Magic Realism

Project Updates: An Anthology, Print Edition and a Prequel

Hello to everyone! I know I been absent for us several weeks, but it’s been that busy. I hope everyone is well during this difficult time and hope I can offer a bit of distraction from the difficulties we’re all facing.

Progress, though somewhat slow is continuing in many ways. Over the last several weeks I’ve been picking up some steam as I work toward several goals at one time. Here’s the latest:

Anthology Projects

A possible cover.

My memory is dim on the point of mentioning anthologies earlier, but my intention is to publish several of these this year. These books will stem from short stories already written and which I’ve decided to share more widely. I’m excited about these projects and spending some time brushing up the stories for the first anthology. My hope is to release the first one within the month if at all possible.
If progress is good enough, I’ll share more about it next week.

One of the main holdups is deciding on a title for this anthology but I’m going with a working title of: Curses Dark and Foul. Your comments about the title are welcome but each story will involve a curse. After that, the next priority is settling on a cover that suitably represents the anthology.

Just have to finish the print cover

An Arrow Against the Wind Print Edition

I’ve also been making some progress with my print edition for An Arrow Against the Wind. The print formatted version of the book is now complete. I am working to adjust a print cover which I hope to have done in short order, but releasing that print version is very close at hand. I’m already working on the formatted version of The White Arrow and very excited to complete the series and print as soon as possible.

Reformed Mage & the Series

The biggest news is that I’m planning the preqeul/prologue for the first book or Reformed Mage with a target release date during the summer depending on how fast it’s ready. I’m doing some dictation for this content now. One of the main goals in writing this book is that it npth triggers me and challenges me with adding details about characters and the world building into my existing manuscript. So the project is twofold, releasing a prequel later in the summer and supplementing my thinking about the series and my ongoing revision.

As already mentioned, my main goal is to release a full novel beginning with the first book of the Reformed Mage series this year. If that’s going to happen this year, I will have to get with it and complete the revisions so I can send it to my editor as soon as possible. There’s also work on the cover which needs to be done, but that will happen over the next couple of months as the editing cycle continues. The main goal right now with the manuscript is completing the revision which includes some additions. Since I’ve reorganized all of the material that I first wrote for the series, I’m now working on a reconstructed order of the book that keeps me on task.

So those are the developments with all of my immediate writing. Of course there are more editions of the Reformed Mage series in the works with a rough draft already written of books two and three. The hope with the first book is that it will make all the editing easier to complete other books as I move forward.

That’s all for now, I’ll be back next week with more about what I’m doing immediately and some possible dates on releases for print and my first anthology addition. Thanks for stopping by today and visiting with me. Please share this post as you see fit over social media or a reblog and I’ll stand by with respond to your thoughts as soon as I am able. Don’t forget to leave an opinion regarding the anthology title: Curses Dark and Foul.

Surviving Magical Attacks without Being a Mage

Note to Archer’s Aim readers: what follows is a short treatise from Wishton Ackford from my Reformed Mage book where he reveals a little about his interactions with magic as someone who possesses no magical abilities.

As someone with a predominant background in writing, investigations often prove challenging for one such as I. Too frequently, I find myself in dangers for which I never prepared as a younger man. It’s true the streets and taverns of Cal Rindon can hold their own threats at times, but these are not as unpredictable as they are with my newest chosen profession.

Being out of work taught me much about taking care of myself since I lived in places where crime and threat went hand-in-hand. But that environment was relatively short-lived compared to the rest of my life and the several years of investigatory work with my partner Mandlefred Mandeheim. Cutthroats can be avoided in any number of ways, even fought off if necessary, but a destructive spell is not so easy to avoid. Likewise avoiding some of the other nefarious characters with whom we interact challenged me in the beginning of the business partnership.

Manny taught me new skills of avoiding contact and escaping conflict. Unfortunately, many of these skills were learned on the job in dangerous conditions. One might think one deserves hazard pay from these frequent encounters, so we do charge clients for risk and danger involved.

My first learning curve was how to stay out of the way when magic comes along. But this is not so easy in some circumstances. Magical traps with curses of all kinds can often be set off and may have lethal effects. Manny is a top-notch mage with skill at disarming these many traps but care must still be taken. Of course, I came into possession of a fleer gun with which I can provide myself a modicum of self-defense when conflict arises. This is too often the case during our investigations and can occur at a moments notice. I’ve learned to keep my hand in my pocket and ready with the fleer gun based on circumstances but those are not always predictable.

My training has been besed on Manny’s spy-craft which he learned from his many years performing that job with the Imperial espionage service nicknamed the “sniffers”. Manny taught me how to create quick disguises to throw off pursuit as well as recognizing individuals who may be following me or laying traps for us. But when I first began I knew little of investigation and the other skills necessary which I have described. Experience has taught me much and I’m all the wiser for it as well as more circumspect with my actions. Unexpected magic attacks from the shadows is now a common occurrence for me, but I’ve found the work rewarding and steady.

Danger is ever present one investigates criminal troubles and there are few indicators of the surprises which lurk seemingly at every corner. Even common criminals can catch you unaware. With Manny along on the cases and the training he’s provided me, as well as learning from experience about magic, I’m far better prepared than when I began to meet all the challenges which all too often arise in this business. The real eye-opener has been how much magical crime goes on in Cal Rindon and, I suppose, and other locales. The other non-magic users in the world are seemingly oblivious to the many dangers around them. But then, the Imperial government has taken many steps to quell much of the criminal activity which can be done with magic.

Thanks for reading today and I hope you enjoyed a little deeper foray into Wish’s world and his adventures with Manny in their investigations. Your reactions and thoughts are welcome and please feel free to share the post as you like. I hope to release the first book of the series later in the year if work progresses well in the next month or so.

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.