Wednesday Words: Si Vis Pacem…

lou hoffmann books square iconVIC (Very Important Character) Han Shieth…

…carries a whole spectrum of duties on his two-century-old shoulders. First and foremost, he’s the wizard Thurlock’s “shield man.” His role as Lucky’s confidant and guardian rank second in importance officially, but if push came to shove, he’d throw over the wizard to save his nephew. He’s the best horseman and trainer in the Sunlands—see Windrunner, Simmarhon, Sherah, and Zefrel. But he’s a military man too, the general of all the Sunlands armed forces. And when he’s in the world of Ethra, that  takes up most of his time.

Dragon’s Rise

Book four in The Sun Child Chronicles is titled Dragon’s Rise for reasons that have a lot to do with Han, but wait until later to find out why. Right now , I just want to share with you a short excerpt from that book, a little of Han’s inner workings as he prepares himself to prepare the Sunlands for war.

Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Han had enough experience of life to tell him that no time of trouble such as the Sunlands was now experiencing was likely to end peacefully. With great luck, they might not have war. But it would be foolish to blindly trust to that slim chance.

Si vis pacem, para bellum,” he whispered.

Warrior Han An Earthborn, a Roman named Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus had written those words a long time ago, and Han never forgot them after reading them while he was in Earth with Thurlock. It meant, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” Like the military truisms in the writings of Earthborn Sun Tzu—in The Art of War—and the premises of the Sunlands’ own Laws of the Sword, the simple sentence stated a large truth in a nutshell. But Han didn’t think Renatus’s statement was true everywhere and always. Sometimes, building for war meant inviting attack. Still, he knew without a single doubt that when all the signs point to the need for a defense, it’s best to have one.

If he’d had any doubt that now was such a time, it vanished when he’d arrived home last night to find a copy of that very book of Renatus’s writings on his pillow with a bookmark at the relevant page. He’d smiled at the small gift, even though he understood the meaning of it was grim. It was one of the things Thurlock had always done for him through the long years they’d worked together: If they went separate ways for separate tasks, he gave Han something extra, something specific that he would need along the way. When he was to fight Isa’s thralls in Black Creek Ravine, it was flame arrows. And this time, the gift wasn’t so much the book as it was the boost to Han’s confidence in his own military mind.

That’s it for this week’s words.

Thank you so much for reading. Just a reminder: I’m still looking for alpha and beta readers (see the blog post just before this one)—contact me if interested.

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Hooded figures, abstract

Readers Wanted, Must Love YA Fantasy

Lou Hoffmann's smiling faceThe end goal of authoring and publishing a work of fiction is to connect with readers. But readers are important before  publishing too. Just like game or tech developers test their product by engaging beta testers, so authors use beta readers when they have a solid draft. Usually, a writer has written and self-edited at least a second draft of the novel before it’s ready for beta. Earlier “testers” might read parts of a novel, or the whole thing while the first draft is in the making. Those first readers are called, as you might guess, alpha readers.

Want to know more about alpha and beta readers?

Here are links to a couple of articles that provide a good overview on the topic. While the target readers for these posts are writers, the information works for everyone.

This article, written by author Aigner Loren Wilson, is aimed at writers. But the information is valuable for people on both sides of the author/beta table. Among other things it gives the following list of what qualities make a good beta reader.

  • Supportive readers
  • Honest and fair critics
  • Responsive
  • Tactful
  • Readers within story’s genre

cartoon cat reading a bookI’m betting you’re that kind of reader. If so, and you read YA Fantasy, read on—I’m looking to find betas like you for The Sun Child Chronicles.

This blog post, on a book formatter’s site called Word2Kindle, gives an overview of how to get into beta reading if you haven’t already done it, and has some great information on resources for beta readers and would-be beta readers.

Are you the reader I’m looking for?

Of course, each author has specific needs when it comes to what they’d like early readers to do for them. For the Sun Child Chronicles, I will ask beta readers to read each revised or book in the series when I’ve got a solid draft ready. I’m interested in hearing from readers who’d like to be on board for that process—I’m not there yet, but it won’t be long before I have book ready.

More immediately—

I’d like to gather alpha readers for a special project. Book 1 is being more extensively revised than any of the rest of the series. In fact, though the story hasn’t changed, the first chapters in book 1 will be almost entirely rewritten. I’d like a small team of readers willing to read the old chapters and the new and answer vital questions that will help me get it right for publication.

If you’re interested, please contact me!

You can comment here on the blog, or try a message on Messenger, but possibly the best way to reach me would be a Direct Message via Twitter.  Once we’re in touch, we can discuss the project. I will appreciate all feedback from alpha and beta readers, and I’ll do my best to make it a rewarding experience.

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On Twitter, I’m @Lou_Hoffmann

That’s all I’ve got on early readers today, but here’s a tiny snippet from that rewrite of Key of Behliseth’s first chapters (rough, unedited, but hopefully tantalizing).

A long snippet, or a short excerpt

To set the scene, Lucky has fled the place he’s called home for the last year and gone to an abandoned, decaying “housing projects” where he’d stayed before, a place used by many homeless people. Sammy, the teen he runs into, was once a friend.

He picked up his stride—it didn’t pay to look too lost or aimless in a place like this—and kept his eyes moving, scanning the street the covered porches, the shadows between desiccated shrubs. At first everything seemed ordinary enough. But then, oddly as if conjured out of his thoughts, he saw the boy who’d given him that kiss a year ago coming toward him along the dinged-up pavement.

“Hey, Sammy.”

“Lucky! What are you doing here, man? Haven’t seen you for ages.”

“I been staying out… on the edge of town, an old house.” Lucky’s shack and what he was doing for money these days weren’t exactly secrets, but something stopped him from being more specific. Though he was no stranger to these sudden intuitions, he still wished he knew what that something was, where the silent warning came from.

“Got you a sugar daddy or somethin’?”

“Hell, no!”

“Hm. Too good for that, too, huh?”

Lucky was hit hard enough by that remark that he took a step back. “You know it ain’t like that, Isamu.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“It’s your name.”

Sam stepped closer—too close—and breathed right in Lucky’s face. “Shut up about it, okay. But listen, can you help a brother out? I hear you got yourself a little business. You must be doing all right. You’ll share with me won’t you, sweet thing?”

“Sweet thing?”

“Aw, you know how I feel about you. And speaking of names you ain’t never told me yours. Tell me that, and I’ll call you by it proper.”

Hooded figures, abstractLucky wanted to say, all I’m going to tell you is to take your alcohol breath and needle tracks and get out of my face. Instead, his name—his real name—started to bubble up on his tongue. “Luc—”

He choked it off, and was about to flee—something he was good at, since being able to run fast kept him out of jail and who knows where else. He had no parents, no papers, no past, no identity. If a cop or even a social worker pinned him down and started asking questions, he’d probably end up in an institution.

But speed didn’t matter at the moment, because everything changed. The darkness hovering in shadows seemed to flow out to cover the already strangled light on the streets of the old projects. By the time Lucky’s vision adjusted Sammy had turned his back and walked ten feet away, and then he vanished.

Shapes came toward Lucky—human shapes, more than likely, covered in black robes with hoods pulled up to shadow their faces. They took mechanical steps and chanted. Lucky blinked, trying to clear his mind of what must be hallucinations. But when he looked again, not only were the black-cloaked people still shuffling toward him, but the world had slipped away.

He glanced to the sides and behind him—yes, he was still standing in the projects, but out there… in front of him lay a rocky field of ice.

Thanks for reading!

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About “comps,” as if you asked

Last week, I blogged about possible strategies for re-releasing The Sun Child Chronicles. This week I’m blogging short and sweet (or down and dirty) about a specific marketing issue. No matter how TSCC is published in the end, I will need “comps” to market it. And they’re not that easy to find! (If by some chance you want to know more, try this excellent article by literary agent and author Paula Munier.

Comps explained

If you’re part of the book-industry world, you probably already know about comps, but for those who aren’t let me Lou-splain. (See what I did there—like mansplain but with Lou instead… Not that funny. Okay.) I’ll keep it short. These days, when an author tells an agent, editor, or potential reader about their book, their expect it to name books that are like it. But you don’t stop there, generally. It’s best if you can say the book is like some kind of mashup—though of course it is still supposed to be a wholly original take on a similar theme.

Comp examples

Here’s an oversimplified example. Someone might have a book that’s about an orphan boy whose parents left him magic beans. But unlike the old tale, he climbs the bean vine up to a secret wizarding school. Comp: Jack in the Bean Stalk meets Harry Potter.

Or, by author. Like say, a murder at a horse race takes place in Victorian England, and a private enquiry agent competes with police to solve the crime first. Comp: Dick Francis meets Anne Perry.

Or maybe the multiple comp mash-up: An organization of masked swordsmen in a future earth run by buffoon aliens are tasked with culling a certain number of people each year to avoid overpopulation. Comp: Scythe meets The Mask of Zorro, with a touch of Men in Black.

The Challenge for The Sun Child Chronicles

I’m starting to try to figure out the best comps for this series, but it’s going to take some research. I mean, for best results, comp books should have several of the following elements:

  • A male, teenage protagonist
  • Important characters of all ages and genders
  • Racial diversity
  • At least some LGBTQ+ characters
  • Parallel worlds
  • Interdimensional boundary lands
  • Some real-world feel contemporary scenes with fantasy elements
  • A “sword and sorcery” world
  • Magic
  • Future-feel tech
  • Fantasy creatures
  • aliens
  • Warrior characters and epic battles
  • Romantic subplots
  • Fated destiny
  • Coming of age
  • Humor or wit

I will find them!

But you can help me. If you know a book that you might think fits the bill, let me know and if I’m not actually familiar with it, I’ll add it to my reading list. Leave a comment here, or direct message me on Twitter or via my Facebook page. I’d love to hear from you.

The list so far

So far, I’ve had these suggestions:

  • Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles book 1) by Tamora Pearce
  • Dark Rise (Dark Rise book 1) by C.S. Pacat
  • The Wheel of Time series (Robert Jordan completed by Brandon Sanderson)
  • The Ranger’s Apprentice series (John Flanagan)
  • Works by author Anne McCaffery and author Amy Lane

I haven’t decided if any of them are “the right comps.” Opinions welcome. 🙂

Before you go, here’s a few words from the revised (but still not set in stone) 1st chapter of book 1, Key of Behliseth

The closer he got to his shed, the blacker the night seemed. Mist rose up from the gorge, swirling and twisting before it settled ghostlike over the small structure. But an owl called and flew over the pines, drawing Lucky’s eye eastward. To his surprise, the sky there still held a violet memory of the sun. The round moon hung blood-red between the twin rock spires known as Death of the Gods.

Like an omen.

Shit. I hate omens.

That’s all, folks

Thanks for stopping by. If you enjoy the blog, please feel free to leave comments, hit the like or share buttons, or subscribe! I hope to get a newsletter going soon.

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Green dragon





Sun Child Chronicles banner

Wednesday Words—Time for Romance?

Can teen/YA Fantasy have romance?

Better to ask, how could it not? The Sun Child Chronicles is no exception. Main character Lucky had no time for romance when he was living in Valley City, California. And in fact he was on guard against it. But once he’s back to his home world of Ethra, romance finds him. Yes, the series remains solidly in the fantasy genre. But, though his romance (and a couple of others) don’t get a lot of page time, the love stories are more than subplots. Honestly, they’re part of the mortar holding together the fantasy plot.

A little about the excerpt

This week’s Wednesday Words are from WIP, Kaynenh’s Triad, to be book 5 of The Sun Child Chronicles. Lucky and his boyfriend, Rio, have just been reunited after a long time apart. They’re delighted about that. Unfortunately, all is not right in Ethra.


After all the others had gone still or at least hushed, the two teens stepped out on a path that had been worn between the tents and the place where the horses were corralled. With Rio softly soothing the horses so they wouldn’t get riled, they made their way farther along to a glade where a stream cut through.Lucky and Rio about to kiss

Frogs croaked, crickets played their monotonous tunes, and a pair of owls called to each other across the night. It seemed a pleasant place, private, perfect for two young men who were, they felt sure, in love and destined to stay that way.

A stream ran by maybe a hundred steps downslope, its song gentle, even joyous, the moon’s face broken over the water’s surface where it was clear of shadow. Lucky and Rio smiled at each other, taking it in, and went down to the bank. A few yards upstream they found a long-fallen log at just about the right height for sitting. They spread their blanket over it, sat together, and kissed.


Because then they looked up, and everything had changed.

Sounds ominous, I know.

Thanks and stuff

In the near future, look for news about other ways to keep up with progress on The Sun Child Chronicles, as well as news about publishing plans, and maybe target dates. For now, thanks for reading. I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to comment here. Or—

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On Twitter, I’m @Lou_Hoffmann



Red Dragon

Wednesday Words—Sun Child series WIP

First, from Han’s Story

I’m thinking of this as a potential Kindle Vella story, so I won’t be posting many lines from it here or elsewhere. Still here’s a glimpse. I started out trying to tell the story of this character from The Sun Child Chronicles from the wizard Thurlock’s perspective. But Han’s voice is clearer, brighter, better for the purpose. In the series, he’s a man of few words, though when he does have something to say, it’s meaningful. He plays an important role in every book in the series, and the reader gets to know him fairly well over the course of the story, but taking this dive into Han Shieth’s mind and heart has proven enlightening even for me.


Red DragonI’ve been afraid of the dragon all my life. I know it’s difficult to believe, but I remember dreaming the dragon, dreaming of flying, before I could walk. As a boy, I learned to play with it, keeping it in a safe place in my mind that way. If it was a companion—pretend, I tried to convince myself—it wouldn’t, couldn’t hurt me.

Truly, my fear was more for others around me than it was for myself.

Because the dragon breathes fire. And I’d always known that.

Now, from The Sun Child Chronicles #5, Kaynenh’s Triad

I’ve chosen a couple of paragraphs from the never-before-published next installment in the series. As you can see from this glimpse of a morning on the road, Lucky’s collected quite a collection of friends over time. Including a young green dragon and a boyfriend. While the series is not romance, the characters’ take us into a couple of romantic sub-plots. After all, The Sun Child Chronicles delves into lives, and love stories are part of life.

WordsGreen dragon

Commotion woke Lucky well after dawn. A lot seemed to be going on around the camp, but flapping, green, leathery wings and a squawky voice that his brain readily translated for him was the first thing he truly saw.

“Sahsha! You’ve gotten so big,” Lucky said.

“Sahsha child, be big someday.”

Judging from the other dragons he knew—in particular Han Shieth—Lucky supposed that was true, but he realized with some sadness that Sahsha had already grown too big for her habit of riding on his shoulder. He hugged his loyal hatchling, though, and was delighted when Sahsha wrapped wings around him to hug back. He ignored Sahsha’s awful dragon breath and got up to take care of his own ablutions. As he crossed the camp, he saw more new arrivals. Recognizing most, he was happy to see all of them.

Henry stood with Han near Simarrohn, smiling at each other and conversing. Lucky loved seeing the two of them—his uncle and his friend—so clearly happy together, but it made him miss Rio harder. Thinking about his boyfriend, a chill crept up his spine with no obvious cause. He shivered and concentrated, trying to decide what had sent dread coursing through him. Rio. Something was wrong. Was Rio in danger? How could I know? But the truth was he knew something was happening. No, not danger, he answered himself, not now. But something is happening in Rio’s world—in Morrow’s land, and it’s… it’s going to change everything.


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Curves, Caution Signs, and No GPS

Jumping into writing after pulling back on the reins for several months has been an exciting endeavor. But I’d be lying if I said the road was all downhill and free of hindrances.

Slow: Curves Ahead

Picking up after a hiatus has not been as easy as I’d thought. I’ve kept on writing, but progress is much slower than I’m used to. I find myself second guessing, back-tracking, and even undoing.

Merging Traffic Next 10,000 Words

The book I’m working on, Kaynenh’s Triad, #5 in The Sun Child Chronicles, is more than half written. I’m building on old prose and four previous books, all one continuous story. Of course, it deals with new situations, but the connections with the “past” have to be solid. As I write new scenes and continue old scenes, I find repeatedly I have to go back and check. What did that character do the last time this happened? What were those particular magical words? Some things, like eye color and character relationships are recorded in The Sun Child Chronicles “bible.” At least those are easier to look up.

Dead End

Yes, indeed I have even written myself into a corner and found I couldn’t go forward. The worst example involves the new wizard, Vahrenn. I wrote a few thousand words of his Important Journey (capitalized for effect) before I realized I’d forgotten he was deaf. Partly it was a setback, but also a wake-up call about how much I take hearing for granted. My apologies to the D/deaf.


I’ve a confession. I have only so much patience for outlines, synopses, etc. I tend to lay out the first part of a story in a fairly detailed manner. But after that it sort of peters out, until at the end I’m using a word or two—or else the outline never gets there. And even if it does, by that point in the story I’ve taken a few left turns and am nowhere near the expected route.

I’m still heading for the same destination, though! Along the way, each time I change my path, I usually know exactly how to get back on track. It’s like taking a different route to the office or the gym or whatever. You’re still only a few miles from home, and you know you can get there.

Having stepped away from the book for a time, I’m finding the map in my mind is pretty hazy at times. To cope, I do reread earlier stuff, but sometimes I just keep writing because, hey—

It’s only a first draft!


Traffic Revision Ahead

Step away from the publishing world for longer than a blink these days, and you’ll find a lot changed when you dip a toe in again. I know some of these are not as new to others as they are to me: Dreame, Radish, NovelCat, and Webfic are some examples of things I either never thought to look, or never heard of, or they didn’t exist. I’m not seriously considering any of those right now, but I am looking at Vella, the new Amazon Kindle platform for serialized stories.

I definitely won’t be publishing Kaynenh’s Triad (The Sun Child Chronicles #5) in serialized form. But I am in the early stages of developing a related, shorter story that would be ideal, I think, for Vella.

Han’s Story

Han Rha-Behl Ah’Shieth is a very important character in the series. He’s an adult at the start of the series, and a helper character to the younger protagonist. Yet his own character arc runs alongside his, and it carries a lot of weight. Reading the books give you some important information about his life, but it’s in bits in pieces. And incomplete. So… I want to tell his story. And as of now, I think the best way to tell it is narrated by Thurlock, the oldest wizard. He’s been there all along the line, from Han’s early childhood. And his relationship as mentor, teacher, employer, and friend gives him all the perspective.

An excerpt

Here’s a very brief part of Han’s story. This version is found in Key of Behliseth, book 1 of the series, and it’s told in third person, from his brother Lohen’s point of view.

The Fire

Lohen smelled smoke as he was striding down the hill toward home. He’d visited Nedhra City, fifty miles from the family’s stead. In addition to news and letters for his parents, he carried a gift for his brother’s twelfth birthday—a sling that could be wound tight to toss stones an incredible distance. Perfect for a boy who liked both weapons and mechanical things. Lohen looked forward to seeing Han smile when he put it in his hands.

The smoke disturbed his happy thoughts. It didn’t have the flavor of a cooking fire or the pungency of the smokes used for curing meat or fish. It was the wrong time of year for the fields to be burned off, and the smell seemed wrong anyway—dirty—or contaminated. He stopped when he rounded the bend and had a clear view of his parents’ stead.

And then he started running.

When he got there, remnants still burned, but only the low ridges where the walls of the house had stood, huddled pieces of resistant furniture, and in one place a blazing doorframe leading on both sides to nothing.

The first corpse he saw, as he stood with the heat of flames and coals on his face, was his uncle, an old man whose skill with horses had taken to work in the far north long ago, and whose devotion to an orphaned girl had reaped him no reward of love. Abandoned in old age, he’d come to stay with his sister’s family, bringing a kind face, a sad smile, and grand stories of winged horses and starry northern skies.

He’d not simply been killed, nor had Lohen’s mother and father. Everywhere he looked, Lohen saw evidence of torture. He couldn’t bear seeing it, but he couldn’t look away. He stood, not moving or thinking until night crept in and the flames around him hissed into silence.

Mindless, Lohen turned and took a step back toward the road. That was when he heard a faint sound. He followed the breathy cry and found Han hidden in a holly thicket, hugging his knees and sobbing. At first Lohen was only glad, relieved to see him alive. Then the truth dawned, and he fell to his knees, the wind knocked from his lungs by a horrifying new thought.

Han Shieth had seen his family murdered.

Your thoughts?

By the time the first book in The Sun Child Chronicles opens, Han is over two centuries old. And there’s nothing usual about his life. The wizard has seen it all unfold.

Let me know what you think about Han’s story, and what you think about Vella. (Ever tried it?) And any thoughts in general on this post—comments are always welcome, and I’ll respond. (I have to approve your first comment before it will appear, so give me a little time. 😊 )

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Graphic with text: Han Shieth





Research challenge: A new wizard!

This week, on what I’m calling “Lou Hoffmann’s road back to writing,” I did more research than wordsmithing. Research, for me, is both a good thing and rabbit hole. I love the random-ish learning. It fuels my creativity and helps with credibility—important to keep readers reading! Truly, it’s at the heart of my writing process.

Some writers cram a lot of research at the start of their writing or worldbuilding. I do some at the beginning, yes. But as things go along, getting stuck happens. Getting stuck almost always means research to get unstuck. That’s all good, but once I start, it could be hours before I stop following links and pop my head up out of the latest research rabbit hole.

A couple recent research warrens I’ve stumbled into

Does crude oil contain water?

This came up because a character named Vahrenn stumbles into a bit of pollution caused by a not accidental upwelling of crude. “Black gold, Texas tea,” as per the Beverly Hillbillies. The answer is yes, and it’s brackish. And brackish means it’s saltier than freshwater, but not as salty as seawater.

And can that water be removed?

Yes, and I now know more about the process than you probably want to hear.

Why does this matter for The Sun Child Chronicles?

Because Vahrenn has to do something about the oil to save a magical forest. He’s a wizard, so no problem, right? Big problem! His world doesn’t use petroleum, doesn’t drill for it or refine it or even really know about it. He’s been to Earth, so he knows what it is, but he has no idea why it’s popped up in Ethra. Fortunately, his born-in magical affinity is (drumroll) water! Therein lies a solution!

How does sign language develop?

Mostly, deaf people figure it out. Or at least get the ball rolling. Because they need ways to communicate amongst themselves and with hearing folks too. There are exceptions—like the trade language used by Indigenous peoples in what is now North America. That happened because people with different languages needed to talk.
But most sign languages were seeded and grew because of deaf people in the community.

ASL (American Sign Language) is an exception only in its development, not in its origin. It grew from seeds of a somewhat typical community sign language used on Martha’s Vineyard—where historically about 4% of the population was deaf.

Why does that matter for The Sun Child Chronicles?

You guessed it: Vahrenn is, conventionally speaking, deaf. Unlike Han Shieth, whom I introduced in my last blog post, he has no telepathic ability to speak of. (Most wizards in Ethra don’t!) Vahrenn, a deaf wizard in Ethra, faced a rather thorny communication problem. I, of course, had to solve it for him.

So then, how does Vahrenn communicate?

Very well, most of the time! He does sign. How he got there is a long story, most of which won’t make it into the book. Still as the author, I have to know! He also reads lips a bit. And naturally he writes the runic alphabet of his home country proficiently. It works!

Is getting lost in research worth it?

Hmmm. Good question. I think yes. Maybe some authors just wing it when writing fantasy or soft sci-fi. I feel like the things characters do in my fantasy books have to have a real basis in what people do, real world. The book I like to read are those in which characters’ emotions, life skills, dilemmas feel familiar to my head and heart. So that’s what I write.

Meet Vahrenn!

In my last post I introduced you to Han Shieth. Since I’ve been going on about Vahrenn’s problems, I thought you’d like to meet him this week. Here’s a couple of brief quotes about him from the work in progress, Kaynenh’s Triad, book 5 of The Sun Child Chronicles.

Excerpt #1

“The wizard Vahrenn made his home inside a hill—almost tall enough to be a mountain—that butted its flanks against the salty water of Eagle’s Inlet on the East March coast. The Wizard Vahrenn's house? He’d been born in East March, as had his forebears for several generations past, yet his family maintained its ties to the Sunlands from whence they’d come. His name, Vahrenn, bore a Sunlandian history, and his family name, Karragani, was but a Marchian version of Ol’Karrigh.

He’d been essentially deaf since birth, unable to hear the natural range of the human voice and many other sounds, and no magic or medicine had sufficed to cure it. Perhaps that was why he’d learned to listen so well, and he liked being quiet.”

Excerpt #2

“He didn’t bear the same fame as his elder cousin Thurlock, or even of Bayahr, but his relative obscurity didn’t stem from lack of skill or power. The things he could do, he did very well.

Though they rarely got noticed.

Simply put, people tended not to remember him because he slid coolly over their awareness the way water—his magical affinity—slipped past the feet they dangled in a stream.”


In case you couldn’t tell, I really like Vahrenn, challenges and all.

Once again, thanks for joining me on this writer’s journey. Things are rolling along despite potholes and bumps in the road, and I’m enjoying the trip! I hope you are too.

Your thoughts, comments, or questions are more than welcome!

I’d love to see you on Facebook! Visit my page at And I tweet: @Lou Hoffmann.

So begins my writer’s journey, again

What happened…

Six or seven months ago, I gave up writing for good. But as it turns out, that isn’t as easy as it sounds. I have unfinished stories, and they sit in the dark corners of my life and call out to me. And I’m a writer, so it begins.

My old websites are all history, and this blog represents a new idea. It’s an invitation: Join me as I walk along the road to fixing up my old books and writing new ones to finish the fantasy series known as The Sun Child Chronicles. And brand new stories, too, in brand fantasy worlds.

Some of you may remember the first four SCC books. Key of Behliseth, Wraith Queen’s Veil, Ciarrah’s Light, and Dragon’s Rise. If you don’t remember or have never seen them, here you’ll find a little info about The Sun Child Chronicles. Maybe you also remember hearing about book 5, Kaynenh’s Triad. It was on the way when things went south with the former publisher (no details).

What’s going to happen…

Well, it’s still on the way. Or I should say it’s on the way again, with plans for books 6 and 7 after that. And yes, the earlier books may get a bit of a nip and tuck, too. I don’t yet have a plan for publication—as my post title says, my journey is beginning (more or less), and I will have choices.

What’s happening now…

In the meanwhile, I’d love to hear from you. Do you remember the series? Whether you have or haven’t, what would you like to know about the books, the characters, the worlds the stories play out in—or about me and this road I’m on? Or maybe you can just put in a vote, yea or nay on dragons. Just in general. 🙂

But whether you comment or not, thanks for reading, and I do hope you’ll come back again and keep me company as I get a new (sort of) start on my writing journey, bringing Lucky, Han, Thurlock, Rose, Rio, L’Aria, and the rest of the magical cast back to life. (If you’d rather, you can find me on my Facebook page, Lou Hoffmann Books)

Speaking of the characters, meet Han…

…as he describes himself to Lucky (the real star or the show) in this excerpt from book 1:

“Han Shieth is my name, but it’s a title too. Han Rha-Behl Ah’Shieth; that’s the long form, the old language. Rough translation: Wizard’s Left Hand.” He settled back into his seat and crossed his arms. “It refers to a warrior’s shield side. I’m the wizard’s shield.”

“Wizard’s Left Hand,” Lucky whispered, liking the sound. Exciting, like knight of the Round Table, Cheyenne Dog Soldier, captain of the Starship Enterprise. “But what do you do?”

“Sometimes it’s about fighting, but Thurlock doesn’t need a bodyguard. Basically, I deal with things I can handle, so Thurlock is free to do things only he can do.”

“Like in that storm, what you did with your sword?”

“Yes,” Han said slowly, “like that.” He turned to Lucky, grinning, and it changed everything about him. “More often, I make sure he remembers to eat, has clean clothes, and can find his socks.”