Monthly Archives: September 2011

Three books, Indie-Indie-Indie.

Books I-III of the Norothian Cycle.

Well, it’s official.  Over the last half-week or so, with invaluable assistance from friends, Volume Three of the Norothian Cycle is now available at the usual sites for e-books, meaning Tilda’s tale is a trilogy.

But not just a trilogy, a 450,000 word oeuvre, which seems kinda excessive even to me. When I realized that together the three volumes are together pushing a half-million words, it was almost like a moment of clarity. But then it passed, and I realized once again how glad I am to be living and working in Indie World.

Let’s face it, the first thing anybody “in the industry” would do with a book like The Sable City (Book I), which weighs in at a brisk 180K, is start hacking stuff out of it. There’s a lot of characters, do we need them all? There’s historical background, readers won’t like that. This is supposed to be a fantasy book and parts touch on economics, culture, and technological development. Could we lose that in exchange for another sword fight?

Look, I am not saying those are not all fair points, and any of the above is certainly a viable way to make the book and the series more accessible to a greater number of people by simply targeting it more specifically to that Holy Grail of marketing: The Least Common Denominator.

Yeah, this where might start coming off as an Elitist Snob, but honestly, I’m not making a qualitative judgment here. I love a good, fun, light read every now and again, too.  They are great.  But that doesn’t mean that should be all there is.

So, Indie World.  Indie writers writing what they want to write, listening to the opinions of those they like and respect, but not being told what to do.  Sure, such a policy will tend to generate a lot of unreadable, self-indulgent crap.  But it seems to me the Publishing Industry is not exactly immune to that either.

At this point, I have written three, loooong books, I had fun doing it, and they are the kind of books I like: Character-driven, but hopefully with something a bit more than that underpinning the stories. Depth that can be enjoyed if it’s your sort of thing, or which you can just skim until the next samurai or succubus shows up. But it’s there, and it’s up to readers to read it or not, and enjoy it or not. Thus far I’ve had reviewers say they thought there was too much background, while others said they really liked the background, and I have been gratified to find that it really didn’t make that much difference as to whether they liked the books, overall. All that stuff is just one element of the stories, which I firmly believe would not be there at all had I gone about this publishing thing in the “traditional” way.

Indie World, y’all. Not just Indie authors, but even better: Indie Readers. How cool is that, for everybody? 🙂

Thanks always for reading,


The Norothian Cycle

Book I – The Sable City 


Book II – Death of a Kingdom

Book III – The Wind from Miilark (NEW)


Posted by on September 21, 2011 in The Norothian Cycle, Writing


I’m doing what now?

Hi all,

I feel like I should take a moment to explicate, maybe mostly for myself, just what it is I am doing here. So here goes:

I am hoping to present this blog for two purposes, first as something of a resource for people who may be reading the Norothian Cycle (The Sable City, Death of a Kingdom, The Wind from Miilark, et al). Here will be posted the maps, glossary, short histories, etc. defining the “world” of my Musket & Magic fantasy stories, or basically the background I couldn’t reasonably get into the books themselves without swamping the stories. I’m the kind of reader who loves all this stuff, but not everybody is, nor should they be. Some readers and reviewers have really liked how much “back-story” is in the books, some have felt it’s already too much, some wanted more. Can’t please everybody, so I’ll just stick with trying to please myself most days. 😉

So for those wanting more, it will be accessible here. I should say that the world of the Cycle (basically the four continents ringing the Interminable Ocean, with the Islands of Miilark in the center) has been “built” to an exhaustive, some would say psychotic, level. It was something of a hobby for me for about ten years, writing a history of a world immersed in the tropes of magic and fantasy, sort of playing-out how those things would have influenced cultural, political, technologic, and economic development on a scale of centuries. The last thing I wanted my fantasy setting to be was a quasi Medieval Europe with some orcs and wizards running around, and that is definitely not what I wound-up with.

However, as all the building was done by hand – chicken-scrawl notebooks and colored-pencil maps – it is a bit laborious to get it up on a blog in a legible form. Right now there is a glossary (to which I keep adding), a handful of “local” maps, and a couple short(ish) histories of specific nations or regions. More is to come, though time constraints are thus-far keeping me from putting serious work on the other half of this blog project.

That is the more “writerly” part, I suppose, wherein I kvetch and opine about, you know, writerly stuff. There will be more of that as well, in time, and then the thing I am most looking forward to: Introducing some of the really cool Indie writers I have met since going down this whacky road, beginning last March. I’m likely to start with my fellow members of the Eclective, who you can meet for yourselves right now via that button over yonder –> (hey! I made a button!).

In closing then, yes, I am not posting a whole lot right now here, though things are always being added under those buttons across the top. Still, I hope readers interested are able to find some additional materials here that will broaden the world where Tilda & Co. are at play, and hopefully others can find a little amusement, or heaven forefend, a thought that might generate a bit of talk.

Thanks for stopping by, do mind the sawhorses and sparking wires, this place is still Under Construction.



Posted by on September 6, 2011 in Writing