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Waag Newsletter #1

Hail Sword Swingers,


Here is the first of Erik’s quarterly newsletter. Since I started publishing last year I’ve made a lot of friends, picked up some subscribers on my website and on Substack, and of course sold some books. Thank you buyers, boosters, and fans of Sword & Sorcery. Hail to the Iron Age! Things are going better than I had hoped. Still, I’m only making enough to pay off the art and editing for my projects, but that’s a win as far as I’m concerned. The battle is, as for most of us, finding time. More on that at the end of the newsletter.

So let's get to it.



Anvil


I'm thrilled to announce that Anvil 5 will carry another of my short stories. I won't give away spoilers except to say it involves your favorite sword swinger (who’s not Conan) and a no good rotten lying sorcerer… or two. Of course, you should also pick up Anvil 3 and 4.

Please check out the great and shiny Anvil: https://anvilmagazine.com/




Swords and Heroes


Lyn Perry's Swords and Heroes is an extension of his Sword and Sorcery update. Both are free. Lyn does tremendous work by email list and over on Facebook. If you don't mind top quality fantasy delivered free give it a look. I submitted a tale of Sword, Sorcery, and Horror to him. Will it make it past his exacting eye? By Thunir's Axe, bloody editing work awaits me I do not doubt, but I won't retreat!

Check out the misty realm of Tule Fog Press: https://tulefogpress.substack.com/p/swords-and-heroes-story-0






Not short on shorts


With all this short story work I'm focusing on, I'm reexamining a short that was rejected from Anvil. Rightly so. The story (I believe) is fun and action-packed. But I tried something new and it didn't work out. So now I’ve taken it out of cold storage and am looking for a way to keep my twist at the end while eliminating a lack of clarity.


More shorts? Must be summer.


Yeah, I've written and subbed yet another short. Another of Skarde's adventures. This is just a teaser of things to come. Since the ifs and whens on this one are up in the air I'll just leave you with some good advice: when you are at a siege, use the buddy system.


Audio book


One of the many plans that's been in the back of my mind for a while has been turning Citadel of Seven Swords into an audio book. When I came across a grant to help indie authors do just that, I applied right away. I won't know if the project will have funding for another month or so.

 I do have a plan ready if funding is green lit. And I have a voice artist lined up. If you don't know Moose Matson, The Hobo with the High Kick (@moosematson on Twitter), you should check him out. He does his gritty but dreamlike voice work on his youtube channel and voices Savage Realms Monthly (@SRM_Monthly on Twitter).

If I don't get the funding… ah well. Plans are in place and I might raise funds another way or hold off till next year.


Partnerships


A few Iron Age authors and myself, with efforts led by Tom Hyland (@hylandian626 on Twitter), are talking with a certain brick and mortar establishment to get our works some shelf space. A small step, but also big one. Every customer facing space taken by an indie is space taken away from the mainstream. I don’t like thinking in an us-vs-them way, but that is the reality as maintained by the corporate press. And any indie on that shelf is a win for all of us as the validity of self-publishing grows in the public eye. I could go on about how books like ours could grow an audience the mainstream has pushed away and even vilified - but I’ll leave that for another time.

In the same vein, I am also chatting with a company that puts loot boxes together. Perhaps a few of my books could find their way into their customers hands.

Both of these physical markets are theoretical at the moment. Fingers are crossed.


Youtube


I’ve neglected Youtube. It’s a great place to reach new readers and creatives, and it gives me a chance to work on my speaking and presentation skills.To that end I’m planning a new series, and slowly creating a video intro. What’s the series? I am re-reading all of the Robert E. Howard Conan stories. I plan on making a video about each one. Of course, I would rate them all 5 stars, but you knew that. What I want is to comment on all the details I find and thoughts about REH’s writing. I will throw in a few facts about REH himself as I go.


Book 3


Now the big one. I am working away on book 3 of the Wandering Sword series: Princess of the Shrouded Mountain.

I'll be honest. Real life is kicking my ass right now. I had hoped to be almost finished with the first draft by now, but I'm really only at the 25% mark. But I am chipping away. My original goal was to have book 3 and 4 out this year. That was on the expectation that the continuous IT issues and strange management decisions at work would have smoothed out in 2024. They have not. Add to that some serious family health issues and… well priorities are at play here. Next month, if the Gods of the North permit, I'll make serious inroads on this Skarde’s next tale.



Until next time,

Storm the gates!



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