Tag Archives: publishing

Secrets of the Cronal Now Available!

Today’s the day!!!  Secrets of the Cronal – The Sword of Dragons Book 3 is now available on both Kindle eBook and Print!

Without further ado, click below for your chosen format to order your copy today!

Kindle Edition – https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Cronal-Sword-Dragons-Book-ebook/dp/B08BK6RP14/

Print Edition – https://www.amazon.com/dp/173493610X/

This has been such a long time coming, and I am so very excited to finally share this new chapter with you all!  Dark Dragons, gods, demons, mysterious assassins, elementals, this book has it all and more!  Who will survive?  And who will perish?

Also an exciting announcement, come check out a live streamed virtual release party today, July 18th at 2PM Mountain Time!  This will be my first-ever virtual release party, and I’m so excited to bring you this event and to interact with all of you.  I’ll be talking a bit more about what this book is about, answering questions and responding to comments live, and then I’ll read the first couple chapters, so come join in the fun!

You can catch the stream either on my author’s facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/authorjonwasik/

Or via our Twitch channel:

https://www.twitch.tv/l3g3ndtinker

See you at 2PM!  And to all of you who have been following along and have been long-time fans, thank you so much for your support.  You all are fantastic!

-Jon Wasik

Cover Reveal, Release Date Announcement This Weekend!

I have exciting news!  The cover reveal for the Sword of Dragons book 3, to include the back-of-book blurb, the release date announcement, and pre-order information will be released LIVE this weekend on ShowX by VtW Productions!

At long last, the day is coming!!  I’m so excited, everyone, I cannot wait to show you!  So tune on on ShowX’s twitch feed live this Sunday, June 21st starting at Noon Mountain Time, 11AM Pacific, 2PM Eastern.  If you want to participate in the chat, I’ll be taking questions from everyone, so be sure to register on Twitch ahead of time!

You can watch the reveal at: https://www.twitch.tv/vtwshowx

See you all on Sunday!
-Jon Wasik

Secrets of the Cronal Chapter Titles

Hi everyone,

It’s time for another Secrets of the Cronal update!  Today I’m really pleased to bring you the chapter titles from the upcoming release.

One of my favorite things to do when a new Harry Potter book came out was to read the chapter titles and try to guess what each chapter would be about, and there was just something magical about it.  I admit, that was part of the reason I decided to name my chapters when I published book 1!

So, without further ado, I present to you the chapter titles from The Sword of Dragons Book 3 – Secrets of the Cronal

1   The Seal of the Covenant
2   Broken Wings
3   Shadow’s Dagger
4   Unrest
5   Stowaway
6   The Dwarf of Serelik
7   Evern Manor
8   An Unexpected Visitor
9   The Sylaric Stone
10   Under the Shadows of the Moons
11   Separate Paths
12   Fires of Jealousy
13   Traitors
14   Exiled
15   The Celestial Spires
16   Into the Web
17   Deposed
18   Sea of Magic
19   The Deep City
20   Suffocating Shadows
21   Succession
22   The Morning After
23   Parting Paths
24   The Grand Sanctuary
25   Guardian of Secrets
26   Destiny’s Choice
27   Desperate Plea
28   The Whispering Tree
29   Unlikely Allies
30   Missing Pieces
31   Strength in Shadow
32   Revelations
33   Over the Wall
34   The Final Piece
35   Dark Vision
36   Consumed
37   Refuge
38   Chrysalis
39   Star Child
40   Impasse
41   Kailar’s Choice
42   Burning Stacks
43   Ashes
44   Battle of the Cronal
45   The Great Library
46   Awakening
47   The Greater Good

I admit, I struggled with thinking of chapter titles this time around, but once I named them all and read through the book in the latest round of proofreading and editing, I felt like every single one was perfectly named :)

I’ll be working on updating the Sword of Dragons website with a new section specifically for book 3, where these chapter titles will be listed as well, until the pre-order and cover reveal is completed.

Thanks for reading everyone, I hope you’re as excited as I am for the coming release!  The next update will be the back of the book blurb, and then after that, the cover reveal and release date :D

-Jon Wasik

The Story That Almost Was, And Still Could Be

It’s been a long road.

Next month, this blog turns 6 years old!  And like any proverbial rollercoaster, there’s been ups and downs.

But there’s one thing that’s always nagged at my mind.  One story that almost was.  A story that still could be.

In June 2014, I had an idea for a new trilogy of modern-day fantasies, a trilogy that eventually became called Chronicles of the Sentinels, and that story swept me away!  At the time, it had been ages since a new idea made me feel so much excitement, so much anticipation to write it and try to pitch it to agents or publishers.  In fact, I knew that the idea was unique enough and exciting enough, I was sure to get it published!

A modern fantasy steeped in Babylonian mythology.  Much like other sci-fi or fantasy stories, it took the myths, legends, and history of ancient times, and wove them into a tale of mystery and intrigue that took place today, right now, and brought magic back to our crazy modern world.

Back then, I decided to treat writing like a full-time 2nd job, and I worked on this story every single day.  3 months later, I had developed the overarching concepts for the trilogy, come up with the outline for the first novel, and written the first draft.  In just 3 months!

Then came the hard part – pitching to an agent.

Colorado Gold Conference

Image Source – RMFW.org

Back in 2014, I attended my first ever writer’s conference, called the Colorado Gold Conference hosted by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.  One of the perks of participating in this conference was getting the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a few agents and pitch a story to them.

I nearly struck gold ;)  I pitched to an agent who, after just one minute, told me how excited she was and that she wanted to see the first thirty pages of my manuscript.  I was ecstatic!  And it bolstered my feelings that the story idea was enticing and interesting.

Alas, as you might know, Chronicles of the Sentinels has not been published yet.

The agent sent a response within a short amount of time telling me that while the story idea had definite merit, the protagonist was not at all interesting, and I needed to do some considerable work on the story to fix it.

As she pointed out the exact reasons, I realized just how correct she was.  I’d managed to make an interesting story, but not an interesting character.  I knew I’d have to work on it.

Editing vs Rewriting

Back then, I felt my only recourse was to do a thorough and complete edit.  It would take considerable time.  And I’d given myself a deadline of ‘making a living off of writing in 2 years.’  Even though I knew back then that it was not an achievable goal, I also knew that by setting such a goal, it would push me forward, and break a decades-long ‘I’ll eventually get to it’ mentality.

Photo by Beck Wasik

As a result of that self-imposed deadline, I decided to instead self-publish another finished story, The Sword of Dragons, the very fantasy-adventure series that I’m still writing books for today!  I do not at all regret this decision, even though it meant that I wasn’t able to work on Chronicles again until 2019.

Book 1 of the Lotus War Trilogy by Jay Kristoff

I especially don’t regret it because of where I’m taking Chronicles now!  I started looking at it again last year, and it occurred to me that the story could benefit from a total re-write, in a completely new writing style.  I’d been re-reading the Lotus War Trilogy by Jay Kristoff, and realized what it was about his style that I liked.  It was personal, it was fluid, the language wasn’t ‘matter of fact’ all the time.  More than that, the characters, especially the protagonist, was interesting and human, with flaws and personality quirks that I was able to connect to, even though I’m not actually like her.

And I wanted to try my own version of that writing style.  Not copy, no way I could do that, but write in a style that was far more engaging and personal.

So I started fresh, re-developing the primary protagonist as I went, and wrote two new chapters for Chronicles.  I sent it to some beta readers, who absolutely loved it!  But I set it down after that because my life became consumed with other issues, such as my hip injury and subsequent surgery.

A couple of weeks ago, I re-read those two chapters, and just like I did back in 2014, I felt the familiar bubbling of immeasurable excitement!

Christopher Tatsu (Image Source – http://cdn.stylisheve.com)

I feel like I’m onto something big again, and I feel like I’m finally doing this story justice!  The protagonist, Christopher Tatsu, is far more interesting, and from the very beginning of chapter 1, the reader goes on a journey with him, seeing hints of magic, but wondering if they’re real or what it means…it’s exactly what the story needed!  More than that, I’ve created a far more personable, human character, and given him a history and traits that make him easier to connect to.

So, when I’ve grown bleary-eyed while editing and proofreading book 3 of the Sword of Dragons (don’t worry, I’m still very much on schedule,) I have been turning to writing more of Chronicles.

It was the story that almost was picked up by an agent.  And it still could be, becoming my first professionally-published novel :)

Thanks for reading!  I plan to go into more depth on what I’m doing differently in this version, but that, my friends, is a story for another time.

-Jon Wasik

Sword of Dragons Book 3 – Just Around the Bend!

Hi everyone!

After yet another long period without posting a blog, I come bearing good tidings!  I have not been idle, and I am happy to say that the third book in the Sword of Dragons series is nearly ready for release!

And I have some pretty crazy statistics to go along with it.  Starting with the fact that I first wrote about developing book 3 on this blog in 2015.  Book 3 has been in one level of development or another for five years!

Photo by Beck Wasik

So why the long delay between two and three?  Unfortunately there’s no easy answer for that.  Long story short, two major factors: Life, and relaunching the series in 2018.  Neither of which I regret, and both of which were absolutely necessary.  Given the feedback I’ve received (in person, any way) and the sales numbers, the 2nd editions of books 1 and 2 are catching a lot more attention than the original editions did, and that’s good news all around!  It has helped spur me on to finish book 3, and make it the best possible book I can.

So, where are we at now?  I just finished a major revision and edit of book 3, and have sent it off to two more beta readers to help ensure it is as clean as can be.

What did the first beta readers think?  The biggest positive thing they had to say was that pacing was fantastic, and that there were many times they had to go back and re-read a chapter because they forgot they were supposed to be beta reading.  There were some critiques as well, and that was what resulted in a month-long revision and editing effort.  I am much happier with the story and writing now, and I’m hoping the 2nd round of beta readers will have little critique :)

Additionally, since I do not anticipate a need for any more major revisions, I have gone ahead and started getting the book ready for publication.  I know that there will be more edits to come, particularly for grammar and spelling mistakes (hopefully they are minimal,) but it shouldn’t change the page count too drastically, and thus the dimensions of the final product won’t be vastly different.

About that….  page count.  Back in 2015, I wrote this blog article about how complex book 3 was turning out to be.  The final product turns out to be the most complex story I’ve ever written, with countless story threads diverging, and then in the end, coming together for the final climax.  I had to track where all characters were, when, and why, and then weave their tapestry together in such a way that readers never felt like they went too long without seeing what a particular character was up to.

So when my beta readers agreed that I pulled off the pacing spectacularly, I about cheered!

The downside?  This is also the largest novel I’ve ever written.  By nearly 100 pages.  For those who like numbers, here’s a comparative breakdown.

Artwork by Vuk Kostic

Rise of the Forgotten – The Sword of Dragons Book 1
290 Pages
~105,000 words

Burning Skies – The Sword of Dragons Book 2
373 Pages
~136,000 words

The Orc War Campaigns – A Sword of Dragons Story
388 Pages
~152,000 words

The Sword of Dragons Book 3
481 Pages
~173,000 words

Mostly, this isn’t a bad thing.  I always knew my novels would get longer with each book, as I added more characters and story threads to be given attention, and dove deeper and deeper into the existing characters.

The downside, however, will be pricing.  The minimum Amazon will let me price book 3 at?  Over $17.  For comparison, Burning Skies and The Orc War Campaigns are sitting at $14.99.  So my intent is to list book 3 at $17.99.  This isn’t as expensive as some books, but trade paperbacks would definitely cost a lot less.  The downside to self-publishing and print-on-demand, I suppose.  On the bright side, I’ve already heard people tell me they are willing to pay this much, since they enjoyed the previous books so much :)

Also on the plus side, eBooks don’t cost more to publish longer books, so I’ll still be pricing the eBook at $4.99 :)

What’s Next for Book 3?

I’ve already designed the cover, and I’ve already ordered a preliminary proof copy, to check how the cover looks, and to have a physical copy to proofread.  I’ll go through that book as well as await beta reader feedback, and go from there.

Additionally, I am already starting to plot out a marketing campaign, including a title reveal in the near future, followed by chapter title reveals, and finally, a cover reveal when pre-orders are ready!

When will it be released?  Well, that’s another bit of info I’ll be revealing in the near future, but I don’t intend to rush it like I did the first releases of books 1 and 2.  That means it won’t be in May like the other first editions were.  I already have my eye set on a summer date, but I don’t want to say it until I’m absolutely sure I can hit that mark :)

The final bit is determining whether or not I can have an in-person release party.  With the Coronavirus Pandemic and social distancing, I just don’t know how things will be in a couple of months.  So if it looks like that might not be feasible, then I’ll have to try to figure out a way to host a virtual release party.

Well that’s all for today!  Thank you for reading, I hope you’re as excited as I am for the upcoming release!  Believe me, this one will be worth the wait you’ve all had to endure :)

-Jon Wasik

Stories Are Meant To Be Shared

Hi everyone!

Last night, my wife and I watched Ready Player One again, one of our favorite movies, and at the very end, there’s a line of dialogue that has always caught my attention:

“Goodbye, Parzival. Thanks. Thanks for playing my game.” -James Halliday.

Being a creator of, well, anything is special.  But why do we create?  Why do crafters make things, why do artists make art, why do writers write?  I’m sure most people have different answers to those questions, everyone comes to the table with different life experiences and expectations.

But for me, a big part of it is sharing the story.  While there might be exceptions, I’m willing to bet this is a common reason, or at least desire, for most people.  Jewelcrafters want people to wear their jewelry.  Artists want to show their art so others can see them and enjoy them.  Engineers want people to use their things.

And writers want people to read and enjoy their stories.  Or at least, I do.

If by some strange coincidence I was able to write full time for the rest of my life, but no one ever read my work, and no one ever talked about it or felt anything about it, I would never be happy.  It would never be enough.

I suspect James Halliday, and many other game designers in real life, have much the same thought.  Why make a video game if no one is going to play it?

Maybe I’m wrong, but the look on Halliday’s face when he delivered that final line instantly made me think that.  He had built the most elaborate game in the history of games, and Parzival played it passionately and vigorously.  It meant something to Parzival.  It meant everything to him.

And Halliday, whether he was an elaborate AI or some sort of mind-uploaded copy of the real Halliday, couldn’t have been happier about it.

That’s something I hope I have achieved, even if only for a few people – passion.  I hope there’s someone out there who has enjoyed my stories, and eagerly awaits my next one.  I hope that there are people out there talking about them with each other, discussing their views on the characters, their favorites and least favorites, and why.

I’ve been a little despondent about it lately – Over a year since I published the 2nd editions of books 1 and 2 and not a single review on Amazon.  Not even a negative one.  Is it because my stories are ‘meh’ and no one feels passionately enough about them to even click a star or 5?

It doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying, and it tells me I need to hone my craft and come up with truly engaging stories.  But it really does make it hard sometimes.

Which is why I say to all of you, if you have enjoyed an author’s work, or even hated it, please do them a favor and let them know.  We crave input from our readers, good and bad!  It lets us know that we’ve made an impact, even if a minimal one.  It also lets us know what we’ve done right, and what we’ve done wrong, so that ultimately, we can write better stories for you in the future :)

Stories are meant to be shared.  Especially your own.

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik

Looking Back to 2019, Hobbling Into 2020

Hi everyone!

In less than 10 hours, 2020 shall be upon us, and then all of the “2020 vision” jokes can stop!  Or, you know, continue undaunted ;)

As I always do, I’d like to take a moment to look back upon the past year, and see what’s over the horizon.  So come with me on a journey through time, from past, to present, and into the future!

2019 – Self-Publishing Success, NaNoWriMo, Home Purchase, Injury and Surgery

Photo by Beck Wasik

In November 2018, I took a gamble and published 2nd editions of my first two novels, along with an anthology of short stories.  It was a risky move – why would books that have already been out sell better as 2nd editions?  But the vastly-improved covers, the better edits, and the more aggressive marketing campaign paid off.

In 2019, I made more in sales and Kindle Unlimited reads in a single year than in all of the previous years combined!  If there is no other reason to, then that alone is reason enough to celebrate!

But there’s more – I started writing more regularly again, and with one last hurrah with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month,) I finished the first draft of book 3 of the Sword of Dragons saga!  By far, this was the most complicated story I have ever told, with countless moving parts and story threads, all converging in the final quarter of the novel.

I’m so excited!

Unlike 2018, however, in 2019 I barely traveled.  A couple of small road trips here and there, one of which was to see family, but otherwise our great focus was on finally getting out of apartments, and into a house of our own.  It was effort, time, and money well spent, and while our little corner of Earth may not be perfect, it’s ours :)

I wish I could say that all of 2019 was positive, but unfortunately, this was not so.  Towards the end of summer, as I walked through the kitchen, suddenly my right hip screamed in pain and I fell to the floor, unable to stand or walk.  While I slowly regained the ability to use my leg over the next couple of days, I knew something was terribly wrong.

After multiple visits to multiple doctors, x-rays, MRI’s, and CT scans, the doctors came to the conclusion that I had a hip impingement and torn labrum caused by a deformed femur joint.  Apparently I’ve had this all of my life, but over time it has been wearing on the labrum, until this year when it finally gave up and began to separate from the hip itself.

Which led to an arthroscopic surgery, my first major surgery ever.  In a way, it wasn’t too terribly invasive – two small cuts, one to stick a scope in, the other to stick instruments in to work on the hip.  But it required a lot of work on my hip, including ‘tacking’ the labrum up, reshaping the bone, and generally cleaning things up in the hip.  It essentially crippled me for several weeks, and a full recovery will take about six months.

It’s been a difficult time for me, someone who has always placed importance on my independence and ability to contribute around the house.  My wife has had to shoulder so much,  and I am so grateful for all that she has done.  She’s taken care of me, worked tirelessly to keep the house in order, and held me through the hardest nights.  My wonderful Starshine :)

2020 – Recovery, Publication, and Bringing Sentinels Back

What’s in store for 2020?  For starters, the long road to recovery shall continue.  As my hip and leg regains strength, it’s time to get fit again.  The injury was already starting to rear its ugly head in the 4 years prior to that terrible summer day, and I’ve exercised less and less as a result.

So 2020 will be a year that I focus on my physical health and wellness, getting back to the fitness level I once worked so long and hard to achieve.  Long hikes, climbing, that sort of thing, I miss doing all of it, and I’m looking forward to being back to my old self by summer!

Furthermore, unless I get horribly negative feedback from beta readers, 2020 will be the year that book 3 is published!  As before, it’ll be self-published, but the cover is already prototyped and ready for implementation, so it’s all a matter of editing and proofreading!

Images Source – http://bramleegwater.deviantart.com

As for the “Bringing Back the Sentinels” comment…I’ve had wonderful inspiration and ideas for revitalizing the Chronicles of the Sentinels modern fantasy book 1, Legacy!  I intend to write a more comprehensive blog on the changes coming, but I plan to fully re-write the first book to address the massive shortcomings of the original.  As an interested agent put it a few years ago, the premise was good, but the characters especially needed work.

There’s a lot of other great things ahead, including a trip for a Doctor Who convention, but that, my friends, is another story :)

Until then, Happy New Year to everyone!  May 2020 be the year of positive change for you :)

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik

The Importance of Beta Readers – Book 3

Hey everyone!

NaNoWriMo 2019 was an absolute success, and with almost a week to spare, I finished the third novel of the Sword of Dragons series!

Finishing was a massive rush of satisfaction and relief – I’ve stalled on book 3 almost as much as I stalled on book 1 back in the day, mostly due to life events.  NaNoWriMo came at the perfect time, and I was able to buckle down and power through the second half of the novel.

Additionally, I’ve gone through an immediate first edit!  However, this served more than just a single read-through for prose or grammar or anything like that – I changed course in several ways on this book since I first started writing it, and that meant I had to go back and retroactively correct incontinuities in the first half.

This time, however, now that the second draft is complete, I’m doing something I’ve never done before – allowing beta readers to read it before the third draft.

Why Early Beta Readers are Important

To be honest, I should have allowed people to read books 1 and 2, and The Orc War Campaigns, long before I did.  Especially Burning Skies, however, because it was only after it was published that I received a valuable piece of feedback about the ending.

If you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to have read the 1st edition of Burning Skies (the old cover can be seen on the right,) you may remember the final battle against Nuuldan ending with Cardin basically watching someone else defeat the villain.  In many respects, it was a Deus Ex Machina conclusion.

So for the 2nd edition, I made Cardin more directly responsible for overcoming the villain, without sacrificing the inclusion of those who came to help him (I’m trying not to spoil the book too much, in case you came to my blog having never read my books :) )

If I had given this book over to beta readers earlier and asked for plot and character feedback, someone might have caught that plot point and the 1st edition might never have had that blemish.

This is why I encourage any and all writers to allow at least one person to beta read very early.  Either after a first or second draft.  In that case, I would recommend asking them not to focus as much on grammar and sentence structure (you can fix that in your next draft and ask an editor to focus on that, or at least subsequent beta readers, if you’re like me and can’t afford to hire an editor.)

Which brings me to another point…

Writers and Egos

One thing I had to learn very early on as a writer, and sometimes is a lesson I have to be re-taught – if you have an ego about your writing, it’s going to get bruised or even shattered at some point.  This could be in a writer’s critique group, or it could be reviews of your published works.

But in my opinion, it is vital to drop any ego when it comes to beta reading and early feedback.  You may think you’ve come up with the absolute best story, or the greatest characters, or the most engaging plot, but it is entirely possible that a beta reader will come back and say, “Um, this didn’t work.  I think you need to find a way to fix the plot.”  Or “This character is exceedingly boring.”

In fact, I received that last bit of feedback from an agent for another book series I’ve been working on in the background, and while at first I felt a little ego bruising, I realized she was right.  I’ve started working on fixing that while I let Sword of Dragons book 3 simmer for a while and wait for beta reader feedback :)

If, after setting aside your ego, you feel like the beta reader may still be incorrect, get a second and third opinion.  If everyone you let beta read agrees that something doesn’t work, do your best to fix it.  Ask them why they think something doesn’t work, and if you’re stuck on how to make it better, ask them their opinions.

Ultimately, however, this is your story to tell.  The final decision will always be yours, and the advice I’m giving today is with the assumption that your goal is to write something that a lot of people will want to read.  If your goal is instead to just write your story your way and you’re not as concerned about how well your book sells, that is perfectly legitimate.

If there is one universal advice about writing, it’s that we should all do it for the reasons we want to, not for the reasons others tell us we should be doing it.

Thanks for reading, everyone!  Happy holidays!

-Jon Wasik

Going Back to the Basics

Hi everyone!

It’s been too long since my last post.  But that’s the thing about blogging lately, I feel like I’ve lost sight of some of my original goals with this blog, while greatly achieving others.

The trials and triumphs of writing, searching for an agent, and getting published.  That was what this blog was originally supposed to be about, all the way back in 2014.  I was certainly a different person then, and my life was very different.

I never found an agent, though I came close a couple of times.  I have, however, been published.  I think my decision to become self published was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  It’s given me incredible insights into this industry, made me realize that there’s just so much more to writing than I ever realized.

Having said all of that, there’s one part of my blog’s stated goals that I’ve greatly neglected in recent months.  Writing.

Granted, we bought a house recently, and as anyone who’s been through that knows, there’s a lot involved in that (including fixing up everything that was wrong with said-house in the first days after taking ownership.)

And we’re still not fully settled in.

But that’s meant I haven’t written anything in months.  At least since early February, if not longer.

Furthermore, sometimes I feel like I’ve spent too much time and effort trying to advertise my published books on this blog, when that wasn’t one of the original goals.  Sure, sharing my celebrations and events involved in marketing is part of it, but…well, all in all…I think it’s time I took a break from blogging.  Again.

I first started considering this after I read a blog post by Rachelle Gardner.  Her words resonated with me, and I realized that I felt like blog writing, right now anyway, felt too much like a chore.  The joy I used to feel in blogging was gone.

Thinking even more on it, I realize that is because every time that I’ve spent time writing a blog, I felt like I could have used those precious minutes to write stories.  And over the past 2 or 3 years, writing time has been scarce.

Of course, there’s a flip side to that…what do they say about writing?  That to be a good writer, you need to write from experience, and that means going out there and experiencing life.  And I certainly have done that in the past 3 years!  I’ve had more adventures, experienced love like never before, seen and done things I’ve only dreamt of before!

Photo by Wayne Adams of Death’s House Productions

It’s made me a better writer.  And now, more than ever, I feel like the time is right to take advantage of that.  Now is the time to write stories again.

That’s who I am at heart, a writer.  So I need to go back to my roots, and focus on that.  Rediscover that part of me.

Does this mean I’m shutting this blog down?  Nope.  It just means I’m taking an extended break for now.

But I’ll be back.  That much I can promise you.  My journey is still just starting, and I still want to share it with you all :)

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks for being awesome!  See you next time!

-Jon Wasik

When A Story Demands To Be Told

Hi everyone!

Have you ever had a story in your head that demanded to be told?  Not later, not eventually, but right now?

I’ve had some interesting experiences with characters making demands (such as Kailar in book 3 telling me “This isn’t me, I would never stand for being so passive”), but this is the first time I can recall when I’ve had a story come to mind and demand that its time is now.

Nine chapters into The Sword of Dragons book 3, and all of a sudden, another unrelated story won’t stop coming to the forefront of my imagination.

It was a story I actually first had an idea for back in 2015, and I’ve been slowly jotting down plot and character ideas ever since, knowing that it would be one I’d get to eventually.

Looks like eventually is now, whether I like it or not.  Every spare moment I have with my mind, I think of this story!  I’ve developed a large portion of the plot, and have begun to give characters names.

And these developments are happening fast, super fast!  Granted with buying a house and thus moving in the next few weeks, I won’t be able to develop and write this story nearly as quickly as I did the first draft of Chronicles of the Sentinels, but this could be something I finish quickly and can then go back to work on the Sword of Dragons books.

What would I do then?  Self publishing a book takes considerable time and effort for me, would I go that route?  To be honest, probably not at first.  I think this is one I might have a good chance at picking up an agent with.  It’s something special, or so my friends whom I’ve shared it with insist, and I feel as though it is too.

What is it, you ask?  That’s the kicker…I don’t know how much about this story I should share.  I’m even hesitant to share the genre, but I don’t think I could get away with sharing nothing with you all, lol.  It’s a book that, in the beginning, you might think is fantasy.  But early on, you realize that it isn’t.  It’s sci-fi.

Image Source – http://www.thenextweb.com/

And I’ve debated about that revelation for awhile.  Should I brand the story as sci-fi from the get go, or should I allow readers to be surprised?  Of course, the fear there is that if I brand it as fantasy, fantasy readers might pick it up, and then get mad when they realize it isn’t fantasy…and good luck getting sci-fi readers to pick it up if they think it is fantasy.

All of the lessons I’ve learned over the past few years of self-publishing tell me I should market it to a target audience, and I’m uncertain how big of  a readership out there is a fan of reading both genres.  Am I one of the few?

I guess if I manage to land an agent and eventually a publisher, they could help me with this decision, or possibly make it for me.  But then…that’s the other question.  What kind of agent do I look for?  An agent who represents mostly sci-fi, or fantasy?

In the long run, this would be the first book of a larger series, and the larger series would most definitely fall under the sci-fi category.  So perhaps that answers my question for me: this is a sci-fi story.

Artwork by Vuk Kostic

I’m also wondering what existing fans of my work think of me going off to write a sci-fi.  The Sword of Dragons are most definitely fantasy.  But I love both genres, and believe it or not, I started in sci-fi.  The Sword of Dragons books were my first pure fantasy stories.  So in a way, I’m more in my element with this.

For those who are curious, I don’t think I could ever consider myself a ‘hard sci-fi’ writer.  I love tech, I love learning how it works in the fictional universe.  I could even tell you how most of the technology in Star Trek works.  But when it comes down to it, story is more important to me.  Story and characters will always be my focus.

It’s what makes a story worth telling, in my opinion.

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik