Fantasy

Fantasy Authors Unplugged New Release Special: Voyage of the Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack

Greetings to the Archer’s Aim readers today. I welcome C. S. Boyack back to the bog with his new release: Voyage of the Lanternfish. Take it away, Craig!


Thanks for having me over again, P. H. You’re always welcome at my place too. I’m here today to hawk my new story, Voyage of the Lanternfish. Lanternfish is a pirate fantasy all the way. It differs from classic fantasy in that gunpowder is involved. This story has cannon and muskets to go along with it’s swords and sorcery.

It’s been a few years since I wrote an ensemble cast into one of my stories. Someone may teach this somewhere, but I kind of came up with the recipe myself.

On a tall ship there can be hundreds of men that make up the crew. (Even more on a pirate ship.) The main task is manning the sails, but it doesn’t require everyone. Most of them are needed for battle. In reality, you need at least three men per cannon, plus there could be some fancy sailing going on during the battle. As pirates, you’re going to need plenty of boarders too. Sinking ships isn’t profitable. You have to take them and loot them.

I decided to break down my cast this way. What I’m trying to do is solve a writing logistics problem.

  • My main character.
  • his best friend
  • Named supporting characters.
  • Named third tier crew members.
  • Nameless crew.

In reality, everyone has a name and a story, hopes, dreams, etc. In a book, this would be maddening for readers to keep up with.

Obviously the trick is to make it feel like an entire crew of pirates, without getting into too many details about most of them.

My lead character and his best friend drive the story. They have a common goal here. The captain’s fiancé is the best friend’s sister. She’s being held captive as insurance to force them into starting a war with a neighboring country.

The named supporting characters are fleshed out, and help give some idea about how a ship functions. It’s obviously an easier sell to stick with the officers, because they give more insight into the functioning of a ship. You’ll meet the surgeon, the quartermaster, sailing master, and more.

Those third tier characters add a bit of color to the story. You’ll meet a talented man named Stuttering Lewis, old Chappie who has horrible dental problems, and Biscuit Bill the cook.

This tier system gives me the ability to focus on the main character and the story, and after things are established, readers will assume the Sailing Master is keeping the canvas adjusted according to the prevailing winds. They’ll also assume he has random crew up in the rigging to do the job. Bill keeps the crew fed, but behind the scenes.

There is also an international flavor here, because it’s true to the age of sail. This story takes place on a fantasy world, but there’s no reason not to make things like this realistic. I’ll save my “leaps of faith” for things like root monsters and Big Boogah. (You’ll have to read the story for more information.)

Readers will have to decide if I pulled it together, or not. I hope you’ll take a chance on Voyage of the Lanternfish. I think it presses all the pirate buttons, but takes things in a different direction than some of the more recent stories.

This is one of my stories, so it’s filled with monsters, mayhem, and magic. There are even a couple of artifacts involved. I hope your readers will take a chance on Lanternfish.

How about it, you authors out there? How do you deal with an ensemble cast? I’d love to learn about it in the comments.


Blurb:

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Purchase Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07MP8V633

Bio:

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

Congratulations to Craig on his latest book release. I’m currently enjoying Voyage of the Lanternfish. Take a look at the book and more about C. S Boyack at the book page.

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The White Arrow Released on Audible!

Exciting news today! The White Arrow, Book 3 of The Bow of Hart Saga makes its official appearance on Audible!

Athson marches toward his inevitable destiny.

With the Bow of Hart in hand, Athson is hunted by his enemies. His mistakes haunt him as much as his past.

Hastra the Withling reveals Eloch will send an arrow for the bow. Magdronu plots to thwart the prophecy as his trolls attack Auguron City.

But when the arrow arrives, it is from a most unexpected source and lands in unforeseen hands. Events twist like an arrow in flight. 

Can Athson overcome his past and his failures to use the Bow of Hart as intended against Magdronu? The archer and the bow await the coming arrow…

I’m celebrating with a price reduction of the ebook on Kindle Countdown for one more day at $1.99. You can also pick up a copy for free on Kindle Unlimited. Since the audiobook is in Amazon’s Whispersync, it can be purchased at a reduced price any time.

 

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!