Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to report that as of this evening, I have received royalties for my writing for the very first time in my writing career. Actual money for my actual words is now in my possession. It ain’t much, I grant you–I am, after all, a micropress ebook author–but it’s evidence that somebody out there has in fact cared to put down a few of their dollars in exchange for my work.
Roughly 217 somebodies, in fact. If you’re one of those 217 or so, I thank you wholeheartedly and hope you’ll have enjoyed what I provided. Most of these sales are indeed Faerie Blood, although Defiance does have a tiny blip of presence on the statement. Also, it is a point of interest that the reported sales are for Drollerie Press’s own site, Fictionwise (by far the majority of the sales), and Mobipocket. Amazon sales are not represented and hopefully this will be updated as of the next statement received. Clearly, though, Fictionwise loves me. <3
There are more words on the way! And tonight's addition to that "more", tapped out on the iPhone at Conflikt while listening to the inimitable Alexander James Adams belting out his best (and then more typed after), was a few hundred more words into Chapter 1 of Mirror’s Gate. I know now that the lead characters are Aleksandr and Yevanya Morokev, and that Yevanya’s cousin who’d really like nothing better than to step into the esteemed position of “husband” with her is Antoli. The names are of course Russian-influenced, although I’ll be playing around with this some and thinking about how the elves of Vreyland would have affected the language and the naming conventions. Plus, I just want to throw in a few character names that aren’t direct real-world analogues.
Tonight’s efforts got paused though as I got to a point where I need to mention the name of the city serving as the primary setting here, and I’m not sure yet whether I want a short terse name or a long exotic one. Spent some time mulling the list on Wikipedia of Russian cities, but so far none of them have served as inspiration for naming the Vreyish capital. Potential elven influence may be called for here.
Written tonight: 316
Chapter 1 total: 546
Mirror’s Gate total: 546
It looks like Christopher and Elessir are suddenly going to have to fight with the male lead currently known as Aleksi for my word count love. Mirror’s Gate got its first official words tonight, since three chapters’ worth of outline is enough to get me started and this story really wants out of my brain. We’ll see how well I can keep it up.
I can say that I actually haven’t been this excited about producing something in a while. Maybe I just needed a brand new idea to play with, I don’t know! thinks that I must have been working on this under the hood and it popped out for attention when it was ready; if that’s so, I can forgive my muse for many months of silence!
And I’m looking forward to playing in Vreyland. I want to write about its snowy city streets and the colors its people wear, bright and bold against the long pale spans of their winters. There are elves in Vreyland, immigrants from the west, but most of the true-blooded ones keep to themselves. The elven blood has blended with that of Vreyland, though, and it is from that that the Vreylanders get their magic.
The Vreylander mages are as free with their powers as magic never is in Adalonia. There are magics to protect houses and light the city streets, to seek out truth and to protect the sanctity of an office of law. And there are greater magics a man may use if he has the talent–and some of these magics will be what drives this story.
I need more names for characters, and Aleksi still needs to tell me if that’s his full name or if it’s an endearment… but now he has sprung into his first few paragraphs of life. I’m going to like getting to know him.
Written tonight: 230
Chapter 1 total: 230
Mirror’s Gate total (first draft): 230
Another productive round of brainstorming with has let me flesh out several aspects of the main characters of Mirror’s Gate, although the proper names of most of them have not yet clicked into place. But I know quite a bit more about my hero and heroine now, and at least about their oldest child and what part she will play in the story.
I’ve also decided that this story takes place in the same world as Lament of the Dove, only in an entirely different country, clear over on the other side of the continent. I’m still toying with what I know about the country in question but I’m halfway suspecting that it’s called Vreyland, that it’s farther north than Adalonia and has proportionally colder weather, and that the people there tend to be of hearty and fair stock. I do definitely also know that they are magic-friendly and elf-friendly, and in fact, there is interbreeding with the elves in the national background, which is how magic got into their general gene pool.
And as of tonight, I just coredumped about three chapters’ worth of initial outline, covering the rough beginning of the story–as well as a later, almost complete scene that resulted from the brainstorm.
Man. If I can get a few more character names into place I think I’ll be able to start writing this thing. Bitchin’.
That dream I had over the weekend hasn’t let me go, and thanks to some fine, fine brainstorming from , I now actually have the working core of what’s promising to be a new fantasy novel for me to work on. The working title for now is “Mirror’s Gate”, and the core concept is this:
My hero is a mage who’s in service to the local royal court, and it’s six months since his death. He is survived by his wife and children, who are devastated by his passing–and who, like everyone else in the court and the city, believe that his death was an unfortunate magical accident since he was found dead in his spell-room amidst the shattered remnants of his scrying mirror and other magical implements.
Since then, his wife has striven to ward off her grief by focusing on caring for their children. But the mood of the city has turned dark and strange, for there are rumors of sightings of ghostly figures and creatures on the streets and even in the houses. People are seeing glimpses of loved ones both human and animal who were thought to be dead–only these glimpses are often warped and dire, and the people are beginning to fear.
Disturbed, our heroine retreats with her children to the shelter of her uncle’s church, in the hope that holy ground will shelter them. But that doesn’t stop her from discovering that someone else is wandering the city, a man who should not exist–a man with no memories, and her dead husband’s face.
I decided I wanted to do this as a fantasy novel, mostly because I’m kind of burned out on urban fantasy right now and would like to swing back into some traditional fantasy. Also, this will be a first for me: writing principle characters who are already an established family, which will be a nice switch.
This is going to be fun.
I woke up around 6ish or so this morning, conscious of having just interrupted a dream I was having. This happens a lot, but what was unusual about this one was that it didn’t seem to involve me in any way. Rather, it was a bit of what seemed like it was trying to be a story playing out in my head.
What I remember about it is that it involved a guy who had lost his memory for some reason and was living homeless on the streets. He’s found by a woman who clearly knows him and who was probably his love interest or potential love interest–and who had been convinced that he’d disappeared on purpose. But when she realizes the state he’s in, she takes pity on him and takes him home.
Random bits I remember from the dream:
- The guy’s name was Alex or possibly Alec Chambers.
- The woman’s name was possibly Rachel.
- It wasn’t set in Seattle, or at the very least, the parts of Seattle I usually frequent. The place I remember Rachel finding Alex on was up on a hill and overlooking a lower area; the street was wide but lined with trees and seemed generally pretty. It’s possible that my brain might have been keying off of parts of West Seattle or maybe Capitol Hill, but I’m pretty sure not.
- Whatever street Alex is on when Rachel finds him, it’s not Fourth Street. Rachel asked Alex why he was where he was, and he said something like “On Fourth Street, they find you.”
- When Rachel takes Alex home, the place she takes him looks like a church and Alex comments to her, “You live in a church?” She explains that this is home. I remember them driving in under a walkway of some sort between two different parts of the building. I got the impression that part of the building had been converted to apartments, or something. There may be more story there as to why Rachel was actually living there.
- There were children, two or three of them. But it was unclear to me whether they were actually Rachel’s children, either by Alex or by the other guy who showed up, or whether they were younger siblings or cousins or something. They were nonetheless pleased to see Alex but distressed at the state he was in, and took pity on him.
- Another man shows up who was clearly a prior rival to Alex for Rachel’s affections. He has a lot of luggage with him and is clearly expecting to stay at Rachel’s place, and he snarks at her about where “he” (i.e., Alex) is going to sleep. Alex says mildly that that’s up to Rachel.
- There’s a dinner scene where Alex catches himself handling dishes in a certain way and he realizes in wonder that he’s left-handed, which is something he hadn’t remembered about himself. (My brain then tried to play with this, I think, because I remember replays of the same bit in which he also noticed he was right-handed, and then that he was possibly ambidextrous.)
- There’s a playground scene where the children are trying to get Alex to play hide and seek with them.
After that I think I was either waking up or dropping more heavily back into sleep, because I started getting more random dream-like bits such as Alex trying to fly, which made less sense. But I wonder if there’s a story here that I can play with. Maybe Alex is a Warder somewhere.
Hey folks, just to followup on my earlier post seeking authors for a blog tour/blog exchange, I just wanted to get the word out that I’m going to go ahead and work with the folks who’ve signed up on the mailing list I’ve set up. So that’ll be round 1 of these efforts. If you’re not already signed up, and you’re still interested, fret not! I’ll be taking more interested names for February’s round!
One of the nice things about reading a lot of ebooks as of late is the sheer number of older classic works available in public domain electronic copies. Among these is the Feedbooks ebook edition of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson, and I decided it was high time I read it.
We all of course know the basics of the story, but what I didn’t know was that the original story is not from Jekyll’s point of view at all, but rather from that of a third party. The lawyer Mr. Utterson is an old friend of the doctor’s, and is the keeper of his will as well–but he’s recently been given a newer version that names a Mr. Hyde as the beneficiary of all of Dr. Jekyll’s worldly goods should the doctor ever die or mysteriously disappear. This, coupled with a disturbing report from another friend that Hyde has been seen in the street causing cruel hurt to a child, alarms Utterson deeply and puts him on to finding out exactly what has befallen the doctor.
What follows is mostly not surprising, aside from a few particular plot details that I won’t mention in case someone else like me who hasn’t read it yet wants to take a peek. Like many works of its era, though, a lot of the storytelling is done via the device of letters rather than shown directly on screen. For me this dampened the impact somewhat of the events described–though on the other hand, Jekyll’s explanation in his final letter of the moral experiment that led him to create his infamous potion in the first place was interesting reading.
Overall this was a much shorter story than I’d expected, though, and very quickly and easily breezed through. Three stars.