25 January 2017

The Knights of Doom!

This is the probable first page of my next book project, Little Sister of the Dragonslayer. I hope you enjoy it!

The calendar indicated that it was spring, but snow lingered around White Hills monastery.  In a courtyard free of snow, its cobblestones kept warm with heat stored from the previous summer, a door opened.  A teenage girl dressed in a pale blue linen tunic and violet trousers stepped out.  She closed her golden-brown eyes for a moment as wind strong enough to lift her long black braid struck her.  She shivered, but walked across the courtyard at a decorous pace.

Another door, and she was inside a corridor lit only by sunlight trickling through high, narrow windows of stained glass.  The projected geometric patterns lent a cheerful touch, and the girl felt at home.  She knelt beside a sliding door of frosted glass, heard the quiet murmur of women’s voices from within. She knocked gently on the door’s frame before she registered what they were discussing.

“Enter,” called one of the voices.  The girl slid the door open.  She crossed the threshold without rising, closed the panel behind her.  “You called for me, Sister Abbot?” She disciplined herself to look only at the gray-haired Abbot.

“I did,” the old woman confirmed with a smile, her weathered blue eyes kind.  She looked to the other woman, and the girl let herself look as well.  The unfamiliar woman had burnished copper hair that she’d cut short, and calm gray eyes.  The polychromatic seven-pointed star of the Order of the Celestial Guardian was embroidered on the chest of the white wool gambeson she wore, and a dot of light moved languidly on her forehead, tracing out the same sigil. The woman’s nose was sharp, and her cheekbones high. The girl guessed she was closing in on forty, and likely, the end of her active career as a warrior.

“Probationary Sister Midori,” the Abbot said, “this is Initiate Sister Siobhan.”

Midori bowed slightly.  “I am pleased to meet you, Sister,” she said.

“The pleasure is mine,” Siobhan responded, her cool gray eyes studying Midori.

“Probationary Sister Midori,” the abbot said, still smiling, “has passed all of her tests to become a Novice.”

Siobhan nodded, her eyes still lingering on Midori.  After a moment, she nodded again.  “I am traveling to Blackstone City.  I need a companion.  Would you care to travel with me?”

Midori waited a moment, trying to conceal her excitement.  “Please,” she said, and then, “thank you.”

“Is your gear ready, Midori?” the abbot asked.

Midori suppressed a smile.  She had been pestering Lay Sister Jordan for days, filling her saddle bags with items the Sisters Instructor had recommended for her travels, from extra pairs of socks to scouring sand and clove oil for maintaining her maces.  “Yes, Abbot,” she answered.

“We leave at first light,” Siobhan said.

“You should go and get ready,” the Abbot said to Midori.

Midori bowed, opened the door panel behind her, and exited without standing.

18 January 2017

The Novel of Dooooooom!

My goodness, has it truly been a year since I updated here?  How time flies when you're not paying attention.

In the ensuing months, I've submitted Flowers of Luna to rather a few literary agents.  Those who have bothered to reply at all mostly said that they "didn't connect with it," which I presume either means, "I don't see any commercial market for this," or "You're a horrible writer, why did you punish me by sending this to me?!"

I've also gone through about three rewrites of the text.  The resulting book is much better than it was, and I truly believe it to be the best thing I have ever written. Since I couldn't get any traction with traditional publishing, I have decided to publish it myself, through Kindle Direct Publishing. The book has a Goodreads page.

Yesterday, I sent out the advance review copies.  Since they are in e-book format, they're technically called e-gallies, I'm told. I would have liked to send out dead tree copies, but I really can't afford that. Alas.

Pushing "Send" on that email was one of the more difficult things I've done in recent memory.  As noted in the interview I wrote last year, I have very severe anxiety issues.  FoL is so much a part of me -- I've torn out bits of my heart and soul, written them down and organized them.  I have dreamed and dreaded and fought this book into existence. And now? I have sent it into the world, made it vulnerable to the slings and arrows of others. How will they treat it?

Flowers of Luna will be available through Amazon on or about 3 February 2017. If you choose to read it, I hope that you will enjoy it.