So between writing projects I just sort of work on writing different things: genres, settings, characters, whatever. Just like any craft writing should be practiced with diligent intent and with purpose--and that purpose/intent can be as fun as just letting the creative juices flow with a little speed write!
So with this I set off to just write an engaging opener...something that may catch the reader's eye and keep them going if they were to pick my book up off the shelf and only glimpse the first page and half. Sort of going for a western fantasy idea I've been kicking around. Came out to a little over 500 words! Tell me what you think in the comments. (This is raw and unedited, so grammar and spelling errors may abound, and the structure could probably be honed for better flow. Just wanted to share some behind the scenes! *OooOoOOoO*)
A university library—the last place a murderous cult would be likely to set up shop. The…perfect place, for a murderous cult to set up shop… Ivy thought. Stepping through the unlocked doorway after dark felt peculiar. Strange. Almost worse than stepping into these hallowed aisles of learning with the iron in her hand—a Becket 24, ivory-handled, decoratively beveled, and deadly to a fault. It was dangerous, the first few blind steps in through a doorway not knowing who or what would lay on the other side. Was she worried about being heard? No. The gurgling rolls of thunder outside and steady hiss of a vicious rain throwing itself into the mullioned windows above would make sure of that. What she worried about being seen? Yes. Good Lord above, yes. Whatever damned locksmith had worked on the alleyway gates preventing her entry through the rear had certainly not helped by forcing her hand at picking the front door; a grand set of three double-wide doors that glowered over the passing street from beneath the brow of a low eave of the shingled roof. The frontal entry had made the efforts of muffling her wagon wheels with rags and dousing the lanterns that dangled from the brass sconces at all four corners of her mobile little home—her cattlemancer fortress—a complete waste of time. Surely there would be someone watching.
There is always someone watching. The guilty, the names listed on the parchment folded in her back pocket which listed her targets, always had someone watching. Evil had to keep a wary, sleepless eye to survive.
Ivy’s eyes scanned the blackened mouths of a hundred aisle ways even as she eased the door shut behind her and snipped away the ribbon of storm-drenched moonlight that painted the checkered marble stonework of the antechamber. The tingling burn of the cattlemantic brew she’d ingested lingered at the base of her throat. The aftertaste, something bitter that tried too hard to be sweet. The effect of this particular brew? It coaxed the truth from the shadows, it found light in darkness. Her eyes adjusted to that of any nighttime predator. Even though she could see the discoloration of shadows in the blackness and tonal changes of light or absence of, it didn’t work against her. And, she was alive. That immediate danger of the unknown having passed, lurking once more for a chance to rear its ugly head. Keeping to the shadows she intended to stay that way—alive—slipping through the pools of inky darkness and skirting the streams of light that cut through the overhead windows and spotlight the floor of the library like a mottling of spots on cow’s hide. It smelled almost as much too, that aromatic romance of a library, aging parchments and leather bindings hitting grassy acidic notes as sunlight and moisture ate away at mankind’s handiw--
Her boots squelched.
Dammit Ivy froze, heartbeat bucking ahead. The sound had gone up like a banshee up into the cavernous ceilings of the main room, anyone on the ground floor—hell, anyone in the three upper floors that overlooked the central chamber would’ve probably heard that rain or not. It was the odd sounds that always stuck out the loudest. The strange sounds. The peculiar sounds….
The sounds like someone entering a university library, with a revolver in hand and a murderous cult in her sights.
I'm happy to say that my latest novella, "Grave Circumstances" is up for pre-order now for eBook, and will be releasing March 5th, 2021 in both eBook and Paperback!
What the heck is a "Winds of Taramore Story?"
Simple! Taramore is a fantasy universe I've decided to jam any not-scifi stories into. Whenever you see "A WINDS OF TARAMORE STORY" then I'm just referring to a high-fantasy setting and you can bet that story will be packed with all the elves, goblins, humans, etc. AND fantasy tropes anyone could ask for. The various novellas and short stories, along with future novels, will all take place in this same setting and in some cases characters may overlap and there may be Easter eggs or references across novels even if the story lines are disconnected.
Okay...so, the heck is an Elixorium? An Eli?
So "Grave Circumstances" follows the first Elixorium set up by Kennard Froste and his wife Nymiphi in the fantasy realm of Taramore. I was sitting in the coffee shop I like to write at one day (as all writers do!) and the idea of Starbucks and other massive organizations which span various states, countries, regions, or jurisdictions sprang to mind. It's pretty amazing if you think about it, how many laws and different logistical nightmares one organization which spans various regions may have to deal with. I flipped that idea to a fantasy setting....what if you had a potion shop set in, like, Lord of the Rings? Adventurers are always wanting to get new potions or whatever to post their strength or perform great feats or heal wounds...various elixirs for their party. How much harder would logistics for a chain of cafes be, if they dealt with the rigors of a fantasy world? "Oh sorry, we cannot make your invisibility potion because our wagon train full of newt eyes got burned down in the mountain pass by a rather ornery dragon." or ... "hey I'm going to open this new potion shop in the goblin town down the road... and if that's so then the liability is going to be pretty high because goblins are notoriously rowdy."
So that was the core idea. Having a story take place around each new location would allow for the setting and location to really shine, and characters of those franchises to juggle trying to run a successful business with whatever overworld issue presented itself. Life rarely pigeonholes itself into inconveniencing you at your workplace! I just needed the name of the "franchise" now.
ELIXORIUM was born! Eli just happens to be a name associated with one of the characters, and a little bit of alliteration never hurt.
So there, that's my announcement and a glimpse into how my mind works and where the concept came from. You can preorder the eBook here--the paperback is still being formatted. Thank you for any support or reviews you end up leaving, it helps keep the dream alive!
I post on this blog rather sporadically as some of you may have noticed! As I balance out writing with "the day job" I will do my best to post more consistently.
Thank you for your support and feedback!