Editing Project Finished.

My initial foray into the world of professional editing is complete. The last I *heard* the author was happy. But that was before I sent the final chapters on last night. *ducks under desk* You never can tell when you’re swinging that red pen around.

Now I need to get back to editing my OWN work. I’m going to make a final pass at The Iron Conqueror before I sit down and format it for publication. Then I should start having some official looking announcements and maybe even an Amazon page. *gasp* We shall see. I have one other work that will be ready when it gets a reverse cover image and blurb. I made the final run at that a while back. But I’ve wanted the Steampunk to me the lead all along, because I think it’s more market-friendly than my Historical Fantasy.

At any rate, that’s a project I get to strike off my to-do list. I haven’t had as much success with that lately as I’d hoped. Of course, when my current project is a 5 book epic fantasy, it takes a bit longer to get through than some of the other material. 😉 I need to do some book reviews when I have more time as well. I’ve read a few since my last review post. Some one item onto the list to replace the one that came off.

Times Like These Remind Me

That if I wanted to do ANYTHING else, other than be a writer, I should probably do that. The frustration of having to salvage work I had finished. Real life illness and loss, and then work piling on top of that. I guess I can hope that with all the stuff that’s happened this month, there won’t be anything that can get in the way of NaNoWriMo.

I’ll be set up to finish the second Sword & Sandal over the Thirty Day Frenzy this year. And having gotten sick, I was able to do some reading last week. Specifically Under a Graveyard Sky by John Ringo. The first book of a fast-moving zombie story (28 Days Later style Infected-Living Dead). It’s a fun read. Before that, I’d read the second Verity Price novel, which was a good read. But not as fun as the first.

I’m supposed to write a couple short pieces this week. But I’m so far behind I haven’t had a chance to think about them yet. Maybe I will once I get the notes from my Sword & Sandal out of the way this weekend.

Oh, and can I say, the craziness of CONCACAF on Tuesday night was one of the most EPIC sporting events I’ve ever seen. Americans rooting for Panama. Mexicans rooting for the USA. Panama rooting for Costa Rica. And the US, with SUBS, rallying to win a game they had nothing but pride and auditions to play for, earning their best record in the Hex of all time. But when Graham Zusi scored that goal, it was complicated. I never want the US to lose. But Mexico missing the World Cup? oooo, that would be so beautiful. All I can say is GO KIWIS!

Two Book Endorsements

Not Book reviews mind you. I don’t have the inclination to go through them both in detail and potentially spoil them for the reader.  But I’ll give them wholehearted thumbs up. (Or at least 99%.)

I recently finished reading Fated. The first book in the Alex Varus series by Benedict Jacka. Alex is a ‘probability mage.’ Don’t call him a ‘fortune teller.’ That gets him cranky, apparently. There’s nothing showy in his magic. But when you can see what’s going to happen from every contingent possibility, you don’t need to say Forzare! and make the world tremble.  (Plus he does a Dresden Shout-out, so I have to give it props for sheer audacity.) It has good humor, a great narrator as a primary character. Troubled, with having walked both the light and dark paths (further on the dark side than Harry ‘actually’ has, in fact). But committed to doing what’s right now, when no one else seems to be. Excellent world-building, a great magic system, a crackling narrator, and can there be a better city to write Urban Fantasy in than London? I really need to get the next two books in a hurry. Though Mrs Cole would point at the towers of Babel that constitute my current reading piles and tell me to stop. 😛

I no sooner finished that than turned straight into the 3rd book of Larry Correia’s Grimoire Chronicles: Warbound. If you’ve read the 1st 2 books, I don’t need to say anything more. If you haven’t. Well, do yourself a favor and get them. ALL. NOW. Alternate History meets Dieselpunk meets Superhero Noir (which is how the magic system of the series basically pans out, something X-Men-like, but more believable). Also, this is Larry Correia, so you know there will be guns. LOTS of guns. Many, many firearms of all types. Right uses Might. And Freaking How. There’s wit. There’s romance (gasp!). And there are epic battles by the bucketload. Correia is a master of pacing. And it shows. The editor could’ve done him a few favors in the grammar department. But none of them are disastrous. Some people classify this series as Urban Fantasy. I push back on that by saying that the action is decidedly NOT given to any one city, and the character of any ONE city does not define any character in the story. So it’s not UF. That doesn’t make it less awesome.

Now, as Amazon offloads another truckload at my door, the next book up is from a former conversant on the OLD Bioware Forums boards, back in the days of Neverwinter Nights. The Grim Company, by Luke Skull. I’m looking forward to this read. And I’ll hope he returns the favor when The Iron Conqueror comes calling.

I finished three chapters of the Sword & Sandals this week. And I have most of a fourth in my notes. So it’s time to get cracking on that. 😉





A Slight Change of Plans

Rather than adding five thousand words of setting document to my text of The Iron Conqueror, I thought it better to add it here. That way, those who are interested can look up anything they want. And those who don’t worry about the worldbuilding don’t have to wonder if they’re expected to read it all. 😉

Linkage here: https://tariencole.wordpress.com/a-griffins-tale/

I’ll include further detail on the Magic System in the Future. But this is a start.

On another note, I’ve almost finished the first book of my Sword & Sandals. Just in time to start a war. 😛



The World of the Iron Conqueror

One of the things I did in A Griffin’s Tale that is somewhat atypical for Steampunk is my choice to indulge in creating a new world. At the time, I was writing a Historical Fantasy series (my Aurori Saga, which if you followed to my deviantArt page, you will see there), and wanted the freedom to explore a new setting.

So The Iron Conqueror has a strong flavor of Victoriana, and Airships, Gaslight, Gears, and all the strange science that one expects from Steampunk. But it also has a goodly dose of magic, common to the “Gaslight Fantasy” subset. Creating a new world also allowed me to spin the Great Game of Nations in directions the Victorian era did not pursue. For example, Caralie pursued a course similar to that of Napoleonic-era France, with a similar end. But in reprisal, it was divided into a group of puppet states, vassals of their conquerors.

As a result, much of Trivoria’s politics are played out through the carcass of fallen Caralie, including the majority of The Iron Conqueror’s plot. It becomes a cat’s paw for The Dythian Thallosocracy and the ever-ambitious Sylvunurian Empire to its west (an analogue to the Prussian Empire, but with an attitude towards those its conquered not entirely dissimilar from The Dominion of the Draka in S.M. Stirling’s Dystopia of the same name. Meanwhile, the Union of Vravan is an experiment in decentralized pseudo-monarchy, much like the United Netherlands of Orange Family’s height.

It’s even become a ‘training ground’ of sorts for the far off Zouxing Empire to allow its Great Houses to prove their worth in the eyes of the Divine Emperor. So, unintentionally (as politics so often does) the winners of a war, in their pursuit of stability, have created fertile ground for a new one. So there is nothing like the Congress of Vienna to facilitate peaceful negotiation between nations. But there is the confusing web of alliances. Yes, it gets messy. 😉

The world is about 3/4s the size of Earth, and significantly cooler. It orbits at the outer edge of the habitable zone of an orange dwarf star. Two large asteroid belts block out much of the star field to the naked eye. It also possesses plentiful coal, but petroleum poor (at least in the parts of the world their technology allows them to explore and exploit). Hence my justification for the prominence of external combustion engines and steam power. The petrol engine exists, but its not profitable to mass produce.

In general, technology is at an 1850s-60s level. Though certain areas (airships in particular) are more advanced. Among the residents of the Zouxing Dynasty, this is not quite as prevalent, as much knowledge is kept from those who lack the Mystics’ Gift. And those who possess it are encouraged to maximize their study and use of it, as opposed to more ‘mundane’ fields. One still finds ornithopters with Aether-fueled power sources and weapons among them, however.

There is magic via manipulating the Aether. Those who can do this are called Mystics, and the gift is much more prevalent in the Zouxing Dynasty than it is on the Trivorian Continent, though even in the east, it is not unheard of.

The vast majority of action takes place in the southeastern continent of Trivoria. It is where both main characters, Cage Monaghan & Katharina Tomiko Marquering, is included below:

. Trivoria

The Iron Conqueror is Coming for You!

As in my soon-to-be E-Published novel, The Iron Conqueror. I’ve spent a long time beating my head against the traditional market’s doors, but I think the Steampunk audience, of all groups in the Speculative Fiction marketplace, is most willing to pursue the alternatives that the New Market Paradigm offers. So I’m going to put my work where my mouth is and try to prove you all right.

Here’s the reverse cover for my work: Image

I’ll stack the work on the cover for The Iron Conqueror against any work the ‘professionals’ at most publishing houses produce. And what’s more, you’ll actually see my world as I imagine it, not some suit who knows nothing about Steampunk but what they saw on a stereotypical CSI episode. (Or even a better Castle one.)  Suzi (Kachinadoll to those who follow her on deviantArt) is a talented artist whose Steampunk works have been sought after professionally before I came calling. And I’ve loved the Steampunk aesthetic since before it existed as a subculture of its own, having grown up on Jules Verne, H.G. Welles and the Future That Never Was.

For those who have seen some form of The Iron Conqueror in the past, I can assure you that the published version is cleaner and smoother than what you’ve seen. I’ve grown a lot as a writer since I first typed this four years ago, and I think it shows in the product.

It will also include a map of Trivoria, a glossary of Nations, Characters, and a summary of the Calendar, Faiths, and Magic System of the Griffin’s Tale series. And the story still has all the intrigue, in-it-to-win-it characters, and no-holds-barred action scenes you expect from a Steampunk story, or from Tarien Cole’s mad imagination in particular.

So find your Coachman’s hats, climb up the ladder, and let the cabin steward pour you some tea. The Iron Conqueror is taking flight.