Thursday, February 20, 2014

{Guest Post} Quest for the Red Sapphire by Rival Gates

Publishing My Book

If writing my book was one of the most fulfilling events of my life, publishing it had to be one of the most frustrating. I went into this with a manuscript and a dream. First the question arose as to whether I needed an agent first or a publisher. I asked around and read a good deal on line about it. The information led me to the conclusion that I would be far better off if I could find an agent first. That took nearly a year. I sent out hundreds of query letters and chapter samples. All I can say is I am glad I didn’t have to actually mail all of them because that would have been quite the expense. As it turned out, I found the perfect agent for my work. She was someone who was big but still had time for a new project like mine. At the start she cautioned me that it would take time to find a publisher. As usual, she was right. It took nearly two more years of her submitting my work to find someone to put it in print.
The key, as it turned out, was that I had to shorten my manuscript. Publishers did not want to invest in such a large book from an unknown author. Once the novel was pared down I had a publisher within a month! Then the real work began. Edits and revisions had to be done. I had a plethora of descriptions to write. There were notes about the cover, about me, about the story, about the age level and so forth. Publishing a book is a time consuming and single-minded venture. It has to be something you really want to accomplish. Otherwise it would seem like work. Then you receive your first copy and you see the fruits of all your years of hard work. It can bring a tear to your eye when you look at it for the first time. After that you want to shout it to the world. You want everyone to share in your story. As for the people who told you for years that you were wasting your time, you finally have something to shut them up.
Now my book is selling well and the sequel is due out this year. Would I have done things differently had I known more? Absolutely. I would have shortened my book long before hand. I would have written the descriptions when I first signed with my publisher. The choice to go with an agent first, however, was the smartest move I made. She stood by me and pushed my book. My wife and family were as supportive as ever. I could not have stood in there so long without them. This is the greatest personal accomplishment of my life outside my family. So now it is my privilege to present to you, “Quest for the Red Sapphire”.

Quest for the Red Sapphire

At a young age Linvin Grithinshield was sent to the far away Kingdom of Valia to be trained as a warrior, leader and general. In his mid-twenties Linvin has reached the rank of Supreme Commander of all Valian Forces. The rank is still new when he receives word that his father is missing and he must return to his home in the Kingdom of Sartan to run the family business. The joy of his homecoming is short-lived as Linvin’s mother is murdered and Linvin’s true destiny is revealed. He has been chosen to be the next Master of the Red Sapphire. The gem is said to give world-altering magic to its master. Now it seems someone else of great power wants the gem and is willing to kill anyone in order to attain it. Linvin must flee for his life and search for the stone. His wise uncle Anvar who has more secrets than hairs in his beard comes along but knows they need more help. With assassins and mercenaries everywhere they turn to Linvin’s antagonistic fraternal twin cousins Bander and Rander. Friction within the party rears its head frequently and Linvin discovers he must learn to control himself in all situations if he hopes to win the Red Sapphire. Battles rage with giant wolves, bandits, goblins and even a dragon but somehow the small band must perceiver and succeed before their murderous competitor finds the Red Sapphire and claims it for their own.

Excerpt 3

Linvin looked into the darkness but only saw the swaying trees in the night’s sky. “That wolf sounded close,” he noted.
“That was no ordinary wolf,” Rander commented.
“What is so unusual about that wolf?” Linvin inquired as he found his bow and arrows.
“Remember those predators I was telling you about before?” Rander asked. “That’s one of them. You can tell from the low howl. Up here, we call them Trogoandras Wolves.”
“What is so special about those wolves?” Anvar asked.
“Well, to start with, they are the size of a full grown human. Their claws can effortlessly cleave flesh from bone. They have powerful jaws that can snap your thigh in two, like a twig. Inside their mouths, are two rows of teeth. The outer set is for tearing and shredding while the inner ones are for grinding.”
“They have been the bane of loggers and farmers.
You see, for all of the creature’s strength and power, Trogoandras have one flaw. Their legs are disproportionately short for their body. Most of the prey out here is long legged and too fast for them to run down, so they hunt in packs. One will mark a target and call for the pack to assemble. Then they will corner the herd they are tracking and attack. They are reasonably intelligent and crafty hunters, few escape the net of death they drop on their victims.”
“With the ax men driving away the herds from these woods, Trogoandras have set to devouring stock and as necessary, people.”
“They attack people?” exclaimed Linvin as he placed an arrow on the string of his bow.
“Sure do,” said Bander. “Lost two friends in the last month to ‘em. Can’t run as fast as deer, ya’ know. Out a control, them Trogos are.”
“I shouldn’t worry for now,” Rander told his cousin. “That was only one Trogoandras we heard. They seldom attack alone and will never come near a campfire without a pack. As long as we keep the fire going through the night, we should not have anything to fear.”

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