So I realize I’ve been saying this for a while now, but book one of “Shards” really is, finally, entering its final development phase. At this point I’m not only editing, I’m also doing some layout work. I haven’t started looking for cover art yet, but I did pull a bit of dialog to serve as the blurb on the inside front cover:

“So what kind of character do you want?” Mercy asked.

“I don’t know.” Bernard inspected the options. “What’s a rogue?”

“A rogue is like a thief.”

“What, you mean they go around robbing people?”

“Well, sort of, but not like a mugger. More like, you know, Robin Hood or Ali Baba.”

“Mmm. What are you?”

“I’m an elf sorceress.”

“Of course you are. I’ll be a human rogue. Male. Good.”

“Good? You can’t be good.”

“Why not?”

“You’re a rogue.”


“So you’re a thief. You burglarize castles. You waylay people and take their stuff. Does that sound like good behavior to you?”

“You just said rogues weren’t muggers.”

“It doesn’t take any skill to be a mugger. All it takes is a weapon. Rogues are like, like, like gymnasts. Acrobats who steal. Cat burglars. They jump around, they run along tightropes, they climb up walls.” She had no idea if this particular game actually presented rogues that way, but she was getting a little impatient. “Trust me, you’ll love being a rogue.”

“Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe I should be a scout. What would a scout do?”

“Help old ladies across the street. Oh, come on. Live dangerously.” Before he could protest further, she had made him a neutral male rogue. The computer then prompted her for the character’s name.

She gave Bernard a sidelong glance.

“Can’t I just call him Bernard?” he said. “Maybe humans in that world just have regular names.”

“Regular names are boring. Ambrosia the Sorceress is not going to pal around with someone named Bernard.”

“Well, I can’t think of a name,” he said, sounding cross.

“Fine, I’ll make one up for you.” She typed Brannoc and accepted the character; the screen went black for a moment, then returned to Ambrosia standing alone and motionless in the forest, as if she’d started down the path and then forgotten where she wanted to go.

“Where’s my character?” Bernard asked.

“He’s probably sitting around somewhere complaining about his name and wondering if he should have become a scout,” Mercy said.

None of my other books has used just dialog as a blurb, but I thought this was a good paragraph for establishing the personalities of and dynamic between my two main characters. Will it make anyone want to read the book? We’ll see …