Got Questions? Here are some Answers
I’ve written eight novels and looking forward to number nine! Each of the full length novels is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords for only $2.99. Download them today and begin your adventure.
The novels are set in the fantasy realm of Corland and are swashbuckling Sword and Sorcery adventures with an underlying Objectivist and Libertarian theme. They stress the importance of individual achievement and how a society can empower each member within to live rich and rewarding lives.
Should I read them in Order?
That’s a great question! I’m glad you asked.
My over-arching story arc involves a large single plot but each of the books are their own independent story. It is not necessary to read them in any order. Even the Staff of Sakatha and The Sword of Water need not be read in order. Both stories features Jon Gray and the Staff of Sakatha occurs first chronologically but they are their own self-contained novels. There is nothing in any of the novels that is required to know before reading any of the others.
The Timeline is Confusing, what’s up with that?
That’s another really great question. The novels are set in four distinct eras and take place over the course of over two-thousand years. The Hammer of Fire is set at the beginning of this period while the Staff of Sakatha, The Staff of Naught, and The Sword of Water are set near the end. The Spear of the Hunt is in the middle.
I’ll give you a quick rundown. The Elemental Age was a time when the ancient Elementals fashioned the world. This period of time took billions (yes, B as in billions) of years. Eventually they brought plants and animals to the world and these flourished for many more countless years.
With the coming of thinking creatures there eventually rose a rebellion. Men, Elf, Orc, Dwarf, Goblin, Tree Shephard, and more united to overthrow the rule of the Elementals and take control of the world for their own. This ended the Elemental Age.
After the Elementals were overthrown there was a period of peace but eventually the new nations began to war with one another and a great leader arose. He united the entire world during the Imperial Era. This period was a time of tremendous magical advancement and power beyond description. Many of the world’s great artifacts and constructions came into being in this era.
Eventually the Emperor was overthrown and a Dark Age arose where each nation splintered and fought for the spoils of the once mighty Empire.
We are now at the closing stages of the Dark Age and new forces are arising that hope to rebirth either the Old Empire or finally unleash the Ancient Elementals from their prisons so that they can once again rule the world. This is the Current Era.
Does that explain it all?
How many Pages are your books?
That’s a really difficult question to answer and one that I get all the time. My books are for eReaders like tablets, phones, Kindles, and Nooks so the number of pages is dependent on the screen size and the font size chosen by the reader. There isn’t a single answer.
My books are all about 100,000 words long. I consider this to be a good length for reading although it falls far short of the books currently written by some of the best selling authors like George R. R. Martin. His last book, a Dance with Dragons, for example was 420,000 words. So it is four times longer than my books.
A typical full-length fantasy or science fiction book has a suggested length of around 100,000 words. This comes out to be about 300 pages for a traditional-sized paperback. My books fall into this category. I think it is a good length for a book. There is enough time to explore the ideas and characters but not so many words that the story doesn’t move along.
What’s your Writing Style?
I haven’t really had a lot of feedback on my books because not that many people have purchased and read them. I’ve got a few reviews and my immediate family and friends have told me some of their thoughts.
I think I write in a simple style. I move the plot along in a fairly orderly manner and don’t spend a lot of time on elements that are irrelevant to the story. I’ve been told my books are an “easy read”.
That being said, I attempt to make my characters three-dimensional. I think a lot of Fantasy and Science Fiction heroes and villains tend to be one-dimensional in nature. They are good or they are evil. I don’t think real people are like this and I don’t want my characters to be like this. They all have a reason for doing the things they do. High Priest Amalagaz is certainly the villain of The Sword of Water but there are sound reasons for his actions and he strongly believes he is doing what is right for his nation and for himself.
My heroes tend to be flawed as well. Jon Gray is prone to laziness and perhaps a free-spirited attitude when it comes to relationship with women. Odellius Buffalorider doesn’t take his job seriously.
I’d say my goal in writing is to write cleanly but powerfully. I want the story to move along but it’s not for children or anyone wanting Good to simply Triumph over evil. There are shades of Gray in everything, as the Gray Lord might say.
What is Your Writing Process?
My writing process is fairly straight-forward. I spend some time, perhaps a few months, thinking about the structure of my story. I devise vague outlines of the characters and their motivations. Before I start writing I need to know what is going to happen, in what sequence it will occur, and how the book will end. I cannot start writing until I know all these things.
I also consider what the main theme of my book will be. For instance, in the Sword of Water the theme was fear. I knew that Silenia was a frightened girl and that by traveling with Jon Gray she would learn how to overcome her fear rather than succumb to it. This makes her the Transitional Character and the most important in the novel.
Once I have the characters, the plot, the various events, the theme, and the conclusion clear in my mind I start writing the rough draft. I tend to write about 5,000 words a day and it takes me about three weeks to finish.
I then take a little time off and start thinking about my next project. A few weeks later I’ll pick up the rough draft and start on the working draft. This is really when the book comes together. Often times I don’t find the Voice of each character until halfway through the book so I have to go back and change their dialog to match their voice.
Also there tends to be shocking continuity issues. Someone who died in Chapter 3 is alive and kicking in Chapter 14. I try to fix all of these. Sometimes people’s names change and I have to fix that.
After I finish the Working Draft, I give it one final proof looking for typos, spelling, and grammar errors. Then I turn it over to my editor who proofs it, looks for continuity issues, and suggests changes to scenes that are not working properly.
As these suggestions roll in I fix the Final Draft.
Once that’s done I publish.