Write On by Kindle

A friend of mine recently introduced me to Write On by Kindle. It’s an Amazon sponsored writing community where writers openly share their writing projects, and readers provide feedback. I just signed up yesterday and posted the first chapter of my novel. From the little I’ve perused thus far, the quality of writing and feedback seems really good.

The first chapter of my novel can be found under my profile. I look forward to posting more here as well as following other writers and giving feedback on other stories. There is an option to browse by genre, and it looks as though the most recently revised stories show up at the top. So if you post new chapters or stories or revise your current stories, this should be a way to have your stories filter back to the top of the queue and hopefully gain more visibility and followers.

Novel update

I’ve recently updated my website and migrated hosts, so I hope to start posting more content again regularly and working on shopping my novel again. The plan is to start submitting to literary agents again over the summer. In the past, these were some literary agencies I had looked at.

I am fortunate enough to say that after submitting to a dozen or so agencies last year, I had two requests to submit my full manuscript. Ultimately, they passed, but my hope is renewed to find an agent that will represent it.

I’ve posted chapter 1 and chapter 2, which can be also be found in the navigation under My Novel > Chapter 1 or Chapter 2. I will post chapter 3 at a later date, and beyond that, we will see. If I get a large number of reader requests to post more, I may oblige.

Happy writing to all aspiring novelists out there! Persistence is key.

Featured novel in fantasy

Talon of the Silver Hawk - Raymond Feist - Fantasy NovelTalon of the Silver Hawk (Conclave of Shadows, Book 1)
by Raymond Feist

Paperback: 378 pages
Published by HarperTorch, 2004

Book description:

Evil has come to a distant land high among the snow-capped mountains of Midkemia, as an exterminating army wearing the colors of the Duke of Olasko razes village after village, slaughtering men, women, and children without mercy. And when the carnage is done, only one survivor remains: a young boy named Kieli. A youth no longer, there is now but one road for him to travel: the path of vengeance. And he will not be alone. Under the tutelage of the rescuers who discovered him, Kieli will be molded into a sure and pitiless weapon. And he will accept the destiny that has been chosen for him … as Talon of the Silver Hawk.

But the prey he so earnestly stalks is hunting him as well. And Talon must swear allegiance to a shadowy cause that already binds his mysterious benefactors — or his mission, his honor, and his life will be lost forever.

Average review on Amazon:4 stars (88 reviews)

Featured Medieval Historical Fiction Novel

The Red Cross of Gold by Brendan Carroll - Medieval Historical Fiction - TemplarsThis is the Kindle Edition of the book. The cover grabbed my attention, and it received good reviews, so I thought I’d feature it.

The Red Cross of Gold I:. The Knight of Death
by Brendan Carroll
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 804 KB
Print Length: 386 pages

Product Description:

An apparent kidnapping and rape become the first steps in a mystical journey for the Chevalier du Morte when a routine mission precipitates a spiritual fall from grace. As the tables turn on the abductors, the immortal Knight sinks in a corrupt quagmire of sin while fighting to recover his lost purpose and identity. In the process, he almost destroys the Ancient Order of the Red Cross of Gold when his beloved Brothers turn against him and hunt him down, determined to take him home, in one piece or two.

The immortal Knights of the Council of Twelve comprise the ruling body of the clandestine Order of the Red Cross of Gold, Poor Knights of Solomon’s Temple. Some of them have been around since the Crusades in the Holy Lands, secretly directing, aiding and abetting world events that they believe will eventually culminate in the ultimate confrontation of Good and Evil at Armageddon. As Knights of Christ, they live, fight and die safely as God’s executioners in the service of the Master of the Universe.

As Assassin and Alchemist for the Order, Mark Ramsay’s dark occupations keep him buried in an old mansion in the Scottish lowlands most of the time, but occasionally, when someone needs killing, he is called out to perform his duties as Assassin. He holds the mysterious, divine mystery of the Key of Death and not only has the responsibility of ridding the world of certain criminal elements and undesirable influences; he is the only means of release for his immortal Brothers whenever they are accidentally injured beyond recovery. Ramsay has the ultimate job security. His services are indispensable to the Order and even though his Brothers normally shun his presence and even fear him, they cannot afford to lose him at the risk of suffering forever, eternally locked in physical bodies from whence there is no escape should the unthinkable happen. Without the Knight of Death’s services, the Order would not only lose its financial backing, it would fall into ruin and decay.

Sir Ramsay considers himself a simple man and wants nothing more than to live out his years in the relative seclusion offered by the beautifully rolling meadows in Lothian, Scotland. But things are not so simple for the Chevalier du Morte. He has deep-seated emotional and mental problems stemming from personal tragedies suffered during the Crusades. His life as a virtual hermit is about to change drastically when he briefly loses all memory of his life before a certain moment in time when he awakens in the midst of a brutal beating in a serene pecan grove in Central Texas. His past is erased completely and for a few glorious, but tumultuous days, he lives life as a normal man outside the influence of the Order of the Poor Knights of Solomon’s Temple, finding love in the middle of a nightmare. His life will never be the same once he begins to reckon time as ‘Before Meredith’ and ‘After Meredith’.

Average Customer Review on Amazon: 5 stars (9 reviews)

Novel Update, Excerpt Included

It’s been a while since I’ve given an update on my novel, but as of now, I’m still on track to finish by the end of August / September. I’m done with the majority of the re-writing, I believe, so I should be able to keep most of what I already have while making edits along the way. I just surpassed the half-way point recently. Below is an excerpt from Chapter 2. This is one of the chapters where I did a lot of re-writing, and I need to go back and look over it more closely to make sure further edits aren’t needed.

***

The campfires burned a deep red in the darkness, hundreds and hundreds of them glowing like the fierce eyes of a host of dragons, and it was a dragon who camped outside the city walls of Alecon, waiting silently in the darkness to strike. He would burn Perceval’s castle to the ground, but for now, he was waiting patiently across the darkened field, the eyes ever watchful and vigilant.

Caelen stood along the battlements staring out at that black field spotted with fire, the smell of woodsmoke strong on a brisk wind, and in the dim light, he could see the dragon banner rippling above Cobus’ tent. In only a few years after assassinating Lolek, Cobus had managed to seize the majority of the kingdom of Aricin away from Perceval, and now Perceval — like his brother — clung to life, grasping and choking inside his fortress of stone.

Death awaited everyone inside Alecon. In time, Cobus would storm the walls and they would die, or he would starve them and they would die, but either way, the end was the same. Death has no master. Caelen hoped Cobus would come, hoped he would lead his men across that field, and that was why Caelen stayed in Alecon. He could have left. He could have followed his lord back east to Cenlis, but he was needed here. Caelen touched his sword’s pommel, a piece of iron fashioned in the shape of a wolf, and he thought of his father and brothers. He was needed in Alecon.

Create Unique Words and Names When Writing Fantasy

Writer’s Corner has a good article on How to Find Interesting Words and Names for Your Fantasy Writing. The article covers the following points:

  • Keep a small notebook of interesting names and words
  • Maps are an excellent resource
  • Dictionaries and encyclopedias
  • Foreign languages
  • Add a glossary to your novel
  • Hearing the words
  • Enhance your readers experience

Names of cities on old maps have been especially useful for me when writing my novel. To give place names a sense of authenticity, I’ve used old maps of England and France from the medieval period and simply tweaked them a bit.

Novel Update – Excerpt Included

I started working on my novel again this week. It’s the first time I’ve written something new in months. I’m re-writing the first scene entirely, and this is what I have so far (always subject to change, of course):

****

He knows the truth. Cobus held the parchment next to the flame on his desk, the red and orange firelight twisting and pulsing as it washed over the page. Wax dripped from the candle onto the edge of the letter — slowly dripping — and outside, the sky darkened from gray to black, and the rain beat against the stone windowsill. He is planning to kill you. You must act now. Cobus finished reading the letter, stood, and touched the corner of the page to the flame, and he watched as the paper glowed golden under the intense heat, the wax seal of stag and lion melting beneath the dancing light. A gust of wind blew in through the open window, and the flame sputtered but did not die. Cobus threw the blackened paper into the hearth, the last of the orange embers choked out by gray ash, and then he turned and went over to the desk and blew out the candle. He walked across the chamber in near darkness, the room framed only by flashes of blue and white from the outside. He found the door and opened it and then clicked it shut behind him.

He made his way down a long corridor, his boots shuffling over the flagstones, and when he came to the end of the hallway, he opened another door and stepped out into the night. The sky poured rain, a cold rain, a slanting rain, and Cobus pulled the hood of his cloak over his head and hurried across the courtyard. He entered the kitchen shaking off the drops of water beading on the black wool. Smoke filled the chamber and scented the air with mutton, venison, and trout. Several boys tended the ovens, and on the far side of the room stood the cook overseeing their work. The cook stood next to the doorway leading to the great hall, and Cobus made his way toward him. Cobus slipped a brown, leather purse from his belt, and as he passed the cook, he placed the bag into the cook’s hand.

“A deer can kill a man just as easily as a man can kill a deer,” Cobus said, and he left the room as quickly as he had entered. He walked down a short hallway and opened the door to the great hall. King Lolek and his wife, Aoife, sat at a table in the lower part of the room near the central hearth. The fire crackled and sputtered, and woodsmoke drifted up to the rafters. Eight soldiers lined the perimeter of the room guarding entrance into the hall. Cobus walked up to one of the men.

“Where is Seth?” Cobus asked.

“The queen says he’s sick and is being attended to by one of her ladies,” the guard said.

“A mother knows best, I suppose. No matter. We can fetch him afterwards. Are your men ready?”

The guard nodded, and Cobus went and sat down at the table across from Lolek and Aoife.

Moving Houses

The last half of last week was spent moving from one side of town to the other so I can be closer to where I work. My commute used to be around 45 mins, but now it will only be 15 mins. Sorry that I have missed a few days of medieval history / fantasy posts, and I apologize to those who have made comments to which I have not had the chance to respond. I haven’t had an Internet connection for a couple of days due to the transfer of service, but now everything is back to normal, and I should be able to return to my normal blogging schedule. Thanks for your patience.