Well it finally happened. After years of writing, months of querying, and more months of waiting, it’s here. My debut novel is officially available for purchase!
While completing this list I came to an abrupt realization, that I didn’t know the answer to some of the questions I listed off here. It took some serious digging through the past few years to wrangle all the below information into one post so let’s get started!
- The Title: Choosing The Sword & Shield as the title of my debut novel was more of a ‘wand chooses the wizard’ moment rather than any decision making on my part. Not only is it the name of Ezra’s favorite haunt and the way people in his line of work characterize jobs, it is also a reflection of Ezra himself.
- Ezra Toth: I legitimately have no idea where I came up with the name for my beloved main character. I’m sure there was a thought process of some sort behind the choice but you could point a gun at my head and I wouldn’t remember it.
- The Man Behind the Mask: I am terrible at creating a person from thin air. Plots? Sure. Places? Fine. But people? People are hard. Which is why, if you ever notice the detail with which I describe my characters, it’s because they are modeled after real people. Ezra, for instance, appears to me as the actor Zach McGowan.
- What’s in a name? The name of the country in which the story takes place came from the fact that it (Olacia) sounded similar to the capital city (Olaesta). A name which I created by hitting my keyboard with both hands and then taking the time to decide which letters I wanted to delete.
- Time is an illusion. It took me a total of five years to write The Sword & Shield. Writing time was closer to a year an a half but I took a lot of breaks.
- Both myself and Ezra fall under True Neutral on the alignment chart. What does that mean for those who are not familiar with D&D? It means that, so long as the person (in this case we’ll go with Ezra) is happy and so are his friends then he’s happy. When things are going well they are more like a Lawful Neutral/Good person but when someone hurts them or the people they love then they quickly slide down the chart to Chaotic Neutral and will kill a mofo (I did say this was using Ezra as an example).
- The Sword & Shield almost vanished. At one point I was so consumed by self doubt and criticism that I actually dragged the file over to the virtual recycle bin and let go. About five minutes later, in a panic, I retrieved the file, but I almost deleted my manuscript forever because I was convinced it was garbage.
- I learned while writing this book that I have the reward-based mentality of a child. By using stickers, applied to my calender per 500 words written, I was able to maintain a 1-2000 word per day streak that lasted a month before I burned out.
So that’s all folks, a journey that started years ago with the idea ‘what if an assassin had an autoimmune disorder?’ has culminated in the release of the book The Sword & Shield a full, hard copy novel that people can buy for actual money!
Today is Release Day!