Category Archives: Prologue to Chaos

Prologue to Chaos is the Introduction to the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga, now available from the Amazon Kindle Store.

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. 🙂

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.

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.

Prologue to Chaos: Cover

I expect to be able to re-release the prologue to the (upcoming) Sanctum of the Archmage novels sometime in the next few weeks. Aside from a re-edit to improve the writing, it will feature a new title and cover illustration. And here they are:

PtC-Cover-Final

I hope you like the new cover as much as I do. The title change from Dawn of Chaos to Prologue to Chaos will let me use Dawn of Chaos as the title of the first of the Sanctum novels.

Several very talented individuals helped make the new cover possible. They are my friend and illustrator, Charles Imbro, who did the original drawing; my friend and fellow fantasy author, Michael Layne, who did an excellent job of colorizing it; and my brother Michael Donadio, who did the title work. Many thanks to each of them!

Some New Decisions

It’s been a while, and well past time for me to post for a brief note for anyone interested in the saga’s progress. There’s all kinds of news to go around: some good, some bad, and some probably good, but definitely “new.”

First the bad news. Thanks to the latest bout of crazy at work and a nasty chest flu that took over a month to recover from, progress on my projects (particularly the first full-length Sanctum novel) has been slower than I would have preferred.

The good news is that I’m finally feeling better. Moreover (and thanks to a new assignment there), the crazy at work not only seems to be ending, but looks like it’s likely to remain manageable from now on. As a result, my writing is building momentum again. I managed to complete about three chapters in the last month, and I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be able to maintain at least that pace going forward.

The “new” news centers mostly around some decisions I’ve made about how to organize the saga, and how to prepare to promote it.

First (and as I suggested I was considering in previous posts), I’ve decided to use “Dawn of Chaos” as the title of the upcoming (full-length) novel. I’ve also decided not to include the existing prologue in it. Instead the prologue will be edited and re-released, remaining available as a short, inexpensive, and standalone lead-in to the series. The two works will be titled:

Prologue to Chaos
Introduction to the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga

Dawn of Chaos
Book One of the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga

The re-release of Prologue to Chaos will include writing and editing improvements, as well as a re-designed cover. I’ve been doing a lot of research recently into the craft of e-publishing, and everything I’ve read stresses the importance of having a professional looking cover design. My own amateurish first attempt (hacked together while teaching myself how to use Gimp) didn’t do justice to Charles’ fantastic illustration work, and I’m looking into ways to improve it.

Not counting the Prologue, Dawn of Chaos now stands just shy of seventy thousand words. The prologue is about seven thousand, and the expanded appendix (more on that below) another five thousand or so. Dawn has kept expanding in length and scope as I’ve progressed, but it’s currently scoped out for twenty chapters and something over one hundred thousand words (or a bit over 300 “paperback equivalent pages”).

I’m just finishing chapter 13 right now. In a chapter or two it will be starting into the climax. I have a very clear idea how that part of the story will progress, so I actually expect it to write more quickly and easily than the rest. I’m really looking forward to that.

As for the expanded appendix: it’s a brief introduction to the history and culture of the land of Kalara. Basically, it describes — mostly in high-level, overview style terms — what happened to The Children during the ten thousand or so years between the Legend of the Great War, and the “modern times” in which the saga actually takes place. Rather than putting it up on Amazon, I’m considering just making it a PDF that fans can get for free for subscribing to my email list. The list isn’t available yet, but it’s another thing that I’m in the process of beginning to set up. 🙂