Our Solemn Hour

Fate's Harrow is back out and the Christmas Specials are coming.

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In time for its 7th Anniversary

It is hard to believe that it has been 7 years since I wrote the adventures of Ara'lu Nergal, Dov Lavan, Tien Shaa, and Adir Radd.  How time flies?

I want to thank everyone who helped me get this book ready, and everyone who voted for the cover.  None of this would be possible without your care and support.

This edition of the book contains the original unpublished prologue, Dreaming of Midnight, and the unpublished final chapter, Wings of Destiny.  So if you read it when it originally came out almost 7 years ago, there is even more in this edition.

Get your copy here.  It will be free until Friday, so don't wait too long to pick up your copy.
 

7 years of Fate's Harrow

It is hard for me to believe that on December 30th, Fate's Harrow will be 7 years old.  It really doesn't feel right, but time flies when you are having fun, right?

This serial was a milestone for me.  It was my first story to hit #1 on the Amazon bestseller chart.  After my experience with Liquid Sky, I needed that boost to my confidence to keep me going.

If it wasn't for this book, I might not have kept writing.  Thank you to everyone who picked up a copy when it first came out, and thank you for getting your copy of the new edition.
 

Christmas specials

Keep an eye out for the releases of this years Christmas specials. 

The Krampus is coming to Dragons of Night in the new story, The Yule Mask (Facebook Page | Google+ Page).

Our Solemn Hour has come with the new story, Sisters of the Light (Facebook Page | Google+ Page).
 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I hope that all you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I have a lot of resolutions for next year, and I expect you to help keep me on track.

Struggling with Wattpad and the Return of Fate's Harrow.

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Coffee is life

Yesterday, I sent out the Newsletter, and started on the massive project to restart the zine next year.  If you didn't get your copy, you can read it here and sign up to receive it here.  I have so many irons in the fire, it is a great way to keep from missing something.

Calling all Beta Readers

I also added many of my previously published works to the Beta Readers group for a one last pass before the relaunch of my Scifi/fantasy series, Our Solemn Hour.

  • All 5 Issues of Fate's Harrow
  • All 4 Legends of the Jade Moon Novelettes
  • The full text of Shine Like Thunder

If you want to help with this read through and get early access to drafts of new stories, join the Beta Readers' GroupAs always everyone who helps edit these works will get a shout out in the Acknowledgements and a free ebook version of the final text.

The Return of Fate's Harrow

I know you caught that.  Yes, for the first time in 7 years, my bestselling book Fate's Harrow is coming back!

I am so excited to make this book available again.  I believe all the rights considerations have been taken care of, so I can finally get the book back into print.  If we can keep on schedule, it should be available by December 16th!

Stepping up on Wattpad

Wattpad is an interesting place, and I have dabbled with it from time to time.  I added a bunch of previously unpublished stories there to get your feedback.  Hopefully, I can get my head around the site and community over there.

If you have any advise for me on that, please share.  If you would like to follow me over there, here is my profile.

I am trying to open up

Openness is the secret power of the internet.  I know that is not a shocking statement, but it is something I have struggled with for years.  I am trying to be more open with what I am doing and how I am doing it.

No journey is worth taking if you have to take it alone.  If you want to walk this path with me, Join the Project: Shadow group and follow me on the various social networks.

When is Our Solemn Hour?

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Reboots and the Return of the Serials

So much has happened over the last year.  I have to thank you all for your support through these trying times.  The good news is, there is a light over at the Frankenstein place, and I am ready to do the time warp again!

Ok, there is no connection between what I am working on and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I am pretty sure I know how that bird felt in Magenta's hand.  After a year of ups and downs, the only consistent things have been my faith, friends, family, and all of you.

After all the work, and a steep learning curve in 3D art, it is time to open the flood gates and get you more stories.  A lot more stories. 
 

What I learned this year

You all have supported me beyond belief this year.  Your love and acceptance of Wand and Weaver: The Chain has warmed my heart.  In 1 year, it has sold more copies than any other individual book I've written!

I also learned that you like my $0.99 novelettes.  They have sold consistently throughout the year. 


So, now, as we move towards 2014, I am going to try something new.  Soon, I will launch the first of 2 new serials.  One will be set in Dragons of Night, and will pick up where The Chain ended, the other will continue the world of Liquid Sky and Shine Like Thunder.

With your help, 2014 will be even better.  Spread the word, and get involved.  There is a lot of work ahead, and I know that you will be by my side through it all.  Thank you for everything.  Your support means the world to me.

Is National Novel Writing Month the problem or a symptom

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 It amazes me the clarity a headache can sometimes give you.  My sinuses and I are at war today in this dry autumn air.  As a result, I don't have the level of patience  that I usually would have.

When I got up today, I went over my schedule to organize my workflow for the day.  Since I decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month, high on my list was to hit my word count for the day.  That is not what I wanted to do.

As the resistance mounted against me, I focused my attention on why I didn't want to write.

That was just the thing.  My problem isn't that I don't want to write.  The problem is I want to play in the setting.  I want to explore, frolicking in all the nooks and crannies that the world presents me.  So, in reality, it is not that I don't want to write, it is  yet again the constraints of the novel are working against the kind of story I want to tell.

Over and over, I tell myself that I'm going to break out of the mold of the novel, and time and again I force myself back into it.  It is comfortable, familiar.  I know how to do that, and as such it is the easy way out.

I have to stop taking the easy way out.

So, for me, National Novel Writing Month is both the problem and the symptom.  I'm not writing a novel, so why am I trying to make it fit the format?  I need to refocus, and plan my way forward.  Something different is trying to be born through me.  I just need to get out of its way.

Rejoining the Cult of Done

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  After I decided to reconnect with the things I love,  I went back to my blog to reconnect with my thoughts.

I realize that about two years ago I stopped posting about what it means to me to be a writer and entertainment designer.  In a lot of ways, it's about the same time I started finding it hard to write.

One of the things that I did discover, or should I say rediscovered, was the Cult of Done Manifesto.   I remembered how I felt the first time I read it.  I remembered how inspired I was.

Everything Is a Draft

I remember when I abandoned that principle.  At a certain point when I was writing The Chain, I vowed to myself that I would write the book that I wanted to read.  I didn't realize until today that I set a goal to pursue the Platonic ideal of the book I wanted.

That one unseen goal has paralyzed me ever since.  My drive to write a perfect book has kept me from working on the right book.  So I find myself with what feels like an unending wave of writers block.

Laugh at Perfection

I dabbled around a little bit with the idea of treating the story like it was software development.  The text I write would be the code.  There would be iterations, patches, updates, and development towards fuller and greater versions.  It is an interesting idea,

Perhaps what I need to do is pick up that idea again and see where it leads me.  Since I spent a lot of time tinkering with it, and not doing it, there's a good chance that it holds the key to unlocking my creativity.

Hopefully, you will join me in this grand experiment.  I'll share my experiences and theories with you, all I ask in return is for your feedback.  I know I don't have to ask for your support.  You've always shown me so much. Let the experiments begin.

I launched the Our Solemn Hour site and started writing

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There isn’t much there at the moment, but I launched the Our Solemn Hour site today. Hopefully, the story will start flowing with the same ease the characters are popping in my head. I want to thank you all in advance for your support over the next month writing. This world really wants to come into being, and together, we can make that happen.

Our Solemn Hour: How it all began

This song is a mind worm, it dug in and wouldn't let go. I knew I wanted to do something with scattered images that trouble my vision every time I listen to it. No single idea stood out at first and I posted quite a few of them on the site. Eventually, a character stood out and I knew what I was going to write, sort of.

Enter Ronan Keon

Ronan popped into my head and said, "I am a survivor from the lost city of Parthalan.  I was there when it fell.  I tried to save it, to save anything... but in the end, it all fell apart.  I hate what the moon brings."

I perked up immediately.  That is interesting, and I recognized that last phrase.

H. P. Lovecraft wrote a vignette called, What the Moon Brings, on June 5, 1922 that starts with the line, "I hate the moon."  It is a gastly short about unspeakable horrors bleeding into the world through the moon light.  The story is powerful and evocative, but it posed a problem for me.

I already have a dark fantasy setting.

Dragons of Night is my contemporary, dark fantasy setting.  Was Ronan a new character for it?

No.  Images of a man in Alexander McQueen inspired clothes with a sword on his back and a staff in his hands didn't fit well into Dragons of Night.  Then it hit me.

Steampunk Sword & Sorcery Wuxia!

I could write the story as a Sword and Sorcery, a genre I love, and that a lot of you have asked me to work in, while at the same time breaking from several conventions of the genre.

The swordplay and organization in the world will draw on Wuxia and Jedaigeki sources rather than European legends and Romances.  This may not be new for anime or manga, but I am not familiar with much prose fiction like that.  The idea of writing an anime type sword and sorcery is exciting.  I allow myself a lot more freedom than I would have ordinarily to do things differently.

The setting will eschew (I use that word in honor of Mark Twain) medievalism with a world resembling  Steampunk, Westerns, Swashbuckling fiction, and Gaslight fiction.  No squabbling nobles, royals, or the like.  The stories will be about individuals rather than nations at war, and the stakes will be personal.

Characterization will be as important as the Action/Adventure elements.  Many Sword and Sorcery stories miss that part.  I am not saying that I will be perfect with it, but I really want the stories to be character driven.

Now I had it.  A seed for the setting, a character, and some genre rules to build from.  Our Solemn Hour is starting to take shape.

The Final Fantasy Connection

I chose that particular vid for Our Solemn Hour for a reason.  It starts to build the visual tone poem for the world I am wanting to create.

I pitched the world to Brian by saying: Imagine Final Fantasy meets Lovecraft if it were written by Robert E Howard.  That is super high concept, but it helps to bring together a vision until I get the setting bible done.

If I can pull this off, it will honestly be my favorite thing I have ever written.  I hope you all enjoy the process as I blog about it and the stories as they come out.

5 Versions of Our Solemn Hour Up

I posted 5 versions of the Our Solemn Hour idea up (here).  This is not all of them, but these are some of the ones I am most interested in.  I will try to post more tomorrow.  Please let me know what you think either in the Forum or using the Formspring box in the column =>

I am excited about this new project, and a little nervous about being so public about it.  There will also be a new episode of Project: Shadow out shortly about the changes.