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Stories on Wattpad

I’ve posted The Red Dragon’s Gold and a few chapters of The Cerberus Rebellion on Wattpad, so have a read if you haven’t already!

RDGcoverCERBERUSrcover

In other news, plotting for The Centaur Incursion is nearly complete and editing on The Hydra Offensive is coming along nicely.

 

  

 

 

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Add “The Cerberus Rebellion” to the Goodreads Gunpowder Fantasy List

Hey All!

I’m nearly completion on the first two rounds of editing for The Hydra Offensive (I’ve been doing a first-pass digital edit and following behind with a paper-and-pen round), so that should be going to edits very soon.

In the meantime, stop by Goodreads and vote for The Cerberus Rebellion to be added to the Gunpowder Fantasy listopia!

Rewriting in the Digital Age

No matter how hard you try, your book is never going to be 100% perfect. Hopefully, during the editing process you’re able to fix the plot holes and inconsistencies.

But even after you push the publish button, you’re going to find typos and errors. Maybe a sentence that doesn’t make as much sense as you’d like. You’re going to find something that you want to change.

I’ve spent most of the last week or two cutting back on the overly descriptive prose that I used in The Cerberus Rebellion and adding in a couple of chapters that I really should have included in the first place.

I had a conversation with Harry over at A Way With Worlds that basically went something like:

Me: “Hey, so I’m making some additions to Cerberus”
Him: “Wait, you can do that?

In the past, with traditional paper printing, you’d be pretty much out of luck. Your publisher could print a second run, with the corrections in place, but that’s assuming that your book warranted enough attention and sales to call for a second run.

In the age of digital publishing, the solution is much simpler. Correct the errors, recompile your book, and republish to your selected markets. Amazon, at least, will send an email to anyone that has purchased your book and give them the option to redownload it.

Now, this won’t necessarily turn someone who hated your novel into a fan overnight, but it can definitely improve the experience of future readers.

I know with The Cerberus Rebellion, the overly descriptive text was a consistent theme in the reviews that  I received. In the age of digital publishing, the ability to respond to feedback and fix your errors cannot be overlooked as a great tool to gaining readers.

Communication In Gunpowder Fantasy

Communications are the foundation of civilization. People need to talk to each other to coordinate.

In Gunpowder Fantasy, your options are much wider than in other forms of Epic Fantasy. But what kinds of communications should you use, what are the pros and cons for your characters, or for your story? What if you want some of the benefits of a particular type of communication, but want to limit them at the same time?

Those are the questions I’ll hope to answer.

Messenger Ships

What is it? How does it work?

A network of swift ships carry messages from harbor to harbor. 

What are the benefits?

Sailing is usually a swift method of travel and can have the advantage of avoiding major land obstructions. Messenger ships can also bypass hostile territory more easily than a land-based solution.

What are the downfalls?

Sailing is not necessarily the most straightforward method of travel, and it’s entirely useless for landlocked territories. Messenger ships can also fall prey to weather and pirates. 

How can you mitigate or moderate these benefits, for the sake of the plot?

The easiest way to mitigate the advantages of messenger ships is to create a world with limited access to water, or where most of the action is going to be inland.

Another option is to create a world where pirates are common and known to harass messenger ships.

Messenger Trains

What is it? How does it work?

 Much like messenger ships, messenger trains are connected on a railroad to convey messages across vast distances.

What are the benefits?

 Messenger trains have the ability to cross vast distances quickly, aren’t reliant on the weather and can reach any place that has a rail depot.

What are the downfalls?

 Trains are reliant on a rail system and on access to a steady supply of fuel.

How can you mitigate or moderate these benefits, for the sake of the plot?

 Messenger trains are relatively easy to mitigate. Limiting the availability of fuel will limit the ability of the messenger trains to carry out their mission. Being that messenger trains are reliant on a network of railroads, you can also have a disjointed network of rail systems.

During the American Civil War, the South’s railroad network didn’t have a unified gauge rail, preventing a smooth transition from one area to another.

Post Riders (aka The Pony Express)

What is it? How does it work?

 Keeping with the network theme, the Pony Express was a messenger service in the United States in the 19th Century. From Wikipedia: “The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages and mail…by horseback, using a series of relay stations.”

What are the benefits?

 The benefits of the Pony Express was that they were not limited to the rail lines. They were able to travel across rough territory quickly.

What are the downfalls?

 The Pony Express relied on a network of relatively closely spaced relay stations, each stocked with horses and riders. This requires a great deal of investment and planning. Additionally, this system would be less than optimal in a war zone, with skirmisher lines and battlefields.

How can you mitigate or moderate these benefits, for the sake of the plot?

 Mountainous terrain would be a major way to moderate the benefits of the Pony Express. Another is to make mounts rare; without the ability to change horses (or whatever your choice mounted creature is) your riders will be forced to travel slower and be more careful about how they push their steeds.

Telegraph

What is it? How does it work?

A Telegraph uses a network of metal lines and then transmits electrical signals along those lines that are part of a pre-determined code (the Morse Code was originally designed for Telegraph).

What are the benefits?

Near instant communication between stations, as well as the ability to “tap in” to the telegraph line with the right equipment so you aren’t necessarily tied down to transmission stations (the AMC show Hell on Wheels uses this technique).

What are the downfalls?

Like the semaphore line, the telegraph lines can be “tapped”. If you know the code, you can decipher messages and transmit false ones.

Telegraphy is also tied down to transmission stations.

How can you mitigate or moderate these benefits, for the sake of the plot?

Like railway lines above, you can segregate the different regions of your nations or world. In the nation of Ansgar, there are 4 or 5 distinct networks of telegraph lines that are not connected. Instead, messenger riders have to carry messages from “network” to “network”. This allows me to build in a communications delay.

You could also do this with differences in Code. Even if Network A and Network B are connected, if they use entirely different codes, the people at each end of the message will have to take time to decode the message and then recode it to the next network. Not only will this build in a delay, but it will require a typically small number of skilled operators. Remove those operators, and communication between networks becomes much more difficult.

Semaphore Line

What is it? How does it work?

 From Wikipedia: “a Semaphore Line  is a system of conveying information by means of visual signals, using towers with pivoting shutters, also known as blades or paddles.”

What are the benefits?

 They were far faster than post riders for bringing a message over long distances. Messages could be quickly conveyed from one end of the country to the other with relative ease.

What are the downfalls?

 Building an extensive network of towers, especially if they’re stone, could be expensive and take a lot of time to construct.  Additionally, the distance that an optical telegraph can bridge is limited by geography and weather.

A Semaphore line is also subject to having its messages intercepted by a watchful enemy and if an enemy was able to capture one of the towers and decypher the code, they could send false information along the lines.

Magic

What is it? How does it work?

 A magical form of communication is going to be dependent on whether or not you use magic in your worldbuilding and how that magic manifests itself.

Crystal seeing stones, ala The Lord of the Rings Palantir, magical telepathy and magic mirrors are all variants of magical forms of communication.

What are the benefits?

 Depending on your system, magical communications can be instant, allowing for swift communication across long distances. Magical communication could also be private, with only the sender and receiver knowing what was said.

What are the downfalls?

The downfalls of a magical form of communication are also dependent on your magical system. Some downfalls could include a limited number of people capable of engaging in the magical communication, or a limited supply of magical reagents.

How can you mitigate or moderate these benefits, for the sake of the plot?

 The easiest way to limit magical communication is to limit the magical system in your world.

Ravens/Pigeons

What is it? How does it work?

Messenger birds have been used for millenia to convoy notes from one place to another. You just need to train the birds to what is their home, then move them to a different location. When you release them, they return to their home, with your message in tow.

What are the benefits?

Birds are typically fast flyers and can ignore most terrain. Additionally, birds don’t have to worry about artificial fuel or feeding a crew of men.

What are the downfalls?

Birds are subject to predators. Your messenger pigeon will never reach its destination if an eagle eats it midway. Hunters are another concern. George RR Martin made a good example of this in one of his novels when he has one of the armies cut off a city’s means of contact by ringing it with archers.

How can you mitigate or moderate these benefits, for the sake of the plot?

Very aggressive or over-populated predators would be a great way to mitigate the usefulness of carrier birds. If a certain species of eagle or hawk is particularly fond of your messenger birds, they are far less likely to survive the journey.

These are just some of the major methods that you can use to communicate in your Gunpowder Fantasy world. A good series will include some or all of these.

In the Ansgari Rebellion series, the nation of Ansgar uses telegraphs as their major form of communication, but official documents are moved by rail for physical delivery and post riders carry messages both between telegraph networks and to the telegraph stations from the surrounding area.

PS: There’s 30 Days left in my Kickstart The Cerberus Rebellion Into Print Campaign and we’re 24% of the way there! Stop by and pledge if you’d like some awesome rewards!

Moving Right Along

So a couple of big things happening this week with The Cerberus Rebellion!

First off, I found a possible narrator for the audiobook production. He’s working on the first chapter audition right now and is expecting to have it finished after this weekend so I’ll get a chance to have a listen hopefully by Monday.

Second, I crossed my 2,000 Views mark early this week. It’s a big milestone for me to reach in under a year. I’d like to thank all of my readers and all of my fellow bloggers who have helped with links and cross-posting.

And last, from my posts earlier this week, I’ve started a Kickstarter Campaign to get The Cerberus Rebellion into print. I’ve already got 6% of my modest goal of $500 pledged, so hopefully we’ll get that finished so I can expand the distribution of the novel.

So if you can spare a few dollars, swing by the Kickstarter page and pledge! There’s some awesome backer rewards including free copies of my other works, physical copies of The Cerberus Rebellion and even special edition printed maps!

Now in Wider Distribution – The Cerberus Rebellion!

Good news for those of you without Kindles: The Cerberus Rebellion is now available in all e-reader formats from Smashwords. Hop on over and take a look here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/246079

From Smashwords, The Cerberus Rebellion will be distributed into all of the major ebook retailers.

The Cerberus Rebellion – Last Free Run

Starting today, The Cerberus Rebellion will be starting it’s last KDP Select Free Run. It will be free until 10/10 (Wednesday) so if you’ve been looking to pick it up, now is your last chance. Download it here or click the cover below!

For those of you who don’t have a Kindle, I’ll be putting Cerberus up to the other major eBook vendors!

The Cerebrus Rebellion

One hundred years of peace and prosperity. War changes everything.

On the world of Zaria, Elves, magic and mythical beasts coexist beside rifles and railroads. The futures of two nations hang in the balance as rebels and revolutionaries trade gunfire with loyalists and tyrants.

Eadric Garrard was raised to believe that as the rightful King of Ansgar, his loyal nobles and fearful subjects answered to his every whim, no matter the cost or consequence. His decision to send his troops thousands of miles away will test that fear, and loyalty.

Raedan Clyve was ordinary until an Elven ritual involving a griffin’s heart turned him into something more. Twenty years later, he still struggles with the magics that rage through his body. His mentor holds him back from his full potential and he faces pressure to find a suitable wife and father an heir.

Hadrian Clyve has picked up where his father left off and works to expand his family’s influence amongst the Ansgari nobility. His aggressive negotiation of alliances and shrewd choice of marriage agreements has earned him respect, and resentment. When his King calls his troops to arms, Hadrian has other things in mind.

After a century of scheming and decades of preparation, Magnus Jarmann is ready to bring his family’s plans to fruition by launching a war of independence that will free his people and return his country to its rightful place among the nations of Zaria. The King’s call to arms creates an opportunity that Magnus cannot afford to miss.

In a war, little is held back; in a revolution, nothing is safe.

A Novel of approximately 90,000 words.

Blog Stops 09/07/12

Ending the first week of blog tour stops for The Cerberus Rebellion, we have Lisa Haselton hosting a Blurb stop.

Additionally, the wife has offered to the host a Blurb Stop as well. A special thanks to her, not only for putting up a post for The Cerberus Rebellion, but for everything she’s done to support me in my writing endeavors. She did the covers for my three short stories and the text work on Cerberus’ cover. Visit her blog at Point Me 2 The Sky Above

You have two chances to win a copy of one of the Griffins & Gunpowder short stories; leave a comment at both blogs to get your chance!’

Blog Stops 09/06/12

Today includes two tour stops for The Cerberus Rebellion: Hope. Dreams. Life…Love and Travel the Ages

Head on over, take a look and leave a comment.

Blog Stop 09/05/12

Day 3 of The Cerberus Rebellion’s Blurb Blitz is hosted by Rogues and Angels 

Stop by, look around and leave a comment! Thanks!