Welcome Back to Akiniwazi!

That is correct Ladies and Gentlemen!  The sequel to Akiniwazisaga: A Light Rises in a Dark World” is now available on Amazon.

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We’re going for an exclusive release there this time to see how well it works out.  But now’s the time to start reading or buy your copy now!  Hardcover and paperbacks coming soon.

In Akiniwazi, the veil between Heaven, Earth and Hell is torn. Here angels, miracles and gifts of the Spirit do battle against demons, curses and their sorcery. This is a wild land of ice and steam, where two cultures are trapped in a war to the death and the fate of every soul hangs in the balance.

What does it profit a man to gain the world, but lose his immortal soul?

For centuries, the Akiniwazi Union, has been ruled by the Sveinnaettir dynasty. Now crumbling under the weight of debt, politics and an ancient family curse, Gregor the Visekonge entrusts his son with a dangerous quest in an attempt to restore the power of his crown. The Visekonge’s plan emboldens an ambitious vassal to steal the crown for his own son and rewrite the lines of succession.

But God has a plan of his own.

To put the Battle of Athrvorthfestning behind him, Inquisitor Urban heads for home and much needed rest. Along the way he encounters Aske Rekkerson, a Skaerslinger timberjack who shows him a ring of silver and a ring of gold and tells the grisly tale of their discovery. Urban connects these rings to the vicious politics of the Visekonge’s court as well as the sectarian intrigue behind Brother Finn’s exile. Brother Finn finds himself plucked from his peaceful exile and unknowingly dropped into the middle of a corrupt and powerful conspiracy that threatens the Union, the Kyrkja and his life.

 

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Good Golly! Book Release Announcement

It’s been a long time in coming.  Two books, one day, and what day?  Good Friday!

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Akiniwazisaga will continue, available for purchase on….

April 19th, 2019.

AKINIWAZISAGA 2 - E-BOOK COVER - FINAL

 

Book 1, “Akiniwazisaga: A Light Rises in a Dark World” will be available wide on Amazon, Rakuten/Kobo and Smashwords.  You will also be able to purchase it through Walmart, Barnes & Noble and other locations.

Book 2: “Akiniwazisaga: The Inheritance Thieves” will be available exclusively through Amazon to start.  That means it will be available through Kindle Unlimited too.

So why the strange release?  I’m experimenting.  Although I’d prefer to go wide, I am going to see how the distribution is through Kindle Unlimited.  We’ll see how it goes, and if it does well, I’ll do the same with ALRDW.  If it doesn’t, vice versa.

Will there be a pre-order?  Nope.  Thanks to Amazon’s new ways to handle algorithms, I won’t do pre-orders.  It’s too bad really, so get your pennies together, and open them piggybanks and be ready to buy it on the opening weekend.  Let your friends and families know it will be available then.  The more people who buy on that day, the higher the rankings will climb and we can get this off the ground as a right out of the gate.

So remember…

April 19th, 2019:  Good Friday!

What a perfect day for a Christian Epic Fantasy!

 

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Now On To Formatting! (and other news)

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Editing (with the exception of a couple technical whoopsies caught by proof reading ) is done!  I am so relieved.  Both Books 1 and 2 are now set to be formatted, sent to the printer and released.  I am hoping, barring restrictions that this will be complete in April.  A goodish month for me all things considered.

So what comes next?

BOOK 3!  The editing begins!  My goal is mid July, and although I set the deadline, it has some real world outside of myself backup to get it done. That means Beta Readers will be needed again by Early June at the latest, and a cover I hope by the same time.

And once all that is done, I can turn my attention to Book 4… which isn’t written yet, but it’s been building in my head.  I have certain scenes envisioned and now a few new characters, plot twists, questions to answer… not to mention ask!

When will that finish?  I’m not going to predict other than to say 2020.  I know that’s the year I want to start looking at audiobooks, and that will be the goal, but those will probably be pushed back till late 2020, after I finish Book 4 so it can all be done at once.  We’ll see.  This is long range blue skying it right now.

As for other things, Realm Makers 2019 in Saint Louis is fast approaching and I am both full of joyful squee and screams of terror.  Why?  Give away merchandise for attendees and a few choices on merchandising.  I’ve no idea what kind of good memorable give-away I can provide, but I want to do something nice.

What’s that?  You didn’t realize I wanted to do some merch for my books?  Oh yes… yes indeed I do!

What kind of merch?

I hope to do something with teeshirts and my covers and maybe hats with my logo on it.  We’re gonna have to see what I can come up with.  Honestly though I really need help with this stuff.  I’ve been researching companies to do it through, but I can’t afford to play with inventory, online stores, order fulfillment and all that jazz.  Heck, you see how good I am with this blog current!

That said, once I get some shirts designed for me to wear, I do hope to set it up for all of y’all to be able to buy them if you want.  That’s the hope on the clothing.

But nuff said.  There’s also one other dream item I’d love to do, but that would require some real help with someone who has know-how and the ability to help me set up a “Manufacture On Demand” setup.

What is this dream item?  Wellllll….. okay, I’ll tell you, just realize this is in the dreaming with no idea how to pull it off still:  Stuffed Bergamots.  Yes, Actually, I want to do stuffed doggies, same with Hawthorne (you’ll meet him later)  It’d be really fun to do stuffed versions of Brother Finn, Reimar and other characters…. or… something else!  HAH!  But that’s even more blue sky thinking so I’ll keep that in the cooler till it’s ready to start prepping.

So that’s the news right now.  Hope to give a hard date on the release soon.

TTYL

 

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Triskaidecaphobia… The Editing Edition

I was told by a friend that Ernest Hemingway once edited the last page of one of his novels over 150 times till he had it right.

Well.  Chapter 13 of the Book 1 reissue has just exacted such torture on me.

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For the love of little green pickles I just could NOT get that chapter to work right.  Every trick and redesign of “Dangerous Hours” refused to play along.  Nay, it revolted against me!   It is an important and I needed to get it right.  It had to sound right as well as look right.  One change lead to a half dozen corrections, then it didn’t sound right so I had to go over it again and again and again.

Oh! for the tranquility of writing the first draft again!  Editing is not my favorite task as a writer, but it is essential.  You, the readers, have entrusted your imaginations to me, and I need to be a good caretaker of that trust.  Unfortunately I now know how writers become alcoholics, I think. I really began to wonder how I let this book out into public like this.

Then I had to remember, this was as good as I could do at the time.  I now have the benefit of over 1200 more pages written to the saga now.  Yes, you heard correction.  That’s 4 more novels worth of stuff.  Not that all of it’s going to release any time soon, but it’s there and growing.

But, after no less than 125 passes through that thirteenth chapter… it’s ready.  Redundancies gone and bad phraseology banished to the tune of 500 words!  Furthermore, when I realized that I could not envision the scene from my own writing, I backtracked and found better ways to explain the images I saw in my own head.  Talk about a gauntlet for my creative soul!

But forward we go.  I’m locking down chapters after my editor, who should be nominated for sainthood for many reasons beyond just tearing my work apart, has done a final pass through.  That means very soon, I will be moving forward and fixing even more stuff.  The struggle will have been worth it in the end.  I am proud of the work again after having severe doubts about my own efforts.

And just so you know, gentle readers, all authors struggle with impostor syndrome.  Even ones like Stephen King who doubt their skill if they did not have their name to get readers.  Don’t believe me?  See Richard Bachmann.  Game, set, match.  It’s a universal for anyone who wants to be good at their craft regardless of what it is.

I also was given some very good advice by fellow author Kerry Nietz who reminded me that I should be careful on the re-edit and to watch that I don’t lose my voice.  A sentiment I do agree with and am now redoubling efforts to preserve the original tone and not let familiarity dry out the work like an overcooked turkey.

So, patience please, and if you can find it in yourself to extend a little grace as I muddle through, I promise to make the wait worth your while.

 

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Progress Update: January & Beyond

Life keeps chucking curveballs at me, but I’m getting a few solid dingers from time to time.

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So why isn’t Book 2 out?

Honestly?

Book 1 is still getting edited for reissue.  I am 95% done with Book 2 (basically formatting) but Book 1 has been an absolute beast.  Combined with my issues surrounding my new day job, I’ve had a dickens of a time getting focused on the work.  On a positive note, it will be worth it, and you’ll get a “twofer” when the release happens.  The schedule for book 3 is uninhibited yet.  I only worry about book 4 at this point.

So Books 1 and 2 will release as soon as I can manage, and then we move on to editing Book 3 and writing of Book 4 in between.

Now, something else that is sapping my creative strength has been a new series that is demanding my attention.  I’ve been taking notes, thinking about characters and worldbuilding for that too.  So some of that energy has been diverted.  The intent is to not work on that till book 4 is in editing, and then bang out the whole trilogy.  Yes this new project is designed to be a one off trilogy, written in serial format.

So what is it?  Once again, I don’t write clean genres.  It’s going to have elements of Film Noir, Pulp Adventure, Dieselpunk, Cyberpunk and Space Opera.  It’s an awesome concept with a twist I think will really be fun for those of you who like mangling tropes.  So when it comes time to start working on that, I’ll have y’all put your axes up, strap on your ray guns, and put on your aviator shades, cuz we’re gonna go save humanity!

 

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Akiniwazisaga: Reissue & The Name is….!

First the big news.  Book 2 is with the proofreaders.  (One because I need someone to pick over the grammar and the other to pick over the proper use of Scandinavian languages to make sure I didn’t botch something really big.)  So next stop format city.  This seems to mean (barring any new disasters) that a January is likely now that real world concerns are out of the way.  What real world concerns?  Well, I’m not quite self sufficient on my writing earnings, so that means you get these books less frequently, and that means I have a real world job.  This last month I switched companies in a process that was a diagonal move upward.  Different company, similar position, but up the process chain.  On the positive notes, it means that I no longer have large chunks of time that I can’t write.  But it means I can’t edit at work like the previous position allowed.  So it’s an overall improvement in that regard.  It is also an overall improvement to my quality of life.

That’s what’s been going on in the life for me.  You can imagine what kind of toll it’s taken on my ability to focus on this work.  Don’t worry, I’ll get better as time goes by and I settle into the new position.

With that said… it’s time for the big reveal!

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As you know Book 2 is a much more sprawling novel as it is the first part of a trilogy story arc.  Yeah, couldn’t pack all that goodness into just one book, unless you wanted a 1200-1500 page monstrosity I can’t afford to print nor you to buy in one bite.  I do toy with the idea of making an “Omnibus” in the future that will be just that for the real collector.  We shall see.

 

I can hear you shouting “get on with it!” from the cheap seats.  Okay, okay!!!

Titles are not easy for me.  (Well, Book 3 was.  It practically handed itself to me on a silver platter, which is super rare.)  So after much consultation, thought, doubt and prayer, I found the name I think really fits, sticking with my convention of modifying Bible verses that speak to the character of the book.  In this case, it comes from the following:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

 

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

And with that, Book 2 is officially christened!

 

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Cover by Paganus

 

Look at that!  Finn and Bergamot!  Had to put em in for you, because I know so many of you wanted to see Bergie.  😀  Wait till you meet the other two!

Other news:

I am also going to be experimenting with Kindle and books 2 – 4 will not be released wide, just on Amazon.  Book 1 will remain wide though, so don’t fret that way.  I’m just going to see if the advantages of being in the Kindle Unlimited are worth it.  If it ain’t, I’m going back and putting the books wide again.

The re-editing for the reissue of ALRDW has begun.  Slowly, but surely.  I do not expect it to take as much time as Inheritance Thieves, since it’s already in those final states and now I have a good process to use.

What is changing? The language is being brought up to snuff, the Encyclopedia (glossary for those not in the know) will be updated accordingly) and some technical typos will be fixed.  Many things that will help the ease of reading.  You’ll like it, trust me.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to you all.

 

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Bringing Things Up To Snuff

Although I wanted to publish book 2 this week, it just wasn’t possible.  Life rose up and demanded full attention for the last two weeks, and put everything farther behind than I wanted.  That means that I will not have the book ready for Christmas.  My deepest apologies to my fans.

But do not despair, for I am just in the final proof reading stage and starting to format the book.  Fixed a lot of surprise issues I didn’t know of before I had to focus completely on my new job.  The Encyclopedia will be much improved, and those improvements will go over to the second part of the delay which is the reformatting of “A Light Rises in a Dark World”.  So this weekend, I will post another update and give y’all a little treat as a thank you for your patience in this process.

But for now, here’s the reissue of ALRDW cover.

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Talk to you real soon with more news as we hit the final sprint!

Almost There: Edit, Polish, Format, Publish

Yep.  The big edits are now done.

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I’m getting feedback from my editor on it, and I should have the beta readers copy off to my team by the 21st.  Not bad if you think about it.  Only 2 weeks later than I hoped.  So for Book 3, I will know to budget about 1 chapter a day.  So I should start editing that in December at the latest.

I will say that I had a very painful time with doing the edits.  So many chapters needed serious work.  Reading outloud to yourself is time consuming and often just tough.

So what is my process before beta release?

Incorporate the changes from the editor,  panic and scream about it all.
Use a text reader to listen to the book, catching any minor corrections that come up.
Format.
Send.

What comes after?

While the beta readers are doing their thing, I’ll be trying to finalize the title and contacting the cover artist and scheduling him in.  I honestly still don’t know what I want for either.  This happened on the first book too.  Not till the last month did I have the title, or the right scene picked for the cover.  Hope the artist is still available.

And affordable.

I already know what I want to do for book 3′ and 5’s cover.  LOL

Like to give another thank you for my team of Alpha Readers, you were a great help!  Welcome aboard to all Beta Readers (I still have a spot or two left I can bring in, so… contact me if… y’know… you want in.

So there you go.  A quick little update to keep you informed.

And only 2 weeks behind ideal release?  Hey!  I like this!

I see no reason why it won’t be available for…

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Delays Delays

Okay…

Editing is a beast.  Particularly when you’re doing two edits at once that often require a third comb through.  I vastly overestimated my output.

That said, I’m on chapter 32 of 42.

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I’ve suffered also a “real job” delay in having to cover vacations and so I’m working a long stretch of 12 hour shifts that thanks to the holiday have resulted in an extended visit from Mr. Charlie Foxtrot.  With a small encore next week.

What does all this mean?

The Beta Read will hit a little later.  At best Sept 21st (that’s what I’m praying God allows me to do).  Otherwise, it could be up to the last week of October.  Of course this means that the book will go on sale a little later, but still in time for Christmas, instead of being ready for Black Friday.

So do not dispair!  It’s coming.  It’s happening!  It’s going to be awesome!  You beta readers are going to have a lot of fun and a clean manuscript to pick at.

And for those who are “Johnny-Come Latelys”… you still have a chance to get involved in the Beta Read.  I have a spot or two left I could shoehorn you in.  Best contact me right away through the site though.

Also, there’s been a nice little surprise as I polish these chapters.  The book is a LOT more topical and deep than expected.  Lots of themes that apply to today unexpectedly.  I didn’t consciously set out to write them, but the editing has brought them to the fore.  This has made a much more engaging and… hmmmm…. is controversial the right word?  I dunno.  But you’re gonna go ‘oh wow!’  a few times.

Sooooooo, no pressure.

Except on me.

Who still isn’t sure on the title…

or cover…

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Chaos… At Home & Abroad

With all the news going on in the world, it’s been very hard to focus on my writing.  Then again, realizing how big this grew, I’ve been struggling with the scope.  But here are some of the developments going on.

First off, I am going to be attending the Realm Makers Conference in St. Louis this year.  Hopefully I will finish my first draft by then, but we’ll see, right?

Second off, with all the craziness and… shall we call it evil behavior of the information mega corporations, I’m looking for new places to store data and conduct things with social media as I look to divest myself of Facebook, Google and Yahoo.  I am tired of being treated like a cheap commodity and with as much respect.  When this change-over happens, I don’t know.  Thankfully WordPress is owned by Automattic, and therefore I don’t think I will have to look for a blog alternative.  I’m also considering a Discord channel.

Third off, I’m really happy with the growth of book 2.  I recently did a lot of work clarifying the timetable of the chapters, which involved several shifts, and working to make sure characters had time to get from point A to point B and that communication also followed the same rules of physical space.  That’s turned out to be harder than you think.

And lastly, I found someplace that may be a good home for the Encyclopedia Akiniwazi, for free.  I’m still working on it so it’s not ready for release.  It will include the timeline and the atlas, so I hope that there will be a big reveal on that sometime in the near future.

On a plus side, I’ve got “Volume 4 : The Grand Scheme”… That’s the working title… completed in Book 2.  It’s 40 chapters, 223 pages and 81,000 words.  So yep.  A short novel unto itself.

Currently  “Volume 5 : Into The High Places” (again working title) is sitting at 46 chapters but 10 of them have not been written yet so I’m guessing it should end up around 260-270 pages if my average chapter length is in the ballpark, It means this volume might come close to 100k words too.  Uh huh… I know what you’re thinking.  Me too.

As for Volume 6… crap I have no idea.  It’s like I dumped out a 10,000 piece puzzle and the picture on the cover only shows part of the full thing, and none of it edge pieces.  But the scenes I have that will culminate into this whole story… Which BTW was supposed to be a single novel, not it’s own trilogy… Just… I can’t even….

But I’ve also got some new chapters written, so that’s a good sign… they’re just not in any order you’d recognize because I’m having to go back and insert them.  That’s hard to do.  Don’t care what anyone says.  I prefer to write chronologically in the order I expect the chapters to appear.  Helps me from getting confused.

Current Page & Word count

Pages 435
Words 156157

Don’t forget about what I said about 10 more chapters to write on Vol 4 & 5 too for what looks like another 44 pages and 25-30k words.  Book 2 is going to be massive!  Reimar… you caused me such trouble!  Geez!

So some of the new chapter titles are as follows:

A Much Needed Consultation

The Distance of Family, The Intimacy of Enemies

Hooves & Claws & Antlers & Fangs

So as you can see, new chapters are fighting hard.  Several are started but not finished too.  Again, hate writing out of sequence.

And now for another look into the first draft of Book 2.  You’ve been very patient.  As always, mind the loose boards and nails.  Things may change some from the finished product, boilerplate and fine-print insert here.  thppt.  Enjoy!

An Interrupted Meal

The Tavern Off the Pier was a ramshackle place near the town beach. Its main room was dark and smoky with the pipes of the patrons and generous hearth. The dingy gray-brown wood of the posts and rafters made the excellent food hard to believe. Forhors, now Brother Urban sat on a shaky stool at one of the several small round tables alone and finished giving thanks for his food. He then began tearing apart the “Bottle and a Bird” that had just been brought by the serving wench who also looked as run down as the building. The cider was sharp and refreshing, while the chicken was crispy, and dripping with salty fat. Although the day outside was bright and sunny, the wind was still too cold and made eating out of doors uncomfortable. Urban was most thankful for the warm fire that crackled merrily in the large hearth in the middle of the room, attended by the cook who roasted two dozen foul and several cuts of boar and venison on spits.

Licking off his fingers he relished the spicy meat. He did not know how they made it, but after one bite of the crunchy skin, he knew why this unassuming place was so busy. Urban sighed in satisfaction as he kept his own company. The first leg of his trip from Athrvorthfesting had been pleasant, if not a little exciting with the strong winds the knarr had to buck against. It felt good to be on the waves again, but there was so much farther to go, he was right to assume that he would be sick of sailing by the time he reached home. No good would come of to sending a letter ahead. He would reach home at the same time. None the less, he was certain they would be happy with the surprise.

Out through the rippled glass of the diamond paned window several ships jostled for position on the pier, or if they could, they nosed right into the soft beach and lowered the gangplanks to conduct their business. Brother Urban scratched at his new tunic where a seam on the shoulder was not comfortable. It would not do for him to be about in his Forhors robes, and decided to avail himself of the skill of his host’s mother, a talented seamstress, and have new clothes made. It had been so long since he had been out of his office’s vestments, they felt odd to his skin. Even still, he kept some remnants of his office that had been set aside in keeping with the colors of his sect, as to identify himself as a man of God, but not so much as to intimidate the common Forsamling. Ragnarites may be common on the edge of the wilds or large cities, but this was neither. Combine to this the missing weight of his sword on his hip, Brother Urban felt very much out of place.

A crowd of men came in as he enjoyed his meal, raising the pleasant mumble of the tavern to a riotous level. A ship must have just concluded business, and the men set loose to enjoy their wages for a night or two, and sjomenn took up the rest of the tables. Their soot covered faces and arms with freshly washed hands gave their jobs away as plain as could be expected. An off watch boiler crew from one of the steamknarrs at the pier. Brother Urban smiled in return when acknowledged by the passing throng and continued to eat. His trip’s next leg was beginning in a few hours, so he was in no rush.
Then someone outside caught his eye.

Through the same window, a couple stopped. A thin dignified woman, pipe in mouth with a large Skaerslinger man with her. Urban stopped chewing at the sight of the two talking before the Tavern off the Pier. They chatted for a moment, the man nodded, gave her a smile that men reserve only for their loves, and then he walked inside while she hurried off with a ledger under her arm to someplace else.
The Skaerslinger surveyed the room and saw a combination of angry glances towards him which he was immune to, but no places to sit. The big man walked over to the cook working the spits at the hearth.

“How much for a chicken and some roast boar?” He asked, his tone polite.
The cook was intimidated and took a surprised step back as silence now claimed the room.

“These are not for you, savage,” one of the sjomenn said from somewhere in the crowd. Brave enough to give voice to his distaste, but not brave enough to show himself. The Skaerslinger ignored the voice.

“How much for a chicken and some roast boar?” he repeated in the same manner.

“I…” The cook started to say, cleared his throat and tried again with a tone reinforced by murmuring from other sjomenn who had taken interest in what was happening. “They are all sold to those men.” The cook lied as he pointed in the direction of the hostile voices. The blackened boiler crew grumbled but backed up the lie since it meant keeping food from a Skaerslinger’s mouth.

The big man pursed his lips in mild irritation. It was plain that this sort of issue had happened several times before to him.

“Are you sure this is your answer?” there was no threat to the tone, but it was of such a serious nature, the cook looked ready to break even with the crowd behind him. The steamwright came forward and put down a single gold Penning on the thick stone of the raised hearth next to the cook. A half week’s wages for him.

“That should cover our meals and drinks.” His eyes locked onto the Skaerslinger’s who returned the gaze without malice nor fear.

“As you can see, Herr, these are all paid for.”

With a slow nod of acceptance, the Skaerslinger took two steps back and then turned to walk out, head turned ever so slightly as to keep the group of men in his sight just in case they considered violence wise. The door closed behind him and a discourteous murmur replaced the raucous conversation that had existed before.

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