Launch

Curses Dark and Foul – A Personal Story

Hi everyone! It was a blur last week, especially over the weekend since I’ve been attending the SFWA Conference online. It’s been both fun and busy. The SFWA conference was busy and the Nebula award winners were announced with great fanfare on Saturday night.

This week, I share a continuation about Curses Dark & Foul as progress continues toward publication of the anthology. With the cover ready, compiling the final manuscript and creating the book blurb are on my radar. The final manuscript is underway and I’ve been studying a blurb for an anthology to write. With some solid progress, I hope to schedule the release over the next week or so for later in the month.

The last of the stories in the anthology is For No Reason. It’s another story involving a curse, but much more personal to the main character who has a vested stake in the outcome. The curse not only endangers him but the entire settlement and there’s nothing that can be done.

Haunted with the curse, the main character is hardly able to live with a sense of normalcy as his well-being, both physically and mentally, erode under the effects of the curse. There is but one way to break it and the way is seemingly closed. It’s a broken life and a broken community, with everyone waiting for the curse to take them all. What can be done with no answers at hand?

Such is the scene for the final story of Curses Dark and Foul. For No Reason was written back in 2012 and is a story I spent a little time shopping around to short fiction markets. Again, it was a story that editors liked but simply could not use at the time. Such is the case with much short fiction but it does not mean that these stories should not be read. I now share them as an anthology and open the door that these can be picked up in other venues some time in the future. Perhaps these will gain a bit more life of their own over time, just like The Black Bag has over the years.

Curses Dark and Foul will be found initially on Amazon in several categories. I again share the artwork and hope anyone reading will also share it on social media and elsewhere, especially when the sales link is announced. I’ll post a few more ways you can support the release with a minimum of effort. I have a few places where I can communicate more about the book and other upcoming releases – two private groups – one on Goodreads, named Marston’s Station, and the other on Facebook, named The Broken Bow Inn. Simply click the links and request membership and I’ll get you in where you can view more about this release as I post plans.

Thanks for reading today and I’ll be along throughout the day to reply to your thoughts in the comments section. Please share on social media and reblog as you are able.

Curses Dark and Foul – More Background

Good morning everyone, I hope you are well this week and that you had a good week last week. Today marks the second post about my upcoming fantasy anthology, Curses Dark and Foul, due to be released in just a few weeks. You will note that the cover is ready and has been ready for several weeks. This cover is important, because it represents a bit of all three short stories in the anthology. Here’s a bit of a taste of how it does so with each of the stories and bit of background for one of them.

The cover features a young woman in the foreground and behind her is a looming beast. All three of the stories deal with curses so the title is Curses Dark and Foul. Two the stories deal with a beast. And two the stories have a young woman who is a character in a story. The story highlighted today has both a beast and a young woman. So that’s how the relevance of the cover works for all three of the stories. It ends up being a solid bit of artwork for the anthology with some relationship to all three stories.

However, the cover best represents the story, Shadow of the Beast. I’m not going to share much about the story lest I give it all away, but you can easily see the importance of the cover to this particular story.

Shadow of the Beast is a story that I wrote several years ago and considered what to do with it for a while. It required I develop the main character with some subtle influences in his life. He is tasked with a seemingly impossible job and essentially blackmailed into doing something he doesn’t want to do.

The story came from the kernel of an idea about being alone on a snowy night at a campfire. The question came to mind: what was beyond the light? What could be out there in the wild stalking the darkness? Those are straightforward questions, but they easily come to mind whenever you find yourself alone in the dark with very little light. You can at least imagine what it would be like in a deep wilderness or anywhere else that you might be in such a situation. It’s also easy to imagine what it was like a little more than 100 years ago before electricity was so prevalent, and what it’s like in many isolated places in the world yet today. That is, in part the essence of the story, but there is far more to it than that simple kernel.

So there you have it, the character tasked with a job he doesn’t want to do and a fire in the dark. Of course there’s more and the story leads to that setting. The setting speaks for itself and I hope you will enjoy the story. Here’s a blog post from over on Story Empire where I discussed more about how your imagination and impressions of your surroundings change when you are alone in the dark for an extended period of time. The link for the pre-order is coming soon, I’m just not quite finished with the compiled manuscript.

Thanks for stopping by today at Archer’s Aim. Please share and re-blog the post as you see fit. Also, leave your thoughts and reactions in the comments section and I’ll answer as is I can.

A Look Behind the Curtain: My Expected Publishing Schedule

Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by the website today and reading about some of my updates. I’ve been going right along this last week and making some plans about a few releases, so I’ll mainly focus on those today with a little bit of Reformed Mage news mixed-in and a concluding publishing schedule.

Project Updates:

An Arrow Against the Wind Print

As I mentioned last week, An Arrow Against the Wind print edition is very close to being completed. Well, it’s no longer close. It’s finished and ready. The print edition has been approved and I will set my official release announcement for next week. Since the book has been out for three years, there’s not much reason to do a massive release, but I will schedule some blog visits just to get the word out some.

Work has already begun to create the print format for The White Arrow. Depending on availability and time to create the print cover, the last of the three books should arrive in print during the summer, most likely late June or early July.

Anthologies

Created by Brosedesignz

Moving on to the next item on the list, is my first short story anthology, entitled: Curses Dark and Foul. This is a small project for me, one that already has content available so I expect to move through it very quickly as I mentioned last week. It will comprise three short stories. I’m currently working to brush up the stories with some additional editing since they have been completed for a while. My expectation is to release this anthology later in May, possibly early June. I just don’t want to step on the print release of An Arrow Against the Wind. The basic cover I’m using without the title is shown for reference only and created by warrendesign.

Regarding additional anthologies, I have plans for a total of four editions. The second edition already contains three completed stories while the third one contains three stories in various states of completion. The last anthology contains three stories which I have either begun or planned loosely. Those latter two anthologies will require some dictation to complete some of the stories, but my hope is to release them further into the year. It is my intention to release the second anthology during the summer, possibly during July or August.

Reformed Mage

My main project for the year is the Reformed Mage series. I’ve been working consistently with revising the first novel. As I mentioned last week the prologue to the first book will be also published as a prequel short story entitled, The Changeling Incident. I’ve completed dictation on that short sub-project and hope to edit as quickly as possible for a release during the summer. You can see the cover from warrendesign. Work on the prequel release means that I’m loosely targeting the release of the full first novel series in late September or early October. I’m creating a new page for the book on this site soon with more details as I progress through the work.

There’s quite a lot to complete, but I’m feeling fairly confident that I can meet that schedule but I can slide the novel back to November as necessary. The main issue is completing the revision soon enough to hand-off to my editor. Of course, there still remains the need for a cover and formatting as well as the outside possibility of it going directly to audio. I also plan to release it in print at the same time. I’m also considering whether to release individual cases as books and then bundle them which makes for a more brisk publication schedule and creates the need for more covers. Something to consider and which I’ll cover in detail in a later post.

There are two other books already in rough draft for this series, so my goal is to revise and release those as soon as possible after the first book. Both book two and three will also have a prologue which will also be released as a prequel short story before each of these two novels are launched. Dictation is my main tool at the moment to create additional content, but once these additions are completed, I’ll shift to short story projects for later anthologies, then begin additional novels for Reformed Mage, Black Glove and other books in my two other series that are waiting their turn.

The main goal is getting Reformed Mage content to my editor as soon as possible so that I can release them fairly close together while I’m writing the fourth book in the series. I might also mention that there are least six books planned for this series already.

Black Glove

Also sitting on the back burner is the first book of the Black Glove series. That one is largely ready for editing so I’m considering exactly what I would like to do with it. One of my holdups is actually developing the entire series so I’m a little hesitant to move forward with it just yet. The other consideration is whether I want to submit it to InkShares to be hybrid published or if I would prefer to self publish it early in 2021. That’s the big question and one of the pros for submitting it to InkShares is that I would be doing something with the manuscript while I’m working on all these other projects. The con to using InkShares would be a lower royalty rate. The other main pro to using InkShares is it’s more likely to reach retail bookstores since it would be published almost like a traditional book. It also would likely debut in audio.

Upcoming Schedule

Beyond all of that, it looks like I’ll be able to attend the SFWA convention at the end of May which will now be online. I wanted to attend a science fiction and fantasy convention at a local library which is usually well attended. There was also another local one for the same genres, but I’m not sure either of these conventions will actually be held as scheduled this year so I’m waiting to see what can happen with those. It looks like I’ll have some print books available, so the two events would be excellent for talking to readers in person.

It looks like I’ll have a busy release schedule this year after all. Here’s the run-down:

  • An Arrow Against the Wind will be released during May – target date 5/11.
  • Curses Dark and Foul, my first anthology, will be in late May or early June.
  • After that my plan is to release the print edition of The White Arrow during July.
  • By August, my hope is to release the prequel, The Changeling Incident for the first book of Reformed Mage.
  • After that, is the release of the first book of the Reformed Mage Casebook series during the fall, September, if possible.
  • A second anthology will be expected during the Summer or Fall if my publication schedule for Reformed Mage falls behind.
  • Beyond that schedule it is my hope to quickly follow up the first novel with material from the second book of Reformed Mage. My main goal at that point is to possibly release the prequel of Reformed Mage #2 before the end of the year and the entire novel just after the new year.
  • From there the schedule gets a little more murky as I may release an anthology or be ready to release Reformed Mage three. That will come clear as soon as I make considerable progress on everything, but it certainly fills up the calendar nicely.

Thanks for stopping by today and catching up on the latest news and my plans for the rest of the year. Next week, I’ll be back with the specific release information about An Arrow Against the Wind print edition. Please leave your thoughts in the comments and share or reblog this post. I’ll reply to comments as soon as possible.