Keltin Moore Sneak Peek Party!

 

 

AUGUST 1 UPDATE: We’ve hit the 5 review goal! Keep going! 🙂

I’m offering a group reward to my fans to help me build up my reviews of The Adventures of Keltin Moore. Honest reviews on Amazon are critical to an author’s success, so to encourage my fans to let others know what they think, good or bad, I’m offering the following challenge.

This challenge is to increase the reviews across the series as a whole, which includes The Beast Hunter, Into the North, Dangerous Territory, or the series as a whole. Only reviews posted on or after June 1, 2019 will count towards the challenge. 

Once we’ve met a goal, I’ll reveal the associated prize in a live video at an online party hosted by the Fans of Lindsay Schopfer Facebook Group on August 14 at 7pm PDT.

Here are the goals and prizes available:

At least 5 new reviews –  I’ll reveal a special sneak peek at the plot of book four in the Adventures of Keltin Moore.

At least 10 new reviews –  I’ll give a first look at some of the new specialty ammunition Keltin will be acquiring in book 4.

At least 15 new reviews –  I’ll reveal a special sneak peek at the plot of book five in the Adventures of Keltin Moore.

At least 20 new reviews – I’ll provide some insight into one of the most asked questions about the series. A sneak peek into the future of Keltin and Elaine’s relationship.

So get reviewing, Schopfer fans. I believe in you!

Note: While it is in no way required, Amazon does give priority to reviews that have a verified purchase associated with them.

Lindsay Schopfer Fan Art Contest 2019

 

 

July 9 – The entries are up! Click the following link to cast your votes: 

Fan Art Entries on Facebook

July 1 – Due to popular interest, we’re extending this contest another week and adding some additional categories!

Enter now to be a winner in the first ever Lindsay Schopfer Fan Art Contest! Now through July 8th, submit original works of art in any visual medium based on my published characters and stories to lindsay@lindsayschopfer.com or via a private message to Lindsay’s Facebook Author Page.

July 10th through July 17th all entries will be posted to Author Page on Facebook where the number of likes will determine fan favorites! Winners and finalists will be announced and displayed in a special video on Lindsay’s YouTube Channel, as well as being displayed on a special page on his website. Read below for additional rules:

All entries must be the original work of the artist.

All visual mediums can be submitted including drawings, paintings, sculptures/figurines, computer-generated art, and cosplay.

Works featuring erotic content, excessive gore, and vulgar imagery will not be accepted.

Prizes include bragging rights, display of artwork at blog.LindsaySchopfer.com, more bragging rights, the opportunity to display artistic prowess, and a virtual high five from Lindsay.

By submitting to the contest, the artist grants Lindsay Schopfer non-exclusive, ongoing rights to display and/or alter the submitted artwork for promotional purposes.

The Journal Format of Lost Under Two Moons

I had never written anything in journal format before Lost Under Two Moons. In fact, I hadn’t even ready much in journal format up to that point. I preferred a solid, sensible detached-third-person narrative style, and had used that for all of my prose fiction since grade school. But Richard Park’s story in Lost Under Two Moons turned out to be quite different.

First, some history. When I turned nineteen, I put all of my other life-plans on hold and went to the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was during this exciting, frightening, and often lonely time that I became a dedicated journal-writer. Every day I faithfully recorded the major events of the day, along with many emotions which often had no other outlet. Whenever I felt feeling alone or isolated in a familiar yet foreign environment, I gained a deep appreciation for the process of recording my thoughts and writing through my difficulties.

I didn’t think of any of this consciously when I started the first real draft of Lost Under Two Moons. I was simply trying out an experiment on a project that had failed to ever get past the first page or so of an attempt. I chose an empty, heavy-duty spiral notebook and began writing entries as if I were stranded on an alien world. Nearly two years later, I had the entire first draft contained in that now ratty, war-torn notebook. I still have it.

There were some unique challenges that came with the journal format, but the biggest problem was how to handle physical danger. After all, what tension could there be if we knew that the protagonist not only survived the latest adventure but was apparently healthy enough to write a detailed entry in his journal about it? My solution was to draw from my experiences on my mission. While I was rarely in real physical danger on the reservation, the extremes of stress and emotion meant that some of my entries were erratic, scattered, and even cryptically fragmented. This gave me the idea that while Richard might still be able to write about his day, we don’t know what condition he is in while he’s writing. I could also use the way that he wrote to add tension and tell more than perhaps even he realized he was saying. The ending result proved to be very visceral and surprisingly personal for me.

Would I use the format again if I were to write the book over? Absolutely. It’s the only way I could tell this story. Richard’s adventure is as much one of the heart as it is of the body, and while the process was much harder than a regular narrative would have been, I think that the worth of it is clear to open-hearted readers.

Character Spotlight: Grel’zi’tael the Sky Talker

I thought I’d take a little time to give a brief look at one of the supporting characters in the Adventures of Keltin Moore.

How did he come to be?

The Loopi refugees in The Beast Hunter needed a leader and Grel’zi’tael was it. I felt it was important to show that the Loopi followed Grel’zi’tael primarily because they trusted his wisdom, rather than blind obedience like the soldiers follow Baron Rumsfeld. This contrast was a minor and more subtle reflection of the larger conflict between the soldiers and the beast hunters in general, one of the more important subplots in the novel’s second act.

What purpose does he serve in the story?

Grel’zi’tael is definitely a wise advice-giver in the story. He’s there to be the voice of calm reflection, full of compassion and insight. There’s almost a theatrical formality to the way he speaks, which is probably a throwback to all of the Shakespearean theater I’ve participated in over the years. On the other hand, he’s also got a genuineness that keeps him from feeling too melodramatic  or stiff. He’s like the old family patriarch that sits quietly in the corner during family reunions, happy to simply smile and watch the great-grandchildren play while ready to give a sympathetic ear to an adult that wants to talk about how things are really going for them.

There are a few moments where it seems like he’s got some sort of precognitive powers, but I’ve purposely left those vague and undefined. I like to leave it unanswered how much of that sixth sense is a result of his abilities as a Sky Talker vs. his natural insight and wisdom.

How did my vision of him change over the course of writing him?

Honestly, not very much. Most of the supporting cast and minor characters in The Beast Hunter stayed fairly consistent from conception to their published form, and all of the returning characters for Into the North were pretty firmly established already.

Where might his arc be headed in the future?

I see a great deal of Grel’zi’tael’s original purpose being assumed by Bor’ve’tai as the younger Loopi continues to grow and mature. Beyond that, it’s hard to expect that this much-older character will be going on too many more physically taxing adventures, so he’s probably going to be gently fading into the background to some degree.

Are there Holidays in the World of Keltin Moore?

Yes.

Wow, that was an easy blog article. See you next month!

…oh, did you want me to say more? OK. 🙂

Actually, I’ve thought about holidays in the Keltin Moore stories for a long time. I think that the values of family and spending quality time together would fit in well with this series, and I’m actually planning on including the first officially recognized holiday in book three. Called the Harvest Celebration, it’s meant to commemorate the last day of bringing in the crops and the start of the winter season. While it is most commonly celebrated in rural settings, plenty of urban households across Riltvin, Krendaria, Drutchland, Malpin, and elsewhere also observe this special holiday. While some cities have standardized the specific day of observance, nearly all rural households observe it on the actual day after the harvest is officially over.

The observations of the Harvest Celebration are pretty flexible depending on the household. Decorations prominently feature elements of locally grown crops and are meant as a sign of plenty and prosperity. The majority of the Celebration centers around a feast. The traditional dishes vary from region to region, though they almost always feature a large meat dish as the centerpiece with plenty of sweet and savory dishes to accompany it. While it isn’t strictly a religious holiday, there are traditional prayers of gratitude which are offered and a general spirit of good cheer.

You’ll get to see all of this play out in book three of the Adventures of Keltin Moore, which is coming along nicely, by the way. Definitely out by 2019.

In the meantime, you might consider giving the gift of one or more of my books to somebody for this Christmas season. Just a last-minute shopping idea. 🙂

Merry Christmas!
-Lindsay

Cosplay Advice for the Characters of Keltin Moore

Halloween is coming up soon, and with thoughts of costumes and cosplay on my mind, I thought I’d answer a question that literally swarms of a couple of people have asked me: How to dress up as the characters from the Adventures of Keltin Moore.

Keltin Moore

I’m purposefully vague in a lot of my character descriptions, just because I want to make it easier for readers to put themselves in my characters’ shoes. That being said, Keltin does have some distinct articles and accessories. Most distinctive is his hunting coat, which could be a duster or similar style long-coat in earth tones. He also wears a hat, which I always envisioned as somewhere between a fedora and a cowboy hat – I’m still trying to find one for my own costume. If weapon-props are allowed, Keltin carries a long hunting rifle, a revolver in his belt, a hunting knife, and of course the Ripper, which is essentially a sawed-off glaive or similar pole-arm.

Jaylocke of the Weycliff Wayfarers

The Weycliff people are nomadic entertainers, so Jaylocke’s outfit is likely part-traveling clothes and part-stage costume. He’s described in The Beast Hunter as wearing a vest covered in buttons, which is actually a secret tribute to a gypsy character from the first stage-play I ever wrote called Love’s Folly. Jaylocke’s props are less defined than Keltin’s. He could carry a rifle, the Ripper, or a similar medieval pole-arm weapon. Oh, and a grin. He needs to be grinning. 🙂

Elaine Destov

Elaine comes from a higher class of society than most of Keltin’s associates, but she’s done her fair share of killing beasts as well. A mix of fashionable, yet functional clothes would be good (see General Tips below for the appropriate time period and location). Her weapon of choice is a rifle.

Bor’ve’tai

Good luck with this one! Bor’ve’tai is a Loopi, a sort of ape-man based on the gibbons of southeast Asia. Unlike Chewbacca, he wears the clothing of a laborer on top of his furry body. His favorite weapon is a woodsman’s ax.

General Tips

While the world of Keltin Moore is steampunk fantasy, the steampunk elements tend to be more subtle then other works in the subgenre. A lot of the more fantastic accouterments that punks enjoy (mechanical arms, over-sized wrenches, googles, etc.) don’t really fit in the reality-based world of Keltin Moore. Use late-19th century fashions of both rural United States and Eastern Europe as a general style guide.

Oh, and if any of you come up with a costume for any of the characters of Keltin Moore, please send a picture! I’d love to see it!

There’s a New Keltin Moore Short Story!

Keltin and Jaylocke have traveled to northern Riltvin to investigate reports of beast attacks. Something has been terrorizing the small village of Riksville, and it’s up to the nation’s best beast hunter and his trusty apprentice to stop it. But when Keltin decides that it’s time for Jaylocke to take the lead on a hunt for the first time, the Weycliff wayfarer soon learns that there’s more to beast hunting that just fighting monsters. Fans of Keltin Moore will love this adventure featuring two of Schopfer’s most beloved characters and including never-before revealed details of Keltin’s past.

Loss of a Legend takes place shortly after the events of Into the North.

While this story will no doubt appear in a future anthology at some point, right now the only way to see it is by joining and participating in my Guild of Adventurers. To learn more about how to join this great group of fans, check out my Guild of Adventurers Q&A.

Christmas-Themed Fake Quotes from My Stories

“Keltin, is there such a thing as a snow mirage?”
“What are you talking about, Jaylocke?”
“I’ve heard that in the desert, you can get so hot and thirty that you begin to see things that aren’t really there. Do you think you can get the same thing out here?”
“I doubt it. Why?”
“Look.”
Keltin turned to look where his apprentice was pointing and saw that one of the evergreen trees on the far bank of the Wylow river had been festooned with decorations. Delicate glass ornaments hung from every bough as small woodland creatures scattered silvery strands of tinsel along the green needles. Keltin turned back to Jaylocke as the squirrels and rabbits began laying brightly wrapped packages around the tree trunk.
“I think we’ve been out in the cold too long,” he said.
– (not from) Into the North

“No! I don’t want to!” shouted Vin, the talking sword. “You can’t make me!”
“I can, and I will!” said the knight holding Vin. “Now get in there!”
“No!” screamed Vin as he was plunged into the still body before him. “You monster!”
“Oh hush and carve the turkey,” said the knight.
– (not from) Magic, Mystery and Mirth

“Huh,” said Keltin.
“What is it?” asked Bor’ve’tai.
“Nothing,” said Keltin, looking at the still beast he’d just brought down. “I’ve just never seen a serpent stag with a glowing red nose before.”
– (not from) The Beast Hunter

Well, Journal, there’s good news and bad news. It’s Christmas Day, and against all odds, Santa did come! Unfortunately, instead of six months of food and a shotgun, he brought me dress socks and a sweater with a bird on it.
– (not from) Lost Under Two Moons

Creating the Weycliff Wayfarers

I thought I’d take the opportunity to write a little about one of the more prominent societies presented in The Beast Hunter, my steampunk monster hunter novel and the first installment of The Adventures of Keltin Moore series.

Their Name

Originally, Jaylocke and his people didn’t have an original name and I simply called them gypsies. However, it was never my intention to suggest that these people should be identified as Romanians, and I did a great deal of research to make sure that I avoided having too many similarities with them. My goal with using the word gypsy was to conjure up a fanciful, nonspecific image for the reader, similar to the way that people think of a corsair as merely an exotic pirate as opposed to a citizen of the Ottoman Empire.

I eventually decided to give these mystical, wandering performers a more specific name after talking with a good friend of mine who spent much of his childhood growing up in France. He told me that the term gypsy has a very negative stigma for many Europeans, and that even though he had nothing against Romanian people, he still had a hard time ignoring the prejudices that he had been raised with as he read my story. I decided that it would be better to avoid the risk of alienating any of my European readers while at the same time taking this as an opportunity to get creative and come up with something more original instead.

Their Ancestors

The close relationship between the Weycliff people and their ancestors was actually inspired by my own personal experiences in genealogical research. As a Mormon, I believe that families are eternal, and that it is important to not only know what the names of my ancestors are, but what they were like as well. I took that idea and contrasted it with the way helpful ancestors are often portrayed in other fantasy novels as being little more than a nameless group of spirits with no real personalities of their own.

I thought it might be more interesting if a wayfarer had to know his family history in order to choose which ancestor to call on in any given situation. The result was a magic system that was both straightforward and complex, with a lot of opportunity for unique subplots and conflicts along the way. The only downside to this approach is that I have to maintain an increasingly complex family tree and family history for Jaylocke as I write the series to avoid giving him one-too-many great-grandmothers, but I think it’s definitely worth it.

Their Place in the World of Keltin Moore

While I did avoid using the term gypsy to avoid possible reader prejudice, it was always my intention that the Weycliff wayfarers would be the victim of bigotry and stereotyping. Along with the Loopi, the wayfarers have to deal with hostility and distrust from their fellow hunters to such a degree that it eventually becomes one of the key dynamics in the novel’s second act.

Interestingly, when I had my Beta read for The Beast Hunter, one of my readers said that she felt that the hunters’ prejudice was unmotivated. In her eyes, there wasn’t anything in the behavior of the Weycliff that justified the level of animosity that they were faced with. While I appreciated her comments, I decided to leave the relationship between the hunters and wayfarers the way it was, as I believe that prejudice is, among other things, an unjustified reaction to someone else just because they are different.

Rejected Titles for Lost Under Two Moons

Norman Mailer said “if you have to pick [the title] after the book is done, it’s like trying to buy the right wedding ring.” This was definitely the case with my first novel. In fact, the book didn’t even have a working title until the first draft was finished. For the longest time, I called it Other World: Survival, but I never really liked the name.

It wasn’t until I started assembling a BETA read team that I finally decided to pick a title. I knew it would have to be something unique while being easy to remember. I started brainstorming any titles that might even remotely work. Vague, obscure, clichéd… it all went into the list that I then sent on to my test readers to vote on.

After I sent out the list, I realized that I was actually hoping that one title in particular would win. I started to worry that no-one else would like it, but when the results came back I found that it had gotten the second-most votes from my readers. That was good enough for me, and the book was known from that point on as Lost Under Two Moons.

Having said all that, I thought it’d be fun to share some of the possible titles that were sent to my BETA readers to consider. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

A Journal from Another World
Alone In an Alien Nowhere
Alone With The Bigamouths
Cry of the Bigamouth
How I Survived Other World
I Want to go Home
“I’m Not on Earth Anymore”
Journal from Another World
Letters from Another World
Lost on an Unknown World
My Life on Other World
No Man’s Land
Other World Castaway
Planet Stranded
Stalked by Bigamouths
Survival on Another World
The World of Mr. Screech

…and perhaps the oddest of all…

Utility Knife On Another World