Let’s get into the meat of it right away. I know you barbarians don’t like wagging chins. Weird of the Skull Totem is here, and we might not escape with our sanity… if we make it out at all.
Skarde – wandering sword, pirate, and killer of giants – falls prey to his own triumphs. Shipwrecked on a haunted shore, he and his crew face a nightmarish foe that wields enigmatic powers, distorting reality with malevolent sorcery. Under darkling boughs death and horror stalk, hungry for living flesh. The feared Og-Riz, master of savage tribes and a shaman of dreadful power, beckons a sanity-bending evil from the plutonic depths of time. Skarde has only mortal courage and strength to battle against an unfathomable menace veiled by eerie mists. Skarde’s desperate fight to save himself and his men endangers his very soul. Will his wit and vigor prevail against this primeval malice, or will darkness claim him eternally?
Now that we have that out of the way, I can tell my tale.
I started Citadel of Seven Swords in 2020. I, like many others, had more time on my hands as I started working from home. My ideas and the desire to write go further back, but here is where I made my stand. There just wasn’t enough of the kind of fiction that I really wanted to read around, so I would make my own. After some bumps I almost gave up. Then, in March of 2022 Brandon Sanderson had his monumental Kickstarter campaign. I knew little of him, as I hadn’t kept up with modern fantasy, or read Robert Jordan.
What I did know was that the time of the Indie had come.
Inspired, I forged ahead. I learned about Sanderson and watched his lecture series. That helped me come up with solutions to the issues with my story, and I learned a lot and finally finished Citadel of Seven Swords.
Then I struggled for months with editing. This is dangerous territory for new authors. Going it alone is usually a bad idea. Paying $5000 for editing is equally a bad idea. I was lucky enough to find people on Twitter who were just right for the job (Shoutout to Daniel and Doc Parce!)
I finally released Citadel in June of 2023.
Weird of the Skull Totem was a different beast. Now that I had a handle on storytelling, I focused on writing every day, and wrote Weird from June to August of 2022. Three months. Many times faster than book one. I changed the way I edited as well, giving my beta reader and editor less polished versions. That went poorly and I’ll be going back to polishing as much as I can before other eyes see it. Point is, I am learning. I’m learning about promotions. I am networking and meeting people who are both professional and those I’d like to call my friends. The “Iron Age” group of Indie authors and friends is a gold mine of talent and cool. Well… an iron mine.
Now that book two is in pre-order, I have some very minor polishing to do before January 31st. This year will begin with the penning of several shorts. There are at least four or five publications I would like to sub to, and it takes a lot of effort to keep stories under 6k. After that (or while), I will work on book three which is already underway – Princess of the Shrouded Mountain. I hope you like lost lands, beautiful princesses, scheming high priests, and (possibly) prehistoric megafauna.