Follow by Email

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Rumors Of My Hiatus Have Been Greatly Exaggerated...

First of all, apologies for not updating more frequently.  I know that there's a rumor going around that I'm "in hiatus", but actually I'm writing my fool ass off, about 15,000 words a day on average.  Things have gotten a little complicated, however, so let me catch you up.

Over the last six months I've been in the hospital twice, and I've had no less than four family members likewise go in for various procedures.  My father has unfortunately been left crippled, and I had to take time out to deal with that, as well as my own illness.

The upshot is that I'm a little behind on my writing schedule -- obviously -- but not too much.  That is, Super Secret Project #2 had to take priority, Super Secret Project #1 got bumped up, and Magelord, alas, fell behind.  But not too much behind.  Instead of an early-winter release, it will be more like midwinter at the soonest.  In fact, the first chapters started coming back from the editor this week, so it's possible I can have the thing done by end of January, gods willing.  After that I'll finish Trask's Odyssey, or so I've planned.  Mice and men, and all that.

Magelord is looking bigger than I thought, and twice now I've had to split off chunks of the narrative to inform future projects.  But the whole thing should be pretty good, I hope.  Price will remain consistent with the other books.

But I wanted to give y'all something in the meantime, so here is the first of three planned shorts in the Spellmonger universe, Victory Soup.  It should be released on Kindle within the next 24 hours, a 25,000 short story for a mere $.99.  Hopefully that will keep you satisfied while I bang out the rest of this thing.

Thanks again for the notes of encouragement and the threats of violence if I don't finish the book.  Both have their place in my inspiration.  And I'll try to update a little more frequently now that I'm out of the weeds.

Hope you are all having a lovely holiday season!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Big Milestone!

Over the Easter weekend, my total sales numbers for the last 12 months hit 15,000.  Most of that was Spellmonger, followed by Warmage, with the Space Viking stuff doing consistantly modest but still respectable sales.

Thank you all, very, very much.

I'm deep into writing Magelord now, and have simultaneously cranked out about 8 chapters of Trask's Odyssey, as well as gotten representation for a series by one of my pseudonyms, plus made dramatic headway on Secret Projects #1 and #2.  My fiendish plans are coming to fruition!

All I need is my own lair . . .

This would do.  And it's FSBO, in my neighborhood (roughly) and in my price-range (if I ignore several major compelling factors).  So now I have a reason to write lots, fast, and good, and keep y'all entertained.  If I could say that my fantasy writing allowed me to purchase my very own castle/writing studio . . . I mean, how cool is that? 

And the ultimate irony is, of course, that Magelord is about Minalan's attempt to fix up a nearly ruined old castle.  The gods are telling me something here.  What do y'all think?  Should I indulge in this mad mid-life crisis?  Or should I let prudence and wisdom rule the day?

Monday, February 6, 2012

For One Brief Shining Moment, I Outsold The Lord Of The Rings

Okay, I know it's just an ephemeral quirk of the electronic marketplace, but I found this over in the Kindle Epic Fantasy list, and had a critical nerd attack . . . you have no idea what kind of professional ego blast it is to see this:

I mean . . . total geekgasm.  It's silly, I know, it's just a list, but as a writer how can you not enjoy it at some visceral level?

Unfortunately, it's making me want to go ahead and knock out Magelord, when I have Secret Project #1 and Trask's Odyssey to complete before I hit the next Spellmonger novel.  But dang, if it keeps selling this well, I might have to move things around.

More narcissistic, self-gratifying ego-stroking as events warrant.  That is all.

Warmage selling . . . a lot.

It's six days into February, and so far it's been selling over 100 copies a day.

Thank you.

And this is a pleasant, affirming sight for any author:

That's pretty sweet by any standard.  First page of Epic Fantasy.  Righteous.

EDIT: Um, I just hit #750.  Wow.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Warmage should be up around 9:00 am EST

This is the Final version, which is to say it's more or less complete, but there still might be the odd error.  If you come across something like that, please call it to my attention for a future fix.  Emily did an outstanding job on this, but even between two sets of eyes there's room for error.  

Reviews have been good to great, especially this one, from Peter:

When I first bought my Kindle, by sheer chance, Spellmonger was one of my first purchases. I read it with great pleasure, immediately looked up Mr. Mancour and found his blog and was very pleasantly surprised to find out that the publication of Warmage was imminent.
Having now read Warmage, I find it a very different book than Spellmonger; basically, Spellmonger could have acted as an introduction to an epic fantasy series while Warmage was the first book; and what a first installment!
For a start, it is an extremely long read. If it was in print form, I suspect it would come in at the best part of 600 pages if not over that. Despite its length though, the pace never slackens and it also gives justice to the unorthodox structure of having two stories running parallel to each other, just on slightly different timelines. One is very much focused on the political aspect of the crisis facing the main character while the other narrates the military aspect. It is not until the end that the political story catches up to the military story. They are both equally interesting and equally readable. I suspect that Machiavelli's The Prince has a prominent place on Mr. Mancour's bookshelf.

Minalan, our main character, was an under achiever who has been hoisted onto the path of power by his acquisition of a witchstone; sometimes he stumbles upon this path while at other times he positively dances. He is certainly not perfect but he is thankfully no dummy either. The supporting cast is very well drawn and thank goodness that we have a single person view of the whole story; multiple points of view seem to be all the rage right now and I find that a lot of the time this is an excuse for padding out the length of books with meaningless backgrounds and motivations as well as lazy plotting as we find the same incident in a book being related again and again by different people.
The author avoids this. 
One of the great pleasures of the book is that we see Minalan developing in many ways but mostly as a person and this personal development influences his abilities as a mage, politician and general. If this book is anything to go by, he will need all of these abilities and more in the future. The style of the narrative is bright, breezy and deceptively humorous; some of the incidents are purely lighthearted, like the reports he receives that his fiancée is not getting on particularly well with his mother but in many cases we can see that Minalan is using the humour to mask the horror and desperation he feels about some of the situations he is forced to confront. One slight criticism I do have is that Minalan's development as a magician does not seem to be keeping up with the other aspects of his character but that will probably come in future books.
Finally a couple of words of warning: this is a beta version of the book and there are a few typos here and there. I am not going to mark down the book for that. They are easily fixed and the sheer scope of the story easily eclipses minor issues like that. It is extremely good value for its length and a final version of the prose will be uploaded next month by all accounts, possibly priced at a dollar more. Honestly, it would be extremely good value at twice the price.
Also, the bad guys here are really, really evil with a few twists that I have not come across before so be warned.
The end of the book announces that Book 3 of the series, Magelord, will be issued in 2013. It is good that Mr. Mancour is giving himself a year to write it as this is a fantastic start and the author is obviously taking great care in his world building and the development of the story; but I also hope that it is not issued too far into 2013 as, like the other reviewers, I am eagerly waiting for Minalan's next adventures.

You and me both!  The reviews have been very gratifying, and I can't wait to get working on Magelord.  Before that, however, I have to knock out the next volume in the Space Viking series, and before that I have to re-write a novel for my agent.  A writer's work is never done.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Warmage is up in beta!

Finally!  Final, well-proofed edition will be out around Feb. 1 at a buck more than the $2.99 "fans and family" price.  I feel all tingly seeing it up there after all this hard work.  Totally worth it.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Warmage: Any time, now . . .

I spent most of my birthday evening last night trying to iron out some graphics issues that were causing some serious problems, and finally did the best I could until it finally was accepted properly.

The maps are my big issue, now.  A few got mangled in the conversion process, so I'm simply going to post them here, if you need to refer to them.  The important one is for the Alshari Wilderlands.
Feel free to email me with any questions, and if you spot an editing error we missed, please let me know.  I foresee at least one more corrected edition in my future . . . 

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Hi I am Owen and I am his son.  My full name is Owen Leslie Thomas Mancour.

Warmage is imminent . . .

Having a few minor formatting issues that are keeping it from uploading for some reason, but I have people working on it.  Should be up in the next few hours, depending on how quickly Amazon processes it.

To help make up for the delay ('cause you people have been emailing me all week, gods bless you!) I've decided that from publication until February 1, I'm going to price the book at $2.99, like Spellmonger, to reward all of my loyal fans (I have fans -- that still kills me!) so that y'all can save a buck for your loyalty.  After Feb 1, it will go up to $3.99, which I justify by it being almost twice as long as Spellmonger.  You don't even have to give it a good review, I just want to say "thank you!" for taking a chance on my work.  Truth be told, I write these things to entertain myself, and I'm highly gratified that you folks think its fun, too.  I can't wait for it to be up any more than you -- I'm all a-tingle.

And thank you all for the birthday wishes!  I feel very loved.  

Terry Mancour

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rough Draft of Warmage finished. Tentative release date and pricing set.

Finished the rough on New Year's Day, and the  first part is back from the editor.  After a couple of days of much-needed post-holiday housekeeping/disaster recovery I'm starting the re-write.  Don't worry -- I don't plan on anything extensive, promise.

That being said, I'm going to go ahead and set a tentative release date of January 19th -- my 44th birthday.  It should be up at or around that date, depending on how quickly the Kindle elves process it.

It's a hefty read.  Over 250,000 words.  By contrast Spellmonger was only 133,000 words, and Spartacus was 90,000.  It's not the biggest novel I've written, I believe -- that would be my Firefly fan novel The Treasure of Lei Fong Wu, under my Browncoat pseudonym, ScrewtheAlliance.  But it's the largest completely original work I've done.

How does it compare to Spellmonger, besides being super-sized?  The plot is a little more intricate, there are more characters, there's a lot more political intrigue (feudal style) and gigantic battles, class struggle, personal betrayal, gossip, all that good stuff.  And sex.  Not explicit, but sex.  PG-13 on that part.  Promise.

The setting is northern Alshar, mostly, theWilderlands directly outside of the blind valley of Boval Vale.  It's a heavily-timbered and sparsely peopled backwater of the Duchies, kind of like rural Appalachia or any other recently-settled and poor region with lots of natural resources.  The time is a month or so after the events of Spellmonger.

And things are not looking good for Alshar, and its next-door neighbor, Castal.  These two westernmost of the Five Duchies are a poorly-organized patchwork of ethnic enclaves and feudal lords.  Alshar is ruled by the mediocre Duke Lenguin and Castal is ruled by his brother-in-law, Duke Rard, a power-hungry schemer. While they play feudal politics to further their own ends, the only person who seems to care about the gurvani invasion is Minalan and his warmagi pals, and they're busy dodging agents of the Censorate, which is hunting them down for having irionite.  But if someone doesn't organize an army in northern Alshar soon, then it's going to suck for just about everyone.  The armies of the Dead God, Sharuel, are on the move, and one fiefdom after another is falling to his hordes as they move east virtually unchallenged.

If Minalan the Spellmonger can't lobby the courts of Alshar and Castal to work together -- and quickly -- the hordes will sweep over the frontiers of both states.  (cue dramatic music)

It's also different in that Spellmonger was the second novel I ever wrote.  Warmage is my 15th.  I might have improved a bit.  And I hired a hotshot professor of journalism to edit this time (Hey, Emily!), so less typos and such.

As far as pricing, I'm tossing around ideas.  Bigger book, slightly higher price, I'm thinking, probably $3.99 rather than $2.99.  But, for a limited time (probably no more than 48 hours) I'm thinking of rewarding my loyal fans (I have fans -- that still slays me) by starting it out at $2.99, same price as Spellmonger.  I mean, for that price it would have to suck pretty bad for you not to risk the substantial investment.  Early reviews say it doesn't entirely suck, so . . .

Thoughts on this?

Also, would y'all like to see an appendix with dramatis personae, maps, cultural notes, recipes, etc. or do you prefer to just let your imagination fill in the details?  I can go either way, but since it's your money, I thought I'd ask.

Lastly, I know I still have a few SYCOPHANTS out there I owe the first chapter to.  Expect it presently, and maybe a bonus for your patience.

And thanks to everyone who read my stuff, even if you didn't like it.  I appreciate the opportunity to attempt to entertain you.