First Chapter Monday

champ1Publishing is a long and winding road. It’s easy for me to get lost in the “find an agent–sell a book” loop and forget about the actual writing sometimes. Which is funny, because the writing–the storytelling–is the reason I’m doing all of this in the first place.

Over the years since I’ve been brandishing words, I’ve accumulated a significant chunk of first chapters. Many of them start books that make it all the way to “THE END,” while others never make it past “CHAPTER TWO.”

I thought it may be a fun idea–and honestly a bit of catharsis–to start digging through those old manuscripts and posting the first chapters. They’re not all nice and clean. They’re not all finished books. Not a one of them has been in a published tome to-date, and for some of them that may never change. But I think there’s some value in going back through the stratified layers of my writing archive and casting some of it out to the wild, unwashed masses. (I’m not judging–I didn’t shower until about noon today myself.)

I’m not really posting these in any order. And as you’ll discover soon enough I run the gamut from grimdark fantasy to contemporary love stories to adventure books for kids. It’s all a bit scattershot, but I think there’s something at the core of each of them that’s the type of story I like to tell.

I’m going to open up with the grittiest. Let’s just rip this bandage off so we can move on to brighter things next week, shall we?

A TALE OF JADE AND CHRYSANTHEMUM is a book that’s complete, and has gone through one revision pass. It could use a few line edits I’m sure. It’s a gritty fantasy about a teenage girl monster hunter in a barren kingdom where women–all women–are slaves. She’s heard rumors about an empire in the north that’s ruled by a woman, however, and as you can imagine eventually those two collide. It’s grim. It’s gruesome. It doesn’t really pull any punches and some of it can be hard to read. But this was me in the fall of 2013 and so here we go.

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It’s like Game of Thrones, but with ninjas

An island nation torn apart by warring houses, each vying for control of the throne. House O occupies the capital. An old friend of House O, the lord of House T from the north, turns on O and marches to remove him from the throne. On the cusp of victory, the lord of House T is mysteriously assassinated. Following a succession of betrayals and illnesses, T’s fourth son takes over the house. His poor leadership skills and inability to rally his house leads to its total dissolution, as internal factions split off to support neighboring houses. The House of T, long the ruler of the north and favored lord to win the game of thrones fades into the mists of time.

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It’s been a while

It’s been two years since I posted here last. Which may make things seem rather quiet, but they’ve been anything but.

I’ve been hard at work on a project. Something I haven’t really spoken of here. A project I never expected would be of interest to me, but I fell madly in love with it every day I thought about it. It called to me. I hope I’ve done it justice.

More details to come, because I’ve learned a lot on this journey that I want to share, but for now the key points:

  • It’s historical fiction.
  • The first draft is complete.
  • It takes place in Japan.
  • The below image is relevant.