In the words of Master Scribe Sorrean from the book of The Palladome in the year of Isaac 987.
East of Baywhick at the base of the great mountains resides a well of wealth that has spawned two of the great houses of Gallendale. Though it is debatable who first found the copper veins that nourish the land, there is no debate on who lays claim to the mines now. Relishing in the wealth of copper the mines provide; House Garren and House Carnack share the mines and in return have been granted vast fortune.
The Penny Lords was a title first thrown at a member of House Garren as an insult. Both families would come to embrace that insult and adopted the title as a badge they wear with pride. Not only did the two houses seal their alliance with official papers by the king granting them both ownership of separate halves of the mine. They also merged the families through marriage. It is said that there is little difference between the blood of a Garren and the blood of a Carnack. Even between the families, it is common for a Carnack to great a Garren as "cousin" and vice versa.
The Penny Lords are known as two of the wealthiest families in all of Gallendale and have even sponsored the crown during times of economic turmoil. As individual houses, they are not technically the wealthiest families in Gallendale, but as a combined unit they are only overshadowed by the Bank of Avril.
The Penny Lords rule over the eastern shores with wealth and influence. Their unity is one that has become a staple of Gallendale and all of Bayleah. House Garren and House Carnack share the title of Penny Lords and the wealth of the copper mines, but this was not always the case. For like all things, before there was peace their was war.
So it is looking more and more like books two and three of "The Gates of Kastriel" will be released at the same time. It's funny because the entire series is just one big story in my head, but I was encouraged to separate it into smaller readable sections (individual books). The idea of splitting the story up into sections is necessary for readers I guess, but I refuse to look at this story as individual, separate accounts all wrapped up into one. A part of me wants to write the entire story out and release the whole series all at once. I won't do that but I think it would be the best way for the reader to experience the series.
So I struggle with the title of writer. Yes, I have written a book, but I do not think of myself as a writer. Maybe it's because I often compare myself to other writers who inspired me to write. I read how they masterfully use the same words we all know to create feelings and express ideas that capture our hearts and imagination. There are some brilliant writers out there. Some traditionally published and others self-published.
I always think of writers as Jedi of the written word. A writer, a true writer; can write about anything. I can barely write a blog. Recently I was referred to as a writer, and it made me uncomfortable. I have labeled myself as a writer before because—well that's just what you do. Do I deserve that title though? Am I truly a writer? Maybe I have built up the title of a writer to a deity status that I could never reach. I am not sure either way, but I do know I am still not comfortable with that title.
Besides, I don't feel like a writer. I feel like a storyteller. Now that is a title I can get behind. I embrace the title of storyteller. I have always loved the art of creating tales of fiction. I enjoy trying to figure out pacing and balance. It is was pushed me into game development. I didn't want to be a programmer at first. I wanted to design an epic RPG. I wanted to create worlds that felt real. Worlds people could emerge themselves into and leave their day to day issues behind. I do that now through writing, but in reality, I could be just as happy doing it through C++.
I write because I enjoy writing, but I don't think I am a writer. Tolkien was a writer. Stephen King is a writer. No one would ever dare mention my name next to theirs win referring to writing so why would we share the same title of writer?
Either way, right or wrong; I think I am going to go with storyteller. I like that. It feels right. Let's see how long it sticks.
So I am officially back to my audience of crickets. Well for those crickets who have been patiently waiting I have some big news for you. Production of the audiobook for "Gold for Steel," is on the way. Hopefully, we can meet our target date for a May release. Also the print version of "Gold for Steel" should be available next month. It will have all of the maps in it, unlike the digital version.
This video perfectly portrays every design meeting I have ever sat through as a software engineer.
As a child of the 80's I grew up with the Jetsons, Star Trek, Star Wars, Back to the Future, the Ghostbusters and well... You get the idea. I remember thinking that hoverboards were real and it was only a matter of time until they would be approved for public use. Flying cars were right around the corner, and by the time we reached the year 2000, there would be a human settlement living on the moon.
What the hell science? I will admit as an adult I am happy we do not have flying cars. Don't want to be killed while I am sleeping because of some drunk driver/flyer crashing through my roof. But what about everything else? It's 2018, and I still have to drive places instead of being instantly transported. We still haven't made contact with alien life that would allow us to form an intergalactic space council. Besides smartphones, we aren't any closer to living in Star Trek then when we were when I was a kid.
Step it up science. Seriously I want to be able to enjoy some of this stuff before I die. I don't know what you need to do or who you need to talk to, but just get it done. Before I die, I better be able to send a clone of myself to China using a teleporter so he can buy the latest "Back to the Future" hoverboard for me to speed around on with my old ass.
I have currently had two stories which I am dying to write. One of which I now am writing (the follow up to Gold for Steel) and the other is a project I have had in my head for years. The plan is to finish the series I am working on now from beginning to end before I venture off into the dark waters of new worlds and adventures. With that said it's going to be hard. Every day I wake up and think of new plot points and twist for both stories.
The Gates of Kastriel is well plotted out, and I know exactly where the story ends. But Project B is different. Opposed to GoK where I don't think of it as separate books, just one big story I am just dividing up into pieces. Project B is a single book. One story that is told from beginning to end in one shot. Kastriel is something that will take me at least the next three to four years to finish if I can put out two books a year (fingers crossed).
I won't stray from the path, and I will keep working on GoK but, it is hard not to start a new word document and write about the Project B. When I do get around to writing that story I know it will blow people away.
So reviews for my book are starting to come in, and for the most part, they have been pretty good. There is only a handful on GoodReads and Amazon as of this post, but hopefully, that number will grow. I will say that every time I see a review, it is a bit nerve-racking.
As a writer, you truly do bare yourself to your readers. People read a fiction story with imaginary characters, but those characters come from a real place. Before I started writing, I would hear people talk about "finding their voice." I honestly never knew what that meant until I started writing. As I traversed along in my literary journey, I eventually did find my voice. I found that part of me that I could share with the world that was unique to me. It's that voice that allows my fantasy story to read differently than the thousands of other fantasy stories.
So now that I have found and shared my voice with the world, I have opened myself up to criticism. Some will be constructive and help me grow as a writer and some will not. Either way each time I see a new review posted by someone critiquing my story or better yet me; a rush of anxiety overwhelms me. I know eventually, I am going to have to stop reading the reviews. It will only be a matter of time before the extremely negative and unproductive ones come in. When they do, I will embrace them the same way I have embraced the positive praise I have received. I guess this is what comes along with being a writer. This is what comes along with sharing your voice with the world.
So I am currently working on the first draft of my follow up to Gold For Steel, and I realize this story might by twice the size as the first book. It's not necessarily a bad thing but it kind of goes against my original intentions of writing this story. My original goal was to tell a fantasy story that was not too overwhelming for readers. Not sure if the story will be one big book or if I will just split it into two stories and release both at the same time. I guess time will tell.
So I am excited to say I have my first Five-Star book review. Check it out here.