I’m Feeling Confident

My debut novel Shoreseeker drops tomorrow, and I’m feeling very confident about it. To show you why, let me share with you some of the feedback I’ve gotten from people who have read early and current versions of it.

The first time I showed chapters of Shoreseeker to my writing group, the Tokyo Writers Workshop, the chapters featured a side character named Penellia, a middle-aged scholar and magic user traveling through the woods with her less-than-sensible assistant, Stem. The two of them discover disturbing news and soon run into trouble.

One member of the group, who only showed up the one time to check it out, came up to me after the meeting. She said, “You know, I haven’t been interested in fantasy since the Pern books came out when I was a teenager. But reading your chapters makes me want to get into fantasy again.”

I stammered out a thank-you and said goodbye, never to see her again.

Even though they were rough, early chapters about a side character, they managed to interest a total stranger enough to make them want to read fantasy again. I realized, then, that I might have something special with this book.

Fast-forward several months. Another member of the group, this time a regular, said to me before one of our meetings, “Brandon, every month I have to read your submission twice. Once to critique it, and then a second time because I was too busy enjoying it to critique it the first time.” Like most of the TWW writers, she doesn’t read fantasy.

Here’s another, more recent one. This member is more of a literary writer, though his work has some fantastical elements to it. After reading a chapter about one of my younger characters, this exchange happened:

Him: You’re not marketing your book as YA, are you?

Me: Well, it’s not really appropriate for kids.

Him: Good. Because your prose is too excellent. It would be wasted on children.

Me: *silently wipes tear from cheek*

(While I appreciate the sentiment, I do disagree with it. I specifically wrote Shoreseeker so that anyone can enjoy the writing. Content-wise, however, yeah. Not for kids.)

One final example. I recently joined a second group called the Tokyo Fantasy Writers. Some of the members are also members of TWW, but one isn’t, and he had never read anything from Shoreseeker. I gave him the complete manuscript to read. At the next meeting, he said, “I read your book in four hours. And I feel bad that I didn’t pay you for the privilege.”

Because I have received such wonderful feedback throughout Shoreseeker‘s creation, I have put my all into its publication. I hired one of the best cover artists in the industry to do my cover art. And I believe that Shoreseeker has a chance to become a breakout hit.

But if you haven’t read the book and you don’t know the people in these writing groups, this is all just me talking. I want you to decide for yourself if the book is as good as I say it is. That’s why I’m setting the book at the lowest possible price on Amazon for a limited time, and also why I’m enrolling it in Kindle Unlimited, where members can it read it for free. If you’re not yet convinced, check out the sample. I’m confident that if you give the book a chance, you will love it.

Shoreseeker will be available on Amazon in both Kindle version and paperback.

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New Anthology

I am pleased as punch to announce that my story, “The Raven’s Venture,” for which I won an Honorable Mention from the Writers of the Future contest, will be published in an upcoming anthology called Shards: A Noblebright Fantasy Anthology on October 1st from all major retailers (links below).

Shards cover
Ooh! Lovely cover, right?

Noblebright, if you’re wondering, refers to a newer subgenre of fantasy with an emphasis on the heroic and the hopeful. As far as I know, the term was popularized by the editor of this anthology, C. J. Brightley. While I am unfamiliar with many of the works in this subgenre, heroic characters are deeply important to me as both a writer and a reader, so I was intrigued with the premise of noblebright when I first discovered it.

How I found out about this anthology is a bit ironic. On Facebook, one of the writing-related groups I follow is called Grimdark Fiction Readers & Writers, which a writer friend had recommended to me because of our mutual interest in Steven Erikson’s Malazan series. That said, I skew more on the “reader” side of that spectrum than “writer,” as my work isn’t grimdark. Often violent, dark, and scary, yes, but there’s always someone there to fight against the bad things that the world throws at them. And no matter how much they want to, they never give up.

Obviously, grimdark and noblebright are polar opposites in terms of the character and theme, and in many ways reflect a fundamentally different worldview. I can’t imagine there being a lot of crossover between the strongest adherents of each. So if a diehard grimdarker shares a call for submissions for a noblebright anthology, you can bet its with more than a little tongue-in-cheek.

Original poster’s derision aside, I realized I had a perfect story looking for a home and the Shards anthology looked like a nice, cozy home. I’m glad the editor felt the same way.

I hope you’ll check it out when it’s released, and please remember to leave a review! Those go a long way in increasing visibility for authors and their books. Thanks!

Finds Shards on:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Kobo

iTunes