The Rune That Binds was published ten years ago as the culmination of an experiment that began a few years earlier. In honor, and as a continuation of that experiment, I'm re-releasing (sort of) the book with new material, a new cover, and quite frankly, a better interior layout.
Back in 2011 when I first published TRTB, I really didn't know what I was doing. I was out of work, and almost out of money. I'd started writing TRTB as an experiment to see if I could write long form fiction. I'd had a moderately successful career in nonfiction, writing computer articles and doing some free-lance work, but I've always wanted to tell stories. I'd written some short stories, and even managed to sell one or two to small, local publications, but could I write a book? TRTB started out as nothing more than an attempt to answer that question, and I never intended to publish. The original premise was simple, and based on a popular motif at the time, a good vampire. The story wasn't what was important, I wanted to see if I had the ability to write a full-length novel. As I began writing, a story began to take shape, and I found myself creating something far more challenging and complex than I intended. I threw away the vampire character, and the elves, and even the dragons, though Fruur is clearly modeled after the traditional mythical creatures, he is never once called a dragon. And in truth, he would not be considered a dragon in the traditional mythical sense, but you'll learn more about his origins in the sequels. Yes, there are sequels. I know, it's been ten years, and if you had the misfortune of reading A Season of Storm, then I owe you an apology. I rushed it, and it is not very good. The bones are strong, but it is poorly written. To that end, it is getting a rewrite to make it a better story, and it is slated for release in November. I promise that this will be a better book than the one you may have read.
But back to the point of this post. TRTB grew and took on a life of its own, and the world I built fascinated me. The simplistic story of a good vampire struggling to overcome his blood thirst was discarded, and instead a complex story with a troubled young man obsessed with vengeance took its place. I began to believe I had something special, and so when the manuscript was as good as I could make it, I sent it out to publishers. TOR rejected me in a standard form letter, but DAW expressed an interest. Long story short, though DAW was intrigued, they decided not to offer me a contract. It was at this point another author suggested I put the book for sale on Amazon. I knew the book had legs, after all a major publisher had expressed an interest, so I designed a cover, did my own editing, laid out the interior and self-published.
My motives were purely mercantile. I was almost out of money, and I hadn't been able to find a job in my field, and since publishing on Amazon cost me nothing, I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The first couple of months generated a handful of sales, but then something incredible happened, and I started selling dozens, then hundreds of books. I was able to pay my bills with income from sales, and the reviews were positive. I specifically asked friends and family not to review my book. I wanted reviews from actual readers.
Two things came from my experiment, which is still ongoing. One, I learned I could write long form fiction, and two, that I could make a living as a writer. Of course, I'd already done that as a freelance writer, but writing employee handbooks isn't exactly fulfilling. For the next year I made most of my money from book sales, and then I landed a job, I wrote a bad book, a family member was murdered, and for a while I just didn't want to write anything.
It's said that time heals all wounds, and while I no longer believe that, life continues to fill us, and as such we become more than the things that happen to us. We grow, the wounds remain, but we grow large enough to endure them, and eventually to accept them, but we are not healed so much as changed. So here we are in 2021, and TRTB is being released with a new cover and cleaner, interior; and A Season of Storms is being rewritten and will be released in November. It will be a much better book and a worthy sequel of the book that launched my writing career.
Many of you have been more than patient. Others have forgotten me, which is my fault. But I wanted to thank everyone all the same. You kept the lights on, the fridge stocked, and gave me a far greater gift than I gave you in the TRTB. You made me believe I was and am a writer. Thank you.