Railroad Rising!

Enjoy an exciting excerpt from Railroad Rising as we get ready for it’s release to Kindle!

Carrtog pushed his horse forward through the crowd. The prickling of his ring grew in intensity, was this crowd about to turn into a riot? What did they have in those sacks besides their lunches?

He pulled up in front of the line of guards and said to one of them, “I must speak to your leader. Immediately!”

The fellow looked at him suspiciously, and without taking his eyes off Carrtog, he called “Captain Gwailants! Man wants to speak to you, sir!”

Shortly, the captain came over on foot, there being no room for horses on the platform. He was a hard-looking man, his face browned by the weather, and his short beard and mustache had all gone pepper and salt. His sword was unsheathed in his hand.

“Come up here and talk, and I hope for your sake that you have something important to say.”

The guardsmen grudgingly let him through the line, and the first thing he did was to display his ring to the captain. “My ring tells me that there’s danger here, sir.”

The captain sneered and displayed his own ring. “It does, does it? Would it surprise you at all to know that I know that very well? Our king, however, has decided to ignore the danger in favor of making his political point.”

“Oh.” Carrtog felt deflated.

“Your news is not as vital as you thought, eh? Perhaps you should turn and leave us before—”

There was a shout somewhere in the crowd and what looked like a smoking ball of cloth came whirling through the air to land on the platform.

Carrtog felt a touch of confusion. Recognizing a battle-magic spell, he waved his ringed hand in front of him as if waving away the smoke. The confusion cleared from his mind. That first ball was followed by three others, thrown from other points in the crowd.

He spun to face outward, drawing his sword and shouting “Tsingallik for King Bornival!”

With any luck, that yell might convince the King’s Gentlemen all around him that he was on their side. On the other hand, members of the King’s Gentlemen seldom took risks with the king’s life; it was too likely that one or another of them would stick a sword into his side just to be sure.

Several among the guard swept hands before them — it was no surprise that a large number of them knew battle-magic, some likely knew much more than he did. Men among the crowd flung back their hoods, revealing caps of metal or leather, though a good number wore only a cloth bonnet like his own. There seemed to be only a couple who wore metal breastplates — the rest had a jacket of leather. The weapons they pulled from their sacks were mostly short swords and stout cudgels, but several had wheel-lock pistols.

The pistols were only accurate at close range and took some time to reload. Carrtog knew how to use a pistol; in fact, a pistol would have had more than one use for him at this moment given his training in battle-magic. His grandfather had offered him one before he and Yakor started off on their journey, but he had turned it down. The things were very expensive, particularly in a hinterland place like Tsingallik, and though he hoped at some time to earn the money to buy one of his own, he hadn’t wanted to ride away carrying one that his grandfather might well need worse than he.

The pistol-men in the crowd opened fire, the King’s Gentlemen replying. The powder-smoke began to gather, obscuring visibility, though not to the extent of hiding either of the two sides. Several men in the crowd went down. Carrtog noted that at least two were pushing their way back out of the crowd, just trying to get away.

An attacker stuck a pistol into his face, but Carrtog managed a frantic chop just before the fellow pulled the trigger. The pistol fired off to the side, and the man staggered aside clutching his bloody wrist.

Carrtog thrust at him, but his sword glanced off the man’s leather jacket as he went sidewards. The thought went through Carrtog’s mind that he should grab the dropped pistol, but good sense told him he didn’t have time. Indeed, there was a man jumping forward, extending his sword in a thrust. Even as he reacted, Carrtog noted that something had taken off most of the man’s left ear, leaving the blood streaming down his left side. He parried, and did his own thrust, then pulled his sword free, jumping back to avoid further attacks.

He called out once more, “Tsingallik for King Bornival!!” Then stepped forward, thrusting again.

He noticed that the attackers did not seem to be trying to kill the king or his party, but working to force them backward into the train car where the ladies and the rest of the retinue had already taken shelter. If the attackers were trying to force them inside, it seemed to him that the best thing to do would be to try to force their way out.

But with Captain Gwailants shouting “Rally round the king! Rally round the king!” It seemed that they would be playing into the enemy’s scheme.

The King’s Gentlemen tried to close in around the king, and one glimpse that Carrtog was able to get of Bornival showed the man standing tall and grim, his bloodied sword in one hand, and blood soaking his left sleeve. Obviously, someone had gotten closer to him than his guard would prefer.

Carrtog could hear Yakor’s wisdom telling him not to get trapped in a train-car with the enemy’s target. But with the next surge of rebels he had little choice. He fell into formation with the king’s Gentlemen. Then they were all inside fighting to prevent the numbers of foe inside with them from growing.

Strangely, several of the rebels were pushing backward out the door, while trying to prevent any of the royal party from leaving.

Shouts went up from outside the car, shouts that Carrtog couldn’t make out, but he suspected a signal of some sort.

The train jerked into motion. There was a great groaning as the fastenings tore from the outside platform. Then the train was dragging the outside platform with it, leaving bits scattered along the way as they gained speed.

They’re trying to take the king hostage!

http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/railroadrising/railroadrising-catalog.html

And So it Begins

Tonight I began searching for what I believe is the sequel to “Railroad Rising”.

Right up until he died my father was writing. My mother later found some pages in his clipboard that was left in his hospital room. His writing, which was quite frightful when he was healthy, had deteriorated significantly as he grew closer to death.

When I first got the pages I quickly scanned them over to see what was on them. On one of the pages I was pretty sure that I saw the names of one of the main characters from Railroad. But as I looked them over tonight, I was unable to find any names that jumped out at me. But I was sure that he had begun writing a sequel.

It looked as if I would have to search through everything to find this missing manuscript….

When Words Collide Day 2

It’s late (or early, depending on how you look at it) and so I’ll keep it brief.

The first part of my morning was spent printing out books. Which were the perfect calling card….the way ashcans are supposed to be! I feel so awesome and retro about that.

It was one of those magical nights where you just fall into conversations with just the right people at just the right time. The only reason it stopped was because the hotel would lose it’s liquor license if we continued to drink, and they had to get the room ready for tomorrow.

After talking with everyone I realised that I felt bad that I didn’t pitch Grotto of Poppies more, cue the half-asleep log line: A current day world where secret societies rule the world and constantly battle for power. The Black Lodge vs the White Lodge….yeah I’m too tired to describe it….it’s awesome and I can’t wait to work on it after I’m done my other two comic projects…to be discussed on a different blog.

When Words Collide Day 1

So I like the idea of posting every night after the conference, in practise however, I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up on the rest of the days of the conference.

This was my first conference which has some similarities to a convention but it’s much more intimate.

The biggest thing that I’ll say is that there is a lot of information there. The only problem? The panels simply weren’t long enough! I’d just get into the panel and they’d be closing down and getting ready for the next panel. But I’ve got crazy recordings and so much information to compile.

I am loving the overlap between media and how each of the different mediums influence each other and inform each other. There were a lot of good conversations going on, with topics that translate directly.

I am going to bid everyone a good night now as I have to get up early to print mini-comics off for tomorrow. (Some things never change)

Housecleaning

I’ve just begun to organize all of the writing. And by that, I mean that I’ve put all of the related material that I am currently working on into one folder, begun an “unsorted folder” and have a couple of other folders which are already dedicated to specific stories.

My plans are as follows, towards the end of editing with the publisher, I’m going to find out if there were any near misses. Books that were almost published but just didn’t quite work out. Either that or see if I can develop something further with this current story. From there I’ll plan further.

I’ve got a lot of books to go through. This means a lot of material. Either fully formed, or needing to be reconstructed from the ground up. It proposes a great creative challenge which both excites and scares me.

The Editorial Process

They say that an editor doesn’t have to be a writer. I would say that is sort of true to a point. But it really depends on what type of editing you’re performing. For your basic, in depth proofreader/grammar checker I would say, as long as you understand the basics, you can get by.

For doing what I’m doing? As I look over my dad’s book, I try to imagine what he was thinking when he was writing this. What was he trying to convey? With that mindset, I will be looking over what his editor has asked to be revised and respond how I think he’d have wanted to respond.

Luckily, I have known my dad my whole life and therefore I like to think that I knew him pretty well.

Confessions

Good morning internet. It has been over a month since my last confession I mean post. If all I had was writing, this would be unforgivable, but because I’m me I have non-writing commitments which also needed to be tended to. But now I’m back, and just in time.

July and August are being set aside to finish editing the book which will see publication this year. I’ll also be using this time to arrange a venue for a book launch in Vancouver and confirm with my Mother about one in Saskatoon at the same time (roughly).

The thing that gets me when I’m reading my dad’s work is that I begin to analyse it. It’s one thing to analyse a writer’s work and it’s an entirely different thing when you are analysing someone’s work who you knew very well. You begin to think about what they were thinking as they were committing the words to the page. How they felt, physically and mentally. How they perceived their roles in life and how they interacted with their friends and family. Please note, that while I do all of this, I still am able to enjoy the story for what it is. Entertainment. I merely get much more out of it than most people do.

This also reminds me that I need to go to the store to pick up paper, a black ink cartridge and a red pen….

In Order to Catch a Story, You have to Think Like a Writer

The first thing I’m doing right now is reading over the novel that was in the process of editing. Not making notes or anything like that. Just reading. I really like the story and I’m finding myself getting very drawn in to it. But as I do, I begin second-guessing myself.

“Is this really good or do I just think that because I love my dad and I would think that anything he wrote was good?”

“No, he’s written some bad stories before and I’ve recognised them as such”

“What if I can’t recognise bad writing?”

“What if I’m not as good at writing as he was?”

But then the story grabs me again and I put the worries aside as I read.

Like my dad, I’ve always loved to tell stories, however, I chose a different way to tell them. I chose sequential art as my storytelling medium. Now I need to put aside the artwork and begin to think more like a writer. In the end, I’m sure that this will also help me in my work. Think like a writer and catch the story.