For the past year, I’ve been working toward publishing The Dark Queen of Darkness. While I’ve had a date in mind for a couple of months, I’ve finally taken the step of looking into my magic mirror to see if I was even close. After he was done telling me all of the things I already know, but don’t really want to hear again (ie: lose some damn weight), I learned that I’m ready to announce the release date.
~ Feb 14, 2020 ~
Right now we’re still working on final cover design and some minor internal tweaks. I’ll do a full cover reveal once it’s ready. As I get closer, there will be giveaways – so keep an eye out for those! If you’re local to Anchorage/Mat-Su Valley, I’m also drafting up plans for a release party or event on or shortly after the official release date, I’ll have more details on that as they become clear to me. In the mean-time, you can still check out Wine Bottles and Broomsticks on Amazon.com, if you haven’t already.
This is my second ever finished book, and here I am tossing it to the world. You can pick up a copy here: Wine Bottles and Broomsticks To say I’ve learned a lot during this process would be to understate things in the same way calling the surface of the sun hot. While technically true, it fails to grasp the essence of things. I would in no way call myself an expert or even ‘proficient’ at this publishing thing, and I can say with a considerable amount of certainty that I don’t know a damn thing about advertising, in spite of a lot of help from the writing community. The more important thing I learned about myself is the sorts of things that I like to write and I can do reasonably well.
My first (complete) book was high fantasy, with maps, cultures, languages and the whole 9-yards. However, that book sucked. I mean, really. This book, however, doesn’t suck. It was a throw-away project to try something different. I thought that if I tried something different, peraps I could improve my skill. What happened instead is I found where my writer’s voice lived. I wouldn’t call this book the finest example of my writing, but it’s a good indication. Current and upcoming projects have a slightly different voice but stick with the silly caper tone.
I hadn’t actually planned to promote this release. I’d meant it to be somewhat quiet. Really, I’d just intended to launch to learn how to publish myself. It’s a fantastically complicated endeavor that has absolutely stretched my creativity and technical know-how. That said, I’ve now got a bit more confidence to plow forward and do this a bit more often :). In any case, you can look for the next book in the coming months, and in the meantime – have a look if you’re interested.
I know I said I was going to kill the project, and I did, for a bit, but then I started working on other things and got myself through a few other books, but eventually circled back around. After I killed the project, I started thinking of what might bring it back. I assumed that it might be a complete re-write, but that wasn’t necessary. What I did instead was add another concept into the pile. A trickster. After listening to Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, it became clear that a trickster character of some sort would go a long way in being the agent of change necessary to move the characters and story forward. Anyhow, I did come up with something and wrote a tiny prologue, almost so short you couldn’t call it a prologue. Here it is:
Under the gloom of a sky that seemed to know only two tricks, both involving heavy cloud cover, an errant swirl of air beat it’s way around the edges of a lake so dead and clear, every rock and muck covered log could be seen upon it’s bed. The spinning current of air slowed then suddenly intensified, picking up sticks and stones and all manner of leaf litter in an eddy that coalesced them into the figure of a man. It paced the shore for a moment and flung an arm out over the water. A stone separated from the figure and skipped across the glass-like surface raising ripples from a dozen impact points. The ripples spread out, joining together and by degrees, the image of a woman formed on the lake, as if it were a mirror.
If the swirling mass of man-shaped forest debris could properly smile, it would have. A voice made from the rustling of leaves and creaking of limbs poured into the gnarled glade. “Your time is near, dear jailer. What fun we will have when you can no longer keep me pinned in this forsaken lifeless valley.”
The ripples on the lake calmed, returning to a state of glass-like stillness, and the forest debris dropped to the ground, leaving the disturbed bit of air to once again worry around the shores of the lake.