A-a-a-nd we’re back!
My apologies for the considerable amount of downtime and other technological shenanigans that have been going on with the site. Something went seriously wrong somewhere on the backend, and it has been wreaking all sorts of havoc with the sites I help run. Brainlazy.com got the worst of it. Hopefully things have quieted down for a while and we can achieve full recovery. Whether this is related to the spam I previously reported may have been going out with a bookofdeacon.com address remains to be seen. (Again, if anyone out there has been getting unwanted emails from me, let me know through whatever means you feel comfortable. A copy of said email would be helpful, too.)
But enough of the tech talk! I’d asked some questions on Facebook, and the preliminary results are in! Naturally you folks can still weigh in for as long as you like, and I’ll take a look at everything you send my way, but for now, I wanted to give you a look at my meager attempts to oblige your requests.
On the subject of what to write next, the clear winner is Lain. Between Lain alone and Lain in combination with Desmeres, he received five votes or so, with Desmeres, Deacon, and Myranda in a three way tie for second place. In response, I opened a file named “Lain Origin” and started writing. Because anything dealing with Lain is going to trend toward the dark and gloomy side of the spectrum, I’ll probably split my time between that project and a few lighter ones in order to keep myself from getting too bummed out. A story about the Entwell wizards or Ivy, for example. An older thread on Facebook was also encouraging me to put out the first book of the “Unnamed Second Trilogy” that I’d mentioned I was working on, but as I said before, I’m not convinced that it would go over too well as is. I might have to touch bases with the brain trust and see what I can do to smooth down some of the sharp edges.
The second question was about artwork, and I can honestly say that I did not get the response I was expecting. I thought for sure that I would get a flood of requests for a high quality image of Myn. I only got one. Instead, I got requests for landscapes depicting things like various ruins or the village of Entwell, or formal portraits of the characters. Primarily, though, I received requests for a map. So… here.
This is the result of an hour or two of reading tutorials and an hour or two of fiddling with GIMP. It is very preliminary, but I’d like to know if I’m heading in the right direction before I invest too much more time on it. If you like where I’m going, I’ll add a few more details, then add in as many place and region names as I feel are appropriate. By the way, don’t think for a minute that I am responsible for either that fancy paper OR those fancy mountains and trees. There is a group called “The Cartographer’s Guild” that has offered up some free tools and education for people attempting to make maps such as these. If and when I complete a map, I’ll be sure to credit all of those who provided tools and advice.
Finally was the merchandise question. I only asked it last night, so there hasn’t been an awful lot of time for results to pile up, but I’ve yet to receive a strong majority for any one thing. So far there has been interest in plushies, jewelry, posters, t-shirts, and paperbacks. Somehow I had completely overlooked the possibility of t-shirts, by the way, and I’m not 100% sure how I’d pull off jewelry or plushies, but it will be fun to investigate. Naturally, before I move forward with any of that, I’ll have to have a word with the artist to talk royalties and rights. Now, as for the paperbacks…
Yeah, I’ve been working on that on and off for a while, and I’m nearly there. That is a picture of a proof I had printed from Create Space. For those who are interested, it is a 6×9 inch US Trade Paperback, and it runs about 325 pages. If I’m able to make the appropriate changes, that book should become available via Amazon.com and Create Space before too long. There are a few more steps, a few more decisions to make, and then it will be ready for purchase. I’ll be sure to spread the word when it happens. I’m shooting for a price point of $9.99, but circumstances beyond my control might put the kibosh on that.
That’s all I’ve got for today. Thanks for reading.