First, I finished the third draft of A Wizard's Gambit and sent it off to beta readers. For those not familiar with the term, this refers to readers who look through a book pre-release and offer suggestions for fixes. It's a familiar term in the gamer community, where games go through a pre-release where players are allowed to explore the game and report on problems that need to be fixed. There's an understanding that it won't be perfect, because any time there's a giant undertaking like that, there are bound to be problems that the creator misses because they're too close to the project. I'm terrible at editing my own stuff. I'm getting better at picking out the poor writing in other books I read, but unfortunately that isn't translating into fixing my own errors.
For those of you not beta reading my next book, here's the blurb. At least I think it's the blurb. I still have lots of time before the book's release, so it might change a bit:
For his courage Thomas is awarded land and a title. Gripped by guilt and uncertainty, he questions whether he is worthy of such honours. Sarentha begins down his own path, learning in secret of new dark powers. Eliza is torn between love and duty, struggling to meet the demands of heart and state.
However, the friends have little time to settle into their new roles. Despite the promise of a new golden age, wicked forces beyond the Empire's borders threaten to destroy everything they have fought for. Tamor's new king falters when genocide and plague bring the Empire to its knees.
Thomas, Sarentha, and Eliza are forced to come forward to hold Tamor and her people together. But for every threat they resolve, another emerges. In a desperate bid to learn the truth behind their plight, Wizard Ramar Wettias sends the fledgling heroes on a dangerous venture that spans the entire continent. Before they can uncover the answers sought by the wizard, they must make difficult choices and face their most terrible fears. Only by illuminating the past can they step into the future.
One misstep would end their lives and plunge the Empire into darkness.
There's a sense of stress that comes along with releasing a book for readers. I worry that, despite reading the book a few times, there will be something major that I've missed. It happened with A Noble's Quest, where the climax was all out of order. My dad read through it and pointed out that he thought the story was over, and then it jumped to other action scenes. It required a little tweaking, but it made the story flow much better.
But A Noble's Quest has been a success, I think. I've had good reaction to it, even if only meager sales. But that comes with time. Organic growth is slow, but we got what I hope will be a bit of a boost this week when our local Guelph Tribune posted a press release! I was excited when the editor said he'd run it in the paper, and asked me to submit a head shot to go with it. My wife squealed with joy when she saw it (partly proud for me, partly pleased because she created the press release package and some of her lines were copied word for word into the paper). If you're an indie author, and you want a press package done up, just let me know and we can work something out. My wife's interested in doing more of them.