Welcome back for a brief update! We are over halfway through winter, and based on our friendly groundhog’s prognostications, spring is almost here. I do enjoy the brisk winter days and shorter nights, yet I also look forward to enjoying warmer days without three layers. 😊
January’s productivity came in multiple ways: I made progress toward the audiobook for The Alterator’s Light. The word count for The Blighter’s Shadow moved to around 100,000 words. Keep in mind that word count is for the first draft. Cover art for The Blighter’s Shadow is coming along quite well, which is exciting as I move into the second half of the book. I was also invited to speak with a local book club about The Alterator’s Light. We chatted about the book over dinner, and I enjoyed hearing feedback as well as answering their questions.
My sci-fi book, Adalaj, was on hold throughout January. I’ve been thinking about how best proceed with that project—self-publishing or traditionally publishing. Soon, though, I’ll be putting a few of the initial chapters on my website.
The reader question for this month:
Where do you get your ideas, specifically concerning the worldbuilding component?
This question is tough to answer in a brief synopsis. I’ve formally studied history, philosophy, and geography, coupled with a wide variety of science-related information. Studying history and philosophy certainly assisted the worldbuilding in each of my novels, at least from the perspective of creating realistic societies. Science and geography have helped me understand how to create a realistic world into which the reader can become immersed. Additionally, I’ve studied other successful authors who are well-recognized at worldbuilding. Resonance is a key point for any novel to gain an audience’s interest. One hint for those attempting to build a world from the ground up: don’t dive too deep into the details. By getting bogged down into minutia, you’ll find you have an awesome world with little written for the actual story. The world will flesh itself out as you write.
Next month’s question:
Out of your own writing, who is your favorite character?
If you have questions for future updates, please be sure to shoot them my way at email@example.com. You can also find me on Twitter at @brigmanauthor and on Facebook at Dan Brigman, Author, or on my website, www.danbrigman.com.
Thanks again for your support!
The new year is upon us, and depending on your preference, we are in a new decade. Fortunately, December offered a break from the daily grind. I visited family and friends throughout the holiday season which offered a welcome break. I was able to visit a few cool places throughout the month, too, such as Powell Gardens, which has an awesome light display throughout December and into early January each year. It has become an annual tradition to visit the brilliant display.
I made good progress in December. Winter’s onset on the 21st did not keep mefrom pushing the total word count to around 90,000. With the projected length of The Blighter’s Shadow between 180,000 – 200,000 words, you’ll have even more story to dive into. The Originators of Sa’un (book 3) is planned at about the same length.
Throughout the month, I continued discussions for The Blighter’s Shadow cover art with Jessica Sommerkamp, who did the fine artwork for The Alterator’s Light. I also continued researching information for fleshing out The Blighter’s Shadow. Constant research is necessary dependent on the portion of the book I am working on. I also researched getting The Alterator’s Light placed in Missouri libraries, which was a successful endeavor. As a child, I always thought of libraries as a place to travel anywhere I’d like through a book, so to have my own work in a library is a life-altering accomplishment. To change things up a bit, I also put a bit of work into my sci-fi book with the working title Adalaj. As I work on that novel, I intend on putting a few of the initial chapters on my website for early viewing and feedback. Also, by occasionally switching gears between the two genres, I get a chance to refresh further. I know you’ll enjoy seeing some of that work, too.
The reader question for this month:
When will Book 2, The Blighter’s Shadow, be released?
The Rune Cycle was always meant to be a self-contained trilogy. The Blighter’s Shadow will be book 2 and The Originators of Sa’un will be book 3. As for the release date, it is uncertain at this point, as several factors are involved: completing the first draft, the final cover, and additional chapter symbols. While I am feverishly typing away, Jessica Sommerkamp is working on the art.
The first draft should be complete by mid-spring (April/May), which will give me the entire summer for editing and beta reading assistance. Then once the edits are complete, you’ll see the book published once I have the opportunity to get everything fully polished. So, I expect to have the next book published by this time next year. It may seem like a long wait, but it will be worth it.
Until then, I encourage you to check out the prologue, The Point of Woes. It is a short read, and you can find it at the following link. It is the introduction to the series, and it has glimpses of what you’ll see later in the series.
If you have questions for future newsletters, please be sure to shoot them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Twitter at @brigmanauthor and on Facebook at Dan Brigman, Author, or at danbrigman.com.
Next month’s question:
Where do you get your ideas, specifically concerning the worldbuilding component? Stay tuned for the answer.
Thanks again for your support. I hope your holidays were enjoyable and relaxing!
November proved to be a fantastic month, largely in part to the wonderful support I received!
The month was a flurry of action: two book signings for The Alterator’s Light and NaNoWriMo. In case you don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month—it is a month set aside for authors to write 50,000 words. For more information on that cool process, check it out at https://nanowrimo.org/. I didn’t quite make it to the 50,000-word goal, but I made serious headway into the second book of The Rune Cycle.
Throughout November, I wrote just over 25,000 words for The Blighter’s Shadow. The word count total for the first draft is currently pushing 80,000. As a reference, The Alterator’s Light ended at around 155,000 words, so there will be even more story to dive into for The Blighter’s Shadow. For a comparison, many epic fantasy novels hit 200,000 words and sometimes well over 300,000.
The Sample Chapter Podcast posted my interview regarding The Alterator's Light, too. Thanks to Jason Meuschke for the great discussion. You can find the link at http://samplechapterpodcast.com/dan-brigman-the-alterators-light.
I researched audio book options for The Alterator’s Light. It is still too early to give you news on that prospect but stay tuned for additional info! I researched information to flesh out The Blighter’s Shadow of The Rune Cycle.
This month, I also discussed The Blighter’s Shadow cover art with Jessica Sommerkamp, who did the fine artwork for The Alterator’s Light. She will be doing the second book's cover, as well as interior artwork.
Most importantly, I spent time with family during Thanksgiving, which offered a fun time to relax and to refresh.
The reader question for this month:
Will The Alterator’s Light be part of a series or trilogy?
The Alterator’s Light is the first book of The Rune Cycle trilogy. This was always meant to be a trilogy. There may be additional books, either standalones or trilogies, following this trilogy. Any follow-up books will be set in the same universe, but I’ve always wanted readers to have a clear idea in mind when they start my work, so they know what to expect.
This method will also give me time to work on other stories, such as Adalaj, which will focus on a cool sci-fi project. That project already has several chapters and will offer an exciting place for readers. The Adalaj series’ novels will be shorter, likely around 100,000 words each.
Finally, as this newsletter is reaching you while you are thinking about gift ideas for friends and loved ones, perhaps you’ll think about a copy (e-book or softcover). Click here for the link to the books.
If you have a question for next month’s newsletter, please be sure to shoot it my way at email@example.com.
You can now find me on Twitter at @brigmanauthor, which will offer regular updates, too. Of course, you can always find me on Facebook at Dan Brigman, Author, or at www.danbrigman.com.
Thanks, again, for your support. I hope your holidays are enjoyable, and I’ll see you in 2020!
Thank you to those who attended the first book signing for
The Alterator's Light!
Your support means the world to me! Thanks to the staff at the Warrensburg Reader's World!
A few notes for your convenience, if you are just now joining me on this journey:
One quick favor that helps out all authors: offer feedback on Amazon and Goodreads. Both links can be found by clicking here for Amazon and here for Goodreads.
A big "Thank You" to my wife, Meg, who helped put together the awesome display and has supported every second along my writing journey!
I am offering a few thoughts regarding nature, the craft of writing, and two upcoming events. This fall has been accompanied by beautiful fall colors in Missouri’s woodlands.
When I’m not writing and working as a State Park Superintendent, I make time to enjoy nature’s splendor during each season. Even halfway through autumn and after a surprise late-October snow, the reds, oranges, yellows, and lingering greens of pines continue to provide an awesome display.
Some people may not have the opportunity to witness nature as often as I am fortunate enough to do with my park position, which is a reason for my close attention to natural details in my own writings. As a reader, I always enjoy being transported into other worlds, so I hope to evoke that same sense of wonder when my readers dive into an epic fantasy novel like The Alterator’s Light.
As some of you may already know, this month is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It is open to anyone wanting to pursue a writing career, start or continue a writing project, or just get some words written about a topic. The goal for most people is 50,000 words by the end of the month, which can seem to be a major undertaking until you reach that word count.
This is my third year participating, and the process has helped me reach goals I hadn’t thought possible. For more information, check out nanowrimo.org. My wife, Meg, is starting a new writing project this month as well, so it is exciting to see her progress!
In closing, I wanted to let you know about a couple of upcoming events. I have two book signings scheduled during the month of November to celebrate the release of my first novel:
Saturday, November 16 from noon to 3 pm at Reader’s World in Warrensburg, Missouri
Saturday, November 30 from 3 to 5 pm at Reader’s World in Sedalia, Missouri
I’ll have additional details for each signing on my website (danbrigman.com) and at my Facebook page (search Dan Brigman, Author). The link for the book is here, if you can’t make it to the book signing.
Thanks for following me on this journey so far, and I hope you’ll join me for the next newsletter on Monday, December 2nd.