Fun Friday

Fun Friday: A Tour of the Real Funnel

Athson runs in the dark. Trolls howl as they thunder like an avalanche after him through the underbrush. Clawed paws snag and tear his clothing. Firelight fades. Heavy footfalls of trolls pound near, their huffing punctuated with grunts and snorts.

He turns and rushes back toward the gorge, the Funnel, near the troll camp. More trolls search the night, and others call for help. A kobold appears in front of him, and he runs into it. They fall hard, and the creature squeals as Athson grunts and kicks the creature in the face. Athson scurries off its back and rushes on. Where can he hide?

Deeper darkness yawns at his feet. He slides to a stop but not soon enough. He goes over the edge and rolls on a steep slope. Below, at the sheer edge, Athson’s legs go over, and he grasps wildly for any handhold.

Trolls point at him and howl as he slides over the edge. He falls and screams.

From An Arrow Against the Wind

The passage above makes some reference to a setting that recurs in The Bow of Hart Saga, especially in the latter two books. There’s drama around the setting of a gorge through which a rushing river flows in the world of Denaria. The gorge of the Funnel serves as part of the basin for the Long River west of the Drelkhaz Mountains while also serving as a major geographic boundary for the eastern side of the Troll Heaths. It’s here that Athson experienced some of his childhood trauma and here that he must return.

 

The Altar of the Trolls overlooks the gorge called the Funnel and plays a major roll in The Bow of Hart Saga as a geologic feature.

 

There is an actual location from which I based with the gorge in An Arrow Against the Wind. I grew up in North Alabama which is in the southern Appalachians. There are several interesting rock formations – and even caves (more on that another time) in an area that’s largely unknown outside of Alabama.

Little River is formed from East Fork and West Fork on Lookout Mountain. From the confluence of the forks, the river runs through what is called Little River Canyon which is a National Preserve. The river is about 26 miles long and empties into Weiss Lake which is drained by the Coosa River.

The Canyon is actually one of the deepest canyons east of the Mississippi River and sports some dramatic views such as Canyon and Crow Overlooks which are majestic cliffs over 300 feet high but the canyon is over 600 feet deep in places. From these vantage points, you can view just how big this place is.

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Additionally, here are some links containing other shots that provide more perspective. I haven’t been able to track down some of my best ones from several years back but they are from similar locations on the canyon.

Google Images

Road Trip America

FrankEmory.com

There are any number of videos that also provide some excellent perspective shots of the canyon – here’s just one.

I’ll add my other photos as I find them but you can see that the canyon is great for a fantasy fiction setting.

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Fun Friday – Covering Covers for Broken Shield

Wednesday went so well, I thought I’d share another pre-made cover that interested me in my quest to self-publish the first book of my next series. While I have quite a lot of work to do on The Broken Shield Chronicles, it’s fun to consider covers based on my ideas. Since a knight plays a major role in the series, many of the pre-made covers I’m looking at such images that involve knights. It can also be helpful to see knights as I’m developing and writing this new epic fantasy which will likely have some LitRPG elements to it.

This one is call Knight’s Revenge and it’s available on The Book Cover Designer and was created by Szabo S. Renato, with photography by Katherine Tarawhiti.

 

This one interested me simply for the image of a knight. Again, the title is not the real title, just a place holder. I’m not as interested in this one as I am some others, but I’m open to comments. For it or against it, let me know your reaction to this pre-made cover.

To Sequel or Not to Sequel – It’s a Good Question

Hello to all the Archer’s Aim readers. Life has been a whirlwind lately but I’ve been making some progress on several writing projects. However, I wanted to pause and answer a question that seems to get bigger and bigger with each month:

Will there be another book to The Bow of Hart Saga?

Based on the number of these questions I’m getting, there likely will be another book but not as part of the core trilogy that is currently out. I know that I left the door open for another book or two and that was somewhat by design. I understand that, while I’ve wrapped up the series nicely, there are fans who want more. Honestly, the request for a sequel cropped up from my daughter who also asked for a prequel series. So, I left the saga with a bit of an opening to move toward a sequel as opportunity allowed.

 

Why not just write another book or two for the saga? There are several reasons not to write anything new immediately. One will become clear very soon. However, another reason is that I have several other projects in the works that are under proposal to publishers at the moment. I need to complete these as soon as I can. I’m also working on development of another series named The Broken Shield Chronicles

Yet, I have been getting the requests for more about Athson and Limbreth and I’m pleased so many people like these characters and want more from them. Since I’m getting these sequel requests, I’m happy to give readers more as soon as I can. I have begun consideration for at least a sequel and maybe another trilogy along with a prequel.

However, to provide a further taste of the world of Denaria, I’m also going to write a short series named the Goddess Veil. Each book should be short but will include some possible cameos from a few minor characters in The Bow of Hart Saga as well as a villain (readers can guess who it is). I just need some time to get this series and the sequel underway as fast as I can.

I suppose I never expected this debut series to do as well as it has so I never planned anything else except to finish what I started long ago (meaning several decades). Let me start the process now and ask readers a few questions:

Who are your favorite characters?

What do you see happening to some of these characters?

What questions do you still have about Denaria that you think would interest you in a sequel?

A few ideas have presented themselves to me so far, but I’d love to hear readers thoughts about what intrigues them so I can address them. Are you interested in learning more about Withlings? Do dwarves interest you? Are there other places you see on the big map that draw your attention? Do you want to know what happens in Hart? What will happen in Grendon?

There are any number of ways another book can go and I’m happy to consider suggestions. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below this post or contact me using my email address or other social media. If you would like to read some alpha or beta material, please let me know and we can set up a discussion group somewhere or you can join me in my Facebook or Goodreads private groups. In the meantime, look for a big announcement about The Bow of Hart Saga next week that should clarify why I’m waiting just a little while with the next editions and why I’m leaving the series in its current form as a trilogy.