(Ground)Breaking News: Cover reveal!

Here’s the cover for Groundbreakers Book One, which will be released on April 17! Yes, that is a giant echinoid in the bottom half of the image. Spooky and spiny!

“The land of Embhra is ruled by magic—and it’s ruining everything.

Gods and sorcerers jealously hoard their power, and innocent people everywhere are suffering for the cause of those who wield magic. Sygne and Jamal are hoping they can change that. She’s a scientist. He’s a former soldier and aspiring poet-singer.

With her brains and his bravado, they might just make a difference. It also helps that they are on course to find a primordial Ancient One that might hold the key to changing the entire world. Not so helpful: both a war goddess and a love goddess want to see them dead!

The ‘Scientician’ and the Singing Swordsman begin their first groundbreaking adventure in this short-length novel.”

(Ground)Breaking News: It begins!

It’s finally almost here!

I’m announcing I’ll be releasing my latest novel on Tuesday, April 17th.

It’s part of a new series that is a bit of a departure for me. After first testing the indie-publishing waters with a horror book called Line of Descent, I then completed a full-blown sci-fi trilogy, Idyll. Now I’m trying my hand at the fantasy genre. And boy has it been a blast!

The series is called Groundbreakers, and it started out as a story about a proto-scientist making it in a world that has been dominated by sorcery. I thought of it as Mr. Wizard meets actual wizards. Or Isaac Newton in the age of Conan the Barbarian. I realize these pitches make it sound like the main character is a man. Actually, the scientist is a woman, and—actually again—there are two main characters. The second protagonist is a cocky, swashbuckling type.

As I said, this was the premise when I started writing the series a year ago, and also the basic germ of the characters I wanted to build my world around. Of course, as I’ve worked on the series, the characters and the themes have evolved.

Still, throughout the process, I’ve tried to maintain a high-spirited, lighthearted tone—which is also a bit of a departure from what I’ve written in the past. I want the Groundbreaker books to be fun, quick reads. If there are a few moments of heaviness or horror, then maybe they’ll have all the more impact because of it!

Anyway, enough chit-chat. Here is a map of the world (I showed a version of this in an earlier post), and a blurb. If you’re interested in an advanced-reader-copy, send me an email! jderrywriter@gmail.com.

The land of Embhra is ruled by magic—and it’s ruining everything.

Gods and sorcerers jealously hoard their power, and innocent people everywhere are suffering for the cause of those who wield magic. Sygne and Jamal are hoping they can change that. She’s a scientist. He’s a former soldier and aspiring poet-singer.

With her brains and his brawn, they might just make a difference. It also helps that they are on course to find a primordial Ancient One that might hold the key to changing the entire world. Not so helpful: both a love goddess and a war goddess want to see them dead! No one ever said change would be easy…

The ‘Scientician’ and the Singing Swordsman begin their first groundbreaking adventure here—in MYTHS OF THE FALLEN CITY!

Writing Progress, December 2017

On Thursday I finished the first round of my latest book! The manuscript is currently 46,000 words, and it took me about 40 days to write! Pretty good for a guy with a full-time job, a wife, and two kids!

Somehow I also managed to squeeze in finally finishing Horizon: Zero Dawn and 2 seasons of Halt and Catch Fire. I guess the point is that after 12 years (off and on) of this writing stuff, I’m finally getting pretty efficient at it.

For the sake of clarity, here’s a refresher. I’ve been working on a new series of Fantasy novels. Book 1 is tentatively titles “Myths of the Fallen City.” Book 2 is “Relics of the Desert Tomb.” My plan is to release Book 1 and Book 2 at close to the same time, so I wanted to make them shorter. Hopefully the novels will have a with shorter, lighter feel, and will feel like episodes adventure/’pulp’ series.

The tail of an Aqrabuamelu, a Babylonian scorpion-man

I started Book 2 back in July. I had just finished the first round for Book 1, and I was going on a weekend trip to Jekyll Island. So I decided to try dictating the beginning of Book 2 into my phone while I was on that trip. I ended up dictating 5,000 words on that weekend alone! Then I put down Book 2 and returned to editing and fleshing out Book 1. Once that was done, I picked up Book 2 again for another weekend beach trip in October. Surprisingly, those vacation days were my most productive writing days. (Or maybe that’s not surprising, depending on how you look at it!)

I did more work on Book 1 in October, then the bulk of my writing days on Book 2 fell in November and December. I never set a deadline for myself, but I did keep track of my daily word count, and I think that helped a lot to keep me motivated.

The next step, is a second round on Book 2. And both books need some polishing and additions. Of course, while working on Book 2 I came up with some good ideas to improve Book 1. Also cover designs will come in the near future. And I suppose I need to work on some sort of marketing plan. All in all, though, I’m pretty excited to be that much closer to releasing the books and getting them out there for new readers. Woo-hoo!

Progress report

Today I finished the third draft of my latest manuscript! Woot woot! Still a good bit of proof-reading left to go, but I’m definitely in the final approach. The book is a little over 40K words long, but I’m thinking now I might not release it until I have Book 2 in the series ready. I’ve heard that it’s a good idea for independent authors to launch more than one book of a series at a time, because the best way to take advantage of a launch it to have another product out there, ready for new readers to buy.

It’s a tough decision, because I’m excited about getting this book out there. It’s been a blast to write! And quick too! (Six months, which is turbo-fast for me.) I’m feeling impatient about sharing it. But also, Book 1 has shaped up to be a ‘getting-the-gang-together’ sort of adventure, and I think the epic, world-ending threat that drives the undercurrent of the series isn’t really revealed until Book 2. So in that case, it makes sense to release both books together, to help establish what will be the ultimate quest of my Fantasy series.

So what are the tentative titles of my next two books?

Book 1:

 

& Book 2:

 

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