Sanctum of the Archmage: The Future

I’m pleased to announce plans for the very first work in the saga, tentatively titled “Sanctum of the Archmage: The Beginning,” to be released later this year as a Kindle novella. It will serve as an “introductory prequel” to the rest of the series…

Now that the final remake of my game module, Sanctum of the Archmage 1: The Sight has been released, I thought this would be a good time to discuss some of my future plans for the Sanctum of the Archmage writing projects.

When I first discovered “game modding” with Neverwinter Nights years ago, I made a conscious decision to put aside work for a while on the Sanctum of the Archmage novels. Newly fascinated by the idea of telling stories through the medium of computer-based role-playing games (or CRPGs), I took some time to explore developing part of the backstory to the novels in that form instead. My goals were both to teach myself the new and fascinating art of interactive storytelling through computer games, which I’ve always liked, and to try to help build an audience for my writing at the same time. I think by now that I’ve managed some success at both — and while time-consuming, I found that challenging myself to develop ever better storytelling games was something that I really enjoyed. There’s no question, though, that that effort has turned out to be a substantially longer diversion from my core fiction writing work than I’d originally intended.

I’ve also had to take a hard look at my somewhat ambitious plans for the module series, given a realistic assessment of my other goals and the amount of time I actually have to work on it. My “real life” career as a computer scientist demands most of my time and attention, and I have plans for developing it further that will require additional focus on learning certain new technologies. Both writing and modding are things that I can only afford to do in my (unfortunately, not especially plentiful) spare time — which I need to be more hard-nosed about rationing. Some reflection has consequently forced me to the conclusion that while I’m not quite ready to give up on Sanctum as a modding project just yet, that I need to make more time in my schedule for other efforts as well.

I’ve also become aware of some recent developments in the publishing industry that have an important bearing on my prospects for continued work on the novels. These include the dramatic rise in electronic and indie self-publishing, which has opened up exciting new possibilities for authors that didn’t exist only a few years ago. One writer friend of mine is now publishing her work in this form, and has even written a Kindle book on Step by Step Kindle Publishing. Fantasy author Terry Goodkind deliberately published his latest novel, The First Confessor, solely in e-book form, and his comments on that decision are thought-provoking. And readers who have played his NWN modules may know that Stephen Nowland (aka Savant) has been adapting the story told in his Aielund Saga and publishing it as a set of Kindle — and most recently, indie paperback — novels.

These are all considerations that I can’t ignore any longer, given that my main goal has always been to publish Sanctum of the Archmage as a novel series. So I’ve decided, after releasing the re-make of my first module, to turn the main focus of the project back to that effort. I’m therefore pleased to announce plans for the very first work in the saga, tentatively titled Sanctum of the Archmage: The Beginning, to be released later this year as a Kindle novella. It will serve as an “introductory prequel” to the rest of the series, telling the story of the massacre of Lannamon, and the opening scenes of The Sight up to fleeing Blackwing Lodge.

This is a project I’m very excited about starting, and I hope that you are too. I’ll be posting about it again soon and as it develops, so stay tuned!

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