Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Just Thinking about the Process

My name is Patrick Holyfield and I live in Charlotte, North Carolina with my wife Liza and our beautiful two year-old daughter Apple (no, that's Gwyneth's daughter... my daughter's name is Samantha).

I have been writing for years (mostly technical writing), but have not made the time to write for myself and my first love, fantasy. The last three years however I have had short stories/articles posted on several computer game-related websites, most notably on Neverwinter Vault.

After some kicks in the ass from readers (figuratively) and from my wife (literally), I have decided to take the plunge and finish my first novel and publish it myself (or at least through an independent publisher such as Lulu). I have looked at going through more traditional channels, but I don't really like rejection.

I am diligently working on the second half of my first novel. It is a mystery set in a fantasy world; the working title of the novel is Murder at Avedon Hill. It has most of the things you would expect in fantasy fare (magic, monsters, etc.) but it is more of a straight-forward murder mystery than you would normally see in a fantasy work.

You can see a preview of some early chapters here. Actually, it is more than a few chapters (23, representing around the first half of the novel), but I'm in the process of completely revamping them so I'm not worried that they are out there right now. In fact, that website will be one of the marketing tools I will be using once the novel is published (along with the many other fantasy related websites on which I am "known").

Here is an intro to the mystery:

Avedon Hill is a quiet town. Nothing much ever happens there. The same families have lived there for generations. The Avedons have watched over Avedon Hill since its founding over 400 years before. But even in a quiet place like Avedon Hill horrible things can occur... things like murder. Arames Kragen, retired Advisor to the royal family of Yew, arrives at Avedon Hill desiring access to the mountain pass controlled by Lord Avedon. But Lord Avedon has closed both the pass and the town. Gretta Platt, Housemistress of Avedon Manor, has been killed. Only a handful of people live in Avedon Hill, and all are suspects. Arames Kragen is no stranger to murder and intrigue, but even he is unprepared for the mystery surrounding the death of Gretta Platt.

This is the story of Arames Kragen and his attempt not only to discover who killed Gretta Platt, but also to discover the truth about a town that has apparently has more secrets than inhabitants..."

The story began as an interactive game on the Neverwinter Vault website. Readers could "bet" on answers to questions I would ask at the end of each chapter (what would happen in the next chapter, that sort of thing). It was a good way to keep me on something of a schedule. I was using the story as an exercise to flesh out my fantasy setting (The Land of Caern) ... the politics, the religion, the conceit of the gods living as mortals by choice in order to affect the world, the magic system, etc. But the response I got from it has led me to the point I am at right now (publishing it myself).

I plan on posting blogs on my progress, but also on anything else that strikes my fancy (like the Alias season premiere tonight... ahhhhh). Have a good one!


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