New Release

So Close It’s Almost Within Reach

Good evening everyone. I’m a little late getting the post out today since my weekend was busy. I wasn’t entirely sure how far I would get with my manuscript last week so I held off working on a post until I had a good idea how far along I was. There was also the matter of attending a writers conference online last Friday and Saturday which took up a large fraction of my time this week.

The good news is that I have made a lot of progress, but the bad news is the revision of Reformed Mage is still not finished. The writing conference put me further behind than I expected, however the progress is still significant. I have begun stitching together the various pieces of the manuscript. The structure of the book is organized so these parts fit together nicely once complete. As I finish each section it is added to the revised manuscript. My hope is to very quickly complete the main portion of the revision and send it to my editor within a few days. Of course, this also means I’m closer to releasing the prequel for this first novel, The Changeling Incident.

Being stuck on the revision means that my other projects remain on hold. However, I only expect them to be on hold for a few more days, after which I hope to quickly wrap those up. The pre-launch should be underway for Curses Dark and Foul within a matter of days. It will be a relief to be able to move on to my various other projects while my novel is being edited. I expect to work through quite a lot a the various books I have on tap, but also want to take time to relax more than I have and not expect so much from myself. Likewise, it’s also a chance to review aspects of my writing platform will like updating the website.

Overall, it should be a good time to make steady progress many different aspects of my writing. Just completing the revision helps clarify the way forward for the next two books in the Reformed Mage series. Completing this stage of the novel also provides time for planning the way forward three other series so I can begin dictating more books. This revision will be a big step forward and it’s my hope that I can get some feedback about the book from a few beta readers in addition to my editor’s observations. Knowing what I’m going to do with the next several books in the Reformed Mage series should make revision and editing a much faster prospect.

As soon as I have Curses Dark and Foul ready to upload and a link available, I’ll post the pre-release announcement. This is a chance to hone my release plans leading up to a robust release for the novel. The hope is to improve on what I’ve done in the past with The Bow of Hart Saga releases. I hope to update the next three release time-lines – Curses Dark and Foul, The Changeling Incident and The Feral Name (the working title for the first Reformed Mage book) in the near future as well as the more long-term releases.

Thanks for dropping by this evening and reading the updates. The more I have ready ahead of time, the more specific my release dates become. Please leave your comments and thoughts below and I’ll get back with you as I can.

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.

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.