Sunday, November 2, 2008

I'm still here!

I haven't had a chance to update this blog in a while, my work and family schedules have not seen fit to allow me any free time to pursue my writing. I am hoping once we get past the holidays, I will be able to hunker down and tackle the list of things I want to get finished with my books. Book three is finished and printed in its rough draft form, and I am hoping to revist book one now that I have finished book three so that I can check for continuity and make sure that all my plot hooks line up.

I will try and post some more info as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Cover for paperback

I've been working on a new cover for the paperback version of Emily & The Silent King. I have a couple of covers mocked up and I will be posting them shortly. For now I will give you a peek at the image I created to use for the background. It's a shot of Ixdee the unicorn and I think it's a pretty nice shot!

I created it using Vue 6 Infinite and Daz. I still need to tweak the shot in Photoshop but I really like how the initial render turned out. I just hope it prints as nice as it looks.

Well that's all for now. I will post the two covers soon. Maybe I'll turn it into a vote to see which cover is the most popular! Wait until you see what I have planned for the covers of books two and three!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Book Three Finished!

I finished the rough draft of book three! Strangely enough, it ended up being 284 pages. Very close to the first two books. I guess I have formed some sort of subliminal habits when writing that are causing me to make the books all so similar in length... who knows?

I will be going over the rough draft this weekend and hope to be finished up with the final draft by next weekend! I can't wait to see the reaction this book gets, it's very different from the first two story-wise. I'm a bit nervous about how it will be received!

If you haven't seen this cartoon yet take a look! Apparently Wizards of the Coast made several animated shorts to promote the new fourth edition game rules. It's worth a look!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chapter by Chapter the end nears...

Despite a weekend chock full of outdoor projects, I managed to squeeze in some writing time for book three. I am in the middle of chapter thirty two and there are only two chapters left after that! The last two chapters should be fairly short ones, so the end is in sight! I am anticipating finishing the rough draft of book three by next weekend!

I always get excited when I near the end of a book as the story reaches its end and some loose ends are tied up while new ones are created. I'm hoping that this book will be a logical stepping stone into book four and that it answers some of the questions posed in book two. I'll know more when I go back and start revising it. I do my best to not make any continuity mistakes, juggling characters and events can be tricky some times. Still I really love it and I hope that comes across in my novels.

Well that's all for now, I'm exhausted and I just wanted to give a quick update on my progress! Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I try and keep it as interesting as possible and I hope to get some time to incorporate some of the ideas I've mentioned in past blogs! Until next time.....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Two and a half chapters...

I finally managed to get in some quality writing time and churned out two and a half chapters this morning. That puts me at around 22 or 23 chapters for book three! My best guestimate is that it will be around 35 chapters long so I'm definitely on the final third of the book!

I am getting to some of the big action parts and I'm trying to decide if I want to shift the focus of a few characters. I've been trying to prune some parts that I think might fit better in book four.

The press release for book one has gone out, I hope it generates some traffic for the book. Here is a peek at it:
New Epic Fantasy Novel Released Just In Time For Summer Reading

[Toms River, New Jersey] July 11, 2008 – New Jersey author Irven Keppen has released the first book in his epic Legends of Midralon fantasy series titled Emily & The Silent King.

Following in the footsteps of noted fantasy authors from the past, Mr. Keppen’s book began as a labor of love only intended to entertain his children. Once he had created the book he realized that it was a wonderful story that could entertain others as well and at the urging of friends and family he decided to publish his book for the public.

Written over the course of a year, using his daily commute as brainstorming time to develop the characters and ideas in his novel, along with countless late night hours spent at his laptop keyboard, he was able to bring his story to life in the 288 pages of this book.

Emily & The Silent King takes the reader along on the adventures of a young girl and her three siblings who are mysteriously transported to the magical realm of Midralon. Perils and pitfalls await them in the war torn lands, as well as magical creatures straight from the pages of old fairy tales. They must deal with the strangeness of this new world and find their way back home, all while trying to avoid the sinister servants and marauding armies of the terrible Silent King.

Mr. Keppen’s book can be found under the title Emily & The Silent King at as well as other major online book sellers. Please visit the author’s website at for more details on this book and upcoming titles in the series.


Irven Keppen is 41 years old and works in the IT field in Cranbury, New Jersey. He lives near Toms River, New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and two sons.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The best laid plans...

So my vacation didn't quite go as I planned, I guess that was to be expected. I had a list of several things I wanted to get done before it ended but only managed to scratch a couple of items off the list. Still I enjoyed myself and got to spend some time with my family which is my favorite pastime in the world. So I'll stretch my remaining list items out over the upcoming weekends.

I'm still waiting for my book to show up on the Library of Congress online catalog so I can start asking the local libraries to carry it. The process is a strange one, there really is no feedback. You apply for an LCN(library control number) and then you send a hard copy of your book to the library and they file it. They don't let you know if they've received it and there is no place to check the status of it or even if it's been rejected for some reason. It has been several weeks now and I still don't see it showing up, so I'm getting a little nervous.

I plan to at least finish a chapter or two of book three this weekend. But you see how plans and I get along from the first paragraph. We'll see, so much to do, so little time....

Monday, July 7, 2008

Current distraction

As I mentioned in the previous post, there have been a few distractions for me. One of them is the new 4th Edition of D&D. Being somewhat of a programmer, I decided to write my own character generator. This is what it looks like so far.
I made it for my own personal use, since its hard to find time to sit around and roll up characters much less game. Not a whole lot of bells and whistles but it gets the job done!

So Much To Do...

So Little time to get to everything I want to get done, I'm hoping to at least get some of it started this week. We'll see how it goes! I am aiming to knock out at least two or three more chapters of book three. If I can avoid any distractions!

We have worm sign! Like a thumper pounding away at the sands of the desert hoping to attract the great worms(Shai-Hulud if you are in the know), I'm checking all the book stores daily. I spotted Emily & The Silent King on another intertron site! This time it's Barnes&Noble! Woot! It is slowly spreading out through the internets. Now I need to work on a press release and try to drum up some traffic.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Chapter 20!

I've reached chapter twenty on book three! My unofficial count has the book at thirty five chapters, so I've definitely passed the middle! The story is starting to pick up in pace now and that always drives me to continue writing. I'm hoping to be close to finishing it by the end of July!

I'm officially on vacation (which will mostly be a staycation) so I'm going to try to get lots of stuff done for the book and this blog! It's only a week long vacation and my list of things I want to do is big, so we'll see how much I actually get done! Stay tuned. In the meantime ogle at the might of origami! Did the Romans play D&D?? Check this out!

Monday, June 30, 2008

That was fast!

I was doing my morning browsing and it looks like Emily & The Silent King has already been entered into the amazon database! I'm so excited to finally see it there! I had to upload my own image though as they did not have one provided yet. I thought there would be more of a discount on the price of the book as well, I'm a bit concerned that the high price may keep new readers away. That is the problem with print on demand publishing, you have very little room to reduce the price. I'm hoping that if the volume picks up, Amazon will be able to negotiate a lower rate. We'll see what happens, this is all still new to me and I'm learning as I go along.

If you've read my book please take a few minutes to stop by the amazon page and leave me a rating and or review. I hope only positive reviews are posted but it is out of my control now. Be kind!

And so the watch begins! If you spot my book on a site, please let me know and I'll post the sighting info here and give you credit for the find! It should start popping up at more and more places as the databases are updated across the intertron.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's Official!!!

I just wanted to share this email I received with you!

Your assigned ISBN has been accepted by Bowker and listed in the Books In Print database.

ISBN: (978-0-6151-7239-2}
Title: {Emily & The Silent King}
Publisher Name: {Irven Keppen}

That means the information on your book is now available to all the companies in the book world that access Books In Print. (Trust us, that's a lot of companies.)Plus, as part of the Published By You service, we're in the process of sending details about your book to our own network of print partners – not to mention other major international databases that provide information and services up and down the book supply chain. All the way up, in fact, to places like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingram Book Company, Nielsen BookData in the UK and others!You can expect to see your work listed on retail sites within the next six weeks, but remember that each bookseller controls its own process.

Now you're an officially recognized published author. And you're global!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Book Three Still In Progress!

I have a few things I wanted to write about. The first being that I am still working on book three. I've finally caught up on some of my summer projects around the house and I'm starting to have more free time on the weekends, now if I could only figure out how to go without sleep I'd be able to get more done! Curse that summer drowsiness spell! I'm on chapter fourteen and the story seems to be flowing along so I anticipate I will pick up speed and start churning out the chapters faster. I'm juggling a lot of characters in the story and I hope it doesn't get too confusing for the readers. I have a new tentative title for the book but it could change as the story progresses: Brianna & The Perils of the Darkwood. Not sure if I will stick with that title, but it will do until a more obvious one appears (which usually happens as I near the end of a book.)

The second thing I wanted to mention was that I've entered Emily & The Silent King in a book contest. It has been well received by friends and family. It has also received some kind words from readers outside of my circle of friends, so I'm very curious to see how it does. I'm not too optimistic right now, it was my first ever novel and I feel like I've learned so much since I wrote it. But I figured it wouldn't hurt to submit it and see what happens! The hard part is waiting for the judging, it is going to be some time in October!

As for getting the first book into the distribution channels, it has been a nightmare. I have my fingers crossed hoping for the best regarding the latest version, but Lulu has let me down in the past so I'm anxiously waiting for something to go wrong again. It seems like the file gets corrupted or a format error isn't found until after its been sitting on their file servers for three weeks. Then I fix the problem and the whole process starts again. I feel like the book is at least four months behind where it should be, but hopefully I will iron all the wrinkles out with the process and get the other three out much quicker!

Oh and Emily I was right! That guy on the Incredible Hulk movie named Sterns is probably going to turn into this guy in a future movie!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back In The Saddle!

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer but it looks like my Flyers are going to lose their playoff series against the Penguins as they are down 3 games to none. It's hard not to feel disappointment with the way they are going out, but I have to say after finishing dead last in the NHL last year, this year has been awesome! Still, they were so close, I can't let it go! Waaah!

On the positive side I have been making some progress on book three. Between hockey playoffs and the warmer weather it has really been hard to find free time to write. I have been fixing up the house and doing yardwork and there is no end in sight! I still have my early morning and late night writing sessions they are just not as often as I would like! I have finished the first two chapters and I am working on the third, I really like the direction book three is taking and I hope it is a big improvement over the first two. Thats all for now!

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I've been preoccupied with my Philadelphia Flyers and their NHL playoff run! I will return with more updates soon!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Waiting Game

Once more with feeling! Well I finished tweaking book one yet again and now I am waiting on the proof, which takes 10-15 days and then if it is satisfactory (please let this be the final ONE because there can only be one ) I will be able to approve it and finally offer it on amazon!

I'm actually glad things worked out the way they did, I was going crazy wondering if I should reedit the book and the delay gave me the resolve to just do it. I really think the book is even better now. I don't think I could do much to make it better short of hiring a professional to write it! yuck yuck.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another New Tale to Tell

I whipped up a very short story for your reading pleasure, I hope you like it. This tale involves Kilon, an elf mentioned in the Trial By Fire chapter of Emily & The Silent King. You can access it by clicking here or on the short stories link.

The story recreates some of the events in the chapter, but is told from Kilon's point of view. I am planning on doing more like it. These stories are quick, fun and give me more ideas for future stories and characters.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I've Got Some Ideas

I've been busy working on some things I want to add to the blog. I'm hoping these things will draw more people to my blog as well as stimulate some feedback. I don't have a solid time frame for when they will be added but they should be popping up over the next few weeks depending on the amount of free time I get to work on them. I'll give you a brief run down of what I have planned so far.

First up, I have come up with some logos to represent the two warring factions, one hinted at in Devin & The Empire of Wolves is called the Black Circle and the other will be named in Book Three (I have a tentative title but I'm keeping it secret for now).

Second, I will be adding character bios. These bios will detail some of the main movers & shakers in the realms of Midralon. I will try to add pictures as well.

Third, some geek gear will be added to the site. I am going to start making the logos and names that I design available on t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. This one will probably take the longest to add, but we'll see how it goes.

Fourth, I am thinking of adding a forum group to the site as well. I will have to find a host and pick the software but that one shouldn't be too hard.

Fifth, I will be working on some more artwork. I am making a new cover for the paperback edition of Emily & The Silent King and will be adding shots of that work in progress as well as other things. My oldest daughter is a big fan of manga so I am going to try and create some manga style images. Maybe even some short manga-style comic panels of scenes from the books.

Well that's all I have for now, like I said everything will be dependent upon the time I get to work on it. I'm always open to new suggestions so please feel free to send me any other ideas you have.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Introducing the gargrin

As promised here are some of the concept sketches I made of the creatures appearing in book two Devin & the Empire of Wolves. The gargrin are giant six legged mutant rats that are supposed to be as big as a horse. The first sketch I made without reference material and when it was done it ended up looking more wolf-like. My wife said it didn't look very ratty and I agreed. Please ignore the scan lines, I'm still trying to get my old scanner to work with Vista but for now my wife is using her scanner. Here is that first sketch:
So I went back to the drawing board and tried to make the gargrin more ratty looking. Now the consensus is that it looks too ratty! LOL I can't win! So here is the second sketch:
So where does that leave our six legged friend? Well I may do some head swapping and some body morphing. I think the gargrin is somewhere between these two images. I'll keep posting some shots so you can see for yourself.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mug Shot

I still can't find a picture that I would like to post as my bio pic. I had short hair last year, but this year I'm sorta taking a vacation from the scissors & razor if you get my meaning. Right now I sorta look like this guy. Almost wizardly wouldn't you say? 10 geek points if you can give me the name of this villain (the character's name, not the actor!) In fact I may start a weekly contest of guess the villain. It's always fun to identify the bad guys! Oh and they might not all be from film, I may throw in some literary descriptions!
In other news I started sketching out one of the creatures that appears in book two. I guess I wouldn't be giving anything away if I tell you it's called a gargrin. What's a gargrin you ask? Well read book two and find out! Or you could wait for me to post my sketches up here. The first sketch, while it kind of looks menacing isn't quite right. You'll see what I mean when I post it.
As for writing, I am continuing to work on bits and pieces. Mostly trying to tidy up what I've already written. Every time I look at something I've written I want to revise the stuffing out of it. I think if I get caught in that vicious circle I will never escape. I will just hope that my writing grows stronger with each novel. Having said that, I think I will be starting book three very soon. I'm anxious to see what is going to happen in Midralon next!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I received a disappointing email from It turns out that I formatted my book wrong and it needs to be reformatted and resubmitted into distribution. I wish it hadn't taken six weeks for them to find this. Now I have to order another copy as a proof and wait for that to ship before I can resubmit it into the distribution process. So it's looking like another ten weeks before I can put the book up on Amazon.

So I spent some time redoing my book description for Emily & The Silent King and touching up a couple other things on the bookstore. I'm torn between giving too much information away in my summary and trying to make it attractive to potential buyers. I still haven't found the happy middle ground.

I also revised the free short story. I wanted to change the wording around a little to see if I could make it read better. Since I didn't receive any comments on it yet, I'm still curious as to what anyone who has read it thinks.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Free Short Story!

I borrowed this idea from an article my wife emailed me about another writer's blog. He offers free content on his site including short stories and artwork. I figured I'd give it a try as well. So here it is, the first of my free short stories: Stormhoof! I will be keeping links to the free short stories on the right nav bar, so look there if you ever want to return to one. Click here to read the short story now.

The setting for this story takes place early in the first half of the first book and it would probably fit right in the book as a full chapter in it's own right. Who knows, I may include it in some future 'special edition' of Emily & The Silent King.

I'm hoping to generate some comments with these short stories so please don't hesitate to leave a post and let me know if you liked the story or even if you didn't. (I'm always open to constructive criticism). I'm hoping active postings will help motivate me to write more short stories, so if you like it speak up and I'll write more. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Gygax the Great - DM of DM's

I just wanted to type a few words in honor of the memory of Gary Gygax. Like millions of other geeks who grew up in the 80's Mr. Gygax had a profound influence on my teenage years. He was the creator of the Dungeons & Dragons game and I can personally attest to hundreds of hours spent gathered around a table with my friends rolling funny shaped dice and cheering hits or misses. I would continue playing his game throughout most of my young adult life and though I no longer can seem to find time to play, I still gaze longingly at my game manuals gathering dust on my bookshelf.
D&D fed my hunger for more works of fantasy and his World of Greyhawk novels were instantly part of my expanding fantasy novel collection. I think I owe any creativity contained in my current artistic endeavors to the creative requirements of being designated Dungeon Master for most of my campaigns. I had to be lead writer, plot developer and artist for most of my gaming sessions. I created countless worlds and enjoyed populating them as I poured through my Dungeon Master's Guide or Monster Manual.
Even now with four children of my own I am still a fan of the D&D game and my children have entered into it's realm of imagination as well. I fully encourage them to play the game, knowing that it will help spark their imaginations and creativity in future endeavors.
So with these final words, I would like to say thank you to Gary Gygax for inspiring me and that I will always remember his name with great fondness. I for one feel sadder knowing that his jolly spirit is no longer among us.
Here are some other links to sites honoring the passing of a cultural icon: Penny-Arcade, xkcd,

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Book two is officially ready! Devin & The Empire of Wolves is now available on! I am really happy with the book and I think it will be a worthy followup to the first one! The price will go up when I apply for a ISBN number and enter it into the distrubtion system (this is not my choice, it has to do with the archaic way they calculate wholesale & markups). Until then you can get it on lulu. Click the bookstore link on the right hand side of my blog.

I'm already thinking about book three but again I think I need another break away from the stress of trying to get the books out.

I'm still impatiently waiting for Emily & the Silent King to show up in the global distribution database so that I can start selling it through Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Still Revising Book Two!

I am nearly finished revising and self editing Devin & The Empire of Wolves. I've taken more of a break than I intended, but now I am going to get back to writing and try and get book two ready for print within a week or so. I'll post details here the minute it becomes available!

I'm also anxious to start book three, I've already got most of the story laid out and I am ready to put it down on pages. In fact, I'd say it's about 85% filled out, I could start writing it now if I wanted but I want to make sure book two is ready before I do that.'

I am also trying to work on some illustrations for the covers. That process more than anything else right now, is slowing me down greatly. I will probably not include the images on the hardbacks for now, saving them for the paperbacks. We'll see what happens.

Oh and my daughter Emily is working on some manga style images of characters from the Legends of Midralon series. I'll post her work here when it's finished!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

It's Official!

I've approved the final edition of Emily & the Silent King! The process of entering it into the global database should take another eight weeks. After that it should start appearing on Amazon and Barnes and noble!!! I can't wait to see it up there!

I've also printed the first edition of book two, but I am already revising it some. So I won't be putting it up for sale yet. I'm still gauging the reaction of my family to it. They seem to like it but I want to be sure it's completely ready!

In the meantime, I am working on some drawings as well as the new cover render for book two! I'll post some sneak peeks when I can!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm Still Here!

Sorry for the long delays between posts, I'm still working on the cover for book two. I wish I had more free time so I could put in some longer hours trying to master Vue 6 Infinite and Lightwave 3D9. These are two of the packages I'm using to create the cover scene. I've sketched out a rough idea for the book now I just need to build the pieces for it. It's very time consuming.

On the plus side I have almost finished outlining book three! My unofficial count already has it at 29 chapters! So it's very close to being ready to be set down in story form. I won't start book three until after book two is completely done though. Just not enough time to do both at the moment! But I'm anxious to start writing it, so that could change!

I'll try and post some more test renders soon! I decided to go in a slightly different direction for the cover, I think you'll agree it is more fitting for book two. I've also got a few other things I'll post, like the sheet music for Brianna's flute song in book one. I originally planned to add it to the book but I felt it wasn't complete. I will post it for those of you that know how to play the flute, you can give it a try.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Back to the Blog

I know it's been a while since I posted but I let myself take a little break after the furious rush of the last couple of weeks. This doesn't mean I wasn't working on book two, I still was, it just let me relax a little and enjoy finishing my second book.

I finished revising the rough draft and I'm pretty satisfied with how book two turned out. It ballooned up to 280 pages with maybe a few more pages to be added. I'm still trying to decide if I want to add a prologue/epilogue in the same style as I did in Emily & The Silent King.

The cover is not done, I am still struggling to come up with the images for the book cover I had planned. I am debating on whether or not I should just publish it with a simple cover like the E&tSK cover or keep trying to get the new style of cover done. I will decide over this weekend after I see how far I can get on the new cover.

Thanks to everyone who voted in my poll. After careful consideration, I have decided to name book two "Devin & The Empire of Wolves". I think that title is more appropriate based on the content of the story.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I didn't plan it that way

Some interesting facts popped up as I compiled my individual chapters into one manuscript. Book two ended up being thirty two chapters long, exactly the same count as the first book. I hadn't counted the chapters in book one up until this time, so I thought that was kind of interesting.

Even more surprising was that it ended up being 268 pages, again, exactly the same page count as the first book. This was not a plan I had when I sat down to write the book, the pace of my stories seems to lend itself to this size of book I guess. We'll see if I can do it again with books three and four and any other books I have planned beyond that (yes I already have ideas for at least 2-3 other books set in Midralon!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008 do I say this? IT'S DONE!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe it, but book two is done! I mean the rough copy is done, now I can start plugging it into my template and laying out the book for print. It's 8AM and I have to get ready for work. I'm still excited about finishing it, it is such a rush when I finish a book. I love it. I'll have a page count for you soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My First Poll!

I'm trying to decide what to name book two. I originally wanted to call it Devin & The Warlock's Revenge, but since then a few other names have occured to me. Check out my poll on the right side of the page and pick your favorite!

Chapter 30 Finished

I wake up around 5 AM every day, everyone else is still asleep so it gives me time to write without any distractions. I usually think about the story just before I go to bed so it's fresh in my mind when I wake up. It's a little after 6:30 AM and I just finished chapter thirty! It was one of the longer chapters in the book and now comes the longest chapter. Chapter thirty one is the meat and potatoes of the action in this book, I'm afraid by the end I might have to split it into two or three more chapters.

I just wanted to take a quick breather before I plunged into chapter thirty one. I have a couple hours before I have to go to work so I want to at least get a few paragraphs done.

I feel like I am running in a marathon and the finish line just came into sight! I'm exhausted but there is a new surge of energy pushing me forward! I want to finish the book and then sit back and look at it, see if the story is as good as I can make it! I can't wait!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Home stretch!

I finished Chapter 29 early Tuesday morning (7 AM) and started chapter 30! I'm in the home stretch now, one or two more chapters and I should be finished with book two!

I've also been working on more renderings for the book cover and a couple other secret side projects that are related to book two. Once I have more time I will start posting links and sneak peeks!

As soon as I finish the last chapters I will start going over the rough draft and putting it into the layout for printing. That is when I will get an idea of the page count. It feels like it is longer than the first book by a few chapters, but we'll see after I'm done writing. Chapter 31 might be the longest chapter I've written yet!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Another One Down!

I give up trying to guess how many chapters book two will be. I finished another chapter today but it was an unplanned chapter. It just kind of took over and demanded to be written. I'm guessing that will happen a lot as the book winds down, there is a lot of action to accomplish in these last few chapters.

I think I have a strange form of writers block, I am not able to start the chapter I want to start, instead other chapters keep popping up in between. Maybe I should start with the last chapter and work my way backwards, outsmart my writers block.

On the plus side I finished going over book one again with my wife. Just touching up a few grammatical errors we spotted, not changing the story. I think it is almost to the point where I will leave book one alone and consider it finished.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Two For One!

This was a good weekend, for some reason I had tons of energy. Not only did I get several chores around the house done but I got tons of writing done as well! I finished chapter twenty six and I'm thrilled to report that chapter twenty seven AND chapter twenty eight are done as well!

Chapter twenty seven was an extra chapter that I had not planned out, but the story called for it, so I wrote it. It's a short one but I think it adds to the story.

I'm getting close to the end and I feel like I don't want to stop typing! I hope to have the rough draft completed by the end of next week!


Chapter twenty six is done! I ended up having to split it in two, so once again another chapter has been added. I give up trying to guess where the story is going to take me, for now I'll just say it looks like the book will be about thirty chapters and I'm starting chapter twenty seven.

I've come up with a language for a group of characters in my book, I'm a little nervous about doing it. I hope it doesn't' bog down the story. I've tried to keep it to a minimum and tried to avoid huge tongue twisters. I'll give you a sample: Krin'Ko'Var which means Wolves of the Plains. I think it kind of has a nice melodic sound to it, but we'll see when I start proofing the rough draft and get feedback from some of my editors.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Map of Midralon

I was asked to post the full map of Midralon, so here it is in its entirety. This is the same map as shown in the book. Events in book two may cause some changes to it (that's the only hint I can give about book two)!

I created this map using Campaign Cartographer 3 a nice piece of software for creating any kind of map you can think up. There are a couple things I'd like to change about the map if I get time. If you click on the link for CC3 above you'll see lots of example maps that are done in color. I would like to make a color version of my map, but out of necessity it is black & white for printing purposes. Also, I used the generic icons that came with the software to mark the cities. I'd like to design my own instead, but like I said, that is if I find time in between doing all the other stuff involved with the second book.

I don't know about you, but whenever I read a book that has a map in it, I like to follow the journey of the main characters on the map. I had originally sketched a map on a yellow notepad to help me keep track of where the characters were in the story as I wrote it, but now I have this nicer one to make it easier on me. Look for more of the land to show up in book two and the others that follow.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The book shrank!

Chapter twenty five is done! But something happened as I was writing it. It absorbed some of the next chapter. That's what happens sometimes for me, the story just takes over and goes where it wants. I ended up borrowing from the next chapter, so I moved the remaining half of that chapter into the following chapter twenty six (it was twenty seven), then I rearranged chapter twenty six's layout.

If that didn't make any sense to you, rest assured, it makes sense to me. I have my chapters layed out in a brief outline form which helps me keep my ideas organized, so when things like this happen I just readjust and continue on.

So now it looks like the book will be about twenty nine chapters long! Of course that could change, like i said, sometimes the story takes over......

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pressing on!

Chapter twenty five is almost finished! It is actually turning out a little longer than I thought it would. Like I said in a previous post, sometimes the story just takes over. The longest part of the process was coming up with a title for the chapter. I like to pick a title that helps set the theme for the chapter before I start writing it. It took me a while as I bounced around several titles in my head before I settled on one. I'm not sure I will stick with it though, I am hoping when I finish the chapter a new title will come to mind.

I'm in the home stretch now! At this rate, I think the rough draft will be finished within the next week or two. I'm hoping I will have some more time to work on the book cover as well, I'll post sneak peeks when possible.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Another Chapter Down

Chapter twenty four is in the books! That is the part I really like about writing, when the chapters almost seem to write themselves. The story just comes flowing out and I almost get left behind trying to keep up typing it in. I really like how this chapter ended, the dialogue at the end is priceless.

I have no idea what the page count will be for book two so far, I'm writing the chapters as individual documents. I'm curious to see how many pages I've ended up with. Hopefully it's a good sized read. My gut feeling is that it will be longer than the first book, but like I said I have no definite count yet.

Chapter twenty five is up next, I'm hoping to get a chance to work on the first few paragraphs tommorrow morning. We'll see....

Sneak Peek!

I've been promising a sneak peek at the cover I'm working on for book two, so here it is! Keep in mind this is a work in progress and could change by the time I'm finished! And yes, that is a cloud pirate ship!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008


I found an old cassette memo recorder this weekend that I had laying around in the basement. I popped some batteries into it and it still worked, so decided I would use it on my commute to work. I was initially against the idea of using a voice memo device, but my wife convinced me to give it a try. "You are always telling me about these ideas that you have while you commute and then you forget them, so this way you can save them until you get a chance to write them down," she would say and she was right. It worked but not as I hoped it would, when I played it back it had warped my voice every 5 seconds. Luckily I only recorded a few minutes of notes before I listened to the playback. I guess I'll have to move on to the digital era!

I started chapter twenty four and I have my opening finished. Now I'm moving on to the heart of the chapter. I think the next few chapters will be some of the longest I have left to write. I feel like this book flows really well and I'm hoping these final chapters can build up the suspense to my big conclusion!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Saturday afternoon and I finally finished chapter 23! I'm really satisifed with how it turned out, it's a pivotal chapter in the story. I really like the way it reads and the action is pretty good (IMHO). The next few chapters will start building towards the climax of this second book, so I feel the momentum of the story pulling me along! But for now I'm taking a short breather!

I realized I hadn't posted a link to the bookstore yet so I addressed that! You'll find the link on the right side of this page.

Thats all for now, I hope to start chapter 24 this evening! Oh and I will be posting the sneak peeks of the renders I've been working on as well!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Almost there!

I've almost finished chapter twenty three, I just need to put together the ending of the scene. I wish I could talk more about what's in the chapter but I don't want to post any spoilers. That is probably the hardest part of this whole process for me. It's like having the juiciest secret but not being allowed to tell anyone, it just sits there burning on your tongue! Still I've had practice, I managed to keep the entire first book a secret from my children until I had finished it and had a book printed! Then I presented it to them! The look on my daughter's face when she saw the title and read who had authored it was priceless! That memory will always be one of my favorites!

I've started working on the cover for book two, I'm getting a little more ambitious for this one. It won't be quite as subdued as the cover of book one. I'm using Vue 6 Infinite to create it along with some other graphics tools. Vue is really a fun application to use, the only problem is finding time to learn more of its features when I should be writing! I'll try and post a sneak peak at what I'm working on soon!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Chapter 23

Back on track! I commute two hours a day and that fact more than anything has probably helped the most with my books! The last couple of days, in between dodging crazy new jersey drivers, I thought about how I wanted this chapter to unfold. I knew the start and the end, but I didn't have the meat of the story for the chapter. I used those long drives to flesh out the story and it was sitting in my head nice and fresh, ready to be typed up. My wife thinks I should invest in one of those voice recorder devices but I don't know if that would be a help or a distraction. I will admit that I have had some good ideas and then promptly forgotten them!
Still chapter 23 is flowing smoothly and turning out to be one of the BIG chapters in the book! As always, I can't wait to see the reaction to it! I am hoping to wrap it up within the next day or two, I think the next few chapters after that one will not be quite as demanding but that could change! I sometimes find inspiration at the oddest of times!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Book Two Shaping Up Nicely

Unfortunately I didn't feel like writing today, so I forced myself to at least do something writing related. I ended up going back over the plot outline for book two. I had already blocked the outline out into individual chapters. I made some minor modifications and rearranged some of the paragraphs.It looks like the book will be about 30 chapters long and I'm currently working on chapter 23.
I really think book two is coming along nicely, I can feel the story building up to the climax I was hoping for. The first book was for my daughter, this second one is for my son, so I'm trying to gear it towards things that would interest him. I'm anxious to see how he reacts to certain parts of it, anticipation of his reaction is helping motivate me to complete it.
It's nice that the first book allowed me to lay the foundation for the second book. It has given me freedom to do more character development and push the story in totally new directions. I'm hoping that I get the same reaction as I did with the first one from those who read it, if not better! Tommorrow I'll get back to actually writing. I hope!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

1st Post!

I'll start my blog off with news about my first book. I just finished my latest round of editing on Emily & The Silent King and I'm really happy with this revision. I've been assigned an ISBN number and a Library of Congress Control Number, now I'm just waiting on delivery of the proof. If everything looks good I will be able to approve the book and submit it for entry into the distribution database before the end of January. For now I will keep it available in paperback and hardback on, but I hope I'll soon be able to offer it on and Barnes & Noble as well.

It's been a long journey and thankfully the first book is under my belt! I've been getting positive feedback from everyone who's read the intial version. That encouragement has really fueled my efforts on book two. I'm still trying to get a handle on this whole self publishing process, but so far I'm glad I went this route!