Tag Archives: Fantasy

Dare to Dream – Why I Write

2016 NGIB Award Finalist in Fantasy - Amanda's Quest (preliminary copy)

Amanda’s Quest
2016 Finalist in Fantasy
Next Generation Indie Book Awards

I am honored that Amanda’s Quest was recognized in the Fantasy Category. It is a privilege to be included with such impressive past and present authors who submitted books to the competition. To some, competitions are scary; to many, competitions challenge personal confidence. To all, the out come of competitions are uncertain.

In Letters to Juliet,  screenwriters José Rivera and Tim Sullivan set a scene in the middle of a wedding ceremony where Claire, played by Vanessa Redgrave, reads a letter about the possibilities of love.

“’What’ and ‘if’ are two words as none threatening as words can be, but, put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you the rest of your life. What if. What if? What if. ….”

For me, it’s a moving scene empowering the viewers to believe. What? If? I am very honored to be recognized as a finalist. What if I had not submitted Amanda’s Quest for the competition. You never know what the results may be. But, over the last few weeks, I have reflected on why I writing. Its purpose. It meaning.

In Hamlet, Act 1, Scence 3, Polonius says to his son, Laertes:

“This above all: to thine own self be true, …”

I love to write for the readers to enjoy my stories. I loved to tell my children impromptu bedtime stories about forest animals. I loved to design AD&D campaigns with surprises to keep the players guessing, hoping to increase their enjoyment. And I enjoy writing for you.

Please subscribe. You can comment on posts or email me at:

kingdomtorrence@aol.com

 

In the World of Dendür (From the Back of My Mind)

In the World of Dendür, I am writing on the manuscript of book three, The Light of Ak’ron. I am almost finished  with the first draft of chapter three. I would have liked to have been working on chapter five at this point.

The surviving heroes of the Battle of Demeter Plains (Amanda’s Quest) are in the Wilds Mountain Range seeking an on-going threat to the Kingdoms of Torrence and Lithlillia, but nothing is ever as easy as expected. The search party includes men, Elves, centaurs, and one very determined dragon.

I am finding that the characters’ unfocused search makes it harder to write. They know what they are looking for, but not where to look. As the author, the dialog is harder to construct… How would Jerrod react to this situation?  See my last post on how I was caught off-guard by Imelrinn’s history. Oh, and his torn love for Amanda and Rhonda is as confusing as ever.

While the search goes on in the Wilds, King Garrett is entertaining the Lady Mòr and her brother, Lord Ròidh, of Beinn Caladh (the Highlands). The king of Greensland might not be too found of the developing friendship between Torrence and the Highlands, and the implications for his young daughter who is betrothed to King Garrett, but the greater danger is the storm brewing to the north in Haithenbeurn. The followers of Asgard are on the march.

Felicia, Queen of Witches, returns as well. Her desire for the Dragon’s Orb (The Legend of Jerrod) is driving her to become more meddlesome in Jerrod’s and Amanda’s lives, and she is becoming confrontational with Hecatē, Olympian goddess of witchcraft.

It was such a peaceful kingdom.

Send me a note about who your favorite character is and why?

  • Amanda – female warrior and (ops.. spoiler)
  • Jerrod – miller’s son seeking fame and fortune
  • Drin – holy knight who (ops… another spoiler)
  • Rhonda – half Elven druid princess
  • Imelrinn – ancient Mountain Elve (Elf)
  • Fraum – sage and (ops… have you read TLOJ?)
  • Nathanial – wizard
  • Felicia – witch
  • Lady Lieisa – Elve (Elf) druid priestess and leader of Lithlillia
  • Sasha – large black panther or house cat, depending on the form she chooses to be in

I look forward to hearing from you.

D.M. Stoddard, author of the Kingdom of Torrence series

When Characters Takeover the Plot

In talking with other authors, I often find that some of their favorite stories are about times when their characters takeover the plot.

Full MapI was working on the manuscript for book three, The Light of Ak’ron, this week when I realized that the heroes of Torrence and Lithlillia were about to retrace the steps that most of them took in The Legend of Jerrod.  I spent a couple of days going back through the first book of the Kingdom of Torrence series, recording the timeline. In The Legend of Jerrod, Jerrod and his friends  started their adventures in Torrence, went through Lithlillia after some misadventures in the Black Forest, and then proceeded north to the Fjord of Menduran.

Empowered by my refreshed memory of the timeline, I sat down anxious to write the next scene for book three. I gathered the characters, described the scene, and began the dialog. They had already assumed that the object of interest was is the realm of the Dark Elves. As an author I prepared to lay out the dialog in which they were going to discuss traveling north to Sismen Pass, which they figured was a good starting point for their search. As my fingers began typing out the scene that I had spent more that two days preparing, Imelrinn, an ancient Mountain Elve (Elf), spoke up, “I can show you the way. I fought there once as a young man.

I had too laugh. Authors have to follow the personality of the characters and the logic of the story-line/plot. When I created Imelrinn, part of his history was participating in the Elven-Dwarven Wars centuries before. As he grew older he became the guardian of the princesses of Lithlillia. The Kingdom of Torrence series starts with Imelrinn watching over his third charge, the half-Elven druid princess, Rhonda. In The Light of Ak’ron the friends must seek out a threat to both the kingdoms of Torrence and Lithlillia, among other challenges that arise in the course of events.

 

The Road to Publishing – On the Street (Part III)

Wow! I have my manuscript edited, the self-publishing is finished, and now….  what do I do with my book?

If you are going through a vanity press or other self-publishing service, it is a little easier; they do all the “leg work” for you. If not it is just a matter of creating accounts on the various distribution channels (websites) and uploading the book that the formatting service should have prepared for you. The sites that I am currently using are:

CreateSpace and Ingram Spark will distribute your books to a variety of sales points, including Amazon and Barns & Noble On-line. This is important because, according to one publisher’s content editor that I recently heard speak, Amazon currently sells over 70% of all books.

Once you have your book uploaded it takes as much as a couple of weeks for the cover to appear, but the text and opportunity to purchase the book is quicker.  So, where are you?  You are now on the edge of the marketing cliff. The lake is deep so jump in… you can’t just wade around in the shallow spots.

Marketing P bulletsTraditionally, marketing included product, price, placement, and promotion, but the internet, social media, and spamming ads are changing that approach.  Unknown, image downloaded from Google. I intend to write more on marketing in the future.

 

Everyone should agree, the key is making the connection with readers. It is easy to get lost in the crowd, but you cannot ignore Amazon if the speaker I heard is correct. There is a lot of debate how effective social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, etc, are at 1) reaching readers, and 2) encouraging sales. There are also genre specific author coops like FSFNet.com who specialize in Fantasy and Science Fiction authors/books. Recently, I submitted an article to LeRue Press‘s paper, What’s the Story. Lastly, plan on going to book signings; other than Amazon, getting in front of readers is essential. Word of mouth promotions is always a good thing.

I would encourage you, the writer/author, to use as many of the above channels as possible, time allowing. Keep in touch.

Holiday Cheer & the Coming Year

Amandas-Quest-300x200

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Amanda’s Quest was released on December 8, 2015, and has received its first ratings: all 5 stars from Goodreads fans. I hope that you are enjoying your copy too. Amanda’s Quest is doing well on Amazon, which will be the only outlet for the eBook format until March 2016. It is available in paperback through most distribution points. The hard back format should be available in January 2016.

2015-1227 Goodreads Ratings

I have been invited to and confirmed attending an interview on LRP’s Book Hound Radio starting at 4:00 pm on January 4th. I will update this post with information as it becomes available.

I also had a tremendous opportunity this Christmas to send out wishes with a number of other authors from around the world. You can view our video at: Christmas Wishes from Authors Around The World

My Work In Progress (WIP) for 2016 will be The Light of Ak’ron (c), book three of the Kingdom of Torrence series. The title was introduced in Amanda’s Quest by the Master of Bards, Reginald Rhinestone during the annual Bards’ Festival. I hope that Toni Rakestraw will agree to edit book three. Most certainly, I hope to continue my association with Streetlight Graphs for book formatting and cover design.

Thank your for all your interest and support. I am looking forward to a fantastic 2016. And now, off to Toys-R-Us to replace my grandson’s Moosey ….

 

 

Amanda’s Quest Cover

Amanda's Quest Cover

Amanda’s Quest

By D.M. Stoddard

Cover illustration by D.M. Stoddard & Streetlight Graphics

Cover layout by Streetlight Graphics

 

 

Back Cover

Leaving her friends behind to ascend Mount Thoradan, Amanda journeys alone towards the northern realm to “recover” the legendary Horn of Valhalla and bring it to the Guild of the Crimson Pommel. With less than a year remaining she races through the barbaric lands of the followers of Odin to complete her blood-debt, promised as payment for healing the half-Elven druid princess. Only the completion of her debt will save her and her friends, but Amanda’s quest holds challenges beyond her comprehension. As events escalate, wizards, druids, knights, and warriors become entangled in deadly conflicts and two dragons become bitter enemies.

Inside Dust Cover (hard cover only)

– Front  Flap

On the created world of Dendür, the reader will travel across the continent of Ak’ron through lands where Zeus and Odin are followed and a new religion, the Order of One, confronts the old ways. In the troubled kingdoms of men and Elves, magic is limited out of fear and dragons are thought to be a thing of the past. Events are unfolding that will bring change to the kingdoms of Ak’ron. The prophecy foresees the coming of a second hero. It is a time of heroes and great deeds.

– Back Flap

The reader will meet a legendary bard who spins a magical tale of Amanda’s struggles into his song. He sings of individual battles and armies’ wars, filled with the cold of steel and the power of magic. Wizards cast spells and druids draw power from nature as warriors wield heavy blades, but nothing is as it seems. The ballad recounts deadly conflicts between men, Elves, and dragons. It is a song of love and desire, survival and betrayal, heroism and enlightenment.

Amanda’s Quest, Chapter 1 ©

By D.M. Stoddard

New Beginning

Amanda stood at the bow of the ship, her long blonde hair blowing freely in the wind, her feet solidly planted on the deck as it rose and fell beneath her, and her hands grasping the rail as the water of the winter sea sprayed up into the air each time the bow dove into the next wave. Her journey had begun….

Download an excerpt from Chapter 1 for free.

Blog – Amanda’s Quest Chapter 1 Excerpt

 

Guest Blog by Brae Wyckoff

Brae Wyckoff image

Introduction…

I met Brae at the Great American Authors Exposition in Reno last spring. I have had the pleasure of speaking with him on several occasions since. He is a wonderful person and a talented author.

 

 

By Brae Wyckoff, author of The Horn King Series

I have been asked numerous times to talk about the fantasy genre and what it means to me. At first, I only thought it to be an absurd question because it seemed black and white to me but as time has gone by and the more I truly think about this question in particular it is now that I am ready to answer this.

We have all heard the slogan “good vs evil” which is part of the foundation of good fantasy stories but that is not the core value in my eyes. As a writer who passionately loves this genre I searched deep and found that the root of all fantasy is based on destiny and purpose. As a reader I am eager to get into a story where I can relate or want to be the main character. Why? Because they have a calling in their life and they are stepping into, sometimes on purpose while other times due to circumstance, their destiny. Each of us has a call on our lives. We dream about it. We want it to unfold and to know what we are supposed to do in our life. Destiny is not something we wait for but something to be discovered.

The Orb of Truth is my first book and it has won several awards and has been compared to Lord of the Rings and Dungeon and Dragons.

http://www.amazon.com/Truth-Horn-King-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00AGIQYWO/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1MT27ZKDKC2SK10EJB5H

Voted #1 Best Fantasy Book Under the Radar!

Voted #1 Best Christian Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book!

Voted #1 Best Indie Fantasy Book!

Voted #1 Best World Building!

Voted #1 Epic Fantasy Worth Your Time!

Voted #1 Awesome Action!

Voted #1 Best Supporting Characters!

The Dragon God is the sequel and has been stated to be better than the first book.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Dragon-God-Book-Series-ebook/dp/B00HJJNCO6/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0M7ZX0MB0Y8JB617G14Y

 Voted “BEST New Epic Fantasy” 

Rated “TOP Fantasy Book” for a series

Here are some reviews:

“Fans of Tolkien should lap up Brae Wyckoff’s book. Can Wyckoff actually write? Yes he can.” San Francisco Book Review

 “With magic rocks and dwarf slaves, this is a cross between Temple of Doom and Lord of the Rings.”Raven Reviewer

 About the Author

Brae Wyckoff is an award winning and internationally acclaimed author, born and raised in San Diego, CA. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Jill, for over 20 years, and they have three children. He has a beautiful grandson named Avery. Brae has been an avid RPG gamer since 1985. His passion for mysterious realms and the supernatural inspired him to write The Orb of Truth, the first in a series of fantasy action adventures.

What’s next for Brae Wyckoff?

The third book, The Vampire King, will be out early 2015.

He also has his first children’s book set in the same fantasy genre and utilizing the same characters. Illustrations will be done by a Disney artist and is set to come out early 2015.

 

Amanda’s Quest Update

I have spent the last month pushing to polish the third set of chapters for Amanda’s Quest to submit to my beta readers. That has been completed and I have started the search for a new editor. I am looking for someone with experience in the fantasy genre. I hope to publish Amanda’s Quest in 2015.

In the meantime, I am designing the cover, working on enlarging the map found in The Legend of Jerrod, possibly adding a new map, and laying out battle diagrams for the truly fanatical fantasy readers, of which I include myself. I have finished the first dragon battle which is part of the chapters just submitted to the beta readers. In their current predicaments, all the characters are separated by the fates, Felicia, the witch from Cipper, has become more involved in their destinies, and Nathanial threatens the kingdom.

I anticipate that the main body of the Amanda’s Quest manuscript will be slightly shorter The Legend of Jerrod manuscript was. However, the History & Arms section will be longer, including a tactical depiction of a battle between Torrence and ….

Well, would that ruin it for you?

I love meeting and hearing from readers. Leave me a comment.

Facebook: /kingdom.torrence

Twitter: @kingdomtorrence

 

The Legend of Jerrod Book Trailer Preview

 

Enjoy a preview of The Legend of Jerrod Book Trailer. It should be posted to YouTube shortly, but I wanted to give my fans the first opportunity to see it. Please leave a comment. I would love to know what you think. Enjoy!