I’ve been a little disappointed in the performance of Wreck of the Lanternfish. There were a lot of people who loved the first book and encouraged me to turn it into a series. Book two did fine, and Serang picked up a lot of fans of her solo story. Why didn’t the final volume draw those same readers?
I mentioned both here and at Story Empire that most of my action has been via pages-read on Kindle Unlimited. Sales are kind of rare these days, but readers love being able to read for free.
I don’t check Amazon stats all that often, but I cruised through the other day. A friend said he was enjoying The Hat, and I thought I might find a review eventually. That’s when I noticed my error. Wreck of the Lanternfish was not available via Kindle Unlimited.
I don’t have any idea why not, I always try to set my books up there. Admittedly, some of the older ones aren’t, but Lanternfish absolutely should be. It is now. If you’ve passed this one up because of this, never fear.
Look at the sidebar.
Click on that cover and enjoy a bit of piracy. I have no idea how this happened, maybe the root monsters were “helping” me that day.
In other news, I got a manuscript back from my formatter. If I can glean it this weekend, I could publish at any time. I’ll take some time to write promotional posts, and I have to consider three new Lisa Burton posters that should be shared somewhere.
I’m excited to visit Gwen Plano’s site today. The topic is Wreck of the Lanternfish. Make sure to check out Gwen’s site while you’re there. She has a wonderful selection of books, and is one of my Story Empire partners.
Hello blog friends! Today I’m pleased to host writer C.S. Boyack. Craig is a friend and fellow member of the writers group, Story Empire. If you’ve read one of his books, you know he’s got a great sense of humor and an even greater imagination.
An Idahoan who loves nature, Craig writes whenever he’s got a free moment. Busy though he is, he makes time for writing. It’s one of his great loves, as is obvious by his long list of top-notch publications.
I’ve read four of Craig’s books, and all have earned 5-stars from me. As you might suspect, I’m really looking forward to reading his latest.
Rather than me saying more, let’s invite Craig to tell us about his book. Craig, it’s all yours . . . Keep reading here
D. L. Finn is a wonderful author and one of my Story Empire colleagues. She’s generously offered to lend me her site today to talk about Wreck of the Lanternfish. While you’re there, check out her site and offerings. Denise is someone you ought to be following and reading.
I’m thrilled to welcome fellow Story Empire Author, C. S. Boyack here today to celebrate the release of Wreck of Lanternfish. I’ve been looking forward to the final book in this series and here’s my review.
Thanks so much for lending me your space today. Spreading the word about a new book is so important. Today is all about concluding my Lanternfish trilogy with ‘Wreck of the Lanternfish.’ Keep reading here…
I spent my weekend publishing “Wreck of the Lanternfish.” I swore this would come out in 2021, and now it has.
Amazon took it’s sweet time, and I ran into a few glitches along the way. For whatever reason, Apple decided to reduce the size of my cover when I save it. This led me to search back through a couple of thousand posts for Sean Harrington’s original mail to find an image the correct size. It seems Apple Mail does not have a search feature. My saved image at least tagged the date, and that helped a bit.
This led me to create a folder for Sean’s delivery emails. Since I was on a mission, I also dug out the cover for Good Liniment and saved it there, too.
It took a day to get through Amazon’s review, then a few more hours to publish, but it’s there now. Then it took even more time to attach to the series. I still haven’t seen the numbering sequence correct, but assume that’s coming. Voyage of the Lanternfish still shows as book one of two, instead of book one of three. At least the book is available now.
I also learned we can link other titles to the series without making them part of the series. This probably isn’t new, but it’s new to me. I updated Serang to populate when someone links to the trilogy.
While I was waiting, I gave Entertaining Stories a facelift. Some new wallpaper and the underwater banner image felt appropriate.
James Cuttler created a peaceful spot for he and his wife to settle down. Far from the war that ravages their homeland, far from the reputation he earned as the notorious pirate Captain Bloodwater, and far from responsibility.
A royal Prelonian houseguest is a constant reminder of what’s at stake half a world away, of the friends he put ashore to fight the war. He lives in a dream world that’s temporary, at best. It’s only a matter of time before his guest is identified and the black assassins come for her.
He mortgages his precious vineyard to pay for repairs to his ship. If nothing else, Lanternfish will be one of the most powerful ships in the war, if he’s not already too late.
James will have to merge the skills of commander and con man into something new to make this work. He’ll need to avoid those on his own side who would hang him for piracy.
Serang is half a world away, leading her army of mercinary swordsmen toward the Fulminites. Mistrusted by both sides of the war, she appears as a third combatant on the battlefield. She may eliminate the mysterious order, only to succumb to the demons of her own tragic past.
Strap on your swords and hoist the colors one more time as the thrilling Lanternfish Trilogy comes to an end.
I know many of you are reluctant to start a series until it concludes. If that was your concern, fear no more. I’ll be taking this book out on tour, but will wait until after Thanksgiving to start. It’s probably the worst time, since it’s not a Christmas story, but maybe some folks prefer to avoid Christmas stories. This is an alternative.
No real interruptions today. I made sure to follow my routine, and wound up making changes to existing material. I discovered that I’d gone over Mule and Yoshiko’s ending twice. Both were good material, but one seemed to fall in a better location. It’s odd for me to make a mistake like this, but I had to delete one section.
I also had to go back and add in a bit about Mal, the witch doctor. It wasn’t much, but he has fans and they will want to know how he wound up. He’s doing things on his terms, and I kind of like it that way.
I don’t mind telling you that I teared up at a few points. I know my characters are outrageous, but I designed them that way. Giving them a suitable ending was hard, but they all make sense. Readers will be left with a vision of the future for not only the characters, but the government in general.
Not everyone lived through this adventure. When there is a war, 100% survival seems unrealistic. That part was written months ago, but I worry about how it will be received.
Another concern is that a big part of this final adventure happens on land. I saw it as facing James’s weaknesses. He has to work where he is least comfortable to pull this off.
This yarn came in about 10,000 words shorter than the others. I am not worried about that. As the end of a trilogy, there is a bigger denouement, but I don’t want to drag it out either. In a classical sense, this is the one where you party with Ewoks.
The trilogy will end with plenty of cannonades, martial arts, a few con games, a haunted knife, and yes there are root monsters. I’m going to leave it in the fermenter for a month before I look at it again.
I don’t want to drop any spoilers, at least until I’m closer to publication. I’ve been sitting on the cover art for months, and thought perhaps you’d enjoy a sneak peek. It’s kind of a spoiler itself, but it’s too good not to share.
In other news, I spent last night creating a set of throwing bones that will make an appearance in the next Hat story. I may turn my attention to that storyboard, or I may download a book and read. Right now, I’m just letting it all soak in and will decide later.
I intended to work on my book today, but didn’t intend to hit it hard. I allowed myself to wake up whenever Otto decided he was hungry. It was still 6:30, but it’s two hours later than my alarm goes off.
I took my time. Read some blogs, dealt with email, and enjoyed my coffee. Even managed to pay the bills.
I started by backing up two chapters and made a few more adjustments than I usually do. I’m on the downhill slide here, and the denouement is writing itself pretty well. Since this is a trilogy, I have a lot of characters to cover.
I no sooner started than the phone rang. My daughter wanted to chat. Her premise was her sore feet. The backstory is that she rolled her ankle a couple of times in the last few years. She works on her feet and they get sore.
When she was here a few weeks ago, I showed her my rolley thing that you put on the ground and roll around with your foot. It’s like a short rolling pin, but is lathe turned so it has grooves. After about five minutes her feet felt great. She called to tell me she ordered one from Amazon.
“Okay. Good job. Thanks for calling…”
Ninety minutes later we were still on the phone. Budgets, shoes, work, Covid, etc. Mostly nothing special, but it was her. I can’t cut her off, and actually enjoy chatting with her.
Once we finally disconnected it was lunchtime. I decided to make myself a hoagie sandwich and used the stout beer mustard Old What’s Her Face bought me. It was really good.
Then I started writing, but knew I wasn’t going to finish. I brought things up to the point of Serang’s denouement, and on the cusp of the root monsters. I just never made it that far.
I have all weekend and am certain to finish the draft. I’m finding it kind of sad to bring this full circle. I’ve sailed a few seas with these characters, but it’s time to give them their happy endings. If my daughter claimed some of that time it’s fine by me.
My sincerest hope is that everyone’s ending is suitable for my readers. What I have in mind is realistic, and feels like it makes sense for the various characters.
I’ll get another chance tomorrow, and that will be fine by me.
Something strange happened at the office on Thursday. As our workday wound down, we all got an email that everything would be closed for a new federal holiday on Friday. The feeling around the office was uplifting. I didn’t know what to do with myself on Friday, so Old What’s Her Face and I just hung out together.
She volunteered for a shift at work today, so I had the house to myself. I planned it for a writing day, and we’ll be together again tomorrow.
I started early and left doors open while it was still cool. I started like I always do, by rereading what came before, and making some small modifications.
As Lanternfish winds down, I have a lot of small sections to create. This leads to a lot of page breaks, but I like what I’m seeing. Everyone is starting to display a degree of independence, and it feels natural now that warfare and piracy are over for most of them. I planned this part out so the words are flowing pretty fast.
Everyone needs to move on, and they aren’t going to do that as a crew. I have a lot of characters to deal with, and I’m taking them in tiers just like I’ve always done. Lesser characters will get a paragraph or two. More major characters will get a deeper dive into their futures.
I’m keeping in mind that a lot of readers had favorites, and want to bring everyone a bit of closure, even if it’s only a line or two.
The country is healing now, and things are looking positive. I should mention there are still root monster antics going on. Some of you became pretty attached to them, and I have something good in mind for them later.
I’m stopping a few words short of 4000 today. I might even finish the draft in another strong writing day, but we’ll see. It will be a little shorter than the first books in the trilogy, but still fit into a fantasy length.
I love it once the middle slog ends and the words just flow. I enjoyed myself today, and I think readers will like it, too.
Did any of you gain a Juneteenth holiday? Did you get some writing time in? Are you doing something fun?
Family time managed to cut into the four days I had available. I’ve already posted about graduation. About all there is to do there is attend for the graduate.
We went to a party at my son’s house to celebrate her accomplishment, and it was anything but small and intimate.
When Sunday came around, my wife had to work. That left my daughter and I to have a long visit. I called my parents while she went for her fancy coffee, then we had several hours to ourselves.
I really enjoyed spending quality father-daughter time. The topics don’t matter very much, it was just the time hanging out that mattered.
This morning, I had the house to myself. I fed the dogs, then started off with a small walk to clear the cobwebs. I’d been suffering for time to work on Lanternfish, and then it only moved ahead by small increments.
That wasn’t what happened today. When I stopped last time, the end of the war was upon us. I started today with the formal surrender.
After that it was time to reoccupy the city, and start reconstruction of several countries. Some of this doesn’t lend itself to fantasy, but I managed to show the cooks with pieces of something I called the river dog. It has huge calamari type tentacles.
I also discovered the bag moth larva on Pinterest. These things cover themselves with twigs and sand, much like a caddis fly, only they are land born. By making mine much larger, I added an interesting scene where one had a pistol woven into its home. It makes a little statement about the litter of war and shows life going on. I called mine the bag weevil.
I could write another novel about the reconstruction and all the political gyrations between allies and enemies, but this is supposed to be the denouement for Lanternfish. I have a lot of characters to get to, and while the main ones will get more attention, some of the minor ones were somebody’s favorites and I need to address them, too.
A lot of planning went into this phase and you can see the value in the 5800 words I wrote today. I could have kept going, but didn’t want to rush things.
Next weekend isn’t looking too favorable, but I might get a few hours. I only had a goal of 2021 for this book. I think I can publish it in the fall and not feel rushed to get it out. That gives me plenty of time in the fermenter, and some decent hours for polishing it up.
I called my parents this morning before doing anything else. Mom is headed out to put flowers on graves today.
After that, I decided to get my butt in gear and return to Lanternfish. The story is in a weird place right now, and it’s almost like I have a second middle slog.
I caused this by having the various characters scattered all over the continent. Each group had something to accomplish, and they’ve all done that now.
This poses a problem, because they all need to reconvene. I can’t just pop everyone into the end game. Serang and James both have large groups of people to move around. It’s a world at war, so a clear road just isn’t going to work.
At this time, readers will have seen land and sea battles in abundance. I’ve resorted to watching them from afar, then gathering intelligence to make the next moves.
I’m just about there. Serang is on the final leg of her journey. I added a tiny chapter about Diego Palumbo, but also sped it up somewhat.
James is idle, and still needs to account for the root monsters before he gets moving again. I can probably tackle that in the morning. Root monsters require a different mindset than writing cannonades and cavalry charges.
I need to figure out some kind of fantastical creature to weave into the scenery along the way. This is a somewhat fantasy story, and at this point root monsters are accepted and normal characters. It won’t have to be much, maybe some kind of wildlife.
It came to around 2700 words, so I’m calling it a good day. If I can do that tomorrow, I won’t lament taking yesterday off.
Not my best day ever, but not bad either. Some big things happened without including tons of adventure.
The Palumbos met up with Serang and her army. They delivered what might be the most important piece to the whole war. Things are starting to fall into place.
James is still off somewhere doing his part, so I didn’t get to work on his story today.
Honestly, I think I could have done more, but there was another squirrel festival happening in the back yard. At one point, I let Frankie out, and before I could write a single word, another squirrel showed up. Trust me, she is strong enough to worry about the glass slider, so I let her out again.
My plot struggle now is timing. I have a continental sized war going on, and people can’t just get together without travel on horseback. A few weeks ago, I introduced the Crier’s Guild, and that helps with fleshing some things out. That way, I don’t have to write about every single campsite or battle that happens. I change scenes, and the town crier updates my readers.
I need at least one more battle for Serang, then it might be advantageous to lose track of her for a while. That way, when she shows up it can be a surprise that turns the tide somewhere. Bears some thought, at least.
James has some problems to sort out in the south, and that’s going to involve at least two battles. I have a fun plan for him on the second one.
After that, it should all be pretty easy. The big issue is making it feel real from here to there. I don’t want to write every step, and readers would get bored. I still have to include some changing seasons or something so readers can tell I’ve moved the story along.
This is a good time to stop and put thought into the gap I’m worried about. I’ll take 2100 words any day. Absent squirrels it could have been more.
I have a post written for Story Empire, so I need to check the calendar and schedule it.
It’s also a good time to assess some promo for Lunar Boogie. I have my completed MS back from the formatter, and am only waiting for the last Lisa Burton poster. This weekend, I can start advance hacking on blog tour posts for when I publish. It looks like I’m going to get it out before summer and I’m excited for that.