Drakin, where to buy, and what’s next?

 

Hello all!

So it’s been a couple of weeks now, it looks like sales are going well! Thanks BTW!

So I know I haven’t been around in a while since I published Drakin and for that I do apologize. However I had some inspiration come my way… and actually managed to write out a full sequel in a matter of weeks. It’s really rough and I literally just finished it, so don’t expect it out for a while, just know that another one is coming down the pipes!

I hope everyone has enjoyed The Story of Raiya thus far!! Please leave me a review on amazon if you enjoy it. That really helps me out a lot.

Copies can be purchased on Amazon…

In Kindle format here.

In softcover format here.

In hardcover format here.

It’s also available at Barnes and Noble, as well as many other places where books are sold! I hope you enjoy my latest and please remember to leave a review if you enjoyed the book!

  • Paperback: 474 pages
  • Publisher: James Harrington; 1 edition (January 23, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692057072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692057070

Please feel free to like and reblog this post. Word of mouth helps us writers out a lot!


Book Synopsis:
‘ “Abomination, freak, monster…”  You get used to names like these when you have yellow eyes, horns, and scales, but Raiya could have really cared less.

After being forced into exile because of her appearance, Raiya’s mind has been focused on one goal; hunting down the dragon lord that killed her parents. For over thirty years, humanity has been locked in a struggle for survival against a race of dragons that had fallen from the heavens. They took everything from her and consumed the planet in a fierce war. Humanity’s numbers are quickly dwindling, leaving her few options in the way of allies.

What she doesn’t know is that her journey will strike at the very heart of the Red War and uncover truths about her past that she may not want to know. Can she finish what she started while coming to terms with the truths of her origin? ‘


SAMPLE CHAPTER

Chapter I

“Unbelievable… thirty years of this shit…  wonder how we’ve been able to keep this up for so long.”

As Jagger pulled his jeep onto what was once Route 9, he reached over to the dash and turned the radio on. A tired-sounding voice appeared over the speaker, “This Matt Lowry, WPR hourly news. Today the Second Battalion, Eastern division, rendezvoused with the Third Battalion outside of New Washington beneath the third parallel in district 5. They were successful at warding off the dragon advance. Casualties were estimated at 30%. However, initial reports estimate that at least six dragons were downed in the fight…”

Jagger sighed. Why do I even bother listening to this? It’s never good news, just a constant reminder that we’re all fucked. Every time those beasts attack, we’re pushed a little closer to extinction.

“In other news, Captain Suen Luli of the Eastern Coalition Air Corps was awarded for…”

Click.

Jagger turned the radio off. He knew the typical song and dance of the news source. They’d tell the bad news first and then deliver some good news which would be played up to be more important. He understood why things were done this way. Morale was very important… especially when it was hidden from no one that humanity was losing the war quite badly.

The jeep drove under the remains of an old overpass that had long since collapsed. It maneuvered gently around the piles of debris. Jagger had spent a lot of time rebuilding and refurbishing his truck. He wasn’t about to get it banged up. Once it cleared the debris, he pressed the gas and picked up speed.

A sign on the side read ‘Now Entering Natick.’ Jagger had been told stories about how that whole area used to be lively with stores and restaurants for people to enjoy. He was too young to remember any of this.

The Red War had been going on for years before his birth, and Natick had been laid to waste while he was still a young child. Now all that remained was rubbed and maybe some salvageable equipment buried in the dirt.

The jeep rounded a large piece concrete that, at one time had been the side of a storefront. This was usually Jagger’s marker to find his way back home. As the jeep hit the open road, a loud noise cut through the air. Shreeeee!

Jagger hit the brakes, “Wyverns… shit! One of those days…”

Jagger quickly put the car in park before reaching behind the passenger seat and grabbing a large bolt rifle. A dark shadow passed overhead as he checked the cartridge battery. The indicator light jumped from red to blue, showing a full charge. Good… let’s do this!

Jagger jumped out of the jeep, brushed a few strands of his long, brown hair out of his face and aimed the rifle. The first wyvern he saw was flying low overhead. He ducked down behind the large piece of rubble that he has passed a moment ago. His gray eyes followed the target. He watched and waited… waited until he had lined up a clean shot, and pulled the trigger. Three large, positively-charged bolts flew from the barrel. Two shots hit the large beast, sending it falling from the sky. I’ve gotten too used to taking down drakes. I used to be able to hit with all three shots!

Sparks of blue electricity flashed through its body as it hit the barrel ground. The wyvern’s skin was too thick for the bolts to do any real damage. They only stunned it, but it was enough to give Jagger the advantage.

He quickly ran to the wyvern, pulled a large machete from his belt, and jabbed it into the only vulnerable part of a dragon’s body; the eyes.

The blade destroyed the creature’s left eye and plunged into its brain. The dying wyvern let out a painful cry as it tried to dislodge the blade. It was a gruesome sight that Jagger had grown used to. He’d been trained for a long time to show no mercy.

Every time he had to watch this scene, he remembered back to the first one he’d killed during his training. He remembered that it had made him sick to his stomach. Seeing a creature suffer like that seemed cruel, but every time he was about to look away his drill sergeant would stop him and force him to watch, “They’re lethal to the very end. Turning your back on one now could be the biggest mistake you ever make.”

‘The biggest mistake.’ It was something that he’d never forgotten.

The wounded beast slowly ceased movement as death overtook it. Jagger placed his foot over the beast’s snout and pulled his blade from its head. Greenish-purple blood spewed from the wound as Jagger wiped the blade off.

As Jagger finished cleaning the blade, he turned to head back to his jeep and grab a few supplies. The snout of a second wyvern was in his path. Oh shit…

Somehow the beast had used its partner’s death screams as a cover to hold Jagger’s attention long enough for it to sneak up on him. The beast smiled, “Hope you taste good!”

Jagger frowned, “This is one meal you’re going to have to work for.”

Jagger gripped the blade at his side, knowing he’d never raise it in time. He waited for the wyvern to lunge. This was likely it, “Bring it on… you ugly freak!”

As the wyvern took a step towards him, a black blur appeared in its path. It shrieked in surprise upon realizing that it had become outnumbered.

Jagger blinked as his eyes adjusted to the new player. They were completely clad in black robes from head to toe, making identification impossible. A gray backpack was strapped tightly to their back. Whoever this was, they moved with lightning speed.

The wyvern snapped at the robed figure, only to have the figure dodge out of the way and grab it by the neck. The stranger held the wyvern in a headlock as it struggled to get out. Jagger watched as it hissed and roared, “Damn… this guy is good!”

“Let go, bitch or I’ll tear your heart out!” The wyvern snarled.

Female… okay, well that’s a start. Jagger thought as he quickly moved to grab his bolt gun.

No amount of thrashing could shake this stranger lose. Her hands were locked tightly around the wyvern’s neck. She spoke in a voice that was barely more than a whisper, “No… you won’t…”

To Jagger’s utter shock, she jerked her arms, causing the wyvern’s neck to sharply turn to the side. The sound of a loud snap caused the wyvern to go limp.

The skeletal structure and bone mass of even the youngest dragons were considerably thicker than humans. Their muscle tissue was also incredibly strong. No human being should posess that strength. It was a physical impossibility.

Jagger watched in amazement as she let go of the beast, tossed its head to the side, and turned to confront him. He put on a friendly smile and nodded nervously. Careful Jagger, she looks like she’s ready to kill you. “Thanks.”

He couldn’t see most of her face under the hood, but her yellow eyes almost looked like they were glowing. Her voice was deep and very quiet when she spoke. It was almost a whisper and difficult to hear, “It was stupid of you to leave your car. A jeep can outrun those beasts and they always hunt in pairs, at least.”

Yup… definitely a woman. “It didn’t seem that dangerous. Wyverns can’t breathe fire, so its easier to fight on foot, especially if there’s only one. I didn’t see the second, and I’m usually not caught off guard like that.”

“One stupid move… all it takes.”

“Words of Wisdom.”

“Why did you fight?”

“Instinct I guess.”

“I see…”

The figure stared at him for a moment. To Jagger, it felt like he was in the middle of drill inspection back at WesCon command. Her eyes darted up and down for a moment before she abruptly turned and began walking away.

Jagger called after her, “Wait!”

The figure stopped but did not turn and did not respond. Jagger took a few cautious steps towards it, “I owe you one for helping me. Do you need anything?”

“No.”

“Really? Nothing?”

“No… not unless…”

“Yeah?”

The figure paused for a moment. Jagger waited as she slowly turned around. Her hood was down as though she were looking at her stomach, “I haven’t eaten in a few days…  I could use of some supplies. Do you have any?”

Jagger smiled, “No, but my town is nearby. Hop in, I’m heading for New Framingham. There are plenty of shops there.”

“A… town?”

“Yeah, you’ll be able to find anything you want there.”

“I… I’m not sure…” The figure replied in a nervous whisper. “I don’t typically do well around large groups of people.”

Jagger looked at her oddly, “Well… It’s the only major hub in this part of old New England after Boston and Worcester were destroyed. The survivors moved out here and established a fortified city in the only nearby area with buildings left standing.”

“Boston and Worcester… they were both destroyed?”

Really? How could she not know about this? “Yeah, for almost ten years now, where have you been?”

“Away…”

“Away?”

The robed woman climbed into the jeep and rested her hands on her lap. She turned to watch as Jagger grabbed a saw out of the back, “Yes… I’ve been wandering the country since my grandparents were killed by an elder dragon. I don’t have access to a radio so…”

Her eyes narrowed as Jagger walked over to one of the fallen wyverns, “Wait… what are you doing?”

Jagger looked down at the saw, “I’m going to get their teeth.”

“Why?”

“Dragon teeth are flame-resistant. They can be melted down and used to make armor, weapons, walls… all kinds of different things. They’re worth a fortune if you can get them.”

He placed the saw on the nearest wyvern’s mouth and began to run the blade across its gums. Blood stained his hands as he struggled to make conversation, “So… you’re a nomad?”

“There a better way to live beyond city walls?”

“Not really…” Jagger chuckled as he removed the upper jaw. “Okay… well let’s see, ten years huh?”

“Yeah.”

“All right so I can fill you in on the Red War, but what do you know so far?”

The girl shrugged, “Not much… From what my grandparents told me, the dragons first appeared in New York… After decimating Manhattan, they flew east and were seen weeks later heading towards Siberia. The five of them disappeared for about five years. When they reappeared, there were many… many more of them and they continued to multiply.”

She leaned on the roll bar of the old jeep as Jagger threw the teeth into the back. He then quickly wiped his hands and went to work on the second wyvern, “They were immune to conventional weapons and were too fast for nukes to work… not for a lack of trying… obviously.”

Jagger looked around the barren wasteland that used to be Wellesley, Massachusetts and nodded, “Obviously… is that it?”

“No.” The woman replied stoically. “I heard that countries were toppled by the onslaught of the dragons… Even the U.S. Government retreated. I heard the president’s speech, vowing to return and retake the land lost to the dragons… That was three days before he and his chiefs of staff were all killed. The remaining world leaders set aside their differences and formed into two governing bodies; the Eastern and Western Coalitions. They established regional governors, but the cities and settlements themselves are largely self-governed… That’s all I know.”

Jagger nodded as he removed the second wyvern’s jaw, “Sounds like you’ve heard most of it. The problem was that most weapons couldn’t penetrate a dragon’s scales. Missiles didn’t work, bullets didn’t… some armor piercers did, but they’re rare. Eventually we developed electrostatic shock weapons and super-focused lasers that could burn a hole through them, but by then…

Jagger let out a deep sigh as he spoke,”… by then, it was almost too late. Humanity had been reduced to nearly 2 billion people.”

“You’re losing the war…” The woman said in a whisper.

Jagger grabbed a bottle of water from behind his seat and poured some over his hands. The cool water rinsed away the dragon’s blood and soothed his skin, “Don’t you mean we’re losing?”

“Sure…”

Jagger got behind the wheel of the jeep and started it up. The engine came to life and caused the entire car to vibrate. He pulled back on the break and allowed the car to wheel forward.

The stranger eyed the dash, “Your car’s engine sounds different. They’re usually louder.”

Jagger smiled, “They’re usually falling apart. I spent years working on this one.”

“Impressive.”

Jagger kept his eyes on the road, though he occasionally looked up to make sure that the sky was clear, “By the way, I’m Lieutenant Jagger Bishop, WesCon Security.”

No response.

“What, you don’t have a name?”

“…”

“All right then…”

Jagger couldn’t be certain, but he thought he detect and annoyed sigh before she spoke, “… Raiya if you must know.”

“Raiya, that’s an unusual name.”

“I’m an unusual person.”

Jagger nodded, “Yeah I believe that, just from watching you.”

“Whatever you say.” Raiya said in a disinterested tone.

Jagger released a deep breath as he watched the debris pass, “So… those were some nice moves you pulled back there. You must be pretty jacked to snap the neck of a dragon. That was amazing.”

“It’s not that hard if you know where the joint is.”

“Maybe you could show me?”

“Doubtful, you also have to be really fast…”

“Oh… too bad.”

As the jeep picked up speed, Raiya struggled to keep her hood up. It acted like a sail, catching the wind that blew past her face. As it was pushed back, small flashes of her skin appeared. She grabbed the sides and forced them forward, holding the hood down over her face.

Jagger had his eyes on the road and could only see her out of the corner of his right, but what he saw left him with more questions than answers. Her skin was tanned, but her pigment appeared to have an almost greenish hue to it. The strands of hair he saw looked like it was a dark olive color. Maybe she dyed it somehow? Yeah right, where would she get dye out here? You’re probably just seeing things.

It was a reasonable thought. He never really had great lateral vision. However, as the hood flew back a second time, he quickly glanced over to confirm what he initially saw. His eyes caught sight of the odd complexion of her skin. There was no doubt that something was off with her. Who or what was this girl? Dragon’s Bane? There hasn’t been a confirmed case of it in a few years…

“Are you okay?” He asked.

“I’m fine… why?”

“Your skin… it’s… pale.”

“So what…? It’s just how I look.”

“All right.”


I hope everyone is as excited for this one as I am! I can’t wait to introduce you to a new world of dragons!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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Harry Potter Concert Series, Honest Review

 

I’d wanted to see a movie concert series for a while now. Out by me, unfortunately, they’re apparently very popular.  Star Wars sold out in seconds, and they haven’t done a Lord of the Rings one yet. I will be all over that if they decide to. My wife was able to get her hands on tickets to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone performed by the RI Philharmonic.

As most people know, I’m not the biggest HP fan on the planet. That’s not to say I don’t like the stories. I do. I have the full series in fine condition on my shelf of Rare/First Editions. The movies are also very well done with a great ensemble cast, music, and visuals. In the end, my problems stemmed from a few problems with the story, the horrible portrayal of elves, and my own issues with some of the author’s behavior.

So getting past all that, when my wife asked me if I wanted to go, ‘Hell, yes’ was my response.

So we arrived at the Providence Performing Arts Center an hour early. Not intentionally, but we overestimated our trip from Boston to Providence. The doors were already open and there was a huge crowd going in. I’ve seen a lot of shows here and this was a first. Our tickers were in the middle orchestra about fifteen rows from the stage.

As you’d expect, there were a ton of people (not kids, oddly enough) dressed in Hogwarts robes. The souvenir stand was fairly well priced and admittedly I had wanted to pick up a scarf for a while… so I went to see what they had available. Being a collector of all things fantasy, I wouldn’t be doing very well without at least SOMETHING from Potter.

To my wife’s and my surprise, they were sold out of Ravenclaw, but had plenty of Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. There was also one Slytherin scarf left… heh until I got there.

Come to find out that these scarfs were exclusive to the Concert Series, so all in all a nice score!

20180430_110021
(Is anyone really surprised that I went with Slytherin?)

Though I have to ask my Potter fans here… is Ravenclaw popular for some reason? Kind of weird that they sold out first. Other than… I believe Cho, did that house have any real significance?

Anyway, so we get to our seats and the show begins. The band comes out on stage, the conductor gave a short speech, encouraging audience reaction (cheering/booming, applause) for their favorite characters. I have to admit, this took away from the experience a little as some people were doing it each time a character they loved/hated appeared on the screen. This made it hard to watch the movie and even harder to hear the music, which is what we were all supposed to be there for.

Honestly, the band did an amazing job. It wasn’t exactly like what was in the movie, close, but they put their own spin on it as well. There were a few times that I have to admit that I almost forgot they were there. The band was illuminated with small lights that didn’t affect the movie screen, but they were perfectly on cue.

So all in all, I’d love to do this again at some point. The tickets were insanely expensive for the type of show. I’d highly recommend, if not Potter, then one of the film concert series shows. They are absolutely worth your time!

Thanks all!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

Old, but great. I’ve always loved Anna’s growl. In most cases, you can’t tell the difference between a female and male growl, but Anna’s is definitely more feminine and sounds more like a blood-curdling scream/

When to Listen: General playlist. It’s a good song for pretty much any point in the story, though a battle scene might be the most appropriate.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

All Build Up, No Payoff: The Problem with Open Endings

 

So this isn’t going to be one of my typical Q&A posts. I’ll get back to those later. This is likely about to be little more than an editorial rant, if anything. Let’s get started…

So I just finished playing Mass Effect 3.

… and already half of my readers probably know what this is going to be about. I love the series. I love the characters, I love the emersion, I love how the side quests actually contribute to the main story, and I love the multi-aspect of the games.

The first game, as expected, was a complete story. I think BioWare and EA were being cautious to give everyone a complete story surrounding the characters and crew of the Normandy with room for a sequel but weren’t really banking on one.

The second game destroyed the original Normandy… kay… and landed the main character in a two-year restoration program to bring him back to life. I actually liked this one the best. Why? Well right off the bat, you find yourself working for the bad guy. That’s right, Cerberus saved your life, rebuilt your ship, and reassembled your crew. Right away, you know these people have their own agenda, but they have the survival of humanity at the top of their list and there are bigger fish to fry, so you have little choice but to go along with it. It’s also in this game where the romance options really start to come into play.

Now, once you’ve beaten the second game, you find yourself under house arrest for working with Cerberus, while the Reaper fleets are moving closer and closer to Earth. The game actually starts off with the kick-off of the Battle of Earth. You’re forced to evacuate, and the Normandy (now an Alliance ship), is returned to you. You go through the galaxy, building Alliances, bringing other fleets into the fold and attempting to get the galaxy up to a military strength rating of 5000… which isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Spoiler Alert: Though the games have been out for years now.

If you either don’t gain enough military strength or make the wrong decisions in the game, the main character dies…

Okay, I’m not a huge fan of that, but whatever. I’m not the writer, so if that’s the logical outcome to the people who created the story, then so be it. This is why I started writing my own stories because I too often find the endings of other peoples, disappointing.

My main gripe comes with ‘Good’ ending. If you get that 5000 EMS, and make the right choice, you go through the typical ending, but after the Admiral gives his speech and we see everyone go their separate ways… you’re then taken to a massive debris field where you see a familiar suit of armor and a dog tag with the letters N7 on them. The suit of armor moves as its wearer takes in a deep breath, signifying that Shepherd is still alive.

I anxiously awaited what was to come next. Was someone going to find him? Where was he? Would he be reunited with the crew and his love interest (in my case, Tali’Zorah)?

Was any of this going to be answered?

NOPE!!!! That’s where the game ends. It’s supposed to give you hope that Shepherd lives, but given how badly he was hurt, given that he’s been beaten up, shot, survived a massive explosion, survived mind control, and then survived whatever happened with the Crucible… for all we know, he could be brain dead, he could be badly injured and not survive long, etc. There is any number of things that could happen here. Just because we see him breathing, doesn’t mean he’s going to survive or if he does, they may not find him.

This wouldn’t be so bad if there was a fourth game (No Andromeda doesn’t count!), but it doesn’t seem like there are any plans to make another one following this cast.

Writers in all formats, I’m begging you now… PLEASE STOP DOING THIS!!! Open endings at the end of series or the end of a story is a good way to piss your audience off. If they’ve devoted the time and energy to get through your story (in the case of Mass Effect, 150 hours of gameplay to effectively do everything), they’re not going to appreciate being left hanging.

This is especially dangerous as a bad ending can break a good story, whereas a good ending can absolutely save a bad story. The wrap up is arguably one of the most important aspects of your work because that’s the note people are going to be left on. If you build everything up and then the ending lets them down, it will leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. You want people to remember your stories fondly because you want them to reread those stories or even look into more of your work. Even if they loved your story throughout the entire thing, a lousy ending can suddenly unravel everything you’ve built.

This is why so many people say that a bad sequel turned them off to a story, or they simply pretend it doesn’t exist. Well, that’s great, but you don’t have that luxury when the part you don’t like is an integral part of the main story.

My advice honestly when it comes to things like this… if you don’t intend to write a sequel, or you’re goal isn’t really to make people think philosophically on a topic… then don’t write an open ending. Don’t leave things up in the air or open to speculation, because if you do, the specter of doubt will always be there, and most people will not like it. Wrap everything up, finalize everything and leave it.

Fortunately, gamers these days “suffer” from a condition known as ‘Weaponized Autism’. Apparently, a few people who felt the same way I did, took it upon themselves to do something about it. With several game developers leaving their code open so that gamers can modify aspects they don’t like (See Skyrim and Dragon Age on Nexusmods), a final fix for this ending was put in place. 

This anal-retentive attention to detail cleaned up the problem areas of the original ending that made no sense and still respected the original ending while expanding on Shepherd’s survival. If you haven’t played the game, but plan to… do yourself a favor, DOWNLOAD THIS MOD!!! Do it before you finish the game.

Okay, not that we’re past that, is there a place/time where an open ending is a good thing? I’d like to think so.

Spoiler Alert!!!

In my book, Damnation, General Xaphan has committed horrible atrocities. First by helping Lucifer wage war against the Most High, then by helping him build a new army in the Underworld, and even after that by attempting to murder her own sister. However, out of love she developed for a human, she turned on Lucifer, foiled his plans to launch a second attack on the Celestial World, and sacrificed her own life in an attempt to save the human she loved.

As I was writing the ending, I was stuck on whether or not the Choirs of Angels would overturn her exile and permit her return to the Celestial World. Were her sins too great to be redeemed? I couldn’t decide. I alluded to the outcome I wanted for her but decided to leave her with two possible outcomes. At the end of the story, she’s resurrected and given a human form. The angels tell her that, in order to earn her place in the Celestial World and thus, a chance to be with the one she loved again, she would need to linger on Earth for an average human lifespan. She was given two options;

  1. Live a righteous life, a life of charity, celibacy, and selflessness. If she could do that, she would be allowed to return.
  2. Refuse the offer or fail to live that way, and she would be returned to the Underworld to linger forever in darkness.

She took the offer, but that’s where I ended the story. Did she redeem herself or not? Well… that really depends on the reader in each case. If the reader thought that she’d done enough and deserved to live out eternity in happiness, the reader would grant her that, if not, her banishment to the Underworld would be on them. It depends on the philosophical question of what it takes for a person to be redeemed.

Anyway, that’s my opinion regarding the problem of open endings. Let me know what you think in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Picking Favorites…

Hi Jim,

I’m currently trying to create some characters for my book, but am having trouble. I just finished reading Drakin and was wondering if you could tell me who your favorite character is out of all the books you’ve ever written. It would be helpful if you could go through how you created that character. Thanks!

TLoki


Hi “Tloki”,

I think I may have covered this previously, but I can’t find the original post, so I’ll go over it again. I actually have two that I really love. So one comes in first with the other very close behind.

Let’s start off with the runner-up:

Mary Jane Kelly – Soul Siphon 

Mary Jane Kelly is actually not original, in that I didn’t create her out of thin air. Because Soul Siphon is basically a story about a group of undead warriors who do the bidding of a disgruntled angel, I wanted to have one character whose murder was fairly well known aka, someone who actually existed. I thought it would add quite a bit of color to the story.

I knew I had to be careful here. I didn’t want to be disrespectful to the dead and certainly didn’t want to offend anyone’s family.  So I went back over some of the most famous murders that people remember… The Simpson murders were too recent, the Manson Family murders still had family that would likely not be too happy about what I intended to do, plus both of those… well… I mean they kind of faded over time. I wanted something… for lack of a more appropriate term, more enduring in the murder mystery world.

Then I decided to go back to my own studies of the Jack the Ripper case in college. (Yes, I did recreational research in college.) There were five (potentially more) perfect examples of what I was looking for. All I had to do was pick one that fit the role I was looking for; Relatively young, female, unmarried. So I went through the canonical victims to see if any of them matched what I was looking for…

Mary Ann Nichols – 43 years old… too old, and based on her biography… a bit too run down for what I was looking for.

Annie Chapman – 47… again, too old. Married to a relative and had children… okay no. I know that was common back then, but… just no. Plus, she was noted as being depressed on had given up on like. I really didn’t think I could write her as the character I wanted to create.

Elizabeth Stride – 44 (yeah this was the pattern). Too tall, married… and so on.

Catherine Eddowes – I actually really wanted to go with her given the mystery surrounding her death and the ‘from Hell’ letter. However, again too old, the description of her is too vague, and I had very little else to go with in terms of her personality.

Mary Jane Kelly – At this point… admittedly I was ready to rule out the Jack the Ripper Victims. None of them fit the bill for what I was looking for. Then I re-read her bio… 25 years old, quarrelsome, known for becoming intoxicated and singing Irish songs. Possibly married, but never confirmed. Not exactly a prostitute like the others as she worked in a brothel. Yes, this I could work with.

There was just enough information on her to lay the groundwork for an interesting character. A foul-mouthed young woman, not afraid to speak her mind, and enjoyed a sip of alcohol every now and then. However, what about the rest of her personality? As a human being, there had to be more to her. Well… details on her life were extremely sketchy and most of them came from her ex-boyfriend, Joseph Barnett. So what was I going to do?

Well, Soul Siphon takes place in the modern day, so I literally had around 150 years after her death to work on character development.  Her backstory involved her being resurrected by the previously mentioned angel and imbued with immortality and powers reflecting how she died; She could shroud herself in the shadows, move silently, possessed super-human speed, and was extremely proficient with knives. She was then given leave to hunt down Jack the Ripper, whom she was actually able to identify. However, she spent a lot of her time trying to protect the other brothel workers from being roughed up in White Chapel.
When she finally located Jack the Ripper, she failed to catch him and kill him. He eluded her for years before dying in a shipwreck, fleeing the country. She then came to find out that he was responsible for even more deaths. Her failure cost even more lives.

At this point, I added a level of regret and bitterness to the character as well as personality depth. I don’t want to give too much away, but she’s actually probably the least dynamic character in the book. That being said, as you learn more about her, you realize the character she actually is very admirable.

I guess I really love this character because she was really fun to research and write. I don’t know if she’s anything like the real Mary Kelly, but I did my best to guestimate what she’d be like in that situation. I am actually thrilled with how she came out.

And with that… my favorite character of the ones I created…

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General Xaphan – Damnation/Soul Siphon

So this character went through a lot of developement. After writing Divinity, I began to entertain the idea of writing a sequel but didn’t want to do a direct continuation of the original story. I needed a new story with new characters set in the same universe. So I set out trying to create the main character… and failed over and over again. I just couldn’t create the warrior angel that I truly wanted to.

After several failures, I decided to go back and look at some of the other stories I’d written that could never be published. I stumbled across the first full-length novel I’d written, which was a Star Wars fanfic: The Face of Evil.

The primary character in that story was the villain, Darth Malys. A young Jedi that had turned her back on the order. She was extremely powerful but had trouble controlling her energy, or her emotions. She was a competent warrior and brilliant strategist that nearly brought the galaxy to its knees.

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I remember how much I loved this character, but she’d never really see the light of day outside of my circle of friends and blog posts. It was something I really regretted. At that point, I began to try to figure out a way I could actually use her as a character in my new book. Granted, a few things would have to be changed, but I felt I could make it work.

General Xaphan was born out of that character. I borrowed her name and backstory from Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal and merged that with Darth Malys. A relatively young, but capable commander and warrior, and a brilliant strategist. Instead of a fallen Jedi, she was an angel who sided with Lucifer when he rose up against the Most High. She completely believed in Lucifer’s cause to free their angelic brothers and sisters from an eternity of servitude and commanded his forces in battle. Though absolutely ruthless in combat, she viewed the spilling of angelic blood to be a terrible waste, and when attacking non-military targets, she’d offer the civilians a warning before the attack took place.
There were no civilian casualties when the Celestial Temple burned thanks to her disobeying Lucifer’s orders and warning the inhabitants. She fought against her counterpart, St. Michael to a stalemate for eons until Lucifers forces were finally defeated. She fled and began a resistance movement in the Celestial World until she was captured and exiled to the underworld. Her time there made her angry. Eventually, Lucifer sent her to the mortal world to do some reconnaisance. To do this, she was given a human form and had her memory wiped.
During her time on Earth, she became involved with a young Florentine Soldier, whom she married and spent several years with before Lucifer came for her. After the events of Divinity, Lucifer no longer possessed the ability to remove the human memories from her and instead simply restored her original memories, hoping they would overpower the human.
The result was a fractured personality and a divided conscience that made it difficult for her to reconcile her existence. She wound up fighting with herself over whether she truly wanted to continue her role as Lucifer’s general or live out her days with the human she loved so much. That’s pretty much where the adventure begins.

I loved this character so much that I wanted to have a physical representation of her on the cover of the book, something I’d never done before. I knew I couldn’t use my concept sketches of her, but I had to figure out something…

Fortunately for me, one of my friends is a fairly brilliant photographer,  who specializes in dark and very mystical shoots. I had all but given up on my hope to create the character because I couldn’t find a model to fit the bill… that was of course until he posted one particular piece that I admittedly thought was absolutely awesome. The image is still one of the backgrounds on my computer:

The more I looked at the picture, the more I realized… wow, she actually looks a lot like what I’m going for! That face looked shockingly similar to some of the concept art I’d done. I went back and looked at the other photo he posted from that shoot…

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Sold, this model looked the part. We worked the whole thing out and he returned with a great photo for me to use. Then I had the graphic designer I work with, Brett Warniers, create my character.

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The results pretty much spoke for themselves.

After Publishing Damnation, I wanted to use this character again in some form, so I gave her a cameo appearance in my next book, Soul Siphon.

So there you go. Those are my favorite characters and how I came up with them. Readers, do you have a story with how you created one of your characters? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks,

Jim

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Finding Time in No Time.

 

Hi Jim,

I was hoping you could give me some advice on actually finding time to write. I work full time and have a family. I literally have no time to write at all. I saw on your bio that you also have kids. Do you also have another job or are you a full time writer?

Thanks,
David


Hi David,

I may not be the best person to ask here. Honestly, I’m usually in the same boat you are. I have another job and two (soon to be three) kids. So when to I find time to write? The answer is simply ‘whenever I can.’
That’s literally the only answer I can give you. I keep a copy of whatever I’m working on open on my computer and bang out a chapter during lunch or during some downtime and then do the bulk of my writing for an hour or so after everyone in my house goes to sleep. The ONLY reason this works for me is because I’ve trained myself to type at an accelerated pace. At my best, I can bang out 5-10K words in a couple of hours.

The problem with this is that it takes a toll on you. For this reason, after my next Drakin Novel, I may take some time off writing… maybe. I say that a lot, but honestly, it takes so much out of you to do what I do… by the time I’m done, I’m usually exhausted and about 10lbs heavier than I was.

It can get bad sometimes, but I love writing that much.

The only recommendation I can give you is to try to write whenever you can. Even if you’re just scribbling something down on paper the old fashioned way. Figure out what works for you and then go from there.

Whatever you do, please don’t put your health at risk. Again, I’m not the best role model here, but I know what it’s like to want to continue writing even when your eyes are trying to force themselves shut. When your body tells you that enough is enough, stop.

Readers, do any of you suffer from this problem? How do you find time to write? Share it with David and let him know!

Thanks,

Jim



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

A little shoutout to some great Fantasy Work!

. Enchantment Rules the Game Where the Game Rules Enchantment Seeking One Finding None Hide and Seek Predicament . ~Morgan~ . . . Beautiful Artwork found on: Fairies, dragons and other mythological creatures Facebook. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Artist. Thank You~

via #FridayFantasy – Hide and Seek – #Fantasy #Poetry — Booknvolume