Tag Archives: fantasy

All over the place today

Old What’s Her Face is off this weekend, so I did what I could. Things were pretty calm this morning so I added words to HMS Lanternfish. I didn’t track it, but it feels like about 2000 words.

Part of this was coming down from the action scene I wrote Wednesday. My crew, particularly the captain, needs time to process, and in this case heal. Those bits always take me longer to write.

Then I added a few root monster antics, because they’ve been fairly quiet for a chapter or two. It worked out kind of cool, because it led into a scene involving St. Elmo’s fire at the top of the main mast.

Since this is fantasy, a rare natural phenomenon isn’t good enough. It brought James a vision, and it’s going to let me reveal some cool things. I just haven’t written all of that yet.

Basically, it involved the king of Saphelon discussing the arrival of the Fulminites on their continent. James’s father started the first war on behalf of this king, but that’s not in the history books. The books make the current enemy, Hollish, appear to be the aggressors. The fun part is that it was James’s father who brought the Fulminites to this part of the world. When I write that out, maybe that’s why he fled with his young son to a safer area.

I also got to add a minor sea creature, and that helps with world building. Then another root monster earned a name.

Beyond that, I had my final critiques for Grinders to deal with. I spent a few hours tweaking this story, and am basically finished. I’ll take it out in January and give it a complete read over before publishing. I think you guys are going to like it.

Tonight, I sent an email to Sean Harrington about cover art and Lisa Burton posters. Grinders is a stand alone book, and was one of my side projects over the summer. I hope to release it about the time the snow melts.

In other news, we have our Star Wars tickets for the 21st. We’ve also been digging The Mandalorian on Disney+. Just listen to this theme. You have to give it a few, because the intro is long.

When I close my eyes and listen, I get a visual of Serang walking down the dock toward some unseen enemy whilst twirling her guandao slowly. It has a throwback sound to it that reminds me of Ennio Morricone.

Aside from this, Apple has yet another update. This one screwed up WordPress for me. Now everything I do, it tries to force me into the app. Don’t get me wrong, the app does some great things, but reading and commenting on blogs isn’t one of them. I have a way to force it all to work in Safari, but don’t think I should have to. Why does it seem like any upgrade only seems to break things that worked fine before? It seems to be that way for all apps, and platforms.

I doubt much, if any, progress is happening tomorrow, but my flex day is Monday. I kind of expect to move Lanternfish ahead on Monday.

Hope all of you are having a great weekend. It’s time for a nice vanilla porter and an older Star Wars movie.

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It worked. It’s a book

I allowed myself that extra hour of sleep the time change provided. This isn’t my first book, so I didn’t completely panic when I got up.

I went through my morning routine, fed the dogs, etc. When I check email, Amazon said it was a book. I dedicated some time to updating BookBub, Goodreads, claiming the book for my Amazon author site, all those fun things. I also updated Entertaining Stories so Serang shows up in the sidebar.

I’m too lazy to cover my banner image with bamboo or jungle vines, so I’ll leave Clovis’ car and dog there for now. I could ask Sean for an art update, but I’m trying to save a buck here and there.

As of now, the cover in the sidebar links to Amazon. Then I did something unusual. I added another 1500 to 1800 words to Grinders. This one is racing toward the finish line, and I want to clear my deck so I can take Lanternfish back up.

I wrote one promotional post and sent it out, then decided to update my blog. Here is some data about Serang.

Blurb:

Monastic life is all about duty, service, harmony. For Serang, a young girl abandoned at the temple by her mother after the death of her father, that life becomes all she knows. The monks give her purpose, and become her new family.

When political upheaval causes chaos throughout the land, Serang again loses everything and everyone she loves. Alone, she struggles to survive. She convinces a wandering monk to take her under his wing and complete her training. Thus begins her adventures through strange lands and her trials to become a confident, capable, independent adult.

This is a coming of age story set in a fantasy world. It’s filled with monsters and martial arts, difficulties and dangers. The serious situations preclude the story from the levity of its predecessor, Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it provides a compelling look at the origin of one of the saga’s most fascinating characters.

 

***

This story is a supporting story to the Lanternfish trilogy. Serang was so interesting, and her part of the world so different than other places in that story, that I though she deserved her own tale. I also intend for it to hold people over while I finish writing the next volume. I hope you guys will give it a chance sometime this winter.

 

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Vacation time trickles out…

I have everything I need to publish Serang today, but I procrastinated. People aren’t hurting for something fresh from me, so I have time.

  • Side note, still time to read Viral Blues for Halloween.

I’d like to publish this before the year runs out, and next weekend is a fair option. I need to devote some time to the blurb for this one. Because it’s a supporting story for Lanternfish, it takes place in a mildly fantasy setting. It isn’t quite as big as Lanternfish, but there is a dragon of sorts, (Maybe two or three depending on how you count) and I don’t want to mislead anyone.

Serang is a coming of age tale, so I need to communicate that. It takes place in a time of great political upheaval, so that has to get in there. I don’t want people to be upset because there are fantasy elements, or disappointed that it isn’t epic fantasy. A bit more thought might help when writing this blurb. By next weekend I might have it all sorted out.

What did I do with my spare time? I spent some time supporting the Something Wicked blog tour, along with some of my older posts. Today there is a blog push from the paid promo I did, and I already saw one sale from that. Fingers crossed for more.

I’ve also been staying up late for the World Series. So far the home team hasn’t won a single game. That’s never happened before, and it’s been a great series. Game seven is tonight, so I’ll be tired at work tomorrow. A nap seems like a good idea so I’m not too flat in the morning.

We had a chore day, so we got the camper put away for winter, and managed a date night out of the deal. Halloween is the only beer tour I participate in these days, and got my glow in the dark tee-shirt. I’m wearing it right now.

I spent a couple of days adding thousands of words to my side project. This one is a cyberpunk tale set in a futuristic version of San Francisco. It challenged me to use science fiction to exaggerate some issues we see in current society, and it challenged my world-building skills, too.

I’m very happy with a piece I wrote yesterday that went down during the Chinese New Year parade. A cyberpunk version of that parade. If the stars align, I can publish it on actual Chinese New Year for a bit of extra luck. I’m year of the rat, next year is rat. Maybe I’m due for some luck. There are rats in the story…

The story is called Grinders, and I’m at 71,000 words right now. Getting it done this year shouldn’t be too tough, and if I can afford the artwork, publishing on Chinese New Year seems realistic.

I didn’t do anything particularly exciting, and it felt great. I did what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. I was mildly productive and I wasn’t at the office. Sometimes it’s good to have a break from the workaday world, and that’s what I did.

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween, and finds a way to take a small break on occasion.

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Something Wicked Presents: The Bow of Hart Saga

Hi, Gang. My Story Empire compatriots are taking our show on the road this week. We try to bring you useful information throughout the year to help with your own writing and publishing efforts.

We write books, too, and sometimes need to do a bit of promo. During this lead up to Halloween, please join us on the Something Wicked tour. You’re sure to find something for your Halloween reading.

It’s my pleasure to open this tour up with P. H. Solomon. He’s here to tell us about his Bow of Hart Saga:

Magic is an ongoing part of The Bow of Hart Saga and Corgren’s part is almost always through the use of spells. At the beginning, it’s revealed how much he’s been shadowing Athson and much more that extends throughout the series and into the third book, The White Arrow. But when the book begins, Corgren is revealed disguised by magic which makes for a good subject for Halloween since he’s essentially in costume. Let’s take a look:

 

Darkness groped across the western sky, covering the forest city of Auguron. Domikyas paused while closing his shop doors and listened as the evening breeze caressed the towering trees that sheltered the city.

He clenched a fist. They had robbed him of Lucinda.

The portly Rokan merchant barred the windows, sighed, and waddled through the store. Domikyas passed between aisles of Rokan weapons, furs, cloth, and trinkets, his many wares displayed on counters, and entered his office. He stood by his desk, arranged in neat order and set with carved Rokan relief. The merchant shut the door. “Sa vuss tai nomish.”

Domikyas’ short body grew. His pot-belly thinned. The pudgy, clean-shaven face narrowed and lengthened, sprouting a trimmed, black beard at his chin. Bulging eyes sank above a flat nose that pushed forward into a hook, leaving him with a perpetual sneer. His yellow merchant’s smock of fine-cut Rokan weave lengthened and narrowed to fit the taller frame and transformed into blue velvet.

He opened the door to the warehouse, grasped his oil lamp and found, as expected, two men remaining in the building from among his dismissed followers. Luthan stood snuffing through his crooked nose, his brow furrowed at the stinking slave stooping beside him. The latter man wore a cloth tied over ruined eyes while another rag gagged him.

“Is he ready, Luthan?” The Rokan merchant swept past the hulking guard. The blind man’s nostrils flared with his labored breathing.

“He is, Master Corgren.” Luthan yanked the shackles binding the blind man’s hands.

“Bring him.” Corgren stalked away.

“Come, slave.” The guard dragged the cringing figure by the manacles and followed his master.

The blind man shuffled after the guard. Corgren ignored the reluctant step of the slave. A useful ingredient for what was to come, but worthless elsewise. His lips curled. Disgusting creature.

Corgren lifted the trapdoor leading to the cellar. Muted light from a guttering candle threatened to plunge the basement into darkness. The wizard descended the steps, his lantern shedding light on the clutter of boxes containing prized possessions.

 

 

Find out more about The Bow of Destiny:

 

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.

Athson suffered hallucinations ever since he was orphaned, including a dog no one else sees. The will in his possession, bestowed in a dream, can’t be real. But the trolls now hunting him are. A destiny, both inconvenient and unavoidable, drags Athson into an unwanted quest that challenges all his assumptions. Can he trust anyone? Sworn to secrecy by his dead father about the bow, Athson wants nothing to do with it. A dragon and a wizard want the bow – and Athson dead. Running from the quest and his destiny are tempting options. Then he finds something unexpected. Will his discovery destroy him before he recovers the bow?

 

Find The Bow of Destiny on Amazon in e-book, audio and print.

Also in this series:

An Arrow Against the Wind

The White Arrow

 

About the author

 

P. H. Solomon loves reading and writing fantasy of all kinds, especially epic fantasy. If a book has dragons, elves, dwarves, wizards, magic or mythical creatures, it’s in his reading zone. He 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, was released during October 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).

 

Thanks for stopping by today. Please take time to share this post. Whether you’ve read The Bow of Hart Saga or not, please leave you reactions to this scene and the book.

Find P. H. Solomon at the following locations

Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads   Website  BookBub

Pinterest    Wattpad   Amazon Author

SFWA Member  Contributing Author, Story Empire

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Big Sale for War of Nytefall

Charles is holding a big sale for the month of October. This is for his fantasy vampire series, so you can see the Halloween theme behind it all. This is a great opportunity to jump onboard.

War of Nytefall (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR AMAZON SITE)

For the month of October, all three War of Nytefall books will be available for 99 cents each.

I’ll be posting about this once a week and keeping up a pinned Tweet for the entire month, which is really it for promotions.  If anyone wants to host a simple promo post or copy/paste the above then let me know.  I can put some posts together for people, but I really can’t do anything complicated due to time restraints.  We can discuss things in the comments if you want to help.

There’s an ulterior motive here as well, which is why this isn’t working exactly like a big announcement promotion:

If I see enough movement of War of Nytefall with the new price then I will consider dropping all of my books to 99 cents ($2.99 for those Legends of Windemere bundles) for an extended period of time.  So, for all those people who wanted to read my books, but thought $2.99 was too much, this is your chance to sway me into an across the board price drop.  With my job, I can pay my bills, so I’m pushing for exposure on the books instead of royalties.  That means, this is a fairly easy contest for that crowd to win if they convince their friends to join in.

Do I expect there to be a lot of movement?  I have no idea, but October is the best time to promote my vampires.  So, have fun, enjoy the stories, and thank you to anyone who is willing to help spread the word.

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I came up short

I knew writing time was going to be at a premium this weekend. My ultimate goal was to break 30K words on Lanternfish, but I didn’t make it.

I’ve been stealing an hour here and there in an alternate room, and it just isn’t the same. I’m a firm believer that all progress is progress, so I have some of that to keep me positive.

A big part of my slower pace comes down to logistics. I’m dealing with a fantasy world in Lanternfish, but ships don’t just sail from point to point. Even with James’s sextant, there are weeks and months involved in moving the ship.

I have them with an easy appointment to make with the Prelonian Navy, but too much time on their hands. They decided to go chasing information about a new enemy in the war, but still need to make their rendezvous.

I like the extra tension this brings, but I’m writing myself into a corner to a degree. They need to visit two or three places, but still make the appointment. There are going to be delays with piracy, exploring, and more.

It’s easy enough to “magic” my way out of this issue, but that isn’t fair to readers. Even with James’s sextant there have to be rules. It has a limited range, even though it’s much greater than other ships can sail in a day.

They’re going to be doing some exploring in what is similar to the South Pacific. Since this is a fantasy world, I don’t have to place all the islands exactly like they might appear on Earth.

Now a bright author might just back up and change the time of the appointment to allow for all this exploring. I could do it, but I want to challenge myself. I’m even toying with the idea of being at the rendezvous point late. This could add some extra tension to the series. What sort of disaster could this lead to? (It is book two of a trilogy, so a bit of tragedy is allowed.)

There are other forces at work here, too. I have a tropical storm hinted at that will cause some delays and diversions. So I have partial information they need on two different islands, plus a tropical storm, and a tight deadline they have to make. Let’s face it, there needs to be some piracy going on here too.

One fun bit today. I included a mermaid in my story. I swore to avoid traditional monsters and legends in this tale, but there she was. She isn’t like anything you’ve likely seen before. She’s about 90 feet long and towers above the ship when she visits. She could easily pull them down to the depths, but is a benevolent creature/person. (For a change.)

In my mind it’s a good time to go back to the paycheck job. Some of this stuff tends to work itself out during the commute. I may have to adjust my outline a bit to make it all come out the way it should.

Lanternfish spent the entire first book without having everything they need. It involved crew, guns, munitions, etc. I’m also thinking about what it might do to the crew to have too much. How motivated might they be to assist in the war when their hull is overflowing with treasure? People with nothing to lose see the world differently than those who have more than they’ll ever need. It’s an interesting concept if James has to hold the crew together in face of this new challenge.

Again, putting it aside for a week often brings more clarity to issues like this. I may even have a solution in mind, but need some time to work it all out.

That was my writer’s weekend. As a couple, we managed date night at Old Chicago and I sampled the seasonal beers. We also rented Godzilla King of the Monsters, and I really liked it. I like the way they worked in the fever theory of global warming. The theory is that living creatures get a fever when they’re sick to kill off the bug that’s causing the problem. In the fever theory, Earth is the creature, global warming is the fever, and we are the virus that’s making her sick. This theory has been around for a long time, but it was cool that the film went with it.

For those of you who get a holiday, I hope you’re enjoying your Labor Day. For everyone else, I wish you a happy Monday whatever you’re doing.

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A day to write

C. S. Boyack

Today was my chance to get some new words down, so, of course, I started slow. Didn’t get up until after six, tended morning chores, then went through a couple forms of social media. I saved blog reading for this afternoon.

Next, I had a couple of critiques to address. I made a big submission this time, so it took a while to get through them. My story is much improved thanks to these.

After that, it was time to write. My crew landed in a new country (to them) to search for some wayward crew members. One was fairly easy to find, and while the other one was, too, they had to prevent a hanging to do it.

I tend to shorten pieces up, and lately I’ve been resisting this. I find my work is improved by giving a bit more to some of these scenes. It helps increase the word count, but it also eliminates white-room syndrome.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the outcome. They found the people they needed to find, it turned into a fun adventure with a wagon racing through town, and they may have caused an international incident. I’ll have to remember that idea for later in the story.

As a bonus, they may have flicked the nose of the deeper seeded bad guys while doing all this. I have some neat obstacles in place if I choose to go there. I probably will, but then I wind up writing myself into a corner. It can be fun coming up with a creative way of saving everyone from their own misdeeds.

After all of this, I’m due for a scene of James overthinking everything. He tends to do that, and it’s a reasonable way to catch a breath during a pirate adventure. I’ve already introduced a new fantasy creature, but there need to be more of them. It might be too soon to go down that path.

Lanternfish also gained some unexpected new crew members. It’s probably a good thing I have to go back to work. I need time to figure out what to do with them. One is an idiot who thinks it’s a good idea to hit on Serang. Then there are a couple of cons who market fake witchcraft. There has to be something fun to play off of the actual witch doctor who serves as the ship surgeon.

My long change is upon me, and I won’t get another flex day for two weeks. This might not be a bad thing right now.

I surprised myself with the late start, and all the peripheral projects today. My word count is 3600 on the day. I didn’t expect to get 500, but it was just clicking well.

For the next couple weeks, I’ll be daydreaming about new sea monsters, new pirate personalities, and con men. Underneath it all is the thought of an international incident and irritating the cult that is even more scary than warring monarchs.

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