My Future Plans and Schedule

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I meant to get this post out a while ago but things came up. I’m making some changes and would like to inform you all of what is going on with me.

As many of you may know, my first book sold very well and that’s amazing. I’d like to thank all you readers for your support and remind you all of how much I appreciate it. Unfortunately, while my second book still sold well it sold noticeable worse than my first. This concerns me. If I put more books out are my sales going to keep going down? I was expecting sales to go up and planned for that eventuality, however I can’t depend on that now. The success of my first book may have been a fluke, which really sucks.

Thus, I’ve reluctantly decided to make some changes. The first draft of book 3 is up as a web serial but I won’t be focusing on getting it out as a book right now. Instead I’m going to be starting a new project that will hopefully draw in some new readers and get my name out there.  It will be a completely new story in a new world, and be written as a book instead of a web serial, although I’m thinking of giving patrons access to the chapter drafts. I will share more information about this story soon.

Unfortunately, this new project is going to take up a fair amount of time and I only have so much, so I’m only going to start releasing a single chapter of The Iron Teeth every week, instead of sometimes releasing two. That means no more Wednesday chapters. I’m sorry that I have to do this but it is necessary right now. After over two years of writing this story I’m also starting to get fatigued, so a new writing project will hopefully reinvigorate me and allow me to get some new creative juices flowing.

Thanks for hanging with me. Expect Sunday releases as normal.

Journal Entry: The Rise of the Guilds

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Magic is as old as human civilization. Records going back to before the rise of the Old Empire tell us that it has always played an important part in human society. In the time before the empire most magic was practiced and controlled by the cults. As the only organized groups that praised learning and literacy, they were unmatched in their ability to study and understand mana stones. They developed the first rules and techniques for using magic, although their abilities would be considered primitive today. The dogma and outlook of the cults meant they never saw magic as anything more than a convenient tool. They frequently used magic as an example of the power of the gods in order to impress peasants and build religious followings.

However, this state of affairs eventually changed. During the wars of unification throughout the ascent of the empire magic began to be used more and more during military conflicts. Countries responded by funding and organizing research of their own. These scholars soon discarded the religious trappings that the cults had attached to magic and developed a deeper understanding of how mana stones truly worked. By the time the Homelands had been completely unified the study of magic had become a secular activity. Sensing the danger of allowing magic power to proliferate, and at the urging of several of the wisest scholars in the empire, Emperor Nerius forbid the study of magic to anyone but a few hand selected scholars.

At first enforcement of this edict was carried out by the imperial army and police, but many mages survived in conquered provinces, and they refused to give up their power. This was a problem. Magic was not only dangerous as a military weapon but its improper use could lead to deadly side-effects. After years of costly hunts and failures by the army, one imperial scholar suggested inviting the provincial mages to join the imperial service. This would not only give the imperial mages access to new magics, but with most the provincial mages at their side, the imperial mages would easily be able to stamp out the remaining few mages who refused to join them. The Emperor agreed, and thus soon the number of mages in the imperial capital swelled and they became responsible for enforcing their own monopoly on magic. As a result not only was illegal magic stomped out, but the stage had been set for the rise of the guilds.

As all students of history know, the empire didn’t last forever. During the long peace of its reign, the use of magic had spread to every corner of the empire. Although every mage still had to operate with the permission of the emperor, in truth everything related to magic was handled by powerful mage organizations whose loyalty to the empire was paper thin. When the empire began to fragment and collapse several mage organizations choose to serve the rebels and separatists. This doomed the empire. With powerful war magics to call on, the rebel armies were able to go toe to toe with imperial forces.

The dissolution of imperial authority meant that no one controlled the mage organizations anymore. Several powerful kings attempted to make their country’s mages swear allegiance to them, but the local mages collaborated and resisted, forming guilds. With their power still fresh and uncertain, the upstart lords were unable to force the mage guilds to bend the knee. Instead, a compact was formed. The mages would refrain from influencing politics and offer their services to the lords in return for fair payment, and the lords would not challenge the mages’ monopoly over magic or freedom to pursue their research. Of course, across the entire vast world not all mages were united into one guild. They formed several different competing organizations, but the one thing that did unite them was their desire to remain free of control, and towards that one goal they cooperated among themselves.

Thus did the modern mage guild come to be. Supplied with luxuries such cooling stones, and with access to combat mages and war magic for their armies, the nobles were unwilling to press the guilds, lest the guilds support their enemies. In turn, any guild that gets involved in politics or shady dealings would be black-marked by the nobility, and swiftly overtaken by another competing mage guild.

-Gavighd Veragill, Royal Historian to Clement III

A Goblin’s Tale is On Sale

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So Amazon decided to put my first book on sale at quite the discount. It is selling for 99 cents. I gave them permission a while back to include it in special site wide sales, but I don’t have control over the discount or the timing. Not a huge fan of such a steep price drop but it will probably help me out in the long run especially since book 2 is out now. Anyway, my complex situation is straight up good for all of you. Head to Amazon now and grab A Goblin’s Tale for 99 cents, and don’t forget to leave a review.

Book Two is Out!

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So, City of Daggers is now live on Amazon! It is the second book in The Iron Teeth series, and it details Blacknail’s journey to Daggerpoint. Getting my second book out is a huge milestone, and it took a lot of work and organization. I’m glad I sort of knew what I was doing this time, because that made everything much simpler. My hope is that this book improves on the sales of my first. A Goblin’s Tale sold well for a first novel but not spectacularly so. A lot of other writers I have talked to have done better and I know I can do better. If only I had anything like a real social media presence…

Anyway, this is an exciting time for me! The ebook version of the story has been substantially edited by both myself and a professional editor, plus you can read it on your kindle or ebook reader, so pick it up today! There has never been a better time to reread the story!  If you loved it the first time then you will love it again, because it is even better now. So please support me and help spread the word by ordering City of Daggers at Amazon and giving it a review. Every single purchase and review helps get the ball rolling so that Amazon recommends it to others, and don’t forget to tell your friends! 🙂

I also just happened to finish the rough draft of book 3. I think it turned out fairly well, but I’m not entirely happy with it. Personally, I find it too long and slow. I also think the story structure is lacking in coherence and not tight enough. Thus, I think it needs a lot of reworking before it is ready to become an ebook. City of Daggers didn’t need that much work because the Daggerpoint arc worked well as a self-contained story. A Goblin’s Tale did require quite a bit of reworking and I ended up writing an entire new arc for it.  I don’t think I’m going to need to write much new stuff for book three, though. it just needs some plot changes made.

In conclusion, you should all buy and review this book! Do it, you know you want to.

Chapter Delay

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The editing deadline I mentioned in my last post is tomorrow so today I have to focus on that. Thus, I won’t be putting a chapter out today. Instead I will release it on Wednesday. After that I will be going back to releasing at least one chapter every week on Sundays. Sorry for the inconvenience.