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Monday, August 22, 2016

Big announcement: Mancour Signs With Podium Publishing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 22, 2016

New York Times Best-Selling Author Terry Mancour is pleased to announce that he has entered into an exclusive audiobook contract with Podium Publishers (podiumpublishing.com) for the entirety of his best-selling Kindle Epic Fantasy saga, The Spellmonger Series.  Podium will undertake the production and distribution of the entire series, beginning with the first novel, Spellmonger, and add subsequent works in succession.  A release schedule has not been determined at this time. 

“I’m enormously proud that Podium selected my work for consideration,” Mancour writes.  “While they are a small firm, relatively speaking, their dedication to the product, author relations, and their commitment to professionalism make it an honor to work with Podium.”  Under the agreement, Podium will provide a range of artistic services and handle production and distribution of the Spellmonger audiobook series. 

Mancour’s fantasy series, featuring an emphasis on magic, medieval realism, and world-building, includes eight published novels: Spellmonger, Warmage, Magelord, Knights Magi, High Mage, Journeymage, Enchanter, and Court Wizard, an anthology, short stories, novellas, and a Young Adult cadet series – over two million words of prose.  The first novel in the series was published on Kindle in 2011 and quickly caught the attention of Epic Fantasy readers.

Mancour has averaged two full-length (150,000+ words) novels in the series every year since. 
Mancour has scheduled the release of Shadowmage, the ninth volume in the series, as well as the second novel of the cadet series, Hawklady, for later this year.  The tenth volume of the series, Necromancer, is scheduled for 2017.  Mancour has planned the series for at least thirty books.

For all inquiries, contact:
Terry Mancour

Friday, August 5, 2016

Just Sent Court Wizard In.

I'd like to say it's the Final Edition, but the fact of the matter is that after a marathon rewrite, and careful scrutiny, I probably missed a few things.  Do me a favor and email me at tmancour@gmail.com if you spot something.

Now . . . I'm done with Court Wizard.  It was a problematic book for several reasons.  Let me go through them here, instead of making you suffer with an Author's Afterword in the book (note: I withhold the right to include this as an Author's Afterword in some future edition of the book.)

First, the questions:

1. Why was the book late?

A couple of reasons.  First, I was recovering from the hospitalization and other medical issues associated with the publication of Enchanter (purely coincidental, for those shaking their heads).  We have since discovered that my condition is triggered by diet, and theorized that by avoiding certain foods I can avoid an attack.  I've been able to avoid a hospitalization for ten months, now.  I've even been able to avoid an episode.  After 13 hospitalizations in 3 years, that's a BIG DEAL.

Secondly, this was a Very. Big. Book.  Originally planned for a mere 40 chapters, once I tried to do it justice it blossomed by 10 chapters.

Thirdly, This was inherently difficult book to do from the start.  I intended to write it from a female perspective - the third time I've tried to do that, but the first from a mature woman's perspective.

That's a big deal, too.  There is a lot of angst happening on social media about The Deplorable State of Female Characters In Fantasy Fiction.  From the differing armor standards between male and female action heroes to the lack of good liberal fantasy societies . . . so I wrote Court Wizard.

Here we have a strong, fully-developed female character.  A professional woman in her own right who married out of choice and for love in a society that values neither.  She has challenges, quests. adversaries, and enemies.  A woman powerful in her own right, at the pinnacle of her feudal society.

One might think that would automatically make her a Feminist Icon.  But she really isn't.  Not as the feminist movement understands it.

You see, what most advocates from the feminist movement want, when they want more "feminist" fantasy stories, seem to be characters torn from modern times in medieval dress.  They don't understand some things about the fantasy genre, particularly the Medieval Fantasy genre.

The modern feminist movement is largely a product of post-industrial civilization.  Before the Industrial Revolution (Ye Olde Medieval Tymes, in which most high fantasy is set) the dominant form of civilization and culture is agricultural.  The things that were in women's self-interest during agricultural times are exactly the things that the modern feminist movement fights against today.  In agricultural societies a woman's greatest security came from aligning with a powerful family, the strongest institution available to her.  Imagining a realistic feudal, agricultural society that doesn't put a premium on the lives of young men as labor and defense is almost impossible.  One that doesn't put a premium on women who have a lot of babies and can keep an orderly house, likewise.

The point is, imagining a strong, resilient woman having adventures in a feudal society is not hard; we have been given ample historical precedent and plenty of mythological precedent.  But to do so she must exist within that society, not outside of it.

Further, women are different than men.  There, I said it.

In this context, it means that that there is a lot more focus, internally, on the importance of relationships to women, and to truthfully relate that requires a lot more words.  Men and women, as a rule, approach things differently, and I wanted to convey that.  Women live constantly in a world of context that men, in general, simply don't understand or perceive.  I did my best to do that, and that meant going into a lot more depth into Pentandra's relationships as she strives to solve problems.

So for everyone who complains that there are no realistic female characters in fantasy novels: here you go.


2.  Why was the book released early?

It wasn't raw greed.  While I'm as susceptible to that as anyone - heck, more than most - it wasn't my intention to release the book before I was ready.  But there were extenuating circumstances.

If you look at the dedication to Court Wizard, you'll see the name Toni.  That's my wife's Aunt Toni, a beloved figure in her youth.  Toni developed cancer, a particularly brutal form, and after her diagnosis her son-in-law passed away due to complications before a heart transplant.  I won't go into further details, but you can imagine how difficult that was for an old Southern family.

I can't do a lot in this world, but the one thing I can do is dedicate my books.  Before she passed away, two weeks after Court Wizard was published, she got to see her dedication, her name, at the head of a long list of strong, intelligent, valiant women.

It was a little thing, but it was what I could do.  And it was totally worth all the negative reviews I got for releasing the book early.

The second reason it was messed up was that I had originally a much different - and complex - structure for it, with Antimei framing the entire story by telling Alurra the story as it will happen - and with her death at the end.

Only I didn't like that.  Too complicated, and too fatalistic.  Along the way I thought of a reason to keep Antimei alive, so I did it that way.  So I reshuffled a lot of chapters around, wrote a new ending, and righteously fucked up the continuity of the story.

All of that should be fixed, now.  If you run across further errors, please email me.

Oh, and I included the first chapters of both Hawklady and Shadowmage at the end.  And yes, I will push them out to people as soon as they are up so everyone has the edited copy.

But I'm beat, now.  I'm going to have an Adult Beverage and celebrate.

I just wrote a book again.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Final Edit of Court Wizard Running Late . . . Don't Panic!

I've spent over thirty hours this weekend alone making corrections to Court Wizard, but i'm still not quite done yet and I don't want to release it until it's right.  Or right-er.  So I'm going to continue to grind away at it until its done.  That should be a matter of days, not weeks.

I'm very sorry about this - I've been busting my butt all week, but there's a lot of detail to get through.  But I'm devoting just about every spare moment to it and will give you an update here the moment it's done.  And yes, I'm planning on pushing the update out to everyone.

To help make up for this, I'll be including the first chapter to the new book in the revision.

Thanks for your patience.

Terry