First Impressions – The Watchmage of New York

While I work to get the next chapter of Far Flung out for next week, here’s a review of a book I’ve been checking out. This work started as a serial on Jukepop.com, and is now available on Amazon.com.

The Watchmage of Old New York by C.A. Sanders

(Yes, that’s an affiliate link. I checked the rules, should be okay!)

I read through the first two chapters on Jukepop and re-read them in the version I purchased from Amazon, and I must say – wow! This is an urban fantasy rich with detail and backstory to begin with, and in the final verison, it’s much deeper and even more detailed.

My very first thought when I read the descriptions of this book was “Steampunk Harry Dresden, nice!” Makes for a nice tagline to sell it, but it’s much deeper – even just from reading the beginning I can see that.

Our protagonist, Nathaniel, is an immortal Watchmage who lives in New York in an alternate 19th century. He’s charged with watching over fantasy beings who cross over into this world and try to live among humans. The first chapter does a wonderful job of setting up his backstory, describing his powers, and showing how he tends to use them.

The second chapter focuses on the police officer, Jonas, who works with the Watchmage, and thus provides even more detail on what life is like in this alternate world, as weell as giving the reader a hint what it’s like to work with someone who can conjure the elements at will.

I was sold on both characters right away, and needed to know more. I think it was the working of the worldbuilding into the characters’ first-person narratives that really got me into it. Details from real-world history are worked into the fantasy history to create a New York both familiar and strange.

I couldn’t find any major difficulties in what I’ve read so far. The writing is crisp, brisk, and obviously well-edited. Some readers might be put off by the amount of backstory and detail that comes into play, but I think it’s handled very well.

Go check it out!

The Watchmage of Old New York on Amazon.com

Official Site of C.A. Sanders

Far Flung is now updated on Wattpad and Inkshares

Sorry, no new chapter yet!

I’ve got a job to do for the Busan Writing Group – yup, we have a new book coming out and I intend to be in it.

In the meantime, here are some new places to read Far Flung – I’ve added the most recent chapters to my Inkshares page, and I’ve put everything on Wattpad!

For voting and commentary, I still prefer Jukepop, but I have so many friends using Wattpad that I just had to cross-post there!

Keep on writing, folks.

 

First Impressions – Conviction by M. Howalt

My attention turns to Conviction, another serial on Jukepop

convict2_07eefe14_20150612183829PM

The author, M. Howalt, frequently replies to posts here (Hi! Always a pleasure to see you here!), so how could I not?

I’m now somewhere in the 5th installment of Conviction, and this post is about why you’ll want to check more of it out after the first chapter.

This story establishes a mood and a character very quickly, with the protagonist Iliya Radov trying to recover his memory in a horrible jail cell. As his cell is described, there are great little lines like “The paint and the plaster of his mind were crumbling, and it would be only a matter of time before he broke” that get the reader into this man’s head. At the end a bit of hope, a man who knows Iliya, and whom Illiya seems to have some fractured memory of. What does this man want? Illyia is an ‘Infantry Assault Wizard’? Such tantalizing clues!

It’s a lot to take in, but I think most readers will be drawn in by exactly that! I’ve kept on reading because of the mysteries and the simple narrative that navigates them quickly. That’s why I encourage you, dear reader, to check this out. Be sure to post your thoughts – let me know if you enjoyed Conviction as well!

First Impressions – Flocked by Ryan Watt

Hello everyone!

It’s high time I made another content post, even if it is a short one.

As a writer on Jukepop and Inkshares, I’m discovering new works all the time as I write my own. I’ll be using posts like this one to give my first impressions of new works that I discover – like my earlier reviews, but quicker and aimed at getting readers interested in discovering new authors.

If you want your serial featured here, just send me a message. I am always looking for new reads!


 

Today’s First Impression — “Flocked” by Ryan Watt.

At time of writing, this story has … wait, let me check … whoa, 77 chapters! Oh, and it’s one of 3 stories maintained by this author!

In the first chapter, the reader gets an introduction to the fairytale world shared by Heroes of the Fabled Age (which may also get a First Impression writeup later on). Right from the start there’s a very fairytale  setup, with princesses, curses, and an honourable quest. We learn that Cyril, intrepid member of the Guild of Feathers, has taken the King’s challenge to resolve the strange curse on his beloved daughters. Cyril, however, is not a typical knight in armour – he has his own curse to live with.

The prose is fairly sharp – I think the writing was cared for and well-edited. From the start, I get the impression of a world that follows some of the fairytale conventions, and yet hides twists and nuances behind the familiar. There’s a clear sense of mystery – more than enough to get me interested in reading the next chapter and beyond.

Flocked will go on my Jukepop bookshelf, and I think it should be on yours too. Go check it out!


 

 

Oh yeah, Far Flung. It’s coming! I’m working on the 5th part now – I think 2 entries per month will be my comfortable output for this tale.

Far Flung Chapter 3 is live!

jukepop

Cover art by Jay Jackson, WorldsAwayArt

Part 3 of Far Flung is up now.

I hope you’ll go over to Jukepop.com and give this chapter a read!

Part 4 will take a bit longer – I expect it up in the second week of November.

Hope you all enjoy this!

Far Flung Chapter 2 is live!

jukepop

Cover art by Jay Jackson, WorldsAwayArt

Part 2 of Far Flung is up now.

What’s more is that Part 3 is not too far off! I’ve only got a few picky changes to make.

I hope you’ll go over to Jukepop.com and give this chapter a read!

Have a wonderful Back to the Future Day! Things aren’t exactly how Marty saw them, but you know what? Real 2015 ain’t that bad, methinks.

An Interview with J.A. Waters

I recently exchanged emails with Lyncia author J.A. Waters, and today, I’d like to post his advice to writers new to this whole idea of serial fiction.

Here are my questions and the answers I received – I’ve tweaked the formatting a bit and added emphasis to points I found most interesting:

How often did you post new chapters when you got started?

I started posting Lyncia chapters twice a week, Monday and Thursday, and got plenty of attention and comments fairly quickly. From what I’ve seen, posting once or twice weekly seems to draw the largest number of votes, though once a serial gets to the 20 or 30 chapter range readers will occasionally burn through all available material and increase your standing significantly.

What’s the most important thing a newbie should know about pitching a serial to new readers and eventually to a publisher?

For JukePop, and any online-content site, I think quality and interaction are your most useful tools. While writing styles are subjective, ensuring that you double-check formatting, spelling, and grammar can make a big difference. I’ve tried some serials that are blocky walls of text but it’s unmanageable to keep reading.

That said, I’ve seen some well-written serials fade in their public readership as comments and questions go unanswered. That doesn’t mean they aren’t still being read, but sometimes a lively community can help spread word-of-mouth or catch an eye in someone’s feed.  […]

Researching agents that are looking for your genre, style, and voice is very important. Ensuring you have a polished, fourth-draft (at least) version of your MS is also important as that quality and dedication will show. The #MSWL (Manuscript Wishlist) hashtag on Twitter and aggregate sites is helpful in finding potential agents.

What’s the most important thing you’d like newbies to know about the overall process of writing, revising, and seeing through a serial work?

It’s been said a thousand different ways, but finish what you start. That’s the most important part of a serial, a novel, or any creative project. Even if it doesn’t go anywhere, it will teach you about the craft and your preferences. I’ve done projects in art, writing, and game design, and there’s nothing that haunts you quite as much as giving up on something. The caveat is that you should always drop something that makes you miserable or otherwise negatively impacts life. For revising, minor copy editing is fine as you post a serial, but I prefer to hold off on rewrites until finished with a complete draft.


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Now, I was originally planning for Far Flung to update every two weeks, but it looks like that might not be enough. On the other hand, I don’t want to sacrifice quality for frequency … decisions, decisions.

I’m happy to say that the parts I have ready for Far Flung are already past the fourth-draft mark!

And what great info on #MSWL! There’s a new one for me, and oh yeah, I’ll use it.

A big thank you to J.A. Waters! Be sure to watch his work, Lyncia, on Jukepop!