Episode 11 – The book is finished


Intro

[00:00:00]

Welcome to the In All Jest podcast.

I'm Darryl, your host, and each week I take you on a hero's journey.

I leave my safe, normal world and face many obstacles on my quest to publish not just one but six epic fantasy novels. .

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

You can find out more information at kingdarryl.com/podcast.

Episode 11, which just happens to be on September the 11th, 2020. I've made it all the chapters are done. I'm there.

Since Last Time

[00:00:44]

Yes, it's true. Last Sunday, I finally was able to finish all of the editing that I've done to date on the book. Post my editor, reviewing the whole novel, getting everything pushed through, and we got there. 105 chapters, 201,891 words. It's a big book. But I'm pretty happy with everything that's come out of it.

I struggled through the last few chapters over the weekend. I only had eight chapters to do last weekend if you recall. And, they took the whole weekend and that's because they were the finale of the book, the last few scenes and chapters to bring it all to a conclusion. Took a bit of time to work through, but I'm happy with the way that worked out.

I am happy that the bulk of that work was all done. On time, as I hoped for. This week is now just  about reviewing things. I'd made little notes as I was going through the edit, things to look for. Words that had changed, spellings that I was pretty sure had crept in incorrectly. So I've just been tweaking things, going through. Find, search and find, finding items, just looking at those, playing with those double checking, a few things were fully removed, um, by searching for single words that shouldn't be in the manuscript anymore.

And I will send it off to the proofreader this weekend, which is an exciting milestone to make. It's been a long time coming. And it's also been confronting. The resistance that Steven Pressfield talks about reared its head significantly this week. I had a couple of moments during the week, not just from the book, but everything that's been going on at the moment.

A lot of activity, my working life is very busy. I know during COVID-19 there's, , two extremes. There's some people that have had their businesses suffer a lot, and others that are doing  really well. . We've had plenty of work and that's been ongoing since probably March. So coupling and all of this work for the book and all these other things, I think I just hit the end in the road after the weekend. Got a little bit uptight about things, a little bit stressed about a few things. And one of those things I think ultimately is that fear and self doubt that comes before putting something out in the world. You are always confronted by that.

I've been confronted by it along the journey, but it definitely reared it's head this week.  Having to look at it, think about it and go at some point soon it's out of my hands. So there's a lack of control feeling in that, there's fear and concern and worry, about is it any good, all of those things that you play with?

, but they've created resistance -- I wanted to delay the date and go back through everything again and have another look at this and that. And really, that's just not what is going to happen. So worked through all that and got it to a point where it will go. It's definitely going to go.

 

So what comes next? What comes after that? Well, a proofreader will have it for several weeks. Then it'll come back to me. I need to implement her change file. There'll be markup in there I need to process. So I'll need to accelerate through that over one to two weeks and just push that all through. Make sure I'm happy with everything that's come back from there and do the final publishing phase. Which includes making sure that the elements of the cover or locked in final prints files are all organized.

I'll be getting a new print proof with everything in it. The current print proof I've got doesn't have any front matter, or any back matter in the book, there was no need at that point, but there will be. we have a graphic that's in the chapter headings, which is the logo of the Jester's head, which looks , really cool.

But I used a gray scale version effectively. It was the dark blue version of the logo. And I just put that in. It needs to be black and the gray doesn't quite work. So there's little things in there that we will be doing, or I'll be doing mostly. Then my team to help publish it will come into action and we will have it up and ready to go , on October the 16th.

I will be putting preorder up, hopefully this time next week, if not before. Getting that finalized and released this week and weekend and early next week . We'll make it available; be on Amazon and a couple of other places, probably on the Kingdarryl.com website as well.

We'll have a preorder up there which will be good. See what we get out of that. We'll need to set up a few little ads to keep that ticking along and we'll hit the publishing date and go from there.  There's really not a lot to talk about in the manuscript this week because we pretty much got to the end.

As I said, I had to play around with a little bit to get it right. I'm pretty happy now with how that all has worked out. I think it resolved better than it had originally. The first iteration through over the weekend still just didn't quite link everything together the way I'd liked. But I feel now that I've got that put together, the way that I want to, and that will lead in nicely to book two, which is known as Fool Me Twice. I'm not sure yet that i've publicly announced that I'll be putting that up that the title of book two is definitely going to be Fool Me Twice. As I stand here talking to you, I'm looking at the cover design that's printed, on my studio wall, and I really love that cover.

I love the cover of A Fool's Errand, which will be out publicly for everyone  whenever the prerelease goes up. I'll release the cover to my newsletter list the day before, and then the preorder will go up the day after. So we'll get that all out and then it'll be a matter of just watching everything, spin up and get ready to happen.

This part of the business side of me, which is keen to see the book sold.  It's not the key motivation for doing it, ultimately. The original reason to write this novel was to write the novel and to write the series. Clearly I'd like that to have some degree of success. That people enjoy the story, and buy the subsequent books. My job is to produce them and put it out in the world.  The rest of it will be what it will be, and it will be interesting to see how it's received and how it goes.

I know some of my friends don't read that style of book and they probably will never read it, which is great for them. They don't like that style of book. I don't expect them to read it. I know that others that are keen to read it, which is great too. But my primary goal would be for people I don't know that pick it up anonymously and read it and like it. That would be fantastic for me. No bias there from them at all. They just like the story.

I'll look forward to those people, enjoying the story. I'll look forward to reading it in its entirety, without editing it at some point and seeing how it pans out. I am going to have to read it once I've put it all to bed and had a week off or two weeks off. I'm going to have to go through it all again, to update the Wiki, which I mentioned last week's episode.

But it will be different at some point. I don't know when that might be. Maybe it'll be in the lead up to the final edits of book two. I might just sit down and read the book and get my head back into book one world.  that might be a useful way to do it. But I think having cleaned it up, once it's been through the  proofreader.

I think then that I will be more comfortably able to read it as a novel. The last time I tried to read it as a novel prior to this edit parts of it were really easy to read that way, but then I got hung up on things that needed to be fixed. Typos, sentences or paragraphs that didn't really work. I've had almost the last version of the map back.

We had to do a few little tweaks to it. It's about four or five little tweaks to go, and then that will be good to go. I'd like to get that out as well through my newsletter group , that might just change the preorder date. Just need to get a few of those things out to the people that have been on my little team there, supporting for awhile.

Next time around. I'll probably have much more structure to what I'm doing. This time a little bit by the seat of the pants, partly because I never really knew exactly how the timing would end up and setting the deadline was about me having a deadline and meeting it.

And that's what that was all about was making me get to this point. It does feel a little bit flat, I must say, having got here. Because there's still this gap. I have to take a break from it, which will be good. It'll be good for my mental health. Good for my physical health.

Good, just to take a week or two off as a breath, while I wait for the manuscript to come back. I definitely will not be touching book two during that time. I'll just be looking at the marketing angles and, you know, making sure the back blurb on the book is all written the way I want it, ready to go, but I won't be deep in the world.

I won't be immersed in it. Need to have a break. And so there's a little bit of a flatness, I was so involved for so long in it, eight weeks or so, where I just was on it every day. It kind of feels a little bit distant right at this moment. Like, I should feel super excited because I achieved that milestone I needed to achieve.

The reality is though that until it's published, that's the big moment. And that's the one that I'm primed to celebrate, to get excited about and take a huge deep breath over. There's no backstory in this episode today. And I will be taking a four week hiatus from the podcast because I won't be writing in any significant way over this next three to four weeks.

So I thought to not bore you to tears, talking about publishing, I'm just going to take a hiatus, focus on getting the book out the door and we'll get the podcast back on track as I launch into, Fool Me Twice, the writing of that, cleaning up the Wiki and getting that story moving along as well as  feedback about how the book is selling. Until then.

Outro

[00:12:37]

Thanks for listening to this chapter of the In All Jest podcast. For the show notes and more about this podcast, visit kingdarryl.com/podcast. You can contact me through that site and find me on Twitter @ireckon. If you enjoy the show please tell others, share my posts and review it on your favorite podcast platform. Till next time.

 

Episode 10 In the home straight


Intro

[00:00:00]

Welcome to the In All Jest podcast.

I'm Darryl, your host, and each week I take you on a hero's journey.

I leave my safe, normal world and face many obstacles on my quest to publish not just one but six epic fantasy novels. .

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

You can find out more information at kingdarryl.com/podcast.

Episode 10 September the fourth, 2020. A big week of progress. I'm in the home straight sprinting towards the finish line.

Since Last Time

[00:00:43]

Well, before we get started, I'm going to try something a little bit different with my audio, today. Just positioning of my mic and sound. I do apologize for last week's audio.  listening back to it, because I was moving my head around, looking at books that were stacked all around my desk, I noticed that the voice quality went pretty poorly.

I also struggled to do a lot of the editing on the episode because of workload, due to all my editing, which you'll hear about soon. So wasn't my finest effort, but I hope my teeny audience will forgive me. So what has happened since last time?  I have done 50,212 words, or I've edited that much? 25 chapters, two to three were deleted.

The overall total is 103. There are eight chapters to go right now, as I record this. 1.14 chapters a day, eight per week. Ideally they will all be completely done this weekend, coming up. It all got set, by the work I did last weekend, I ended up doing 16 chapters that I got through, which set me up for the week fantastically.

I also took a little bit of time off some regular activities and managed to get nine done between Monday and today. So it was two every morning, apart from this morning where I only had  time to get one done, although it was a lengthy difficult chapter to process.

I'm really, really happy. Ecstatically happy with how that's all gone.

I can't believe that I'm here. Although I knew it would be like this. I knew I would get to this point where the momentum just seems to have built on itself.  All throughout this novel, as I've written it and edited it, I have had to handle the mental challenge of a hundred and something chapters. Each of the editing cycles I've been through, I start at one and I can see a hundred and something ahead of me. And it feels like I'll never get there. Much, like any difficult task whenever you're working towards something that takes a long time and a lot of steps, you struggle early on. You start with that initial burst of enthusiasm. It seems like a mountain to climb that will, you'll never reach the apex of. You make some progress with that early willpower, motivation, but then it becomes hard grind. And if you've listened to the early episodes, I think I've used hard work and grind probably too many times.

But it was. And then several weeks ago I seem to cross the halfway mark, and all of a sudden I'm here with eight chapters to go. And it does feel like a very short space of time. It feels a lot shorter than the early time that I put into it. It was a mistake or an issue, in the early weeks of starting this edit, I was only getting through five or six chapters.

And I think that's the other reason why it felt so much longer at the start. Whereas if I had done 10, then it was 10 weeks. You could clearly see it. At the beginning it felt like forever. But let's celebrate. I'm there right now. Ready to complete this. This weekend I will get through those eight chapters, everything going to plan.

And that gives me the rest of next week to do the reviews that I've marked for review. I flagged a few things through the edit as I went. There were a couple of chapters that were completely new and albeit I went over them two or three times while I was working on them or the next day,  I need to have another look at them in the fresh light of day with distance between when I did them and now, and how the rest of the story has panned out.

Did I say I was really happy and excited. Well, I am!

So, what happened with this story this week? Well, I clearly got through a fair chunk of it. Last week I was deep in act two. I think it was probably more than halfway through act two, but there was still a lot to play out in the story. We've got out of that middle build, we've moved into the ending payoff or act three. And I'm right at the climax. As of this morning, I'm working my way through the big events that are about to take place. I've been weaving in little climaxes or mini resolutions to a few other things that have been going on, but I'm bringing together a couple of the key points at this ending stage.

So it's important to get it right.  I'm not going to rush through them. I'm going to go through them like I have everything else, but I'm hoping that they will go well without too much rewriting or effort from what was discussed. Interestingly, there were limited notes from my editor at the end of the story, because  the ending, while impacted by the decisions made earlier, didn't really need in itself,  to have more thinking done around all of it. The key point to it was what led up to it that made sure it was a solid ending. I did have concerns about how all the earlier changes would affect the later parts of the story. And over this last week, I've been pleasantly surprised with the way that things fell into place.

Some of the things I was really concerned about how they would pan out and as they came up and as I had to address them, I just felt like they were meant to be, it really felt like the story now was clicking into place properly. And I'm eternally grateful for the professional input that Fleetwood, my editor, gave me.

I'm really happy with the amount of thought I did before I started editing, in mapping out solutions to the challenges that lay ahead of me. I do believe that was the most critical thing I did to help me reach this point with this story where I'm really happy. I've had some fun feedback this week. I've been able to share the first six chapters with different people and interesting different feedback that I've received.

One of them that I really enjoyed was about the opening sentence and I haven't looked at it properly in a while. And someone just said, great opening sentence and on reflection, it is quite good,I think. I think it's a good opening sentence. And the opening sentence is this:

The smell didn't bother her. In fact, she couldn't smell it anymore. It was only because others always mentioned it, that she was still aware of it.

Well, that's two sentences. So the first sentence was; the smell didn't bother her. Why do I like that? , I realized it does two things.

It raises two questions. What's the smell? And who's, her? In a very short space of time. And, that propels you to the next, sentence and the next sentence. So I quite like the way someone responded to that and looking back at it going, Oh, I wrote that.

As I said, everything's merging together for the final climax of the story.

I think there will be some little adjustments in it. I have an itch I need to scratch in my brain about, something that just wasn't quite right for me. And I believe that will be an exciting part of this writing to come. One observation of the week that's been, was spending so much time in the story world and doing so many chapters and basically, you know, reading, editing one, taking a mini break, doing the next, taking a mini break.

I spent all of the weekend deep in the world. Previous weekends, I've done a large number as well for whatever reason that, accumulated time over the last month, just built up so much in me. I was deep in the world. I was really enjoying it. And if you ask my wife, there were points where I was rabbiting on excited,  over the kitchen counter, as I was making another cup of tea or coffee. Where I was just really enjoying where I was in the story. Pretty sure she's over it, really doesn't want to have this elongated process happening any longer. She'll be very happy at the end of this weekend, I would think as well. But overall, fantastic week, looking forward to seeing this book out in the world.

Some Back Story

[00:10:47]

One of the hardest things with a fantasy novel of this size and particularly one that's part of a series is managing all of the information about this imaginary world.

The way I do that is by using a Wiki. I've set up a private website with Wiki software on it that I'm using to manage all of the information that I can.

Originally, when I started with the novel, I did it in Trello. I had a couple of Trello boards, lots of lists, lots of cards. Which was great, and I used that initially, but it became a little unworkable. I then progressed to using an app called Milanote, which I like for more freeform content.

It's really nicely laid out. Yout can really put some great things into it. And that was useful more, I think, for the plotting and some of the things I was doing that was less rigid, but ultimately I needed a place to store information that not only myself, but others, such as my editor or people helping me review the book, and for the future books, was easy to access and had a hierarchy to it.

That was clear and an intelligible for people, or should I say the logic was suitable? So I set up the Wiki. What sorts of things go in the Wiki? Pretty much everything. I have world notes,  so I outline the elements of information I have about the world as a whole. I then break that down into continents within continents it would be realms.

Some realms would be on different continents, but in the primary focus of book one, we're talking about one large continent with a number of realms. I then define into those realms. So there's a Wiki page for each of them. Within that, I have cities, towns, government, geography, military religions, while their economy made up from who their allies are, enemies, how trade and finance works across the realms. And anything like that that came up in my planning in my world building. It's really, really tough to keep up with it. And after the edits that I'm doing now, before I go back into book two, I'm actually going to have to reread the book again. Yes. That was me making a funny noise, but I need to go back through and really make sure that everything lines up before I leap back into book two.

So that the changes that have been made are recorded properly, adjustments are made, and the reference for book two is a hundred percent accurate. And it's a big task just maintaining it. I know it will get easier, partly because there's things I don't need to edit that I've already resolved and locked in.

I just need to go through them all and make sure that they've got all of that information. Other things that are listed, what resources do each of the realms have building the world. Everyone doesn't have access to everything. You know, you can't find gold everywhere, silver, everywhere, or lime, or those sorts of things.

So who has what type of resource? And I recall when I was doing the world building, you also have to think about what in theory climate and geography is of that area. You can't have a location, that's predominantly a rocky mass of mountains that grows wheat. You can't have a lot of salt mining in a desert.

That's not going to work. So you need to think about those things. I need to record them because let's be honest, I'm not going to remember that. I don't even remember it fully for the country I live in, in the real world. Of course there's Wiki pages about all of the characters. For all of the more focal characters, primary, secondary ones that we see a lot of, there is a lot of detail on their role, their profiles.

Basically, a full persona in history about them, but I also have limited pages for those minor role characters to just notate things. If I've described something about them, at a future time, I could come back through that location and brush up against that character again. The idea is I don't have to find which book that, that reference was in because I can go back to the Wiki, look them up and bingo.

The Wiki does tell me what books they're in, but if I've got their profile, that just answers all of that for me. There are 41 lesser characters in book one 11 primary, and about another dozen secondary characters or peripheral ones that are central to the biggest story, but may not have massive roles in book one, at this point. I have sections about the God/gods, magic, the different plot threads that weave through book one.  Not all of those are being resolved in book one. Otherwise it wouldn't fit into the series arc, but keeping track of them, I'm making sure I'm across them all, , I need to double check all of those again, in this next week, just make sure I've got them right. When I update the Wiki post publishing of A Fool's Errand on there to go back and look at. Were there any new ones that were adapted for the future books? I know there's one in my mind already that has changed a little bit in the way it will impact book two and book three.

I also have a whole section   on real world information, particularly research on things that I did. And I've talked about resources before. There was a lot of research in the early days on things like dyes, amber salt, guilds, types of minstrels, a whole raft of topics that I investigated.

And there was information that was really useful for me to help form the depth of the world that I have now. I talked about the dyes last week, , in my mention of the book, the English housewife, that was one resource. I also did a lot of online research in looking at how dyes are made, what goes into them, how they were made historically has that varied in modern times, but trying to get an understanding of it all.

And if you were to ask me questions about it, right, the second, I can't recall all of it, which is why I have them in the Wiki. For reference again, because I have used parts of it that in my storytelling, and there was a reason for that, that we'll come back again at a future point where I might need to access it.

I don't want to have to do all the research again, that doesn't make a lot of sense. I have some things bookmarked in my browser, but critical information that I want to reference again, and again, I put into the Wiki. Really the last section would be creatures. There aren't a lot of creatures in the early parts of the story.

I haven't filled it with that. There is a couple of creatures that reside in the back ground of the story in my head. I'll be interested to see how they come out in book too. If they do at that point. We'll just have to wait and see for those of you that are dragon lovers, I'm sorry to tell you. I don't have dragons in my story.

This is not a story about dragons. So that's what I mean by creatures. There are of course, the types of creatures you might expect such as a horse or those types of animals, but I'm talking more about the sorts of creatures that become an important part of the story. Maybe a mythical creature of some sort of, magical creature, those types of things that have an impact on the story. At the moment, they haven't had a big impact on A Fool's Errand, which is okay because I don't think it needs it.

I think the story is doing just fine without. That's some insight into the Wiki, what goes into it, how much goes into it. There's a lot of pages already. There's a lot of references to. Things that I've used to help gather the information. And I can imagine by the time the six books are done, it's going to be huge.

But at least I will know where to find all of the information about it. And a couple of people who've asked me, no the wiki isn't available to read for anyone else. It's not public information. It's not that type of wiki at this point. It's a Wiki for me. As my reference, my world Bible, of my world book, about the whole of my world.

Outro

[00:20:36]

Thanks for listening to this chapter of the In All Jest podcast. For the show notes and more about this podcast, visit kingdarryl.com/podcast. You can contact me through that site and find me on Twitter @ireckon. If you enjoy the show please tell others, share my posts and review it on your favorite podcast platform. Till next time.

 

Episode 9 – Boy am I tired but I got the best reward this week


Intro

[00:00:00]

Welcome to the In All Jest podcast.

I'm Darryl, your host, and each week I take you on a hero's journey.

I leave my safe, normal world and face many obstacles on my quest to publish not just one but six epic fantasy novels. .

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

You can find out more information at kingdarryl.com/podcast.

Episode nine August the 28th, 2020. I'm tired, man. Am I tired? But holding the first print copy proof in my hands this week is just the motivation I needed to get to the finish line.

Since Last Time

[00:00:48]

A big improvement this week. I had a really good weekend, last weekend. Really kicked on with the editing work and made a big dent in what was needed to get to this end point. There's only two weeks to go. I shuffled the dates just slightly to make it Friday to Friday. I record this podcast on a Friday, do the stats on a Friday, but I did have the original end date being the Wednesday.

So there's two weeks to go. I got through 16 chapters this week and deleted three. So I guess that was a win. The total number of chapters is now down to 105. I did 32,396 words of editing and writing. And there was fair chunks of writing in that and I felt pretty happy with how all of that went, really

I mean, it was pretty hard. Sunday last weekend was a big, big day, I think I got through eight chapters on that day. Some of which were much easier than some of the ones on other days. Leaves me ,17 and a half per week to get done two and a half chapters a day to reach those 35 done. Having said that there's a bunch of chapters I marked to have a run through again, because they were a substantial amount of fresh content or modified content. So I will need to run my eyes back over those and make some small edits, no doubt. But two weeks, it's going to be a busy two weeks.  Very, very happy with the way that week went. The last couple of days as is typical for the weeks, I have a lot on, a lot of early morning calls and things and struggle , Wednesdays and some Fridays to get as much done, which is why it's really important the weekends ,and Monday, Tuesday, I really make a big chunk of it.

Later today I'll dive back in again too. What did I cover in the material this week? I think Lani, my protagonist,  had some pretty significant changes to what was happening in the capital city that she's been in , that city's called Nedor. There was a lot going on there. We're right in the main part of act two, which means that we've been sort of escalating some of the challenges and obstacles that she's been facing.

She's now heading her way into one of the biggest ones in act two and just pulling the levers tweaking the dials, making the adjustments to ensure that, that level is right. And there were lots of little changes happening. And then lots of little things I'm picking up that no longer  make sense  contextually.

Originally in the book, there was a crystal necklace, that was part of the things that Lani had. And some other characters had, which we removed and there's a few scenes still where that had a place in them that needed to be taken out. Just adjusting things around that, which was all reasonably straightforward, just  having to get through it.

I think that where the second act is sitting right now is much stronger than it was. I'm much happier with it. I'm happier with the way other characters are  interacting with her and how she's interacting with them. There's filler, that's come out. Lots of filler, lots of, you know, internal thinking and some dialogue that didn't need to be in the chapters. So that's been really good. Another part of this week's work, , was around a character, tillandra, who's a significant second character , in the story.

There was some really lengthy chapters at a significant point in a journey she had made. And there were several chapters, two many. I think of the three I deleted probably one and a half or two of them were relating to her and brought that story in better, really shortened up parts of it. It did involve a whole new chapter and a whole new sequence of events that needed to go in. And I was pretty happy with the way that they turned out and the way it fits into the story.  I think it completes one of the key things that was a note that my editor and I had discussed needed to be resolved.  . I'm really happy with the way that played out, the way that story played out.

It's certainly made her journey much more interesting and much more engaging than it was. Albeit that I thought it was engaging and interesting originally when I wrote it, that whole point of coming back, looking at it objectively, having that feedback, sort of asking those questions that say this happened, this happened, did it really move the plot forward?

And then there would just be like a question Mark at the end of the comment. And I'd read that chapter and look at it and go, you know, he's right. Or no, no, there's there's reasons for this here, so obviously they're too weak or something needs to happen because we're not, we're not creating a, a turning point within the chapter.

I should read through some of the comments that are on the manuscript as they're. They were so well put to me, it was only a couple of them where i went grrr.  Don't like those, but most of them were just so well laid out for me. And they challenged me to really look at , the scene or the sequence or chapter and make sure not only did I fully understand what I wanted it to do, but was it on page?

Could the reader understand it? . More importantly this week, though, what turned up was the first print copy of the book. So I had the book, , express printed, express couriered to me, turned up on Monday and what an emotional moment that was for me. Not for you cause you can't see it and probably you don't have the emotions tied up, but in the four and a half years of putting this novel together, to finally have it sitting there and it's looking at me right now, sitting on my desk, in all its infinite beauty, to me, but the beautiful design that's been done by Jane, who did the design, the printings great, choice of paper.

Everything about the book has really come together. A couple of decisions we made about the chapter titles. , They have worked out , really well. So the illustration that goes on, them I'm stoked that we were able to do it within the publishing software that we're using. And so for first proof , I am just so happy with how it came out.

Things have to change about it. There's not even a blurb on the back cover and a couple of print errors happened because of a few parameters that we set, but that's the whole point of doing proof copies. At the end of the day, though, what dawned on me was I have wanted to write this book for at least 35 to 40 years.

At least that long. That was what I chose to do. I didn't choose to do it. That's what I thought I wanted to do when I was in my early to mid teens. And then now it's done. And within another short period of time, it will actually be out in the world as a published book. And that was probably a moment of celebration and excitement this week, that was more significant than possibly anything else that's happened. It was a major milestone to see it, to feel it all week. I've been able to look at it. I said at the beginning of the podcast this week, that I'm really tired. And I am, I have been working on this for a month or two now nonstop every weekend. Up early every morning and just doing the numbers, getting through it  and to have a reward for that effort is cool. I'm really happy I chose to do it now. This was the right week for it to happen. So I'm stoked to have it. All In all, I week of good progress, exciting revelations to have a book right there in front of me.

Lots of chapters written. I have a copy of the book in my hand. I feel like I'm almost at the finish line, which I am, and I am really excited about it.

Some Back Story

[00:10:11]

The backstory this week is going to be on a bit of research. But given the context of me receiving a copy of my book this week, I thought I would talk a little bit about the books that I've read, some of them anyway, that have been part of the research. And I actually pulled them out and, I have a heap of them sitting in front of me right now.

they range across some fairly obvious ones, I would think if you yourself were to think, what would I do to research the sort of book that's been written, an Epic fantasy with a medieval tone to it. And you'd be right to think, , there's a book here. , , life in a medieval village.

The middle-aged is unlocked. There's Chaucer's people, early medieval architecture, which is interesting. Why look at architecture? Part of the world-building to me was making sure I'm thinking about the things the way they would have been in the sort of world mine is and to look at a book on architecture and to understand the types of buildings that existed and why, that's kind of important.

It's a way for me to get visibility, to get a window into the period of time that I'm looking to do.  , , the funniest book I think I got was called the English housewife. And she says on there containing the inward and outward virtues, which ought to be in a complete woman. And for those of you, whose the hairs on your spine just went up when I said that, it is literally a book like that, , in 1615 Englishman

Gervas Markham published a handbook for Housewives that contains all the virtuous, knowledges and actions, both of the mind and body, which ought to be in any complete housewife. And before your outrage reaches me down the interwebs, the interesting thing about this was why I ended up getting it was relating to some of the things that it has in there around recipes or cooking, which I haven't used in book one, but there was some fascinating backstory for lack of a better word, but a history on things like gathering seeds and the homemaking of clothing and dying of clothing, which ended up making it's way into the larger story in micro ways, but there were some really interesting things there. And of course you can kind of get a mindset for the period that it was. Funny because of just some of the things in there that are written about, or just completely different, really, really engaging to me, or really informative to me because of the level of depth that goes into and the preparation of things that you just don't see. We're so used to a recipe being, you know, grab this and that and this and that out of the cupboard and bang make a meal. And the recipes here include, , hunting the foul and what to do with them for the next two hours and skinning them, and all of that, part of the hyper preparation needed to prepare, prepare something really good. And making clothing, , all the way back to, , if you've just got a cotton, , how do you make a finished product? So really, really interesting stuff in there.  Clearly I read about jesters and some of the topics, but there were other things that I got , really interested in.

There's a book here by Tony Mount called medieval medicine, which. I got , really interested in, and then Arabian drugs and early Medieval Mediterranean medicine. And there was just some neat understandings of things in there about how medicine or the concept of medicine grew up through the ages, which I found fantastic.

I then. , have done things like mythology books, of course. And I wouldn't say that I've drawn on heaps of mythology in what I've done. But even some classical books, there's one that was a scan book from old libraries called Scenes and Characters of the middle ages.

And it's, , like you can probably hear it creaking there as I open it. But the pages in here are, scanned from something and some of them are damaged. It's one of . The books that you can buy , that have been done by the libraries and things or Google. And they've been produced, , from scanning old material that just isn't in print anymore.

And some fascinating things and poems and just images that help to put pictures in my mind about, , what I want my world to be like.  I wish I could have read every word on all of them. I haven't yet, over time, I will. The books that I did read early on The Fool and his Sceptre and Fools are everywhere, and falls everywhere is by Beatrice, Otto and it's about the court jester around the world, was fantastic.

And The Fool and his Sceptre by William Williford. It was an older book and turned up, actually had an old library card in it, which is really, really cool. And I have an idea for a future story set in the modern world around that concept of a book with a library card, but that's not for today.  those two books, huge, , in the preparation for me to get the, the jester story clear in my head. , another one which transformed the opening of the book for me was some scenes in a book, called the English Medieval Minstrel, by John's Southern Southworth. And it talked just about minstrels and the concept of a minstrel and the entertainers over the time.

But I got a few little things out of it, which just helped. And I can recall the scene in my head that was stimulated by reading that book. And it's in the early chapters of the book book, , where Lani is passing through the city square and there's entertainers performing. And that scene, when you come to read it, actually was inspired by the information in that book.

the complete works of Francois. Rabolet who, , wrote plays and stories that had Jester type characters in them. And that one's a monstrosity, which I pick him through and get through. Bruster's dictionary of phrase and fabel, which is another monster one, but picking out elements from that, then help influence what I've done has been , really important.

Another one, which really has heavily been part of the society that I've built is called the medieval traveller by Norbert Ollah. I hope I did his name justice and the final groupings of books actually come down to me trying to get a better understanding of disability and particularly disability in the era of the , middle ages, medieval disability. And that, if you can kind of think about it then to now, you know, imagine, I guess in, , the, , Vikings TV series. There's a character  whose legs don't work. On one of the sons. And at some point they create, , mechanisms for him to get around.

And that was almost revolutionary at that time, which of course it would have been. Whereas now that person would have automatically potentially use a wheelchair and those sorts of devices, which didn't exist. , the characters that make up the world and the society that the jesters live in, a lot of them are outcasts.

And for a lot of them, that would be because of disabilities, misfortune. Some of them might be just mental illness. Some of them could be physical disabilities. Some of them could be,  only minor deformities or things that make them stand out as different. I had to draw the line. My understanding of it isn't as great as it could be.

And I didn't want the whole story to completely be on that topic alone. But I did want that to be , in the story and,  , books like other middle ages. Witnesses at the margins of medieval society. And that included people with disability, people in levels of poverty that were extreme.  Fools and idiots, intellectual disability in the middle ages, by Irenena Metzler another great  book and a couple of books, dwarfism in the lives of dwarves , that I read,  to understand better how that might make up the characters in my novel and the society, that I've been writing in. There's a lot more, I've gone on and on about a lot of books. I hope you found that a little bit interesting, but that's probably, what are there 30, 35 books in front of me right now that doesn't include all the electronic books and all the other ones I've got around mythology and weaponry and those sorts of things. Just probably 70, 80 books that have gone into the research to make up the backstory to this novel.

Outro

[00:20:07]

Thanks for listening to this chapter of the In All Jest podcast. For the show notes and more about this podcast, visit kingdarryl.com/podcast. You can contact me through that site and find me on Twitter @ireckon. If you enjoy the show please tell others, share my posts and review it on your favorite podcast platform. Till next time.