My fav extract today is from a Sveldtlander ceremony:
Though I was woefully tired for the first few hours, it was so nice to actually write new content again after 1.5 years of tending to Purge of Ashes. I wrote 600 words, but reread/cleaned 16 pages to get there while remembering everything, so I should be ready to go Wednesday. Of course, the scene only has about a page left before I have to hop somewhere else, so… we’ll see. But overall: a great start! Hooray!
Fav extract, at duel’s end: “There was no taste of victory. Only heart-pounding fear and the certainty of death. A part of him still shrieked awareness, unable to shake that certainty. It was so recent. So fully true in his mind, he could not shed its veracity. Trembling hands dropped his weapon and seemed to turn to face him, asking the price of what they wrought. The necessity of his actions did not accustom him to their execution, and as ________ hefted him into the blazing night, amid swarms of brethren crying his name in triumph, _______ floundered in his fortune while his other self thrust both knuckles together, howling delight to the white smudge of the moon.”
Just a quick drop by note for anyone who brushes off the cobwebs to pop over to my e-home, this is all still on and a go.
The short is that the entirety of my free time at nights goes into work on revitalizing Purge of Ashes itself, leaving no time for longer, thoughtful, tour-de-force posting the blog demands. Better silent than… crummy. Once Purge of Ashes is re-ready, maybe such time will exist again, but not now. The toddler/baby combo also does a damn number on me. I keep up with fantasy groups on Facebook and Twitter sometimes, but otherwise am leaving off on the blogging side until I have my affairs in order.
Once things start to happen, I’ll get back on the horse.
So back in 2013-2014 I sent out a bunch of queries to about 20 different agents, then got started writing Grip of Dust. So much has happened since then, and yet here I am two years later back at the drawing board doing the same: querying for agents! What a time to be alive.
Nowadays, agents can quickly access prospective clients’ social media platforms to get a quick gist as to who we are, what we do, and how impressive our friends lists are. Having this website in tip top shape should – nae must – be my top priority outside of production. So I thought to myself, “What would I want to present for an agent coming to scope me out?” Having less handsomeness than approximately 5 years ago, the answer did not come immediately.
Perhaps a simple WELCOME is in order. I don’t quit on things and I’m working on Book Two. I hope my query has piqued your interest. I love epic fantasy, role-playing video games, character design, cartography, rock music, hockey, armadillos, and TV shows that end in AME OF THRONES.
I seem friendly enough on social media. All the best in your search for the proper gem.
A while ago, Malazan Empire members Itwaes Nom sent me this sketch of Avery Shim ta Salm and Aronan Kloss from Purge of Ashes – my first fan art! Exactly the sort of enthusiasm Imbalance is all about. And those javelin looks sick. Super flattered. The picture must be after Aronan loses his cape 😛
It’s a cool feeling. I recommend everyone write a book. My readership is thin now, but respect like this (plus his review) make it all worth it. Rock on, Itwaes!
My edits are done! Tim Marquitz over at Ragnarok and ‘writer of lots of books’ (if that were a place) has put the finishing touches on editing for Purge of Ashes and sent it over, and what’s more – after a week of exhaustion defeating curiosity in a grand duel overseen by the twin tyrants Job and Children – I am finally ready to take a look.
I cannot believe it has taken me so long, but as the frequency of my updates indicates I am in somewhat of a holding pattern with regards to Imbalance. First, I was waiting to afford these edits and then waiting for the edits, but second I now have some big choices with regards to publishing going forward. Tim suggests I went smallpress, and then self, far too early and without testing enough waters. He thinks the series is demographically on point enough to raise a few eyebrows in the pitching process with bigger companies. The lazy me feels as though after this final bout of editing, I’d be happy to release and bathe in the due praise. I have time for neither with a 3-month-old and a new teaching job. Life is a roller coaster of monotony – a state that makes perfect sense to the addled mind of a sleep-deprived father.
Either way, you’ll know where it goes.
In the mean time, I am going to say ‘adios’ and go check out my prologue to see if the edits include jots such as, “Jet packs for all!” or “Not enough Gorilla Tape!”
I start a new job tomorrow. As well, as per a post a while ago, I now have a newborn in the house. Such conditions are not prime for writing. I am doing a writer’s disappearing act for the next few months while I ensure my teaching skills are back up to snuff, and my newborn gets closer to sleeping through the night. Do not fear! I’m so far away from done.
While I am gone, the following will occur:
- I will continue reading sweet self-published fantasy novels from community peers.
- Tim Marquitz will finish editing Purge of Ashes to perfection.
- I will be posting about an upcoming essay I am writing for TOR.com
It would be IDEAL if I had a BOOK out around the time my article for TOR goes live, but alas it was not to be. Persistence is always key. It is known. Stay tuned and to the faithful go the spoils.
The good news is I got this solid review as a kiss to send me off. It pretty much sums up much of what I set out to do.
Be seeing you in mid-fall (besides a booster for the TOR piece, natch)
I am glad to announce I have been offered a guest opportunity to write about fantasy for TOR.com regarding the magnificent opus The Malazan Book of the Fallen. I am really looking forward to praising the virtues of what I believe is the greatest fantasy books of all time, and determined to convince those on the fence of why they need to tackle the monster series. At least one other friend is also gearing up, so it is going to be great fun. Even more importantly to me personally, this chance has come right when my prospective publishing future seemed most daunting (hehe, naw, Imbalance will be one way or another, no worries) and I see it as surefire proof my prose is not so deplorable.
More on the matter to come, and I’ll be sure to direct you to the essay when it is published in September!
I mentioned a sixth reason for taking Purge of Ashes off the market yesterday, and that would be its elimination from Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off competition for 2016.
It is not official yet, as The Qwillery is yet to post their results, but it’s true. Unfortunately, I found out in a rather nasty way: by Goodreads rating. Surprised at a low score, I looked up the reviewer only to find her profile mentioned she blogged for the Qwillery. It was not hard to make the leap in logic. Later, I found entries on the site which gave me further insight into her reasoning. The good news is that she only read 20 pages and therefore has virtually no impression of what the series is all about.
Ironically, back in May all I hoped from SPFBO 2016 over on Twitter was my allotted blog read Purge of Ashes all the way through to attain a fair review.
The bad news is that it only took 20 pages to turn off a reader, and not just any reader, but an enthusiastic one who reads multiple books a week. That won’t do, but that’s why I hired Tim Marquitz (see ‘Downtime’) – to smooth out the ruffles in the opening and generally ensure my structure alienates as few people as possible. I had been waiting in vain curiosity to gauge Purge of Ashes‘s potential before closing a potential inroad for new readers, but freed of this deadline I can get on with refurbishing my debut.
Like the debut itself, it appears the book was not fighting fit for competition yet. What say you, Mark, can a newly-edited version enter the competition next year? Only 3% read…
Best of luck to everyone still in the contest. I’m currently really enjoying What Remains of Heroes by last year’s runner up David Benem and it’s a blast.