Thursday, June 30, 2016


I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  This blog doesn't get a lot of readers, but for those who do, you can have inside information on my writing.

Snowberry's Veil and Old Habits seem completely separate and unrelated as books, but they aren't.  They are part of a series, of sorts.  They aren't a sequential series of stories following a single plot, but they are related.  And its not just being set in the same world.

The main characters in each book are part of a set of seven main characters I plan on writing about, one book about each.  All of them are experts in their fields, all of them are distinct, but very capable people.  The remaining characters?  Well, I'll get to that in a moment.

The idea came to me after finishing Snowberry's Veil; one of my favorite westerns is The Magnificent Seven.  I'd written Snowberry as an experiment to see how a Louis L'Amour-like fantasy story would turn out.  It was easy, I could knock those out monthly, practically.  But then I thought, what if I did a fantasy version of the Magnificent Seven?  That film is its self a western version of the Kurosawa classic Seven Samurai, so an adaptation is hardly unthinkable.

We deal in mana, friend
But I wanted to do it differently.  The Seven Samurai was basically from the perspective of the villagers.  The Magnificent Seven was from the perspective of the heroes.  I thought: what if I wrote it from the perspective of the villains?

Doing so has its problems: you don't really ever get a deep look at the heroes that way, although you'll have glimpses.  I'd have to make the book too long if I introduced each hero separately.  So how to bring them into the story?

What if I wrote a book about each hero, separately?  That way they would be very well established already and people could know about each one.  Erkenbrand was the first.  Then I wrote a book about a thief, he's the second named Stoce.

Now, I'm not going to give away everything here, but there are five other characters.  There's a straight up just pure warrior, a paladin (whom readers have met already), a straight wizard type, a spellcasting warrior type, and a priest to go.  With books to introduce them all, the main story can be crafted with all of them established... except one, and you'll have to wait and see who and how that works out.

In between, I planned to write something else, some other book as a buffer and to do something different.  Every two books, something else.  That's how Life Unworthy came about.  I dusted off an early National Novel Writing Month effort, polished it up, finished it, and had my alternate book finished.

So that's what I have planned, if possible.  I don't know if I'll get a book done this year, other than my gaming stuff.  I want to write the paladin's book next, then the straight up warrior.  I would write a book every six months or so, but after I get one written, edited, and published, it takes several months to recover.  So once a year is about the best I can offer, and maybe not even that fast these days.

If I were completely healthy, I could knock off a book every couple of months, easy.  I have enough ideas to take me into my nineties.  But then, I wouldn't have time to write so... here we are.

There you have it.  A little secret.  Maybe some day if I sell enough books, people might dig this up and see how it was all planned out in advance.