Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holidays approaching!

The November Kobo eBook promotion went well - thanks to everyone who participated! Reviews at Goodreads for Lord of the City or City of the Lords are always appreciated, no matter which method you've chosen to read them.

I greatly enjoyed the events in November, both the Reader Party and the signing at Jan's with fellow local author Moses Soloman. Chatting with readers and authors is always fun; feedback is crucial to shape the way I write moving forward.

Speaking of writing, Book 3 of the Bladesmen Lords continues to progress (though slower than I would like, of course). I'm just about done with Part 1. As with City of the Lords, the book will end up divided into three sections with clear divisions between each part. As I approach the end of the first part, unfortunately, I've realized that I need to make some significant changes to Part 2 and thus I'm back to outline work there. That's a good thing and I feel certain it will result in a stronger story, though it will slow the writing process down a little bit.

I hope everyone enjoys the last few weeks of 2013. I'm looking forward to 2014 and publishing the next entry in the Bladesmen Lords series!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Who wouldn't want a free eBook or two?

I had a lot of fun at the Reader Party over at Jan's Paperbacks this weekend. Kobo - an eReader company - sponsored the event and put on some helpful workshops for us authors. They set up promotional codes for many of the authors who participated; these codes can be used to snag a free copy of each eBook. They're downloaded through Kobo, but you can use the Kobo app on your computer (or iPhone, or Android device, etc.) even if you don't have a Kobo reader.

For each of these links, apply the PROMO code jansbooks at checkout time. Once it's applied, the system will recognize that you've made your selection free and you won't need to fill in a credit card or any other form of payment (unless you're picking up other books too, of course). The code is only good until 11/30/2013.

Here's the link to snag a free copy of Lord of the City:

In addition, here are links to books by the other authors who participated. The same promo code works for all of these, so try them out and enjoy!

Jack Whitsel, Shadows of Kings - A desperate coalition of principalities stand in the forefront as the Harhn and Darkfey threaten to exterminate the domains of man.

J. Steven York, The Unwinding of Liberty Brass - Some say the Clockwork Cowboy was actually a Confederate Artilleryman called Liberty Brass. But for Liberty Brass, the trail seems ready to end almost before it begins. In a half-destroyed barn near the Gettysburg battlefield, on a dark, rainy night, two clockwork men, both damaged in war, meet. In the hours that follow, a terrible secret is revealed, a fateful judgment is made, and only one can survive to see the morning sun...

William Hertling, A.I. Apocalypse - Leon accidentally creates an evolutionary artificial intelligence when the Russian mob coerces him into building a new computer virus. The virus quickly adapts, first bringing down the world's computer infrastructure, then developing intelligence, communication, and an entire civilization of AI. Leon must race against time and the military to find a way to befriend or eliminate the virus race before billions die.

Jamie Brazil, The Commodore's Daughter - Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Perry dreams of traveling the world, a dream that will never happen now that she's promised to a man twice her age. But what can she do? Run away. To Japan, where her survival is uncertain. Learning the ways of her new world, and the code of the Samurai, she uncovers a plot to ambush the American sailors. Now she must risk her own life in order to save her Commodore father.

Meljean Brook, Fire & Frost - Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear—and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go…

Darcy Burke, His Wicked Heart - Jasper Sinclair, Earl of Saxton, made a bargain with his devil of a father to marry a proper deb. Instead, he becomes entangled with a sometimes actress, Olivia West, determined to improve her situation. Destitute and desperate, she agrees to one night with Jasper, hatching a scheme to take his money and keep her virtue. However, Jasper uncovers her deception and vows to claim what he's owed.

Darcy Burke, Her Wicked Ways - To save his orphanage from collapse, Montgomery "Fox" Foxcroft leads a double life as a highwayman. Banished debutante Lady Miranda Sinclair is his salvation—until she rejects him. Out of options and falling for the heiress, Fox must risk what principles he has left and take advantage of her wicked ways—even if it ruins them both.

Maggie Faire, Chameleon: The Awakening - Camryn Painter is a 16-year-old freak of nature. She's a human chameleon... one who transforms into the image of whoever sees. Escaping from a medical research facility, Camryn discovers a magical forest world. Striking a tribal alliance between what she once believed were mythical beings is her only chance of survival... if she can just control her power and figure out who to trust.

Caroline Fyffe, Montana Dawn - She thinks he’s an outlaw. He thinks she’s a runaway. One thing they both know for sure—her baby is going to be born right now, with or without his help. MONTANA DAWN: Book One of the McCutcheon Family Series. Come meet the courageous men and women of Y Knot, Montana Territory, 1883!

Paty Jager, Secrets of a Mayan Moon - What happens when a brilliant anthropologist is lured to the jungle to be used as a human sacrifice? Anthropologist Isabella Mumphrey heads to Guatemala to save her job at the university, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions. DEA agent Tino Kosta, is undercover, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.

Paty Jager, Marshal in Petticoats - When a down-on-its-luck mining town makes accident prone Darcy Duncan marshal after she shoots a bank robber, she puts every effort into helping the town. Gil Halsey has been running from his past and finally found a place to settle, until a scrawny greenhorn marshal turns out to be an enticing, young woman who lures him from his path.

Maggie Jaimeson, Undertones - As a music major who sacrificed everything to become master of the upright bass, the last thing Michele Scott thought she'd be doing is touring with an Americana and Bluegrass band. But to tell the truth, she loves it. Not so much the irresistible David Blackstone. Balancing her career, life on the road, and a long-distance relationship isn't for her. A girl just can't have it all... or can she?

C Morgan Kennedy and Therese Patrick, Author Marketing 101 - Returns to the basics of a strategic marketing plan and reinterprets corporate terminology so that it applies to novelists and small business owners. Through interactive exercises and demonstrative case studies, new and established authors will learn how to: o Develop a professional and engaging author persona o Identify overarching themes and colors for their stories o Apply these colors and themes to their marketing collateral, web design, and point-of-purchase (POP) displays o Identify and target their audience o Utilize their author persona for customer (reader) interactions o Develop a detailed marketing plan with actionable tasks and key deliverables to successfully launch their latest book

Delilah Marvelle, Lady of Pleasure - Educating one's self in the art of love takes time... Lady Caroline Arabella Starling has been in love with her older brother's best friend, Caldwell, since she was thirteen. Unfortunately, too many things keep getting in the way of proving her love. Her four younger sisters, her mother, her brother, all of society and the man she loves himself. But where there is a will, there is a way, and Caroline is about to redefine not only respectability but true love.

Delilah Marvelle, Romancing Lady Stone - At forty, Lady Cecilia Evangeline Stone thinks she has everything a woman could ever want. A title, a fortune, and four children who make her proud. After a marriage of convenience that was anything but convenient, she has no desire to complicate her life by including a man in it again. When her eldest son announces his engagement to a Russian actress in Saint Petersburg, Cecilia sets out to do what any good mother would do: stop the wedding. Unfortunately, destiny has other plans...

Lucy Monroe, Annabelle's Courtship - Laird Ian MacKay must wed, and to none other than an Englishwoman. With no use for sentimentality, he develops a list of unflattering if practical requirements and thinks he has found them all in Lady Annabelle. He's not prepared for her refusal, and even less so for her sensuality and independence. Love is anything but convenient, but nothing less will convince this blue-stocking to marry.

Elisabeth Naughton, Marked - THERON—Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld. As unrest in the Underworld threatens, seven warriors descended from the greatest heroes in all of Ancient Greece may just be mankind's last hope…

Elisabeth Naughton, Wait For Me - A woman without a past. A man desperate for a reason to live. Two lives about to converge.

Jean Sheldon, The Woman in the Wing - This entertaining historical mystery takes place in a World War II defense plant in Chicago and offers a glimpse into the lives of women who served at home during the war. Meet the Rosie the Riveters who built the planes, and the Women Airforce Service Pilots, the WASP, who flew them.

Jean Sheldon, An Uncluttered Palette - If your palette is cluttered, your painting will reflect that clutter. The words Rayna Hunt uses to introduce her students to the world of oil painting apply to more than her art. When an accident destroys her painting hand, she begins a difficult journey to recover her skills, a journey made more challenging after she becomes a suspect in a case of forgery and art theft.

Jessa Slade, The Darkest Night - Wishing you a demonic Christmas… Possessed by an angelic entity, Cyril Fane fought evil with a fiery golden sword until he was beaten and left for dead by a malevolent force. Now darkness and doubt haunt him. Bella McGreay, mysterious mistress of the Mortal Coil night club, has secrets of her own to keep. As they barricade themselves against the joys—and terrors—of the Christmas season, they’ll have to decide whether the shadows or their secrets are more dangerous, or if together they can find a way to the light after the darkest night.

Jessa Slade, Hotter on the Edge - On the edge of space... On the edge of danger... On the edge of desire... Three novellas of science fiction romance: All That Glitters by Erin Kellison To Buy a Wife (A Dark Future Novella) by KC Klein Enslaved by Starlight by Jessa Slade Winner of the 2012 InD'Tale RONE Award for best Short Story/Novella "HOTTER ON THE EDGE is an exceptional trio of sci-fi romance novellas… Creativity, strong characters and interesting plots make this one a winner." 4 1/2 stars—Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews

Christina F. York, Rodeo Royalty - Tyler Forrester plans to be a rodeo princess, and get the attention of Brad Young, the hottest junior cowboy around. But when Tyler’s friend Amee decides to help her find some scholarship money, the plan gets out of control faster than a seven-second bull ride. Thanks to Amee’s meddling and a large pile of scholarship money, Tyler is headed for Valenta, a tiny European country, to spend the month of August as a temporary princess, and her rodeo plans are headed for the last round-up. Tyler is a long way from her friends, her family, and her horse. Sure, there’s a hot prince, but he can’t make up for everything she’s missing. Or can he?

J. Steven York, The Best Devil Money Can Buy

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


When I started jotting down ideas for stories many years ago I didn't have a lot of foresight in the way of organization. Even today those ideas are stored in a batch of electronic documents with seemingly unrelated titles, lumped together only in a 'stories' directory. Some I can remember just by glancing at the name of the document, but most I need to open up and scan through to remember what they were about. Some have nothing more than a half-page of notes, others have 10,000 or more words and the start of a real structure.

Since I started publishing I've become much better about organization. The Bladesmen Lords series has plenty of artifacts related to it now, from promo posters to original pictures of the cover art to the stories themselves in various formats and drafts. Partway through writing City of the Lords I organized all of this better instead of throwing it all in a single directory and trying to remember what belonged to what. The third book - which is progressing well, by the way - is set up alongside the other two but separate so I can keep its assets properly catalogued.

I've lost a lot of hard drives over the years, and I sorely miss a batch of story ideas that disappeared over a decade ago. They're gone now, but I remember enough bits and fragments that I wish I'd properly backed them up. I know better now, and keep copies of all my latest works spread through several areas both within and without the house. That doesn't help the organization - it's easy for things to get out of sync - but it keeps ideas from getting lost.

Start organizing early! Someday I need to spend a few days and go through all of those old ideas to retitle them, group them where appropriate, and make sure I can get to them easily. Don't wait as long as I did.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Upcoming events for November

I have two exciting events to announce for November!

Saturday November 2, 2013: Reader Party at Jan's Paperbacks in Aloha, Oregon!

A party celebrating booksellers and authors will be held at Jan's Paperbacks from 6-9pm, November 2nd. Readers are invited to meet 18 authors, get a book signed, and get coupons for free ebooks via Kobo downloads. A free Kobo e-reader will be given away, along with beautiful baskets full of wonderful print books by a variety of local authors. Don't miss this huge book party! Food and beverages will be provided.

Saturday November 16, 2013: Book signing at Jan's Paperbacks in Aloha, Oregon!

From 1 to 4 pm I'll be at Jan's signing copies of City of the Lords and Lord of the City along with fellow sci-fi author Moses Solomon. Join us to pick up some extra reading material as the rainy Northwest winter approaches!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cover update for City of the Lords

I'm in the process of doing a cover update for the next printing of City of the Lords. The cover artist, Jeremy Gregory, originally gave me digital art which I used for the initial printing. Since then he has also given me a painting which better matches the style of the artwork for Lord of the City. I'm in the process of changing out the cover image; once I get the proof in the mail and approve it any future copies of City of the Lords will come with the new cover image.

Other than the cover image swap, there will be no differences in the printings.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Starting in on Book 3 of the Bladesmen Lords!

I came back from a short vacation and was able to finally figure out some of the things that have kept me from starting in on Book 3 of the Bladesmen Lords series. Specifically it was the point of view of the first part of the book - there were two "candidates" who would each have been able to witness the necessary portions of the outline that I'd written, but each one was going to give a very different take on the events and I'd been struggling for some time as to which one to write as. It came together on the ten hour drive home yesterday, though, and I'm off to the races! Chapter 1 is written. In an example of how things go for me when I have a good outline to write from and some time to think about it, the chapter is about 2700 words (approximately 8 pages in my usual format; I try to keep chapters between 5 and 11 pages long) and took about an hour to write.

With approximately 35 - 40 chapters outlined, if the book ended up being exactly what I've laid out so far it would end up right around 100,000 words - a bit shorter than Lord of the City. Since I haven't outlined the whole thing that I have in mind, I'm (very) tentatively expecting it to end up about the length of City of the Lords, though I could be wildly off base in that - things never go where I expect them to while I'm writing.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Looking for Bookstores

I've had some luck with placing my book in independent bookstores around here. I've had the Bladesmen Lords books on both consignment and sales and am comfortable with both. If you know of a bookstore in your area that might be interested in carrying them, let me know and I'd be happy to reach out to them about either method.

Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How an outline can come together

My approach to writing an outline and getting my ideas blocked out has evolved with each novel I've worked on. For Lord of the City, the outline was more a set of ideas and milestones I saw for the story - this event is followed by that event, then this happens, and so forth. I started putting words down for the actual story when I was about halfway through the outline, and I tried to keep the outline progressing a few chapters ahead of the main story. This worked reasonably well, and made it so I wasn't too boxed in when I found the story changing drastically as I wrote it from what I'd originally had in mind. At the same time, it didn't really lay out where I wanted the characters to go and how I wanted them to develop, leading to a fair amount of backtracking and adding onto early sections once I got to a section of the story where the characters were really missing some earlier progress.

City of the Lords worked out differently. I had the overall idea of the entire story blocked out early, from knowing that it would come in three parts to getting a good idea of why the story would be told by a different person in each segment. The story had fewer changes as I went along than Lord of the City did (though there were still plenty of them as I worked it out), and I think the structure came out better for it. Still, the outline wasn't terribly detailed and while it gave me a "feel" for each character up front it didn't really spell out why the characters were growing as they did.

For this third book in the series, I'm finding myself outlining in more detail than I did before. It's not only events, but also some pretty in-depth notes on how the characters feel about particular scenes and how they react to them, giving me a deeper sense of each character before I've put down a single actual word of text for the novel itself. For the first time each chapter is blocked out from the beginning (at least for the first section where I have the most detail); while I don't plan to stick to the chapter breaks if they don't flow well when I'm writing, it gives me a great guide as to how I can expect the progress of the first part to go.

Here's some examples. Before you keep going, if you haven't read my first two titles, be warned that there may be minor spoilers below. Ready to continue? Ok. From my original outline for Lord of the City, I've got a bunch of notes describing "here's the state of the City, here's some general history, here's how human magic works", and then the story is listed as something like this:

  •  -       Set up scene, say why mission needs to go
  • -          Ship gets built/tested, crew set up
  • -          Trip begins, people settle into roles
  • -          First site visited. Nope.
  • -          Trip to second site. More bladesmen seen.
  • -          Second site visited. Nope. Light contact?
Yeah. Not a lot of detail, and a ton of changes happened along the way. Let's look at my notes on City of the Lords:

  • 3 parts. P1: Kenton.
  • Humans settle. City landed in unclaimed area between 3 small "nations". Lords rule some, advise others, etc.
  • Hear of a City with many (2 dozen?) Lords, "retired" from public involvement. Other nations basically pay for their upkeep so they leave the world alone.
  • 3 years after landing, Viala has a son. Soon after, the humans are attacked by a nation who is also at war with another nation the City is working with.
Still plenty of alterations from this original outline, but a lot more detail put to paper (though much of it was still in my head). And now an example of what I'm coming up with for the next title; here's what I have for the equivalent of what would have been one bullet point above:
  •  Nobody hears from Ikami for nearly a day afterwards and people are getting worried. Suddenly, Ikami sends a message (cross-continent!) and says she needs help. The message is stronger than it should be, even for Ikami - Cord has concerns about what's happening over there. Ikami creates a temporary portal between the City and the research encampment near the CotL where she’s currently at, and Cord/Viala/Ather/Wesnoq/Apashae (taken over training of Human mages since Dural died) go through. Kenton stays behind, needing to manage the crisis in the City. He cautions them based on the earlier incident; clearly torn between going investigating with the rest and staying to do his duty at home.
(chose that one because it gives away the least amount of spoilers; it's clearly partway into the story)

Sure, there'll be changes (there always are!), but I've got a much better idea of how I want my characters to feel and progress through the arc of the story, meaning that I can give a better setup to lead them in the desired direction. It's not just more story detail, but more character detail.

Anyways, it's been interesting watching my own evolution as I gain more experience in completing and publishing novels. Hopefully this small glimpse into my process was interesting for you too!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Time to start on a new one!

After finishing a writing project, I always need some time to let my mind wander around without focusing on any specific topic. This is the time where I come up with new ideas, review old ones, and sometimes throw a few words at different stories to see if any stick without really planning on doing anything about them.

It's been a few months since City of the Lords was published, and in the last week or two my creative mind has started itching again. There's a story that I've been thinking about for a year or so and working on here and there, but after much review I determined that that one's not quite ready to be finished. I went through my collected backlog of old story ideas and found one that I'd put about 20,000 words into. It's pretty good, actually, and I really like the idea. But the writing is from several years ago and is not what I'd consider up to spec now, so those 20,000 words would take a lot of rewriting.

Last but not least, of course, is the fact that the Bladesmen Lords story is not yet finished. I had one reader who sounded a bit disappointed when I told her that I was considering working on something else next, and the next book keeps bouncing around in my head. Today I opened up a fresh new document and after reviewing some pertinent information on City of the Lords began an outline on the third book. It's very high level at this point and barely scratches the beginning, but it's a start.

Monday, April 15, 2013

City of the Lords

City of the Lords has been available for about 3 weeks now - see my main page at for details on ordering. I've got it out via CreateSpace, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo (the last three for their respective ebook versions). Let me know what you think either here or via email!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

City of the Lords looks great!

I received my first printed copies of City of the Lords today and they look great! It's significantly thicker than Lord of the City - I was surprised by the weight difference just holding them in my hands. The spine looks nicely consistent with its predecessor, too, so the two will fit just right next to each other on a bookshelf.

I'll be taking some copies down to Jan's Paperbacks in Aloha today or tomorrow. In addition, both books will be available at the Alliance Seattle stand up at NorWesCon in Seattle next weekend so you can pick them up there as well. Finally, you can always order copies of City of the Lords directly from CreateSpace (oddly, I get almost double the royalty from a direct CreateSpace order than I do from the Amazon site, even though both companies are owned by Amazon...).

And, of course, the ebook version is available from Barnes and Noble for your Nook, for your Kindle, or Kobo for your Kobo eReader!

I'm always happy to sign books for people in-person wherever they buy them. I've set up an Events page on my website and will be updating that with new events as I get them added.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

City of the Lords is finished!

After a ton of effort to get things completed this week, I'm happy to announce that I've submitted the final manuscript and cover design to CreateSpace for a proof of City of the Lords! It's been a long road but it's good to have the end in sight. If everything goes well I'll have the first copies by next weekend.

Why next weekend, you might ask? Well, that's because Jan's Paperbacks in Aloha has invited me to be a featured author at their grand re-opening party after a month long remodeling! Come on over on Saturday, March 23rd from 7pm to 9pm and meet not only me but several local authors writing in a variety of genres. I hope to see some of you there!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Self-Publishing Platforms

Let's talk about some of the choices I've had to make over the last couple of years as to how and where to publish Lord of the City, and what I'm looking to do with its sequel.

If you're going the traditional publishing route and have an agent and a publishing house already lined up, congratulations! For this topic, though, assume you've chosen to self-publish your novel. There's a lot of options out there, many of which I spent a fair bit of time researching before settling on some specific choices. It's worth checking out local presses - for example, I found an independent bookstore up near Seattle which would only carry self-published books if they used its press and no other. Something like this might be what you need if you're looking at specific distribution channels.

After looking at some online presses, I ended up choosing to use CreateSpace due to its tools, its pricing, and its quality. It also integrates very nicely with Amazon distribution (not surprising since Amazon bought it a few years ago!) in a way that other presses do not. Since at least right now I'm selling more online than anywhere else, this is very important for me. I was not impressed with Lulu's tools or physical quality when I tried it for a different project, nor was I tempted to try other competing offerings after poking around their toolsets.  If it takes you 20 hours to prep your book because you have to fiddle with their toolset, it simply isn't worth it. I'd like to try other choices again at some point if they improve, but for now I'm sticking with CreateSpace for City of the Lords as the project nears completion.

I would strongly recommend making an ebook available alongside whatever physical publishing choice you make. Despite several years of hard pushing by Amazon and others, ebooks are still a minority of total volumes sold ... but there's already several authors making the majority of their money on ebooks, and whether it's another year, five years, or twenty, ebooks are pretty surely destined to take over the market at some point. Why wait to prep an ebook until later?

There's pretty much two competing formats at this point, ePub and Kindle. Amazon, of course, would like you to do everything Kindle-specific. If you look at KDP Select (Amazon's "borrowing" program for Kindle books, where Amazon Prime users can borrow the ebook for free), one of the conditions is that your ebook is distributed only on Amazon.

Epub is a format accepted on every reader *but* the Kindle. This means the Nook, a Kobos reader, various tablets, etc. can generally read an ePub book with no issues. I originally made both a Kindle version and an ePub version of Lord of the City available. When KDP Select came online, I signed up for a 6-month exclusive period to try it out, which meant delisting the ePub version. Now that that period is almost up, I haven't renewed my KDP Select inclusion because of the exclusivity agreement. I'm going to try posting up the ePub again on both B&N and Kobos to see how that goes for a few months.

While there are other ebook formats out there, why would you pick a different proprietary format when everything reads ePub or Kindle format?

In other news, I've been continuing to edit City of the Lords. The first hard copy of the manuscript is sitting partially read at home and I've been trying to hit a few chapters here and there whenever I have the chance. Lots of markup so far which I'll need to enter back into the soft copy once I get all the way through.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

First draft complete for City of the Lords!

Today I finished the first draft of City of the Lords, the sequel to Lord of the City. It felt great to get through the last few chapters and tie things up. It clocks in at almost exactly 129,000 words, or about 30% longer than Lord of the City. I've already done a full revision run-through of parts 1 and 2, so I just need to crank through part 3 before I've done a complete pass on the entire text. That means I'm well on track to have it released by the end of March as both an eBook and a paperback.

If you're interested in getting an early look at the manuscript and giving comments and criticism, please contact me via email at I've done enough revision that I don't expect any major rewrites of sections between now and publication, but there's always places where I'll make grammar mistakes or continuity errors (though I've hopefully weeded those down to a minimum!).

Thanks for your continuing interest. I'm really looking forward to getting the story published and available!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cover Art and other news for CotL

A few quick pieces of news about City of the Lords:

- I talked to Jeremy Gregory ( about doing the cover art. He did the (excellent) cover art for Lord of the City, and I look forward to keeping the same style on this one.

- I've done another editing pass over Part 1 and am ready to start passing it around for initial comments from one or two people. I need to do the same thing for Part 2 and finish Part 3, then print the whole thing out and do an out-loud reading for myself to mark up.

- Last but far from least, I did a full read through of Lord of the City and matched up some details and timelines from that book to this one. For example, I'd messed up the number of continents claimed to be ruled by the Bladesmen on their home world - in the first book it was stated to be four, while I'd initially written in only one for the sequel. Glad I checked back and got that one right!

Beyond that, I'm still aiming for a release by the end of March. I think everything's on track to make that happen.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I've been making great progress lately on City of the Lords. Having it ready by the end of March is looking more and more likely as the days go by. It's just over 120,000 words (365 pages) right now, and I'm right before the big climactic scene at the end. I'm looking forward to writing it - hopefully it ends up well :)

One thing I needed to do tonight was go back and make sure my timelines are correct. As I've noted before, the last two sections of this book take place simultaneously from different points of view, and that makes things a little tricky. There's some points of crossover where I had to make sure I had everything right, and I ended up plotting out day by day where the important characters were in the story. It was entirely worth it here at the end, though, as now I can be sure that I've been consistent and that everything makes sense. Now that I'm right at the end of the book I had to be ready for certain events to have happened with the right amounts of delay between them.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy 2013!

I hope everyone had excellent holidays of whatever type they choose to celebrate! 2012 was a great year and I'm looking forward even more to 2013. I'm making good progress towards finishing my first draft of City of the Lords later this month, and that puts me still on track to have a finished product ready by spring.

I'm close enough to the end that I know pretty firmly what's going to happen from here on out. The book will probably end up between 120,000 to 130,000 words (compared to Lord of the City at about 96,000). It's exciting to be this close, though I'm not looking forward to the editorial slog afterwards where I get to find out just how many mistakes I made in the first draft!

Here's my plan for that process, based on what worked (and what didn't work) for Lord of the City:

1. Read through each section on the computer and make corrections as I go. Assuming there's no major rewrites, I'd like to do each part in one sitting.
2. Run an automated spell check over the entire document, which takes a lot of manual intervention (one of the problems with any fantasy novel, I imagine).
3. Print the entire book out on paper and read through it aloud. This is a piece of advice I picked up a while ago and it definitely makes you spot problems with the writing that you wouldn't otherwise notice. Corrections are made on paper and then entered back into the software version.
4. Ask friends and family (F&F) to review this near-final draft.
5. Make one final quick skim and possible corrections or minor rewrites based on feedback from F&F.
6. Format the book three times - once for CreateSpace (hard copies), once for Kindle, once for the more general ePub format. At this point, the ebooks are ready for publishing. I need a cover by this point!
7. Order a proof from CreateSpace and check it out. Last time it took me 3 proofs to get the cover correct, though hopefully I won't need so many iterations with what I learned from the first book.

So there's a lot of work left after the first draft is done, but it's very different from the initial writing. I'm ready to start on these steps, just need to finish those last few chapters!