Audio

Progress Report on New Books

Good morning to all the Archer’s Aim readers. Taking a break from my fiction writing today to share some of what I’m working on with my newest books. There’s quite a lot to do so it’s sometimes difficult to parse it all out well. Even now, I’m beginning my plans to release the book and I haven’t even completed the edited version for my editor.

First, I’m going back to complete as much of the world-building for both Reformed Mage (aka RM) and Black Glove (aka BG). My main focus is on RM at the moment but BG will soon have my focus too. I’m using World Anvil and Notebook.ai which are development services which can be used for free or pay. I can keep my notes there and play around with the details as well as record what I’ve already written down to very specific levels. The main problem is that I wrote these originally at a very fast pace such that I never spent enough time on the world-building. Now I’m going back to fill-in the proverbial blanks.

In addition to the world-building, I’m working to split my initial book for RM into three books. Yes, it was that long and required I make the move after consulting with my editor who has been a big help. In conjunction with the world-building, I’m creating consistency throughout the books and include all the various points that occur in the books so that they don’t jar a reader with mistakes. Likewise, and I don’t want to share too much at this point, the book is organized in a different story-arc so I must create a balance of understandable progression that avoids confusion. It’s a challenging book in many ways with the depth of characterization, world-building and story details that it seems like a very tangled mess at times. Organizing the content and the details is a frustratingly slow process at times because I’m dedicated to making the book as fun and excellent as possible. Developing a user guide and writing some blog posts to use in the future help ground my thinking about the entirety of the series and the first book afford me clarity about it all. I am dedicated to completing and releasing the first book this year, maybe a second or third since I have the basic content available. Once I have the first book developed and edited enough, the next two books should be much easier to complete. But I’ll have to get there to know for sure.

Additionally, working with my artist regarding a thematic set of series covers is on the to-do list. Likewise, I’m going to print upon launch so I’ll be working with a formatter as editing on the first book progresses. Interestingly, I’ll also approach my audio publisher with the books in hopes they will pick the series up in time for launch or soon thereafter. My feeling on audio is that this will depend on possible pre-launch sales so it may well arrive several month later than the first book. But, if the series is accepted, the next two books may will be in audio when those are launched. The production of the series is it’s own job but I’ve done it previously and know what I want to do with this series more than my first one.

All that is just with RM but there’s more to work on this year too. BG is on the back-burner at the moment but needs to be run through a series of edits to get to publication. It’s already well along in the process and I’ve considered even placing it on Inkshares which is a hybrid publisher (meaning the expense is shared). If this book were accepted, it also gets full placement in all of the different sales venues just like a traditionally published book. I hesitate to give up the royalty percentage and any residual rights so I’m still thinking the option through at the moment. The plus side is that it’s doing something while I’m working on RM and increases the possibility of getting both series launched this year. I still think launching both is doable but the possibility of publishing two different ways is intriguing.

BG is a solid project and I want to get to it as soon as possible. Along the same lines, I want to begin planning a sequel series to The Bow of Hart Saga for next year, possibly dictating it on my commutes to get it going. That will take some doing as I want to improve the accuracy of my dictation software with some work. There are other series I want to launch that will be solid projects too but doing all of them requires more time than I have just now but I’d like to eventually get to where I’m releasing a book a quarter from a different series which is likely just a pipe-dream. I have at least two other first in series novels completed as rough drafts, both of which require more world-building. These are long-term projects but something I’m interested in completing as soon as possible over the next couple of years.

That’s what my writing looks like these days. The calendar is full and there something constantly in need of my attention. I’ll start sharing some of my related work on the series as soon as I can along with artwork, a release date and other news. Look for another progress report soon.

The Turn of the Year

Season’s Greetings to all the Archer’s Aim readers. With the turn of the year upon us I thought I would give an update on my year past and my goals for the upcoming year.

2018 started out with a lot of promise regarding the publication of books. After beginning the use of dictation, I was able to finish the rough drafts of four books, all of which are the initial novels of new fantasy series. However during the second half of the year progress with all of these books became quite a slog through the mud. I didn’t know it at the time but I had developed a change in my hypothyroidism which was affecting my energy and focus. For the last six months, I struggled along but recently visited paid my doctor a regular visit, discovered the problem and received an adjusted dosage. I began to realize just how much the problem affected me even though it was only slightly out of treatment range. It can take several weeks before the changes take affect but I began to notice a little more energy this last week even though I’m still struggling. It appears that even mild symptoms can affect my writing productivity.

Even though I’ve been struggling along, I have made a lot of progress in addition to the rough drafts which I’ve already mentioned. Because of the problem I was having, I seem to flounder around while I was editing and switch projects more than once. I have partially completed one shorter novel while working on editing and nearing completion of a much longer novel which is code-named Mage. My hope is to gain some energy and devote more dedicated time to preparing all of these books for publication this year. I have two books which will be considered for publication in one of three ways: traditional publishing, hybrid publishing and self-publishing. I don’t know which way I will go with these just yet so these books may not the be released during 2019 though I hope that they will.

But, the news was not all bad 2018 since all three of the novels and the two free short books for The Bow of Hart Saga were published on audio by Podium Publishing. It made for a busy fall season to release all three of these books on audio but I’m pleased with the outcome as well as having the new format available to readers and listeners.

 

My intention to go to print with the series beginning this month but I have run into a few problems completing the print projects so that has been delayed. Print will come in good time, perhaps even during the next few months if all goes well.

Looking ahead to 2019, I will pick myself up from the difficulties of the fading year, and work to complete my various projects. As I work toward publishing between one and four books this year, I’d like to also dictate the next books in each series. Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, I am beginning to have some ideas about a sequel to The Bow of Hart Saga. I’ve already begun making notes about what this sequel would look like, so it may be that I will be able to begin some work on that it this year as well. Thanks to all of the readers out there for their support and patience this year and wish you all a Happy New Year!

Audio Release: An Arrow Against the Wind

It’s audio release day for An Arrow Against the Wind and I thought I would re-live the beginnings of the book with some development history involving the series. The Bow of Hart Saga began decades ago as an effort entitled, An Arrow Into the Wind, which was completed back in the early 1990’s – yes a long time ago. That original effort contained elements of mostly what would become The Bow of Destiny as well as part of An Arrow Against the Wind.

After I completed that initial project, I did what all would-be authors do and submitted it to many publishers. I scoured available resources at the time and made lists, then sent the paper manuscript out for what seemed like countless times. Eventually, the trail of rejections ended with a contract offer from a small press. A lawyer in the family went over that contract and left a lot of red marks throughout that non-negotiable document. I eventually backed away, feeling that the contract was not for me.

Over the next decade plus, I made attempts to re-boot the series, always with the feeling I had made a bad decision about the small press contract. I guilt-tripped myself into feeling that publication somewhere was better than nowhere. The series languished in storage and the back of my mind until I felt a strong urge to go back to writing once again, just after all the online self-publishing boom began. I started several new projects but decided that my former book needed to be addressed, my reasoning being that it had garnered a contract offer and it needed a shot. Cutting my teeth on the book/series seemed like the best option.

I immediately realized that the entire book needed re-writing and my first painful decision was to split it into two books which led to the first title being The Bow of Destiny. Re-writing meant updating the entire style, plot, characters, voice and, eventually, technique. The writing was too distant so it needed an injection of deep point-of-view. Re-writing The Bow of Destiny took years of work and learning more than I ever knew previously but I finally published it in late 2015.

The Bow of Hart Prequel Pack released as a free audiobook in September 2018 and contains both free series prequels, Trading Knives and What Is Needed.

The Bow of Destiny languished in the self-published ghetto of forgotten books for months to my discouragement but not to my surprise. During that time, instead of working on the next book, I worked on several projects with my employer and helping my daughter get into college. Once those projects ended in the spring of 2016, I drifted back to writing, this time determined to market The Bow of Destiny. By the Christmas season of 2016, the book was selling extremely well, eventually landing in the top 20 of all of epic fantasy on Amazon – right up there with the big-name authors. That was both exciting and unnerving. I couldn’t believe what happened.

That sales burst led to several contract offers, one of which was for audio. Life and the holidays were so busy, I ignored the message in my inbox with the thought it was from some vanity publisher which I’d have to pay tons of money for audio publication. I planned to get to it later but never did for months.

In early 2017, I started working more on An Arrow Against the Wind while I talked with an agent about contract offers. Then a layoff hit where I worked and sent me into unemployment for the next eleven months. While I looked for a new job, I worked on writing. An Arrow Against the Wind proved difficult since it required me to stitch together old content (it had been split from the original work) with new content. The process was nerve-wracking since I was out of work and felt pressured to get something new published. I rushed and, with the help of my editor, got the book released at the tail-end of April. The book sold very well and got even higher ratings than the first book.

The Bow of Destiny released in September 2018 on Audible with the incredible voice-acting of Tim Bruce.

Several months later, a conversation led me back to that email swimming around in my inbox. It turned out I had the audio contract offer for about nine months! I contacted Podium and we started a dialogue about publication and I was surprised to learn the company basically discovered The Martian. After months of discussion, I was pleased to sign with Podium Publishing back in March of this year after which production efforts started. The first results were The Bow of Hart Prequel Pack on AudFans, then The Bow of Hart on Audible last month. Today, that process continues with the release of An Arrow Against the Wind on Audible.

The narration is fantastic as is the cover. This is an exciting season for me with the audio releases and will continue into next month with the release of The White Arrow on 11/27/18. But today is all about the second book, the one with the title so similar to the original title. An Arrow Against the Wind bridges the initial work of the series with the newest content but it’s far from a patch-job, having been named as the 2017 Book of the Year by Fantasia Reviews (following in the footsteps of The Bow of Destiny in 2016 by the same review site).

Without further delay, here’s the blurb for those who have not seen it:

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Buffeted like an arrow in the wind.

This unique epic fantasy will keep you turning pages as Athson and company are drawn deeper into the intrigues surrounding the Bow of Hart.

The hunt for the Bow of Hart continues for Athson and his companions. They have escaped the clutches of Magdronu and Corgren, the mage, but they are still pursued.

In need of answers to deep mysteries revealed in Chokkra, Athson must gain possession of the mythic bow to face both his enemies and his tragic past. But Magdronu’s reach stretches among Athson’s companions, endangering Limbreth and even Hastra in schemes to entrap them all.

With each turn of the search for the Bow of Hart, long hidden secrets surface that threaten to destroy Athson. Will he falter like an arrow against the wind?

Pick up the second book of The Bow of Hart Saga because the adventure spins like an arrow in flight.

Find it on Audible!