Self-publishing

Surviving Magical Attacks without Being a Mage

Note to Archer’s Aim readers: what follows is a short treatise from Wishton Ackford from my Reformed Mage book where he reveals a little about his interactions with magic as someone who possesses no magical abilities.

As someone with a predominant background in writing, investigations often prove challenging for one such as I. Too frequently, I find myself in dangers for which I never prepared as a younger man. It’s true the streets and taverns of Cal Rindon can hold their own threats at times, but these are not as unpredictable as they are with my newest chosen profession.

Being out of work taught me much about taking care of myself since I lived in places where crime and threat went hand-in-hand. But that environment was relatively short-lived compared to the rest of my life and the several years of investigatory work with my partner Mandlefred Mandeheim. Cutthroats can be avoided in any number of ways, even fought off if necessary, but a destructive spell is not so easy to avoid. Likewise avoiding some of the other nefarious characters with whom we interact challenged me in the beginning of the business partnership.

Manny taught me new skills of avoiding contact and escaping conflict. Unfortunately, many of these skills were learned on the job in dangerous conditions. One might think one deserves hazard pay from these frequent encounters, so we do charge clients for risk and danger involved.

My first learning curve was how to stay out of the way when magic comes along. But this is not so easy in some circumstances. Magical traps with curses of all kinds can often be set off and may have lethal effects. Manny is a top-notch mage with skill at disarming these many traps but care must still be taken. Of course, I came into possession of a fleer gun with which I can provide myself a modicum of self-defense when conflict arises. This is too often the case during our investigations and can occur at a moments notice. I’ve learned to keep my hand in my pocket and ready with the fleer gun based on circumstances but those are not always predictable.

My training has been besed on Manny’s spy-craft which he learned from his many years performing that job with the Imperial espionage service nicknamed the “sniffers”. Manny taught me how to create quick disguises to throw off pursuit as well as recognizing individuals who may be following me or laying traps for us. But when I first began I knew little of investigation and the other skills necessary which I have described. Experience has taught me much and I’m all the wiser for it as well as more circumspect with my actions. Unexpected magic attacks from the shadows is now a common occurrence for me, but I’ve found the work rewarding and steady.

Danger is ever present one investigates criminal troubles and there are few indicators of the surprises which lurk seemingly at every corner. Even common criminals can catch you unaware. With Manny along on the cases and the training he’s provided me, as well as learning from experience about magic, I’m far better prepared than when I began to meet all the challenges which all too often arise in this business. The real eye-opener has been how much magical crime goes on in Cal Rindon and, I suppose, and other locales. The other non-magic users in the world are seemingly oblivious to the many dangers around them. But then, the Imperial government has taken many steps to quell much of the criminal activity which can be done with magic.

Thanks for reading today and I hope you enjoyed a little deeper foray into Wish’s world and his adventures with Manny in their investigations. Your reactions and thoughts are welcome and please feel free to share the post as you like. I hope to release the first book of the series later in the year if work progresses well in the next month or so.

Out of the Shadows with Reformed Mage

Hi everyone! I’m done talking about Reformed Mage and I’m ready to really start sharing about it. For well over a year, I’ve mentioned this upcoming series with hints about the progress but no actual information about the book. Today marks when I get to talk about that book. The reason I only hinted around about it is that I haven’t wanted to share the details publicly, but now I’m throwing caution to the wind. Thanks to my friend Craig Boyack, whose chatty posts about his own work progress, inspired me to begin sharing about my own work more specifically and I hope will encourage me to soon complete the first book in the series.

Reformed Mage revolves around Manny and Wish who are two very different characters thrown together by difficult circumstances. They’ve formed a business partnership to make proverbial lemonade out lemons. Manny is the de facto main character, a talented mage and a discredited spy who is out of work. Likewise, Wish was out of work as a copywriter with low prospects and practically living on the streets. He also serves at the narrator of the story. The two have formed a partnership intent on investigating magical irregularities and crimes in hopes of making a living.

The interesting part is that what got Manny kicked out espionage was a curse he incurred during his activities as a spy. I won’t go into all of the background, but he’s intent upon clearing his name if possible – if the curse doesn’t kill him first.

There’s all kinds of trouble the pair can get into, both regular and magical. The setting is somewhat familiar in a large city during burgeoning technological growth. So there are all kinds of aspects to the story which can be exploited and one of the reasons why I’m taking so long with series. It’s no small feat to paint the full backdrop complete with all the details for readers as well as discover all of the many facets of the characters.
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Of course, there is a nemesis for this odd pair of investigators, as well as several characters who give them some trouble in a variety of ways. One of the befuddling mysteries about their nemesis is that the character is rather well hidden, even from general knowledge. Manny and Wish have discovered that the criminal exists with no known background and less information about this mastermind’s intentions. With few clues to guide them, they find themselves in danger while they work to protect the city in which they live from this shadowy figure.

At the moment I’m a little bit stuck on exactly how to revise the book, mainly because I want get it right. Maybe I’m being a little perfectionistic. However, I think this series will be quite a lot fun and it requires a lot of forethought about the series and a clear vision for how it will read. I want to take my time to iron out all the problems, fill the holes and create an excellent series for readers.

That’s all I have for to day. It’s your turn now. What are your thoughts about my rather spare and general description of my upcoming work? Thanks for stopping by and the post today. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section and share or re-blog this post.

The Bow of Destiny Character Interview: Spark

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!

As I mentioned on on release day (couple of years go), I added an animal character to The Bow of Destiny at the suggestion of a beta reader. What I settled on was a dog based on my German Shepherds and named him Spark. If you haven’t read the part of the scavenger hunt from Monday please take a look since it shares a funny way of communicating that my male dog has – his tail. That’s correct, when you ask him simple questions he wags his tail for yes and doesn’t for no. So Spark does the same thing. However, Athson is the only one who can see him besides, you, the reader. But, Athson doesn’t quite understand that Spark is communicating with him. Now that you know, you can read the book and understand something additional happening in the book.

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With that in mind, I decided to interview Spark for a bit of unique fun:

Q: How are you today, Spark? Er, I mean, are you well today Spark? (Gotta stick to the question rules!)

Spark: wag, wag, wag.

Q: So you’ve been with Athson since he was orphaned?

Spark: wag, wag, wag.

Q: Do other people see you?

Spark: no tail wag.

Q: Are you real?

Spark: wag, wag, wag.

Q: Is there a reason you follow Athson?

Spark twists his head sideways and lets loose a low growl.

Uh, right, we’re not getting int that now (and that question didn’t follow the rules).

Q: Let’s find out your favorite place. Do you like Auguron Forest?

Spark: wag, wag, wag.

Q: Do you like the Troll Heaths?

Spark: no tail wag

Q: Do you like Chokkra?

Spark: one, slight tail wag.

Hmm, guess he’s got an opinion that we can’t quite understand at the moment.

Q: Do you like Athson?

Spark: pants , wag, wag, wag.

Q: Do you have a deeper propose in the series?

Spark: cocks his head and growls again.

Uh, well I guess he doesn’t want to talk about that.

So that’s Spark and now you are in on the secret that not even Athson has figured out. I hope the interview was unique and fun and you’re a little intrigued with the book.

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