Work on Sanctum 2 Resumed

I’m pleased to announce that after a three year break to focus on my career and on writing my novels, I am returning to work on completing the remake of my NWN adventure module, Sanctum of the Archmage 2: The Quest.

Formerly released under the name Sanctum of the Archmage 2: The Miracle Worker, Act I, the second chapter of my adventure module series has been unavailable for the last two years since IGN’s Neverwinter Nights Vault went off-line in the spring of 2014. The most recent version, v3.4, was also incompatible with the v4 remake of Chapter 1 that I released in 2013. I had wanted to release a remake of Chapter 2 as well, but was forced to put that work on the shelf to focus on re-booting my career, and on writing the saga’s novels.

I have worked sporadically on the remake over the last three years, though. And there is still some additional re-work that I want to do, particularly in re-making the “flying areas” at the end using the wonderful “Sanctum Flying Skyscape Tileset” that Estelindis built for the series. But I’ve decided that can wait for a future update. And without those changes, I think that another month or so worth of work would bring it close to a releasable (or at least beta-testable) state. So I’ve decided to move forward with that as a plan.

With that said, my work on the series over the next months should be as follows. In June I expect to be finishing work on The Quest, and completing my full edit of Dawn of Chaos. In July and August I hope to get the novel out for a professional edit and to finish production, and to set up a beta test for the module remake. In September I’m hoping to be able to release both to the public.

After that, I’ll work on remaking the flying areas for The Quest, and getting started on my next projects: producing an audiobook version of Prologue to Chaos, and starting work on my second novel: Wrath of the Peregrine King.

I’m thinking that should keep me busy for a while. 🙂

Dawn of Chaos: Draft Cover

I’m pleased to present the first draft of the cover to my upcoming novel, Dawn of Chaos:

The titling is rough and only notional for now. The final version will be more consistent with the series intro, Prologue to Chaos. My illustrator Charles Imbro is is working on a color version of it for the final cover. I’m also planning to include the black and white illustration in the text in the appropriate scene.

Dawn of Chaos is Complete

I am very pleased to announce that I have completed writing Dawn of Chaos, the first full-length novel in the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga. The final draft comes to about 143,000 words, or just over 400 “paperback equivalent pages.”

Now that the book is finished, the next phase of preparing for publication begins. I’m currently going through a technical edit of the full manuscript to identify and correct typos and misspellings, inconsistent word usage, and the like. After that I’ll do a full read-through to give the book a stylistic edit and make sure the final version is as polished as possible. I’ll also be looking to hire a copy-editor to review it. And I’ll be working with my illustrator, Charles, to finalize the cover and in-line drawings.

I’ll also be working on starting to put together a “marketing plan.” This will involve a lot of the kind of things described in the self-publishing references I’ve been studying such as the terrific Write, Publish Repeat, as well as updating my website and establishing an author platform (on Amazon at least).

So when will it be published? That will depend on how much time all of the above takes, but I’m estimating roughly three to four months. That makes my current target to release Dawn of Chaos on the Kindle store sometime this August.

Prologue to Chaos – Free on the First

Until further notice Sanctum of the Archmage: Prologue to Chaos can be downloaded for free on the first of every month. The next “Free on the First” promotion(s) will be:

  • Sunday, May 1st
  • Wednesday, June 1st
  • Friday, July 1st

Amazon also gives me a couple of extra days each quarter to make Prologue to Chaos a free download, in addition to my regular “Free on the First” promotions. Watch here for announcements when these are scheduled!


If you have an old copy of the prologue, this is a great opportunity to download the new and re-titled third edition. Just go to the “Manage your content and devices” link in Amazon under “Your Account,” and select “Actions… Delete” on your pre-3rd edition copy. (This should have the old title “Dawn of Chaos,” and the book’s old B&W cover with red borders.) Then visit the link below to download the 3rd edition, which features a new title and cover, as well as a full stylistic re-edit. 🙂

Writing the Last Chapter!

Chapter 24 of Dawn of Chaos — now titled Homecomings — is complete. I’m now officially writing the last chapter, The Seeds of the Rebellion. It will finish tying up the events of the first novel and set the stage for the second, Wrath of the Peregrine King.

The book now stands at 133,754 words, or about 382 “paperback equivalent pages” (PEP). My current estimate for the final length is about 139,000 words, or just shy of 400 PEP. I’m hoping to be able to get through the editing, production and marketing activities needed over the next few months, and to publish it sometime this summer.

Chapter 23 Complete

I’ve now completed writing Chapter 23 — The New Order — of Dawn of Chaos. Only two chapters remain and the manuscript will be complete. Next up is Chapter 24, The Seeds of the Rebellion.

The book now stands at 129,373 words, or about 370 of what I call “paperback equivalent pages” (PEP). I’m hoping the wrap up the last two chapters fairly quickly. My current estimate for the final length is about 136,000 words or just shy of 390 PEP.

EDIT: I’ve decided to rename Chapter 24 “Homecomings,” and to use “The Seeds of the Rebellion” for the final Chapter.

Climax Complete

The climax to Sanctum of the Archmage: Dawn of Chaos is now complete.

I just finished writing Chapter 22 – The Last Stand – which is the last chapter of the the climax. Only a three more relatively short chapters of the denouement remain, and then the first draft of the novel will finally be done.

Writing the Climax

Momentum is picking up on writing the climax to Dawn of Chaos! “The Last Stand” was running long, so I decided to break all but its last and climactic scene out into a separate chapter. The result was Chapter 21: The Terrible Truth, and it’s now complete. Chapter 22: The Last Stand will complete the climax. After that all that remains are the three chapters of the denouement.
 
The book is working out to be longer than I’d planned, but in a good way. The current word count with four chapters to go is 116,577 words. The final draft will probably end up around 130k.
Also, stay tuned for an announcement! I’m hoping soon to be able to release a first draft of the cover art for the new novel.

Fall 2015 Update

It’s been a while since my last post about the status of my writing projects, so I thought it was time to offer a quick update.

As of this morning the word count on Dawn of Chaos, the first full-length novel in the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga, stands at eighty-eight thousand, six hundred and seventy one (88,671) words. After some chapter and scene restructuring that I realized was needed to not rush the climax, that puts me in the middle of Chapter 17 out of 24, with fifteen out of a planned total of sixty-one scenes left to write. Since the chapters and scenes tend to shorten as the story moves into the climax, I’m estimating that this will probably involve another twenty to twenty five thousand words, with the final manuscript ending up somewhere in the range of a hundred and twelve thousand.

Another item of good news is that some of the unfortunate work-related distractions that were taking my focus away from writing are continuing on a path toward… well, not doing that quite so much anymore. I finally managed to complete a career change this summer into a position working in Data Science. As I settle in to that, I expect to be able to devote more of my spare time once again to my writing projects.

As for when Dawn of Chaos should be ready for publication: I think it’s likely now to be sometime early next year. On the one hand I’ve gotten much better at writing quickly and well, and can probably turn out at least a scene a week going forward. On the other I’m recognizing a need as the story evolves not to rush the climax, and I still have to figure out how to provide for a final editing of the book. I’ve gotten very good at being my own editor, but I’m not certain I should trust myself to do the full job on my own.

As for my modding work: I’m still planning to finish the v4 remake of The Quest (formerly The Miracle Worker, part I) after Dawn of Chaos is complete. Sadly, though, I think that will have to be my last foray into modding the story, at least for some time.

Chapter Fourteen is Done

Chapter Fourteen is finally complete. As of now, the manuscript for Dawn of Chaos stands at just over seventy five thousand words.

This was a particularly difficult scene to write, because I wasn’t actually certain I could make the idea that I had for it work. I think the end result turned out to be very successful, although a bit longer than I had expected.

Chapter fifteen starts the buildup to the climax of the novel in chapters seventeen and eighteen. The good news is that I have a very clear idea of what happens in that part of the story, so — time permitting — writing the rest of it should go much faster. Once again my writing is picking up momentum, and I’m very excited about it.