Book III, The Reckoning: Sins of the Father

October 13, 2012 in Books, Completed


Everyone on the project knew the basic lore and framework of the Candle’Bre universe long before the books were completed, but also, there was an air of excitement with each new chapter’s completion.

I had never before experienced writing as anything but a solitary occupation, but this was something wholly different. This too, was collaborative. If I turned in a chapter that left key questions unanswered, or did not give full treatment to essential plot points, I got taken to task for it, and was sent back to the drawing board to try again. These guys were tough, and I loved it!

I loved it because they loved it. Their criticisms weren’t made out of a sense of malice, but rather, out of a deep love and respect for the universe we were building one rock, one tree, and one painful chapter at a time, and it made the story better than it otherwise would have been.

Originally, I had planned to end the book with a cliffhanger…the main villain presents himself, gives our heroes an awful choice, then departs, giving them an hour to think it over, vowing to return and either accept their unconditional surrender or rip them to shreds.

The thinking here was that the books would end, and the computer game would pick up from that point.

The players would create their own ending.

But my readers howled at this, and insisted that it was a cheat.

After living and bleeding with our heroes over the course of three books, they (the characters), and the series itself, deserved a proper ending, and so…I was sent back to the drawing board to create one.

It nearly doubled the length of the third book, but they got their promised ending, and I have to admit…they were right.

It took the series to the next level, making it fantastic, instead of just decent.

I can’t thank them enough!

To get your copy today, just click the button below!

Secure Online Payments and Credit Card Processing by Plimus
Get your digital copy right here, for just $1.95!

 

Or…
Get the Full Set!

Secure Online Payments and Credit Card Processing by Plimus
Get your digital copy right here, for just $6.95!

Project completed, January 2007

-=Vel=-

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The Reckoning, Book II: Birthright

October 13, 2012 in Books, Completed


By the time I started writing the second volume of the series, I was pretty sure it’d be a trilogy (I was actually off by one…there wound up being four volumes in the set!). It felt like a big story, and I knew I had a monster on the line…I just had no idea it’d take me the better part of seven years to complete the tale!

Nonetheless, by this point, the whole book writing process was beginning to be well trod, familiar ground. I knew how to do it, and big story or no, I knew I could get it across the finish line.

So…that’s how the next span of months, bleeding into years, went. Working with a big group of talented, creative people on four continents on the game, and writing in the times in-between.

Grab your copy today by clicking the button below:

Secure Online Payments and Credit Card Processing by Plimus
Get your digital copy right here, for just $1.95!

 

Or…
Get the Full Set!

Secure Online Payments and Credit Card Processing by Plimus
Get your digital copy right here, for just $6.95!

Project completed, October 2005

-=Vel=-

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The Reckoning, Book I: Darkness Falls

October 13, 2012 in Books, Completed, Freebie


Given that I’d taken the lead on a computer game project and had a) no coding skills, b) no artistic skills, and c) no musical skills, I decided pretty quickly to focus on the stuff I could do. Namely, telling good stories, organizing, and designing, so…that became my role.

Over the course of the first weeks and months, I tried to get my feet wet in all the major areas of the project. Learned to become a crude-but-effective graphic artist, learned enough about the whole coding thing to hold down my end of a conversation with the folks who had probably forgotten more about their craft than I knew, to that point, and learned the basics of musical composition.

Still, my heart was with the stories, and that’s what I focused on.

Pretty early on, I saw two things as being important. One…I wanted the story framework to matter and be an integral part of the game, and two, I wanted it to be woven into the fabric of the game itself, and not, like so many games I’ve played, feel “bolted on” at the last minute so it could be shipped out the door.

To accomplish those goals, we needed a “bible.” A completely fleshed out document that described and defined the game world, and that’s how the first Candle’Bre stories were born.

From there, the writing project sorta took on a life of its own, and became something of a project-within-a-project.

I also decided pretty early on that the first book in the series (and even then, I knew it’d be a series of books, and not just a single volume) should be free, in order to get people interested in the story.

This one’s free for the taking. Get your copy:

 HERE.

 

Or…
Get the Full Set and don’t miss a thing!

Secure Online Payments and Credit Card Processing by Plimus
Get your digital copy right here, for just $6.95!

Project Completed, February, 2004

-=Vel=-

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The Courts of Candle’Bre

October 13, 2012 in Freebie, Games, Ongoing

I have to admit that after the success with “Five Days,” I felt pretty invincible.

I was active in the gaming community, and a conversation came up about who would be the “dream team” in terms of creating Civ 4.

To my surprise, my name came up on that list, and I was honored by it.

That got me thinking…hey, I’d written a few books to this point, and while hard, if I could do that, I could do a game, right?

So I jumped in with both feet and…

Oh. My. God.

Up to this point, the books were the hardest thing I’d ever attempted.

The computer game was harder.

Waaay harder.

Probably harder than all of them combined, and then a bit extra for good measure.

Jesus Christ…I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I intuited it fairly quickly though, and also learned that I had exactly NONE of the skills I’d need to make the project succeed.

That’s when I started casting about for help, and that’s when the Workshop became populated by more folks than just me.

I have learned so much thanks to this project (and am learning still…every single day I discover something new, either about the game, the process, or myself) that it boggles the mind.

One of the most important lessons learned though, is how much more enjoyable creating is, when you do it collaboratively.

Writing books is all well and good, but the real magic comes when you get a group of people in a room (virtual or otherwise) and start up a creative jam session.

From the first such “jam session,” I was hooked, and I haven’t looked back since.

Candle’Bre as a game will never be “done,” and I don’t care. There will always be something new to add, and I’ll enjoy every second of it.

Clicking on the website image on this post will take you to the site, if you’re curious to see what we ultimately created. It’s a turn based strategy game, set in a 100% original fantasy world, and beyond that, I will say no more, leaving it for you to explore.

Pssst! And guess what? The game’s free too!

** Solver and I talked about it, and we’ve learned so much from our first attempt, but we also feel that the game would be better served by starting on Candle’Bre 2.0. To that end, we’re calling this project done, so we can start with the re-imagined game, taking into account all that we’ve learned, keeping what works, and ditching what doesn’t.

Stay tuned for details!

Project begun 2002, formally ended October, 2012

-=Vel=-

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Five Days in May

October 13, 2012 in Books, Completed

There’s a game I like to play when I’m driving, especially when I’m driving alone.

I call it “the map game,” specifically because no maps are involved.

Basically, what you do is, drive till you don’t know where you are.

Use a coin toss to determine whether you go left or right when you come to an intersection.

Spend one day getting completely lost, then spend the rest of the weekend trying to find your way home and exploring the place you find yourself in.

Fun game, and it led me to the little town of Saluda, North Carolina.

From there, a bit of driving took me up past Hendersonville, and into the environs where “Five Days” is set.

I’ve actually been to Pond Mountain and spent a considerable amount of time in that haunting place.

The story was an outgrowth of my happenstance discovery of the place, and the strange feeling that it left me with.

When I came home, I started writing.

Twenty-two days later, the story was done.

One draft, very minor editing.

It was as though someone (or some thing) had planted the seed in my brain and insisted that it be born.

Unsettling, but it still stands as among my favorites.

This was the first time I attempted to mess with art programs…the cover’s mine, and though I’ve had offers from real artists to do it justice, my friends have convinced me to leave it as it. I think I’m satisfied with that.

It’s a ghost story, set in the mountains of North Carolina and has an authentic feel to it, because of the time I spent in the region. I also researched Cherokee language and lore before jumping in.

It may not be completely accurate, but I think the time I spent learning about the subject also made the story better.

At any rate, clicking on the button below will get you a copy if you’re itching to dive in!

Secure Online Payments and Credit Card Processing by Plimus
Get your digital copy right here, for just $1.95!

Project completed, June 2003

-=Vel=-

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Guardians

October 13, 2012 in Books, Completed

The SMAX guide was a labor of love, and such fun to put together that it seemed a novel was the next natural step in the progression of things. I’d gone from writing little snippets of poetry and gathering them into something coherent, to writing a pretty fabulous game guide, so…why not? Surely a novel couldn’t be that hard, could it?

Famous last words, of course. “Guardians,” turned out to be a nightmare of a project that took me eighteen agonizing months to complete. When it was finally done, I was so drained by the experience that I vowed never to try anything like that again!

This work is a thriller. A classic “chase novel” where the good guys spend most of their time running for their lives before ultimately getting backed into a corner for the inevitable showdown. I intentionally wrote the ending to be open ended to allow for a sequel if the mood struck. So far it has not, but I do have some ideas for where to take the characters next. In any case, I think it’s a good read. Yes, you can definitely tell it’s my first try, but that’s true of most authors.

For me as an artist, the main things this work accomplished was that it allowed me to prove to my satisfaction that I could “do” this stuff, it gave me the opportunity to experiment, and it did both of those things in a framework that was both interesting and entertaining.

** Author’s note: I’ve been asked repeatedly if there’s a sequel planned for this book. The answer is, yes…eventually. I’ve got the seed of the story in my mind and have had it there for some three years now. It’ll eventually get written, but for now, it is percolating.

Clicking the button below will get you a copy right now…Enjoy!

Secure Online Payments and Credit Card Processing by Plimus
Get your digital copy right here, for just $1.95!

Project completed August, 2002

-=Vel=-

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Vel’s SMAX Guide

October 13, 2012 in Books, Completed, Freebie

My first actual book was a strategy guide for a computer game. Specifically, for Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. Over the four editions of the work, it received high praise from the gaming community, being heralded as the definitive guide to the game, actually being recommended over the “official” guide on more than one occasion.

Once the game fell off the RADAR, I released the text into the public domain, so this too, is freely available.

You can access it by clicking


Here

Project completed mid 2001

-=Vel=-
.
.
.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

CandleLight & ShadowMagic / Gypsy Rain

October 13, 2012 in Books, Completed, Freebie

This was my first organized project. I used to write a fair bit of poetry, and although much of it was destroyed by vengeful women and time in general, some portion survives. The stuff that did, became these two collections.

I’ve been told it’s fairly good, but to be honest, I’ve not written anything poetic in decades, and am not really in a position to judge either way.

In any case, years ago, I made the decision to gather them up and release them into the wild, so they’re freely available to anyone who’s interested.

I hope you enjoy. Get your copy, free,


HERE

Project Completed Circa 1998

-=Vel=-

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)