Toy Soldier, Spelljammer, and Chasing Fireflies

Hello, Toy Soldier fans!  Things are stirring in the ashes of the Toy Soldier Saga, which you may have noticed I have not done much with for the past couple of years.  This was due to frustration at constantly being derailed at every turn.  But I think I have a new approach that you all might appreciate.

First of all, I have revamped my Patreon account.  I explain all about it here.  Essentially, I’m now asking for funding by creation instead of per month.  This means you only fund the projects you want to fund.  Check out my rewards sidebar; I’m looking to focus primarily on the writing projects, and right now my fiction is in the forefront.

Second, A Few Good Elves is undergoing a major edit for publication on FanFiction.net, with possibly other platforms to follow.  Rumour says that the DMsGuild is opening up to Spelljammer products soon; if it does, I’ll try to work in the Toy Soldier Saga.  Patreon support would help me to pay my editor to make a better novel for you to read!  The beta version is available at the above link; help me make it better!

Third, when that’s done, I hope to, with your help, create a full audiobook!  I intend to have music, sound effects, and possibly even voice actors.  But this is all dependent on Patreon support!  I can’t do this without your backing.  If you want to see it happen, consider becoming a Patron and supporting me by project.  If you don’t want to be a Patron to my current fiction projects, you can still Follow my Patreon page to keep up-to-date!

Fourth, with your support, I’m going to finish and fully edit the Toy Soldier Saga over the next few years.  I need your backing to make it happen, since there will be FIVE (not four, five!) books to edit and I have to pay the editor.  That’s five books to make into audiobooks as well.  And I have also been looking at some of the alternate Spelljammer type products out there.  If I can’t get Wizards of the Coast to allow me a platform to produce a professional publication for the Toy Soldier Saga in the Spelljammer setting, I will adapt it to another one, possibly Starfinder.  I think it’s too good of a story to keep down.  I hope you do too.

Which brings me to the fifth announcement; I have been invited to participate in an anthology!  It’s a summer romance anthology to be titled “Chasing Fireflies.”  At first I was hesitant because I’m not really a romance writer.  But then I had an idea about Shaundar and Y’Anid.  And I thought, “Why not?  Space opera and romance; it worked for Lois McMaster Bujold!”  So a Toy Soldier Saga story is going to be published in a romance anthology: release date July 1!  Here’s my blurb:

Interracial romances can be challenging.  So can love in wartime.  But what happens when the races in question are two different species who are ancient enemies?  And what happens when being true to love denies duty, and being true to duty denies love?  Which would you choose?

If you want to see the story without buying the anthology (which will be available in print and e-format,) you have to become a Patron at the $2 per creation level, which is my beta reader level.  And you’ll have to do it before the end of April. 😉

And last, Survivor, my short story in the Toy Soldier Saga that happens near the beginning of Brothers in Arms, is up for consideration in a reprint anthology.  I will keep you informed.

So, a lot of big things happening all at once!  If you want to make the Toy Soldier Saga happen, this is your time and your chance.  Will you lend me a hand?

Updates: Support Me at Patreon!

At the suggestion of some friends, I have created a Patreon account!  Patreon is essentially like Kickstarter in that it is crowdfunding, but in this case it also hearkens back to the old patronage system.  I’m asking my supporters for a monthly contribution to help me create my creative works, in return for perks and bonuses.

Of particular interest to Toy Soldier Saga fans:

  1. Even a $1 pledge gives you exclusive access to my Patron feed.  You get first notice for everything I produce: writing, music, YouTube videos, columns, books; you name it.  You also get exclusive behind-the-scenes information and patron-only video content.
  2. $5 gives you one of two options: a) In addition to exclusive access to my Patron feed, I will send you a free song of your choice.  I will need to know how to contact you. b) In addition to exclusive access to my Patron feed, I will send you a free e-copy of my fan-fiction book “A Few Good Elves.”  You will also be eligible to receive my print fan-fiction books when that milestone is reached.  I will need to know how to contact you.
  3. At $25: In addition to exclusive access to my Patron feed, and eligibility to receive my print fan-fiction books when that milestone is reached, I will send you mp3s of all of my current Pagan or filk music (please specify). I will need to know how to contact you.  Anyone who pledges at this level for at least three months will also receive mp3s of either the Gallows Hill goth rock EP (for the “Pagans”) or the Avalon Burning gothic metal EP (for the “filkers”).

 

Milestones:
  1. $100 per month: I will do a small, private print run of my fan-fiction books as I complete them.  This will help to cover printing costs and the cost of hiring an editor.  These will only be available to current Patrons as a special gift.
  2. $500 per month: I will make a radio play of my fan-fiction series the Toy Soldier Saga, including hiring voice actors and technicians. (Yes Cliff, that means you!)

Yes, this is my way of getting those print books out to you without challenging Wizards’ copyright.  Technically the borrowing of fan material like this is still not allowed, but note I’m not making any money on the books, nor do I intend to: this will be my way of personally thanking my Patrons, and they are gifts or milestone goals for Patrons only.  I was inspired to this idea by the plethora of amazing, professionally-produced Star Trek movies available through Kickstarter programs.  They are all not-for-profit endeavours, supported by fans and even the original Star Trek actors.  I figured this wasn’t any different!

In other updates, “A Few Good Elves” is currently undergoing a professional edit, and will be made available in chapters on FanFiction.net, where many other fanfic writers have tracked the interest of the professionals.  If I do, and if Wizards does decide they want to publish the Toy Soldier Saga, I will take it down everywhere it has appeared, so this may be your only opportunity to pick up the original.  Note that because of FanFiction.net’s policies, my infamous Chapter 15 will *not* be available on that site, and there may be other “edited for content” cuts.  I will let you know as soon as it’s posted!

In further updates, I have indeed decided to go ahead with Book Five, “The Mandate of Arvandor,” and am actively working on a promo Machinima video for it (which also helps me to clarify my thoughts and visualizations.)

Now, how’s the writing going?  Slow.  Slow because I find myself faced with the David Weber dilemma.  I am in position where it’s important to explain the nuts and bolts of the goings on of the War, but I want to avoid the tedious infodumps that Weber is infamous for.  Finding that balance is delicate, but I am plugging away at it.

That’s all the news that’s news for now. 🙂

Weal or Woe (Book Excerpt)

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

Shaundar trained his glass on the approaching vessels; and then he saw something that froze his blood in his veins.  He uttered a curse that would have blistered paint.  “Bring ‘er about!  Get us out of here!   Max tactical!” he howled, limping over to the mainsail to begin tacking.  “Dammit, Trevan!  Grimmauld!  Help me!”

Trevan just stared at him for a few long moments.  “Have you gone completely insane?!” he exploded at last.  “How are we going to get rescued if we run away?”

“That’s no rescuer,” he moaned.  “They’re flying the flag of the illithid.  Mind flayers!”

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Book Excerpt: Haunted

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

Shaundar and Yathar stood with Sylria on Queenie’s Castle Deck, smoking cigars together.  They’d stopped smoking pipes because it was just too time consuming to load and light, and a waste of perfectly good tobacco if they were suddenly called into action, which happened more and more frequently.  The cigars were cheap and slightly sour – the best they could generally do on their Lieutenant’s pay – but Shaundar was becoming almost affectionately attached to them.

Supply lines were becoming more strained, too.  Occasionally, the alu’quesst ration was being supplemented with the human creation of grog.  Shaundar was not fond of it and generally chose not to have his allotted taut when that was what was available.  But he didn’t complain.  Nobody did.  That was just what there was.

They were in orbit around the Karpri space station, along with the burnt-out hulks of a Scorpion and an Ogre Mammoth…

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In the Hands of the Enemy (Book Excerpt) * Trigger Warning

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

The following book excerpt contains scenes of graphic violence and torture.  Discretion is advised.

A door opened.  Shaundar tried to get a grip on himself at once; the last thing their captors needed to see was weakness.  His eyes blinked against the sudden brightness of the lantern in the corridor, but it was quickly blocked by an enormous silhouette.  Its owner was a scro; gray-skinned and huge, with arms like tree trunks.

“Ah, good, you’re awake,” the scro rumbled in a voice that sounded almost like a lion purring.  His unconscious echo of Yathar’s earlier remark was a little disturbing.  It was odd to hear the Espruar tongue in such a rough baritone voice.  “Maybe you’ll be more forthcoming than your friends.”  He grabbed Shaundar’s shirt and with one hand lifted him to his feet.  Shaundar was too weak to stand, however, and his leg startled him with the blinding…

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The Aerdrie’s Pride (Book Excerpt)

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

All week Shaundar had been at the docks, lending a hand with the loading.  It was a mind-boggling process, keeping track of all the provisions, which had to be taken into orbit bit by bit in flitters, since elven Armada-class ships were incapable of landfall.  It was amazing how many things were required to feed the crew of a dreadnaught!  First there came the dried provisions; waybread, dried fruits, peas and beans, pemmican and cornbread (innovations of the green elves borrowed by the Imperial Elven Navy,) and these in scores of enormous wooden crates.  Next were the preserves; fruit preserves, pickles of all sorts, magically-sealed and preserved citrus fruits to prevent Sailor’s Disease, these in scores of slightly smaller crates that were easier to carry.  They were followed by barrel after crate full of baking and cooking supplies: flour, honey, baking powder, yeast, spices, and butter in magically-preserved containers.  After…

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The Ruathimaer “Starwing”

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

IEN Flag by John "Paladine" Baxter.  Used by permission. IEN Flag by John “Paladine” Baxter. Used by permission.

Ruathimaer by Adam "Night Druid" Miller.  Used by permission. Ruathimaer by Adam “Night Druid” Miller. Used by permission.

The elves of Evermeet make use of a particular variant of the Elven Man-o-War, gifted from the Elven Imperial Navy: the Ruathimaer, or “Starwing!” This corvette-class 45 ton warship is the essence of Evermeet’s space defense. In recent years, more examples of this configuration have begun to appear as work-horses for planetary defense system ships in other spheres under the Navy’s protection also.

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The Face of the Enemy (Book Excerpt)

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

Cleaning up the mess took days.  Of the roughly 400 elves, humans and gnomes who had participated in the Battle of Leira, at least a hundred and fifty of them were casualties, which included Yathar’s axe slice because it required stitches, but not the minor bleeding wound that the goblin’s blade had given Shaundar, because it did not.  Half the city seemed to be burnt or damaged.  When the Scro Fleet had taken over, they had assaulted the city from orbit.  This would have counted as a war crime in the Elven Navy, and the perpetrators would have been court martialled, but apparently this was par for the course in scro rules of engagement.

Fortunately the civilian casualties had actually been minimal.  Those bunkers that Commander Aravel had referred to sheltered most of the populace, and much of the city damage, Shaundar later learned, was from the Orcish forces trying…

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