I am excited to announce that the prequel to my fantasy series, Malgraf’s Dawning, will be published by Dream Write Publishing later in 2023. I have already contracted a book cover designer and will work with her to create an apt cover for this dark tale of a witch in the making, from childhood to adulthood.
The fantasy series began with The Rython Kingdom and was followed by the reader requested sequel, Rython Legacy. Set in medieval England these novellas are full of tales of kings, castles, sorcery and mystery.
Both books are available as print or e-book on all purchase sites. In several bookstores (Daisy Chain, Edmonton, The Bookworm, Sherwood Park & Shelf Life Books, Calgary) and also several libraries. (Sherwood Park, Jasper, and Spruce Grove)
Currently the first draft of the prequel is around 16,000 words and Malgraf is obtaining her dark powers and spells daily. Delving into the psyche of the villain in a story has its struggles, but can also be fun, as a writer it allows you to go to dark places with permission. As a Gemini, I find this easier than maybe other writers! Read into that as you will…ha,ha.
Well, my NaNoWriMo manuscript is sitting and percolating in December. Many writers would take this time to relax, but that nagging voice of a new story was too difficult for me to resist. So, I am over six thousands words into a prequel to The Rython Kingdom and Rython Legacy series.
As many of you know the first novella, The Rython Kingdom was supposed to be a standalone, however I was contacted by several readers pleading for the ‘next’ book. This is obviously a dream come true for any writer and of course, I obliged with Rython Legacy.
I thought this series was then complete, until I was interviewed on a podcast show and the subject of this specific tale come up. Through those discussions the seed of an idea was sown. I can announce that a prequel is in the making. The title – Malgraf’s Dawning. For those of you who have not read these novella’s this is the name of the evil witch in the story. It will reveal the emergence of the witch from child to evil avenger.
I am asking for your help in creating the cover – as you can see each book has a similar image but the colours are different.
What colour(s) do you think this prequel should have on the book cover?
Your suggestions and comments are welcome.
Thank you to all my readers who made this series possible.
On today’s post I am reflecting the post I put onto the above group with the added bonus of an excerpt. The novella is actually two stories in one, the story of Guillem’s adventure and the tale he relays to the King’s court.
Bio: Mandy Eve-Barnett resides in Alberta, Canada but is originally from England. She is a multi-genre author and freelance writer and lives and breathes the written word and creativity in all its forms. She is the Secretary of her local writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, and President of the Arts and Culture Council of Strathcona County.
Mandy publishes regularly on her blog – http://www.mandyevebarnett.com – where she has built a thriving writing community – sharing tips, news, interviews, and excerpts. She has published three children’s books and her adult novella, set in medieval England, The Rython Kingdom. She has also co-written a guide to memoir writing. Currently working on four manuscripts Mandy is never happier than writing and creating imaginary worlds.
Link to excerpt of The Rython Kingdom https://mandyevebarnett.com/my-adult-books/
The Rython Kingdom – Chapter One
“He’s coming! He’s coming! Guillem Ruet is here!”
Guillem smiled at the group of children running beside his horse as he rode toward the castle’s drawbridge. Dirty and barefooted, these youngsters would not be lucky enough to hear his newest tale, first hand. That pleasure would be for the inner court alone. It was a strange and most complex tale and all the more mysterious for being made of a dream.
Shouts of his approach preceded him, thrown from one person to the next across the dirt track and woven among the shacks lining it. The summer heat had denuded the earth of moisture; dust swirled around his mount’s hooves, creating a cloak of fine grains behind them, shrouding rider and horse. Ahead, the King’s standards lay limp against their poles high above on the castle turrets; thin strips of coloured cloth obscuring the lion head emblem of the king. More children, and some adults, ran beside him, eager to witness this famed troubadour first hand. The talk among the courtiers and peasants alike had been of his arrival and little else for many weeks.
As Guillem entered under the portcullis, it brought back memories of returning from battle years previously. Conquering heroes were showered with flowers and rewarded with grand feasts and warmed by many a maid. Serving as a knight in his younger days, Guillem had been admired for his prowess in battle, but now he was even more revered as a troubadour. His tales of battles and faraway lands held audiences spell bound as he punctuated them with displays of swordsmanship and the exhibiting of combat scars. So popular was Guillem that a feast or festival without his presence was considered incomplete. Fierce competition between lords kept Guillem’s purse and belly full as he traveled from one borough to the next, shamelessly attending whomever paid the highest fee. His new life fulfilled his wander-lust. Being confined to one place filled him with dread as did faithfulness to just one maid. Why restrict yourself to one when there were so many to pick from – all willing to bed the famous knight and troubadour?
Word had reached him a month prior notifying him the king himself requested Guillem’s presence at court. It was an honor to be bestowed with such a command and Guillem did not hesitate to comply. Not dallying at Lord Suffolk’s seat; as was his usual habit. Normally, he would take advantage of the many benefits afforded him but, this time, he packed his saddlebags the very same night and set off toward the king’s domain at daybreak. Several requests for his presence had made it to his ears as he traveled but each was declined in favor of an audience at the king’s court. Once it was common knowledge the king had requested Guillem to speak, Guillem knew he would be able to use it to increase his fee.
Ahead of him now was the sovereign’s castle keep with sentries standing at both sides of a stairway leading up to massive oak doors. The excited crowd jostled for position to get closer to Guillem and perchance to touch him or his fine mount. A herald sounded his trumpet as Guillem dismounted. The shouts died away as all eyes centered on the keep’s massive doors. They slowly opened. All knees bent and heads bowed as the regal figure of King Henry was revealed, resplendent in deep purple robe and golden crown. With measured steps, King Henry descended the stone stairs.
“Welcome, Guillem Ruet, your reputation precedes you. My courtiers and subjects have talked of little else but your arrival for these many weeks. Come and drink ale with me. You must be weary from your journey.”
Guillem bowed deeply again then handed his horse’s reins to a saddle hand, who was fidgeting beside him. As the boy led his mount away, Guillem could hear the lad’s excited whisper to the surrounding crowd.
“Look, look, I have his horse to care for.”
Careful to remain a step behind, Guillem followed his King into the castle’s dark interior. The huge stone blocks prevented the heat of the outside world from entering. Guillem shivered involuntarily. I should have taken my cloak out of the saddlebag before releasing my horse into the care of the boy. Then another thought struck him and he turned to see his horse being led away on the far side of the courtyard – he had not secured the small box. He had promised a mysterious old man he would not let it leave his possession and now it was in the hands of a young stable lad.
“The fire will warm your bones, Guillem. Is something amiss? You seem anxious?”
“Thank you, Sire. I relinquished my cloak without thinking but I also forgot to retrieve a certain object.”
“Do not worry, Guillem. I will have your saddlebags brought to your room presently. If there is anything missing I shall deal with the culprit myself. But for now….” The King raised a hand to summon a serf, “Stephen, a robe for our guest.”
A young man appeared from the shadow of a stone column and presented Guillem with a thick woolen robe. Its heavy warmth felt pleasing. Serfs opened an inner door as the King approached and allowed the two men to enter the great hall. Long oak tables flanked the centre aisle below a raised platform where the King’s ornately carved table and throne stood. Following his sovereign’s lead, Guillem walked toward the roaring fire at the far side of the huge room. Its radiant heat was welcome in the cool interior of the castle.
“Sit with me, Guillem, you will soon warm. Bring ale, Stephen.”
“As you command, your majesty.”
The serf had moved so silently that Guillem jumped when he responded to his master’s command.
“Guillem, why do you start so?”
“Sorry, Sire – I was unaware of your serf’s presence; gave me a bit of a shock when he spoke.”
“Not so surprising, Guillem, we call him Silent Stephen. He seems to glide instead of walk, although to watch him you cannot see any difference from any other man’s stride.”
“Strange indeed, my Lord, is he born of a witch?”
“Actually no, Guillem, his mother was a maid to my mother. He has grown up within these walls and knows no other life than to live and serve here.”
The Rython Kingdom is available as a print book at http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/rython-kingdom
Also available as an ebook from all Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble.
Within the multitude of genres in fiction, traditionally there have been constraints on what is and what is not ‘allowed’ in terms of content or style based on the genre’s ‘main’ heading. However, with sub-genres being created almost daily, an author has a multitude of options to choose from nowadays. Does that make it easier or more difficult to categorize your novel though? Sub-genres can mix and match almost any genre together. Is this the ‘new’ vogue for literature? Make one up to fit your narrative rather than ‘fit’ your novel to a genre?
So let’s look at what you do.When defining your novels, what methods do you use to decide on its ‘genre’?
Do you decide to write specifically to a particular genre prior to starting a new manuscript?
Or – do you write your story and worry about the genre later on?
As most of you know I am a free flow writer so my story comes first and the defining comes much later. An exercise in branding several months ago did enlighten me to the fact that all of my narratives centered around ‘love’ – be it romantic, parental or another kind – so in essence I can use that title within the more traditional genre heading.
With so many alternative genres to choose from the ‘bonus’ of multiple ones enables us to entice more than one ‘type’ of reader. Romance readers would never go to the horror section first but if the description was something like – romantic suspense – then maybe they would pick up your book.
It is a matter of looking at your story and defining the main theme, even if it is an underlining thread throughout the narrative. My novel, Life in Slake Patch is an alternative world order but basically has a young man trying to change the ‘laws’ so he can be with the woman he loves. It can be described as speculative fiction but romantic speculative fiction is better.
My novel, The Twesome Loop also has romantic elements in it but also has a reincarnation element and is set in England and Italy so is it romance alone or do I possibly create a sub-genre: historical suspense romance..? As I am writing, I realized this sub-genre could also fit my fantasy The Rython Kingdom, as it is set in medieval England, has a romance and a master plot by a vengeful witch so should I add fantasy to the long genre title?
Obviously, some novels are easier to categorize than others and if you have found your ‘perfect’ genre and prefer to write in that one alone then enjoy!