Storyteller series #3: Bards and druids...

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Storyteller series #3: Bards and druids...

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1gwernin
Oct 2, 2011, 4:24pm

This is my third thread more or less connected to the Storyteller series by G. R. Grove, although conversation wanders onto other topics from time to time. You don't have to have read the books to comment, and spoilers are generally kept to a minimum. Lately we've been chatting about my latest project, a spin-off/prequel stand-alone novel about a number of Druids in 1st century CE Britain and Ireland. I've changed the title on this thread in hopes of getting more people involved. The current discussions started here, but feel free to just jump in.

2gwernin
Oct 2, 2011, 4:39pm

A poll to get things going:

Vote: I have read one or more of the Storyteller books.

Current tally: Yes 9, No 5

3elenchus
Oct 2, 2011, 8:59pm

Given the topic, I'm interested in what titles other LTers have read featuring druids ... esp those with at least a significant historical aspect to them, if not outright "historical novels". I've not read many which do much beyond use the commonplace understanding of a druid to mean a magician or witch. I look forward to this next installment in the Storyteller series not only as I adore the series, but applying the historical sensibility of the first three books to druids is, frankly, enthralling!

4granamyr
Oct 3, 2011, 12:10am

Well, there's Morgan Llewellyn's DRUIDS and its sequel, THE GREENER SHORE, set in the 1st century B.C.

5dchaikin
Oct 3, 2011, 10:59am

nothing to comment on, but I'm looking forward to following along here.

6gwernin
Oct 3, 2011, 12:59pm

4: I haven't read those, although I've read a couple of other books by Morgan Llewellyn many years ago - Bard and Red Branch. Can't say I remember much about them, though, other than one or two snippets from Bard. Those were both set in more mythological times than my current project.

In fact, I can't remember any fiction I've read which does treat of druids other than as the sort of magical bit players Elenchus mentions. I've read a goodly number of historical / archeological discussions, though. First century CE is right on the cusp of historical-mythological time for this subject - historical in Gaul with moderate detail (Caesar etc), a few historical mentions for Britain, and nothing historical for Ireland at all.

7gwernin
Edited: Oct 3, 2011, 3:57pm

Incidentally, I've set up another collection - ST 3.5 Refs - listing my background references to date for this book.

And another poll while I'm on the subject:

Vote: I've read one or more non-fiction publications about the druids.

Current tally: Yes 3, No 7

8gwernin
Oct 5, 2011, 1:10pm

And yet another:

Vote: I've read one or more novels about druids.

Current tally: Yes 6, No 2, Undecided 3
If you answered yes, which ones?

9dchaikin
Oct 5, 2011, 1:13pm

Thought I'd mention I've added a new tag to Storyteller, "underappreciated little gems".

10gwernin
Edited: Oct 7, 2011, 7:17pm

9: cute :)

I'm past 19,000 words on the new book now, and I'm toying with an idea. Would people be interested in seeing snippets of the draft as I go along? Nothing too spoiler-y, and I'd post them on one of my blogsites with just a link here. Partly I'm curious to get people's reactions to the way I start the book. Since it's actually a spinoff of an internal story in Ash Spear which is retold in the beginning of ST #4 (whatever title it ends up with!), I currently begin the manuscript with a flash-forward to a 6th century bard (Gwernin, actually) telling the tale as it's remembered then. It's an odd approach (for me especially) and I'd be interested to see what people think of it.

Vote: I'd be interested in seeing links to bits of the on-going manuscript.

Current tally: Yes 5, No 2, Undecided 1

11elenchus
Oct 7, 2011, 8:10pm

I'm always interested in glimpses into the creative process. Bring it on.

12gwernin
Oct 8, 2011, 2:11pm

I'll put something up presently. In the meantime I've started a page for the book here and added a little CK (no last words this time, though).

13gwernin
Oct 10, 2011, 12:45pm

14TimSharrock
Edited: Oct 10, 2011, 4:20pm

Summer has gone, the black rain falls from the dark clouds to join that Black Lake just a two hour walk from here... it is time to huddle round the fireplace and hear the story!

15gwernin
Oct 11, 2011, 2:14pm

14: A good lead-in! unfortunately you'll have to wait until sometime next year for most of the rest.

Does anyone have a comment on the games I'm playing with tenses here? It feels a bit "literary" (gasp!) and yet it seems to me to work.

16TimSharrock
Oct 11, 2011, 3:06pm

15: there are things to be said for some stories to be heard when the sun is bright and the darkness feels far away

17elenchus
Edited: Oct 11, 2011, 10:57pm

For my part, the "games with tenses" is not apparent unless looked for: I would not have noticed had you not raised the question. Really it must be that way, as you've set it up: were it not, and a reader paid close attention (and shouldn't every reader do so?), there would be a lot of confusion, in trying to identify what was said by the Introducer, by the bard, and by the Fox.

I think the premise is in keeping with the character of the Storyteller series, and with such stories as Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy. That is, it lays out the historical facts such as we know them, and then promises to spool a tale which weaves them together. An exciting opening, for me.

One comment on the Introduction: in some ways I wondered whether I should think of you speaking such words, or whether it is another narrator -- and if so, in which time is that narrator? Since I interact with you on LT, the voice of the Introducer was ... well, not jarring, for it read smoothly enough, but somehow noticeable. Perhaps that is only because the voice was so different than your posts here on LT, and I associate gwernin-the-author with the LT voice, not the Introducer voice. But of course, most readers won't have that confusion. And I am guessing that Introducer voice matches fairly well the voice you use when telling stories, which would make sense. (Perhaps I should ask you to change your writing style here on LT, in order to bring it into alignment with my readerly expectations!)

ETA Upon re-reading, I realise the Fox never speaks directly in the bard's tale. I didn't read as carefully as I admonished!

18gwernin
Oct 11, 2011, 11:44pm

17: Good points which I'll have to think about tomorrow. For the moment, I just got back from Welsh class and have another 570 words to write tonight to make my day's quota...

19gwernin
Oct 27, 2011, 9:40pm

Talk about learning by doing! My power was just out for 22 hours following an early Colorado snowstorm. Reminds me how much all the people I write about had to put up with in the way of cold and darkness during the winter...

20elenchus
Oct 28, 2011, 10:49am

I have family in Ft Collins and I've been wondering how they've done since the storm. But you're right, it reminds me that reading is a luxury for me, since as a rule it's done well after dark: without artificial light, where would I be?

21TimSharrock
Oct 28, 2011, 11:55am

20> listening to a storyteller?

22gwernin
Oct 28, 2011, 11:12pm

20: Xcel said they would have everyone's power back on by the end of yesterday (Thursday), so they're probably OK. Snow's melting fairly fast; see today's blog picture.

21: Listening to a storyteller sounds like a good idea ;-) One reason they were popular.

More generally, this is the sort of thing I have to keep reminding myself of while writing: in Gwernin's time (and earlier) it was - by our standards - pretty dark at night, even with fires or candles or whatever. Oil lamps were a luxury item, probably introduced by the Romans and dependent on imported olive oil. Fires all year round take a *lot* of firewood. Someone has to cut it, and dry it, and fetch it home. One reason for medieval deforestation... By and large, when it gets dark, you go to bed. I didn't the other night, but that was because I had a battery-powered headlamp!

23gwernin
Oct 29, 2011, 9:36pm

24gwernin
Nov 6, 2011, 10:22pm

Haven't been posting much on this thread because I've been busy writing. New book is up to 38,000 words now, most of 7 chapters. Chapter length is comparable to the later Gwernin books, although narration is often episodic within chapters. Narrative voice is somewhat different, not entirely explained by the difference between 1st and 3rd person. A different book, but woven of some of the same materials. The title keeps oscillating back and forth between "Son of the Fox" and "The Druid's Son" - guess I'll make a decision when I finish!

Vote: Anyone looked at the second taste linked in #23?

Current tally: Yes 3, No 1

25gwernin
Dec 10, 2011, 11:59pm

Haven't posted on this thread for a while, partly because I was busy, partly due to lack of response. The new book is over 50,000 words now, and is beginning to look like more than one book (since I can't publish megabooks at reasonable prices).

It's getting to be this long in part because I discovered I had accidentally picked a period with some available historical details: Tacitus' Agricola lies squarely in my path...

26calm
Dec 11, 2011, 5:49am

Sounds great Gwernin. I look forward to reading it:)

27TimSharrock
Dec 11, 2011, 11:20am

me too :)

28gwernin
Dec 11, 2011, 2:27pm

Writing poetry this morning, but not for the book. You can see it here.

29elenchus
Dec 12, 2011, 10:12pm

Have not been posting or reading but for reasons entirely unrelated to your writing, gwernin. Keep on writing!

30gwernin
Dec 19, 2011, 10:46am

Update: I'll be doing a reading and book signing in Denver here on February 11.

31TimSharrock
Dec 19, 2011, 8:24pm

This lunchtime I was close to the black lake of the King in the Ground (at a Christmas tree farm). It was extremely cold and wet and horrible - and that was in modern warm and waterproof clothes - I always shiver in than area now (thanks Gwernin...) but this was more than most. I was very glad to get back home - and gladder that I had better heating than 1400 years ago!

32gwernin
Dec 19, 2011, 9:56pm

Brrr! let's hear it for central heating! Denver is currently 26 F with very light snow. I am currently writing a winter passage in the new book, and the weather here is making its way into some of the descriptions.

I've decided, btw, to pull the "prologue" section which I posted as a taster a while back - the bit where Gwernin is telling the Black Lake story (which *will* be in the beginning of Gwernin's Irish book, whatever it gets called - the current book having decisively captured the "Druid's Son" title...). The current DS book will be published in 2 if not 3 pieces as something of a stand-alone set/trilogy (what do you call a two-book set?), even though Gwernin's adventures in Ireland will be somewhat linked to it... Is everyone thoroughly confused now? What it does mean is there's an excellent chance now I will publish *something* new by this time next year, which I would really like to do!

(Christmas trees - hmm, what kind? presumably not a native British species.)

33TimSharrock
Dec 26, 2011, 5:43pm

How much historical climate study do you do? I was thinking that at the moment much of lowland Britain tends to be at the sort of temperature where it does not take much of a temperature shift for precipitation to be rain or snow - when we were buying the tree it was raining hard at a few degrees above freezing. I think of snow that lasts more than one day as being a rare occurence (certainly not unknown, but not happenning every year). When I lived at Keele University - about 180m above see level, and far from the sea, snow and frost seemed significantly more common, and frequently there was snow at keele, but not down the bank in Newcastle (significantly lower).

Looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png at the times of your stories the temperatures may well have been just enough colder to give a lot more snow than I am familiar with - certainly in the Welsh hills, but maybe not on the Irish coast.

(The tree is a fir, of some sort, not native - I prefer Scots Pine, which is native, but I get outvoted :( )

34gwernin
Dec 26, 2011, 9:50pm

33: I've looked into this a fair amount, and would tend to agree with you. There seems to have been a general decline in Northern European temperatures toward the end of the Roman period, with gradually worsening weather, which shows up archeologically in the abandonment of higher altitude cultivation sites (and I think in pollen record changes as well). However, the real impact in Gwernin's period was the 536-539 climate event and its aftereffects - Gwernin's "Black Year", which was probably even worse than he describes. One theory is that this event, and the associated plagues and starvation, may have hastened the abandonment of the few remaining Roman towns in Britain, and also accounted for the Saxons' reluctance to settle in them (there's usually a gap of a hundred years or so, even in the places that were reoccupied later).

35gwernin
Edited: Jun 11, 2012, 1:27pm

Things have been quiet on this thread for a long time, while I've written, and been interrupted, and rethought, and revised, and written some more... The druidical prequel to Storyteller #4 has now definitely captured the Druid's Son title (see common knowledge for minor updates), and should be finished or nearly finished by the end of 2012. Gwernin's next book, Storyteller #4, has accordingly been pushed back to sometime in 2013, under the working title "The Fallen Stones". For more updates, check my blog or friend me on Facebook (yes, I finally gave up and joined) as GR Grove.

(edited to correct link)

36elenchus
Jun 11, 2012, 9:26am

Good to read these updates! I've not yet conceded to FB but I'll check out the blog when I'm back home, it's blocked here at work. I'll post any questions or thoughts here.

37lorax
Jun 11, 2012, 11:27am

Your link to your blog in #35 is broken; I think you must have started it with a slash, because it's pointing to a "new topic" on Book Talk and has a weird form.

http://tregwernin.com is probably what you want.

38gwernin
Jun 11, 2012, 1:32pm

37: thanks for catching that, lorax. I hadn't typed the "http://" part and LT apparently decided the bare link was something on their site and added an "http://librarything.com/topic/" in front of it. Maybe an anti-spam measure? I'm fairly sure this didn't used to happen.

39lorax
Edited: Jun 11, 2012, 4:42pm

38>

Huh, I don't know. I'd understand the behaviour if it started with a slash, but not for a bare link. I'm going to chalk it up to random weirdness. :-)

40elenchus
Jun 13, 2012, 11:39pm

Love love love the site on Celtic timekeeping and the Coligny calendar: the duality present at levels of days, months, years, 5-year cycles, and 30-year cycles. So elegant. And it makes me wonder if "catching the sun" means more than I thought it did, when hearing it in popular songs. This is great stuff, and while your re-write seems to have its tedious aspects, the integrity of aligning your story with the calendar just makes solid sense.

I've just completed Du Maurier's Jamaica Inn and it's whet my appetite for Gwernin's travels. This time next year, perhaps!

41gwernin
Jun 14, 2012, 12:29pm

I've been following the calendar in real time - this is the month of Dumen - and one thing that fascinates me is that you don't need to refer to anything to know where you are in a month, you only have to know the moon phase. I know the moon has just passed its 3rd quarter, so I know we're in the first part of the second half of the month. Simple.

42elenchus
Jun 14, 2012, 1:16pm

Another example of how earlier cultures were more closely aligned to natural cycles. I noticed that while reading the first book: my daily and monthly activities don't require that I know the phase of the moon, and are only trivially impacted by weather (bring an umbrella, ride my bike versus take the train). Clearly that wasn't the case, major changes to activities were brought by the natural cycles, of all kinds.

I've always known that, but these books helped me "live inside" the headspace of someone who lives that way, it's part of what I enjoy about them.

43gwernin
Jun 18, 2012, 12:05pm

I'm thinking about trying something different with this thread. I've been trying to blog more regularly lately - Monday, Wednesday and Friday, although it slips sometimes - usually with a picture and snippets about gardening and writing progress. If there's interest, I can repeat some of the writing bits here. Today's example:

"I got more writing done over the weekend, partly because it was too hot yesterday to exercise or garden. 1,682 words so far in the last week - not great, but there were some "zero" days in there, too. Total manuscript is 150 pages so far, which puts me around the half-way mark. Once I finish this fill-in chapter, I can move on to the last two rewrite sections - then forward!"

Vote: I'd like to see regular minor updates on The Druid's Son.

Current tally: Yes 6, No 1
Comments? Suggestions?

44elenchus
Jun 18, 2012, 1:07pm

I voted yes, I've read your blog semi-regularly in the past and profited from it, both the OT Gwernin-specific bits and the insight into an author's routine, the creative process, and so forth.

Suggestion: I'm on LT regularly, often all I'd need is the link to remind me to look on your blog (I've starred this thread so I'm prompted by new activity). But I'd welcome the re-post of your blog content here, certainly that's more inviting to review in this thread than a bare link. Perhaps the text here, with the link for anyone interested in viewing the pictures?

45gwernin
Jun 18, 2012, 3:26pm

Good suggestion. Another thing I might add, which is easier to do here than on the blog, is a link to whichever reference(s) I've most recently consulted. Example: Farming in the First Millennium AD.

46dchaikin
Jun 19, 2012, 11:35am

Would love links to references...also any comments/responses about/to what you are doing, reading, learning or stumbling across...or etc.

47gwernin
Jun 19, 2012, 1:28pm

48elenchus
Jun 19, 2012, 9:21pm

Now that's a considerable bit of reading on farming: will it feature prominently in Druid's Son, or is that a typical amount of background reading merely to get the sense of place when, e.g. Gwernin stays overnight on a farm?

49gwernin
Edited: Jun 20, 2012, 8:37am

It's the sort of thing I browse through to get the background details right. Most of it may never make it into the story except as a couple of background sentences, if that, but yes, it is part of the "sense of place" - things I have to know in order to describe the setting, and the society, properly. It's more important in The Druid's Son because I'm currently describing the life of a first century CE farming community in north Wales, hence the nature of the sources.

50dchaikin
Jun 20, 2012, 9:31am

The farming books sound fascinating, although maybe not the easiest of reading.

51elenchus
Jun 20, 2012, 11:14am

Agreed. That's a major strength of historical fiction, I think: when done well, it distils such knowledge that I may be interested in having, but not enough to do the necessary legwork to acquire myself. At the very least, it provides a frame in which to think about those questions, and be better suited to pick up a text myself later, even if only a popular science synopsis.

52gwernin
Jun 25, 2012, 11:59am

Monday update: snippet from the blog:

"Almost finished the fill-in chapter for DS - hopefully I can finish it today before it gets too hot. MS currently stands at 59,660 words and 156 pages... 2400 words in the last week isn't bad, considering the interruptions."

Blog link: tregwernin.com

New references: Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual and The Complete Roman Army. Not needed for the current chapter, but they will be shortly...

53elenchus
Jun 25, 2012, 1:37pm

I've said with respect to the previous novels that an aspect of the setting I've really liked has been the overlay of Roman, contemporary (with Gwernin), and old religion cultures as Gwernin passes through sites. Really looking forward to what you bring from the Roman Legion into this new book.

54gwernin
Jun 25, 2012, 10:15pm

I'm not sure about the amount of overlay this time, as in this book the Romans are the current enemy, not the respectable past.

Finished the fill-in chapter today, btw, despite the heat, which leaves two more already-written ones left to revise. I was reading one of the Roman references earlier this evening, which leads me to think that one of the already-written action sequences will need revision, sigh. Better now than later, though.

55dchaikin
Jun 27, 2012, 2:18pm

Goodness I'm jealous of the books you must read. Too bad about the re-writing, but I do admire your attention to detail.

56gwernin
Jun 29, 2012, 6:11pm

From the latest blog update:

"Writing's coming along pretty well, too. I have almost finished the rewrite - just a couple of pages to go - and the manuscript now stands at 61,000 words and 160 pages. Milder weather definitely helps!"

Blog link: www.tregwernin.com

Current references: still the two on the Roman army.

57gwernin
Jun 30, 2012, 7:35pm

More references: The Roman Legions Recreated in Colour Photographs, Roman auxiliary cavalryman : AD 14-193 , The Roman Cavalry, Training the Roman Cavalry. The books with color photos of modern re-enactors are particularly helpful.

58dchaikin
Jun 30, 2012, 9:39pm

Goodness, every time you post these books I just think...wow...

59gwernin
Jul 2, 2012, 11:19am

Monday update:

Blog snippet:

"I've been researching more than writing the last couple of days, mostly about the 1st century CE Roman army. This is going to lead to some rewriting of the last bit of the manuscript, as I am now of the opinion that our hero couldn't have survived the action as written! Modification definitely required..."

Blog link: http://www.tregwernin.com/2012/07/monday.html

Another reference book: Excavations at Segontium (Caernarfon) Roman Fort, 1975-1979

61elenchus
Jul 3, 2012, 9:55am

A nice sidebar here on the Roman Legion: any favourite novels or perhaps film / video featuring the same? I'm most interested in those with the same attention to background detail as in the Storyteller series. I've heard really good things about the recent miniseries Rome, but haven't yet viewed even the first episode. I recently read Ki Longfellow's The Secret Magdalene, and found it very informative but accomplished this primarily while focusing on the Jesus myth, not on Rome or Empire except as these shaped the myth.

Curious as to what others have found. gwernin, I believe you've recommended some Mary Renault titles in the past?

dchaikin, I'm intrigued by the wiki links -- will follow up when I'm at home.

62gwernin
Jul 3, 2012, 12:04pm

When I was in 9th grade and taking first year Latin (which shows you how long ago that was!), our teacher brought in a copy of a young adult novel which she thought might interest us. The book was Rosemary Sutcliff's The Lantern Bearers. I read it, and so began my lifelong fascination with Roman Britain. I think her work is still some of the best set in that period. Before she became a writer, she trained as a miniature painter, and that visual orientation is very marked in many of her descriptions. I hope, on a good day, I do as well.

Mary Renault's books are set in Ancient Greece, but are also some of my favorites. I've read most of Lindsey Davis's Falco mysteries, set in the late 1st century CE Roman Empire, and enjoyed them. I also read the first three of Simon Scarrow's Roman Army books, but gave them away (including a couple I hadn't read yet) on reading that he had ripped off some of Davis' characters. It wasn't a big sacrifice; although the army details are excellent (so far as I can tell), the writing is clunky at best - I don't recommend them. I also won one of Ruth Downie's Medicus series, but couldn't get into it - see my review for details.

I watched the first two episodes of Rome, but the sex and violence quotient was too high for my taste. I believe the authenticity of the costumes and settings is fairly good, though.

For more of my reference material, see my Roman Britain collection.

63gwernin
Edited: Jul 3, 2012, 12:25pm

Pertinent to the above, I found this comment in Fowler's Farming in the First Millennium AD (2002, p. 298) amusing:

"Students should be aware that there are many unsound, and indeed fantastic (some knowingly but most, sadly, unconsciously so), books about aspects of the first millennium, notably concerning Roman roads and legions, 'King Arthur' and his genre, and bloodthirsty, battle-axe wielding, horn-helmeted Vikings. For academically sound historical fiction, read Rosemary Sutcliffe's {sic} novels."

( "{}" used around "sic" instead of square brackets to defeat touchstones because I can't remember the escape character...)

64dchaikin
Jul 3, 2012, 12:46pm

In awe of your Roman Britain collection...

65gwernin
Edited: Jul 3, 2012, 7:18pm

I've decided to run a new giveaway of ebook versions of Storyteller. Details here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/139353#. Since not everyone looks at Hobnob, feel free to share the information anywhere you think it might be welcome.

66gwernin
Jul 3, 2012, 7:19pm

64: yes, it is pretty good ;-) - probably better than many libraries! Mind you, I've been accumulating it for quite a while.

67elenchus
Edited: Jul 4, 2012, 11:01am

Ah, yes: Sutcliff. I've got her on my wishlist, perhaps time she rises to the top.

Did you see the recent film adaptation of Eagles of the Ninth? I've deliberately stayed away until I've a chance to read it, but reviews made it out to be better than average.

68gwernin
Jul 4, 2012, 11:29am

I bought a copy of the DVD but haven't watched it - not sure I want to see what they did to the story.

69gwernin
Edited: Jul 6, 2012, 8:30pm

Minor Friday update from blog: Finally finished the re-writes (hooray!), finished chapter 12 yesterday and started 13 today. Almost 63,000 words. And we finally got a little rain!

70gwernin
Jul 9, 2012, 11:13am

Monday update from my blog:

Blog snippet: "With the cool weather I had a good writing day yesterday. Currently 167 pages and 63,900 words. I need to get a lot more done in the next couple of days before the weather warms up again - writing about winter in North Wales is easier if the temperature isn't 97 F outside! I continue to make new discoveries about the direction and focus of the overall story. I also have two plot challenges at the moment, one of which my hero has to solve..."

Blog link: http://www.tregwernin.com/2012/07/monday_09.html

No new reference books since last week, but I like the way the reference titles give hints about the story.

71elenchus
Edited: Jul 10, 2012, 12:41am

Interesting, your enthusiasm for the clear road / empty page before you, with only a vague idea of where you are writing! Re-writing by nature would slow a writer down, but I imagine some writers would consider the prospect of a blank page or un-devised plot as just so much writer's block!

Not right or wrong, better or worse, just interesting. And I think it says something about the kind of writer you are. As you've put it before: awen is the seat of creativity, not the ego.

72gwernin
Jul 10, 2012, 6:57pm

"awen is the seat of creativity, not the ego"

Very well and philosophically put ;-). One reason I dislike re-writing is because if I know exactly what happens next, I get bored. My writer's blocks come from trying to figure out the plot in too much detail in advance - I do better to leap into the void and let the characters work out the plot as we go. That first step, mind you, can be a big one, and sometimes the characters take me places I wasn't expecting to go, but I'm learning (slowly and repetitively) to trust my awen, and follow where it takes me.

The only place in the Gwernin books, incidentally, where I did extensive re-writing (other than at the beginning of the first book, when I decided to publish it as a novel) was in some of the middle sections of Flight of the Hawk, and that was mostly done by inserting whole chapters to plump out the narrative, which was made simpler by the modular nature of the story. Otherwise the books were all written sequentially, polished to a reasonable standard, and not revised much in the second and third drafts.

73gwernin
Jul 11, 2012, 12:37pm

Designed some promo material for the new book:

http://www.tregwernin.com/2012/07/wednesday_11.html

74elenchus
Jul 11, 2012, 8:38pm

But ... I thought the prequel was next?!

http://www.tregwernin.com/p/next-book.html

75gwernin
Edited: Jul 11, 2012, 9:19pm

74: It is, and it's called The Druid's Son, with that cover. Thanks for pointing out my bad housekeeping! I'll update that page tomorrow, and check the other links.

Now working on chapter 14 (out of 20), by the way, and feeling like I'm on the home stretch. I think there's a good chance the ebook version, at least, will be out by Christmas, although getting the paperback version to amazon may take a little longer.

(eta: fixed that one, anyway!)

76elenchus
Jul 11, 2012, 9:55pm

Ah! I was feeling as though I'd been mis-interpreting everything in this thread. Back on track now, I was just mis-applying titles.

Christmas, eh? Perhaps I'll try an ebook again, I don't have an ereader and thus far, at least, my experiences on the PC or netbook have not been cozy. But I know I'll get there eventually, I'm convinced there's a place for both the artefact and the digital version in my reading pile.

77gwernin
Edited: Jul 12, 2012, 6:56pm

First cut on a cover for *Gwernin's* next book, The Fallen Stones:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwernin/7553657826/in/photostream

Planned completion date: sometime toward the end of 2013.

78gwernin
Jul 12, 2012, 10:58am

I think all the information on http://www.tregwernin.com/ and http://aldertreebooks.com/ is up to date now - if anyone finds anything which is still confusing, please let me know!

79gwernin
Edited: Jul 16, 2012, 12:02pm

Monday blog update:

Blog snippet from last Friday:

"Not much writing yesterday, because I was playing with maps, partly because of story matters and partly to start preparing the illustrations for the book. One of the ones I need almost overlaps the North Wales from The Ash Spear - almost, but not quite. Sigh. So I'm drawing a new one... "

and today:

"Not much writing over the weekend due to one thing and another, but I'm hoping to make up for it today. Over 68,000 words and 178 pages now..."

New references:

Ordinance Survey Roman Britain
OS Landranger Maps #109, 114-118, 124-128
Discovering a Welsh Landscape

And a poll:

Vote: I would be willing to read and review an e-book version of The Druid's Son prior to the paperback release.

Current tally: Yes 1, No 1, Undecided 2
.

80TimSharrock
Jul 16, 2012, 12:20pm

I will buy and read it when it comes out - but putting words together for a review is too hard, I am afraid.

81gwernin
Jul 16, 2012, 12:32pm

80: Hmm, fair enough. Would you be interested in providing private feedback - error checking for landscapes, etc? (You know where those OS maps are taking me, yes?)

The thing is, if I release the e-book first, I can still make changes / corrections at no cost, whereas changes to the hard copy version cost me non-trivial sums of money. So I'm toying with the idea of using the initial e-book release as a sort of early reader version.

82elenchus
Jul 16, 2012, 2:38pm

I'd be willing: as noted above, I want to give ebooks another go, and I'm sufficiently motivated to want to read this title quite separately from the format it might be in.

83TimSharrock
Jul 16, 2012, 3:38pm

81: I would be happy to - though I have not been to North Wales for a while (as i have mentioned, I live on #109, and all the other sheets are on the shelf a meter to my left (though I rarely look at them now - Google maps is just too convenient)

84gwernin
Jul 20, 2012, 9:08pm

No updates next week because I'll be fully occupied with a Welsh language class. Writing progress this week has been good, however: passed 70,000 words yesterday.

85elenchus
Jul 21, 2012, 11:12am

So we're closer yet to that December debut ... I seem to have added it to my holiday plans.

86gwernin
Jul 30, 2012, 4:31pm

No writing during the last week - at least, not on the novel - because of being on the Welsh course, but one blog update today: http://www.tregwernin.com/2012/07/monday_30.html

87elenchus
Jul 30, 2012, 10:40pm

A hearty cheer! (What's a good Welsh exclamation, suitable for such an occasion?)

Look forward to reading the poem. I wonder if sitting in the eisteddfod chair will provide any inspiration for the novel!

88gwernin
Jul 30, 2012, 11:40pm

Thanks.

Hmm. I don't actually know a particularly Welsh cheer - have to research that! Probably some appropriately pronounced version of "hooray".

"Congratulations", on the other hand, is "longyfarchiadiau". An interesting source for this sort of thing is http://techiaith.bangor.ac.uk/GeiriadurAcademi/?lang=en.

After some grammatical clean-up, I will eventually be posting the poem together with an English translation on the blog. Sitting in the chair, on the other hand, would be difficult as it's a 1:6 scale replica of a real one. I shall have to sit there in my imagination...

89elenchus
Aug 5, 2012, 10:03pm

Somehow it never occurred to me the chair wasn't to scale!

90gwernin
Aug 6, 2012, 2:21pm

89> A full-sized one would be rather difficult to carry around the country (not to mention to Wales) by plane! btw, next year's Welsh course will be at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Today's blog snippet: "writing like crazy Wednesday, Thursday and Friday... I've done over 5,000 words in the last week and hope to keep to that pace!"

Current manuscript: 198 pages / 76,000+ words.

Most recent references: OS Landranger map #115 and Mons Graupius AD 83.

And belated thanks to Tim Sharrock for his help two weeks ago with the geography of eastern Cheshire!

91elenchus
Aug 9, 2012, 9:49pm

I noticed in the recent LT giveaway list an author, Keith Taylor, who's written a series on an Irish bard. I don't expect gwernin to read it now, given the stated preference not to read anything too close to Gwernin, but I'm curious if anyone else on this thread is familiar with the series.

http://www.librarything.com/series/Bard

(To be clear, the LT giveaway title is not part of the Bard series.)

92gwernin
Aug 10, 2012, 12:49am

Dear me. If the covers are anything to go by, I don't think I'd be tempted anyway.

btw, manuscript has now passed 82,000 words. Biggest challenge currently is writing about winter while sweltering in August heat.

93gwernin
Aug 10, 2012, 12:54am

>elenchus - I noticed you added Ajax from the latest LTER. I can't speak to the accuracy of the translation, but from a poet's perspective he has one trick which slightly annoys me.

94elenchus
Aug 11, 2012, 2:47pm

>92 gwernin:
Those covers remind me of the 1980s heyday of fantasy, which I've learned to ignore for the most part. I was reading a lot of fantasy at that time, so while that style certainly don't impress me today, by and large the association is neutral. I was most intrigued by the fact I'd not heard of them at all, but I forget when they were published: perhaps they arrived after I'd largely moved on from the genre.

>93 gwernin:
I noticed you added Sophocles' Ajax but it wasn't clear whether it was a wishlist addition or an indication you'd also won!

I have not had time to read lately, so I have 4+ titles in various stages of completion. Frustrating. I've told myself I have to finish off a couple, at least, before starting anything new. But I'll be curious to see if I can identify the trick you mention. BTW I've never read any translation of Ajax, I'm also curious to see whether this modern translation inspires me to read others or falls flat.

95lorax
Aug 11, 2012, 4:44pm

92, 94>

I seem to recall once hearing something about books and covers. :-) It seems to go double for fantasy; there are some really notorious stories about grossly inaccurate covers that seemed to be designed by people who had never read the books in question to sell them to 13-year-old boys.

96gwernin
Aug 11, 2012, 4:46pm

Well spotted on the covers; I followed up on Amazon and Worldcat out of curiosity, and they do seem to date from that period, although Amazon lists the first two with a(n original?) publication date of 1955. At that point ('80's) I was reading more SF than fantasy, so probably missed them. They seem to be set a bit later than Gwernin's books (e.g. Vikings are mentioned in the Amazon reviews). Possibly 1950's products reprinted in the '80's?

Regarding Ajax, yes, I won it. I don't really keep a wishlist on LT; the few titles in that collection are left over from the last 2 SantaThings - which incidentally I won't be doing again. Picking for other people can be fun, but I've yet to get anything I wanted in return; my tastes are too specialized, I suppose. I hadn't read a translation of Ajax before, either, but it's short, and a quick read, and I'm behind on my reviews :-) I have a feeling the book would have been more enjoyable in a better layout; it all seems to be at least 14 point type with little or no gutter allowance and obtrusively large page numbers at the bottom. It might also benefit from better spacing between lines. All in all, it looks to my eye like a slightly amateurish very-small-press product (says the self-publisher!).

97gwernin
Aug 11, 2012, 4:49pm

95: re: covers: ah yes, one of the advantages of designing your own! On the other hand, I probably haven't had much marketing success with 13-year-old boys...

98gwernin
Aug 14, 2012, 6:51pm

Minor blog update: http://www.tregwernin.com/2012/08/tuesday.html

I've been researching and thinking since last Friday, but I wrote over 9,000 words last week.

99elenchus
Aug 14, 2012, 7:33pm

It's amazing you can summarize our knowledge in a moderately small paragraph. You write it's good you're writing fiction: of course, it's equally true you could be writing history without the empirical evidence to back you up. Yet.

100elenchus
Aug 14, 2012, 9:57pm

My glib comment in >99 elenchus: actually prompted some reflection which raised a question: what prompted you to choose this time period, specifically, given how little there is known about it? Of course, if answering that would give away too much, I understand, but it's intriguing given your blog post.

101gwernin
Aug 14, 2012, 11:22pm

Briefly, it came from the "Black Lake" story in The Ash Spear, about what happened after the Romans conquered Ynys Mon. In ST #4, Gwernin looks for more stories connected to that one in Ireland, which led me to develop that part of the tale as a prequel. I was actually surprised to find as much Roman history as I have about the period, and the book has evolved to take that information into account. The rest of my research has been to determine how much actual information there is about 1st century druids (not much), so as 1) to be consistent with what little exists and 2) not to unintentionally contradict anything that *is* known. Some of what I'm doing now will be useful background material for ST #4.

102elenchus
Aug 17, 2012, 12:20pm

>93 gwernin:, 96

Got around to reading the modern translation of Ajax: not sure I identified the trick you mentioned. I'd also never read the play, and certainly don't read Attic Greek, but it was a good read, and quick as you promised.

>101 gwernin:

Ah! I loved that episode of Ash Spear, I may revisit that section before reading Druid's Son.

103gwernin
Aug 20, 2012, 10:31pm

First, a blog/writing update:

I'm now at 92,386 words and 17.5 chapters - 88% completion of the first draft of The Druid's Son.

http://www.tregwernin.com/2012/08/monday_20.html

Some of my most recently consulted references:

Uraicecht Na Riar: the Poetic Grades in Early Irish Law
The Complete Roman Army
The Festival of Lughnasa
The Kingship and Landscape of Tara
A Guide to Early Irish Law
An Atlas of Roman Britain
plus various on-line maps...

104gwernin
Aug 20, 2012, 10:37pm

102: Regarding Ajax (can't seem to find the right edition w/ touchstones): great review, elenchus! I'm put mine up as well - I concentrated more on problems I had with the book rather than the play, since you'd already covered the ground so well.

105elenchus
Aug 21, 2012, 12:31am

Saw your review of Ajax, too: don't think I spotted the "trick" you mentioned above, unless you meant the bad line breaks.

That's such an interesting point, line breaks! Since it was a translation, I'd assumed the breaks followed the original. But reflecting on that assumption, I realise it doesn't make sense unless the translator simply translates word-for-word, which probably would result in nonsense. It would be very interesting to compare the line breaks in other translations, or in an annotated edition of the original Greek. Have to agree they seemed abrupt and didn't seem to follow any verse form.

Thanks for the comment on the review, I'm certainly glad to have read the play, but it does have such a strong & modern personality.

106elenchus
Aug 21, 2012, 12:33am

>103 gwernin:

Very interesting set of references: early Irish law and Roman arms. Which the irresistible force, which the unmovable block?

107gwernin
Aug 21, 2012, 12:49am

105: The "trick" was indeed the bad line breaks. My guess is that they mirror (or are intended to mirror) scansion in the original, but I think it was a bad choice; there are better ways of getting the feel of a language into a different one, and this approach is simply distracting.

106: irresistible force vs. unmovable block: ah, that would be telling ;-) But it does rather neatly describe the section I'm writing at the moment...

108gwernin
Aug 23, 2012, 10:43pm

98,130 words and getting a little punchy. One and a half chapters to go...

109elenchus
Aug 23, 2012, 11:44pm

Perhaps it'll be good gardening weather this weekend, give you a reboot. It promises to be hot and muggy here in Chicago, perhaps that means it's leaving the Rockies.

110gwernin
Aug 24, 2012, 7:29pm

Weather's all right here, seasonal normal at last: low 80's / high 50's. Gardening can mostly wait; I'm powering down the home stretch with not much more than the last chapter to go. In 2 weeks we'll be spending a weekend in Estes Park, at the Long's Peak Highland Games, which will be a nice break. Then back to working on the second draft... which is OK, I like editing, and in many ways it's easier for me than writing. Odds are now very good that the e-book, at least, will be ready for Christmas.

And after that, back to Gwernin #4 ;-)

111gwernin
Edited: Aug 28, 2012, 12:16am

Almost there, just tying off the last chapter. As a break, today I wrote the afterword and compiled a reference list. The latter is references I'm actually listing in the back of the book, as opposed to my much larger ST 3.5 Refs collection.

After that -- back to the beginning, for the second draft!

(edited to correct typo)

112elenchus
Aug 27, 2012, 9:55pm

Like clockwork! Any surprises for you there at the end, unforeseen loose ends to figure out, or the story not quite heading into the barn the way you'd planned it? Always curious about how things like that turn out. Characters often do seem to have a will of their own.

113gwernin
Aug 27, 2012, 11:27pm

As to whether the story worked out as expected - it depends on the time scale. The book I ended up with is a good bit different from what I expected when I started it a year ago, not so different from what I expected a few months ago. Part of the difference is due to my finding a good bit more Roman-related history in the time frame and area I'd chosen than I expected. To simplify extremely, I started with the idea "hero is born, grows up, goes to another country, has many adventures" and ended with "hero is born, grows up, goes to another country". The "many adventures" part, it seems, will eventually require another book...

I haven't ended with any major loose ends, although I think I'll find a few places which need a little more explanation, but that's OK because although my word count is currently very close to my estimate (103,870 at the moment, with up to 1,000 more to go, vs. an original guess 6 months or so ago of 100,000) the page count is still comfortably below my maximum. On the other hand, there were certainly some bits I didn't expect along the way - as you say, characters (if they're good, well developed ones) frequently have a will of their own. This is one reason I don't write to a detailed outline - I find it more fun this way!

The afterword, by the way, explains which characters and places are invented (almost all and only a couple, respectively), and includes most of my blog comment re: lack of information on druids in general and British and Irish ones in particular. I wouldn't want anyone to confuse any of my invented druidry with established fact, although from what I've heard about other writers' experiences, it's likely to happen anyway.

114gwernin
Aug 31, 2012, 10:45am

After a few days doing other things, I'm about ready to start on the second draft. In the meantime, the Common Knowledge section for The Druid's Son is pretty much complete...

115elenchus
Aug 31, 2012, 4:14pm

Unless, of course, either the first or last lines (or possibly the quotes you included) are revised at all in your second draft!

I did not click through to the last line, though I suspect there are no spoilers there. If I recall aright, your last lines tend to be more poetic than plot-specific.

116gwernin
Aug 31, 2012, 7:08pm

I think the bits I quoted are probably not going to change. As for the last line, it's from the end of the afterword (as I'm still tinkering with the end of the story itself), and I guarantee that it is not only not a spoiler, but it should also be rather familiar. ;-) But yes, even when I've finished, it won't reveal anything about the plot.

117gwernin
Sep 3, 2012, 10:58pm

TimSharrock has started an interesting thread here.

118dchaikin
Sep 4, 2012, 9:56am

Catching up here with the last 30 or so posts. Seems you're so close to draft, congrats and good luck with the remaining details and editing, and whatever that may entail.

Your Aug 14 blog post (linked in message #98) is quite interesting, as are all these listed references.

(my personal preference may be for "hero is born, grows up, goes to another country" vs "hero is born, grows up, goes to another country, has many adventures" :) Because I like the settings, and because I'm getting a sense here of all you put into them.)

119gwernin
Sep 4, 2012, 12:46pm

Edited the "last words" CK again for The Druid's Son. The first item is the end of the story, and the second the end of the afterword. Neither is a spoiler, although the first one might be considered a puzzle. Finally happy with the end of the book, and going back now to work my way through from the beginning.

120gwernin
Sep 6, 2012, 10:25am

Blog update: http://www.tregwernin.com/2012/09/thursday.html

Mostly about where I am in the writing process and what I still have to do.

121gwernin
Sep 14, 2012, 11:27am

Blog update: writing and gardening...

http://www.tregwernin.com/2012/09/friday.html

122gwernin
Sep 15, 2012, 2:00pm

Working on what should be the last fill-in bit in the manuscript now, for a battle scene I only summarized in the first draft. After that it should just be tweaking and polishing. I'm on chapter 15 (out of 20) at the moment, and pleasantly surprised at how little additional work I've had to do.

123elenchus
Sep 15, 2012, 2:45pm

"Going to the proofreaders by the end of the month"! Well, that is welcome news, indeed.

Your link provided me an opportunity to find your mini essays on Welsh, very enjoyable and put me in a frame of mind for the new book. There is just so much I don't know about basic British history, not even to mention Welsh in particular. Another aspect of my interest in lifelong learning, I suppose.

One typo in the essays I read (couldn't find a place to comment in that section of the blog, so I leave it here): "the Welsh language suffered farther suppression."

124gwernin
Edited: Sep 15, 2012, 9:44pm

farther: thanks. further/farther is a word pair I have trouble with, possibly because in my original east Texas dialect they both sound like "futher" ;-)

That being said, I suspect there's a British English / American English problem here as well, as my concise Oxford dictionary gives essentially the same meaning for both.

British / American spellings and meanings are a subject on which I frequently have to make decisions in my writing, btw. Aside from things like "gray/grey" (I tend to use both spellings randomly, but have standardized on "gray" in the books), there are words like "corn" which have different meanings. Since the stories are set in Britain, I have a desire to follow British usage when I am aware of it, but I realize that most of my readers are likely to be American... Sometimes I make one choice, sometimes another.

125dchaikin
Sep 16, 2012, 10:47am

Very funny on the East Tx accent. Good job on the speed through draft 2.

126elenchus
Sep 17, 2012, 4:10pm

That's interesting about further/farther in the OED. I have a conceit for British spelling & usage, when I know it, though it draws attention in my U.S. midwestern workplace: didn't know about further/farther. I've been taught farther is physical distance (empirical) while further is conceptual differentiation (abstract), and was reading it that way. Another opportunity to sow confusion!

127gwernin
Sep 17, 2012, 5:43pm

Physical distance vs conceptual differentiation - makes sense. Thanks again.

With regards to the manuscript, I think I've finished the last fill-in bit. Hopefully the rest will just be polishing and perhaps tying off a few minor loose ends - although I have to remind myself occasionally that leaving some unresolved details is not necessarily a fault in fiction!

I've been thinking about what I could do on LT this time for publicity / reviews, and am a bit stuck. Hobnob doesn't seem to generate much response any more - I offered e-book copies of Storyteller there in July and got *no* takers - and the review rate in the past on MG has been pathetic, hardly worth the effort of setting it up and sending out the links (or books, for that matter!) to the winners. ER doesn't seem to be a possibility, even though they now have some small press e-books on it which have probably had less editorial attention than mine. I suppose it's time I went looking for review bloggers elsewhere again. Anyone have suggestions?

128gwernin
Sep 17, 2012, 8:56pm

A little more promo material. It's not available at either outlet yet, of course, but it will be!

129dchaikin
Sep 18, 2012, 9:41am

Good luck G. Looking forward to the book. If you can inspire a group read, or discussion about the book on LT or elsewhere, I would like to join.

130gwernin
Edited: Sep 18, 2012, 10:03am

Thanks Dan. I would love to see a group read on LT - I would even provide free e-copies for one - but how could I set one up, when anything posted outside hobnob is "spam", and (I suspect) the groups most likely to sponsor one probably don't look at hobnob much? If you or anyone reading this would like to set one up, just let me know!

131gwernin
Sep 18, 2012, 10:23am

Also, an idea which I've been kicking around and mentioned on the other thread - when I get the hard copy version of a book finalized, I usually end up with one or two earlier proof copies. I'll probably be offering these on a hobnob giveaway (I pick the winner/s) as "early reading copies" when I get to that point.

132dchaikin
Sep 18, 2012, 11:00am

Maybe we could start a group read here in hobnob.

You know, hobnob has tons of requests for reviews, but no group reads. Group reads seem like a productive way for fellow authors to contribute to each other. hmm...

133gwernin
Sep 18, 2012, 12:14pm

Hmm. Interesting idea. I would like to somehow get it out of hobnob, but it might be worth trying the experiment there.

It also looks like the author chat group has evolved, although it's not very active. The setup seems to have changed at some unspecified time - take a look. That wouldn't allow a group read, but it has other possibilities.

134lorax
Sep 18, 2012, 4:02pm

133>

The only threads in Author Chat I see with more than two posts are following the old format, so I don't think the self-promotional style is working there, but I'm sure Jeremy would be happy to take you as an author there - I'd say go for it!

135gwernin
Sep 19, 2012, 2:40pm

I've sent the draft to the proofreaders!

136dchaikin
Sep 19, 2012, 3:07pm

congrats!

137gwernin
Edited: Sep 19, 2012, 3:11pm

138elenchus
Sep 19, 2012, 11:51pm

Woo-hoo! (We still need a good Welsh cheer.)

139gwernin
Sep 20, 2012, 12:41am

The Academy on-line dictionary offers "hwrê!"

Oh, and regarding sense of place and Westerns: one to avoid: http://www.librarything.com/review/87115931

140calm
Sep 20, 2012, 5:11am

Llongyfarchiadau, Gwernin:)

I look forward to reading your book

141gwernin
Sep 21, 2012, 12:10pm

diolch, calm :)

142gwernin
Sep 21, 2012, 12:13pm

132: thinking some more about the idea of a group read in hobnob - I haven't actually participated in any of these. Can someone who has post a link to a good example?

143elenchus
Edited: Sep 21, 2012, 1:08pm

I've participated (in slightly unorthodox fashion) in two group reads and really enjoyed both: one for Ross's The Rest Is Noise and the other for Chatwin's The Songlines. I say "unorthodox" because I'd read each title separately, and tagged along for the discussion ... wasn't actually reading along with the group. But several others did, and the threads were quite rewarding, I thought.

Rest is Noise: http://www.librarything.com/topic/135715
Songlines: http://www.librarything.com/topic/134759

See post 2 in Songlines for the "table of contents" as there are multiple threads.

144dchaikin
Sep 22, 2012, 8:21am

Some of my best reading experiences have been group reads on LT. but, they don't always work. I think if we did one here, with the author involved, it would 1. Work more like a question-answer session and 2. be a small group. Maybe too small, although your books are of the type to attract dedicated readers, so a small group could still be a value.

The reason I thought about it here is that if a handful of people are reading this book together, and discussing while reading, it could generate some interesting dialog.

145dchaikin
Edited: Sep 22, 2012, 8:33am

Elenchus - I never did get back to Songlines and organize all my notes. Too bad. I may have to read it again.

146TimSharrock
Sep 23, 2012, 4:38am

have a look at The Weird Tradition Group: http://www.librarything.com/groups/theweirdtradition

I read but rarely post to the threads there (words are too hard to string together...). It is focusssed more on shorter fiction (making the time commitments more manageable) but there are planning threads, where people nominate what they want to read in the next season, and then each items is announced in a thread and the discussions happen.

147elenchus
Sep 23, 2012, 10:15pm

>146 TimSharrock:

Ah! I'd forgotten the DEEP ONES! I've read a handful of stories with that group and agree, it's well done. Not only is the reading list fun, but the discussions are both on-topic and tend to uncover interesting tidbits about related authors or stories.

148gwernin
Sep 24, 2012, 7:31pm

Thanks for all the comments on group reads - haven't looked at the links yet, but I will. Working on maps for the book today; cover layout tomorrow. Now expecting to have the e-book version out in 3 to 4 weeks, so I'll be starting some giveaways soon.

149elenchus
Edited: Sep 24, 2012, 11:37pm

>145 dchaikin:

But as you said: your notes are awfully entertaining! Trade that for organised any day.

150gwernin
Edited: Sep 25, 2012, 4:17pm

I've just set up a MG giveaway for the e-book, starting in a few minutes. Making good progress on cover layout.

eta: live now.

151elenchus
Sep 25, 2012, 10:58pm

gwernin, you'd mentioned a read & review of the eBooks prior to paperback release in post 79, but I added my name to the MG offer with the thought that activity brings attention and can even end up showcasing the offer on the homepage module. I definitely will buy the paperback down the road, so please ignore my name if it's selected in the giveaway!

152gwernin
Sep 26, 2012, 11:28am

151: elenchus, unfortunately MG doesn't showcase the most requested books like ER does, only the most recently added ones. That being said, having more requests certainly doesn't hurt.

On the topic of early reviews, I now have an ARC-quality pdf version available to anyone who wants to read and review it; the finished e-book in multiple formats should be available in 2 to 3 weeks; and I'm planning on releasing the paperback version not later than Nov. 1st, although it probably won't be on amazon (where I need purchases to drive the recommendations) for another 4 to 6 weeks after that (unless things have changed since my last publication, which is always possible).

Also, everyone, feel free to wishlist it here ;-)

Oh - back cover image on blog and flickr: http://www.tregwernin.com/2012/09/wednesday_26.html

153elenchus
Edited: Sep 26, 2012, 12:01pm

I'm very interested in reviewing the ARC-quality pdf.

And good idea about wishlisting! I'm off to do that now.

ETA - no luck wishlisting. I'm reading bug reports indicating there may be trouble with Overcat, but I'm guessing the problem is the only copy is your manual / custom entry in your library. No other listings that LT can "grab" until you add it to Amazon. Is there any option short of me listing it manually?

154gwernin
Sep 26, 2012, 12:01pm

I've just started a hobnob giveaway thread for the first ARC paperback.

elenchus, if you'll shoot me an email at the address on my profile, I'll send you an ARC pdf now.

155gwernin
Sep 26, 2012, 12:04pm

153: you'll probably have to do it manually at the moment. There's an isbn on my copy, but overcat probably won't find it until it's on amazon etc.

156gwernin
Oct 1, 2012, 1:44pm

Big update - I've got the e-book format up now on Smashwords now!

I recommend the .mobi (Kindle) format if you have a choice, as I am still having problems with the maps not displaying in the Epub version. (They can be seen here and here.)

157dchaikin
Oct 1, 2012, 4:14pm

Awesome news. I will try to figure out how to buy from Smashswords tonight.

158gwernin
Edited: Oct 1, 2012, 4:57pm

Great ;-) btw I've almost solved the Epub map problem - it seems to be a matter of the image resolution.

eta: map problem is fixed in the Epub version now.

159gwernin
Oct 2, 2012, 11:50am

I'll be doing a LT author chat for two weeks starting Monday October 8th. I'll link to it here when it goes live.

160dchaikin
Oct 2, 2012, 1:07pm

Very good news!

161dchaikin
Oct 3, 2012, 8:30am

Started reading it this morning...

162gwernin
Oct 3, 2012, 10:12am

Congratulations on being the first person (other than me) to catalog a copy on LT!

163elenchus
Oct 3, 2012, 1:58pm

Just saw the chat advert on the Home Page module, and now in >159 gwernin:.

I need to find time to begin reading! Definitely be part of the chat regardless.

164gwernin
Oct 3, 2012, 3:07pm

btw, if anyone finds any typos (or other weirdnesses) in the e-books, please let me know!

also, is anyone willing to serve as a facilitator or "champion" for a group read in Hobnob? I can set the thread up, but I think it might work better if I was not the person in charge of the discussions.

165dchaikin
Oct 3, 2012, 4:22pm

I'm thinking about it. Do you have a date in mind? That would affect whether I can.

166gwernin
Oct 3, 2012, 4:32pm

I don't have a fixed date in mind - possibly in a couple of weeks after the Author Chat. What are your time constraints?

167dchaikin
Oct 3, 2012, 4:55pm

Holidays are bad (Thanksgiving, Xmas/New Years). First week of December likely not good either.

168gwernin
Oct 3, 2012, 5:33pm

Then starting it off in the next week or so might be good? For e-book readers?

169dchaikin
Oct 3, 2012, 6:07pm

Maybe after author chat. Then I can use the author chat to promote.

170gwernin
Oct 3, 2012, 6:41pm

Sounds good!

171pattully0896
Oct 4, 2012, 2:35am

That sounds VERY interesting!!! I'm a HUGE history buff and I especially love old European history.. Druids, around king Arthur's time, Ireland/England and I believe the story of Tristan and Isolde was during that time period also... anyway, I would DEFINATELY like to hear about your books!!! AND upcoming projects!!!

172gwernin
Oct 4, 2012, 10:18am

171: Great! I'll be talking about some of those things on my chat next week, and I hope you'll ask me some good questions.

173gwernin
Oct 4, 2012, 11:22am

By the way, for those wanting a sample of the new book, I put the first chapter up on one of my blog sites yesterday. The first 20% of the book is also free for download at smashwords.

174dchaikin
Oct 4, 2012, 12:34pm

#171 Patt - Welcome to LT. If you have anything like a To Read list, let me be the first to warn you that it will expand in size exponentially versus the time you spend on the site. Gwernin here (author name G. R. Grove) has done wonder stuff with the Storyteller series. The effort into the historical and geographical* details are fantastic. Hope you can join the author talk and group read.

- by the way, Gwernin, I'm rather wrapped up with The Druid's son.

*as are the occassional geological touches. ;)

175gwernin
Edited: Oct 7, 2012, 10:27am

I've been looking at the Author Chat group, since mine is starting tomorrow. There seem to be very few threads there which actually develop into a conversation. I think we can do much better than that.

Dan, I was thinking I might go ahead and set up a group read thread in Hobnob, but not really start off the discussion, so that people who see the chat but don't normally see Hobnob can find it. Does that sound good?

btw, got my first hard-copy proofs yesterday. Inevitably there are a few more things in the layout I wanted to tweak, so I'll be working on that today. I've also found one more typo which I thought I'd fixed :-(

176gwernin
Oct 7, 2012, 4:13pm

I'm going to advance this conversation to a new segment soon. Guess you have to have 200 posts to have the automatic option, but I can always start a new thread and link them manually. I think a shorter thread would be more likely to get new people participating.

177dchaikin
Oct 7, 2012, 6:01pm

#205 - sounds good to me.

178elenchus
Oct 7, 2012, 8:16pm

I'll be looking for both the new thread and the author chat ... while eking out read time for the The Druid's Son ARC!

179gwernin
Oct 8, 2012, 10:39am

Since the chat has started, I'll mostly be posting over there. This is probably a good time to advance the thread, too.

180gwernin
Edited: Oct 8, 2012, 10:44am

New thread here.

181TimSharrock
Oct 8, 2012, 10:49am

I have favourited the other thread (and bought the ebook, but not started reading it yet

182gwernin
Oct 8, 2012, 12:49pm

Great, Tim. I'll see you on the new thread - and I hope the chat thread, too.