Tag Archives: sword and sorcery series

Child of the Flames

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The Seven Signs, book one. Coming in 2016

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog.  I recently started school again, and my life has been pretty hectic since.  If I’m not working on overhauling The Seven Signs, I’m writing something in APA format.  The neat little schedule I worked out for myself while finishing The City Under the Mountain was pretty much thrown out the window.

So, what have I been doing, you might ask?

I’ve been working on what will be the new Big, Bad Book One:  Child of the Flames.

What’s changing?  Well, let me try and explain.  During The Sentient Fire, I really felt like I could have dived into the story a little more than I did.  There were a lot of things happening behind the scenes during the first book that I never illuminated, so I’m illuminating some of them.

Also, Shawna’s part in the story is getting more of an overhaul.  Earlier today I finished writing the opening scene to the book, and it’s about ten times more exciting than before.  A large part of the first book was her flight from the Red Swords, yet she got little “airplay” in the original book.  She’ll get more this time around, and you know it’s going to be bloody.

I may have mentioned my original intention to give the book a stylistic polish, and that will be happening as I go, as well.  It’s weird returning to this story so many years later.  Sometimes I read parts of it and cringe at the writing, but I guess that’s the way it goes with art.  You’re never really happy with it, but it is kind of fun to go back and rewrite some of the parts to give them a little more punch.

So far, January is still a good date for the release of the overhauled series.  As the date gets closer I’ll keep you guys updated, but as of right now I’m sticking with that.  Don’t forget to like, subscribe, follow, and all of that.  Check me out on Facebook if you’re so inclined, or follow me on Twitter.  To get the updates as they come straight from the source, join my mailing list, the Conclave.

Talk to you guys soon.

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The Future of The Seven Signs

Planned for January 2016

Planned for January 2016

In the wake of releasing The City Under the Mountain, I wanted to take a moment and talk with you guys about the future of the series.  I’ve blogged about this before, but I wanted to reiterate, and share the updates with you guys.  This is what The Seven Signs will look like.

I’m planning for a release date of January 15, 2016 for the entire overhaul of the series.  I’m not setting that in stone just yet, but that is what I’m working for.  Keep in mind, these five books are 90% done already.  The biggest rewrites will be done to the earlier books in the series, with the heaviest work in book one and decreasing from there.  Mainly that’s because new prologues/epilogues have to be crafted, and there’s a few parts that need to be fleshed out.  I was going to revise it anyway, so I’m going to start where anyone should–at the beginning.

Yes, The Oath of the Blade is done–it’s already in the editing phase.  I thought long and hard about letting it go regardless of the state of the earlier books, but in the end I decided that the best thing to do would be to get everything done at once and have it over with.  The most important thing is the quality of the books, as I’m sure you’d all agree.  For that matter, Book Six–as yet untitled–is 75% done, too.

The Seven Signs will start with Child of the Flames which will be FREE everyday, all the time.

The Knife in the Dark, Book Two, will be $2.99.  Unless you’re a Conclave member, then it’s FREE for signing up.

All other books in the series will be $2.99, and there are nine books planned at the moment.

On another note, yours truly starts school on Monday.  I’m pretty stoked about it, and the Creative Writing department at this school is supposedly one of the top ten in the country.  Over the next few years, my writing is going to get tempered into something better than before, and I’m really looking forward to learning at such an auspicious institution.

Auspicious, heh…that’s right.  I used “auspicious”.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and to sign up for The Conclave.

~D.W.

The City Under the Mountain is Here

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

The City Under the Mountain | The Seven Signs II–Available now!

That’s right–The City Under the Mountain is here, and it’s available for purchase right now.

I was going to wait until the 15th, but why wait?  I uploaded everything at about 3am this morning, after having stayed up all night getting everything ready.  I was going to hold back the announcement, but I’ve been getting emails from readers asking about where to get it.  Also, I got the notification that it was accepted into the Premium Catalog, so it will most likely be available on all major retailers by the end of the day.  In short, I can’t hide it any longer.

Right now you can get it HERE for Smashwords, and HERE for Amazon.

I would really appreciate honest reviews, as nothing else helps a book gain traction more than an honest review.  Stay tuned for all the D.W. Hawkins news you can stand, and don’t forget to join the Conclave, my mailing list.  It’s a great way to stay informed about all upcoming releases and get free stuff.

On to book three…

Something Serious

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Tonight I’m going to get a little serious with you guys.  I’ve recently received an email from a reader who expressed an opinion to me that I took issue with.  It wasn’t really a negative book review–I’ve gotten a few of those, and they’ve always been constructive and helpful, overall–it was an email personally written to me.  The sentiments expressed in the correspondence echoed a lot of opinions I’ve seen floating around social media and YouTube lately, and in light of a few articles I’ve read on Reddit about this sort of thing, I wanted to say a few things about it.

First of all, I replied to the email sent to me–this is not addressed to anyone in particular.  Now, on to the meat and taters…

There seems to be a culture of what I can only describe as “cultivated offense” in today’s society.  There are so many blogs/videos/books/articles written about how (x) person finds (y) offensive, which makes the purveyor of (y) a racist/sexist/whatever.  Sometimes this sort of thing is warranted, as in official policies, etc.  What is confusing me lately is that this attitude seems to be infecting artistic expression.

Whether you’re speaking of video games, books, movies, or music, there seems to be a veritable army of people ready to take up pitchforks and loudly proclaim artists to be the worst kind of hateful people in our society.  “Where’s all the black people in the new Star Wars trailer?” or “Video games are oppressive to women and GTA promotes misogyny!”.  So many people have problems with so many things these days that it’s hard to keep track.

“Your writing promotes traditional gender roles and sets women back decades.”

Ouch…and d’huh?

I wanted to try and set the record straight about this, because I see a rising tide of angry people wishing to purge anything genuine from the arts.  First of all, I certainly have never–not once–thought of myself as a misogynist, or a racist.  My writing is not intended to promote any sociopolitical ideals related to race or gender, gay or straight, or any other label people want to place on themselves.  I write Epic Fantasy.  It’s about as non-inflammatory as one can get, or I thought it would be.  These days…maybe not.

Yes, there is rape in my books.  Yes, there is murder in my books.  Hell, people eat dead bodies in my books.  Doesn’t mean I want to promote the idea of eating dead people, and the same goes for rape, murder, or anything else that turns up in the pages of The Seven Signs or anything else I write.

When I write something like a murder, or imply that someone is in danger of being raped (I’ve never actually written a rape scene…I mean, gross) it’s because I want to demonstrate something.  I want to put my characters in danger, I want to give them some adversity to deal with, some hard choices to make, some pain to ingest.  I mean, without the adversity, the story would just go like “Shawna smiled at her father and lived happily ever after.”

Nope.  Not in my world.

For me, the whole point of Shawna’s storyline is her overcoming the pain at the death of her family, giving the proverbial finger to the powers that want to take what she has, and kicking the asses of the people who have done this to her.  Her storyline is exactly about a woman in a male-dominated society who nonetheless manages to be kick-ass anyway.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and if you just want to read Shawna as a classic trope against women…well, that’s your prerogative.  But it certainly wasn’t about that for me.

As you guys will find out soon, there are a few more female characters that are going to enter the story.  ‘Cuz I like writing them, and I’m going to keep doing it.

Authors need the freedom to put things on display.  Art imitates life, as the saying goes, and all of these things–rape, murder, child molestation, etc–exist in our society today.  I didn’t invent them, and I’m certainly not going to stop writing bad things into my stories.  I won’t apologize for offending anyone with my writing, because my writing is not intentionally offensive.

I also will not water down the bad things that happen to the characters in my stories, because that would make it suck, plain and simple.  I know the majority of you guys don’t feel that my writing is offensive–otherwise you wouldn’t be here–but I wanted to clarify this just in case this issue comes up again.  It is not incumbent upon me to advance anyone’s political cause in this world by changing the stuff I write about my fictional world.

And for the record, I’m actually a Humanist.  The only “anti-” anything you can describe me as would be “anti-ignorance”.  Shawna, Nalia, Bethany, and Allisondra aren’t meant to advance anything.  In the story, they’re just people dealing with adversity.  Just people, not statements.

You guys will find out about Nalia and Allisondra on August 15th.

I hope I didn’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, but I had to get that out.  Don’t forget to like, subscribe, share, etc, and I will talk to you guys soon.

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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.  

Like, share, subscribe, tweet–spread the love.  Don’t forget to sign up for the Conclave, my mailing list, and get all the news first, plus free stuff.  See you guys soon.

~D.W.

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…