The Defenders’ Apprentice is available in paperback now on Amazon! The ebook will be released a week from tomorrow. I hope you’ll check out one or more of these books in the meantime, though you may have read them already. Some of these share a handful of themes with The Defenders’ Apprentice and the rest of the Dragonsfall trilogy. One thing that’s come up a couple of times is the mentor relationship. In general, though, they’re just books that I liked.
I’m starting a short series of blog posts in the run-up to the release of The Defenders’ Apprentice at the end of this month. One problem, though, is that I’m not a very sophisticated book reviewer. I know what I like, and I tend to read a book once and move on without getting into much detailed analysis. I know I should linger more, but so many books, so little time!
This week, I’m listing a handful of 20th century classics, most of which I read in my teens and 20s, if not before. I’m listing them in order of publication, because some of them are getting pretty long in the tooth, and the evolution of the fantasy genre in the 20th century is more interesting that the order in which I stumbled across them.
I’m starting a short series of blog posts in the run-up to the release of The Defenders’ Apprentice at the end of this month. The idea was to write about books which may have influenced me in writing this trilogy, but instead I wound up just grabbing some random genre books that I like. Because I read less science fiction than I do fantasy, today’s listicle is probably more random than the later ones in this series will be.
I rarely read solely within a single genre for more than a couple of books in a row. I read a fair amount of historical fiction and popular non-fiction, and I’ll leave those aside for now, but I did want to mention a few science fiction and fantasy novels that don’t fit neatly into the upcoming categories in this series (books with dragons, recent fantasy novels, and classic fantasy). Here are a few science fiction novels which I’ve picked up and haven’t been able to put down, cult classics or otherwise.
But today I have a giveaway to promote instead. It looks like a good one. They’re giving away gift cards to the US and UK Amazon stores and/or a Kindle Paperwhite, my e-reader of choice these days (though I am also coveting a Kobo Aura H2O).
You can check out the giveaway at this link: http://selfpublishingroundtable.com/sff-promo/index.html
Meanwhile, I’m working on the semi-final round of edits to a book which will hit the shelves in late June. Here’s a sneak peek at my mock-ups for the covers of the rest of the series, which continues on from Scrapplings, Priestess, and “Spirits in the Hills,” but this trilogy can be read on its own, too. I wouldn’t recommend trying to read the final book without reading the others first, but you don’t have to worry about that until later this year, because it’s quite a few months from being ready for publication.
This week has been busy with writing-related administrative and promotional tasks, starting with getting ready for the finale of my “Self-publishing for Beginners” class at ACE MV. My pie-in-the-sky vision for this class was that each student would produce and publish a short sample piece, to practice the process. That didn’t happen. All four students were at different stages in their work. They did make progress with their work, but none of them were ready to hit publish on a 4-week timeline. I was, though, wasn’t I?
I had this short story, one I’d written, revised, and revised again. It’s a prequel to the next novel in the Anamat series, or rather the first novel in my originally-envisioned trilogy. For the second-to-last class in the ACE MV series, I used it to demonstrate the process of uploading a book to CreateSpace. I brought in the proof copy to the final class, loaded down with pen-marks for last-minute edits. I uploaded it to Kindle Select the next day, along with a sample chapter from the next book.
The whole process reminded me of how many fiddly little moving pieces there are to launching a book, even when you aren’t going whole hog with promotion and marketing. All I did was to add it to my author profile here and there (I still haven’t gotten around to Goodreads) and announce it to my mailing list and on social media. That, plus cover design, coming up with short and long descriptions and taglines, edits to the sample chapter, and a bit of other writing ate up the entire week (that, and getting distracted by election-related stuff on Facebook). Here I am on Sunday, still promoting it (and still fretting about polls)!
My current plan is to release the next novel in the series in June. Stay tuned for further news on that front. Meanwhile, I’m participating in another group promotion, here:
It’s been a while since I posted anything, so I thought that it was time for an update on what I’ve been working on, both in terms of actual writing and all the miscellaneous things around it.
I’d hoped to finish drafting the final book of the series by the end of December. Progress ground to a halt at around the 40,000 word mark in the middle of the month, stalled by a combination of plot problems, holiday frenzy, and writerly insecurity as I waited for feedback on an earlier part of the story. I shrank it down, printed it out, and taped it up on the wall, where it remains to this day.
In January I re-revised Defenders yet again. It is now out with beta readers and I’m working on revisions to the penultimate book in the series which have been proceeding slowly (a rate of about one chapter a week). Meanwhile I’ve been teaching a local community education class about self-publishing, which has been interesting but distracting. I also moved all of my books into Kindle Select and planned some promotional campaigns, re-designed my website, and did a lot of thinking about my writing career as a whole and where I want it to go.
I sat down and looked at the careers of some authors I like. None of them wrote more than two books a year, on average, and many seem to go about 2-3 years between releases. I’ve done this before, but in my online writing circles it often seems like everyone is talking about WritingFasterBetterMakeMoreMoneyFaster, and I just need another perspective, a longer-term perspective. I can’t say for sure what I’m going to be working on once I finish this series, but whatever it is, I’m pretty sure I’m going to stay far away from the book-a-month club (see this thread and this one, too).
I may be posting a short-story prequel to Defenders soon.