The Broken Shield Chronicles

Fun Friday! What’s New for 2018 Part 2: Writing Goals

With 2017 soundly in the rear-view mirror, I turn in earnest toward 2018 and begin work on the next steps. Yesterday, I discussed my blogging goals among others so today I turn to writing goals. I’m slightly behind in posting this goals/resolutions/business plan but I’ve been under the weather some for over a week. I’ve also taken my time to assess the past year and take a long look at where I’m going as a fiction author.

As I mentioned previously, 2017 was both a good and bad year. I spent most of the year out of work – you know, the kind you don’t quit just to write. But the job quit me and I filled-in with writing until now. It was a good thing I had the writing. I managed to complete the last two books of The Bow of Hart SagaAn Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow, respectively – and begin penning the first books of two new series.


Along the way in 2017, I ended up signing with an agent which was a thrill and another goal accomplished for the year. I had several other related goals that did not pan out – at least not yet. However, when my agent first spoke with me on the phone last February, she asked me to pitch some ideas so she could get a grasp of my writing career beyond The Bow of Destiny and the following two books. I gladly obliged with ad hoc pitches and my agent latched onto two ideas, requesting sample material and proposals for them. At the point where she had a good feel for my writing and how to place these proposed books, I was offered an agency contract.

Signing with the agent was the good news but I was then hooked to the plow for these books. Around completing the other two books, I dutifully went to work on my new projects, alternating with them and The White Arrow over the summer months. With the publication of The White Arrow, it’s been mostly work on these two projects for my agent while they are proposed to publishers.

So, I begin 2018 with two projects underway which is encouraging since I’m not sitting around trying to figure out what I should be writing. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are several other projects that need my attention. With the agent also came a few unexpected opportunities for submission of other fiction projects that are under consideration. If these work out, I’ll pause my work on the two aforementioned books to complete these. But these submissions are shorter projects by far and should not take up too much of my time.

Prioritizing my efforts is the most important part of approaching my 2018 planning. I’m making more concerted efforts with marketing but writing is the foundation of my plans for the year. So, I’m working on my current books until the rough drafts are completed – hopefully the first quarter of 2018. I won’t be done with them since they both need some significant background development but I’ll been in a good position to self-publish them should they be rejected entirely. That places both of these book solidly on deck for publication no sooner than late in 2018 – October or after. That’s good but I don’t want to wait too long for actually publishing a book this year and, if I sign with a publisher, they definitely won’t be out this year.

I don’t want to go the entire year without a book published. With that in mind, I’m slating two shorter projects for development and writing as side-efforts which I intend to begin sooner rather than later. I suppose completing the rough drafts of the novels should receive my full energy as much as possible so I can put my full energy into these other projects very soon.

One of the short projects is a parallel novella series of The Bow of Hart Saga which I’ve shared previously as what got cut from The Bow of Destiny. I like the sub-plot enough to develop it for a shorter series under the working title of The Goddess Veil. If all goes well, I should be able to develop the first novella rather quickly for editing.

Another project on my mind is another one I’ve also shared about in my Fun Friday posts, The Broken Shield Chronicles. This is intended to be a series of books, shorter in design, a bit gritty and based on the sole-surviving member of an elite company of knights after a coup in the kingdom he served. I like the story-line and even have some of it written. I plan to develop the plot of the first book so it can be written and edited this year so it can be ready for publication as needed.

Along the way, I have a few plans for The Bow of Hart Saga. It’s no surprise I’ve been angling toward print publication of the series. I’ve had a number of inquiries about print so it’s definitely in my plans. The print formatted version has been completed as has the cover art. My only hold-up has been the cost of publication due to being out of full-time work. That’s about to change, so I’m likely going to release the print version in short order – hopefully this month. I’d like to spend a bit of time re-releasing the entire book, including e-book just to add a bit of traction.

An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow will take a bit longer since I’ll have more work to do and more money to spend on artwork. However, I hope to release both by June, also using the print releases to do a general re-release of each book. The set-up for re-release may cause me to take more time with the print versions.

There’s another consideration around these re-releases: audio. I’m intent on releasing audio versions of each book this year. I’m in talks about it with a publisher and considering my other alternatives too. So, audio may be worth delaying print for each book. I’ll make a decision within a few weeks and make an announcement but the plan to move to print and audio this year with a re-release of each book.

All these projects and plans will make for a busy 2018. After last year, I’m more determined than ever to make a go of being an author. I’m not willing to rest on my proverbial laurels. I love writing and engaging with readers so I’m pressing forward with all the projects I have and I’ll play the year by ear somewhat as things develop over the first quarter. My exact plans will solidify as I know more from publishers, but I’ll target publishing at least 1-2 books minimum this year and see where the rest leads me. Here’s to a fun, busy year of writing. Thanks for coming on the ride as I hope to share progress on everything as the year progresses.

Thanks for reading along today. Please leave your questions and thoughts in the comments section and I’ll reply as soon as I can. Also, if you would be interested in joining my groups on Goodreads or Facebook please leave a comment or contact me otherwise about your interest. I’ll have the links for these announced soon. In the meantime, please visit with me in my Goodreads Q&A group and leave a question or comment if you have the time.


Halloween Odds & Ends

First, let’s get Halloween out of the way: BOO!!!

Next, here are a few tidbits about the site:

  • I’ve updated the main-page to include a gallery of artwork and cover-art from The Bow of Hart Saga – comments are welcome. I’m still making some changes so bear with me.
  • I’ve resurrected the “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” feature just in time for Halloween. This feature has been dormant (dead?) for some time so it’s good to bring it back to life. There were 2 posts for the feature over the weekend for a couple of authors through Books Go Social: J. L. Stowers and Alena Des – click to those posts and have a look if you missed them.
  • As mentioned last Friday, I’ve created a private group on Goodreads as a writing roundtable/lab where I can interact with some readers who are interested in reading some early drafts of information.
  • Even though Halloween ends this evening, I’ve got some real treats about The Bow of Hart Saga coming in future weeks that should be fun reading so look for those on Thursdays.
  • I’ll keep sharing more about other new projects on Fun Friday posts.

Now that I’ve got those bits of housecleaning out of the way, onto whatever is on my mind. These days, my spare time is either taken up with writing new projects or studying about marketing and new technologies for my erstwhile career. I do my best to stay as busy as possible regardless.

I’ve made lots of progress on the two super-secret novels that my agent is/will pitch soon. I don’t have news on those at the moment other than general progress. I have a few outstanding submissions through the agent otherwise and I feel more like I’m waiting on outcomes than anything these days. I’m also working on some short fiction stories for submission – if anything comes of those you can be sure it will be announced.

As mentioned, I’m starting on a new gritty, pulp fantasy series soon as well as working on development of a possible parallel novella series for The Bow of Hart Saga involving mainly other characters in another part of Denaria. I have much of it written in rough draft. I’ve like to finish all three of the novellas first and then more toward publishing those. However the first book of The Broken Shield Chronicles will get published when it’s ready rather than waiting.

Print for The Bow of Hart Saga is still on the back-burner until I save enough money to completely produce the series. I’ll have another announcement about the series in just a few weeks though so check back on that.

As mentioned a few weeks back, our young tom-cat, Minou, had his surgery (there’s a bit of horror for the day, I suppose) and he’s back on his feet romping through the house. He’s now going out with the dogs – and, as predicted, coming in with them. Speaking of the dogs, they are fine if a little bored. We’ve all been busy and I’ve had an injured foot that I seem to keep aggravating every week or so – but not from running! But it’s slowly getting better.

That’s all I have for today, as if it isn’t enough. Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


Fun Friday Vol. 2: The Broken Shield Chronicles

Follow-up on The Broken Shield Chronicles and other ideas

I don’t know how soon I’ll get to the project I mentioned last Friday. However, the consensus from the poll seems to be using some sort of variation in the series title including “Broken Shield.” I like The Broken Shield Chronicles well enough so that will be the working series title at this point.

With the name of the series settled, I’ll begin to put some serious thought into the world-building and other details for the fantasy world as well as the initial plot, character names and such. It should be very interesting as I develop this series since I’ve never gotten to develop one quite this way.

One of the fun parts of working on The Broken Shield Chronicles is going to be interacting with readers in a private Goodreads group. If you would like to join the group please let me know. I’m going to contact several readers with whom I already have some contact and invite them into the group. There will be some rules like: never talk about Broken Shield Chronicles Club outside the group on social media – like that Fight Club rule. I’ll outline more about the purpose and goals of the group over on Goodreads but I intend it to be a fun group where I can share development and get feedback as I work through the book, maybe posting once a week. There won’t be some commitment to doing anything, just the offer to take part in this fun project of mine and tag along for the development ride.

Otherwise, I’ll share some development details here and other projects on which I’m working. For instance, I do have a parallel series to The Bow of Hart Saga – actually a sub-plot of some complexity – that I’d like to publish as a companion novella series at some point. There are some rough draft excerpts that I’d like to share over on Goodreads or for download just for further feedback.

I’ve got several ideas in the beginning stages as you can see. However, I’m currently working on two new novels for my agent who requested some updated information from me this week as she prepares the pitches to publishers. I’ve been a little slower on these projects lately because it’s just been busy with a doctor’s visit, a few job interviews and other distractions, all of which prevented me from posting my general feature on Tuesday. But I do hope to dig down and really start accomplishing more on the current novels so I can move onto other projects.

That’s all for today! If you want to join the private Goodreads group, just click here to my Author Page to friend or follow me, then send me a message letting me know you’re in and I’ll send the invite. Otherwise, please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.