Hey guys, me again. I know, I know – I’m being annoying this week. But I’m just so EXCITED, see? Why? Well:
Anyway, if you’ve been keeping up with the blog tour, here’s some new entries:
I’m Interviewed over at Legendarium by the incomparable Jason LaPier!
Finally, the wonderful Beth Cato has hosted an excerpt of NO GOOD DEED on her blog – check it out, and may it give you a taste for more!
More to come soon! Carry on! (and I promise I’ll get back to my regular posting habits in a week or so. Pinky swear.)
Hey there, Tyvian Reldamar fans! It’s time to delve back into Tyvian’s massively dysfunctional life as the second book in the Saga of the Redeemed, No Good Deed, has been released in e-format TODAY! Yes, today! Behold:
Cursed with a magic ring that forbids skullduggery, Tyvian Reldamar’s life of crime is sadly behind him. Now reduced to fencing moldy relics and wheedling favors from petty nobility, he’s pretty sure his life can’t get any worse.
That is until he hears that his old nemesis, Myreon Alafarr, has been framed for a crime she didn’t commit and turned to stone in a penitentiary garden. Somebody is trying to get his attention, and that somebody is playing a very high-stakes game that will draw Tyvian and his friends back to the city of his birth and right under the noses of the Defenders he’s been dodging for so long. And that isn’t even the worst part. The worst part is that the person pulling all the strings is none other than the most powerful sorceress in the West: Lyrelle Reldamar.
Tyvian’s own mother.
Still skeptical of the magnificence in store? Then read an excerpt of the book on Laura Bickle’s blog!
Want to know how I got to this magnificent turn of my fledgling writing career? Head over to Michelle4Laughs site and hear all about my journey to publication, with its twists, turns, and incredibly long wait!
“But Habershaw,” you say, “that’s about your first book! How was writing the second one different?” Well, as luck would have it, Teresa Frohock has a post by me describing that very thing! Check it out!
Over the course of the week I’m going to be making a lot of noise, here, but to give you a heads-up, here’s a handy-dandy overview of the blog tour I’ll be doing at 3 Partners in Shopping. The first feature over at VoodooPrincess is already up!
Let’s see…what else…oh, right! BUY LINKS:
Go go go! Read! Also: Review! Thanks to all of you for your positivity and support, and here’s to more books in the future!
On the one hand, I could make this blog post about how I was getting on the T the other day (Boston’s subway system) and saw a LCD screen displaying the warning that hoverboards are not allowed on the MBTA, which I take to be proof positive that we are, in fact, living in the future (no matter how lame that future has turned out to be). I’m not, though. I’m here to talk about what it’s like writing while stuff you’ve written is being published. Because it’s weird.
Did you know I have a novel coming out tomorrow? No? Why the hell not? Well, I do – NO GOOD DEED comes out tomorrow in e-book form (sold wherever fine e-books are found). Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of friends and acquaintances come up and express how excited I must be and congratulations and so on. What’s weird, though, is that I’m not thinking all that much about NO GOOD DEED. I mean, yeah, I am excited and I’m very pleased it’s coming out and so on, but my thoughts aren’t on it that much. I’m on to the next book, you see. I’m eyeball deep in the umpteenth draft of my next book, trying to pry my way out of plot problems, trying to breathe life into the characters and so on. When somebody interrupts that internal thought stream to talk about NO GOOD DEED I’m forced to stop and remind myself “oh, right -everybody else is still six months behind me!”
Writing and publishing stuff steadily means there is no time for your to rest on your laurels. You’ve got to keep going, keep writing, keep editing, keep submitting – there is no “break,” really. So, while the thing you finished a year ago is just getting a publishing contract now and won’t hit shelves for another six months, you’re still moving. You kinda have to push what you’ve done out of your head for the stuff you’re doing now and the stuff you want to do next. When the things you publish (stories, novels, whatever) do hit print, it’s enormously gratifying, but it’s also a bit like traveling back in time. “Oh yeah,” you think, “I remember this now – that story was pretty cool!”
So, it’s a little weird. There’s the time-lag between you and the audience – they’re behind you, reading the stories you worked so hard to create, and you’re out in front, still creating new ones nobody will see for months. When you hear from them, it’s like a radio message from the past, telling you how you did all that time ago.
And that’s totally awesome, mind you. But it’s still a little weird.
The blog tour for NO GOOD DEED gets under way tomorrow – watch this space for updates! The book releases then, so be sure to pick up your copy!
If you like paperback instead, I’ve received intel indicating the paperback release of the book will be August 9th, 2016.
- I’ll be on an episode of Grim Tidings Podcast on this Friday, 6/24. I think.
- Again, if you’re in the Boston area, consider checking out a reading and lecture on world building I’ll be giving at the Hingham Public Library on June 30th, from 7:00pm-8:30pm.
That’s all for now! Be talking to you all soon!
Today is a very special day. My friend, A.F.E. Smith, has a book out today. It’s called DARKHAVEN, and it sounds really cool, and you should all buy it. To celebrate, AFE is throwing a release party, at which you can win many prizes and much wealth. Well, prizes. Mostly in the form of books or artwork from your favorite authors. Which, now that I think of it, is very much the same thing as wealth.
But I digress.
I, the intrepid author of this, your fourth or fifth favorite blog, am participating in this party in two very important ways.
Way the First
Ms. Smith will be interviewing me on her release party page at 3pm EST (or 8pm UK time). You can ask questions, too! Stop on by and join in the fun!
Way the Second
To support AFE’s release, I’m putting up some of my own books for a prize. I will be giving away 3 signed copies of THE OLDEST TRICK, my latest fantasy novel (see sidebar). Here’s how to win:
- AMUSE ME! The challenge is as follows: tell me a fantasy (or Dungeons and Dragons) related joke in the comments or, if you’d prefer, post an amusing fantasy-related picture or meme (or link to it). The funniest three win the prize!
- To make it easier for me to contact you (and for you to know that you won), please follow this blog (I’ll post the winners tomorrow). Then I can coordinate where to send your book with you via e-mail.
That’s it! Get posting, and I hope to talk to you at the interview!
(Note: The paperback release of THE OLDEST TRICK probably isn’t until August 11th, so it might be a few weeks before I can mail your book to you. Sorry for the delay, but I’ll do the best I can. Thanks so much for playing!)
Today we’ve got a special treat. Here is fellow author A.F.E. Smith, author of Darkhaven, to talk about fights and protagonists in fantasy novels, something fans of the Saga of the Redeemed are no doubt used to. Enjoy!
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the hero of a fantasy novel must be outnumbered at least three to one before the reader even begins to worry that he’s in danger.
Most fantasy fans enjoy a good battle, whether between individuals, groups or armies. And we also like seeing our heroes overcome the odds. But by now, most of us have read enough gratuitously unequal fights that overcoming the odds has become an expectation. In real life, a duel between two people of roughly equal skill and experience – or a war between two evenly matched armies – would be loaded with tension for all concerned, because there’d be no way to predict the outcome. Instead, it would be clear that the battle ahead was going to be long, drawn-out and take a significant toll on all involved, quite possibly without ever resulting in an outright winner. But in fiction, where narrative conventions dictate that the protagonist is going to punch above his weight, evenly matched isn’t enough. Evenly matched means an obvious win for the protagonist. And obvious is boring.
Fantasy novels therefore face the challenge of loading the odds against the protagonist in order to make him the underdog – because everyone loves an underdog – while still making it plausible that he should win. Taken too far, it becomes ridiculous: hey, my mortally wounded and exhausted hero just fought off an entire army with a rusty spoon, isn’t he awesome? Yet not far enough, and it’s just dull: some guy dueled a slightly more skilled guy and beat him. Yay. There’s no tension in the second option, no edge. But the first option can be equally tedious, particularly if it keeps on happening – because someone who can defeat that many people under those conditions is clearly invincible. Every time David successfully overcomes Goliath, there has to be a believable reason for it. And because the plot requires it is not a believable reason.
Tolkien (of course) does this very well in The Lord of the Rings. In every battle, the tide is turned by the fulfillment of a slender hope – and those hopes keep on getting more slender as the book progresses. It wouldn’t have been at all the same if the mighty hordes of Gondor had been facing Sauron’s tiny ragtag army. But nor would it have been the same if Aragorn had single-handedly slaughtered the hordes of Mordor with his kingliness. The plot walks the fine line between too easy and too implausible without setting a foot wrong. Every challenge is overcome, but only just. And that’s what keeps us on the edge of our seats.
Of course, many books since Tolkien have subverted the expectations that we have of our protagonists. Most of us probably got near the end of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and thought, Aha! This is a classic unequal fight situation! Ned’s in a pretty tricky position now, but I just bet he’s going to overcome the odds at the last minute. After all, he is the protagonist!
And we all know how that turned out.
Still, I love an unequal fight, and I didn’t hesitate to put one into my own novel. Here’s a tiny snippet from Darkhaven in which my stubborn sort-of hero, Tomas Caraway, is faced with the prospect of getting past a whole group of warriors just when the stakes are at their highest …
‘Just give it up, Caraway,’ one of the women said. ‘Go home.’
He shook his head. ‘I can’t.’
‘Fine.’ Her face showed no hint of sympathy. ‘Then you accept what’s coming to you.’ She glanced around the circle. ‘Weapons away, lads.’
The sound of steel being sheathed rang through the air. Caraway scanned their grim faces and understood what was about to happen. They wouldn’t afford him the dignity of swordplay, with its attendant rules and courtesies. How could they? He had no blade to speak of; it wouldn’t be fair.
So instead, they would maintain their code of practice by beating him up with their bare hands. The fact that there were twenty of them and just one of him had no bearing on the matter.
It’s probably fair to say that he doesn’t stand much chance of triumphing in this encounter. Yet for all that, I think the outcome is realistic. See what you think.
Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.
When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?
Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.
A.F.E. Smith is an editor of academic texts by day and a fantasy writer by night. So far, she hasn’t mixed up the two. She lives with her husband and their two young children in a house that someone built to be as creaky as possible – getting to bed without waking the baby is like crossing a nightingale floor. Though she doesn’t have much spare time, she makes space for reading, mainly by not getting enough sleep (she’s powered by chocolate). Her physical bookshelves were stacked two deep long ago, so now she’s busy filling up her e-reader.
What A.F.E. stands for is a closely guarded secret, but you might get it out of her if you offer her enough snacks.
I’m in my local newspaper.
This is especially cool because it is a newspaper actually printed on paper and stuff. This makes it likely my mother will read it because, to her, it will be a real thing. Everything online is imaginary, you see.
(just kidding, Mom.)
In all seriousness, the interview was great and this is a wonderful piece. Go and check it out!
So, the blog tour is more-or-less over, now. I’ve got a couple more things to trickle in over the next few weeks, but I should be returning to my regular posting habits next week. That said, here are some entries:
An Interview with me by C Stuart Hardwick (fellow WoTF winner and author)
My Book, The Movie (wherein I was asked to cast The Iron Ring, and did so)
Writers Read (wherein I discuss precisely what I’m reading right now)
And a pretty good review (3.5/5 “sheep”, points off for it being half a book) from I Smell Sheep
Overall, the reception to the book has been good. It’s been getting very good reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads (and many of them from people I don’t even know!), but it is still a small book in a great ocean of books. It’s being compared (in tone) to the work of Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson, and that is pretty gigantic praise. On the other hand, I’ve also been taking a bit of flak for the book ending, essentially, in the middle (don’t worry – the sequel wraps up that plot arc, and it’s coming out in June!). For a debut novel, though, it is being received very well!
I do, however, need more attention for THE IRON RING. If you’re read it, please review it (somewhere). If you want to run a feature on it on your blog, drop me a line! If you want to interview me, I’m happy to do so! If you are interested in my writing a guest post for your blog, I’m game!
I should also point out, as a means to drum up buzz about my book, the price on Amazon is temporarily reduced to $0.99 – a steal! So, if $2.99 was too rich for your blood, now’s you’re chance, America! Go buy it! Read! Enjoy! Review!
Thank you all for your support! I press on (and Tyvian presses on, too, though with markedly less enthusiasm).
So, there’s more stuff up on the intertubes about me! Go and check them out (because, seriously, they’re being nice to me and I should send traffic their way)!
Guest Blog posts!
Literarily Speaking (Wherein I discuss the importance of creating history for your fantasy worlds)
The Page 69 Test (Wherein I discuss how the approximately 69th page of THE IRON RING fits into the story as a whole)
Literal Exposure (Find out about that time I fought a rat for a towel)
Beauty in Ruins (Wherein I go through where, how, and why I wrote the book!)
Book Features! (which are all the same, mind you)
Say it with me now, folks: PUB-LI-CI-TY. We will be returning to our regularly scheduled jibber-jabber next week, I promise. Well, at least part of the time. Hey, let’s face it – all you people should be reading my book right now, anyway! How could you have time to read some silly blog posts?
But seriously, thank you one and all, for reading and supporting me. You guys all rock.
The Blog Tour chug-eth along!
My book was also featured on Rainy Day Reviews, though it’s just the book description and the old “About” page from my blog here (and, by the by, I’ve updated said About page to be a bit less amateurish. You’re welcome.).
Finally, if you want to read THE IRON RING (and who wouldn’t? I mean, honestly, it’s a wonderful time!), but hate Kindle or Nook formats, you can now download it directly from Harper Collins using their HC Reader for both iPad and Android tablets/phones. Click here to buy!
Read it? Like it? Leave a Review Please!
So, have you read THE IRON RING yet? You have? Thank you very much! What’s that? You’ve *LIKED* it? That’s even better!
Now, I’ve one last thing to ask: Leave me a Review! Leave one on Amazon, leave one on Goodreads, leave one on Barnes and Noble! Without reviews, nobody will know my book exists, and if nobody knows it exists, nobody will buy it, and I’ve got a lot more Tyvian Reldamar adventures in me! So, please, review the book once you’re done! Thanks so much for all of your support!
(Alternately, if you hated my book, I guess you should leave a review, too, to warn off other dopes from being fleeced by my nefarious con-game of writing books. I’m hoping you folks will be in the minority, of course, but in the interest of fairness, I include this message. So there.)