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Every hero has a beginning...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Bringing The Author Back

Hello, everyone, this is 'ESB' Stringfellow, and I have a bone to pick, and this is...

The Long And Largely Overdue Author Update!!!

Wow, it sure has been awhile since my last post. Last thing I did was inform readers (if I even have any) was that I was going to Tri-Con. That was last June...

SORRY! I am so, so sorry that I've been gone for so long (at least I wasn't gone as long as the last time I let this blog go quiet [three years, for those who are wondering]). All I can say is that it just got away from me, where Life just kept happening, getting in my way and making me not feel the need to get back to blogging. For one thing, my computer died... Took a little while to get a new one. Then my truck broke down. Then my tablet, which I was using to type my next story, stopped working, so I had to get a new one. Throw busy time at the place that I work (sadly, these books do NOT put food on the table), any down time I had was just dedicated to catching up on a whole lot of laziness. Know what I mean?

Bottom line: Blogging is like exercising. If you let yourself stop for even a little bit, that little bit will eventually turn into months of putting it off.

Well, now is the time. This is me getting back into my exercises. I'm going to keep blogging until detailed posts for each of my books are up, maybe some more pictures, and updates of what I've been doing/working on for the last year (remember the aforementioned tablet?).

However, and this is a big one, there's something of a problem that I need to share with you all. For those who don't know or can't recall, my first five books were published through a little company called Publish America, which changed its name a few years ago to America Star Books. They took care of everything for me after I handed them the manuscripts. The conversions to book format, the covers, the printing, all of that stuff that I have no idea of doing on my own. And they were nice... for a little while.

Maybe I should have seen the warning signs at the beginning, but then again, the beginning was over nine years ago, when I published my first book, Path of a Hero. It was a different time then. I don't think I've even heard of Kindle at the time, nor can I recall at the top of my head just how old Kindle is. Anyway, they seemed fine at first, even if their pricing of my book seemed outrageous. I did it with a gleam in my eye and a dream in my heart that I would be able to make something of myself so long as my story was in book form, ready to be bought by the masses. Heck, I even saw Publish America's author discounts (where sometimes they would give them up to 90% off!) was a good enough bonus for me to buy my own copies and resell them at a fairer price.

But... that feel-good and I'm-Now-A-Published-Author drive wore out, and in more recent times, after my publishers changed their name to America Star Books, I had a powerful longing for something better. I thought that I would keep publishing with them until the Five Year Pilgrimage series was done, but shortly after publishing Book IV: Fu, I just couldn't shake my unease with them or get excited like I used to.

By that point, I had finally caught up on my internet and found out that Publish America/America Star Books had a... less than stellar reputation, and their track record was actually growing worse. So, after publishing Book IV: Fu with them, I decided (after reading some blog that I can't remember that highly motived me) to try my hand at self-publishing through Amazon... and let me tell ya, I wish I had gone with them a long time ago.

Don't get me wrong. Amazon hasn't made me able to quit my day job, but I now know that they are exactly what I really needed, a service that in honesty should have been America Star Books M.O.

I can publish my books completely for free at Amazon, both paperback and Kindle (yes, it may shock you to know that America Star Books actually charged you to convert a book that they published for free into an ebook. I really, really wish that I had know what B.S. that was a long time ago now). Not only that, but I can set the price myself, and they don't have be to outrageously expensive. Whereas America Star Books would charge somewhere between $20 to $30 for an average sized book (say, about two hundred pages), I can set the price for $10 or even less (but I won't get as good as a profit margin, so that really is the best I can go without charging too high). In the end, I am incredibly happy to have gone with Amazon now, even if it is a little late to the party.

And frankly, it is a damn good thing that I made the switch, because sometime in the Fall of 2017, America Star Books has... vanished, I think is the best way to put it. "Have gone under," is another way of putting it. "Have emptied their safes full of money and gold bars and fled in the dead of the night so as to avoid prosecution for fraud," is yet another, more cynical way of calling it.

This is why I'm not sharing a link to their website. Not because I no longer wish to the give them the traffic... but it's Gone with a capital G.

Like I mentioned earlier, their reputation wasn't that great to begin with (and yet I remained loyal and hopeful), and it only got worse as time went on (where I became less loyal and more dissatisfied). And in all honesty, I have no idea what the Hell happened. When I looked into it about a month ago, they just seemed to have disappeared, and this leaves a conundrum for me.

Now, before they went under/fled, I exchanged some emails establishing that I wished to pursue self-publishing, with the Kindle version of Book IV: Fu being my first  foray into it. Remember, America Star Books only published the paperback version, opting to sap me of money to do something that I could, as it turned out, do for free on my own. This is why there are two different book covers for the same book.

Another thing that I made clear with them was that I wished for my contracts to expire when their time came, because terminating beforehand would cost me $99 per book, which really, really sucked.

But that was before they disappeared. Now, I have no idea. Following the links to my older books show an unpleasant picture. Despite that America Star Books seem to be no more, the books they had published are still available on Amazon, but things are wonky. For example, Book III: Ka is being priced at $440! What the Frack?!

So, here's the problem that I face: If America Star Books is truly gone, does that mean all of my contracts with them are null and void? Can I, with my rights as the author, take my original manuscripts and just start all over, publishing Path of a Hero and all the other A Hero's Path books through Amazon?

Or will America Star Books decide to come back like a bad cold and sue me for breaching the contracts? The very ones that I can't even terminate now because I have no way of contacting them?

If by some miracle a legal expert reads this, please, do not hesitate to send me a message. Otherwise... I'm definitely leaning in the direction of taking my chances. After all, I did tell them to let the contracts expire, meaning that we had an agreement for all rights to return to me. The way I see it, them disappearing just bumped the expiration date up to last Fall.

Well, I think, I rabbled on long enough. Hopefully, I am indeed back, and I will get posts about The Five Year Pilgrimage book series up within the next few weeks. And, more importantly, I'll be able to get the series republished, but that will take a bit of time, seeing as I'll have to make my own book covers now.

And lastly, I am happy to share that sometime between Tri-Con and now, I published the last book of The Five Year Pilgrimage! I give you Book V: Ku! Available in both Kindle and paperback. So, if you're interested, give it a go! Remember, reading the previous books are not required! Like the others, this is a standalone adventure with very little references to past events, and nothing that's worth knowing in order to follow the story (I mean, it's not like I have one or two character's death haunt our hero, right?)!

Do me a solid... because I now have truck payments to make.

Maybe one day, I can get a paid illustrator, 'cause my sister has a day job, too!

Until next time then, this the author, signing off!

Friday, June 2, 2017

TriCon Away!!

Hello everyone, this is ESB ‘Stringfellow,’ and I am Iron-something-or-other, and this is...

The Author Telling You That He Is Going To TriCon!!

What’s a TriCon, you may ask? It basically boils down to a little slice of the more popularly known Comic Con (tm), right here in the Wild and Wonderful state of West Virginia! For one day, people from the tri-state area of Huntington, WV gather to celebrate their love of comics, games, costuming, toys and all things nerdy.

And yours truly has his very own booth there, where I’ll be selling copies of my books, giving away prizes and artwork done by my sister, on Saturday, June 3rd! Here’s to hoping to another excellent year, where I see many great costumes, buy posters and toys, and maybe even sell a few things myself.

Wish me luck, True Believers! (Shout-out to Stan Lee)

Sincerely, ESB ‘Stringfellow’

An Epic Map to an Epic Tale

Hello everyone, this is ESB ‘Stringfellow,’ and I will burn any talking map I come across, and this is...

The Map of the Continent of Trino!!

With a map like this, how could you possibly get lost?

As promised from last time, I am putting up a map of Trino, the continent that Cyan and Magus call their home.

Here’s a bit of Trino history: It was founded by a man named Morbez Fredyle from over eight hundred years in the past, where he and other world travelers settled so that they could claim a Promised Land. They set off to escape a cruel and evil king, hoping to find a place that had beauty, water and a Garden Eden, and upon discovering the continent that would one day become Trino, they believed that they had found such a land.

Morbez Fredyle ruled the newly found land, alongside his wife, Jana, for only a short time before he was killed by pirates, and the rulership of the lands went to his three children, divided evenly and fairly, with each one having their respective domain named after them.

First, there was Palasanctus Fredyle, the oldest of Morbez and Jana’s children. He was a warrior of virtue, honor and unwavering sense of justice, mixed with compassion and respect for all living things that were good, and a staunch enemy of all things evil and dark. The land that he called his own is known as the Kingdom of Evergreen, which is the land in the northeast section of the map. In this land, produce is bountiful and full of greater taste than that grown in other parts of the world, or even on other parts of the Trino Continent. Even the grass is seen as more lush, softer and more green than other places. Thus, the aspect of a Garden of Eden is fulfilled in the Palasanctus Kingdom.

Cyan and Magus hail from Palasanctus, and it should be noted that many of its knights and samurai (yes, the two cultures, as well as many others, coexist) and mages take a lot after their founder, being highly noble and taking their duties very seriously.

Next, there is the middle child, Nobilis Fredyle. He was a man who greatly admired the animals, both magical and non-magical alike, and he was the type to hunt animals for the pure thrill of the chase, though never killing whenever it was not needed. He would chase a deer for miles, catch it and allow it to flee again. He was a man of the wilderness, and the lands that came to be his own was the wildest part of the entire continent. Veiled in a constant fog and full of many rivers and lakes, his land is known as the Kingdom of Water, which is the whole southern part of the map. Because of its vast amounts of water, the Nobilis Kingdom easily checked off the plentiful water requirement of the Promised Land belief.

However, it is not all water-parks and beach houses (not that there are any of those). The Nobilis Kingdom is home to the most deadly monsters on the Trino Continent, meaning that the people who live there are the most hardy and ruthless of hunters, soldiers and even those descended from barbarians. You might get things like unicorns, hippocampi and seraphims, but there are also anzus, griffins and hudrodraco. Regardless of the monsters, this only helps the people of Nobilis to be the toughest Trinites, boasting great soldiers, warrior monks, kings, queens and heroes.

Finally, there was the youngest child of Morbez and Jana, and her name was Caelestis Fredyle. She had the sharpest mind and the quickest wit, which was only equaled by her skill with the bow and arrow. She had a love for the environment, from mountains to forests, from the largest beast to the smallest insect. She saw beauty in about everything, even in places where others failed. To her, the world was a canvas, and nature was the masterful artwork. She led with strength, love and courage, and the lands that would become her personal homeland is known as the Kingdom of Beauty. It was not because Caelestis herself was beautiful, but because her domain was beautiful, even if others did not quite grasp it when they would first see it. You see, what makes her kingdom (queendom?) so unique is that it is completely made of crystal. Every plant, from the mightiest tree to the tiniest blade of grass, was crystalized, giving the lands a form unlike anything else in the world. Hues of purple, red, blue and many others give the Caelestis Kingdom an otherworldly appearance, some would say heavenly, and this gives the final requirement that makes Trino the much sought after Promised Land.

Another interesting thing about the Caelestis Kingdom is that it has the most proficient and gifted magic users on the entire continent. There are mages in the other two kingdoms, but Caelestis is where all of the best magic schools and magical research is at, creating many of the best wizards and magically infused cities. In fact, because of their grand skills in magical construction, the people of Caelestis have created the biggest city on all of Trino, the Capital City Bellus, a marvelous place that many travelers come from all over the continent to see.

In a language that comes from a nearby island, Trino means Three Nations.

In Path of a Hero, Cyan and Magus do not see everything that their homeland has to offer, being far too big to cover in just one book (even if it is almost six hundred pages). But they do traverse across all three kingdoms, seeing many people, making new friends, fighting new monsters, and gaining new enemies.

If you want, you can print a version of this map, or save it and zoom in on it on whatever picture viewer you have, and trace Cyan and Magus’ journey, starting in a little place called Kyutso Village. Forgive my labeling... I used a kind of picture editor that allowed me to label just about everything, even in the tiniest of fonts, so some things are most likely impossible to read, and I can’t even remember what all of the things that I named. Kind of went crazy there, didn’t I? But, for the places that Cyan and Magus do visit, you should be able to find them, from Thrin Village to the Crescent Mountains, from Dyna Village to Grim Island...

Until next time, my dear readers.

Sincerely, ESB ‘Stringfellow’

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fantasy Monsters? CHECK!

Hello everyone, this is ESB ‘Stringfellow,’ and I heard that the Dark Side has free cookies, and this is...

The Villains of a Path of a Hero Post!!

BEHOLD! My Legion of DEATH!!

In my last two posts, you got the idea of what the story is about, as well as the characters on the side of good; Cyan and Magus are the heroes, Glenn, Rosa, and so many others, help them on their journey to find the legendary sword of light, Masamune, all so that Cyan can conquer his inner darkness, the void.

But what of the rest of the story? I mentioned the Monster War, but new readers are probably quite curious what that entails. You know that Cyan starts this story on a revenge quest, but who is he seeking revenge against? Well, this post here will fill you in on those specific details!

To start things off, this story takes place on the Continent of Trino (I’ll put up a map in the next post), which is divided by three kingdoms: Palasanctus, located in the northeast part of the continent (where Cyan and Magus hail from), Nobilis, located in the south part, and Caelestis, which takes up the remaining northwest part. These three kingdoms have a strong alliance with each other, to the point that if one is attacked, then all of them are attacked. If one kingdom fights, then they all fight.

Which is why our designated villains must attack all three kingdoms at once, all in the efforts to keep them apart and to make rendering aid to each other nigh impossible. On the night that the war starts, massive armies composed entirely of the most nightmare inducing monsters and orcs rampage across all three kingdoms, each army making a beeline for the castles. Of the monsters involved, you got your usual types such as goblins, trolls and ogres, but then are the behemoths, dragons and giant-sized griffins, plus all kinds of other nasty beasts and fowls.

Who amassed such an army? Why, it is none other than a mysterious figure known only as Lord Abyss. No one knows who he is, because he keeps himself away from the fighting, letting his underlings deal with that sort of thing. But no one argues that he’s the Big Bad Boss (BBB), because his followers are always shouting, "Hail, Lord Abyss!" or other such phrases. Abyss is called the Lord of Monsters because he has somehow managed to tame just about every monster imaginable, including the types that were deemed untamable. A master of war, there are those who even wonder if Abyss was even born of this world...

Now because Abyss likes to take a backseat to the actual bloody bits of war, he has arranged three generals to lead his armies, one for each kingdom. His chosen champions? More monsters, though these three have human-like intelligence and cunning, which coupled with there monstrous personas, makes them the most deadly combatants to ever invade Trino.

Starting this list of the monstrous trio, we have General Fenx, the one who attacks the Palasanctus Kingdom, and who is a dominus beast. A dominus beast is a ferocious and very conceited creature. Insult one’s pride, and it could very well be the last thing you ever do. They are tall, with Fenx being about nine feet, bipedal, covered in fur and with wild manes. They have clawed feet and huge fists. They have heads that resemble jackals, with the only difference is that dominus beasts have two horns coming straight out of their foreheads. Finally, they are known for their lust of battles, gigas strength and the ability to survive natural disasters, their bones designed in a such a way that it makes it very rare to see one with a broken leg or arm. Think Klingons of the Path of a Hero universe.

Fenx is as bloodthirsty as they come, and he relishes every moment of it. However, he has a deadly temper, and when he cross blades with Cyan, the young samurai earns the wrath of the beast (man, that sounds like a good title for a future story!). Yes, Fenx is the one who takes away Cyan’s home, his family and friends, putting our hero onto the beginnings of his dark path. And Fenx will also go down his own path of darkness in order to get his own vengeance against Cyan, destroying anything or anyone in his path to do so. The only difference is that he doesn’t care about being a monster, because he enjoys way too much.

After Fenx, we go to the one who attacks the Nobilis Kingdom, the one who is called General Gormek. Cyan and Magus first meet Gormek a short time after starting their quest to find Masamune, and at that time, Nobilis is declared under Abyss rule, because this monster general actually managed to seize the castle and force the king and his soldiers to run. However, Gormek finds that the King of Nobilis and his followers are not so easily beaten, who resort to small scale attacks that aim to undermine Gormek’s efforts to reign supreme. Throw in Cyan and Magus into the mix, and the rulership of Gormek will become short-lived.

Gormek is an orcma, which is basically an offshoot species of orcs, with the difference being that they are really tall, usually around ten feet, and possess the anatomy that allows them to have six arms. Because of these extra appendages, Gormek and his kind are extremely versatile in combat, able to wield a weapon for each arm and use said weapons fluidly in a way that no human can match. Fortunately for the people of Nobilis, Gormek is not exactly the best of the generals, being incredibly boastful, sometimes foolish and quite often more concerned with saving his own skin. The only reason he fights under Abyss’ command is because he feels that his opponents, a bunch of two-armed humans, are child’s play. Maybe if he had heard of some of the greatest feats of Trino’s greatest heroes, he would have thought twice about signing up for Abyss’ monster army...

The last villain to round out this cast of devils, who leads the assaults against the Caelestis Kingdom, is General Demana, who is the sole female villain in this story. I must say that I am very sorry that I had never thought of creating more than one female villain at the time of writing this story. I’m even more sorry that I had used tired tropes such as Sexy is Evil or Evil is Sexy. Yeeeeeaaah... (shifts eyes nervously) Look, I had a very different view of things back then, so different that I even gave Demana a costume that, today, I would never have used (think Wonder Woman’s battle bathing suit). If I ever get the chance to, I will retcon the hell out of Demana, or at least her outfit.

Okay, with that cleared up, I do want to say that I’m still very pleased with how I wrote her as a character. Yes, she is incredibly vain and flirty in a way that makes you think of unwelcome scenarios. But I made her a warrior, through and through, wielding twin scimitars with such expertise that she’s able to deflect fireballs thrown at her. Not only that, she’s sadistic and will go out of her way to torture anyone for her amusement. Have a loved one on the battlefield? She will take a detour to find that someone and flay him or her alive and will be sure to tell you all of the details with the utmost demonic pleasure. That, more or less, sums up Demana perfectly, so lets get down to what type of monster she is.

Demana is a lamia, the female term for the snake-people species (males are called nagas). Snake-people are very varied, almost to the point that no two snake-people are exactly alike. Some are quite humanoid with only minor reptilian features, with others being all snake with human-like limbs. Demana falls somewhat into the first category. She has a very human-like appearance, with the major difference being that she has blue skin and pointed ears, with the only snake-like factors, at first glance, being her fangs and forked tongue. However, she has this curious thing about her, even among snake-people. Demana possesses this incredibly long red hair, so long and thick that, at a distance, it looks like a giant snake’s body attached to the back of her head. Spoiler-alert: her hair is NOT a snake’s body... it’s multiple snake bodies, and these scaly strands are able to move in a way that allows Demana to pick herself off of the floor and tower twenty feet over her opponents.

Sounds pleasantly disturbing, doesn’t it?

And that, my dear readers, is all she wrote (or I wrote). That is the story of Path of a Hero, from heroes to support characters to villains. But don’t go thinking that I spoiled everything. These tidbits should be more than enough to entice you, and at this point, I strongly recommend utilizing the link to the right to find this book on Amazon and enjoy all of the stuff that I did not divulge here, such as...

How did Cyan and Magus meet? What were the circumstances? How do their fights with the monster generals go? And do they get Masamune?

If you wish to find out, there’s really only one way to do so...

Until next time, my dear readers!

Sincerely, ESB ‘Stringfellow’

This is their Flag... You should buy one...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The NPCs of Path of a Hero

Hello everyone, this is ESB ‘Stringfellow’ and I will show no mercy if you eat all of my beef jerky, and this is...

The Next Path of a Hero Update!!

Admit it, you want a button or t-shirt of this. Available at Boosk-isms!
Okay, last time I shared the synopsis of PoaH and some details regarding our leading two heroes, and so now I will tell you about some more story details and some things about the supporting characters.

First up: When Cyan loses everything and everyone at the start of the Monster War, he is saved by a wizard named Professor Krygo Divree, who is a teacher at a school for training mages (a word for magic casters for those who don’t know). Cyan has some magical skills, not a lot, but enough to encourage him to get training at the School of Magi. Cyan’s magic, though limited they are, consist of four different elements, fire, water, ice and lightning, and he is able to shoot small projectiles of these elements out of his left hand and use the same elements to cover any weapon with a blade, such as sword or dagger. The ability to cover a sword’s blade with elemental magic means that Cyan is a sword mage, and because of this aspect, he is able to continue his training in sword fighting.

With all of that revealed to Cyan, he decides to dedicate himself to training in this field of magic, as well as keeping up his knowledge in the ways of the samurai, all so that he could become strong enough to obtain his vengeance. About a quarter of the way through the story, I do a time-skip of two years, where a fourteen-year-old Cyan had grown into his new role as a samurai mage. During those two years, Cyan makes a new friend in a young man named Glenn Marinus, who has aspirations to become a knight. Glenn helps Cyan through his grieving process, gives support and encouragement whenever he thinks it is needed. To Cyan, Glenn is as good as a brother. Then there is Glenn’s mother, Rosa Marinus, a healer that works in the castle of Cyan’s home kingdom, Palasanctus. Rosa is an emotional sort, which acts as a double-edged sword in her case. She is extremely passionate about the work she does, caring so much for others that she’s willing to face the ordeals that comes with the job, but she also feels immense pain for those that she can not save or comfort. When she had lost her husband, years prior to the story, she had become even more protective of Glenn and more fearful of what the future holds.

Also at the School of Magi are other students, with three particular characters that serve to give Cyan frustration and to push his rage buttons. Yvron Goldez, a shadow mage from a wealthy family, Icis Flitz, an ice mage with a sense of cold cunning, and Lavas Cole, a fire mage with a mean streak. It should be noted that Icis and Lavas don’t really talk much, because in the beginning I meant for them to be mere lackeys to Yvron, who started off as a rival for Cyan. But as time went on, I had actually grown fond of the trio, and decided that these three deserve to be shown to be best friends, even if they are obnoxious bullies. During Cyan’s time at the School of Magi, these three are used as something to test Cyan’s patience and, whenever his patience fails him, someone to take his anger out on, and believe me, over the two years, Cyan has truly nurtured his inner anger and hate to a frightening level.

Among the students is one who I came to like so much, that I actually have future plans for him, and his name is Auroro Darkes. He absolutely hates his first name, so he insists everyone just call him Darkes, but this sadly makes it easy to tease him by just simply referring to him as Auroro. He is not so much as a friend to Cyan, nor is he a rival. He is simply there to help provide a foil to Cyan. Darkes is something of a self-serving coward, but when he sees Cyan risking it all, he’s encouraged to stick with his own friends, no matter how terrifying things will get.

Rounding out the School of Magi cast is Lady Sashasee, the sword instructor, and Master Fuso, the founder and headmaster of the school. Lady Sashasee is a middle-aged, charming woman who knows how to handle a fight, either with her bare hands or with a weapon, and really favors Cyan as a student. Her primary goal is to teach sword mages how to use their weapons effectively in combat. Because her training exercises focus solely on the physical aspects, the fact that she is not a mage herself is rendered moot. She does, however, own a katana that allows her to cancel and nullify magic spells, which is useful for dealing with unruly students who decide to have magical duels outside of classes. As for Master Fuso, he is an old sage that radiates power and just seems to have a way of reading people that seems to go beyond the mere physical. Wise, powerful to the point of being intimidating even when he’s just sitting down, and good natured enough to make Cyan feel that he can trust Master Fuso on matters that are very personal to him, such as his inner darkness that threatens to consume whatever he has left of his humanity.

Halfway through the story, after a few failures and gaining an epiphany, Cyan realizes how close to darkness he has gotten, and in order to fight said darkness, he decides to go on a quest that will take him clear across the Trino Continent. At this point, Magus had joined him, and the two set off to find the legendary sword known as Masamune, a Sword of Light. Cyan got it in his head that in order to vanquish his inner darkness, or the void as he calls it, is to defeat the very monster that had created it. In Cyan’s mind, the two are tied together, interchangeable and linked in a way that allows them to feed each other, which in turn weakens Cyan.

...Okay, maybe that sounds psychologically impossible in the real world, but bear with me on this. Consider that the human mind is a strange place to begin with. There are people in the real world who become emotionally attached in inanimate objects and treat said objects like one would the Companion Cube from Portal. Another thing to keep in mind is that in this story, magic exists, Magus, a magically imbued rat that can talk, can be transfigured into other creatures without pain or other harmful side effects, and Cyan is looking for a magic weapon that can slice through solid rock. So, I think people’s imaginations can be stretched just enough to say that an actual link exists in this mystical world that causes Cyan to believe that he has to kill a monster in order to end the void. Just roll with it...

As Cyan and Magus search for Masamune, they come across other supporting characters, with the most prominent one being a man named Clyde Stratos, a soldier from the Nobilis Kingdom. He sees in Cyan what most people don’t... the potential to be the greatest warrior in all of Trino. But Clyde also recognizes the darkness in Cyan’s heart, and being the experienced man that he is, Clyde decides to give them his help. That is, after Cyan and Magus help him and his people reclaim their home. During the two years of the Monster War, the Nobilis Kingdom seemingly was taken, which forces the people of that kingdom to fight in the shadows of defeat. No spoilers, but as that threat is being handled, Cyan and Magus also meet Linka Terrace, a warrior monk (someone who specializes in hand-to-hand combat), who has quite the history with Clyde. Then there is King Kynoah Strogest, an unorthodox ruler who seemed to have neglected his lessons in formalities.

As the story progresses, Cyan and Magus, guided by Clyde, meet the last of the supporting cast in the Caelestis Kingdom, featuring two women who seem to be polar opposites, but are incredibly close friends. First is Echia Dusk, a powerful mage that gives one the impression that she is a witch. She wears mostly black, wears jewelry that has skulls, snakes, spiders and rats designed on them, and has a very alluring air about her. Playful at times, she is also known for a fiery temper, which puts her in contrast with her friend, Mi’Leeya Chi, a head priestess of the Astral Shrine. Mi’Leeya is the quiet type and is a healer like Rosa, but her magic goes deeper than others. Mi’Leeya has an affinity with the spirit world, and thus can use the powers of that realm to aid her finding out certain things or generate certain barriers or, in some rare cases, help people gain a spiritual blessing that will grant that someone a new power. *wink-wink-hint-hint*

And I think that about covers all of the support characters. I might have left some out, but that is either because they are so minor that they don’t warrant any mentioning or I thought that it would be too spoilery.

With that said, I will leave it here for now (just so you know, there is a lot to cover, considering that PoaH is almost six hundred pages long). Next week, I will give you details about the villains, because what is a story about an up-and-coming hero without villains?

Until next time, this is ESB ‘Stringfellow’ signing out.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Path of a Hero Basics

Hello everyone, this is ESB 'Stringfellow,' and I am hooked on a feeling, and this is...

A Path of a Hero Synopsis And Heroes Basic Information!!

A bit understated, but it is still a nice cover.


Vows made... Swords drawn... The cries of battle... The rages of war...

In the mystical land of Trino, an attack by an unknown enemy has taken the people by surprise and left a bloody and destructive path in its wake. Orcs, monsters, dragons and demons... an army designed for one purpose only... to destroy anything or anyone in their path.

Thousands will fight, to stand against this evil force that threatens to destroy their land. In honor of their country and rulers, they will fight and die to defend their homes and loved ones.

But only one will rise above the others... only one will endure the trials of body, mind and spirit... in the end, only one will be granted the title of a Hero.

Cyankazu Omondi... his Path begins when he is twelve years old.

Every Hero has a beginning...


In Path of a Hero, we explore the origins of who, you might say, our my mascot characters, Cyankazu Omondi (Cyan for short) and Magus (who is just simply short).

For the uninitiated, Cyan starts this story as twelve-year-old (well, eleven in the first chapter, but I time-skip a year later in the second one), who we see is being trained by his parents to become a samurai. Things were going pretty darn good for him. A loving family, trusted friends, a humbling home and a promising future where he showed great potential to be a great and honorable warrior.

But then everything changed when the Monster War started... Without warning, a fierce, bloodthirsty and overwhelming army of monsters and orcs attack Cyan’s homeland, the Continent of Trino, where our hero’s village is among the very first places to be consumed and destroyed by the carnage.

Cyan becomes a victim of war... He did not die, but he does lose everything, giving him survivor’s guilt, depression and a mountainous amount of grief... but born within this darkness that has consumed his heart, the void as he comes to name it, is also his anger and hatred of the monsters that had destroyed his life. Shortly after the war started, Cyan vows revenge... but how far will this dark path take him? What risks or price is he willing to pay? Will his obsession with vengeance give him solace, or will it lead him further away from his heritage as a samurai?

This may start as a story of revenge, but at some point, Cyan will realize the danger he faces of losing his humanity and will thus go on a quest to regain his honor, his true inner sense of self. He will come up with a plan that will not make a lot of sense to a lot of outside observers, but it will mean the difference to Cyan, where it will either destroy the last shred of nobility he has left or lead to his ultimate redemption. In this story, Cyan does not start off looking to be a hero, but in the end, he will be remembered as one of Trino’s greatest.

Now, any story of a hero would be incomplete without a cast of characters to render support or help in the hero’s time of great need. To start off, Cyan is accompanied by his magical animal companion, Magus. For those wondering, a magical animal is a normal creature, any creature, that was infused with magic at the time of their birth. Magic, in this universe, can have strange effects on any living thing, and in some cases, it can result in turning a normal animal into one with magical abilities, with some changes being greater than others. For instance, Magus is a black rat that can cast some minor forms of spells on his own, but it is not much by human standards, but the greatest thing about him is that his magically changed body now ages at a slower rate than normal rats, putting him on the same aging process of humans. So, when he meets Cyan, Magus is in fact seventeen years old in actual human years, and on top of all that, he can also communicate via telepathy.

So, before I go into further detail about Magus, I would like to point out something about how the story is structured, of how the world looks and feels. I wrote Path of a Hero with a classical knights, wizards, etc., versus dragons, demons, etc. type of feel to it. So, everyone behaves like Dungeons and Dragons type characters... Everyone except Magus.

I wanted Magus to be the comic relief character, but in a definite out-there sort of way. How out-there, you might be asking? By making him act like someone from modern times, where he speaks with slang words like cool or dude. If that sounds cliched to you, then I profusely apologize. You have to forgive me for doing that, considering that I was still a teenager myself when I first wrote this. But I just loved the idea of having Magus be that one character who was in stark contrast to how everyone else behaved, where his mannerisms, where they would be normal by our standards, would be seen as odd or inane by others, which for me (at the time at least) struck as comedy gold. I do promise, that as the years went by and my writing became a bit more refined, I was able to make Magus more comical (I hope) in more nuance ways. Quirks that help further set him apart from Cyan, so that he would be a perfect foil to Cyan’s more calm and levelheaded demeanor.

And that is, more or less, the basis of Cyan and Magus, human samurai and magical rat. Cyan settles to be more thoughtful, while Magus goes to speak whatever comes to his mind. Cyan is mostly silent, and when he speaks, he tends to do it with softer tones (unless he gets angry [which happens a lot in Path of a Hero]), while Magus is energetic (bordering on hyperactive) and he has a tendency to hardly ever clam up. Cyan is disciplined, Magus is brash. Cyan jokes some and does a sarcastic comment every now and then, Magus is a fan of making bad puns and delivering a lot of snark. Cyan hums old folk songs, Magus does air guitar whilst singing Rock-n-Roll.

Those are your leading two characters, my dear readers, and I honestly hope you enjoy them just as much as I do.

And I think I will leave it here for now. Next time, I will share more story tidbits and other support characters. Until then...

Sincerely, ESB 'Stringfellow'

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Resurrection

Hello everyone, this is ESB 'Stringfellow,' and I am back in the saddle, and this is...

The Overdue Return Of The Author!

I can not believe that it has been three years since I last came to this place. No doubt, many of you reading this now might not have ever known that this blog site of mine had become very much dead. I lost sight of it, I became weary of it, and ultimately became just unmotivated.

Well, after a few years, I have decided that the time was NOW to get back into the swing of things. To do that, though, I have decided to do a complete clean slate. If you have been to this blog before, you may remember that I had posted over a hundred different posts before just up and leaving without a single word, and I am sorry to say that everything is gone.

The excerpts, the profiles, the randomness... All of it gone, never to return.

Well, except for the stuff that I will repost. I mean, I'll put things up again, just not all of it.

For those of you returning, for those who missed my randomness or Magus' postings, I am afraid to say that particular brand of humor will be downplayed, if not flat-out abandoned. You see, I think my problem with this blog before was that I tried to make it a weekly thing, where I would post at least once every week, or ever two weeks, even if that meant random things or rants. Instead, I have decided to bring this blog back from the maws of death and to give it back its original purpose: To be a hub-site for advertising and promoting my books. I will not be beholden to the idea that I have to maintain a constant update. From now on, the main goal is to just give you the basic details of the books I have published, maybe hints of what I am writing at the moment, and, naturally, excerpts from my books, and other book related updates and explanations. If I have nothing to share in regards to my books, then I will simply not post anything, even if that means going months or even years (again) without posting anything. My problem with this blog before was that I tried to treat it as a diary whenever I had nothing book related to talk about, and I will not be making that mistake again. I might still make a joke post from time to time, or celebrate a mile marker, because I really did enjoy those, but do not expect those to happen too often.

Alrighty then, let us get down to the first important update: See those links to the side? Under the Books by the Author? Any book that I get published will be given a link there directly to Amazon (maybe my publisher's online bookstore too, if I feel like it). You might notice that some of them have (paperback) in the links? That is because those links will take you directly to the paperback version of those books, and the one that has (Kindle) will take you to the (what else?) Kindle version. The one's that do not have anything written next to them in parentheses means that you can just find either version on that particular link. Now, I do not know what the deal is with Book I: Chi or Book II: Sui and their apparent lack of Kindle versions, but I can not seem to find them. I will make an update later, and of course update the links, if and when I find those Kindle versions.

Then there is Book IV: Fu, which is a totally different topic. If you follow that book's links, you'll notice something... off about the cover to either version. The paperback version looks pretty darn cool, while the Kindle one looks... well, bland. The reason behind this is because I have decided to publish the Kindle version of Book IV: Fu on my own, rather than have my publisher, America Star, do it for me. Why, you ask? Well, for one thing, the royalties would flow easier for me if I do the Kindle version on my own, the price would be cheaper if I do it on my own in comparison to America Star, and all I have to do is not use the cover art that America Star had made for the paperback version. So yes, the cover is super boring, but hopefully, once I get a real handle on this Kindle thing, I will be able to update the cover (they make it sound like I can) with something better. I will be sure to update you on that whenever the time comes.

Well, I guess that will do for now. I will be back as soon as possible with more updates, especially if I want to rebuild this blog's archive of book-related-posts.

Until next time,
Sincerely, ESB 'Stringfellow'