Monthly Archives: May 2018

Spiralchain Maystravaganza Part 3: GATEMAKER AUDIOBOOK

Once more, we return to Spiralchain MAYSTRAVAGANZA! Our special, month-long celebration of Spiralchain awesomeness is a great way to enjoy the calm before the storm in the world of Spiralchain writing, and that makes it the perfect time to celebrate some of the amazing things we have in the pipeline for you!

Each Sunday in May, we’re sharing a new Spiralchain goodie. Whether it’s a sneak peek, an announcement, or a freebie, you can be confident that it will be something that will help expand our magnificent little universe in a new direction.

For this week’s MAYSTRAVAGANZA, may I present…

GATEMAKER AUDIOBOOK (Announcement)

SC-GM-Cover-KindleBack in October, the AMAZING Kickstarter backers for Boltsender did the impossible–they smashed our funding goal in such a way that they made it possible for me to commission the recording of an audiobook version of Gatemaker!

Having an audiobook presentation of the series has always been a dream, but as you surely know, we are a small crew. The logistics and the startup costs just seemed too prohibitive to turn this dream into a reality. Couple that with the fact that our first forays into hiring a narrator yielded some less than stellar results, and I was a very crestfallen author.

00100sPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180428213341349_COVEREnter Justin Kolehart. Justin’s name may be familiar to some of you–he’s been a member of the ChainGang (the Spiralchain advanced reader team) since its inception back during the Mindshaper drafting days, and he is, without a doubt, one of the world’s premier authorities on the characters and worlds of the Spiral. He’s also an audiophile and a dear friend, and when things started to look most dreary for the future of the audiobook project, he stepped in and volunteered to take a swing at it.

His work has been nothing short of amazing. He’s been plugging away at this project for half a year and says that it’s been a lot of fun tackling this project. He’s excited for people to have another option for experiencing the storytelling of the Spiralchain series, and with that in mind… we are excited to announce right here, right now, that Gatemaker will be available through Audible in June! We can’t yet commit to which day in June, because of details beyond our control, but SOMETIME IN JUNE OF THIS VERY YEAR! Of course, the Kickstarter backers will get theirs first–just one of many perks of joining us for our annual pre-order pilgrimage (coming in October).

Take your very first listen to the audio with this quick sample!

If you want to learn more about Justin, follow him on Twitter @JKolehart !

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Spiralchain Maystravaganza Part 2: MAP OF ONUS

Welcome back to Spiralchain MAYSTRAVAGANZA! Our special, month-long celebration of Spiralchain awesomeness is the perfect way to enjoy the calm before the storm in the world of Spiralchain writing, and that makes it the perfect time to celebrate some of the amazing things we have in the pipeline for you!

Each Sunday in May, we’re sharing a new Spiralchain goodie. Whether it’s a sneak peak, an announcement, or a freebie, you can be confident that it will be something that will help expand our magnificent little universe in a new direction.

For this week’s MAYSTRAVAGANZA, may I present…

A MAP OF ONUS (Freebie)

OnusSome of you who have liked Spiralchain Series on Facebook may have seen my old map sketch of Onus, the principle fantasy world that sits squarely in the center of the action of the series. I am not a great artist though, and several of my attempts to turn my maps into something fit for human consumption have ended in tears.

Enter Bree Hill. Bree is an illustrator of my acquaintance who, once upon a time, was a student of mine at North High School in Des Moines. While those days are long behind us both, we have kept in touch from time to time, and I reached out to her earlier this year to ask if she would be willing to tackle a map of Onus for me to share with you all… and she said yes!

Our hope is for Bree to work on maps for each of the worlds (though Core and Nur are, for lots of good reasons, low on our priority list) over the months ahead. This was Bree’s first map project, and she agonized over getting it just right. I think it turned out great! If you are interested in any more of her work, you can check out her site here!

I have some plans for these maps as they get done, but for now, here’s a copy of the map of Onus (as it appears in Gatemaker–certain world-shaking events from later books are not incorporated into the map so that it remains spoiler-free). Thanks for joining us for this week’s MAYSTRAVAGANZA!

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Spiralchain Maystravaganza Part 1: BOARD GAME

Welcome to Spiralchain MAYSTRAVAGANZA! What is this made-up word, you ask? Why, it’s a special, month-long celebration of Spiralchain awesomeness! Why May? Well, truthfully, it’s because May is the month BEFORE heavy drafting starts on the next book in the series. It’s the calm before the storm in the world of Spiralchain writing, and that makes it the perfect time to celebrate some of the amazing things we have in the pipeline for you!

Each Sunday in May, we’ll share a new Spiralchain goodie. Whether it’s a sneak peak, an announcement, or a freebie, you can be confident that it will be something that will help expand our magnificent little universe in a new direction.

For this week’s MAYSTRAVAGANZA, may I present…

THE SPIRALCHAIN BOARD GAME (Sneak-Peak)

For the better part of two years, I have been working on a Spiralchain board game in partnership with my colleagues in Nightcandle Imaginations. The game is not quite done yet, but it is far enough along that we can start talking much more openly about it!

The game was designed to be fully cooperative–that means the players (1-8 of them) work together against the game, rather than against one another. It has a variable difficulty and currently plays in about 70 minutes with 10 minutes of setup time. Inspired by games like Pandemic, it plays out the epic quest of a group of Onusborn mystics to travel the Spiral of Worlds and collect the necessary technologies, sorceries, prophecies, and alliances to thwart the Foreverot before it spreads across the Spiral and destroys everything.

The game is 95% final in terms of mechanics, which means it is now entering the graphic design phase. Andrew Aguirre, who has provided all of the cover art for the series, is currently hard at work on designing something truly special. Don’t let my meager Microsoft Word-produced prototype fool you, this will look amazing when it is done!

As Andrew locks in art assets for the game, I hope to share more previews. When the game is complete, it will likely launch via Kickstarter and print in partnership with The Game Crafter. Before all of that, once the mechanics are 100% final, some backers of an earlier novel KickstarterFatewaker, I believe–will be receiving a complimentary Print-and-Play version of the game!

OK. Enough words… let’s look at the game! Here are some shots from a game-in-progress featuring four players (A Fatewaker, a Shadowbender, a Bloodmender, and a Gatemaker) working hard to stop the Obliviates and warlords that are plaguing the eight worlds. By gathering resources, petitioning dragons, using their mystic abilities, and forging alliances, the players must defeat the Rot in its lair on Nur!