Ohlen's Arrow

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Author Steve Williamson's novel, Ohlen's Arrow, book one of The Taesian Chronicles series of fantasy novels.

Prequel short story and a Michael J. Sullivan contest

Back in July, I submitted a short story to a contest held by popular fantasy author Michael J. Sullivan. He is going to be releasing the final book in his Ryria series, The Death of Dulgath, and in an effort to help budding authors, is planning to include a short story in that release. He held a contest to determine the winner.

I wrote a short story called The Orphan’s Maker that is a prequel of Ohlen’s Arrow and submitted it to Sullivan.

I found out yesterday that my story has made it into the top 15 out of 176 submissions. I’m very excited about this, as you can imagine, as the exposure would be a huge boost to my writing career. Even if I don’t win, I already consider this a win. Sullivan, and his wife Robin, were kind enough to provide me feedback and advice on Ohlen’s Arrow. They are both tremendously busy people, yet they find time to give back to the writing community. The opportunity to have a short story included in the release of The Death of Dulgath is huge.

Let’s keep our collective fingers crossed that The Orphan’s Maker moves up the list as the contest progresses. Stay tuned.

Ohlen’s Arrow reaches #2 in Amazon Fantasy best seller list

I started a five-day promo on Amazon where Ohlen’s Arrow is a free Kindle download through Friday 7/10/2015. It started at #4,793 amongst free books for Kindle (Fantasy) and by the end of the day reached #2!

Ohlen’s Arrow free on Amazon for a limited time

Ohlen’s Arrow is free for the Kindle on Amazon.com from Monday July 6 through Friday July 10th. Ohlen’s Arrow is Book One in The Taesian Chronicles.

Vengeance drives him. Will honor save him?

A savage tribe of cru’gan brutally slaughtered his family, orphaning Ohlen when he was still a boy. Twenty years later a ferocious attack driven by a mysterious witch sends him on a perilous journey to rescue his best friend’s child. His choice between vengeance and honor will determine not only his own fate, but the fate of those he loves.

Be sure to check out book two, Ohlen’s Bane, also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iTunes Bookstore.

My second novel is now available, Ohlen’s Bane

Book 2: Ohlen's Bane
Book 2: Ohlen's Bane

Anything worth doing once is worth doing twice.

I just released my second novel, Ohlen’s Bane, available as an e-book for Kindle and Nook. It will be available for iOS devices on the Apple iTunes Bookstore soon as well.

A free preview edition in PDF format is available for download here.

Ohlen’s Arrow is the first book in the series, and Ohlen’s Bane is the sequel. You can read about them here and here.

Yes, I intend to write a third book in the series, perhaps more. Stay tuned.

Could Ohlen’s Arrow turn into a trilogy?

Ohlen’s Arrow is published. The rough draft of Ohlen’s Bane is completed and is now in the revision-editing phase. That was my original intention, just the two books. In the meantime, I had an idea for a new book that would be completely unrelated to the Ohlen’s series and it has been bursting inside my head, eager to get written.

A friend gave me the idea of modifying my new story idea so that it can begin where Ohlen’s Bane ends, effectively creating a third book in the Ohlen’s series. After brainstorming some ideas, I found a way that I think may work. I am going to spend the next two weeks nailing down the overall plot points.

Once that is done, I will finish my revisions to Ohlen’s Bane and move it forward into editing, then I will create a plot event list for the third book and move ahead with that.

Reviews of Ohlen’s Arrow from Amazon.com

I would like to quote the following reviews of Ohlen’s Arrow, posted to Amazon.com:

“I enjoyed taking this journey with Ohlen and his friends. The balance between action and character development was perfect and the story was easy to follow. That can’t always be said of a book in this genre and as a reader, I appreciate it. I’m happy to hear the author has begun the sequel, and I’m anxious to find out what’s next for our hero.”

“I was waffling on how many stars to rate this work. Since this was Mr. Williamson’s first publication I decided to round it up to a 5 because I think his book is a great read and rounding down meant taking away a well deserved extra 1/2 a star which seemed wrong. His characters felt true to themselves and their environment. Their interactions were complex but fresh and not contrived. Mechanically it is a good story but it was the character development that made this first book such a great read. Most writers do not have Mr. Williamson’s dexterity at crafting such realistic characters. I do not think this is the end for Ohlen and his friends. I look forward to seeing where Mr. Williamson takes this group next – especially my favorite character the one we last checked in on before the story closed – talk about a delightfully complex character construct.”

Excerpt from Chapter 10, “The Dead Man Speaks”

As Merrick Stonehorn stood in the back of the crowd gathered in the courtyard, he watched Hadrick Burgoyne emerge onto the wooden dais erected before the Keep’s main entrance. An entourage of sycophantic advisers and attendants surrounded the fat, grey-haired man whose clothes were needlessly regal beyond the occasion. Despite Burgoyne’s physical size, Merrick considered him to be the smallest man he’d ever met.

The ruler began speaking to the assembled crowd – it was a monthly ritual. His speeches were flowery and puffed up civic decrees that had little substance but were intended to remind the citizenry that he was still in charge.

Merrick sensed someone was watching him. A short, wiry man with brown, expressionless eyes emerged from behind a food vendor’s cart, stood next to the giant innkeeper, and said, “His speech is especially interesting today, don’t you think?”

Both men kept their eyes toward the fat man on the dais as they conversed. The big man shrugged his shoulders and said, “‘Interesting’ isn’t the word I would choose.”

Rinn discretely glanced around to make sure no one was within earshot. “I’d say he’s doing a good job for a dead man.”

 

“I don’t like the guy, but that doesn’t mean I want to see him dead.”

“Too late.”

Merrick gazed nonchalantly toward the shorter man standing next to him. He caught a glimpse of a rare smile from the rogue.

“We need to talk. You know where,” Rinn muttered before fading back and disappearing amongst the vendor carts.

My first novel, Ohlen’s Arrow, is now available

Forgive this shameless plug, but I have published my first novel, a gritty fantasy story called Ohlen’s Arrow, and it’s now available for Kindle at Amazon.com and for Nook at Barnes & Noble for $2.99. I have also made a free sample available for download [PDF]. It is also available in the iTunes Bookstore.

Vengeance drives him. Will honor save him?

Ohlen’s Arrow is a fast paced story with gripping action, quirky characters, and a twist that turns a tried-and-true fantasy trope on its head.

A savage tribe of cru’gan brutally slaughtered his family, orphaning Ohlen when he was still a boy. Twenty years later a ferocious attack driven by a mysterious witch sends him on a perilous journey to rescue his best friend’s child. His choice between vengeance and honor will determine not only his own fate, but the life or death of those he loves.

It took me roughly three months to write the book and nine months to get the cover designed and edit the text. I have already begun the process of writing the sequel.

How edits feel

Elmore Leonard once said, “Write the book the way it should be written, then give it to somebody to put in the commas and shit.” This is a good viewpoint to hold when you’re a writer, because when you give your work to a copyeditor and they take their red pen and bleed all over it, you can’t take it personally.

Otherwise I would have stabbed myself in the heart with a rusty nail weeks ago.

As I’ve received edited chapters from my copyeditor, I got a brief sense of panic when I noticed the sheer volume of suggested changes. It makes me feel like I just started learning English a month ago. I also wonder what went through her mind as she reviewed my work. “This guy thinks he can write a book? What audacity!”

It has helped me to realize that this is part of the process. No writer, no matter how skilled or successful, produces flawless prose on the first try or even the 30th. As Elmore Leonard pointed out, it’s not really the writer’s job to do so, either. Focus on the creativity, the tone, the emotion, the description. Get the basic mechanics of your writing down, then allow someone else to do the editing, to put in the commas and shit.

I only have three more chapters to review from my copyeditor, then I need to read through Ohlen’s Arrow, cover to cover, one more time before I put it up for sale. I’m very excited about this as you can imagine, but it has been a very long, tedious process. The editing and revision phase of a book project is far more difficult and tedious and time-consuming than actually writing it; I am really looking forward to getting it finished.

Ohlen’s Arrow character study: Mella

This is the next installment in a series where I introduce key characters from my new novel, Ohlen’s Arrow. Rather than doing the predictable thing — focusing on Ohlen, the main character — I’m introducing the other key participants, his friends and enemies.

Mella and Ohlen grew up together in the village of Tarun. Whereas Ohlen was orphaned at a young age, Mella had a wonderful childhood growing up with her twin sister, Ranael, until tragedy struck. At the age of six, Ranael went missing without a trace.

Perhaps because of this, and in general because of the harsh nature of living in a remote village with all the dangers that presents, Mella grew into a strong-willed woman nearly fearless in her devotion to her husband, Scarn, and her two children, six-month old daughter Mirra and nineteen year old son Therran.

Mella has deep brown eyes and long, straight sandy blonde hair unlike most residents of Tarun that have dark brown or black hair. She stands 5′ 6″ tall and has a fit body. She has a ready smile and a joyous laugh, but can also take on a stern and no-nonsense demeanor when she or her family are threatened.

Most adults in Tarun learn to use at least one weapon because of the constant threat of attack from cru’gan, and Mella excelled at the use of a bow. She’s not quite as accurate as Ohlen, but few people are.

Mella is intensely loyal to those she loves, and being a mother, is also capable of great tenderness and kindness.