Excerpt: Seeds of Resistance

This is a bit of a surprise post. I wasn’t going to say it until later, but I’ve chosen to go ahead to reveal that I’m working on bonus content to add to the print edition of Kingslayer. This is an excerpt, and the full first chapter. Any feedback is welcome, but I’m mainly posting for your enjoyment. Enjoy!

***

Since leaving Liverpool, Jocelyn and I watched as the rolling hills of the Gililands passed by our compartment window. We were aboard The Runaway Express, which was fitting since we were fugitives from the Empire. If we were seen, we were as good as dead. But we wouldn’t stay on the train long; after all, we were nearing the industrial city of Issylot.

“There’s been a riot in Saxony,” Jocelyn said, turning the pages of the daily newspaper.

Of course, this wasn’t a surprise. Tiberius ruled the Isobellian territories with an iron fist. If there was a riot (like Jocelyn said), then all it meant was that people were getting tired of the Black King and his Imperial Knights.

After a moment, I looked over at Jocelyn.

Slender body, hazel eyes, red curls. Throw that together with a pair of rosy cheeks, and you’ve got one heck of a beautiful wife. To be honest, Jocelyn looked upset by the news of another riot, and I couldn’t blame her. I just wish there was something I could’ve done.

“How many were killed this time?” I asked, biting into a half-eaten apple from the night before.

“Thirty-seven,” Jocelyn replied. “That’s the worst one to date.”

True, I thought.

“I just wish there was somethin’ we could do,” Jocelyn said. “Don’t you agree, Vensyr?”

I didn’t give a verbal answer. I finished the apple and tossed the remains out the nearby, opened window; then I gave my wife a nod of the head.

When we arrived in Issylot, Jocelyn and I left the train station as quickly as possible; then we moved into the nearest alleyway. The city was a bustling metropolis, with airships and skyscrapers as far as the eye could see. It was good to be back in Jocelyn’s hometown. After all, it had been years since our last visit, plus there were lots of places where we could hide from the Empire.

“Where you want to go?” I asked, looking at Jocelyn.

“How about the tavern in the Business District?” she replied, pointing down the alley with one finger.

This was a natural choice, since the local tavern belonged to Jocelyn’s cousin. Whenever we came to visit, he always let us eat for free. Once we arrived and took our seats inside the bar, we both received a plate of dragonloaf with a choice of our favorite beverage. Jocelyn went with a glass of wine, while I settled on a chocolate, peanut butter milkshake.

Not a single Imperial Knight was present. And since we were covered in darkness (with nothing but a light to cover our faces), Jocelyn and I felt safe lowering the hoods of our cloaks.

Clearly, Jocelyn was starving. She practically inhaled her dragonloaf the moment it touched her lips.

I tried not to laugh. It was quite the sight to behold.

“That looks yummy,” Jocelyn said after a moment, eyeing my milkshake.

“It is,” I said simply, taking a small sip.

“Can I have a sippy-whippy?”

I grinned. “You have your own drink,” I said, looking over at Jocelyn’s wine.

“Pwease!?” she asked in a babyish tone of voice, crossing her arms and puckering her lips.

I rolled my eyes. “Jocelyn, knock it off.”

“You hate me….”

She’s acting like a five-year-old, I thought, shocked by my wife’s behavior. Still, she was a cute little thing, which is why I chose to give in.

“Here,” I said while handing her my glass. “You owe me one,” I added with another roll of the eyes.

“Thank you!” she told me after taking a sip. “I wuv you forever an’ ever!”

“Love you too,” I said, amused.

After we finished our meals, Jocelyn pulled out her newspaper and started to read. She was fixated on the paper for the better part of fifteen minutes, occasionally turning the pages with circular photographs.

“Hey Vensyr?” she said, looking up from the paper.

I looked at her, not saying a word.

“Sara Willington’s been sighted,” Jocelyn continued. Right then, a group of Imperial Knights entered the tavern.

I stared at Jocelyn. The Sara Willington—daughter and heir of the late King Michael Willington—sighted? This was a big deal, and not because the Black King wanted her dead. Rather, it was a huge deal because the princess hadn’t been seen or heard of in nearly thirteen years: not since her parents were killed.

“Sighted!?” I said in a whisper. “Where?”

“Alma Defa,” Jocelyn replied, passing the paper to me. I blew out the candle between us so the Imperial Knights who just came in couldn’t see our faces in the dark corner of the bar. It wasn’t easy, reading without the light of a candle, but the task seemed manageable nonetheless.

And so, I read the paper aloud:

Princess Sara Willington (age 15) was sighted in Alma Defa last night. She should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information leading to Her Majesty’s arrest will be awarded 50,000 gold shillings.

I reread the article several times. It was short, yet Sara’s mugshot covered half the front page. After a moment, Jocelyn took up the newspaper and stuffed it in a pouch beneath her cloak.

“It’s interesting. Isn’t it, Vensyr?” Jocelyn said.

“What’s interesting?” I asked.

“The location, more than anything. It is Alma Defa, after all. The Empire’s Supreme Court is there. But why would she go there of all places, when the Emperor himself wants her dead?”

Jocelyn’s guess was as good as mine.

I looked at the tavern’s front door. At the moment, the owner of the bar was servicing a couple whores and a half-drunk midget. Each of them seemed to be getting their fair share of wine, yet the Imperial Knights that just came in were as sober as a priest before mass. In fact, to tell the truth, the gentlemen standing in the doorway looked as if they were looking for something.

Or someone.

I didn’t think much of it at first, but then as they made their way through the bar, I knew better. They weren’t just looking for someone. They acted as if they’d seen someone, namely me and Jocelyn. Do I even have to say it? They must have seen us enter the freakin’ building! Why did we have to lower the hoods of our cloaks? I thought, but now wasn’t the time to complain. I had to warn Jocelyn, and together we had to escape.

“Hey Jocelyn, does this place have a back door?” I asked, trying to remain calm.

Jocelyn pointed to her left. “Why you askin’?” she replied. I cleared my throat and motioned toward the approaching knights. Jocelyn looked to see them and immediately understood. “I’d say our welcome here is officially worn out,” she said.

And less than a minute later, we were out the back door.

 

Politics in Fantasy

Every society–whether it be the U.S., Great Britain, North Korea, or a more tribal society like those found in Africa–there is some kind of government that rules over it. There are democracies, republics, dictatorships, monarchies, and even theocracies, but what kind of government you want to put in your world is entirely up to you.

For instance, in my novel Kingslayer there is an evil dictator that is in control; however, 24 years prior to this, there was a government in control that was a hybrid of a democracy and a monarchy (I call it a democratic monarchy). This is something neat that you can do in fantasy. You can take different ideas for governmental systems and mix them to get new types of systems.

You could have a monarchy where the kings are chosen by the church, and therefore have a hybrid of a theocracy and a monarchy, or you can just have the regular types of government and put a new spin on it. There really is no shortage of what you can do when you open your mind up to the fantastical.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

About My Second Novel

As some of you know, I’ve been working on an epistolary novel for a few weeks. Well, for today’s post, I wanted to give an update and let everyone know what the book is basically about.

As I revealed in a Tweet a few days ago, this epistolary novel is very much related to my novel Kingslayer. What I didn’t reveal, however, is that this new book chronicles the events in one of the main character’s life. This is basically the story of Vensyr D’Artanian, who is very much important to the villain’s backstory in Kingslayer.

I won’t say any more about the character as a person, since it would spoil. However, I can say that the novel is from mainly his POV, and another character who he’s sending letters back and forth while he’s away fighting in war. It will talk way more about his backstory, as well as the backstory of Tiberius (the main villain from Kingslayer). It will also talk about the main events in the war that lead into the final chapter and epilogue (which cover some events from Kingslayer, plus a surprise).

At the moment, I’m not certain what the title will be. I have one that I really like, but it gives away the ending. I also have another title in mind, but it’s underwhelming from my point of view (I’m calling it Scribbler). Perhaps a better one will come to mind, but time will tell.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

A Review of CreateSpace’s POD Services

As those of you who follow me on Twitter will know, I received a package in the mail on Thursday that contained 4 copies of my novel, Kingslayer. This post will basically be a review of the printing services offered by the company I used, which is CreateSpace. Before I get to that, however, it is important to view the video of me opening the package. Sorry in advance if I seem a little awkward. I’m not much for cameras.

Assuming you’ve gone an watched the video, let’s just cut to the chase. I’m very pleased with the experience. As I said in the video, I’d say it’s 4 1/2 stars out of 5. In other words, I’m 90% pleased, which is pretty good. At first I said that as a bit of a random number, because it’s not going to be perfect; then I realized there was a bit of glue on the backs of a couple of the books.

So in other words, I’m still 90% impressed, only for a different reason. The binding is good, the matte cover is professional looking. Even the Canva cover I made for the book looks flawless. The bottom line is that if they had managed to print the 4 books, I’d give them a full 100% on this. I’m sure they’ll get it right in the future.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

 

Politics in Fantasy

A few days ago, I posted about religion in fantasy, and how to create a fantastical religion. Well, today I’d like to do another world building blog and talk about creating a fantastical political system.

In order to understand how to do this, one must first understand how governments operate. Many of today’s government have three branches: the executive (or king), the legislature, and the courts. Even stories as out there as Star Wars have made up governments built out of these three branches, though the Imperial Senate was abolished in episode IV. That’s not to say you have to do it this way.

It really all depends on what you’re going for. Are you creating a theocracy? If so, do the gods in your world serve as the king, and do earthly priests serve as the legislature (if one even exists)? Are you creating a monarchy? If so, how is it different than the monarchies of Europe?

In order to answer these questions, it is important to research what kind of government you want your world to have. Kingslayer once had a legislature and a court system, but in the novel these things don’t exist anymore (and it’s therefore a dictatorship). Just some things to think about.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Writing While Under Emotional Distress

Unless you don’t typically read my blogs, you’ll notice I write mostly about writing in general or my own personal writings. I don’t typically write about what’s going on in my life, and that’s just the way it is. The truth is, I’m a very private person. But for this blog, I have to make an exception.

Those of you who’ve been following me will, without a doubt, know all about my novel Kingslayer and that I’m currently working on an epistolary novel as well. What you may not have noticed, however, is that my work on both those projects and my blog and Twitter posts have decreased significantly. I’ve begun missing scheduled blog posts, I haven’t been working on my new book, and the eBook edition of Kingslayer isn’t yet out.

The reason for this is because last week, my girlfriend of 6 1/2 years broke it off with me. I won’t go into details. She doesn’t deserve that. But rest assured we’re both good people; we just weren’t right for each other. What our breakup has meant, however, is that my writing is slower than usual, and I’m having to get used to writing while under emotional distress.

Some days it’s easy, while others… not so much. Some days I can’t do it at all. I feel like I’ll be able to get some done today, but we’ll see. The point is, writing while upset isn’t easy, and I’ve never been good at making myself write when I don’t feel motivated. But to those of you who are feeling like I am right now, perhaps for a different reason, the important thing is to be persistent, because the pain of today won’t last forever. I know my ex-girlfriend will find someone she’s meant to be with, and I won’t rest until I’ve found someone too. But even before that happens, I know I’ll get back to writing (which is a pretty good stress reliever).

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Update On Kingslayer

As those of you who follow me on Twitter might know, the print edition of Kingslayer is now available on amazon. It can be purchased here. The eBook edition will be out as soon as possible, but I just wanted to let everyone who is interested know that it can now be purchased.

Anyway, that’s it for now. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017