I’m using my restlessness to focus more on my writing than I have in a while and try to knock out this hefty revision. I’m dedicated to opening the file and working on it daily, perhaps several times each day. Anything is useful right now and leads forward which is what I need. Following that decision, I’ve made some solid progress in Reformed Mage. I’m intent on focusing on just this project as much as possible each day and push it further along toward publication.

I’ve drafted a short post about the book to share here next week as part of introducing it to readers. Look for that post next week and more about the book in the following weeks.

Meanwhile, I’ve been taking time to shift my attention from the distressing news. There’s the desire to be informed but also maintain calm. I’m watching a few new shows and a few retro shows to pass the time along with digging deep with the new book. This begs the question: what are you doing during this social hiatus? Are you spending more time working around the house? I’ve done that and swallowed a good bit of pollen from the early spring weather in the area. Are you binge watching shows? I’ve watched some old Star Trek Next Generation episodes and some newer shows on Prime. Are you reading books? I’ve been reading some too, what are you reading? Feel free to weigh-in on the subject in the comments. Thanks for stopping by today.

The Bow of Hart Saga Sequel – Ideas From Readers

Note: Fantasy Friday is a new feature for Archer’s Aim. This is a re-post, but for those interested, it’s useful. I’ll work on some new, fantasy-related posts to mix in with some of my older ones like this as well as some posts about new books in the coming months. Please feel free to share on social media or re-blog these posts. Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

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.