A New Direction with Clovel Sword

Two new books are coming this month but I wanted to turn my focus over to another project that’s in the works. I’m starting the process to have some of the Clovel Sword stories moved into a comic/graphic novel form. Getting into the younger audience is one reason for this effort. Another is I just think the world of Kamin would look so cool in a manga/anime format. Toward this endeavor, I’ve started scripting for the first web comic and finding artists in line with my vision. I give you some of the efforts below. More updates will continue along this side of my work as well as setting up a crowdfunding model to kick this project into high gear. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

The demigoddess Mivraa
Urith of Esterblud

The story lines in the comic/graphic stories will follow the Clovel Sword Saga during the time of upheaval and sorrow for Urith of Esterblud.

Latest Updates

With the lock down in our area, I’ve made major progress in my upcoming stories.

The Curse of Blackbane and The Bleeding Mountains: Clovel Sword Saga 4 should be released simultaneously on the first week of May. While I wait for final edits, one cover is complete and another is in final revisions. When I receive the next Clovel Sword cover, I’ll make sure to post it here.

For those interested to get a jump start on the books, you can find the first draft chapters on Wattpad.

https://www.wattpad.com/story/206698766-the-bleeding-mountains-a-clovel-sword-saga

https://www.wattpad.com/story/198718433-the-curse-of-blackbane

I’ve also started another book which might turn into a series. Preliminarily titled Dream Wraith, its a story of a furniture salesman who lives a dual existence within his nightly dreams. Offering escape for his mundane existence, Robert travels into the realm of Cantre’r. It’s a wild land of rival kingdoms and unexplored wilds where he’s a thief and mercenary who fights with sword and flintlock pistol. While his family and friends believe he’s going insane, they and doctors can’t explain how he wakes each morning with injuries from his nightly dream battles. Here’s the link to Wattpad for a taste of the story.

https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/219783367-dream-wraith

If you have extra time on your hands right now, you can get the three books of the Clovel Sword Chronicles at a special price on Amazon.



#darkfantasy
#kindle
#ebook
#amreading

Looking for Beta Readers

With the draft nearly completed on my upcoming work The Curse of Blackbane, I’m looking for Beta Readers among those who’ve an interest in my stories. It’s the first book of a new historical supernatural dark fantasy series.

Set in the 1780s in Europe, a brutal pirate tries to escape the curse of his evil past. Hunted by one of the seven princes of Hell, Blackbane has a vision from an obscure saint which might help remove the curse. Unexpected aid from a man who calls himself the Black Monk finds him an ally. However, the fat man who attaches himself to the pirate captain has secrets of his own. Following a brutal encounter with a demon and its offspring, the men find their loyalty tested. When a French duchess becomes involved, Blackbane learns that his past continues to follow him.

Start of 2020 – Latest News

After several requests, I’m pleased to announce that my Clovel Sword Saga Volume 1-3 is now available on Kindle Unlimited. A paperback version is also in the works and should roll out in the next couple of weeks.

These backstories were previously released as stand alone novellas. Now you can read the combined edition on Kindle Unlimited. The early adventures about Urith of Esterblud focus on his unsettled past as a mercenary fighter and treasure seeker.

Other Works in Progress

My Christmas kept me busy with new ideas and story lines coming. The following is a tentative schedule for upcoming releases. You can follow the real time progress with the draft chapters that I put out on Wattpad. Click on the links below to find out more.

First out of the gate for 2020 is the follow on story of the Clovel Sword Saga. The Bleeding Mountains novel finds Urith seeking work as a mercenary in the troubled lands of Rarfell. Right now it looks like a late February release date on all the online retailers.

The Curse of Blackbane should follow in mid summer. This is my first real push into historical fantasy. If you like pirates, angels, and demons, this story could fit the bill for you.

Shadow over Charax is probably the next book released in 2020. In a fantasy world falling under the dark shadow of necromancy, a smuggler must escape the clutches of the undead.

For those waiting on the next Ray Irish book, I suspect that will finish in late 2020 since I’ve just begun working on it. However, I might become suddenly inspired to bring Black Hanna (my first horror story), Madness of Dreams (horror, dark fantasy), or Dream Wraith (portal fantasy) into the top of my list. Sometimes the characters just want to get out.

Graves Peril – Another work in progress on Wattpad!

Fantasy and the Medieval Setting – A Question of Accuracy

After reading the postings and comments about high fantasy (link below), I thought I would throw in my 2 cents worth. Half of my books are fantasy and I’ve found myself struggling with the ideas of historical accuracy in my Clovel Sword series.

Interesting Analysis and Comments on Fantasy

Originally posted on Legends of Windemere: Joan of Arc Various questions come up when someone wants to write high fantasy and many of them are completely understandable. They may deal with magic, various races, and creating a world that isn’t Earth. Yet, there are other questions that you can see why they are asked, but…

Does Fantasy Have to Be Medieval? — Author Don Massenzio

For better or worse, I came to the stories originally hindered by my background with a history degree. I say hindered because I’ve tried to maintain accuracy in the weapons, equipment, structures, etc. based upon Northern Europe on Earth circa 600-800 AD. My fondest recollections of early reads include Beowulf as well as the Viking mythology stories. Therefore, the chain mail armor, swords, shields, spears, axes, and bows along with fighting techniques I incorporate into the stories. At times, my readers mention similarities in my stories with the time, even when the main characters ride long-neck creatures that look like a small giraffe while they take on gods.

While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the questions and conversation in the blog comments highlight the puzzle. Historical accuracy in a fantasy world, particularly high fantasy, starts with the familiarity of the works by Tolkien and Lewis. The stories remain popular. They are a starting point for many readers, as well as the authors in their expectations. Since the reader already has the world of castles, magical creatures, knights in armor, etc. embedded in their memory, does an author need to build a new world? Setting a story in a new, yet familiar place, following similar rules about magic, creatures, and customs allows the writer and reader to focus on the characters, their development, etc. It’s really more comfortable in many ways than trying to build an underwater world. Developing sympathetic main characters that communicate telepathically, eat smaller animals raw while following the mating rituals of fish is a much higher hurdle.

Add to this is the popularity of writers like George R.R. Martin, who develop such intricate storylines. I believe this leads to an expectation from the reader about the level of detail. Influenced by those who are successful leads the writer to imitate the level of detail and accuracy. I would argue the same pattern extends to the reader. After enjoying a genre, author, or type of story, the buyer looks to the familiar and comfortable in their next purchase. They can picture the line of archers along the castle’s battlements while Orcs and Uruk-hai attack in line formation while carrying sword and mace. When they see the cover showing similar characters and backgrounds, I would argue that the reader gravitates toward it.

None of this is to say that medieval settings must be the focus of a fantasy story nor that there should be a requirement for historical accuracy. In my opinion, publishers rely too much on past fantasy stories to show them the future. But they can’t be faulted entirely since they follow what sells for them. Readers and writers must blaze the trail by looking at those writers who are opening strange, new worlds with intriguing characters.

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