The Cursed Mage Case Files

The Order of the Dark Rose – Blurb First Peak

Happy Monday, everyone. Thanks for stopping by once again this week for a few updates. As promised, this week there is another reveal for the Order of the Dark Rose. As part of the launch of the new series, I’ve planned a prequel book release by October if all goes well.  That title is The Changeling Incident.

This upcoming book is the first in the series for The Cursed Mage Case files. The entire series is a departure from my epic fantasy. While the series is set in an alternate world, think more in terms of magic realism in a more modern setting, similar to time and technology like Brian McClellan has written in his powder mage series. Also think in term of Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, just set in that alternate reality. Of course, there are other similar books written for these types of advanced culture settings as opposed to the more traditional fantasy books which typically depict less advanced technology, closer to the middle age. I think both types of writing are fun and appropriate for fantasy so I now make my foray into another world and tell a story.

While I want to get into more of the type of magic and technology used in the world of The Cursed Mage Case Files, I’ll do that another week and simply focus on the immediate which is the blurb. Descriptions can be challenging for many authors, but I’ve done quite a lot research about writing this kind of copy. I’m far from perfect with these, but I do try to spend time at it and come up with a solid description. There’s still some time yet before the book launches, several months in fact, so this is a book description in progress . Without any further delay, here is the current version of the book description for The Order of the Dark rose:

An arch-mage can handle almost anything. Unless he’s cursed, lost his job and facing an unknown enemy.

The Gallantean Empire relies increasingly upon magical technology which cleans sewers, runs trams and much more. Within the capital city of Cal Rindon, magic is pervasive, but not necessarily used without crime involved. The bustling metropolis boasts constant innovations mixed with growing pains. Amid the good lurks the bad with unrest and growing crime.

Arch-mage Manny Mandeheim fell under a curse, watched his finace die, and then lost his job as a spy. So what’s an arch-mage to do? Start his own magical investigation service while he works to clear his good name. With his very un-magical partner, Wish Ackford, Manny discovers the menace of a much larger conspiracy than he expected lurks behind his curse. Suddenly, the limitations from his malady leave him at a very uncomfortable disadvantage as he and Wish investigate.

Assassins lurk at every corner or in every tram car. The threat of an unknown mastermind with murky intentions dances just out of sight. A questionable source offers the hint of a secret order hounding Manny’s footsteps. A murder leads to wrenching discoveries. Nothing an average arch-mage can’t handle.

Unless the curse limits how much magic he can use and just might kill him at any moment.

Can Manny survive long enough to break his curse? Or will the arch-mage’s secret foe escape his grasp? Enter this high concept world of magic and fantasy and find out more about Manny, Wish and The Order of the Dark Rose.

So that’s the blurb and I’m certainly open to feedback and suggestions. Most everything about the book is still a work in progress as I push toward the release date.

Speaking of which, I have not communicated a specific release date has yet. Nailing down that release date is very important over the next few weeks, so I hope to announce one as soon as possible. My editor sent the manuscript back last night so I’m still working toward being more comfortable with the manuscript and its condition before I set a release date.

Next week, I’ll be back with more about the release with either a cover reveal or information about the world in which The Order of the Dark Rose set, specifically more about magic and its uses. There’s quite a lot to share including more about the prequel and it’s blurb so look for that in the coming weeks too. Thanks for stopping by today. Please leave your feedback and questions in the comments section and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

Questions, Questions

Hi everyone! First, let me get a few housekeeping items out of the way. Curses Dark and Foul was soft-released on 8/6. I’m scheduling a hard release (meaning I start marketing the book more) on 8/24. Meanwhile, I’ve moved on with several other projects I’ve mentioned previously. However, my main novel of the year the Cursed Mage Case File series (formerly Reformed Mage series) with a working title of The Feral Name which continues to be my most important project.

The manuscript is with my editor and we’ve been conversing about various aspects about the book. Also, the manuscript is being read by a few beta readers. This means the book is in ongoing revision. While I expect to receive full reports about the book in several weeks, there are some ongoing minor phases of the revision which continue for me. The editor and the beta readers do ask some questions.

You might think that questions about the book manuscript are a bad thing. After all, questions mean that the editor or the beta readers are confused in some way. Actually, it’s a good thing for revision. It’s important to get the questions because these help resolve all the problems with the book. Questions and observations tell me as an author where I need to focus on quality and clarity. This leads to the end product – the published book.

While revision questions are trickling to me, there are also more concerns about the completing the book. I’ve made contact with my cover artist and he’s waiting for my written concepts for the artwork. I have some good ideas but the problem is that I don’t like the working title of the book. It really doesn’t grab me so I’m playing around with a variety of titles until I settle on one that hits the correct chord for the type of fantasy book this will be. I like the series title, it’s just the first book that bothers me. I see a lot of titles on Amazon that are poorly chosen. I feel it’s important to get this part correct.

Next, I’ll consider the blurb. Writing a book description is something I’ve studied and worked at for a while so I’m confident I can write it. Yes, I’m a writer but this kind of writing requires a specific skill at communicating the essence of the book well but with brevity. If not done well, readers are not interested and my job is to interest readers. It answers that question we writers get all the time, “What’s it about?” Everyone who finds out you have a book coming out wants to know about it. Answering the question well is half the task of a good blurb.

These are all questions which need answering so I’m taking time to work through them. Answering the title question is not always easy. Neither is the blurb an easy answer. Likewise, finding all the questions a reader might stumble over if I don’t revise the manuscript well is a process. I have several of these reader questions in my mind regarding revision, many of which I can answer and change in short order.

Revision and moving toward publication is fraught with questions. With The Bow of Hart Saga, much of the title and blurb questions were with me for many years, but with a new series there are a set of ideas that I must complete for publication. Now is a good time to begin addressing these aspects of publication to remain on schedule.

Of course, I have several other projects underway through which I plan to progress this month. I just have to keep in mind that the main revision will also need my attention at times. Hopefully, I’ll come up with a title I like, get the cover art completed and write a blurb within a few weeks so the book begins to come together and I can share more specifics. The pace quickens as the pieces come together into a finished book.

Mixed into all this is a prequel, The Changeling Incident. The title and cover are in place. Writing a blurb and completing the manuscript revision are also in progress. Being a shorter book, this will move along faster than the novel, especially since it is scheduled for release sooner. It’s the novel in a micro-state, just further along in the publication process.

Authors are always part of these publication processes but it may not be so evident to readers. As a self-published author, I’m in complete control and it’s my responsibility to produce all the parts that make up the published book. I hope this gives readers a taste of where the book is in it’s current process.

Thanks for stopping by today and reading where my next novel is on the long road to publication. Got questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll respond as soon as I can.