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Articles about The Taesian Chronicles, a series of fantasy novels by author Steven Scott Williamson.

The Taesian Chronicles in Paperback: The Process

The process to release the entire Taesian Chronicles trilogy in paperback is moving forward. I am using the print-on-demand service, CreateSpace, to make the book available in a dead-tree paperback edition.

Formatting a book for print is a more tedious, exacting process than it is for e-book. That took me several days to nail down. I followed some on-line tutorials various people have posted, which helped tremendously. Fortunately, I was able to export the print-ready file directly from Scrivener and didn’t have to use a specially-formatted Word template.

Another, more complex process was creating a cover for the paperback. With e-books, you only need a single-page graphic image. With paperbacks, you need the cover, spine, and back cover represented in a single image file. The thickness of the book needs to be determined based on number of pages and book size (5″x8″, 6″x9″, etc.), which determines how wide the spine portion of the cover image will be.

I spent almost a week working with my cover designer, Steven Novak [www.novakillustration.com], going back and forth and reviewing subtle changes and tweaks, before we created a design that worked. Steven is a fantastic designer and I’ve been very happy working with him.

CreateSpace lets you view your book cover to cover in a virtual tool online. This is a key part of the process. Once I was happy with it in virtual format, I ordered a proof copy, which is on its way. I’ll review that printed copy, and if any changes need to be made, I’ll modify the digital file, upload it, and order another proof. I will repeat this process as many times as necessary until the printed edition is perfect. Once that is done, I’ll mark it as complete. The book will then be listed as available for sale via Amazon.com.

Latest rides, and a new book

Book 3: Paragon's Call
Book 3: Paragon's Call

Recently the weather has been cooperative enough for me to get both bikes ridden, my 2007 Suzuki V-Strom 650 and my 2012 Suzuki GSX-R750. I try to ride each bike at least once every other week, rather than winterizing them and letting them sit. They only get non-ethanol fuel as well, and I think this keeps them in better shape.

On the V-Strom, I went up highway 224 to Ripplebrook. They are working on a hillside prone to landslides, so there are some construction delays to contend with. This is between milepost 31 to 37. At the Ripplebrook ranger station, I kept heading south on NF46 toward Detroit. We’ve had a lot of low-elevation snow this winter so I didn’t expect to get far, but I wanted to see how things were looking. The road has a few new potholes but is in otherwise good shape.

I had to turn back just past where NF42 heads east toward highway 26. Despite this, it was a fantastic ride and it felt good to stretch the V-Strom’s legs a bit.

Available for Kindle on Amazon.com

In other news, I have published my third novel. It is titled Paragon’s Call and is the culmination of The Taesian Chronicles trilogy. It is available for Kindle on Amazon.com, and is free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

The sunset of an old hero
The dawn of a new foe

Paragon’s Call is the third and final book in The Taesian Chronicles trilogy. In this exciting and fast-paced conclusion, we pick up the story a year after the Battle of Eeron from book two, Ohlen’s Bane. Ohlen and his comrades, Therran and Ahmahn, discover the novaari, dangerous beasts that are half man, half animal. Ohlen is conscripted by Emperor Percy Saltos to lead a ragtag group of criminal misfits called Paragons, who are charged with seeking out these monsters and destroying them. But not everyone wants them to succeed.

Paragon’s Call is now available!

Now available on Amazon.com
Now available on Amazon.com

Paragon’s Call is the third and final book in The Taesian Chronicles trilogy. In this exciting and fast-paced conclusion, we pick up the story a year after the Battle of Eeron from book two, Ohlen’s Bane. Ohlen and his comrades, Therran and Ahmahn, discover the novaari, dangerous beasts that are half man, half animal. Ohlen is conscripted by Emperor Percy Saltos to lead a ragtag group of criminal misfits called Paragons, who are charged with seeking out these monsters and destroying them. But not everyone wants them to succeed.

All three books are available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

The first book of the Taesian Chronicles trilogy is Ohlen’s Arrow, released in 2013. The second book in the series is Ohlen’s Bane, which I released in late 2014. Now that Paragon’s Call is published (as an e-book), I will start work on combining all three books of the trilogy together into a single volume called The Taesian Chronicles, and will release it as a paperback via CreateSpace on Amazon.com. It will be my first dead-tree publication.

A Slight Change of Direction

After spending a bit of time on another writing project, I have recently returned my attention to Paragon’s Call. Part of that effort has been evaluating the plot I have mapped out and determining if it will go in the direction I need.

I got that worked out and adjusted the plot line better to my liking, then returned to composition. I’m now up to a little over 63,000 words, with a half dozen chapters remaining. For scale, both book one Ohlen’s Arrow and book two Ohlen’s Bane are about 64,000 words each.

My plot adjustments have shortened the overall length of the novel by removing three chapters that didn’t add much to the book. I learned back in my screenwriting days that if a scene can be removed without altering the pace or plot, it doesn’t belong.

More importantly, my plot adjustments have changed the role of the antagonist in the book. Specifically, I added a new antagonist that will will play a bigger part in subsequent books.

Wait, what? Did I just indicate there will be more after Paragon’s Call?

Michael J. Sullivan short story contest results

Although the winner of Michael J. Sullivan’s short story contest hasn’t been announced, or even decided as of this writing, I did find out that my submission, The Orphan’s Maker, did not make it into the final round.

My story made it into the top 15, from a large group of quality applications, so I consider this a win. The story itself is going to become the Prologue when I release all three books on paperback for The Taesian Chronicles, so the effort wasn’t wasted.

I appreciate the consideration Michael gave to my story, and to Robin (his wife and editor), for her courtesy. I wish the winner luck, and I wish Michael great success with The Death of Dulgath.

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.

Mid-August update

Paragon’s Call has seen some progress, although not as much as I’d hoped. I’ve been working on some unrelated short story projects, and as is often the case during July and August, I’ve been out of town on weekends.

Fortunately, I have reached a turning point in the plot of Paragon’s Call where the action changed — think of it as the beginning of Act II — and it’s the part of the story I’ve been looking forward to writing the most.

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.

New, combined site

If you have visited www.ruckerworks.com before, you may notice the format has changed. Previously, I had several blogs and different sites for each book and yet another for the series. I decided to combine them all into one, and this is it!

Stay tuned for more updates.