A starship is pulled through a dimensional rift and reappears in orbit around a ringworld. Soon after, crewmembers begin dying off one by one. Down on the ringworld’s surface, farmers and a nearby town are being terrorized by a dragon. Hunters show up, including a reluctant knight sworn to remove the threat, and a bounty hunter looking for another creature altogether—one who lives in the shadows of its victims.
Yep—another tale from my Cosmoverse Campaign Setting. I haven’t written an official book blurb yet for The Shadow Hunter, but at least now you have an idea of what I’ve been working on.
Back when I was running my Kickstarter for Arcane Synthesis: A Blended-Genre Anthology, I sweetened the deal mid-campaign by offering a free short story called The Shadow Hunter. It was based loosely on a creature I designed back in the 90’s that won first place in a TSR monster design contest.
The creature was to be published in Dragon Magazine, but the magazine’s owner, TSR, the original publishers of Dungeons & Dragons, changed course and decided all future issues of their magazine would focus on a new version of D&D they were just releasing (the contest was for the previous version). So, my winning entry fell through the cracks. I was glad to have won the prizes, but thought the creature was too cool to ignore. A year or two later—or thereabouts, I revamped the creature’s abilities and backstory some, changed its name and wrote a short story about it!
I only promised my backers that I’d edit the story again, since so many years had passed since I’d written it (I’d like to think I’ve grown as a writer since that time!) Instead of merely giving it another edit, I decided to rewrite parts and also expand the story. This new and improved version is around three times longer than the original, goes into more depth with the characters and in keeping with our niche, blends the genres and includes a new story as well. So, two very different, but related tales instead of one! Once I get it into my backers’ hands, I’ll release the story (now a novella) to the rest of the world. Fun stuff ahead, as promised.
In hindsight, offering up that freebie that I’m now spending loads of hours rewriting and expanding, wasn’t needed. It didn’t really give my Kickstarter the shot in the arm that I needed to push even further ahead with funding. I think by that time I’d already gotten the majority of backers that I was going to get. I just didn’t know a lot of people and promotion isn’t my forte.
Looking back, I’m fairly confident my already generous lineup of rewards didn’t need another goody piled on top. I had promised more than I needed to and was now committing to rewriting the story. And now it’s a big story and thankfully, nearly done. I don’t regret rewriting or expanding it, and I like to give things away when I can, but it is slowing me down from finishing actual Kickstarter rewards and other books in the pipeline.
I have two more rewards to hand out, and one of them—Cosmoverse World Tour #0, is a project that I came to realize after the Kickstarter had all the potential of a very solid series of books and even a card game to boot, so that too has been greatly increased in size. As a result, some of my rewards are being delayed well beyond what I’d promised (and I lost over a month dealing with my father’s sickness and eventual death to boot during it all). Of course, instead of releasing only one cool book (itself bigger than originally promised), I’m now releasing three, so while I blew past my deadline, my rewards and gifts back to my amazing backers are also blowing past my promises and giving something even cooler!
Frankly, I think The Shadow Hunter is a much stronger story now, and the Cosmoverse World Tour now rocks and I’m hoping to release it in a few months as well. Anyway, I should be done with The Shadow Hunter early next week. I’ve written several drafts. Once I’m happy with it, I’ll get it edited by my amazing, pro editor wife and will then revise as needed, which shouldn’t take long at this point.
So far, I haven’t put anything up on Amazon, which is where the real money is. Arcane Synthesis is available at a few online stores, but when I get the Kickstarter behind me, I’ll put all three books up on Amazon too.
Now it seems that over years since writing the story, the title, Shadow Hunter, has been used for a TV series and more recently, for another, extremely different novel, so I’ll have to come up with another name to avoid confusion. I already had the title and logo for the book. But now I think I should either rename it or give it a subtitle to help distinguish it. Thoughts? Anyway, getting stuff done and have a pile of fiction and game projects lined up behind it. That’s all for this post.
Let me hear from you folks, and please share this blog link with any friends you have that might like blended-genre fiction. If I can get the fan base big enough, I’ll be able to put a lot more cool books (and games) into your hands. So many small time publishers are cutting corners, but I refuse to do that, so we’ll always do our best to ensure high production standards. That means we take longer to get to market, but I think you’ll find they’re worth the wait. I’d love a review—we need to get the word out. Thanks for stopping by and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks!