Tag Archives: series

Infinitas Publishing Status Report

Time for a status report! Now that the move to Michigan is mostly complete (and I’ve finally gotten my car back after a run-in with the local wildlife), we’re slowly getting back into the groove of things. Still got a few things to take care of before we’re all settled in, but things are finally getting back to normal. 🙂

DH Divider

Glitch: I’ve completed the major edits, handed the manuscript to Isaac to check over, and have been working on his changes. Due to the structure of the story, we’re actually considering breaking it into three individual stories, each around 35,000 to 45,000 words long. They’ll rely heavily on being read in order, but should each have their own beginning, middle, and end. I’ve sent the first part to a beta-reader to see what she thinks. If we do split the story into three parts, we’ll most likely release each part around two-three weeks apart, so readers won’t have to wait long to read each book. With luck, we’ll be moving forward with this project sooner rather than later.

Fractured Skies: I’ve made the second round of major edits based on Isaac’s feedback from a year or two ago, and now I’ve handed it back to him to look through. It needs a bit of work in order to match it to the style and tone of Distant Horizon. But this one is certainly in progress.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold.

Book 3 of The Wishing Blade Series: Working on plotting. Once Fractured Skies is out to beta-readers, I plan to start editing what I already have written of this manuscript, then write the other half of the book.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Finished one formatting project, now working on book covers. Not much new here.

Game Development: Trying to work out the kinks in a fantasy-based civilization building game. We have a few ideas, but we’ll need to test-play them.

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Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with our latest book releases and promotions, sign up for our Infinitas Publishing Newsletter!

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 I hope you enjoyed this post! 🙂

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Behind the Scenes – Song of the Sword

This is a cover for Melange Books. For this cover we wanted to keep with the theme of the previous books: Dragon SwordSword of DoomSword of the Quest, and Star Sword. Again, I piece-parted images of the model to get the dramatic pose we wanted, and per usual, I added specific lighting to the background and foreground using overlay and softlight blending layers, in order to make the image look cohesive. Adding a bit of “fog” at the base of the image allowed the title to stand out better while blending out the legs of the model where the stock image was cut away.

SBibb - Song of the Sword - Book Cover

Stock images from The Dollar Photo Club (Site no longer functional):
two images of the model

Stock from Dreamstime:
https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-dark-ominous-rain-clouds-lightning-image18357018 – sky
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-castle-kreuzenstein-leobendorf-near-vienna-austria-image45372240 – castle
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-roche-rock-ancient-ruined-chapel-perched-top-rocky-granite-outcrop-known-as-located-mid-cornwall-dedicated-to-st-image32326080 – rocks

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The Shadow War – Now Available for Pre-Order

If you enjoyed reading Magic’s Stealing, then good news! The pre-order for the next book in the series, The Shadow War, is now avilable for pre-order!

The book is still in progress (The Shadow War has been through three beta readers, and now Isaac is reading it), but I expect to have it completed by February 2017. Actually, I’m hoping to have it done sooner, but being realistic, I’m trying to give myself a bit more time to complete the project. Once it’s finished, The Shadow War will probably be about 47,000 words long, though the final word count may vary.

Since I was running the promotion for “Stone and String” on Kindle (a short story set in the world of The Wishing Blade), I wanted to make sure I had the second book of The Wishing Blade series available to pre-order. The series starts with Magic’s Stealing, and continues in The Shadow War.

Now, for the book cover!

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

The Shadow War

Young Adult / Middle Grade Fantasy

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

The Shadow War - Book Cover

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

 

The kingdom of Cirena is under attack from an army of shadows—beings who can only be hurt by magic or fire. But magic has been stolen, and as the shadows spread, infecting all they touch, the last two ribbon mages race to the nearest port city to warn them of the impending invasion. One of those mages, Toranih, is among the few who can see the Trickster-cursed army, and she’s determined to get magic back—no matter how much she distrusts it. But when she is captured by shadows and a secret is revealed about her future, her only chance of survival may be to fight the shadows from within.

Available for Pre-Order:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UKBN.com ~ iTunes ~ KoboSmashwords

Add to Goodreads

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Enjoy! 😀

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Thoughts on Writing – A Blurb for The Shadow War

I’m preparing to create the pre-order page for The Shadow War, the second book of The Wishing Blade series. I’m still in the editing phases, and it’s going to be a little while before it releases (I’m planning to set the release date for February, though I’m hoping to release it sooner). But I want to have the page up before I do the Stone and String freebie days from Kindle Select.

Before I can create the page, however, I want to have a blurb ready (those dreaded, tricky things that entice readers to buy the book). The Shadow War is a YA/Middle Grade fantasy novella (47,000 words), the second of The Wishing Blade series. (You can read the blurb for the first book by clicking here).

So I’ve been thinking about a blurb, and this is what I’ve come up with:

The kingdom of Cirena is under attack from an army of shadows—beings who can only be hurt by magic or fire. But magic has been stolen, and as the shadows spread, infecting all they touch, the last two ribbon mages race to the nearest port city to warn them of the impending invasion. One of those mages, Toranih, is among the few who can even see the Trickster-cursed army, and she’s determined to get magic back—no matter how much she distrusts it. But when she gets captured by the shadows and a secret is revealed about her future, her only chance of survival may be to fight the shadows from within.

While this may be what I use for my initial post of the pre-order page, I want to make sue it works in the long run. So my questions for you are these:

  1. Is the blurb intriguing?
  2. Does it reveal too much? Too little?
  3. Does it show clear goals and motivations?
  4. If you’ve read Magic’s Stealing, does it interest you in reading The Shadow War?
  5. If you haven’t read Magic’s Stealing, does it interest you in learning more or looking inside either of the books?

Thanks for your input! I appreciate it! 😀

I hope you find this post helpful for your own writings. What pitfalls have you run into when writing a blurb?

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Thoughts on Writing – How A Deleted Scene Turned into A Short Story Idea

Hello, again! I realize I’ve been silent for awhile, and I thought I’d give a quick update. See, I’m sort of between projects. Distant Horizon is being read by a proofreader, and I’ve gotten notes back for The Shadow War… and I apparently have a few plot holes that need to be addressed before  I can make much progress. That, and I finally finished the beta-reading project I’ve been long overdue on!

But that left me in writing-limbo. It’s not like I don’t have a bunch of projects to work on. (Trust me, I’ve got plenty of rough drafts begging to be polished). But I didn’t want to start anything big until my two main projects were finished.

And, well, I’ve been reading a lot about short stories and the concept of short stories and then I kind of decided… why not write a short story while I’m waiting?

It started with edits to The Shadow War. One concern had to do with the numerous point of view shifts. There are two characters in particular who had scenes, but, upon second look, I realized might not add much to the story itself (Never mind that I thoroughly enjoyed them).

My first thought was to take one of those scenes (since I rarely delete anything, I copied them into a separate document before removing them from the book) and flesh it into a short story from the point of view of one of the antagonists or semi-antagonists.

Problem with that was two-fold. First… spoilers. All the spoilers. There would be no way around it with the scenes I wanted to write. Second… background details that I wasn’t ready to explore. There’s a highly-detailed world behind The Wishing Blade, and not all the details have been worked out. The ones pertaining to the main plot are mostly in place, but some of the ‘how did this character get here‘ have not.

So I pushed those ideas out for now (Someday I want to write a novel or novella that looks at the antagonists of the series. I could have so much fun with their stories).

Instead, I started looking at areas in the world which interest me, but have nothing to do with the main story. Or, well… are only vaguely related. In this case, the Cantingen Islands. Remember that word magic conlang I’ve been working on? It features heavily in the rough draft of the third book, but from an outsider’s perspective. But I’ve wanted to do more with it, and actually take a look at their mythology and culture.

Enter the short story idea for Stone and String (tentative title). My goal was to write a short story between 5,000 to 10,000 words, with a cohesive beginning, middle, and end. And that goal has been achieved, completing the story at 8,000 words!

The story takes place in the Cantingen Islands, around the time of Magic’s Stealing but not tied to any of the main characters. It explores word magic to a degree, but focuses heavily on their afterlife, as the main character is a young girl who trades her death magic for a chance to see her little sister after an accident kills her.

The story is off to beta-readers now, but I’m hoping that edits go smoothly and I can publish it here in the next couple months. Hopefully it will tide readers over until I can finish The Shadow War.

If people enjoy it, I may write more short stories following the particular character. If not… well, it’s a stand-alone, so it won’t leave anyone on a cliffhanger.

Now, the caveat is that I plan on releasing the short story through Kindle Select so that it can be placed in Kindle Unlimited. Which means, at least for a few months, it won’t be available outside of Amazon. I’m curious to see if it might bring new readers to the series.

But the main books will continue to be available through multiple channels, as I prefer not to have all my eggs in one basket.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you tried using Kindle Select, or had luck writing stand-alone short stories? 🙂

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Thoughts on Writing – Salvaging Plot Points from a Trunked Story

Every once in a while, I like working out potential plot points in blog posts. This is one of those posts. Be warned, there may be spoilers for the world of The Wishing Blade series ahead. I’m trying to keep it to a minimum, but…

I’ll have a big SPOILERS warning before I get to the plot-heavy part.

Now, onto the post.

With beta-readers looking at the manuscript for The Shadow War (Book Two of The Wishing Blades series) and Camp NaNoWriMo coming up, I’ve been plotting for the third book (currently unnamed). I’ve got the general plotline figured out, and I know where this particular story is going. However, there’s a few particulars I’m still trying to figure out, since those may affect the fourth book, as well as later books set in that world.

One particular I’m working on has to do with Litkanston, the country south of Cirena. In Magic’s Stealing, Litkanston is briefly referenced in a conversation between Aifa (a goddess) and Toranih (the main character).

“You’ve heard of Litkanston?” [Aifa asked.]

Toranih scowled. “Kind of hard to miss the neighboring kingdom.”

“But you’ve heard the tales…” Aifa stepped forward, her doe-eyes wild, fearful, and a tad over-dramatic for Toranih’s liking.

“Vaguely. No one can leave Litkanston if they go past the Division.”

“The Divide,” Aifa corrected.

Nothing else is mentioned about it in the first book. In the second book, though, Litkanston is mentioned again. Without delving too deep into spoiler territory, I can say that something the main characters need to stop the shadows is found near the Divide… and there’s a good chance they’ll be spending time in that region in the third book, trying not to get themselves trapped.

But here’s the thing.

The so-called “Divide” that traps anyone who enters Litkanston happened fairly recently in the history of the world, leading a couple characters to suspect that Shevanlagiy (antagonist of the first book) had a hand in its creation.

Does she?

WARNING: THIS IS WHERE THE POTENTIALLY BIGGER SPOILERS ARE! (I say potentially since this might not be the direction I take the story).

That’s what I’m currently trying to decide. On one hand, she very well could be responsible for the Divide, for all the reason that the characters believe (after all, they know she has a major role in the creation of shadows, and a tendency to destroy worlds). On the other hand, I’m tempted to push it into the hands of a character that no one would suspect–Listhant-Nsasrar, the high-god of Cirena.

The reason is two-fold. One, because I don’t necessarily want Shevanlagiy to be responsible for all the world’s big magical problems, and two, because of a story-arc I wrote a decade ago when I wrote the rough drafts of the original Cirena stories, a plot referencing a lost romance between Nsasrar and a princess of the Cantingen Islands.

With the updated story, it would be fairly easy to explain the Divide based on that plot. Let’s take a closer look.

From what I remember of the original plot, Nsasrar falls in love with the princess of the Cantingen Islands. But fate binds him through magic’s lure, and the princess is killed by a specific sword that isn’t supposed to be able to kill her (thanks to the equivalent of word magic). At least, it appears she is killed. In reality, it seems she has been thrown back in time, and into Litkanston, where a younger version of the god and the princess develop their romance. Alas, she is mortal and he is not, and I assume she eventually dies (because this was a story draft I didn’t complete), and presumably, the god returns to the Immortal Realm to wander. (After writing the draft for this post I skimmed through the original manuscript to see if there’s any tasty story fodder… and now I want to work more on the actual mythology of the world).

Theoretically, the high god could attempt to slow time down in the region with his love interest, thus creating the barrier later known as the Divide.

There’s another story element from the original stories that could play a part, as well.

Originally, the time span of the stories was much, much longer. The main characters in The Wishing Blade series became immortal, and the Shadow War took place over a period of two hundred years (Now I suspect it’s going to be less than a year). In both versions, the shodo’charl eliminated shadows in a brilliant flash of light. But in the original, it took those shadows and sent them some two- to four-hundred years into the future, removing the shadow essence from them in the process (and leading to some very confused former shadows).

I haven’t yet decided what happens to the shadows who are hit by the light of the shodo’charl in the updated series. One possibility is that they’re thrown into the future (but not several hundred years). Another possibility is that the shodo’charl sends the shadows to Litkanston.

If that’s the case, then that gives me story fodder for later, as characters seek to bring their loved ones back to Cirena. (Remember, once they pass into Litkanston, they can’t return–at least not until the curse on the place is lifted and the Divide is broken).

My thought is that perhaps Nsasrar falls in love the princess, and knowing the shodo’charl has time-bending properties, he attempts to set up the divide to slow time to the outside world of Cirena–thus giving him more time to spend with his beloved. (I should probably note that while he is the (Cirenan) god of creation, Madiya is the (Cantingen) goddess of death, and he can’t necessarily stop a person from dying. I mean, he could make them immortal, but I’m not sure how well that would sit with a Cantingen princess. The Cantingen religion sees death as part of an important equilibrium. Then again… immortals can still be killed. That there is a potential plot hole I’d need to examine closer before choosing to go this route.)

However, in his attempt to create the barrier, something goes wrong, and the Divide is stronger than he expects, causing the whole country to be cast under a blanket where regular magic doesn’t work (or if it does, it doesn’t work properly) and strange creatures escape from the Immortal Realm to terrorize the land. And the days are extremely short. And the night brings a fog and werewolf-like creatures that use a form of magic’s lure (which seems to be one of the few powers that still works) to control and army and take power…

Ahem. That particular story could use some tidying.

A lot of tidying.

Still, the original plot could also play into the fact that the realm as whole is getting weaker, a plot point I’m currently tinkering with in the second book.

Now, the fun part is that most of this plotting wouldn’t even be touched on in The Wishing Blade series. It’s all backstory for me to know and use to examine character motivations (and possibly have Shevanlagiy protesting that particular magical mishap was not her fault). That, and political implications. Nsasrar isn’t necessarily going to want to mention to Madiya that he’s the one who got the country of Litkanston separated from their realm. But it does show why he might be sympathetic to Shevanlagiy’s cause. Both have lost someone they loved, someone who they took desperate measures to try to get back.

END OF POTENTIAL SPOILERS

The point of this (other than letting me clear my thoughts by writing out the idea and reasoning through it) is that even when you have an outlandish rough draft that you may have trunked a long time ago, you might still find snippets of useful information that can breathe life into your story or make a plot work… without taking a really long roundabout way to fix it. (I am prone to daydreaming the roundabout ways to see if there’s anything useful in them).

And this is why I don’t delete anything. I just save it in a new document and move on. I never know when I might want to examine it again. Plus, if you’re writing a fantasy story, it’s kind of like finding a legend that gives you hints about what might have happened…

Okay, just looked at the original manuscript that has that story line. 134,000 words. Oiy. I always did tend to write on the long side.

I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂 Have you ever salvaged anything for a story from an older story you wrote?

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Behind The Scenes – The Devil’s Third Book Cover Remake

Lately, I’ve been working on remaking the book covers for Rebekkah Ford’s Beyond the Eyes trilogy, and I just finished remaking the cover for the final book, The Devil’s Third. (You can see the other two book covers remade: Beyond the Eyes and Dark Spirits).

For the updated version, we settled on using an angel as the character on the cover. The author found a couple images she liked (we cycled through a few before choosing these two), and got the advice of her fans before settling on the current model. Then I found an older image I’d taken of a bird with outstretched wings, did some inversions to the colors (this was actually the inner portion of the wings, rather than the outside shot), and put together the composite image. Of course, we also tried to stick with the same placement and feel of the other two covers.

Needless to say, I think I’ve improved a lot since I first started making book covers. Now, here’s the remake of Rebekkah Ford’s The Devil’s Third, a paranormal romance.

Before:

SBibb - The Devil's Third - Book Cover

SBibb - The Devil's Third - Wrap-Around Book Cover

After:

SBibb - The Devil's Third - Book Cover Remake

SBibb - The Devil's Third - Wrap-around Book Cover Remake

Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=95544481 – man

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=309884051 – graveyard

All other images are my own.

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