Category Archives: Sanctum: The Novels

Posts relating to the Sanctum of the Archmage Novels

Summer Sanctum Projects

Here’s an update on recent and upcoming projects in the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga!

RP Game Modules for Neverwinter Nights

Sanctum of the Archmage: The Sight and The Quest, EE Version was published on June 6th! This v5.0 release includes a number of new features, including major custom content updates and re-writes to the XP and crafting systems. The beginning in the forests of southern Carlissa has also been re-built using the excellent Wild Woods tileset, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. This release will only work in Beamdog’s Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, although I’m planning an update that should work in NWN 1.69 as well.

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.

Dawn of Chaos: Edit and Re-Release
Dawn of Chaos suffers (especially in the earlier chapters) from the fact that much of it was written while I was still honing my writing skills. It also has an unusually long introduction and denouement relative to the core of the novel’s story. Modern readers, however (and I think with some justification) expect a book to quickly draw them into the story, and have less patience with the level of exposition and “stage setting” that I was used to from many of the classics of the past. In the e-publishing world of readers who use the “look inside” function to decide if they like something enough to buy it, authors really need to put their best, tightest, and most gripping work forward at the outset.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to restructure Dawn of Chaos and to give it a ruthless edit. My current plan is to separate the introduction and denouement into two novella-length works that “sandwich” the main story. The first was easy to do by editing and moving the initial three chapters of the novel into Prologue to Chaos. The revised Prologue still opens with the conflict and action of the saga’s seminal confrontation, but now also includes a much tighter introduction to the novel. Along with a couple of additional scenes, I think it will be a more effective lead-in to the series, especially since I will also be making it available as a free download.
The novel itself (after a short synopsis of Prologue) will lead right into the action with the start of the invasion, ending shortly after the climax in the chapter The Last Stand. I’m currently planning to release it as a new book under a new name and with a new cover, and titled Hellgate. The last several chapters (along with an added scene or two to help further introduce the next novel, Wrath of the Peregrine King) will then be released as another novella, with the working title The Seeds of the Rebellion. After that, all three books will be collected into a single compilation volume and re-published (as both e-book and paperback) under the original title, Dawn of Chaos.
Going Wide
After careful consideration, I’ve also decided to end my participation in Amazon’s KDP Select program. What that means is that although my books will no longer be available in Kindle Unlimited, I will also no longer be required to publish them exclusively on Amazon. That will let me release them on other online bookstores such as iBooks and Kobo, and even sell them from my own website. (In the indie publishing world, we call this “going wide.”) Setting all of that up will take a bit of time, but I’m very excited at the prospect of making Sanctum of the Archmage available in all of those new venues in the coming months.
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,

Tony Donadio (aka Andarian)

The Headmaster’s Last Student

“You were right when you said I’ve done all I can — for now. Song and theater won’t defeat Zomoran and his horde, and Carlissa doesn’t need a ‘princess bard.’ It needs a warrior princess.”

She turned to face him. Her eyes were alight with determination.

“Teach me, Grandfather,” she said. “To fight, with steel and magic. You’re the world’s greatest living adventurer. Take me as your student. Help me to become the weapon I will need to be to defeat our enemies.”

It’s Done

The final edit of Sanctum of the Archmage: Dawn of Chaos is done!

All that remains now is a final proofreading pass, and integrating the final version of the cover (which I’m expecting from Charles any day now). The proofreading will only be for typos (of which I hope not to find any). Producing the Kindle file for upload shouldn’t take more than an hour. Barring any pre-release marketing I may decide to do, there doesn’t seem to be any reason I can’t publish by the end of the month at latest.

Prologue to Chaos – Free on the First

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

  • Sunday and Monday, January 1st and 2nd

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. The next of these promotions will be on:

  • Sunday, January 8th

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. 🙂

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 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.