In all the years that I’ve lived in this corner of rural Ontario, it feels like spring has never come roaring in like this. I mean “roaring” in a good way. The temperature has soared to record highs, and the forecast calls for a succession of extraordinarily warm days right until early next week. Today, with the breaking of old man winter’s chokehold, in a small, but splendid, presage of Easter, Jim and I received one of the best and most glowing reviews yet of The Stoneholding and Darkling Fields of Arvon. It’s by Sarah Reinhard, a writer and mother who lives in rural Ohio. The review can be found on “The Integrated Catholic Life” website, where Sarah is now a regular contributor, by way of the following link: http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2012/03/reinhard-reviewing-legacy-stone-harp-books/
What’s particularly gratifying about Sarah’s review is the quite evident sincerity of her reaction to our work. An omnivorous reader with high standards, she had tackled the two novels with studiously neutral, if not low, expectations, and was won over by the story and the craftsmanship (as was her husband, who was initially even less receptive). What better compliment could a writer ask for?
For more about Sarah and her work, check out her blog at http://SnoringScholar.com/
Well, it’s been spectacularly warm and sunny here—a beautiful Indian Summer—and the page proofs for the mass market paperback edition of Darkling Fields of Arvon are off to Baen. Everything looks good. Meanwhile I’m getting myself familiarized with the Scrivener program—much-acclaimed software devised for writers—novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, academics, the whole range of the tribe of wordsmiths—and created originally for Macs, but now available in a PC-friendly version. It’s a kind of word-processing program designed to help writers organize and facilitate their work. I bought Scrivener soon after I switched to a Mac for the first time early this summer, after my PC laptop bit the dust. I had heard so many good things about Macs, how well-built and reliable they were. It seemed to me it was a good time to make the switch. Besides, I had gotten used to the Mac operating system at the office where I work. So far I’m quite satisfied with my Mac laptop and impressed by the many facets of Scrivener. I’ve loaded my Hidden Kingdom files into the program. It should enhance my productivity, and Jim’s too, I hope, since he’s on board with Scrivener as well on his PC.
Yesterday Jim and I received the page proofs for the mass market paperback edition of Darkling Fields of Arvon, as Baen prepares the text for publication at the end of November. It means we’ll be revisiting an old friend over the next few days, combing the book for blemishes we may have overlooked in the trade paperback edition. This scarcely seems possible, when I think back to the care we took over proofreading and revisions in the novel’s earlier incarnation. At the same time, we’ve learned the hard way that, when you’re wearing an editor’s hat, you should never take a flawless text for granted. It’s a painstaking, often boring, task. Of course, we’ll also be looking at the flow of the text in its new format, making sure the changeover from the trade paperback results in a faithful rendition. Given the quality of the editorial input that Baen provides for its authors, it’s a consoling thought to approach our new text with the belief that we’re not likely to find much amiss.
If you want to get some idea of the magnitude of the changes that are sweeping the world of books and publishing like a tsunami, check out the recent blog post by historical novelist Sarah Woodbury.
In it she talks about the way she’s been able to build astonishing ebook sales on Amazon as a self-published author. Her novels are set in mediaeval Wales, and, if her elegantly designed and informative site are any indication of the quality of her fiction, it’s small wonder that she’s been so phenomenally successful in such a short span of time. In her post, she links to David Gaughran, author of Let’s Get Digital, an ebook about the sea change that’s occurring in publishing. It’s a riveting, articulate account, and Gaughran graciously offers it as a free download at: http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/lets-get-digital/
Also, I couldn’t help but take note of the charmingly evocative waterscape featured on the masthead of Woodbury’s site. My first thought when I saw it was: “Hey, this is a perfect rendition of our own Deepmere in the Stoneholding.”
Well, summer is winding down and we’re just a week away from Labour Day and back to school and all the workaday routines of life. There’s the hint of a night time nip in the air here in the Canadian north, a presage of autumn. It’s time to set the nose to the grindstone again, a time of new beginnings and fresh resolutions. This sense of promise and widening vistas is probably more pressing and feels more real now at the close of summer than on January 1st, the official start of our calendar year, which seems arbitrary and contrived by comparison. Which makes it all the more fitting that Jim and I have learned that the mass market paperback edition of Darkling Fields of Arvon is due to be published on November 29th. We’re pleased about this. It means we’ll be gaining more potential readers of our series. It also gives us further incentive to forge ahead with the writing of The Hidden Kingdom, our third volume, and to continue our exploration of the uncharted byways of the world of Ahn Norvys.
” I set my expectations high hoping to relive what some avid readers have experienced with this book. I read it and I was not disappointed. I found it totally fascinating and I was hooked from the very first page…. All the twists and turns that Kal and his friends encounter along their heroic adventure will keep you on the edge of your seat…. This epic will surely gain notoriety as more readers become aware of it making it a potential movie series in the near future.”
Read the whole review of The Stoneholding:
via CatholicMom.com » Book Club Columnists Laura Grace » Catholic Book Spotlight: The Stoneholding by James G. Anderson & Mark Sebanc.
This morning I had an interview with Gus Lloyd, the kind and able host of “Seize the Day”, the morning show on the Catholic Channel on Sirius Satellite (159). The seemingly boundless enthusiasm Gus showed for our work right from the start of the interview was hugely uplifting, as you can imagine. It was a great way for him to kick off the interview and help ease my jitters. The Stoneholding is the first full book Gus has read on his new Kindle reader, and, as he said, he couldn’t put it down (funny how the advent of the Kindle reader changes the literal meaning of this turn of phrase). He posed a lot of really good questions. The challenge for me was to go right to the heart of each of his questions and answer them succinctly in the space of a sentence or two. A difficult thing to do in the space of 17 minutes, when I could have gone on for hours. Those of you who heard the interview, what do you think? Which questions struck you as most interesting? Which would merit further discussion?
Tags: Catholic Channel
, Gus Lloyd
“The second volume in this trilogy (after The Stoneholding) follows in the epic fantasy tradition of Terry Brooks’s “Shannara” series and David Eddings’s “The Belgariad” titles. VERDICT This standard fantasy enjoys colorful world building and likable characters and should appeal to both YA and adult fans of epic fantasy. ”
SF/Fantasy – 4/15/2010 – Library Journal.
“An entertaining story… the authors’ stylish and poetic narrative, coupled with a cast of endearing characters make this a real page-turner that epic fantasy fans will enjoy.”
Publishers Weekly on Darkling Fields of Arvon