Spring and New Beginnings
First of all I apologize for the lateness of this update. I was having a few internet connection problems. I think my computer believed April Fool's Day began at the end of March and was a full week in length. Aside from that I've been quite busy. As many of you probably know by now Ellfs' Enchantments came out in the middle of March to continue my Ellfaerran Diaries trilogy. I have posted a piece from the beginning of chapter one for this month's excerpt and I hope everyone enjoys it. One of the most interesting things about the book is where the connections between this trilogy and the Moon Child Memoirs series arise. These connections crop up throughout the book and are quite clear to those who are looking for them. I've been spending a fair amount of time outdoors either walking or gardening. I'm trying to grow raspberries this year, if only to keep my strawberries from taking over the entire garden, but I could do without the curious birds who keep landing on my shoulder to see what I'm doing. The little birds like the Juncos and hummingbirds aren't that bad, but I really must draw the line at Steller's blue jays and ravens. I am a fairly small person and they are very heavy birds! As for the new beginnings, that would be the two books I am currently writing, specifically the second book of Sapphire's series and the first true book of his daughter's. (Yes, Sapphire has a daughter and I have written a few short stories about her that have yet to be published.) I have been concentrating fairly hard on Moon Child and Ellfstane's stories for the past little while so it is nice to spend some time with other characters. I should probably see about submitting the more dark Science-Fantasy stories about Sapphire's daughter now that Ellfs' Enchantments has finally made its way through the publication process, or maybe I'll concentrate on polishing up books 3 and 4 of the Moon Child Memoirs and Book 3 of The Ellfaerran Diaries. Yes, they are completed, but still in need of intensive editing before I could even think of showing them to a publisher. Then again, maybe I could do both. We'll see. Stay Safe.
Almost in print
Well it's been a long journey for book two of the Ellfaerran Diaries, but it's almost ready to go into print. The most recent journey for the book was the one that started in October with the initial submission of the book to the publisher. It's been through a few editorial rounds from initial acceptance with just the final print mock-up layout left to be okayed. As for the book itself, initial writing of the book was completed in 2002, but my own editorial process (a minimum of five edits after a year locked away in a drawer) combined with re-writes and a repeat of the editorial process prior to this past October's submission. In case anyone is wondering, book three is locked up in a drawer after the last re-write. I'll probably submit that one in a few years. Maybe, if I think it's ready. It has been written, as has a bit of extra-galactic history touched on in book two, but that is also locked away in a drawer. My filing cabinet is a bit stuffed right now with unpublished novels in varying stages of author's editorial work going on. I'm also writing the second piece of extra-galactic history touched on in the book along with a combination science-fiction/fantasy that follows after the Moon Child series. Apart from my usual writing process, I've also had to deal with the COVID-19 situation, which means very little has changed for me. There are benefits to being a borderline hermit. I've been getting through the various lockdown stages with not only my writing but I've also had a full set of crochet hooks, several balls of wool and crochet cotton on hand along with several meters of fabric, some thin quilt batting and a sewing machine. The result is a partially completed afghan, three doilies, four wrap skirts, six sets of placemats, one fully edited manuscript, and two in the writing process. I have also had some old television friends to keep me company while I crochet and sew, specifically Newkirk and Le Beau from Hogan's Heroes; Harris and Chano from Barney Miller; Capt. Alan Carter and Commander Koenig from Space 1999; and especially Truly and Norman Clegg from Last Of The Summer Wine lighting up my T.V. screen. Mention of these shows may help highlight some of the influences in characters I've created for my books, always remembering that my characters are amalgams of sources, although Capt. Alan Carter is a fairly large influence for the creation of a sandy-haired Celt who shows up in book three of the Ellfaerran Diaries and is mentioned in the Moon Child Memoirs. He's the Celt who just won't go away, and Morrigan is helping him stick around. I've also been highly amused by the antics of a New Zealand Dog named...Dog. I hope everyone has been doing well throughout this nerve-wracking time. Hopefully the vaccines will drive the pandemic away and life will return to a form of normal again by the New Year. Stay safe everyone. I have just been informed that the new book has been added to the Friesen Press Coming Soon list complete with address, which is https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000175132179 in case anyone is interested in looking it up.
FriesenPress has just informed me that Ellfs' Enchantments is now officially published and should be released to stores' online catalogs very soon.
Already one layout design proof has arrived for proofreading with the next one due any day for the second book of the Ellfaerran Diaries Fantasy series. If you saw the mockup for the book cover sent to me by the publisher and posted a couple of weeks ago on the January post you will have seen the title of the new book: "Ellfs Enchantments." It's due to come out some time this month. I have not been given a specific date yet by the publisher, as soon as I know I will post it as an update to this post. I have to say that I am very pleased with both the interior design for the layout of the text and with the design of the book's cover. The interior of the book is itself a work of art with the cover image used on the title pages of the section breaks and a lovely "stained glass" style line-art crescent moon above each chapter heading. Personally I think it is beautiful, but I'm just the author what do I know. As for the text itself, that is staying consistent with the previous books in print style. One change is the inclusion of an author's photo (black and white) on one of the last pages of the book. Apparently that helps sales (I'm not sure how) and as I posted a few facebook readings from the first three books during the initial COVID 19 period on my Author's Page I decided there was no point in avoiding the author's photo anymore. I'm looking forward to the release of Ellf's Enchantments into print and I hope some of you are as well. When it comes out I can finally relax, no more intensive edits and telephone meetings, until the next book. There are still two more Moon Child novels and the third of the Ellfaerran trilogy to come. I'm not done yet, especially as I'm currently in the process of scribbling out Sapphire's story. I'll get around to typing it out on the computer...eventually. I have to finish editing and polishing the remaining books of my two current series first. I hope my neighbours aren't sick of the sound of Nana Mouskouri. My collection of her CDs has been a favoured companion during this editorial process. Last time it was Strauss (the Younger) they had to put up with and before that I really hoped they liked hearing Freddie Mercury's voice as I relaxed to the music of Queen as for the first novel I tended more toward Beethoven. You could say my music choices are a bit eclectic. I think I can relax a bit more now, so I think I'll spend some time visiting Moon Base Alpha in Space: 1999.
Hoping for a happy new year for all.
Here we are at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one. It was not that happy of a year that we're saying farewell to, and I think most of us are adding a quiet 'good riddance' under our breaths. With a little luck this upcoming year will be much better than its predecessor. A few new things for the new year include a recently added a character list segment to the maps page of this website, and it has been since renamed in the menu to reflect that. The list that has been posted is specifically for the second book in the Ellfaerran Diaries series, but it functions just as well for Escape to Ellse Where. SPOILER ALERT! Just to let you know some of the character descriptions for the Tuatha De Danann and Fomor characters include events that occur in the second volume of the series as these events are part of the pre-Christian religion of the Irish Celts, which I have integrated into the novel. Any mythology textbook will contain these pieces of information, so I felt it was necessary to include them in the descriptions. There is also a character mentioned in Secret Sorcerer who makes his first appearance in the Ellfs lives in this book.
I have seen a few proposed cover illustrations for the new book and chosen the one I like best. I should hopefully see the final version of the front cover some time in the next week or so. As for the text of the book it is undergoing the attention of a copyeditor to prepare it for publication prior to handing it over to a layout designer who will design the font and page layout for the final printed product. I look forward to seeing the sequel to Escape To Ellse Where finally in print after all this time editing and polishing the prose to get it ready for a professional editor's attention. Speaking of Escape to Ellse Where, I just posted an excerpt from chapter twelve on the excerpt page. I hope everyone enjoys it. Happy New Year
--January 18th -- Final approval for the front cover artwork of the second Ellfaerran Diaries book has been done. Speaking of which this is what it will look like (although the colours are a touch off in this version due to computer issues.)
It is now beside this post. I hope everyone likes it.
December: Very Busy month
Well This has been a very past few weeks. I apologize for not posting a chapter excerpt in November, I hope I have time to post one this month. I have been very busy with the preparations for the publication of the sequel to Escape To Ellse Where. The editing part of the preparations has just begun. I hope they won't take long. As for the rest I have managed to re-inflame an old injury from my adolescence, which I decided to share with one of my characters in the up-coming book. This means my mobility has been somewhat impaired this past month and shows no sign of departing for December. I hate injuries that pretend to be gone for a few years and then pop up again like sadistic jack-in-the-boxes. I've had this one since I was nine years old. I will be placing a map of Ellse Where in the book. It is very basic and does not show much detail as there is only so much you can fit on a page of the average novel. I hope everyone is preparing to have a happy and safe holiday season with the hope for a COVID-19 vaccine for the New Year. I hear they are getting close. Happy Holidays everyone.
Slow but steady
That's the way the publishing world works. On a bit of an update concerning the next Ellfaerran Diaries book, the manuscript is currently with the publisher, the interior maps have been sent as well as the author's photo (which the publisher may or may not use depending on the back cover design of the finished book.) Whether it turns out to be published by the beginning of December or end of January is up to the publisher, especially as every author wants their books out by the Christmas buying season. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has slowed the publishing industry up quite a bit as most publishing employees are either working in short shifts at a barely staffed office or they are working from home. A slight communication error between my camera's memory card and my computer has led to a temporary cancellation of my readings on my facebook page. That should be fixed as soon as I have a chance to concentrate on it instead of the pre-production work of taking Book Two of the Ellfaerran Diaries through the publishing process. As for the rest I continue to be as healthy as I've always been despite the current pandemic and I am collecting quite a few interesting masks. I may actually go out to wear them! One thing about being a recluse/ border-line hermit during this health crisis, it's my habit to rarely ever go out so I run a decidedly minimal risk. I also have flu shots every year at a pharmacy that sells both masks and filters to go in them, hence my mask collection. I also go into a small town store where masks are made by one of the employees out of beautiful prints. Large centers are just not my cup of tea, speaking of which I think I should put on the kettle for a nice cuppa and see what the publisher may have sent to me concerning the next pre-production step. By the way I posted a Remembrance day poem I wrote years ago on my facebook author's page if anyone is interested. It was the second piece of my writing to be published. It appeared in the Poetry Institute of Canada's 2001 Anthology of Verse: Shadows of the Dawn under S.D.E. Ragan, the name I use for poetry. The poem is called Eleventh Spell.
New Book Coming
As the title of this post indicates, I have recently contacted the publisher of my last three books about the sequel to Escape to Ellse Where. I hope to have it released sometime around the Christmas season, or possibly Valentine's Day, I'll let everyone know as it gets closer to release. We're just in the preliminary stages right now. I spent the last couple of months editing and polishing the text until I felt secure about contacting the publisher, I have also added a couple of my hand-drawn maps to the manuscript which will hopefully make it into the books as well. I am also considering breaking my rule about author's photos due to the readings I've been doing on my facebook page. The only question is how do I get a picture taken that doesn't make me look like I'm going "pop-eyed" or worse, cross-eyed? I guess it's obvious why I don't have my picture taken if I can help it. I will have more information about the second installment in the Ellfaerran Diaries series next month as we go into the preproduction steps from initial editor evaluation through copyediting and cover illustration. More on release date later.
Better late than never...
II know it's an old cliche, but it works. Sorry about how late this post is. Those who follow my facebook page know that I've been extremely busy preparing the sequel to Escape to Ellse Where for publication. It's just about ready to send to the publisher, so it should (hopefully) be available by Christmas. I'm still posting readings on the facebook page whenever the editing of the second Ellfaerran Diaries book allows me enough time, especially as I am also writing one of the books from Sapphire's series (currently unpublished) at the same time. I hope to have more to post next month. Until then.
SUmmer Catch Up
It's that time of year again when the summer days bring a sense of lazy heat and I spend a lot of time catching up on what slid past during the spring. In this case it was the excerpt that I never had the time to post over the past few months. It is now posted, albeit from my original manuscript and not the published one. Those who have read the published book may see where there were some editorial changes between the two. I am also trying to catch up on housework that managed to slide by while I was involved in re-education to change careers and while I was working extra hours during the whole Covid 19 stage one while several of my co-workers were away on medical leave of absence. The excerpt this month is from chapter 10 of Separated Soul. As for my facebook readings those are still being posted once a week with tiny 3 minute or so excerpts from one of the three published books. All in all, I have been extremely busy these past few months, but I think everything will start to calm down a little now that I am beginning to catch up with everything I have to do.
BUsy Days in Busy Times?
As strange as this may sound, the past few months have been exactly that, however things seem to be easing up a bit with my former day-off schedule looking more normal. This will hopefully mean that I will have the time to post a chapter segment this month. I'm sorry I ran out of time last month but I was a more than a bit over-tired due to my work schedule. This month I will definitely try to make sure it is posted. I am also posting small snippets of filmed readings I have done for chapters of my books on my author's facebook page for anyone who is interested.When I have had some time I have been rediscovering old television shows I loved, and still love, such as Space: 1999. You know, back in the eighties I thought that stood for 1999 A.D. but they never actually indicate that it is this era at all. For all I know it stands for A.E.A. (After Earth Amalgamation.) Something Commander Keonig says in one of the episodes I recently watched has given me the impression that they are NOT using our current Era calendar at all. Any reader of either Andre Norton or Alan Dean Foster will know that Science-Fiction dates vary from era to era even in a novel series. I guess that would mean the show is still based in the future. As a long time doll collector I cannot help noticing that there is no mention of any dolls from the series or action figures being made. Possibly this is because it pre-dates Star Wars, the film epic that began that form of merchandising. Pity, Martin Landau's face would have been perfect on a doll; it's so easily identifiable. Oh well, I have several things still to do at home before I go back to my job, so I will end this post. For all those who decide to check out the videos on my facebook I hope you enjoy them.
Hello, I am a writer of High Fantasy utilizing ancient myths mixed with modern anthropological discoveries to create the worlds in which my characters live. Please join me in my journey to uncover those mystical worlds of myth and pre-history.