By Resa Nelson Editions: ebook, paperback Published: November 13th 2012 by Mundania Genre: Fantasy
In the fourth and final book of the Dragonslayer series, Mandulane’s army is poised to attack the Northlands in the name of a powerful god, but in truth Mandulane is using the act of spreading this new faith as a way to disguise his own personal greed and hunger for power.
Astrid has succeeded in warning her beloved country of imminent danger, and the Northlanders scramble to set up a clever defense, never realizing a spy in their midst is poised to take critical information directly to Mandulane.
After sacrificing herself in order to set her brother Drageen free for the sake of protecting the Northlands, Astrid finds herself controlled by the stone of light. Although it forces her path of destiny, Astrid learns she must make one final choice about who she wants to be.
Most important of all, her new sweetheart Trep encounters a dragon that entrusts him with the care of a dragon’s egg. Trep embraces a dangerous journey and accepts the duty of protecting the unhatched dragon, knowing that its safety could impact the fate of the entire world.
Challenges in the Constantly Changing World of Publishing
One of the biggest challenges most writers face today is the constantly changing nature of the publishing industry. Once upon a time, aspiring writers dreamed of being courted by agents and publishers, flying to New York, and being treated to lunch at a posh restaurant. Except for a chosen few, those days are gone.
I keep hearing from fellow writers -including those at major publishing houses -that they’re lucky if their books get a simple copy edit. The trend I keep hearing about is that editors working with authors to develop and improve their novels is a practice that’s going the way of the dinosaurs. It’s becoming common for publishers to expect authors to submit a manuscript that’s perfect and ready to publish -instead of helping the author get it into that state. So what’s an author to do?
It’s impossible to be objective about your own book. I rely on a small but brilliant group of fellow writers, all published professionally. Our purpose is to help each other write to the best of his or her ability and make that work marketable. The first draft of every novel I write goes through my critique group, and I take their feedback very seriously. I then spend 1 to 2 months making changes based on their comments. Then I read the current version of my book to see how it holds together. During this time, I depend on my intuition to figure out if I need to make any more changes other than polishing the prose.
For example, when I read the post-critique draft of the last book in my Dragonslayer series (The Dragon’s Egg) the pacing felt off. There were several places where things seemed awfully slow, verging on boring. The last thing I ever want to do is bore my readers! I felt so troubled that I decided to make a chart listing each chapter and assigned it a value of high, medium, or low tension. By making this chart, I discovered that several low tension chapters were back to back. That’s why the pacing felt off! I spent a day figuring out how to move the chapters around like pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to balance the pacing, which also required some rewriting. When I did one more read I had to make some small changes so the timing of all the storylines made sense, but the book finally felt right.
The publishing industry has changed drastically. About 20 years ago, once a writer sold three short stories to professional magazines or anthologies, getting an agent and selling a novel was a snap. Those days are long gone. At the same time, the stigma of self-publishing has vanished, thanks to authors who have made millions publishing their own work.
However, the bottom line is that whether authors choose to self-publish or submit their manuscripts to a traditional publishing house, that book must be perfect and ready to print. That doesn’t mean doing a simple spell check. It means making sure the book is the absolute best work that author can produce.
I think it’s all good. More power and control keep shifting into the author’s hands. And that means the reader is likely to get a more personal product because the final result comes from more decisions made by the author instead of a business.
About the Author & Links:
Resa Nelson’s first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine’s first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer’s Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series, which also includes The Iron Maiden (Book 2), The Stone of Darkness (Book 3), and The Dragon’s Egg (Book 4).
Resa’s standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it “a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended.”
She has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Resa lives in Massachusetts.
Free “mini” ebook of Dragonslayer short stories: http://www.resanelson.com/files