Book Spotlight -The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles

Time for another book spotlight. This time it’s for a series of books already published, called “The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles”. You may already have guessed that they are inspired greatly by Arthurian legend. The first book in the series is “The Ruby Phoenix, Part 1“, and that’s what we’ll be focussing  on for this article. If you love epic fantasy and Arthurian mythology, go buy it right now!

Still here? Really? C’mon, it’s got knights, chivalry and King Arthur himself in it! What more do you want? Oh all right, I’ll tell you a bit about the author. The Author, Sunbow Pendragon, now has a total 10 books under her belt, 7 of which are included in The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles. She’s also a great human being, always willing to help another author a step up, in their writing and their life. Despite this she remains relatively unheard of, which I personally consider a cruel injustice.

There are some fantastic reviews on the Amazon page for The Ruby Phoenix. Go there yourself and see. Here are a few of my favourites.

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any fan of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table!!!, July 29, 2015
This review is from: The Ruby Phoenix, Part 1 (The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
The author did a wonderful job with this book. The well developed characters left me feeling as if I knew these people and had actually witnessed the events they were involved in. The story immersed me in a magickal place that felt like home. I had to force myself to put the book down long enough to complete my daily chores and I rushed through them in order to get back to reading. I am eagerly looking forward to diving right into the next book. Anyone who reads, should read this authors offerings. They will not be disappointed. I could definitely see these books made into a movie or series that would captivate the audience. I will not be surprised when this author is on the New York Times Bestsellers list! I have several favorite authors and Sunbow Pendragon is at the top of that list!
5.0 out of 5 starsA MUST READ!, September 18, 2014
This review is from: The Ruby Phoenix, Part 1 (The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
Love this book! Very detailed, interesting, and I almost couldn’t put this book down! I feel like I was in the book as I was reading it, it took me to a very magical place! Can not wait to read the second. Everyone should read this!!
5.0 out of 5 starsI love this book, October 1, 2015
By
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Ruby Phoenix, Part 1 (The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
I love this book! so well written and I am so happy to say I personally know the writer and she is not only a fantastic writer but a wonderful friend. she is very creative in her story writing, please give her books a chance, you will not be disappointed!
Still not convinced? Okay, check out this free sample from the book from Sunbow’s own publishing page on Facebook, Amethyst Free Press
#1
“Please, Storyteller, tell us another story tonight?” a young boy’s voice entreated as the villagers settled down to a good supper. They had worked all day to bring in the first harvest of fresh peas, while the women cooked and prepared this feast. Now, they all settled back with a mug of tea or a last cup of wine. “Which one would ye like to hear?” he asked, taking a seat under the old oak tree in the center of the village. “Did the Black Knight ever meet another of his ilk?” the young lad asked. “He did indeed, a mighty warrior who came from far away to teach him more of the arcane arts. Let me tell ye the story of the Ruby Phoenix,” the older man began, and cleared his throat for quiet. The crowd settled in and prepared to hear the tale of their most favorite character….
The Kindle version is only $5.99, which is pocket change. Click this link, buy it, read it, love it. Tell all your friends to buy it too, plus paperback copies for friends and family with no access to a Kindle, mobile device or PC, and be sure to leave Sunbow Pendragon a great review on Amazon.
Are you an author too? Contact me, I’ll be happy to write you a book spotlight too!
Have a great day! 🙂
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Oops, I Did It Again

Yesterday’s article offended some people. Probably a lot more than actually spoke up. In hindsight I think understand why so I’m going to try to explain in my own words what I did wrong, partly to clarify my understanding for myself and those who saw nothing wrong with ‘Wherefore Art Thou‘. Please let me know if I’ve missed the real point entirely though. It’s quite possible that whatever it is that really upset them is lost on me, and I’d appreciate your input.

Before we get started I’d like to thank those that provided the feedback. Out of respect I won’t be mentioning you by name, or giving any deliberate hint of your identity. I want to encourage feedback. That’s not going to happen if I put everyone who comments under a spotlight. I will not talk about you unless you’ve asked me to. This is not a gossip column. I know I’ve crossed the line in the past, but I’ve learned from this mistake and it will not happen again.

Here we go. The idea of being creative for money is offensive to some. Art should be free, a gift to the world. I get that. Most of us spend the majority of our lives performing a boring, repetitive, menial and/or demeaning job. Not because we want to, but because we feel we have to. Money comes from hard work and misery. Writing isn’t a career, it’s a hobby, something that makes you happy. If I want money I should get a real job, contribute to society and stop being so selfish.

Art, in all it’s forms, brings joy to everyone. Charging people for the privilege of enjoying your creativity limits the access. People who can’t afford to pay for books, art and movies are often those who are in the greatest need of an emotional outlet. It would be cruel and indecent to ask those people for money. My work should therefore be freely available to anyone that wants to read it.

I understand this point of view. Funnily enough the other major complaint sort of makes my counterpoint for me. There are lots of people, including bloggers, asking artists and writers for free content including return for exposure. The way I worded the last article makes it seem like I’m one of them. Please let me clarify. I understand that art and writing isn’t easy. I have chosen to write for a living, and it’s hard work. Getting your ideas to express themselves the way you want on the page or the canvas is a time consuming, frustrating and sometimes harrowing experience.

To outsiders, being ‘talented’ often seems easy, like we have a golden ticket. They think if they could draw, or write, like that then they could quit the grueling 40+ hours a week of mind numbing tedium and live on easy street. It’s not like that. It’s still work, and the majority of it never sees the light of day. Sketches, rough notes, first drafts, dead ends, versions that you just weren’t happy with and had to start over, half formed ideas that never seem to work whatever you try. On top of all of that you might finish something, and be really happy with it, only to find out no one wants it.

What this blog is supposed to achieve is exposure. To get my work out there as I’m writing it. This will hopefully ensure that, by the time the book is ready, people will already be excited for it, and asking for more. They will have free access to the story in it’s entirety right here, but they will also have the choice to show their support and buy a copy of the finished book.

I was hoping that there would be at least one artist interested in joining me in this experiment. I see now though that asking an artist to provide free illustration is wrong. Just as wrong as asking a writer to provide free content, or to ask any of you to provide free criticism and editing. So I’m not going to ask anymore. However, I do still believe that instead of cutting one another down, creative people should be helping each other to achieve whatever level of success they want to achieve. Paid or unpaid.

So here’s my new proposal. If you like my writing style and think you could use someone like me to help make you be more successful, let me know. Perhaps you have a work of art that you would like me to describe, or even write a whole story for, l would relish the opportunity. Maybe you are a comic book artist, with some beautiful characters, but need help telling their story. Musicians, photographers and filmmakers too, if you’re looking for a writer, let me know.

I understand how arrogant it was of me to ask you to help me in return for exposure. Allow me to humbly offer my services instead in exchange for nothing more than the opportunity to get my name out there. However, I reserve the right to withdraw from the project if circumstances require, or I decide that it’s not the right opportunity for me. I’m new at this. I’m still gaining experience. I’m willing and eager to learn from those with more experience than I.

Speaking of which, some of you are wondering, if writing really is so hard, why I’ve decided to quit everything to be a writer. It’s because working for someone else sucks.

I’m willful, and confident of my ability. I try to take charge and do things my own way. I’m not trying to discourage you from working with me, but it’s only fair that you know in advance a little of what you’re getting yourself into. I don’t do humble easily, and I loathe being talked down to. I also don’t enjoy toadying either. An ideal working relationship for me is a collective of equals working together for a common goal. Extremely rare in a traditional workforce, but something I hope can be accomplished amongst my fellow creative artists and writers.

I particularly enjoy writing Warhammer 40k fluff, Gothic horror, religious satire, elaborate Fantasy and Orwellian Sci Fi. I haven’t had much experience with lyrics or poetry, but I’d give it a try. I’ve done content for geeky/nerdy blogs, but I find them limiting. If you think we could work together let me know. If you want me to include a Pingback to your blog in future articles, ask. Likewise, if I have once again said something objectionable or offensive please bring it to my attention.

For now I should be getting more Hermes925 written.

Have a great day.

 

Wherefore Art Thou

I was going to write this article much earlier, but then found I wasn’t in the mood. However, I am laying in bed too hot, too restless and oddly too tired to sleep,  with ideas for this article still rattling around in my brain.  I’ll write, until I finally feel like sleeping. I might even get the whole thing done. (I didn’t, I added links and images the next morning).

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As you may have noticed, the blog articles have grown a little infrequent lately. If been putting the focus on writing the story instead. The goal after all, is to become a published author of Sci Fi and fantasy, and I’m not going to get there if all I write is my blog. I need to do what I set out to do, and don’t let myself get in my own way.

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If you haven’t been following my progress, please drag your mouse to the Hermes925 tab at top of the page and select each journal entry. As you can see Jaime has had (or will have, since it’s set in the future) his heart broken, his world view turned on it’s head and found a new obsession to take his mind off it all.

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It’s been a little difficult some days being strict enough with myself to write more. It helps that I already have planned out what I want to happen, but I often don’t know exactly what Jaime’s going to say until I start writing. He tends to rush through his thoughts, without disruptive descriptive details.

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I want to see how it works. Let the reader fill in the blanks, and maybe find some awesome art to each entry. For now I’ve been able to pull somewhat applicable images from the Internet, but I would love to receive artwork from readers and fans illustrating the world I created. Perhaps a picture of Mr. Waddle, or your impression of what it would be like to see the world through the N•Viron, an image of the Hermes spacecraft, or a painting of Jaime stepping through the portal doorway.

tsw_art_10

Of course if you’d rather draw dragons and mages, perhaps The City of Gate is more your cup of tea. It doesn’t have to be specifically made for my work either. Any art you’d like to show off could be included in a blog post as an image and a link back to your own website or Etsy page. I already do something similar for blog articles I like.

Aviation_art_at_the_Museum_of_Flight_(6194343564)

I’m not making any money yet, so I don’t have any to give, yet. When my book is successful, and I use your illustrations, then we’ll both get some money. In the meantime I’m happy to showcase any artist trying to put themselves out there. I’m even happy to help out musicians and fellow writers spread the word. If we want people to find us, without having to compromise, we need to show tham what we can do, and help each other out.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbaron501%2Fvideos%2F10209513551335101%2F&show_text=0&width=560

I had a thoughts about YouTube too. Would anyone like to see me read each of the Hermes925 entries out loud? I’m sure it would be rather dull just watching me read though, but I could edit the video to include a montage of images, and perhaps background music. I could use this as another way show off some of the artwork and music sent in.

angel

I’m hoping that the YouTube channel  (once I have some content people like) and affiliate marketing will help keep me afloat while I get Hermes925 finished and published. If you want to help by offering your talents, advice or money please do! Comments are always welcome, as are donations via PayPal. Any art, music or writing you like me to share can be sent to AntonyM.Copeland@gmail.com

I hope you like the art I found online. Have a great day.

Watch out for Dragons!

Yesterday’s article received some flak from some of my buddies. I also got some very supportive messages too. Today I’m going to avoid controversy by talking about something I like to do every Sunday.

The City of Gate.

Not the City of Gate: Chronicles, but the Facebook group that started it all. I have done one article on this already, but it’s my blog and I can write what I want! 😛

For those that haven’t read the previous article on the subject, “The City of Gate” is a game. A turn based narrative role-playing game. An interactive story. As the storyteller, I post a new update every Sunday telling the players what happens next. Then each player has until the following Saturday to tell me how their character reacts. Currently we have one group member playing a dragon, flying above the ruins of the city. There’s some humans in the city trying to help two different factions rebuild. A couple of vampire characters are trying to avoid the city. 3 other players are walking around far to the North. There are even a couple of players far beneath the city.

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The story is often led by the decisions made by player controlled characters. Sometimes it can get quite difficult to remember what is supposed to happening in the story I already set in motion as the potential heroes all go off on their own little agendas. For example, I wrote a backstory for one of the non-player characters called Myche (pronounced Mike, but with a softer ‘k’). His story is still unfolding as the game continues, despite the fact that he’s now a vampire due to the actions of the players. Every so often I write in little clues that refer back to earlier parts of the story, and bring in a relevant non-player character.

I do this mostly for myself. I doubt the players consciously notice the layers and details I add, but I’d like to think that it still feels like the story has depth and complexity. Whether the players spot these easter eggs or not. H’vannah is one of my favourite non-player characters in the game. By now I’m sure most of the players know that H’vannah is, or was, a man rather than just a place. I’m not sure they really know who or what he was, or what he’s doing behind that fortified gate. So far no player character has passed through the gate and returned to tell about it.

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The players themselves are from all over. Some are based in the UK, some in the States, and we may have a few members from more exotic locations. The game actually has a lot more members that are just there to read the posts and comments than active players. You’re more than welcome to join, either as a passive member or an active player. You don’t have to have any experience with role-playing games. In fact, if you’re a veteran of D&D or Pathfinder, you may find yourself so concerned with stats and dice rolls that you’ll get confused by a narrative driven game. There are no stats. There are no dice. We don’t even really worry too much about alignment. We’re just telling a story and having fun making it up (more or less) as we go.

The City of Gate: Chronicles started out as a collection of short background stories for the non-player characters posted on the Facebook group under ‘files‘. They’re still there. My hope is to pad out these fluff pieces with rewritten parts of the game, and a little bit of original writing, to tie it all together in one cohesive narrative. Eventually. For now though I’d rather focus on the current timeframe. The one we’re currently playing in. Maybe I’ll come back to the Chronicles once I have Hermes925 finished.

If you’d like to join the City of Gate group, you can follow this link. If you prefer you can post a comment here with a link to your Facebook page, then I’ll send you an invite to the group, and our out-of-character chat in Facebook messenger. The messenger chat itself is a lot of fun and allows the players to get to know each other and talk about whatever they want, as well as discussing the game itself.

Cernunnos

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to be involved in the story, you can just read the posts and enjoy them. However, it’s a lot of fun to play. You can be anything you want. A fairy, a witch, a time-travelling cyborg, a half-troll-half-mermaid, anything! Hope to see you there.

In the meantime, click every link in this blog to find some treasures! Articles written by me and some of my favourite bloggers. Follow any that you don’t already! Happy reading and have a great day.

Modern Wizard

The War on Magic

While watching Stardust today, I wondered to myself “If people live in a world of magic, why doesn’t everyone do it?”. It occurred to me that maybe people just don’t feel inclined to learn. What if magic just fell out of fashion, and no-one wanted to do it anymore? They just chose a different path.

What if that is the real world? Magic does exist, but a long time ago we just stopped practising it. Old power replaced my mechanisms and tools designed to make the job easier. There might even be a small group of surviving students of magic, trying to keep the practise alive, with limited actual knowledge. The surviving texts are old but still written long after true magic left. They may have even encouraged the world to forget about them, in order to protect what’s left from the ‘wrong hands’ or from destruction.

Perhaps that’s the basis for an idea I’d put on the backburner called “The War on Magic”? It was inspired by the Facebook meme I added below. My first instinct was that America would declare it a terrorist attack and declare a war on magic.

What do you do?
I was partly inspired by this Facebook meme.

So what if a legendary half-elven wizard, let’s call him Mann, makes arrangements to divide the world in two. One for people like him that are at least part human, and one for the true fae. Perhaps the wizard makes a separate world for himself and fellow part-humans, the children of Mann.

It might even have been a circle of wizards. Mann, Jaeh, Dzeut, Woldein and Ossrus. The new world. Each of the five responsible for their own group of humans and part-humans, and taking their own approach to taking care of them. Primitive humans were ape-like beasts. Monsters. Animals as far as the Elves and Faeries are concerned. They can use tools and weapons though, so the Fae use them as a labor force.

There are some modern wizards that disagree with this theory, preferring to think that neither of the factions was ‘pure’. However, they’ve lost so much over the centuries and can only have old documents and the vaguest summoned ghostly apparitions of the magical world to refer too. Some believe that this is the real world and that magical realm is a literal product of our imagination, brought into being by our faith in it, and that the ancient wizards are just twisted parodies of the world’s gods.

But one modern day wizard has been studying a branch of summoning magic similar to quantum physics, manages to break through the barrier separating our world from the world of the fae. The immediate result is the dragon bursting through into our reality. Magic itself leaks through also, corrupting the laws that stabilize our world.

Dragon attacking City

The wizard closes the original rift, ending the spell and sealing the tear in reality with magical bonds. Of course trying to keep magic at bay with magic could be problematic, and the damage has already been done. Magic has entered our reality and those with traces of fae dna become noticeably more Fae. The coworkers that look sort of like an ogre, or a pixie, become more so, and get some of the racial benefits.

The dragon’s appearance results in citywide destruction. Mostly this is because the dragon itself suddenly finds itself in our world, and it’s confused. The dragon is killed and removed. People are understandably scared by this series of events, and many of them respond aggressively. Perhaps another ancient organisation relying on old lore that been restudied, rewritten and reinterpreted many times, and merged with modern religious beliefs. These people would be calling for those with magical traits to be rounded up and imprisoned or destroyed.

Modern Wizard

Extremists suggest everything from terrorism to armageddon. Some of them refer to the dragon in the biblical Revelations sense. The Beast. The Devil. People with Faun or Forest Elf dna, who might have cloven hooves and horns, are some of the first victims of the zealots taking matters into their own hands. This ostracism leads to some of the fae-blooded coming together and fighting against the zealots. Escalation leads to several world governments deciding to declare war against Magic, and Fae-blooded with any influence working to undermine their efforts. A new arms race to be the first to reopen the way to the world of the Fae ensues. Some looking to leave this world, hoping they’ll receive better treatment from the Fae, and others seeking to end the war with an attack on the magical realm so devastating that they’ll never send anything against us again!

 

The war between the Humans and the Fae has been delayed for eons. A war that had been imminent before the worlds had been divided. It had started long before when the fae had begun using the primitive humans as slaves, pets, expendable troops and test-subjects. For many reasons, including rape in either direction and magical experimentation, half-breeds emerged. While breeding occurred between the fae races also, they were still Fae, whilst anyone who was born to at least one partly human parent was seen as a vile aberration.

War on Magic

Of course they were still far more acceptable house-slaves and concubines than their full-blooded cousins. Cross-breeding became an amusing pastime to encourage certain genetic traits, and certain pedigrees became very popular. Even centuries later, when part-humans have become a greater part of society, with positions in industry and politics, those who consider themselves pure Fae still look down on them and treat them as second-class citizens.

The conflict comes to a head when it is suggested that, if the humans aren’t happy with the world, they should make their own. Both sides take offense to it and accuse the other of suggesting it. Despite this the idea gains popularity once the five half-breed wizards, Mann, Jaeh, Dzeut, Woldein and Ossrus, come up with a plan that might work. Many of the part-humans remain behind, too proud to give in. It’s assumed they were wiped out. There was no-one alive now in this world that remembered, until the dragon came through. Now the people of this world think they need a preemptive strike against the Fae so that they’ll leave us alone.

What do you think of this idea? Should I leave on the backburner for now, or does “The War on Magic” need it’s own page?