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!