After much work and many delays, I’m pleased to announce that Andarian Publishing now has a new, e-commerce enabled website to support my upcoming book releases and related IP! In addition having a new and improved design, it can also accept direct credit card payments and deliver purchased e-book content as part of a seamlessly integrated process.
I have new books that will be released on it in the coming months, so check in there for further announcements!
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a very interesting event: ProWritingAid’s Fantasy Writers Week. ProWritingAid is a terrific piece of software that describes itself as “a grammar checker, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.” Not only is it all those things, but it actually does them well. I used it to edit the upcoming re-release of my novel, and found it so valuable that I decided to invest in a lifetime license.
Good as it is, though (and I recommend it to any serious writer), it’s not the focus of this post — so let me get back to that. Fantasy Writers Week was “a week-long series of events all geared towards fantasy writers and world-builders” — and, of course, how they can use their software to do what they do more effectively. Some of the sessions were extremely informative, and I took pages of notes.
The single most useful thing that I learned from it, though, was the existence of an amazing tool for authors and gamers like me: World Anvil. In the creators’ own words:
“World Anvil is a set of worldbuilding tools that helps you create, organize and store your world setting. With wiki-like articles, interactive maps, historical timelines, an RPG Campaign Manager and a full novel-writing software, we have all the tools you’ll need to run your RPG Campaign or write your novel!”
That’s a pretty ambitious set of claims for any tool. Half an hour into their presentation I realized with a shock that they weren’t exaggerating. After I picked my jaw up from my desk, I spent the rest of the session drinking in everything I could, and brainstorming about what I could do with it.
Imagine a huge wiki, structured with sections tailored precisely to provide logically organized information about an entire world — from flora and fauna to characters, traditions, and rituals. Something practically designed for someone who loves to immerse him or her self and get lost in a new world, and all the things.
That’s what World Anvil is like. And one of the most exciting things I realized in playing with it is that I have a lot of notes and information about the saga that wouldn’t work particularly well in a novel, but would be ideal for this kind of “world exploring” experience. All it’ll take to provide it is a little organizing and a fair amount of cut and paste.
There’s a lot that I could say about it, but I honestly think it’s better understood by experiencing and playing with it. So click the link and check it out for yourself — and while you’re at it, check out the nascent page I’m now building there for the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga. And let me know what you think!
Here’s the face of a model I created in Adobe Fuse for Randia Killraven (aka Robin Blackwing), the protagonist of the Sanctum saga. It’s pretty close to how I pictured her. Not a bad piece of software!
I recently started a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, and have been working slowly to build up the Photoshop skills I’ll need to support my publishing work. To my delight and astonishment, I discovered that CC includes a “beta version” of something called Adobe Fuse, and that Photoshop has a whole set of really awesome features for including and rendering 3D models and content.
I can’t draw, but do I have a decade and a half of experience in laying out 3D scenes. That got me to thinking about what I could do with tools like this, such as developing character portraits. I’m going to include this one the re-release of the e-book as an illustration. Maybe I could do a few of the other characters while I’m at it…
Fuse will also generate riggable models that can be brought into Photoshop and animated with its (pretty awesome) 3D tools, so I might be able to use it to actually prototype or even generate scenes for illustration. Stay tuned for the results of some experiments!
I’m pleased to share a newly created page featuring video clips from my Sanctum of the Archmagegame modules.
The Sanctum modules are highly story-based games that emphasize plot, world building, dialogue, and character interaction. In addition to being teasers for the saga, these scenes are intended to showcase my skills as a writer, storyteller, and role-playing game designer.
The all-new 5th edition of Prologue to Chaos is now available as an e-book on Amazon and Kobo!
This new release is part of the major edit and restructuring of my first novel, Dawn of Chaos. The first three chapters of Dawn have been heavily edited and moved into Prologue. Along with a new, never-before published second chapter, Prologue to Chaos is now a novella-length introduction to the Sanctum saga.
The next twenty chapters of Dawn will be re-released later this year as a new novel, titled Hellgate. The last few chapters of Dawn will then be released (along with several new scenes) as the novella Aftermath, which will set up the story to be continued in Wrath of the Peregrine King.
Big changes will be coming soon to the Sanctum of the Archmage project! I wanted to give everyone a heads-up that I will be temporarily taking Dawn of Chaos down from the Kindle store, probably by the end of the October. It will be re-listed after the new releases of Prologue to Chaos, Hellgate, and Aftermath, as an anthology combining them, and as both e-book and paperback.
I’m also getting ready to create a Patreon page. Stay tuned for that announcement, coming shortly!
A Steam release of the EE Version is also planned for later this year. When that happens will depend on how long it takes me to work out how to re-package the modules for it, and/or to get permission to re-post the required custom content projects on Steam. Some folks at the Neverwinter Vault are developing a one-click install solution that would draw directly from its archives, and if I can make that work from Steam that would be the best and easiest solution. I’ll post updates as I learn more. I’ve had information that players are increasingly checking only the Steam workshop for new EE modules, though, so it’s looking increasingly important for me to get Sanctum on it as well.
After that, I’m planning to resume development of Sanctum of the Archmage 3: The Miracle Worker. How much time I’ll be able to devote to it, though, will depend on the level of interest in the re-release of Sanctum 1 & 2. If they do well and there’s a growth in the player base for NWN:EE, then I’ll definitely try to put more of my (sadly limited) time into that effort. If not, then I may need to switch more of my focus back to resuming work on my novel writing projects. And speaking of that …
The Sanctum of the Archmage Novel Series
Indie publishing, as I’m learning, is really hard work. Being successful at it (especially today) requires mastering a host of cutting edge book marketing skills and practices.
This is a painful lesson that I learned from last year’s launch of my first novel, Dawn of Chaos. Without the right promotional work, you can write and publish a book, but next to no one will notice (let alone buy) it. It’s also easy to fall into the many pitfalls of modern indie publishing, such as the curse of the polluted also-boughts (which, of course, I did).
I’ve been devoting a lot of my spare time in recent months to correcting those oversights by reading and listening to dozens of books, articles, and podcasts on indie book marketing and publishing. A review of my first novel has also helped me recognize some opportunities I have to improve them. So I’ve decided to make a thorough edit of Dawn of Chaos my next writing project before getting back to finishing my next novel, Wrath of the Peregrine King.
For more on my plans to edit and re-release Dawn of Chaos, please see here.
New Facebook Group
Sadly, thanks to the changes made by Facebook to its algorithms this year, the ability of Facebook pages like mine to reach fans has been steadily (and notably) diminishing. Since a shift to Facebook Groups rather than pages seems to be the becoming the advised way to stay in touch with fans, I’ve gone ahead and created a Sanctum of the Archmage – Facebook Group. If you’re on Facebook, please feel free to visit and join!
That’s all for now. Thanks again for your interest and attention, and stay tuned for upcoming announcements!Sincerely,
A new constitution prepares the land of Carlissa for an era of enlightenment. The harsh traditions of the past are fading, and a promise of freedom stirs the air.
In the space of one terrifying day, that promise is shattered in a bloodbath of fire and magic.
Thousands of years ago, an epic battle was fought between good and evil. The demon lords had opened a door to the realms of hell itself, and their horde threatened to overrun the earth. But the Kalarans, led by the hero Calindra, destroyed their hellgate and drove them from the world.
The Great War has long since been lost to myth and legend. The Church struggles for relevance as the people forget their covenant with the gods. A renaissance of freedom and learning stirs the air in the modern age of Carlissa, led by the royal family, and the wisdom of the Archmage.
Many breathe deeply of that air. Princess Randia prepares, not for a loveless marriage of state, but for a life of music and theater with her beloved fiancee at her side. And Orion, a young scholar seeking escape from a traditional merchant family, begins a new career as a professor of philosophy.
All of that comes to an end when a dome of shimmering magic appears in the capital city. In the chaos that follows, the people fight desperately for their very survival, and wonder bitterly why the Archmage seems to have abandoned them.
Their only hope lies in reaching him — and with a young princess who never wanted to rule. She must find the strength to set aside her bard’s calling and take up a battle against impossible odds — or surrender her land and people to the Black Magus and his demons.
Dawn of Chaos finally brings the award-winning Sanctum of the Archmage role-playing games to the world of fantasy fiction. Buy it now and don’t miss this exciting first novel in the saga!