Initiate NaNoWriMo

Happy November! This month promises to be a pretty big one over here in the Writing Corner, but before we get into all that, let’s look at a pair of literary holidays that share this date of November 1:

  • Author Day ─ We all have our go-to authors for great stories, and this is a day to honor our favorites everywhere. (I’m looking at you, Turner, Tolkein, Batson, and Lawhead. And a bunch of others; so many great ones . . .)
  • National Family Literacy Day ─ An holiday all about encouraging families to read together. Talk with your wee ones about their favorite stories, introduce them to some of your own ─ you never know what you might learn about each other through the stories that speak to us.

These are two very neat holidays, but I believe what November and its first day are known best for within the literary community is the kickoff of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. This epic event has been running for the past 18 years (this year will be its 19th), and the goal for participants is to write a 50,000 word novel between Nov.1 and 23:59 on Nov.30.

The event provides a ‘fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing’, ‘valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline’. This is something for anyone who ever entertained the idea of writing a novel. Participants have access to numerous pep talks, prep advice, and resources to help get their story started and keep running once it has. There are hundreds of forums for writers to interact and help each other with a wide range of story related issues, from world building and character development to discussing the problems with fedoras.

Participants can also earn badges in three categories: Participation, Personal Achievement, and Writing. You can also track your word count on the site to see how you and your fellow challengees are doing, allowing you to see your progress as they days go by.

For more info, check out this link.

I’ve a friend who’s been a part of NaNoWriMo for some years now who has suggested to me to join in, and now that TJT is finished I though it a prime opportunity to try something new. So I joined NaNo and have spent the past couple of months preparing a new story. (I’m what they call a Planner. There are also Pantsers and Plantsers).

And since today is the kickoff for the event, I’m going to share with you the name of this new project (so exciting!) and a little bit about it (can hardly wait!)

Ahem. The current name of this project is The Druyds of Phen. The name may change between now and publication, but so far this is my favorite of all the others I’ve come up with to date.

The Druyds of Phen is a fantasy adventure story set in the country of Phen, where there are those born with special abilities known as bunes. These people are called Druyds, and for generations their existence has been both highly coveted and severely reviled among the surrounding nations. The story follows a young soldier named Roscha, who would like to be just about anything else in the world except a soldier. He is sent to accompany a particularly powerful Druyd on his quest to Ashelon in the north.

It was supposed to be secret. It was supposed to be safe.

But the Druyd Hunters, thought to have vanished years ago, are resurfacing. And they’re after the Druyd Roscha is supposed to protect.

Pursued by hunters and harried by doubts, Roscha will have to overcome his greatest fears if he wants to prove himself and save not only his charge, but the very future of his people. If he fails, the Druyd won’t be the only one to suffer.

Phen will lose its freedom, and the enemy nations will tear it apart and swallow it until there is nothing left.

I am stoked to be working on this story (which has been simmering in my mind for a good while now) and thrilled by the enthusiasm of my readers who are wanting more ─ it’s an encouragement of mammoth proportions!

I’m ready to don my writing helmet, grab my hammer, and forge a new story. You’re welcome to come along and watch the sparks fly!

Concluding(ish) Thoughts on TJT and the Infamous ‘What’s Next?’

Hello, everyone! Can you believe it’s the end of July already? We’ve been anticipating this month for a long time, and now it’s over ─ funny, how time works. My brother is married, I have an awesome new sister-in-law, and the finale of The Journey Taken is out in the world, the saga completed.

We all knew this was going to be a big year, and it’s only half over! Who knows what else is in store?

Just a couple of days ago the giveaway for An Odyssey’s End reached its conclusion (congratulations to the winners!) and the books are already off and on their way. For me, that kind of marked the end of the end for this project, and the feeling is rather surreal ─ having the subject that consumed five years of your life finally reach its completion ─ yet at the same time there’s a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, having set a goal and reached it. Anyone who has done similarly, with any objective, knows the feeling. I have become what I’ve wanted to be for a very long time: a published author with a complete series under my belt.

So now what?

Well, the thing about walking is that it’s a series of steps, and when one is taken, the next must follow in order to keep moving. There are many options and opportunities (as well as responsibilities) open to me as both a writer and regular human (the line between which is faded at best and the question of whether a writer even can be considered a ‘regular human’ being highly debatable). Consumed by this project, I have neglected a few normal life things that require taking care of. I had decided that when this series was finished I would focus more thought and effort into those areas, and the prospect is both exciting and nerve-wracking (as is per usual when changing one’s status quo). But in the midst of all that?

Another story, of course. I’d debated putting writing aside for a while to focus on other things (people thought ‘taking a break’, I thought ‘purgatory’). But that thought depressed me too much, and the impulse to write has become reflexive. Stories and ideas come from everywhere and are perpetually bouncing around in my head ─ I cannot stuff them neatly (or otherwise) inside a box and shove it into some cobwebby corner and say ‘someday I’ll work on this again’. Writing is life, and even if I have to supplement it this time around with other, slightly-less-important-but-nonetheless-necessary facts of existing in the ‘real world’, I cannot stop.

And now that that’s settled, I, personally, feel much better.

I’ve also decided to do some learning on creative writing. I hadn’t done much of that at all when I began TJT, and while I’ve learned a truckload since then, I’m going to do more in-depth studying about the art, to develop my skills and make something even better next time. I want to always be improving in my craft, for the Lord and for you, my readers. You both deserve my best, and I want to strive to find my limits and break past them to new heights.

So, now that this new chapter in my life and career has begun, you just might be wondering what writing project I’ve taken up now, or if I’m still mulling over an idea. The only mulling, I assure you, was over which project to undertake, as there are MANY. So. Very. Many. But I have made my selection, and it is one that’s been brewing for a while. I’m super excited to be working on it ─ ecstatic, really. All that I’ll tell you about it right now is that it is not set in the TJT universe (we’re FAR from done there, though, believe me).

I’ve also decided to make this a NaNoWriMo project. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an organization centered around the thrilling side of creative writing. The objective for participants is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November, and the site provides a mountain of resources to help make that happen, along with a vast community of fellow writers to get in touch with and discuss virtually any topic on the forums. You can keep track of your word count and earn badges for participation, writing goals reached, and milestones passed. I’ve heard about it for several years, and I thought that now was a good time to start. (To learn more about NaNoWriMo, visit the website and get involved to help writers make the world a better place!)

In conclusion, I wanted to thank everyone who has come along with me on this journey, who have encouraged me and pushed me to see this through, and it is my hope that you will continue to do so as we step forth to new horizons and what lies beyond the other side of the next hill.

Purgatory Has Ended – Volume 7 Is Released!

Good morning, readers! Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for over the last few months with much anticipation, and I am so very excited to announce that the waiting has ended! The day is come! An Odyssey’s End, the seventh and final chapter in this saga, is released to the world and ready to satisfy that burning desire to know what happens next, how it all ends, or if it ends . . .

So! Without further adieu, I’ll write up a list of links to all the places you can find and purchase a copy of this beauty for your very own.

  — Personally my favorite place

   —  The ULTIMATE mercantile

  —  For all your ebook needs

  —  The one-stop shop for all the info on this title and virtually millions more

You are also extremely welcome (and in my deepest gratitude) to write a review on An Oddyssey’s End here on Amazon. Reviews help boost a book’s visibility as well as let other readers know what you thought, aiding them in the decision of whether or not to give it a shot.

Also, join in the fun and test your luck by enter the Goodreads giveaway, vying for a chance to win a free copy! Giveaways are a blast, both entering one and hosting one (I absolutely LOVE sending out packages), so give it a go! Each copy is signed and accompanied by a super cool series bookmark. Later this month we’ll run an ebook giveaway over on Amazon for the Kindle version, too, so everyone can have a piece of the action.

Thank you so much to all of you who’ve come along with me on this journey — it’s been a ride! I don’t know yet what the future holds after this project, but I can certainly say that it isn’t the end of stories — far from. Far, far from. But until we find out, enjoy this book and this summer (hopefully together!)

June Rerelease and Giveaway

Hello everyone, and happy June! Can you believe the year is almost halfway over already? It feels like it’s only just begun! How time flies when there are so many things going on. We have weddings and showers this summer up the yingyang, and for the first one, my brother gets to come home from his station in Japan! We are all very excited to see him again, if only for a few days.

Something else to be excited about is the approaching release of volume 7, which just so happens to be scheduled for release the day before by brother gets married (!!!). That is going to be one busy weekend, but it’ll be fun (we’re praying). It hardly feels like six months since I began this rerelease campaign, but we’re already on the last one before the finale, and I am so thankful for the opportunity and ability to have gotten everything done by their appointed dates, and I am still praying for the work yet ahead — July 7 isn’t getting any further away!

This month we’re featuring volume 6, The Clandestine Crusade, and I have to say that this was the stage I anticipated the most. I really enjoyed working through these chapters and with the characters and events. I was so excited about introducing Raleigh for so long that I had to insert a little piece with him back in volume 4. I loved writing him, but he’s also a challenge, due to his vastly conflicting personality (I think he got that from me, actually. Oops). Even the short story in the appendices is my favorite of all seven (we’re allowed to do that, right?) It’s a sad story, yes, but not every story has an happy ending, and even tragedies can bear uplifting truth and hope.

For this rerelease I updated the cover on the same scale as volumes 1 & 2, with a completely new design. While I liked the stark colors and the scenery in the first edition, it also felt too stark and didn’t altogether jive with the scheme of its fellows. Here’s the new design I came up with:

I really loved the sunset and warm colors, depicting the company’s voyage across the sea to the foreign continent no free Sekon’domite had ever ventured to before.

You can find this upgraded volume on Amzon, or you can purchase it straight from the publisher (which is also an Amazon company, as it happens). The information in the searches has not yet been updated, but it should be by the end of the week, so don’t worry if you can only find the old cover — rest assured that the copy in your mailbox will be the one pictured above.

Here are the links:

Already own a copy? Awesome! Write a review to tell others what you thought and help your fellow readers find a great new adventure!

And for even more great news, the Goodreads giveaway for The Clandestine Crusade is already underway, ready and waiting for you to join in!

Volume 7 Reveal!

Hello! Greetings! Today is a very special day, a day we’ve all been waiting for for some time now. On this day I’m finally going to reveal to you some information concerning long anticipated FINAL VOLUME, number 7. Excited yet? I am.

First I’ll tell you the title, which I believe holds a lot of meaning (depending on how deep you want to think into it). For me, it gives a kind of surreal feeling, because this project is something I’ve been working on for about six years, since the idea for the story first budded. I can’t believe it’s been this long already, honestly — these have been very full years. Anywho, the title of this last volume is:

An Odyssey’s End

Secondly, I’ll show you the cover, the design of which I’ve had in mind for years, and I have to say I’m fairly pleased with it:

Thirdly, I have for you the ‘teaser trailer’ of what’s going on, just so you can be that much more excited about the release day:

Caution to the careless and woe to the souls of many, for the Destroyer of Worlds has come.

Akairo, deprived of his mortal host at the hands of the company, now haunts once more as a baneful spirit. Even so he will not be denied his quest to desolate Jasinda. From the ashes of his retribution he will raise a new world of his own creation and rule it as their Almighty.

However, he will not ascend unopposed, and his adversaries, though beaten down, are not defeated. The company continues to dog his path, pursuing him even across the Monster infested seas to the distant shores of the Forsaken Land. There they’ll rediscover the old world and its hidden treasures, coming face to face with the last surviving Faenari. The ancients equip the Chosen Ones with a weapon to aid them in their struggle against the world’s foe, but the company is cautioned in its use ─ for a power mighty enough to destroy the enemy is also perilous enough to destroy them. However, Sergil and the others deem the stakes are worth the risk. If they don’t try, they will certainly fail, and everything they know and love will be razed to the ground.

But when the time comes and grave sacrifices need to be made, who will pay the price for victory?


Salivating yet? I know I’m itching to get it out to you! The expected release date is July 7th, so mark you calendars!

May Day Release and Giveaway!

Hello, lovely readers – it’s May! and things are really coming to life here. The fruit trees have blossomed, the cattle have been out the pasture, the barnyard’s being cleaned out, the fields are getting plowed, and the lawn’s been mowed three times already! It’ll be time to plant things soon, so the work’s really only just begun – spring and summer is such a busy time of year!

Never fear, though, volume 7 is plugging away, currently in the editor’s hands, but by no means does that mean my own are empty; no, sir! These past months with the re-release of each volume have been very full, and I can’t hardly believe that we’re nearing the end of the run already. How time flies! This month is the month of Aberrations of Heart, the fifth stage in our saga, and I’m excited to share it with you – the updated cover is something I’m pretty pleased with. It’s not a dramatic change, but adds a little more character, and one that, while I was working on it, my mother told me to put away because it was ‘creepy’. I must have been doing something right, then. Here’s the new cover:

The Shaydes featured this time are supposed to be creepy, so I can only take her comment as a sign of success. What’re your thoughts?

So now, without further adieu, here’s a list of links where you can find this volume across the World Wide Web, and don’t forget that you can visit the book’s very own personal-all-to-itself page where you can find all the info anytime wherever.

Already own it? Awesome! Help other readers out by writing a review and sharing your thoughts!

Plus, 

From today, the 1st, until the 27th there is a giveaway on Goodreads running for Aberrations of Heart, so skip on over and enter for a chance to win! There are 7 copies available, and each winner will receive an autographed copy and series bookmark!

 

April Showers Bring . . . Books!

Hello, everybody! It’s April already, and with the turn of a new month we have the purple-ier release of The Memory Quest. Why purple-ier, you ask? Because the cover has become more violet. The basic design has remained the same, as it was one of the more clear images I wanted when thinking of a cover for vol. 4, but the background skyline changed to one with far more purple in it, because I fell in love with it. Head over heels for that magnificent mauve, that lovely lavender, that palatial plum!

In addition to this fine coat, the interior has been updated and reformatted for an improved and more impressive reading experience.

Here are some links to where you can find this jewel:

Also, in celebration, there’s a Goodreads giveaway running for The Memory Quest AS WE SPEAK, so don’t miss out on that (link below) It’s an awesome opportunity to enter for a chance to win a free copy, autographed, and with a series bookmark, so don’t miss it! Giveaway dates are Apr. 1st – Apr. 27th, so join in! Tell your friends! Have them tell their friends!