At Long Last… We have Arrived

Originally posted on Olivia Stocum:

England, 1192

She should be damned for what she had done. She likely would yet. Fantasizing about one’s new sword master was no doubt a sin of the flesh. Especially when one was engaged to another man…

Lady Alana’s family is in debt, and her brother’s fate hangs in the balance. Alana agrees to marry the Duke of Besville. In exchange for her freedom, all debts will be paid.

When Lord John of Ravenmore agrees to train the strong-willed Alana of Berkley in the art of the sword, he has no idea what he is getting into. She is betrothed to one of the most powerful men in England. But that will not stop his heart. To him, she is worth more than gold, and he will keep her.

No matter the cost…

Now Available on Kindle. Paperback soon to follow:

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Cover Art Teaser: A Taste of Nevra Coil

Teaser for Nevra Coil Cover By Jason Pedersen

Teaser for Nevra Coil Cover By Jason Pedersen

Part of the cover art sketch I just received.  Right now, I’m looking at turning that exile weekend into the one that debuts The Merchant of Nevra Coil.  It all depends on getting the final pieces together in time.

Remember that next month is also the Character Interview posts that will span all of August.  13 characters will get to answer the same questions that people submitted earlier this month.

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Technology in Windemere: Blossoming on the Edge of Society

Bioshock Infinite Columbia

Bioshock Infinite Columbia

The titular Nevra Coil is a flying city of the gnomes that is the highest tech that has been introduced to the Windemere series.  It reveals that the world is changing and not entirely a medieval setting.  Well it is, but there are flying machines turning up even though only the gnomes will use them.  Why use something that can run out of fuel when you can use a griffin?  Then again, why use something that has a mind of its own when you have a fully controlled machine?  Personal preference there and I know of a few champions who won’t like it.

Now I’m not going to describe Nevra Coil because that’s a surprise for the book.  I will talk about what happens when more modern technology appears in a fantasy world.  Many times you’ll find stuff to be powered by steam or magic, the latter of which can be used to explain electricity.  Still, you run into a problem because many authors and readers believe that this MUST lead to a war.  I prefer to have technology be left in certain areas and some parts gradually released into the world.  For example, there has been a few mentions of indoor plumbing in regards to baths.  This is a combination of metalworking, water gems, and heat magic, which allows for warm water to be pumped inside.  So there is an acceptance to these things and enough magic to make your average person less cautious of it.  After all, gnomes tend to make things explode, so every piece of comfort is worthwhile.

Another issue that can appear due to technology is that people believe it makes magic obsolete and it definitely causes a problem for non-magical stuff.  This is mostly in regards to weaponry, which readers may notice I haven’t done anything with.  An author has to be careful when it comes to technology.  Some things are easier to phase into the world while others may cause trouble.  For example, a character showing up with an assault rifle will change the combat dynamic of a world where most people have swords.  Yes, a powerful caster and a very cunning warrior can still win. Yet it does a severe alteration to the world dynamic that you have to factor in.  Same goes for transportation because many events occur while the heroes or villains travel.

Personally, I don’t like a lot of technology in my fantasy at the beginning.  It makes me think it is more science fiction, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Though it alters the tone enough to make some things seem ‘off’.  My answer to this in Windemere is to be gradual and hint at things.  I use the gnomes to do this and establish them as the innovators, but even they aren’t always certain of what they have or even use stuff for what we would.  For example, Fritz spoke of a strange material being invented that people may have pinpointed as plastic.  This solitary species has become a cornerstone of what I’m doing in regards to the world building.  What will come from them?  Read Merchant of Nevra Coil and see what they have in the works.

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Free Book Promo

Originally posted on Kev's Great Indie Authors:

Starting July 31st and on through August 4th folks!

(Kev starts jumping up and down in excitement, but Pat tells him to get off the bed)

As a precursor to my upcoming 99c/99p Special on Miedo “Afraid” which starts on the 7th of July, I am giving away, Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear, absolutely free on Amazon for five days starting tomorrow!

Free Kindle Book!

Miedo_Cover_for_Kindle

AMAZON US / AMAZON UK

For blurbs, reviews, trailers and more, check out my Miedo Page!

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A List of Creative Writing Competitions in 2015

Charles Yallowitz:

Step into the ring . . . sort of . . . Just have fun.

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksStart reading Infinite Waters for free with Kindle Unlimited

You all know how much I love short stories, right? Well, enough to have published two collections so far, Infinite Waters being the latest one.

I recently entered a new short story of mine in a competition organized by Almond Press. While on their Dystopian Stories site, I noticed they have this great page with all sorts of short story competitions, with prizes up to $14,000. Naturally, I had to share.

And if you’re looking to get your short story published, check with my publisher friend Dan Dombrowski: he’s looking for stories to include in the next issue of his excellent Nonlocal Science Fiction Magazine.

Competition Country Closing Date Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
The Pigeonhole Short Story Competition International August 3rd 5,000 Free Publication
The Reading Room Short Story Comp International October 20th 2,000 £3 £50 +…

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Released today! THE FALLEN, by Melissa Barker Simpson

Originally posted on Silver Threading:

I want to give my friend, Melissa Barker Simpson (Mel) a pat on the back!

I am excited to announce:

Today, July 30th, 2015 her new book, “The Fallen,” is premiering on Amazon! This link will take you to her book launch site.

After the Demonic War, a battle which devastated the mortal realm, hunter cells were established across the globe to serve and protect every living soul. Maddison Wood is part of an alpha cell in the north of England. But Maddison has a new role now; her responsibilities as Watcher. She belongs to a legion of warriors assigned to serve the Fallen; guardian angels afforded the privilege of residing on Earth.

When Maddison is drawn to the city by an event which resonates hundreds of miles away, she is thrown into the path of a newly fallen angel. But Obadiah is no ordinary angel. He…

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The Benefits of a Mid or Late Series Detour Tale

For context, Dean dies repeatedly in that episode while the day repeats with only Sam knowing.  There is an actual reason for that to happen, which is revealed at the end and I won’t spoil the fun.  Seriously, it got to Looney Tunes level events in that one and I do not feel bad for laughing.  (I’ll make the Dean fans happy at the end of this.)

Anyway, I’m going to dive into the benefits of putting a lighthearted book/story/subplot into the middle of a lengthy series.  I call it a ‘Detour Tale’ since it takes the characters away from the main story while still making progress and eventually getting back on track.  After all, not every detour will get you lost and you’re still going to get to where you were going.  Just something came up and a new adventure was born.  That happens in real life and can happen in fiction as well.  An author simply needs to make such a thing worthwhile for everyone involved.

  1. The longer you go with darkness and despair, the harder it is to have anything positive happen.  It sounds strange, but you can write yourself into the cellar by always having bad stuff occur.  Not to mention it can wear on everyone involved.  A lighthearted story can help bolster the mentalities of the author, characters, and readers.  The fact that you’ll knock everyone down again is besides the point and such a move may have a stronger impact.  At least now the readers know you’re willing to have good and bad events happen.
  2. World exploration and building can be done if the event has a physical detour.  This means the readers get to see a new region with new cultures and feel like the world is an even bigger place.  This can increase the sense of scale when it comes to the main storyline.  Now it’s no longer the original locations, but this new one and possibly regions that haven’t been explored yet.
  3. You can have character development up the wazoo.  This downtime gives the heroes and villains time to reflect and recover from past events.  Self-reflection can lead to a change in world view or even an alteration of plans.  Maybe a hero loses their courage or a villain realizes they’re on the wrong side.  It’s actually a little easier to have these things happen in a quieter, less epic, slower paced tale.  Especially for someone like me that does a lot of action.  Honestly, not being on the main story doesn’t mean a character’s evolution pauses.
  4. Less used characters can take the spotlight for a bit.  Those that are always in the forefront can be moved to the back a bit while the heroes and villains that have yet to shine brightly can get some attention.  This is probably more for ensemble casts than a story with a solitary main hero, but you can use it to bolster supporting cast.  A bland secondary doesn’t really help a story, so focusing on them for a bit doesn’t hurt.  You might even find yourself with a new book and hero on your hands.  Another thing here is that you might have some information about the less used characters that such a story will help you reveal.
  5. A final note is that you can set up events for the future books.  It’s possible that something has gone a little off-kilter with the main plot or one of the characters.  So you can use this story to shake things up in a way that doesn’t knock over the entire chess game.  For example, you need to set up a certain event and it isn’t coming out right as long as you follow the main plot alone.  This event clears up a hole or adds a piece that will be important near the end.  A ‘detour story’ can take the characters away from all of the blockage and clear the stage for a set up.

Those are the big ones I can think of and I’m sure there’s more.  A major point here is to not overlook this tool if you have a lengthy series.  Might even work on a smaller scale with a ‘detour chapter’ when you have a long, heavy book or trilogy.  Now for the other thing that I promised:

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