Audio Books

Characters from The Bow of Saga: Spark

Note: Fantasy Friday is a new feature for Archer’s Aim. This is a re-post, but for those interested, it’s useful. I’ll work on some new, fantasy-related posts to mix in with some of my older ones like this as well as some posts about new books in the coming months. Please feel free to share on social media or re-blog these posts. Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

This is the second of several posts revealing more about characters from The Bow of Destiny. You can read about Athson here. If you like dogs, you’ll love today’s post!

SparkSpark was a rather interesting and late addition to The Bow of Destiny. You see, Spark is a dog but not just any dog. He’s a dog that only Athson sees while he’s not taking doses of his elven medicine, Soul-ease. You might wonder if Spark is real and so does Athson. However, Athson considers Spark an old friend who watches out for him.
The idea for this invisible dog came from my daughter who did some alpha reading on the book last year. She suggested adding a dog so Spark is what I came up with. In the book, Athson identifies this dog as a Mountain Hound but to you and me he’s a German Shepherd – or very much like one.
If you’ve read my bio you know we own two German Shepherds so you can guess the origin of this character. But there’s more to the characterization than just being like a common breed. Spark is actually based on both of my dogs, appearing more like our female, Chloe, while sometimes acting rather like our male, Sam.

GSDsChloe & Sam
While Chloe is all guard-dog and ready for action all the time, Sam is more of a friendly bloke with a nasty side when necessary. But the unique quality of Sam is his way of communicating with us – he wags his tail for “yes” and doesn’t for “no”. Don’t believe me? Here’s a sample of Sam (Spark)-talk which is through a series of yes and no questions (and of course you have to catch Sam at a good time since he’s usually easily distracted like most dogs by things like food):
Me: “Sam, is it cold outside?”
Sam wags his tail – and it is (or was when this happened).
Me: “Sam, do you like the cold?”
Sam wags his tail because he really doesn’t like the hot Alabama summer but thrives in what cold weather we have.
Me: “Sam, do you want to sleep outside?”
Sam doesn’t wag his tail because, while he likes cold weather, he prefers to stay near his people like most GSDs do. This question is one that’s meant to ensure he’s really answering rather than just wagging his tail in distraction.
Me: “Sam, do you like Chloe?”
No wag because Chloe can really pesters him and bites him often since she’s rather feisty.
Me: “Sam, did Chloe bite you today?”
Sam wags his tail. Funny thing about dogs is that, being like wolf puppies, the males often let females win. Sam is much larger but always lets Chloe win.
Me: “Sam, do you want Chloe to sleep outside in the cold?”
Sam wags his tail. Yep that’s right, Sam wants Chloe to sleep outside while he gets to sleep inside.
We often can ascertain if Sam feels sick (he gets colitis) or achy (he’s getting a little older now and is starting to get stiff joints). We even found out that Sam wants a pet cat though this is likely the fact that he actually misses the old cat, Becky, who was still alive when Sam came to live with us. The cat hated Sam but he loved her. But you get the idea – Sam talks in his own way. He’s rather intelligent that way and even plays tricks on Chloe to get her to do what he wants. Now don’t think that Chloe is dumb by any means. She recognizes aggression easily and can solve some puzzles that Sam just won’t bother with.
So guess who speaks Sam-talk? Spark! I have a number of instances where Spark reveals something to Athson about his surroundings that Athson just doesn’t get. But you, the reader, get to understand that Spark may just know more about what’s going on at times than Athson.

Spark appears throughout The Bow of Hart Saga. To find out more about the character, click the links for The Bow of Destiny, An Arrow Against the Wind or The White Arrow. The entire series is not available on Audible from Podium Publishing:

Amazon

 

About the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. His first novel, The Bow of Destiny was named 2016 Book of the Year by Fantasia Reviews and is the first book of The Bow of Hart Saga. The sequel novel, An Arrow Against the Wind, was released in April of 2017. The third book of the series, The White Arrow, is due to be released during the Fall of 2017. P. H. Solomon also authored the award winning short story, The Black Bag, which won best published short story at SCWC 2012. P. H. is also a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Prequel short stories to The Bow of Hart Saga:

Trading Knives Amazon

What Is Needed Amazon

Download and listen to the prequels for free at AudFans

   Trading Knives 1   What Is Needed 4

 

Balancing Act: What About the Other Formats?

Good morning everyone! I’ve had a few questions question bouncing around from a while back about various other formats for my writing. One was about media rights for live action in film or small screen. The other was about graphic novels. Quick answer, I’m very open to both of these. I’m also open to other formats and looking for ways to move forward with them. The long answer is more detailed so I’ll split it up by each format. Moving into other formats can take time from my main goal of writing more books, but they can be worth the effort too. It’s all a balancing act.

Film/Small Screen

I’m more inclined to small screen mainly because I think a seasonal series creates a format that covers more details than a film. However, I’m open to either one. What’s more likely? Small screen because streaming services are looking for content.

The main question with this format is more one of getting noticed enough for it to happen. It’s no easy step and requires some introduction into the industry through more formal means. Here’s a rundown of my writing regarding small screen:

The Bow of Hart Saga, The Cursed Mage Case Files, and The Black Glove series were all pitched to a streaming service a couple of years ago. The result was interest in all three. However, the submission process was muddied by circumstances beyond my control so I was never sure that was completed. I remain open to another opportunity for all three of these series to be pitched/submitted which is something of a project. However, some of this requires more name recognition among other things.

It also might help to write out episodes for the submission as the concept might come across better. I’m not a scriptwriter, so there’s some learning requirement, though there are some useful tools to get it done. Still, it would take some effort to churn out a season but I’m for it given the time to write it.

Graphic Novel

I was approached by an independent graphic novel artist several years ago to publish The Bow of Hart Saga in this format. I’m very interest and do believe it would translate into the format very well. Unfortunately, graphic novelization is expensive and would require some crowdfunding. I’m no stranger to raising the money, but there’s an involvement in time. However, I do have some access to an artist, so this avenue is possible.

One of the issues aside from money for an indie publication is writing a script. I once thought this would require sample artwork, but it works better as a writer if I produce a graphic novel script. Again, this is easier said than done and also requires some learning curve. I’m willing to learn a different writing skill given the time. The upside to gaining this new skill is that it actually makes it easier to submit to graphic novel to traditional publishers in this format which I view as more viable for my time. I’d like to work on this at some point, but it’s just not in the cards for the short term since I have so many books to publish in at least five different series.

I also believe, in addition to TBoHS, all five of my fantasy series in the works would translate well to graphic novel, even those with some LitRPG elements. This format is one into which I’d like to expand long-term, but it requires a little more time investment than traditional audio publication. It’s always nice to see a new format on one of my Amazon book pages so it’s a thumbs up under the right conditions.

Audio

The Bow of Hart Saga is already in audio format thanks to interest from Podium Audio. I love this format and want to expand my catalog within it. However, this is another format that costs time and money to produce independently and I prefer to go the traditional route with it like graphic novelization. I am prepared to approach Podium for each of my five upcoming series and I’m not far from doing just that with The Cursed Mage Case Files. It may take several months but I think this will work out. My original goal was to gain Podium’s interest with pre-order sales of The Order of the Dark Rose but that plan was derailed by the oddities of last year which ate up time and energy, not the least of which was getting sick and staying that way for a while. I’ll work on that plan with the next couple of books as well as upcoming series releases. Audio good!

Video Games

I have not investigated this format, but I assume it requires a licensing agreement. I’m completely open to video games based on my books and want to investigate it more. It’s a near certainty this will require at least a lawyer or an agent, maybe both. The upside is good, especially with something like LitRPG. This is more of a long-term goal unless an opportunity falls in my lap – which can always happen. This one is food for thought.

Hardcover

Yes! It’s not a huge advantage, but it can be useful. This is doable as an indie and something to work on in the near future. I’m also interested in exploring ways to access bookstores (it can be done) as well as libraries, both with as many formats at possible. Look for more news on the hardcover front in the coming months as a side-project.

Conclusion

As far as I’m concerned when it comes to publishing formats, the more the merrier. I love opportunities to move into these differing products. Fantasy is always relatable in video games, film/small screen and the times have changed for more fiction opportunity with these. I’m established in audio and print so both will move forward ASAP. Graphic novelization is a go but not immediately. For me, it’s best to write, publish, and expand as each format becomes and open door. For now, I’m balancing my efforts at writing and publishing with moving into additional formats based on the time, effort, and cost each may take. One idea I have is creating each book and series in such a way that it makes writing scripts for graphic novels and film or TV/streaming – maybe even the requirements for video games – easier to accomplish. I’ll have to look at what it takes for each and keep these formats in mind for quick development of adaptations. It’s certainly worth a try.

 

Interested in my books? You can find them at my Amazon Author’s Page. My latest novel is The Order of the Dark Rose which readers are finding entertaining – have a look by clicking on the link or the book cover:

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

Looking for it on another retailer? Click the link to find where else The Order of the Dark Rose is available.

Alright, that’s my status and perspective on other formats as they relate to my writing. Thanks for stopping by today. Please share this post everywhere you feel appropriate. As usual, I’ll look for your reaction and thoughts in the comments section and will reply as soon as I am able.

 

 

Audio News for The Bow of Hart Saga!

Hey everyone! It’s been a busy few weeks for me and time has been short. There has been some interesting news from my audio publisher, Podium. First, a little background.

Podium Audio discovered my work back at the end of 2016, something I almost missed at the time. Suffice it to say that in early 2018, I signed with Podium and they published all three of The Bow of Hart Saga books in audio by the end of that year.

The audiobooks have always been distributed through Audible only. Since the company’s inception, Podium preferred this retail platform over all others which has been their business model that’s worked well for them as they’ve grown quickly. They were even part of the SFWA virtual conference production this year. Lately, they’ve been gaining partnerships with more voice talent which is excellent news.

This past week, I received and email from my Podium representative informing me that all three books are now non-exclusive, meaning they are no longer exclusive to Audible. That’s right, you can find them most anywhere audiobooks are sold including Chirp, Apple, Kobo and Overdrive.

This development was a surprise to me but I welcome seeing the move to wide distribution of the audio format. Who knows, maybe they will got to physical copies too, but this is one change I like. I’ve wondered if I needed to go back wide with The Bow of Hart Saga and this has me seriously considering the change. I moved the series to KDP Select and access to Kindle Unlimited. The move was very helpful at the time but I’ve still wondered if it was the best move over time. I’ve also considered the move back for other reasons and this might just jolt me into a decision. I won’t be hasty, but it is worth the consideration.

For now,  I include the links for the audiobooks at the retailers I know about at this time. As I discover more, I’ll get them posted.

That was the big development for the moment. However, I’m also considering another move with the site to further develop it and also bring in more fantasy related posts between my own. It’s another move that has been on my mind for a while and one that, if I make the right moves, I think will enhance the site for readers while making it easier for me to manage engaging posts regarding the genre.

Anyway, here are the new links and I’m in process of updating the audiobook pages too so bear with me on that front.


The Bow of Destiny

Chirp  Apple   Kobo  Overdrive  Audiobooks.com Barnes & Noble (Nook Audiobooks)


An Arrow Against the Wind

Chirp  Apple  Kobo  Overdrive  Audiobooks.com Barnes & Noble (Nook Audiobooks)


The White Arrow

Chirp  Apple  Kobo  Overdrive  Audiobooks.com (not available yet)  Barnes & Noble (Nook Audiobooks)


That’s all I have for today. Thanks for stopping by. I will announce the site changes when the time comes as well as the print release of The White Arrow. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments and share this post wherever you wish.