The Broken Shield Chronicles

Behind the Scenes Writing Updates

Hello to all the Archers Aim readers! The blog has been a little more quiet than usual the last week or so, but that’s because I’ve been busy writing elsewhere. Last week, I did have some freelance work that needed to be completed, but that’s not the really big news. It’s just one reason why I’ve been distracted, but the others are much bigger. Here are the top items:

Mage

As most of the readers on this blog will remember, I finished the rough draft of this book last month. Since then, I’ve been spending my evenings editing it to a more polished draft so that it will be ready for proposals that may require an initial reading by publishers. This particular fantasy novel is quite a bit longer than normal, so it will take some time to complete this process. However, I am about 25% through the book and I’m really creating a lot more consistency in it. I’m able to make notes about details that I had forgotten since writing on the manuscript began in March 2017. I was forced to write the early parts of the book for my agent around publication of An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow last year. It’s been good to get back to this book, finish it, and now begin to create a sense of cohesion throughout the manuscript. I’m having a lot of fun with it and hope to share more about it over the upcoming weeks.

Glove

Writing did not stop once I finished Mage. I immediately shifted over to completing Glove which I also began during 2017 to get to my agent as well. This novel is much shorter, so I’ve already finished it over the last week. Dictation has made completion of both of these novels much easier around my regular work schedule. I’m pleased to have completed Glove and look forward to editing it very soon.

Publication

Regarding both of these books, I don’t have a specific news at this point. It would be good to have some decisions from traditional publishers so I will know how to plan for the rest of the year in terms of editing and such. However, I’ve decided that I will be as prepared as possible if one or both of these books are turned down. With that in mind, I will prepare some proposals for hybrid publishers and also engage my editor’s schedule just in case I need to proceed in either of those directions. For me, a rejection from traditional publishers is not a big deal. It would be easier to handle the publication with a traditional publisher, but I understand that not all books fit a publisher’s needs at any given time. So, being self published means that I am willing to go that route if necessary. I’m confident in my editor and my cover artist so that I know I can produce a quality book. However, this time around I would like to be able to do more than initially publish in e-book only. For this reason, I am considering hybrid publishers so that I might be able to produce one or both of these books and release them in multiple formats, which is my preference.

What’s Next

I may have finished Glove and Mage in terms of writing the first drafts, but since I now dictate during my commute time, I still have time to write. So, even though I am editing in the evening, I’m also dictating while I drive. I have quite a few shorter books that I would like to see published as soon as possible so I’ve also started a LitRPG-style book which I hope will become the first of a series. I made quite a lot of progress so far, and, since it’s a novella that probably will be no longer than 50,000 words, I’m already about one third finished with the rough draft. This e-book may be done so quickly that it may wedge it’s way into my editing schedule so that I can possibly publish it within the next few months. I’ll share more news about it as work on it progresses, but I should have a faster schedule with this novella, considering it will most be likely self-published as an e-book.

Audio and The Bow of Hart Saga

Last week, I was also working on some of the details for my audiobook publisher, Podium Publishing. We had a number of regular email exchanges about various details of the upcoming production. I have been able to provide all of the pronunciation and character notes that should help the narrator and other people on the production team getting started. I’m pleased to announce that production will begin next week and it sounds like the narrator has a number of wonderful ideas concerning character accents. It should make for a very interesting audiobook production. It’s very exciting to be able to work with a professional narrator like this and it will be just a few short months until the series is released in this format.

Also regarding The Bow of Hart Saga, I have begun discussions with a hybrid publisher so that the series can make it into print, possibly this year. Since the entire saga has sold so many copies, and I have had a fair number of requests for the book in print, I feel that I should pursue every avenue possible to gain bookstore and library distribution channels. So I’m going to try a hybrid publisher and see how that works out. The series is pretty much ready for print so I don’t think that it would be a major project to get ready within a few months. The main work would probably be marketing. As soon as I find out more I will be certain to share it here on the blog.

Writing has become a very busy venture for me. I did not anticipate my first series carrying me as far as it has as an author. I always like to thank all of the readers because all of you are the reason that the books have done so well. Readers are also a big reason that I am pushing very hard to complete my next projects. I am very thrilled to have the reading audience that has come my way and I really want to share more of the stories that I have, including a possible sequel to The Bow of Hart Saga as soon as I can get to it.

I mentioned several months back, that I do have a lot of projects that need my attention. I’ve only mentioned three new ones in this post, however I do have at least two other series that I would like to start as soon as possible. It may seem that I’m juggling quite a lot of different projects and some people might even wonder how I’m doing all of them (or will be able to write well), but the dictation helps me keep moving with all of the projects that I have. I’ve learned quite a lot from the three books that I’ve published so far and I’m moving along very well with the editing. I certainly do need professional editing regardless of what direction these projects go. Since I have several ways that I can go to accomplish production of these books, I am confident that they will be of high quality.

Thanks for stopping by today and checking in with my writing progress. If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave them in the comments section and I’ll be happy to reply as soon as I can. I’ll share more about what’s happening behind the scenes in coming weeks so readers can have a good sense of what it’s like to write and publish fantasy books.

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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.