Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reading Indie Authors

Now that "Empress of Dreams" is in beta-read for a month, I'm researching Djinnis for my next book "Hero of Fire." I'm ready to start write this week while the kids are at school.

During the lull, since I'm now a full-time author, I decided to check out the "competition".  I started out planning to download 10 and spend $30, but I didn't need to; I just downloaded 7 free top Indie authors from Amazon to my wife's iPad.

My first read was "Child of the Ghosts"-- a girl whose family is destroyed by necromancers trains to become an assassin. The cover was awesome. The premise, the character development, action, and magic were tops. It was a satisfying reading experience. I would highly recommend this author and series. I also liked the link to order the next book at the end.

However, I found lots of simple grammar problems, (listed in my review) all of which could be fixed by another editing pass. My review wasn't unique. There were a ridiculous number of errors for something that's now number 20 on the epic list--not to mention a minor engineering error or two. For example: Ancient Rome and even London at it's colonial height didn't have too many 10 story residential buildings. Taking criticism seriously, like you would at a job, half the reviews shouldn't have to complain about the errors.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

In a Name

As so often happens, when I get to the final stages of making the cover, someone objects to my working title. In this case, there aren’t enough pirates in my story. [ insert Monte Python skit--I'd like a piece without so much rat in it, please.] I don’t want to lure people in with a great cover and blurb only to have them disappointed. Here are the top five names:
+ Dance of the Virgins : a definite central theme of the story, a good lure, but it may not say epic fantasy or sequel.
+ A Few Miracles More : funny reference to the emperor’s main weapon and Tashi’s gunslinger-like battles. Says sequel. May be too flippant.
+ Queen of Dreams : could reference any one of three women in both threads. Ties in to previous titles and themes. Solid but a bit generic.
+ The Way of Water : loosely covers both threads. May be too vague and Daoist. May grab the wrong audience.
+ How to Marry an Emperor : sheer funny. Only covers part of the story, but I think it would get the right audience.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Art for Queen of the Pirates

I'm in the art and beta-reader stage for "Queen of the Pirates".
Today's effort was the map of the Inner Islands.

I still need to do another map for the Outer Islands. Renee has done pass one of the cover, but that's not ready to show yet.

The tale started out as a cross between "Shakespeare in Love" and "Dinosaur Island". But after Lady Everyshade took over, it's a cross between "the Bad Popes", "the Joy of Sex", and "the Book of Five Rings." Try putting that in a blurb.

The song that inspired the dance scene at the end was from Shadow Fax, the Odd Get Even album with a little Lorraina McKinnet "Mummer's Dance" thrown in.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Queen of the Pirates - practice pitch

Priest and history teacher, Pagaose was rewarded by the gods for his good deeds. Reshaped into the perfect image of an emperor, he is dropped from the sky on the appointed day and marked by the messenger of the gods. Most of the College of Wizards was too drunk to notice and the rest don't want a new emperor. While the aristocrats plot to kill Pagaose, Sandarac, the ruler of the north, invades to take Center by force. To save Center, Pagaose needs help from Pinetto, Tashi, Sarajah, and her island kingdom full of pirates. To help her claim her throne, all Pagaose can offer are a few prisoners, retired soldiers, and a little advice.

With no allies left, in the middle of a siege, Pagaose has to pick a wife candidate from each country and aristocratic circle to compete in the annual Dance of the Virgins, but someone is thinning the list as fast as he can name them. And then there's the dragon . . .

Did I mention this was a reward?