Tag Archives: magic

A bit about Serang

I think some of you are suffering from tour fatigue, and I am, too. Between two books, it’s been a long process. I hope you’ll indulge me one last post about Serang, and it will be mine.

This time out, I offered my hosts either Lisa Burton or me. I asked my hosts what they would like for their readership, and I really enjoyed the challenges. I think the Serang tour posts were some of the best promo stuff I’ve ever written.

As fun as that was, there is always a downside. Lisa only got one taker, but I have two posters. Rather than shop for another host this week (Holiday week considered) I decided to take it myself.

Lisa Burton

This is Lisa, posing as Serang with her Fu dogs/lions. The female is covered with grey fur, and the male is bronze. Serang had these guys in Lanternfish, but we get a lot more information about them in Serang.

One of the things I’ve tried to do is not explain too much about certain things. Readers will get a bit of information about Fu cubs and parents. How they chose Serang, and more. I never answer the question completely about how she summons them in times of need.

Readers will see her touch her weapon to a jade pendant she wears, and the animals will appear. Whether this is a result of the pendant, her weapon, some combo, or the connection of Serang’s spirit with the otherworld – I never answer. This is on purpose. Not everything needs to be explained. Readers should have a tidbit to imagine for themselves.

The Fu themselves are formidable in battle, and I’ve already written them into HMS Lanternfish. They rub on her like cats, and when the male purrs it’s almost frightening.

Serang becomes identified with the Fu, and there is a bit more information, but I’m not going to spoil it for you.

That wraps my touring for a while. I’m tired and I think you are, too. Winter is coming and I need to read, and work on the next Lanternfish story.

Both Viral Blues and Serang sold fairly well. They could both use more reviews. Serang in particular is suffering on this front. If any of you are so inclined, it would mean a lot to me.

I’m not going to include the standard cover and blurb. You guys have seen it by now, and both covers in my sidebar are linked to Amazon.

Feel free to use Lisa and the Fu as your computer screens or add them to Pinterest as it suits you. If I get ambitious, I may create a pinned tweet using this poster, but the Viral Blues one is still up and relatively new.

29 Comments

Filed under Writing

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.

 

53 Comments

Filed under Writing

Even more teaser fun

Time for another taste of my coming publication. Like before, turn your speakers on, click the video, then ponder Lisa’s new poster.

Lisa Burton

Feel free to share Lisa’s poster around, use for your iPad background, whatever. Big old No-Prize if you know what she’s curling her hair with. Standard reminder, Lisa’s posters make great Pinterest pins.

Let’s hear it in the comments, have you figured out what’s coming for your Halloween reading?

26 Comments

Filed under Writing

More teaser fun

Time for another teaser leading up to publication of my next book. Tap the video and turn your speakers up. Then ponder Lisa’s poster and see if you’re imagination gives you any clues about this story.

 

Lisa Burton

 

As always, feel free to use Lisa’s poster for your phone background, or whatever. She makes for great Pinterest pins.

How about it, gang? Any idea what this Halloween story might be about yet?

41 Comments

Filed under Writing

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.

30 Comments

Filed under Writing

Teaser fun

Time for another musical and poster teaser, leading up to my next book release. Turn on your speakers, tap the video, then check out Lisa’s poster.

Lisa Burton

 

As always, any collectors out there are welcome to download Lisa’s poster. Reminder: They make great Pinterest pins.

Pondering in the comments is always welcome.

29 Comments

Filed under Writing

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.

38 Comments

Filed under Writing