So, I mentioned last week that I am in a holding pattern waiting for some stuff. Cover art, beta reader feedback, etc. I talked to my cover guy Saturday and saw some more of his concepts, and it’s looking good. It’s still not done, but it’s further along than it was. I also got a little more feedback to incorporate into the final draft, and I did so. All in all, if my cover gets done by this weekend, I will put the Kindle version out by the end of the month and the Print version out by next month.
I also started doing some research for a short story. The internet is a great tool for this, but always go to authoritative sites. My current short story is based on something to do with NASA (that’s all I will say), so I went straight to the NASA web site to find out everything I need to know.
Similarly, the Vergrinn War series is in a world that is somewhat similar (not identical) in weather, topography, and culture to various Norse/Viking cultures. To that end, I have done much research on clothing, naming, technology, plant and animal life based on Norway, Sweden, and Finland. A tree that figures prominently in Book One (and is mentioned again in Book Two) was researched to see if it is a native of those parts. The animals that are hunted and raised were double checked for authenticity. The specific geography and the history have nothing to do with any of those places. This is a separate world, based loosely on them.
This is not to say that any of my work is meant to be a direct representation of the reality of the places somewhat described. What I am attempting to do is perform enough research that the casual reader might feel as if they have been transported to this general locale. Would an astronaut reading my short story find flaws? Probably. Would an expert on Viking/Norse culture pick apart my story over some details? Probably. Would the average reader pick up my stories and get a “feel” for this faraway place? I sure hope so. I had the chance last night to speak with a teenager whose brother (also a teenager) was given copies of my first two books for Christmas. I asked the young lady if she had read them yet, and she bluntly old me “No.” She then proceeded to tell me that her brother had “read them over and over.” That took away the sting, and re-affirmed to me that I am accomplishing what I set out to do – write captivating, memorable stories that will reach out and grab their readers.