I’ve recently finished a long series on my newsletter on the mythology of The Golden Rule duology (A Bright Power Rising/The Unconquered Sun). I wrote the original Book of Seven Lights when I was fourteen and revised it countless times over the years. You can check it out HERE.
I feel like a pirate lowering my flag of convenience and hoisting the Jolly Roger! Below are the two new covers for A Bright Power Rising and The Unconquered Sun. They have a much more epic fantasy feel!
The ebooks are already available on Amazon and Kobo with the new versions appearing on the other stores in a couple of days. The paperbacks are to follow soon.
The Golden Rule novels and associated short story, The Parting Gift, are now available on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and other stores. The Parting Gift, which is a standalone set in the same world, will be free until further notice, so this is your chance to dip your toe in the water so to speak if you haven’t done so already.
A Bright Power Rising:
The Unconquered Sun:
The Parting Gift:
Dr. Herbert Marriott has a problem that only murder can solve. Luckily for him, the perfect weapon is locked away in his rundown museum, one too incredible for any court to accept. The cursed chair kills all who rest upon it. But will Herbert’s victim be so easily drawn to her fate?
To celebrate, A Bright Power Rising is also available on Amazon for a limited time at 99 cents.
I’m running two promotions at the moment. I’ll list them in order of time sensitivity.
Firstly, the short story The Parting Gift is free on Amazon until 24th June.
I am also running a Kindle Countdown (99 cent) deal until 28th June for A Bright Power Rising & The Unconquered Sun on the UK and US Amazon stores.
The Unconquered Sun has finally been released! To celebrate, until 15th February, the mobi versions of A Bright Power Rising and The Parting Gift will be free. The Unconquered Sun will be available also at $0,99 or equivalent.
The net effect of this is that you can get the two novels and a short story for the princely sum of $0.99!
(1) If you haven’t a copy of A Bright Power Rising, it is currently FREE until 19th December 2015. HERE
(3) I’m giving away free ebooks of The Parting Gift on Booklikes HERE. Ends on 8th January 2016.
(4) The Unconquered Sun will be released on 11th February 2016. It’s currently available for pre-order at 99 cents on Amazon.
The best thing about not knowing what you’re doing is you are willing to attempt feats you would realize were difficult to almost impossible.
In 2004, I started the first draft of what would become The Golden Rule Duology. Back then, it had the snappy title of The Two-Thumbed Hand. (I don’t know why I changed it.) The story concentrated on the Ors, one of the five races in the Photocosm setting I’d created. Up till then, the Sables (the myrmidons of the Dark Light) had been the focus of my efforts, but the Ors captured my imagination so much, I had to write about them.
The book originally began at the start of the second section of A Bright Power Rising. My original plan was to see the entire story through the viewpoint of AscendantSun and NoName (who were DayRise and SunSet back then) but their interactions with the (human) Mixies became quickly unwieldy to write. The Ors were alien to the reader, while the Mixies were alien to the Ors. Explaining things became quickly convoluted. The story quickly became an onion of aliening. I cried every time I had to cut through the layers.
The problem with writing the alien is you are merely three letters short of alienate. While readers might enjoy the alien perspective, emotional resonance takes time to establish. The readers need ‘rules’. They need analogies. They need to relate the Ors’ reactions to their own emotions.
To ease the reader into this world, the Mixies’ role was expanded into what became the first section of A Bright Power Rising. The Mixies’ society became fleshed out. In some ways, they, too, are alien but they are recognizably human.
The Two-Thumbed Hand eventually became The Golden Rule. It was so long, a printed copy filled two thick ring binders. My initial readers came back with three clear issues. It was too long, it wasn’t long enough, but the ending was really good. Basically, I needed to slow down the pace to give people time to adjust to what was going on, and at the same time not inflict an excessively long story on them. I needed to split it into two volumes.
The initial problem was how to end the first volume. I wanted to tell a complete story, but I had to do so in a way that readers would want to read the next book. The third part of A Bright Power Rising was the result.
My beta readers loved it so I was soon off to get it edited. The first problem was where to get an editor. I must have looked at about thirty to forty different options. It’s an expensive decision, not simply in the initial financial outlay, but in time and morale. Picking the wrong editor can set you back. I wanted someone who knew what they were doing and would be brutally honest with the book’s issues. Fortunately, I lucked out by finding Finish The Story and Claire Ashgrove in particular.
I worked very hard through the editing process. I wanted the book to be ‘right,’ Ultimately, while it was at times painful, I learned an immense amount and the book improved beyond all recognition,
I had the book proofread a couple of times by Finish The Story and by Proofed to Perfection. One of the things always missed in the debates about errors in self-published books is that one proofreader is not enough to guarantee errors are minimized. My understanding is the big publishers use multiple proofreaders per book. Whenever I read a proofreader claim to never miss a mistake, I raise an eyebrow.
Everyone I’ve read talks of publishing for the first time as exciting. It is, but it is also nerve-racking. If I had to do it all over again, I would have first published a short story first to get familiar with the publishing process on Amazon, etc.
I was very happy with the final product. During editing, I weirdly get less satisfied with them when I haven’t read them a while, but when I reread them and get back into the story, my confidence in them returns. Fortunately, once they are published (unless some typo/error crops up), I just let them go as my brain starts work on the next book. It’ll be interesting to reread A Bright Power Rising in a couple of years. What will I think of it then?
The one issue I would change in a perfect world would be the pronouns for the Ors, given their genderless nature. I would have liked to use something like xe/xem/xyr for them. But as an unknown self-publishing my own book, I decided this would create a barrier for readers who were unfamiliar with the terminology. I couldn’t afford to come off as being willfully obscure.
NEXT WEEK: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN & THE PARTING GIFT.
I am delighted that A Bright Power Rising has been honored with the B.R.A.G.Medallion. This is a stamp of quality for Indie books. The selection process is very strict. Books undergo an initial screening process to ensure minimum quality standards are in place. If the book passes this hurdle (50% fail), it is appraised by IndieBRAG’s reviewers based on a comprehensive list of criteria relating to the writing, the story and layout. One key criterion is would they recommend the book to their best friend. Only 10% of submissions receive the B.R.A.G.Medallion.
The Unconquered Sun is currently in editing. I finished my last pre-edit draft a bit later than I expected. The release date will not be finalized until the editing process is sufficiently advanced. However, I will reveal the book’s cover next month. I also have written a short story set in the Photocosm. It takes place before the main story in A Bright Power Rising/The Unconquered Sun.
A Bright Power Rising is now available on Kindle Unlimited. It will be free on Amazon from 23rd-25th April. Do check it out!