Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Post By The Authors At Four-Moons Press

Today I'm bringing some content from other writers. Eric Zawadzki and Mathew Schick are the joint authors of Kingmaker, a fantasy novel currently available for sale. You can find the links at the bottom of this post, or learn more about it on their blog, Four-Moons Press. Today, their blog is also featuring a post by me about the types of ruling parties found within my own fantasy novel, Rift of Askrah Book 1: Fracture. You can find that post here.

The post below is from these writers. It hits on points many writers, and even anyone really, can appreciate. Enjoy the post, and be sure to check them out.

Out of Our Heads, Out of the House

Writing is often a lonely pursuit requiring countless hours typing away in a room with no human interaction. After a few hundred hours of work, a rough draft emerges, which feels great but is only the beginning. Rough drafts are not fit for human consumption – like a bushel of mown wheat. Letting someone read a second or third draft is not much of an improvement. It is approximately equivalent of giving them five pounds of flour or a pan filled with uncooked bread dough. They’ll eventually become nourishing and delicious food, but they’re not ready for the dinner party, yet. Maybe by the fourth draft I feel comfortable letting a few select people (beta readers) look at it. Everyone else has to wait for the sixth (or higher) draft, whichever one Matt and I can reasonably consider finished – baked to a golden brown.

Why on Earth would an extrovert like me spend a thousand hours or more in a room alone?

The process of writing is a necessary step in a form of communication that demands an incredible amount of time and energy to execute. I’m not some kind of born storyteller who can improvise some kind of incredible story at a moment’s notice. Oh I do alright in face-to-face interactions, but all my dialogue is rough draft material. A nugget of awesome here and there with way too much filler and random stumbles to make me feel like I’m actually doing a good job of engaging my audience. I know people who are amazing storytellers (my wife, for example). They can retell a story I’ve heard a hundred times, and it is always fun to listen to. If anything, they refine the story with each retelling, polishing it until it fits together like a clockwork device.

The more I retell a story, the less likely I am to include the details that make it sensical. I really can’t explain it. Maybe I kind of get bored with the story and don’t put enough energy into it. Perhaps I’m afraid that I’m monopolizing the conversation because I used to have serious problems with that, so I’d rather throw in a brief few lines and yield the floor to someone else.

Put me in front of a computer, though, and all of that hesitation melts away. Sure, I may spend an hour composing an email or forum post, but it is my time to spend, and it only takes a minute or two to read. My Internet posts are probably only second draft material, but that sure beats the meandering first drafts that come out of my mouth every day. I can be so much more precise, so much more eloquent in writing. Sometimes I can even be more interesting or more amusing than I am in real life.

I love communicating in writing. Sure, the written word lacks body language and tone of voice. You can’t correct a minor misstep mid-story, either. But writing scores over the spoken word in some important ways. First, if I’m willing to spend the time to rewrite, revise, and edit, I can greatly improve upon the way I express an idea. Second, if I put in that extra work, every person who reads it will receive the best retelling of the story I can give it. Third, the potential size of the story’s audience is not limited to people I meet in the flesh; in fact, it is theoretically infinite.

A book on a shelf is like a storyteller standing at the front of the room. Given the opportunity, it will tell the reader a story lasting many hours. The tale flows from author to reader, but communication is never intended to be one-way. Each reader brings his experiences and interpretations to the text.

After so many years of this story floating around in our heads, growing like a seed, Kingmaker is on the loose. It is in the wild – like an email already sent, a forum post already read, or spoken words we can no longer take back. We have taken care to craft it into something we’re content to let out of the house, though.

As early readers finish reading Kingmaker, I’m starting to see that flow of communication reverse. People are asking us questions and starting conversations with me about what they read. Some think I should know all the answers, not realizing how much a world and its characters can take on lives of their own. Others float theories and participate (perhaps unwittingly) in the creative process of writing the sequel.

Thus beginning the cycle anew.

You can learn more about these authors or their book Kingmaker at the following websites:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Status Check: Rift of Askrah Book 2: Shatter

Just wanted to post an update about the next book in the Rift of Askrah series. Book 2: Shatter is currently past the halfway mark in the initial write through. I'm still trying to figure out the cover situation though. I did the cover for Book 1: Fracture, but I'm not getting anything out of my own designs this time. Once I figure it out though, I will update with the cover.

I've also written the product description for Book 2, and you can find it here

If you haven't read book 1 yet, you can check it out here

Monday, October 3, 2011

25 Days of Twisted

Last night I confirmed with another blogger, Rachel, who runs a blog called Enchanted, that I will be participating in an event she is setting up to run through this month called "25 Days of Twisted." Each day will have an author who writes in a Halloween-friendly genre (fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, etc.), making a post about whatever they wish.

My post will contain information about Rift of Askrah Book 1: Fracture, the first book in my fantasy series. I also talk about the writing process, and give my words of advice to other writers. My article will post on the 28th, but I encourage visitors to head over to Rachel's blog using the link above, and read the posts written by other authors throughout this month.

I'd like to thank Rachel for this opportunity, and look forward to my guest post on the 28th of October.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rift of Askrah Book 1: Fracture - Showcased on a Few Different Sites

I noticed today that my book was featured on a few sites, and I didn't notice they had posted. Here are some links to them.

Indie Snippets - A website that features a snippet from books.

Indie Books Blog - Features interviews with indie authors

Thanks to both of these websites for featuring me!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Update - Rift of Askrah Book 2

I'm hard at work on the second book in the Rift of Askrah series. Currently, the first manuscript is sitting at about 30,000 words. I had the luxury of being able to write the first book while I was unemployed, so the going is a little slower this time. It's coming along though, and I'm pleased with the progress so far.

This far out, I don't have a target release date yet, but keep your eyes on my blog for all future updates. If you haven't yet, you can pick up the first book of this series, Rift of Askrah Book 1: Fracture at many ebook retailers, such as amazon, b&n, etc., for just 99 cents! You can follow the links from my blog home page or under the Rift of Askrah page to purchase.

Thanks for reading! There will be more updates about the book 2 release in the future, so check back often!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rift of Askrah Book 1: Fracture - First Review

I am excited to announce my book, Rift of Askrah Book 1: Fracture has received its first review! You can read the review below.

By S. J. Wist
4/5 Stars
"An enjoyable epic fantasy with strong characters."

Nihlen starts in what I was easily drawn into as the ideal, next to perfect life of a Prince. He has trained and studied hard to be the best he can be and he has a great family. Next to the heavy weight of responsibility that is due to be placed on his shoulders, and having to marry without the fairy tale of a romance, his complaints are few and far between. But just as you fall into his comfortable lifestyle, along comes a thief to mess that all up.

Marina has lived the opposite kind of life. Accustomed to stealing coins and living on the streets with her best friend, Cal, she raises the stakes by taking the Prince for ransom. But her plans are about to be ruined too, when it all turns out to be a rather dangerous setup that nearly gets them all killed. Now they have to run for their lives.

And that is just the start to their problems when Nihlen realizes that the ceremony they kidnapped him from was set to keep his eye of power in check. Now he has to find a way to control his Eye of Kings before he loses his friends, family and kingdom forever to the enemy. But he won't be the only one to discover he has a unique ability.

Rift of Askrah is a lighter, easy to follow epic fantasy. Though it's not heavy on action, it keeps to a quick pace. I thoroughly enjoyed the strong energy between the characters that pulled them all closer together, despite their differences. I look forward to reading the sequel and seeing what lies in store for these heroes in the lands of Elharlia.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Interview With 1st Author Interviews

Check out my interview with 1st Author Interviews about me, and my book, Rift of Askrah Book 1: Fracture. You can check out their homepage here for interviews with other authors, plus other great information.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rift of Askrah Book 1: Fracture - Details

I decided to add this post so that my readers could get some information on my fantasy ebook series, Rift of Askrah

Rift of Askrah is the story of Nihlen Draven, heir to the throne of the nation of Draven. After being kidnapped though, everything changes. His homeland is subjugated by the neighboring nation of Rinh, and after escaping his captors, Nihlen must begin a life on the run. The world he thought he understood is now alien to him, as he must cope with the danger that haunts him around every turn. His only chance is to find a way to reclaim his stolen kingdom, understand new found abilities, and save himself and the rest of the world from an even greater danger.

Rift of Askrah Book 1: Fracture is the first installment in the Rift of Askrah series. Join an unforgettable cast of characters as they forge a path that leads them all across their world. The weight of destiny follows Nihlen and all the comrades he finds throughout his journey, and he will need all the help he can possibly get to survive the ordeal to come. As the forgotten past of a nation known as Askrah begins to resurface, the world will find its current age moving toward one of danger and strife. This past threatens to swallow up the entire world, and the only one with a chance of stopping it is the young Prince Nihlen. Join them as they begin to discover and understand the past. If they can't find the answers they seek, and find the strength to challenge them, the world they all know will cease to be, and there will be no chance for survival.

If you're interested, you can find it on amazon, and other ebook formats on smashwords