W. H. Mitchell

Science Fiction Author

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September Instafreebie Free Books

I’m part of an Instafreebie promotion this month. Along with a sample chapter from my new book Arks of Andromeda, there’s many more free ebooks available so take a look!

Looking for Reviewers

I now have both a Kindle ebook and ePub version of the completed Arks of Andromeda and I’m looking for people interested in writing a review. If you have a review site, please contact me if you’re interested. I will send you either the Kindle or ePub file to read. 

The Imperium is in turmoil!

Seven centuries after the sleeper ships brought us to Andromeda, our human empire is plagued by war, intrigue, and a mysterious secret that may tear it apart!

In his debut science fantasy novel, W. H. Mitchell introduces us to the stories that are intertwined in the fabric of the Imperium, from the richest nobles of the Five Families to the lowest dredges of the Underclass. Their adventures will take us to every crevice of Imperial society and beyond.

In a galaxy where the strong rule the weak, it’s good to be strong!

Free Sample of Arks of Andromeda

Leading up to releasing Arks of Andromeda, I’ve posted a free sample (chapter 4) on a site called Instafreebie.com. Between now and when I publish, I hope to raise interest using freebies like this.

Last night I finished the fourth chapter so far of Dragons of Andromeda. That brings my current word count to 10,000. Of course, if I want a novel of at least 80k words, that’ll mean I’ll need around 32 chapters.

In the most recent chapter, Mel Freck meets Sir Golan (the Green Knight) and his robot Squire. Since the first book, Mel has become a little bitter after what happened with the man she loved, Davidson. Perhaps it’s ironic that she once again finds herself teamed with someone driven to help people (much like Davidson).

New Cover

Remember when I said I was going to still use my own cover art? Well, after much deliberations and water boarding, I changed my mind and hired a better artist than I. His name is Steven Novak and he’s awesome and cheap (which is redundant I know). Here’s his cover and its quite a bit better than mine.

I have completed three chapters of my new book, Dragons of Andromeda, and have started prep work on the next story arc I call “Squire and the Green Knight.” It involves a chivalrous, green-skinned alien and his robot squire. Also, because she’s my sister’s favorite character apparently, Mel from the first book is also joining the fun.

So, both story arcs introduce new sub-species (is that racist?) of the Dahl. The first race is called the Dokk (Dark Dahl) and the second are the Sylva (Woodland Dahl). These represent the dark elves and wood elves respectively of fantasy tropes. Later, there’s going to be yet another Dahl race called the Sarkan (Red Dahl). I love elves and I don’t care who know it!

Recycling & Cover Confusion

I’ve been working on Dragons of Andromeda for around two weeks now and I’m up to 5k words. Today I made the decision to include a portion of a short story I started maybe two years ago but never finished. Basically, it was about an Imperial heavy cruiser and its crew. Since my “Crimson Kiss” story included an Imperial ship, I decided to splice the two together. As an added bonus, I changed the name of the executive officer (XO) of the warship to Maycare, instantly making him the nephew of Devlin Maycare from Arks of Andromeda. This also creates a link between this story arc and the one that Uncle Devlin will have in Dragons.

I posted the cover I did for Arks on a FB page for authors to get feedback. While several people liked the retro look, the person running the page (who’s very successful as an indie writer) strongly suggested I get a professional artist to do the cover so my book looks like the others out there. While I appreciated and understood her argument, namely that a professional cover would sell better, I was very torn because I really loved the one I made. So, after looking at a lot of artists and seeing how much they charge (a lot), I decided that I will still go with my own cover. I worry about how this will affect my sales, but I really don’t want my book to look like all the others. I guess I could always change it down the road, hopefully after I make some money. 

And so it begins

I began writing my second book, starting with the Crimson Kiss story (starring Ramus, Fugg, and Gen). Unlike my first book, I’m going this one a little differently. Instead of writing the chapters in linear fashion, I’m doing each story arc separately and then joining them together later.

There are usually two kinds of writers: those who outline everything and write from their plan, and those who write “by the seat of their pants.” I actually fall in between: I have an idea of what I want to happen in each chapter, then break each one into scenes (again with a vague idea of what happens), and then I write seat of my pants from there. This has led to some emergent plot points that I hadn’t planned when I started.

This time around, I have the story ideas without any chapter structure. It’s a lot more “loosey goosey” then I’m normally comfortable with, but I’m up for trying new things (hoping they don’t end in utter disaster). However, the great thing about writing is you can do as many drafts as you like, so even if it’s terrible at first, you can fix it before too many see your dirty laundry. 😉

Next Novel Prep

I’ve started serious preparation for my next Imperium Chronicles novel, The Dragons of Andromeda.

I’ve been outlining some of the story arcs that will be included. Some characters from Arks of Andromeda will return and I’ll introduce plenty of new characters.

Right now, there’s going to be two stories featuring the crew of the Wanderer (Ramus, Fugg, and Gen). The first, based on my graphic novel The Crimson Kiss, will tell the story of a missing crew and a mysterious sub-species of the Dahl. In the second story, intrepid reporter Sylvia Flax will find herself in deep trouble and it’s up to Ramus and company to help (assuming she needs any).

In another story arc, Maycare, Prof. Doric, and Henry will travel to the Talion Republic (an ally of the Magna) to locate a valuable book written by a race called the K’thonians. In the process, however, the group becomes entangled in interstellar intrigue and an ancient species from deep space.

Killer-for-hire Magnus Black will return. Hired to kill the leader of a Draconian guerrilla group, Magnus must return to the Draconian home planet where he served in the Imperial military and received the nickname “The Butcher”. Will his past come back to haunt him?

And finally, although I haven’t outlined it yet, we will see what’s happening with the two sleeper ships when they return to the Imperial capital. Will they get a warm welcome or the cold shoulder? Also, Yost and his cyber associates will journey to Bettik, seeking repayment for the debt the robots owe.

And there could be more stories. We’ll see…

End of Editing

I have one more chapter to edit and then I’ll address some additional parts of the book I think need more work. I’ve also decided, based on feedback, to write an epilogue to tie up loose ends and tie into the sequel, Dragons of Andromeda. Is it bad that the initials are DOA?

Btw, so far during editing, I’ve cut the word count from around 81k down to 77k (or about 20 pages worth of content). I find chapters are a lot easier to read if I delete all the words…

Cover template for Arks of Andromeda (WIP)

I’m working towards publishing my book which includes setting up the cover template (and back cover blurb). What do you think of this work in progress?

Beta Readers

I’m currently about 2/3rds done with editing. I hope to be mostly complete by early next week. I’m still looking for beta readers so if you’re interested, here’s a link to the first three edited chapters to see if that’s something you’d like: https://goo.gl/w1xucG