This week I’ve released a story for sale called The Vacant Forge. I’m doing this because the video game studio, where I worked as a staff writer, closed, leaving me between jobs. In the mean time, rather than just sit on my hands and relax, I’ve decided to make myself productive and release some fiction. Yes, I am still also writing the follow-up to Echoes of Olympus, but this project is a bit different. The Vacant Forge isn’t a novel or a short-story. It’s really more of a novella, clocking in at 33 novel-length pages, and it tells the story of a blacksmith’s apprentice who finds his master dead in the middle of the night, and then goes out to seek justice.
Although The Vacant Forge is a self-contained story, it’s the first part of a larger story arc called The Heroes of Gracia. I currently plan to release one of these each week (excepting weeks where I need to fly out for job interviews, or produce material for other freelance projects). Think of these as a series of dime novels, or better, the literary equivalent of an episodic television series. There is a larger story that I intend to tell through small, bite-sized chunks, each of which will be fairly self-contained.
I’m sure some of you are wondering why I’m not doing this as a Kickstarter, and honestly, the thought did cross my mind. After all, there are so many things that need attention here – writing, editing, covers, and promotion – wouldn’t it be better to have a little money to back this up with? So far I’ve done the lion’s share of the work, with just a little bit of help from my co-Monumental Works Group member, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, who did the typesetting on the cover, as well as one round of proof-reading. I also have a very economic way of getting my cover art. There’s a bigger reason that I’m not doing a Kickstarter though, which is that if I’m on the hook for creative output of this nature, that could actually disqualify me from being hired. Game companies tend to be very picky about what kind of creative work you’re doing outside of your job, and rightfully so, after all, they need you to be able to focus as much of your energy on the massive undertaking they’re paying you for. I support this and I’m more than happy to abide by it.
I know what you’re thinking: Sounds good, Mr. Drader, but what’s to keep us from buying in now and then getting left dangling when that next job comes along?
The answer to that is that after a job offer is made, there are still a few weeks inbetween to pack up and move. During that time, I’ll wind down the series and bring an end to it. Or, if not an end, at least an end to this phase of it. I still might end up using these characters and this setting to tell more stories down the line, but the story arc I intend to tell through episodic content will be complete.
You can find The Vacant Forge for sale here http://www.drivethrufiction.com/product/103023/The-Vacant-Forge and here: http://www.amazon.com/Vacant-Forge-Heroes-Gracia-ebook/dp/B008A9RHTA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339370767&sr=8-1
And yes, Amazon does cost a little more thanks to their pricing policies. On the up-side, if you do buy it there, it will be delivered wirelessly to your reading device, saving you the hassle of having to plug it into your computer and transfer the file yourself. Call it a convenience fee. Or, you have my complete blessing to spend a dollar less and buy it from Drivethru Fiction.
This should be an exciting adventure, and I hope to have many of you along for the ride.