Some sugar – Prince of the Ruined Land

April 13, 2018

I know that for the last few weeks you’ve heard a lot about Prince of the Ruined Land. I feel that I owe you for sticking with me and I want to reward you for being loyal readers.

Thank you.

So, here’s the first chapter of Prince of the Ruined Land (Book 4 in the Sacred Knight series)

Prince of the Ruined Land cover small

 

Prince of the Ruined Land

by Dawn Blair

Chapter 1


“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

                –Seneca (Roman philosopher)


The fact Steigan held onto life startled him.

He thought the last remnants of his existence might be wiped away by the intensity of the magic. Yet he found himself standing, staring at the gray cobblestones of the ruins beneath him.

More than a ghost on the doorstep.

Prophecy had come true: Steigan had returned.

A soft wind sweeping through the rubble brought a chill to Steigan’s skin as he stared at his hands and flexed his fingers. He couldn’t believe they looked so young again, before the age spots had started to appear. A new future lay ahead of him, yet never had the expanse of time looked so bleak.

Some dim part of his thoughts told him he was home, yet he couldn’t fight through the fog that gripped him. He was back, yet he didn’t allow himself to believe. How could this be?

All he wanted to do was rest. He thought by now he’d be able to do that. Where was all the magic? He felt none of it coming to him. Steigan dropped to his knees and shouted out his frustration, tears burning in his eyes.

With some vague awareness, he heard people clamoring nearby as they urged him to get to his feet. Steigan glanced around, a dull numbness over his senses as he tried to pull himself from the confusion surrounding him.

A crash jerked Steigan partway from his trance. He raised his head toward the sound. The wooden main gate of Lilinar bowed inwards as it was rammed from outside again. The securing crossbar bulged and was beginning to crack. He did have to get to his feet. They had to get moving. He knew their urgency was important, but he didn’t remember why.

Steigan looked over at the flattened landscape of the ruins. This had once been his home. In his memories, he remembered buildings along the path, but now he could barely see foundations. Weeds and little skeletal trees that had tried to grow here pushed the rocks apart. Vast expanses of the castle were missing. Only the wind visited Lilinar anymore. He barely recognized it.

Goddess…

Another boom thundered through the ruins. Dust fell from the aged wood as the main gate began to splinter. Martias, Adonid, the domini from the Temple, they would all be coming through to arrest Steigan and the people with him. He really needed to get up. He had made it. Now, he had things to do. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oh no, not another prophecy

April 12, 2018

It seems that every fantasy book has some sort of prophecy in it. I tried so hard when I was writing Quest for the Three Books to keep the word prophecy out of it.

I used “legend” instead.

I get to book 4 of the series and I realize I must just give in to the Dark Side.

Prince of the Ruined Land cover small

The prophecy has been fulfilled: the Bloody Saint has returned.

Steigan was known as the saint and betrayer for a reason: where ever he went, death and destruction followed.

Now his enemies attack the gates of the ruined city of Lilinar to capture him. There will be no escape for him this time and no saving his friends. He has nothing but the debris around him.

And the advantage of a lifetime to plan.

Will it be enough to stop the threats retaking the land or to save his friend from turning to the evil powers that he knows will possess Martias?

The fourth story in the legend of Dominus Steigan continues in this epic fantasy adventure.

Releases Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

Pre-order now.

No, wait! I better start the series first!


The Bloody Saint returns

April 10, 2018

A funny thing happened last night.

I’d been working on a stressful project last night — not creativity related, just a project that needed done like 3 weeks ago and I don’t have all the information for and I’m still working on so it’s stressing me out so much so that I can have long run-on sentences about it without feeling too guilty. Once I got to a point where I literally could go no further, I jumped onto Facebook to lighten my mood.

Why in the world I thought that might be a possibility, I don’t know.  Read the rest of this entry »


Progress – April 9, 2018

April 9, 2018

First I lost my daily word count streak, and now my weekly word count streak tumbles.

There’s just been too much going on. So I must learn from this experience and move on. It’s all I can do.

What did I learn? Mostly that when I plan a publication date, I really have to look at other factors in my life that can put me behind. Even though I’d set the publication date for Prince far enough in the future, I didn’t think about having extra work hours, taxes for three people, and having to put my book back together because I couldn’t trust my instincts about the story to begin with and what a landmine that would be. Okay, that last one I couldn’t have foreseen, but it should have been a “what if” factor. Read the rest of this entry »


Prince – Stick a fork in it

April 5, 2018

It’s done.

The manuscript for Prince of the Ruined Land is done.

Well, more accurately, I am done tying it all back out after ripping it to shreds and making it not look like Frankenstein’s monster.

I am currently up to chapter 5 in my final read-through and I haven’t made any major changes. Still making some minor tweaks as I go along, but it’s usually the changing of a word or a phrase — not the major changes to scenes as it has been for the last couple of weeks.

Last night, I also started the character list for the book and I worked on tweaking the cover again thanks to some issues pointed out to me (Thank you, Sean!). I still need to work on the map too.

Prince of the Ruined Land cover small

It will be ready for release on time.

I’m so excited (and a little nervous). How about you?


Progress – April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018

Feeling a little bushwhacked.

No lie.

I have spent all weekend working on Prince of the Ruined Land. Will it be ready by the  release date of April 17th? The ebook version will be. Still not sure about the print, but it’s getting there. I mean, hopefully formatting won’t take too long. If I have one done, the other shouldn’t be too hard, right?

So, I’ve been revising this latest draft by using the strikeout feature in Word. That allowed me to kill passages without actually taking them out. Now, before I broke Prince, the manuscript was about 96,000 words as I recall. As of Friday when I finished threading it back together, it was over 102,000 words. After I lopped off all the scrap sections and the chapters I was pulling out, the manuscript was 70,000 words. Now it’s approximately 72,000. I hope that helps put a little perspective on why this has been a major project.

I’ve done an initial continuity read-through. I still have a little work to do to slow down or revise one scene that goes a bit too fast — end-of-book-itis? Possibly. It might need a complete tear down and revamp, but since I’ve done that to all the rest of the book, what’s one more scene?

I would still love to read through it one more time since I was still revising as I went. If I can have one draft where I don’t correct major issues, then I’ll feel a lot more confident in releasing it.

I still have a map and a character list to build. The cover needs some tinkering. Blurb for the back needs to be written. Just a few things. No worries!

Last week I also decided to start to get up earlier in the mornings. I’ve been getting up at 5:00 a.m. to work for about half an hour on audio, twenty minutes on Weblinks or Rockin’ Life, and about an hour editing. So far, this has been a workable schedule. We’ll see what happens as the weeks progress onward. I do like the idea of having scheduled time for editing. Right now it has obviously been time I’ve used on Prince, but next up is Loki. I really hope that someday I get well versed enough at my craft that I can cycle back better than I do now. It would save me a lot of time. But writing like I am now doesn’t afford me this looping. Someday.

Well, I’ve been looking at words all weekend, so I don’t even want to write at the moment. Let’s just get to the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week: 4,958 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,160 words

Writing month to date total:  29,009 words for March. April has a whopping total of 630 words mostly because I was reading today and deleting nearly as many words as I was putting in. No joke. At one point my word count was actually negative. My writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 13 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 96,407 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 2 hours working on Rockin’ Life and Weblinks.

Audio: I spent almost 5 hours editing audio.


Progress – March 26, 2018

March 26, 2018

skl1 fb promoAside from Prince of the Ruined Land being blown to bits and having to rebuild it, this week was decent. I was tired, but I had fun.

My youngest son was home for spring break. He tore my story apart (in a good way – grin), but considering he’s been helping me plot and work on this book since he was 12, he’s forgiven. He knows the story almost as well as I do even though he’s only read the first book. I hope someday he’ll read the others.

But it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of that I don’t have to worry about spoiling the story for. It lets me be very open about what I “know” about the story as well as explore other avenues.

As I said above, I was also very tired. I think the time change finally caught up to me and shook me like my dog with his toy. Not fun for me.

The boys and I went to see Black Panther last weekend. Not as life-altering as the Sailor Moon musical, but a good story nevertheless.

I’ll speak to a few certain things as I go through the numbers for this week, but since I want to keep this short, let’s get to those numbers.

Fiction words written last week: 4,869 words – all of this has been on Prince of the Ruined Land. I did have several thoughts about Onesong and Elliot’s story (that’s the prequel to Onesong —  I seem to write stories in reverse).  This next week will see me making sure that Prince is coherent. I absolutely must have it done by next Sunday if I want to have a print version done close to the ebook. I will say that I’m glad that I’ve switched to Vellum for my ebooks. That makes that job so much simpler.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,876 words

Writing month to date total:  22,521 words — my writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 12 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 89,289 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 3 hours working on Weblinks. I also started looking at some of work I did on Quest for the Three Books many years ago. While I don’t want to draw the whole thing as a graphic novel, I am thinking about an illustrated version of the novel. I think it’d be a lot of fun to add in some extras. I didn’t get started on; just thinking about it right now.

Audio: I spent 5 and a half hours editing audio. I’m currently on chapter 20 of Quest for the Three Books. Yes, my Sacred Knight series has been on my mind all this week in one form or another.