Oh, and the good news is that issue three of Tower of Light is up and running, featuring a review of Jim Melvin's The Pit and several great fantasy stories!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Oh, and the good news is that issue three of Tower of Light is up and running, featuring a review of Jim Melvin's The Pit and several great fantasy stories!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Anyway, Cheryl Anne Gardner did her review of "Sanctuary of the Mind" at the POD People forum, and what a great review it is! She gave it a 7/10, stating that the rating would be higher if not for some formatting and grammatical issues. Please check it out and let me know what you think.
Posted by Michael at 10:08 PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I'm not going to enter it for the Covey Awards because this book isn't published yet. However, I had thought about doing it for the old, unpolished version - Pure Intensity - which (miraculously) is still available at Amazon.com, but I'm not sure that's a good idea since I'm hoping to publish Estranged Earth as a separate work. Not to mention the fact that I never renewed my contract with AuthorHouse (sigh). But, if I'm really lucky, perhaps this trailer will give people incentive to buy Pure Intensity.
Posted by Michael at 1:15 PM
Friday, October 19, 2007
I'll start with a paragraph from my story "Hex Moon," which is part of the Avatar world.
In the center of the clearing, kneeling beside a glowing
stone, was a massive man-shaped creature with crimson,
sinewy flesh. Its hair was long, braided and slick with
grease, and razor-sharp spurs lined its muscular
arms—which were broader than Q'La's head. A mass of
smooth, reddish-brown tentacles writhed on its back, like a
nest of vipers. When it turned its head sideways—in the
direction of the children—as if it searched for something,
Q'La noticed two long fangs jutting from its lower jaw.
Although she had never seen one before, she knew what it was
from accounts in the old stories: a Maug.
This time I'm going to go ahead and tag people, but anyone can take up an open tag if they wish.
I hereby tag:
Jim Melvin at The Death Wizard Chronicles
David McAfee at I Have a Blog?
Howard von Darkmoor at Von Darkmoor's Thoughts
Oh, and thank you very much to Thomma Lyn at Tennessee Text Wrestling for participating in the Review You Own Book meme!
Picture above courtesy of Feebleminds.
Posted by Michael at 6:20 AM
Monday, October 15, 2007
The fact that I worked on Coven of the Tiger instead of Coven of the Worm doesn't faze me ... much. I mean, at least I wrote something, and it does take place in the same world after all.
Lately I've wanted to write another short, since I've only written three (not counting Sanctuary of the Mind) and would like to have more for the market--hoping to improve my chances of getting at least one published. But I've been struggling to come up with ideas for a new one and my brain just doesn't seem to want to do it right now. This makes the work I did tonight that much more rewarding.
Posted by Michael at 10:45 PM
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Below is the list of 106 books considered the "most unread" by LibraryThing's users. You're supposed to mark those you've read in bold and those you've started but couldn't finish in italics. You also need to strike through those you hated and underline the ones you plan to read sometime. Unfortunately, I can't see how to do those last two options here. Hopefully one of my loyal readers can set me straight, in which case I'll edit the post. Until then I'll have to improvise. I'll put those I hated in [brackets] and follow the ones I'd like to read with (TBR). And, finally, you need to add an asterisk to any that you've read more than once.
Jonathan Strange & M. Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One hundred years of solitude
Life of Pi
The Name of the Rose
Pride and Prejudice
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury tales
A portrait of the artist as a young man
Love in the time of cholera
Brave new world (TBR)
The Count of Monte Cristo
A clockwork orange
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
The Sound and the Fury
The God of Small Things
A people’s history of the United States : 1492-present
A confederacy of dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The unbearable lightness of being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Watership Down (TBR)
In Cold Blood
The Three Musketeers
Wow, I've only read ten of them all the way through, and some of those I never would have picked up if I hadn't gone to college. Why isn't Robinson Crusoe in this list? I really, really hated that book!
Posted by Michael at 1:52 AM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I actually changed a phrase or two for this excerpt, since there's a possiblity some things might be taken out of context. Hopefully, since no one has read this yet, you won't notice the difference anyway.
Elaine had tossed about in the bed all night, keeping him awake as well. When she looked at him now, as he took his place at the table, she seemed distant and unreachable.
Carmine pretended not to notice.
He hated to ignore her that way, but she didn't understand why he was angry. Neither did he, really.
Carmine worried Linda was not adjusting well after the recent tragedy. She had told that detective about psychic "visions," and then she had a tantrum in her room last night. He wasn't convinced her visions were real, although he wouldn't be surprised if a heathen like David Yeng-Chi was the killer.
It was more likely Linda had or was on the verge of a mental breakdown, fueled by David's reaction to the break up and the murder of a close friend. If so, Carmine hoped he could find the help she needed before it was too late.
He should do something about it now, in fact.
As his eldest daughter began to set the table, he said, "Suzanne, is Linda up yet?"
"I don't think so, Dad," said Suzanne. "Do you want me to check on her?"
"Yes, I do. And make sure she's cleaned up that mess she made last night."
Suzanne shuffled off without commenting.
Elaine spoke up right away, however. Without sitting down, she stared at Carmine anxiously.
"Carmine," she said, "what are you doing?"
"I'm taking care of my family."
"Well, you sure have a great way of going about it."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" he snapped.
"Carmine, I'm just concerned. Something happened last night in Linda's room that has me a little scared."
"Exactly. She went nuts and trashed her bedroom. Who was she talking to in there, anyway? There was no one else in the room, but I know I heard her talking."
Elaine glared. "What are you trying to say?"
"I'm saying that I'm afraid our daughter is going crazy, and I'm worried about her—that's all. It's not unusual, considering what happened yesterday, and considering she let that ... that heathen ... confuse her like he did. I think I want her to see a doctor."
"What?" Elaine spat. "Didn't you hear that strange voice last night? It was loud and too deep for Linda. Do you think we all imagined it?"
Carmine shook his head sadly. Am I the only sane person in this house? he wondered.
"I heard Linda's voice," he said aloud, "and nothing else."
"Why are you doing this, Carmine? What is wrong with you?"
Carmine pushed his chair back and shot to his feet. "What's wrong with me?" he shouted. "What are you saying? Shouldn't you be worried about our daughter? She's obviously sick."
"D*** you, Carmine—"
"That's it. I've had it with this." He walked into the living room and shouted up the stairs. "Suzanne, what's taking you so long?"
Suzanne appeared on the landing and said, "It's all right, Dad. She's just finishing up."
"Finishing what?" Carmine demanded and charged up the stairs.
"Carmine!" Elaine yelled, and ran after him.
"Leave it alone, Elaine," he called back. "I'll take care of this."
Again, Suzanne told her father everything was okay but he did not relent. He rushed past her into the room, only to find Linda picking up the last of the mess and tossing it into the bathroom wastebasket.
"Dad, please," said Suzanne.
Ignoring her, Carmine confronted his youngest daughter. "Linda, why did you do this?"
Linda stopped working and seemed confused. "I didn't do it, Daddy."
"Then who did, Linda?"
"I don't know," she whispered.
Carmine turned around, walked out, and headed downstairs for the telephone on his end table.
"Carmine, what are you doing?" Elaine said.
"I'm getting my daughter some help," he replied, as he cradled the receiver between his head and shoulder.
"Put the phone down, Carmine."
Linda emerged from her bedroom and walked halfway down the stairs, while Suzanne remained on the landing.
"Daddy, please don't do this," Linda begged. "Please."
"Sweetheart," said Carmine, looking up at his daughter, "I just want you to be okay."
Elaine put her hand on his shoulder and said, "This isn't the way, Carmine."
He hesitated, wondering if his wife were right. Then he remembered the lamp that had nearly missed his head when it struck the door.
I'll give her one more chance to tell the truth, Carmine thought, and that's all.
"Linda, who were you talking to last night?"
His daughter just stared at him, as if he were speaking in a foreign tongue.
"To whom were you talking?" he demanded again. When she remained silent, he lost his cool. "Linda, answer me!"
She was crying now, but this did not deter him.
"No, d**mit. It's not just what happened ... it's ... ever since you started dating David—"
"That's enough, Carmine!" Elaine screamed.
Chaos erupted then in the living room. Books started to fly off the bookshelf and it toppled over behind them.
"Go!" Linda yelled. "Send it away!"
In seconds, it was over, but Linda looked drained and frightened. She turned around and ran back up the stairs to her bedroom, then slammed the door shut behind her.
"Are you going to say we imagined that, too?" Elaine said after a minute. "You saw the bookshelf—"
"A coincidence," said Carmine, stubbornly. "Nothing more."
Elaine wept and slowly made her way upstairs—presumably to get dressed.
Her hands gripping the banister, Suzanne stared at her father for several, long minutes. Finally, she too turned her back on him and headed for her room.
Carmine bit his lip in frustration.
I guess I'd better clean this place up.
The telephone rang and Carmine picked it up.
It was Jane, asking for Linda. He told her that Linda wasn't feeling well and probably would not come to the telephone right now. She sounded worried and was reluctant to hang up immediately.
"She wasn't in school yesterday," said Jane, "and with what happened to Kim—"
Then she started to cry.
Carmine felt like a heel. "Look, Jane, I'm sorry. I know you girls lost a good friend, and it scares me, too. I'm worried about Linda myself, and I think she needs some rest." That was an odd thing for Carmine to say after the way he had behaved earlier. He sighed, thinking that maybe it really was better to let Linda rest—at least for now. "Can you call back tomorrow?"
"Yes, Mister Caldwell," she answered between sobs. "Tell her I said 'Happy Thanksgiving,' will you? Please?"
"No problem. You take care of yourself, too, okay?"
"Yes, sir. Thank you, Mister Caldwell."
They said their good-byes and Carmine replaced the telephone in its cradle. He picked up the television remote and turned off the set, then called for Elaine.
"Are you ready, Hon?" he said.
Elaine walked down the stairs and looked at him thoughtfully. "Yes," she said. "Suzanne will be down in a second. Linda's not coming."
Carmine grunted but otherwise said nothing.
Turning around, Elaine called upstairs for Suzanne to hurry. "We have to be at my sister's in an hour, okay?"
"Yes, Mom," said Suzanne, as she appeared at the top of the stairs. "I'm ready."
"Good," said her father. "Let's go."
(I'm sorry, but the length of the post was really bothering me, so I decided to break it up. You can read the second half of this chapter here, on the Tower of Light Forums).
Posted by Michael at 11:15 PM
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
This comes on top of the first review I received, and of course Jim Melvin's encouraging comments. It seems the little experiment might just turn into something more.
I'm very excited. I can't wait to see it!
Posted by Michael at 6:19 PM
Friday, October 5, 2007
The rules of this meme is to write a review of one of your own works as if weren't yours. You must be as honest as possible and write at least one good paragraph. We might just find out how true the old saying "we are our own worst critics" really is! It does not have to be a published work as long as it's a complete manuscript. Of course, I suppose I'll take any oppurtunity to promote my own work (haha), although I guess that is why I created this blog in the first place!
I'll start by reviewing both the published and unpublished versions of my book. For anyone else who chooses to accept the tag, one review will be enough, of course.
THE DEFILER'S RULE: PURE INTENSITY
September 2004, Michael Southard
Pure Intensity is a dark urban fantasy that attempts to incorporate some conventions of anime fantasy. The story is about a girl named Linda who discovers that her boyfriend David is a devil worshiper. There are some interesting ideas floating around in the plot, including a subplot concerning a secret society. The best is its description of the different magical disciplines, which seem to vary in different cultures. This book only introduces the disciplines of Witches, War Witches, and Mages, but there are certainly hints of more to learn about the magical system in this story.
The problem is the undisciplined composition of the book. It seems as if it were originally written in omniscient perspective, but there are numerous divisions of passages where the author might have attempted to separate the characters' points of view. The story constantly jumps from one character's POV to another and the result is confusing at best. Worse, there are quite a few passages where the language is too flowery and difficult to follow, and it seems as if there was little, if any, proper editing.
However, despite these problems, Pure Intensity is a good story with a lot of potential, and some readers might enjoy it anyway. I just wish the author had put more work into it before publishing.
Estranged Earth, Book One of Coven of the Worm, is the revised version of Pure Instensity, and it does show much improvement over the original. The author completely reworked the point of view, so that most chapters have no more than two character POVs, and they are much more clearly marked. The story is essentially the same, although there is more detail in some passages, improved character work, and better editing. It is an inspiring thriller, with plenty of magic and mayhem for fantasy fans, and a fairly good read.
Okay, there's my reviews. I hope there are plenty of takers for the tag. Good luck!
Posted by Michael at 9:09 PM
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Issue two includes a review of Mark Terence Chapman's The Mars Imperative, and five shorts stories by Alice M. Roelke, Matthew Baron, Eric S. Brown, Ryder Patzuk Russell, and Mischell Lyne. Also, I've given the site a new look; I hope it goes over well.
And I'm so glad to be blogging again, even if my posts are rather short!
Posted by Michael at 3:38 AM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Tower of Light is, of course, open to anyone who wishes to join, but I'd like to take this opportunity to extend an open invitation to other published authors of fantasy or sci-fi. You'd be very welcome, and you can also request your own sub-forum.
All you fans and aspiring writers are still welcome too, so come on over if you like!
Posted by Michael at 11:10 PM
Monday, July 23, 2007
You can read the review by clicking the title at my Lulu storefront, but I'd like to post it here anyway. If anyone's interested, I'd love to hear your comments about it.
A novelette that will make you think... [ No Rating ] 16 Jul 2007 (updated 16 Jul 2007)
by Kody Boye
I'll just start this out by saying that I dove into Sanctuary of the Mind without any recognition of the author or his work. But I must say that I was not disappointed.
Sanctuary of the Mind is about a man named Leslie who--like some of the men and women who live on the outskirts of society--is addicted to drugs. He and his girlfriend have been living off drugs for a while and Sanctuary of the Mind delves into what drugs can do to a person.
I can't say too much about the novelette because--due to its length--I would end up spoiling it, but I will say right now that I really enjoyed reading this. It's a good 36 pages of material and not once does the author let you down.
A thriller, a suspense, a deeply-involved plot that keeps you reading... That's all I can say about Sanctuary of the Mind without spoiling it for the readers. I'd recommend downloading this from Lulu; it's in an e-book format and if you make a Lulu account for anything it should be to download this novelette.
I applaud Mr. Southard on this piece. It kept me reading the whole way through.
Posted by Michael at 1:06 AM
Sunday, July 22, 2007
From reading Howard's list, I get the impression that he likes a lot history and mythology...otherwise I can't say I've learned much.
Okay, so here's mine:
1. The Hidden Stars by Madeline Howard (2004)
2. A Handful of Men, a four-book series by Dave Duncan, which includes:
a. The Cutting Edge (1992)
b. Upland Outlaws (1993)
c. The Stricken Field (1994)
d. The Living God (1995)
3. The Cursed by Dave Duncan (1995)
4. Nemesis by Bill Napier (1998)
5. Resurrection by Steve Alten (2006)
6. The Second Coming by John Dalmas (2004)
7. The Dark Portal by Robin Jarvis (2000)
8. The Swords of Night and Day by David Gemmel (2004)
9. Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn (1999)
10. Playing God by Sarah Zettel (1998)
Of course there's more, but I can't possibly list them all. I know some of these books are kind of old, but I buy a lot from Wal-Mart, CVS, going-out-of-business sales, and used book stores (haha), so most of them were actually bought recently.
Well, Howard's way was to tag anyone who read his post. If you're up to it, go ahead, feel free to accept a random tag from me. Otherwise, I suppose I'll single out Jim Melvin at The Death Wizard Chronicles.
Hey, Jim : TAG! You're it!
Posted by Michael at 11:32 PM
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Posted by Michael at 3:32 PM
Thursday, July 5, 2007
I also did a short book of poetry called Fire and Other Poems. Both are available as PDF downloads at my Lulu storefront. Sanctuary of the Mind is FREE for a limited time, so if you like thrillers please check it out, and Fire and Other Poems is only $.94.
Here's the description for Sanctuary:
(WARNING: Mature Content) Leslie Perk was not a good person. There was a time when he might have cared but it was long gone. He was a drug addict and a thief, and his feelings for his girlfriend were offensive at best. Still, he might have changed, might have become a better man and salvaged his love for Jackie, until something sinister occurred that seized control of his life…
I hope you like them!
Posted by Michael at 4:38 PM
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
This story (also to be included in a future novel) involves a world in which several lifeforms experience spontaneous evolution, gaining abilities their predecessors only dreamed of, and how these new species clash and/or learn to co-exist. Of course I don't want to divulge too much detail since it isn't finished, but this story should hopefully express my desire to create genre cross-overs even more so than the Avatar stories.
Posted by Michael at 8:45 PM
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Anyway, I really miss my online work and community. One good thing is that Aidan is hogging my PS2 right now, which is keeping me off of it! I really have become such a slacker when it comes to writing, and when I had any free time at my parents I tended to spend it playing "RPG Maker 3." At least it allows me to be creative, and I adapted my "Avatar" work for the storyline in the game. I'll probably never get rid of this game: What writer of fantasy can resist making his or her own video role playing game?
Posted by Michael at 1:15 PM
Monday, June 4, 2007
I've only read three stories so far for the second issue of Tower of Light, too. Fortunately, the first two were very good, and the third was also pretty good - despite having a few typos. There's still a lot more submissions to read, however, and that takes time - as well as a critical eye.
On the plus side, the second issue should feature a book review. I need to keep an eye on my email to make sure I don't miss anything. I should hopefully receive a copy of the book in time to read it and write the review before the end of August. I think this book in particular might be sci-fi, which is a little out of place for Tower of Light, but I like sci-fi. It shouldn't hurt and may well help draw more readers in the future.
Well, here's hoping I can get off my lazy #@! and do some work!
Posted by Michael at 11:57 PM
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Posted by Michael at 2:03 AM
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Now, if I could just finish those books too, and another short that has nothing to do with the Avatar world. :)
I want to write novels, of course, but I'm taking the time to create a few shorts anyway. I personally hope I can do well in either form.
"Hex Moon" is still held up at Baen's Universe and I need to allow them about four more weeks before I ask them what's going on. From what I understand, they've actually closed to submissions not long after I submitted and they probably won't publish it anyway. It looks like they have at least a year's worth of issues already booked up, although I could be misinterpreting the posts. Well , there are always other markets to try...
Posted by Michael at 4:33 AM
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I never expected to see a post about von Darkmoor's thoughts on Avatar Lore & Tower of Light when I checked in again, and boy was I surprised.
Such a sweeping endorsement for a rookie like me. Thanks again, Howard, and many blessings upon you for this gesture of solidarity. I promise not to let it go to my head...
(What's that? Of course I'm the best fantasy writer that ever lived... No I am not full of myself...)
Posted by Michael at 9:03 PM
Saturday, April 28, 2007
If I can't post on my blog anymore, what should I say in my last post? I've been building the world of the Avatars for my fiction for years now, and I am quite passionate about it. Yes, there is other work that I'd like to do, because I want to experiment with different kinds of fantasy, but I must admit that I have a lot of time invested in this particular story.
I've developed a fictional culture in a mythical land called Hunjan, and it's quite complex. There are a number of clans and each has its own patron god or goddess, and its own variation of the "core" culture. And this is just for the prehistoric past of this world.
In modern times, the world changes from a sudden influx of magic. It pretty much endures an apocalyptic event of its own, in fact...
In short, please...READ MY WORK!
Thank you all putting up with my blundering attempts at creating a blog.
Posted by Michael at 12:38 AM
Friday, April 27, 2007
Still, I'm happy. Several people to comment said that "Hex Moon" is a great story and they enjoyed it very much. All I can ask for now is for someone to publish it!
Posted by Michael at 11:15 PM
Posted by Michael at 11:03 PM
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
It isn't fantasy, and it isn't my favorite story, either; but it isn't bad. I did it in PDF download only, so it's pretty cheap. Originally, I had it in print form too, but, frankly, the price was too high for a work that's only 11,000 words. There's still plenty work to do with promotion, of course.
The novelette is called Sanctuary of the Mind, and here's the description:
Leslie Perk was not a good person. There was a time when he might have cared but it was long gone. He was a drug addict and a thief, and his feelings for his girlfriend were offensive at best. Still, he might have changed, might have become a better man and salvaged his love for Jackie. This was his hope, until something sinister occurred that seized control of his life . . .
Posted by Michael at 7:22 AM
Eric is the son of David Yeng-Chi, who had unleashed Pure Intensity and wreaked havoc on a small Maryland town in 1995—all in the name of revenge. When Eric discovers his true identity, he sets out to fulfill his destiny, which is to assemble a Coven and use it to release his evil god on Earth.
Daniel is an Avatar of the gods, and only he knows how to find the others like him. It is his destiny to gather the Avatars and lead them to battle against the Defiler before he can wage war on Heaven. Together with Dawn Lu, Linda Levinston, and FBI agent Carl Timmers, Daniel searches for Eric and his coven—hoping to find them before they can succeed with their diablical plans.
Posted by Michael at 7:12 AM
Monday, April 23, 2007
My son is great. He loves video games, remote control cars, water guns, and spending time with his Dad - of course. He was born deaf, but that doesn't stop him from behaving just like any other nine-year-old boy. Unfortunately, both of his parents are hearing, so that's left him about a year behind in communication skills. Otherwise, he's a smart kid and good at math, and Maryland School for the Deaf is a wonderful school.
I'm proud of him, and I love him very, very much.
Posted by Michael at 12:07 AM
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I'm setting it up now for upload. When it's done, I'll post an update.
Posted by Michael at 3:12 PM
"The Covens assembled outside the village, preparing for their journey to Luma territory."
And yet, I found this sentence (and many more like it) in Dave Duncan's Upland Outlaws:
"She walked in silence for awhile, trying very hard to shake off the aftertaste-of-nightmare feeling."
I was also asked how the Bone Wizard knew Q'La's name.
“I know your name. Your brother is mine, and now so are you.”
Well, I thought it was pretty clear when she says, "Your brother is mine . . ."
Maybe I'm wrong. If isn't clear, then I'll have to go back and change that point. No biggie.
Posted by Michael at 2:43 PM
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Posted by Michael at 2:41 AM
Thursday, April 19, 2007
No matter what, I'll keep trying, and I'll post my progress here.
The magazine is starting to move along too. I've got three stories so far, and I think they're all pretty good. And there should be an interview . . . but I'm still waiting on that.
I'll close with this: Any writers out there who might be interested in submitting a story to Tower of Light, please review our guidelines. Tower of Light is now a paying market. It may not be much, but the pay rate is $5.00 for stories between 500 and 4000 words, and $10.00 for 4000-7000 words.
Also, if you're interested, you can buy your books from the Tower of Light Bookstore (in association with Amazon.com).
Posted by Michael at 10:18 PM
Sunday, April 15, 2007
This story is related to the events in Coven of the Worm because of a mystical link between the main character in "Hex Moon" and a character in book two - among other things.
Anyway, I just submitted it to be considered for the Sword and Sorceress 22 anthology. If it gets published in that, I'll be celebrating months. Here's keeping my fingers crossed!
Sigh. Another rejection, and I thought "Hex Moon" would be perfect for SS22. Well, I've submitted it for inclusion in Baen's Universe now. We'll see how that goes.
Posted by Michael at 5:36 PM
Saturday, April 14, 2007
At last, the final draft of Estranged Earth is complete, and I can start submitting queries again. It took a long time to get it right, but I believe it was worth it. I tried to clean up all the awkward prose as well as rearrange passages to make the point of view conform to guidelines, then I added to or changed small parts of the story. It should be easier and more enjoyable to read now.
I'm also free to finish the sequel, which is still in the draft stage but is about 50,000 words long so far. Hopefully this one won't take quite so long to finish as the first. If I'm lucky (and diligent), I might finish it in time to pitch them both to agencies and/or publishers (on the theory that two books of the same series are better than one).
Posted by Michael at 6:59 AM
Here's a brief summary of my novel:
Linda Caldwell attends Putty Hill Senior High with her friends Jane and Candy, where she meets and falls in love with an intriguing young man named David Yeng-Chi.
David seems perfect for her, but he has a dark secret. His father Hamaki had trained him to use a deadly mix of martial arts and magic in the service of his god—Chai'Huon Ju, the Defiler. David is a descendent of the Worm Clan of a long forgotten prehistoric nation called Hunjan. There were other gods and different beliefs among these people, but the Worm Clan had believed in Chai'Huon Ju's legacy of evil.
As the relationship between David and Linda grows, Linda begins to have prophetic dreams warning her to stay away from him. The visions are so insistent and frightening that she surrenders to them and breaks up with David. Enraged, David resolves to have revenge by conjuring his god to Earth.
Linda has a secret too, however—one that might help to save her soul from the Defiler. Prophecy was merely the first of her abilities to develop and—she soon discovers—there were more powers to come.
Posted by Michael at 5:20 AM
Imagine my surprise when I found it was still for sale! It no longer includes a description, but it's still on Amazon. The book in this published form is called The Defiler's Rule: Pure Intensity.
However, it's still a good story, even in this version. Avid readers might grow frustrated with the awkward prose in some places and the constant shifting of POV, but otherwise some people might still enjoy it as it is.
It might not stay on Amazon for much longer, but—for anyone who is interested—Pure Intensity is still available right now.
I planned Pure Intensity as the first book in a dark fantasy series, which I'm still working on. However, I have completely revised the manuscript and changed the title. Of course, when published I may not get the title I want, but what I'm going with for now is Coven of the Worm, Book One: Estranged Earth.
Posted by Michael at 3:37 AM
Posted by Michael at 3:31 AM
I'm just getting started on both, but the work seems to be coming along fine. The forum still needs active members, and the magazine is open for submissions. There are boards on the forum to discuss fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and historical literature. Writers can also post some of their work (in part - not complete stories) on the Critiques board for comments from other members.
Submission Guidelines for Tower of Light magazine can be found on the forum, too.
Posted by Michael at 3:18 AM