Writing Update April 20, 2018

Those of you who follow me on Facebook will already know that I recently finished the first draft of Keltin Moore’s third novel. I’m very excited for this one, as it explores some characters that haven’t gotten much attention in the past, as well as introducing a much larger cast to the series. Right now I’m in the midst of the initial review before the actual work of the second draft begins. So far, it looks pretty straightforward, though I anticipate that the majority of the work will be in the first five chapters when I was still struggling to figure out what the plot was going to be.

In order to meet my ambitious release date for this novel, I’m temporarily putting all other projects on hold. This includes the new anthology I’d been planning on releasing some time this year. Instead, my plan is to release those stories in 2019. Whether it will be an updated version of Magic, Mystery and Mirth or a completely new title is yet to be determined, but I will say this… If I do end up combining all of the planned short stories with the existing ones in Magic, Mystery and Mirth, it will more than double the size of that collection!

There is one more project that I’m thinking about which many of you have been asking about for some time. Yes, I do plan to do an audio-book version of The Beast Hunter some time in the future. Ideally, I’d like to narrate it myself, but putting all the pieces together is going to take some doing. Right now, I’m working to find a sound-proofed recording space as well as getting the funds necessary to purchase the required hardware and software to ensure that this project is of the highest quality. If you have any resources you know of or are willing to contribute to this cause, please let me know! You can also contribute to my Patreon account to help me save up enough money to make this dream a reality.

I hope you’re as excited about these developments as I am. I can’t wait for all of my fans to return to the world of Keltin Moore!

The Perfect Time to Meet Keltin Moore

There are some great new opportunities for anyone that has been meaning to check out my Keltin Moore series but hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

The first new development is ongoing. Now, anyone who subscribes to my mailing list will receive a free sample from Keltin’s first adventure, The Beast Hunter. After that, subscribers will receive a monthly e-mail with the latest news on upcoming books, updates on my creative writing courses, and my planned author appearances.

Click Here to Subscribe to My Mailing List

The other opportunity is for a limited time only. From March 5 to March 12, The Beast Hunter will be just 99 cents as an ebook from Amazon. Quite the deal, if I do say so myself.

If you’re already a fan of Keltin Moore, this is an excellent time to encourage others to check it out, either by getting the free sample or purchasing the ebook. Or both. Both is good too. 🙂

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.