Tag Archives: author

The City Under the Mountain–15 August

So, let’s get right down to it.  I sat down to write today to let you know that the second installment in The Seven Signs will be here soon.  Here’s the deal:

It’s called The City Under the Mountain, and it’s coming out on August 15th.

To clear things up, I couldn’t very well call this next book The Awakening Storm when it no longer fit the story…so yeah, all the books are getting new titles.  It will happen slowly, don’t worry–I’ll keep you posted.  I also posted the new cover for The Sentient Fire.  

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The City Under the Mountain | The Seven Signs II--coming August 15th

The City Under the Mountain | The Seven Signs II–coming August 15th

New cover...oh yeah...

New cover…oh yeah…

Major Changes Coming

Over the last few months, I’ve been working furiously to finish The Awakening Storm.  Also, because of my long hiatus from writing and the self-publishing world in general, a lot of the technical stuff that goes along with maintaining a writing career had staled and gone out of date as well.  It’s my own fault–I’ve basically shot myself in the foot.  So I’ve also had to systematically go through every aspect of my online presence and business front, and change a lot of that around, too.

Some of you may have noticed my website, book covers, and information changing like the seasons lately.

After many long conversations and some hard thinking on my part, Iv’e decided to make some major changes to my label.  Hopefully this doesn’t alienate what few readers are still around since my past success, but let me attempt to explain and bring you around to my way of thinking.  In the end, this will be better for all of us.

First off, a bit of hard truth from me to you, and to myself.  When I published The Sentient Fire, it wasn’t ready.  It was a long way from being ready.  Some of the chief criticism I get from the story is that it’s massively long–and that’s true.  I wrote that book because I thought everyone was writing tomes of 350k+ words–in short, I had no idea what I was doing.  I showed up on the scene and dropped it at the feet of the world.  I was 22 when I started that book, and 31 when I typed the last word.  The man who wrote the first one hundred pages was vastly different than the one who finished it, and it shows.

Luckily it did pretty well–but it was definitely luck.

Here’s what I have done by releasing something so big:  One, I’ve vastly widened the period of time that passes between each book release.  Most novels are around 80k words or so–mine sits at about 348k, which is about four and a half times that size.  I’ve heard that for some people The Sentient Fire was around 17,000 Kindle pages!  Let’s be honest–I’m all for a long story, but one book that size is a little ridiculous.  Instead of writing one book at a time, I’ve basically been hammering away to produce three at a time.  That’s definitely not the smartest way I could be doing this.

And The Awakening Storm just hit the 300k+ mark the other day.

Two, I’ve made the print version of the book impossibly big, which means impossibly expensive.  Even adjusted as it is now–to give me the absolute least amount of royalty possible–the book comes in at $25.  Even I wouldn’t pay that much for a paperback, and that fact also just doesn’t make any sense.

If I had been smarter about the way I’d gone about publishing The Seven Signs, there would be five books currently on the market, and the sixth one would be over halfway done.  Instead of waiting years between each book (medical issues notwithstanding) there would be about six months between each release.  You’d have 2/3rds of The Awakening Storm in your hands now.

Plus, it is much harder to find professionals to work with you when you have one massive book.  Editors and narrators basically have to take a huge risk on you, and that’s a tough business decision to make.  Both of those professions requires hours of work for each “hour” produced, so you’re asking for much more of their time–which basically means much more of their money.  Finding someone good to work closely with–the way you want to do with an Epic Fantasy series–is nigh impossible.

So.  Here is what’s going to happen.

Starting immediately, both books–The Sentient Fire and The Awakening Storm–will be split into trilogies on their own.  The Seven Signs was planned for three books at around 350k words apiece, so now it will be nine books at around 120k words apiece, but probably closer to 150k.  Still long, but also within the range of a normal-sized book.

I will focus first on getting the first two parts of The Awakening Storm ready to publish, since they’re already written.  That means that you’ll have the next book in line in your hands in a few weeks–definitely earlier than I’d planned.  The next one in line will be ready to go as well, and it will be released after.

During that time, I’m going back through The Sentient FIre and revising it into three stand-alone books.  What that means for you is that if you’ve already purchased it, then you have it.  However, the newer version will be expanded somewhat–I’ll probably have to add about 30k or 40k words to each section in order to make them stand on their own–so there will be new material there.

Once those are done, I’m dropping them all at once, like Netflix and House of Cards.  The Sentient Fire will remain where it is until the books that are replacing it go live, at which time I’ll be pulling it down.  I don’t have titles as of yet–I’m just referring to them as TSF I, TSF II, etc.  So by the end of this year, instead of two books and two possible audiobooks, you’ll have six books with extra material, audiobooks much more likely, and an all around better product in each one of them than The Sentient Fire was.

And you won’t have to wait so Gods-damned long between books seven, eight, and nine.

So, here’s what it’s going to look like when the smoke clears.

The Seven Signs will be nine books long–the first five of which you’ll have by the end of the year, maybe even six.

The first book in the series will be free–and if you sign up for my mailing list, I’ll give you the second one free, too.  I like to give free stuff to my mailing list.

Each subsequent book in the series will be $2.99.

Some of you may not like this decision, but I think it’s the most fair thing for both of us.  This way the wait is shorter, the books are more manageable across multiple platforms, and I’m also not writing over a million words into books I can’t sell.  A guy’s gotta eat.

If you’re still looking forward to any of my writing, don’t forget to join my mailing list and get all the news straight from me, and sweet deals all the time.  I care about my readers, and I hope you guys understand this decision.  If not, well…I hope to win you back one day, but this is the way it needs to happen.

Thanks for sticking with me so far.


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What the Hell is Beneath the Burning Sky?

Beneath the Burning Sky

Now available on Kindle for FREE until 6 July

So, this morning I had what you might call a moment of intense panic.

I always do, before publishing or running a promotion.  I spend days poring over everything, trying to fix all the problems, streamlining things, and generally pulling my beard out.  I can be very intense when it comes to my writing, and I tend to get wrapped up in things.  The last four or five chapters of my book usually go in a couple of weeks–and my readers know that means hundreds of pages.

I’m the kind of writer that can’t really produce much on a subject or story that doesn’t mean something to me.  So whenever I start a promotion and I start to see downloads happening, I have this moment where my brain does a little back-flip and I think “Ye Gods, someone is actually going to read this thing.”  I doubt my every decision that led to me putting it out there.

What is Beneath the Burning Sky and The Sageward Exordium?  Well, you might call it Military Fantasy.  Or, you might call it Science Fantasy…or maybe Military Science Fantasy.  It’s not quite Steampunk and it’s not Contemporary.  To tell the truth, I have a hard time putting it into a category that can describe it in essence.

Bear with me while I attempt to describe the setting.  Imagine the world of The Seven Signs around 600 years into its future–a time perhaps comparable to WWI.  Things have evolved considerably, including magic and those who use it.  Magic has weaved itself into technology, and vice-versa, and this strange marriage has created a truly unique setting to tell a good story.

There’s also a huge conflict going on between two opposing factions on the continent of Alderak.  War has been raging for an entire generation, and as we all know, war is a huge driver of innovation.  Something of an arms race has ensued, and both sides are scrambling for advantage.

Beneath the Burning Sky is the story of one soldier and her experiences during a pivotal battle of the conflict.  It’s the first installment in a prologue of stories that will lead up to the release of a new series.  The Sageward Exordium is the prologue, and is itself a series of short stories.

You’re writing a series of prologues?  Yes, as crazy as that sounds.  When I came up with the ideas for the upcoming series, the first thing I did was sit down and start fleshing the idea out.  Once I got to the point where I needed to put something on paper, I realized that the prologue to the actual book would be huge, considering the backstory that needs to be told.  In short, it would be as large as an every day novel on its own, so that’s why I decided to put the prologue out as a serial.  The Sageward Exordium is the prologue–it’s just in serial format.

So you’ve described the setting, but what is The Sageward Exordium truly about?  Well, the Exordium itself is just the bedrock for a larger plot arc.  But taken with the series it precedes, I would say that what the story is really about is war itself and the larger effects it has on those who wage it.  Each installment in the serial will tell the story of one of the main characters and what happened to them on the same day, during the same fight.

I wanted to tell a good war story, and I wanted to do it in an exciting way.  But, as a veteran myself, I know the real-world effects that war has on people.  I’ve seen some of that in real life, and so I wanted to tell a deeper story than one of blood and glory.  It will certainly have plenty of that, but there will also be larger implications at hand, and deeper emotional ramifications for the characters in the story.

How many installments are there in The Sageward Exordium?  Right now there are five planned installments, but I reserve the right to add another as they come to me.  I’ve written a number of very interesting characters, but the project is still in the infancy stages at this point.  I plan on putting a new one out every four to six months during the times when I just can’t stand to write another chapter of The Seven SIgns (haha).  The Exordium has to be planned to coincide with the larger series it will precede, so it can be slow-going at times.  It’s a story that speaks to me on a very deep level, though, so I have a feeling that it will be huge.

The Seven Signs is pretty big.  Will the new series be that large, as well?  In a word–bigger.  The rough plot line I’m working with now puts me right at about five books, though those books won’t be quite as large as your basic Seven Signs book–which come in at about 340,000 words.  These will be around 150,000-200,000 apiece.  Which is still huge, I know.  The Seven Signs is Epic Fantasy, which is supposed to be huge.  The new series, though, may be chopped down a bit.  It all depends on what happens during the developmental edits, too.  So stay tuned!

I hope that answers a few questions about Beneath the Burning Sky.  As always, don’t forget to like me on Facebook, check out my website to join The Conclave–my mailing list–and follow me on Twitter.  Much love to all of you, and I’ll talk to you soon.

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Independence Day Weekend FREE Promotion

Beneath the Burning Sky

Now available on Kindle for $0.99!

Starting on the 3rd and ending on the 5th, Beneath the Burning Sky will be free on Amazon.  What better way to celebrate our history than by reading a military fantasy?  On top of the BBQ and beer, of course.

So look for Beneath the Burning Sky this weekend on Amazon, and get your copy here for FREE.

Don’t forget to sign up for The Conclave on my website, look me up on Goodreads and Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.  Like, share, and all of that nonsense.

Beneath the Burning Sky

Today I’d like to announce the first in a long serial set hundreds of years after the events in the Seven Signs.

I’ve hinted around here and there at a large project I’ve got brewing, and Beneath the Burning Sky is the starting point for something epic–yes, even bigger than the Seven Signs.  I won’t reveal too much at this point, but you can bet that things have changed.  There’s a much larger story arc at work than what is featured in this short ebook, but the rest of the serial will be released in the next couple of years as the Seven Signs is finished.

Some of you may remember the character featured in Beneath the Burning Sky.  I hope you like her.  She’s going to be around for a long time.

For now, this serial will be for Kindle readers only, as it is enrolled in KDP Select.  That will change eventually, and the books will become available for other platforms, as well.  So if you’re a Kindle reader, then hop on over to Amazon and get your copy today for just $0.99!

You can buy it here.

From the blurb…

The war between the Alliance of Sovereign Nations and the Revealed Empire has been raging for nearly an entire generation.  The Alliance, despite how hard it has fought, has been unable to stop the Empire’s inexorable advance.  But the conflict will soon come to a head, and both sides will put everything they have on the field.

These are the stories from the front.

Beneath the Burning Sky

Now available on Kindle for $0.99!

The Sentient Fire for Under a Dollar

The Awakening Storm

The Awakening Storm–Coming Soon!

The Sentient Fire

The Sentient Fire–now just $0.99!

So.  Today has been an enlightening day, and a hectic one.  Yesterday was also a long day, because I–in my wisdom–decided that I would update my website real fast, and further integrate my blog with it.  As all things having to do with websites, it inevitably took all day to get done, and I didn’t even come close to reaching the goal I’d had in mind, instead having to go for a huge compromise.  Such is life.

Since I had just updated everything with the new book covers and graphics, I decided to go ahead and paste in the revised blurb for The Sentient Fire.  Again, this was one of those things that was going to happen real fast.  I’m sure you can guess how that worked out for me.

As it turns out, both Amazon and Smashwords had changed their book cover requirements related to image size, going from a requirement of 800 pixels wide to somewhere in the ballpark of 1400-1800.  The reason that’s such a bad thing is that with raster images–like a book cover–you can’t just resize the thing and reupload.  Oh no–you have to make the whole thing over again from scratch.  And this meant that all of my covers, which had been made to the same size requirements, were out of date and probably looked horrible on modern devices.  It constantly amazes me how fast technology moves.  So without an updated cover, I couldn’t move forward with resubmitting the book I’d already published until I had taken care of that.  I doubt anyone noticed, but for about 12 hours I went dark.

The reason why that was such a bad thing is that I recently had my computer crash–as some of you may have read–and had switched from MS Word to LibreOffice Writer.  So not only did I have to make three brand-spanking new book covers, I had to reformat my entire Gods-damned manuscript.  Plus figure out the nuances of Libre besides your basic point-and-type functions.  All in all, it has been a hectic and really fun day.  I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible.

Not to worry, though–I did finish it all up.  In fact, I decided that if I was in need of an update, I might as well add some back matter and redo everything, so I did.  No, TSF Revised is not out yet, but there is a new cover and a revised blurb, and some promo material in the back.  If you’ve already downloaded, then look back in the next couple of weeks (considering all the distribution channels update quickly) and you can get your new version.  Or, you can wait for TSF Revised.

For those of you who haven’t yet bought The Sentient Firethough, I’ve decided to run a promotion.  From today until The Awakening Storm is released, The Sentient Fire is only $0.99.  That’s around 340,000 words–a true epic length fantasy novel–for under a dollar.  I know the Kindle price is updated, but you Nook and Apple users may have to wait for the price to filter down from Smashwords, or you can go right over to Smashwords and buy the book in any format you need.

Click here to get your copy of The Sentient Fire for just $0.99 (Kindle)

Here for Smashwords

Don’t forget to head over to Dwhawkins.com and join my mailing list, The Conclave, for news and updates straight from me and free stuff.  Much love and respect to you all, and I’ll type at you soon.


Tentative Release Dates: The Awakening Storm & The Sentient Fire, revised

The Sentient Fire, The Seven Signs Book One, revised

The Sentient Fire, The Seven Signs Book One, revised

The Awakening Storm Cover

The Awakening Storm, The Seven Signs Book Two

Well everyone, the time has come to release a little information about the next installments in the D.W. Hawkins universe–yes, I’m taking about The Awakening Storm, and The Sentient Fire Revised.  You may have read the blog I released a few days ago regarding my progress on The Awakening Storm and the arrival of the new cover art.  Well, just today the cover art for the revised version of The Sentient Fire came in, and I updated my website in turn.  Such a thing wouldn’t be complete without a bit of new information, so here goes.  I know what you’re thinking–Geez, it’s about time.

First, the news everyone wants to hear–The Awakening Storm.  TAS will be released in the late summer/early fall of this year, 2015.  I’m aiming for a mid to late August release, because yours truly starts school on the 24th of that month.  I’m now under 100 pages of finishing the beast, and the last chapters always go the fastest.  The cover art is in, the final draft is being finished, and you’ll have this bad boy in your hands within a couple of months.  Believe me, I’m just as excited to get it to you as you are to read it.  I’ve put out on website that it’s coming in the Fall of 2015, so consider this official.  Sadly, it won’t feature any new character sketches the way The Sentient Fire had, but I’m currently working on getting a new and improved map made, and that will hopefully make it in time for the release.  Regardless, I will update my website with it.

The Sentient Fire Revised will come a month or two later, in the Winter of this year.  I’ve mentioned this once before, but I’m going to put it out again–this is not a packaged reselling, merely a repackaged update.  I will simply be updating the digital information for the book, so if you’ve already purchased your copy of The Sentient FIre, you get the revised version for free.  All you’ll have to do is re-download your version from either your preferred retailer or Smashwords.  Nothing in the story is changing, I’m just giving the prose a stylistic polish.  The truth is that TSF was a book that evolved with me over a long period of time, and I feel that the prose–especially in the early parts of the book–is no longer an accurate representation of the story, or me as a writer.  Vanity it may be, but don’t worry–I’m not making you pay for it.  Unless, that is, you want a print copy.  That, I can’t really control.  Look for The Sentient Fire Revised around October of this year, 2015.

On to even more news:  There is now a plan in the works to have The Sentient Fire Revised and The Awakening Storm converted into Audiobooks!  After the release of TSF Revised, work will begin on getting the two huge tomes read by someone amazing, and hopefully those two gems will be available on Audible just in time for Christmas.  For those of you like me, who greatly enjoy a well-read audiobook, I’m sure it will be interesting to experience The Seven Signs that way.  I know it will be fun for me.

So, this year will be a big year for the D.W. Hawkins universe.  You’ll have not one, but four new things from me before the end of 2015.  Work never stops on this end, and directly after the release of The Awakening Storm, work will begin on Book Three, which is being called The Whispering Tide.  I’ll also go back to working on The Ballad of the Outrider.

Don’t forget to share this post with all your friends.  Head on over to dwhawkins.com and join The Conclave so you can get free stuff and updates directly from me every month, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook.  Much love and respect to all of you, and I’ll type at you soon.


The Awakening Storm

The Awakening Storm Cover

The Awakening Storm

Well everyone, the cover art for The Awakening Storm is here, and I’m pretty stoked about it.  In my last post you guys may have noticed that I said that TAS is within 100 pages of being done, and it’s chugging right along toward the end.  It has been a wild ride for me, as this book has stuck with me through some of the most challenging times in my life.  I must admit that it’s been a love-hate relationship, and that now I know the challenge of attempting to conquer the “great muddled middle” of the fantasy series.

I’m expecting to be finished with this bad boy before I start school at the end of August, and I’m pushing harder than ever to make that happen.  I’m to the point now in the story where all the dominoes are set, the course is ready, and the only thing left to do is to tip them all over and see where everything lands.  The way things are looking, The Awakening Storm will be the same size–or even larger–than The Sentient Fire, as a lot of things still need to happen before I can brush off my hands and call this effort finished.  As anyone who read book one can probably imagine, the thing is already titanic.

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has waited way too long for this book.  I know that it should have been released years ago, and you have no idea how much I appreciate your patience with me over the last while.  I published a blog post a few months ago explaining the reasons for the delay, and I won’t go into detail about the medical and personal issues that have plagued me since 2011, but things are looking up now and you’ll have this bad boy on your devices (or in your hands if you still prefer print) very soon.  I’m super excited for you to read it.

The Awakening Storm is a little different than The Sentient FIre.  It has loads more action, and a ton of things are going on in the world in the wake of Dormael and D’Jenn’s battle at Orm.  The Galanian Empire is ramping up it’s war of conquest once again, and a whole new group of characters will enter the story to play their parts in the larger drama.  Maaz and Maarkov are still on the scene, working to further Maaz’s goals–or did you think that they would sit idly by while the companions raced around the globe outwitting them?  Not likely.  The companions are now fugitives from justice, and have to adjust their tactics accordingly.  There’s war, political strife, romance, naval battles, and more magic than the first book had on its best day.

Oh; and Bethany gets to kick a little ass, too.

In short, it’s time to start checking up on my progress periodically if you’re interested, because the final draft is nearing it’s final keystroke.  Next week I plan on setting the book up for preorder through Smashwords, so check back often and order your copy soon.  When it’s published, you can just up and download it at your leisure.

Much love and respect to you all, and you’ll be hearing from me soon.


The Last Days of the Sony Vaio

She was a good computer.  Fast, with a dedicated graphics card and lots of software.  We had many adventures, R.I.P.

So yes, my computer died the digital death recently.  I was right in the middle of trying to update my website, and it had a fatal error.  I’m fairly sure it was a problem with a power converter or something–the thing would only draw enough power for the HDD to spin up.  It wasn’t the end of the world, though.

I had my writing backed up, of course.

I took it as a sign that it was time to upgrade.  We’re now back in business, with a new computer and an entirely new operating system, too.  It took me forever to get Windows 8 to behave, believe me.  Many of the features on this thing just make me wonder “why?”, but I figured it out soon enough.  Despite the catastrophe, The Awakening Storm is now within 100 pages of being finished.  A few more chapters, and it’ll be time for editing.

I also wanted to announce the possibility of having TSF and TAS produced as audiobooks.  It will be later this year–after the release of The Sentient Fire revised–but there is a plan in the works to have the books, or at the least the first one, on Audible by Christmas.  Maybe sooner.

Hope you all are doing awesome.  Don’t forget to subscribe, like, share, all of that stuff, and if you feel so inclined, then head on over dwhawkins.com and subscribe to my mailing list, The Conclave.  They got some free stuff today, just to let you guys know.