The arrow sank deep into the creature’s throat and it fell backwards in a spray of blood, twitching and clawing at the wooden shaft protruding from its severed windpipe. The man lowered his bow and crouched behind the bushes in case there were others. He watched and listened to see if he had stumbled upon a lone cru’gan or if it had been part of a patrol. The only sound was the wet gurgling coming from the cru’gan’s throat. Soon it lay still and silent, and the only thing the man could hear was the evening breeze through the pine trees.
After several minutes passed, he retrieved his arrow and quickly searched the beast’s body, then rolled it out of sight under a pile of briars. He kicked dust over the creature’s blood, and then moved silently away into the forest amidst the diminishing evening light.
This is where it all started. The above excerpt is the opening paragraphs of my first novel, Ohlen’s Arrow. What does it say about an author who’s first word of their first book is “thwip“?
My intention was to create an instant sense of action and a feeling of mystery about the main character that compels the reader to continue the story. There’s nothing I’ve written that has been worked and re-worked more than that opening section, and in many ways, it is the work I’m most proud of.
I encourage you to read Ohlen’s Arrow and learn the rest of the story. It is my hope that it engages your attention and carries you captivatingly forward.
For Kindle and paperback editions of my books, visit my Books page.
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.
Filed under: Ohlen's Arrow, Ohlen's Bane, Paragon's Call, Process, Taesia, Writing and Tagged: Amazon, Kindle, ohlen's arrow, Ohlen's Bane, paperback, Paragon's Call, Taesian Chronicles
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?
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 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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.