Years ago, I wrote the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy titled Song of the Fell Hammer. It was great fun. Many of you followed my writing diary while I wrote the 200,000 words that comprise the novel because I have been Terry’s webmaster for 12 years and you were undoubtedly curious if I could pull off a publishing deal.
The support you sent my way was more than I deserve and I’ve ever been grateful for it.
But after going through multiple submissions to NYC publishers in 2008, Song of the Fell Hammer was roundly rejected. I was told by many agents and editors that it was too epic fantasy at a time when urban fantasy was really taking off. Quite possibly due to timing or the merits of the book itself, the book didn’t stand a chance.
I chalked it up as a first book, a learning book—and went on to write my second book, The Dark Thorn.
Now I’ve been forced to look at Song of the Fell Hammer again in the weirdest of ways. When I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma two months ago, I applied for a medical grant from the Haven Foundation. It is an organization—created by Stephen King—that helps freelance writers and artists in dire need who do not have medical insurance. I’m in such a need, obviously.
In an odd set of events that resulted in talking to King’s sister-in-law, however, the professional freelance work I do for Terry, author Naomi Novik, and for Random House does not qualify me for the grant.
A self-published book on the Kindle, Nook or other eReaders does though. It’s a strange world we live in.
Therefore, I’ve put Song of the Fell Hammer back up on the Kindle. It will soon be on the Nook. I’m not pleased about having to do so—The Dark Thorn is a superior book in every way and I’d much rather you all read that instead—but I have to qualify for the Haven Foundation grant now and one of my books has to be available for live download. Since The Dark Thorn is in the middle of a professional edit, I have to fall back on Song of the Fell Hammer as the book I list.
The good news is my artist friend, the awesome Todd Lockwood, offered to supply cover art for the book. I think it’s gorgeous.
In short, until I hear from Haven Foundation, Song of the Fell Hammer will be up and available for download. Once I hear from Haven, it will likely be taken back down again although I do feel like I owe many of you who followed my writing that book. It’s now up to you. If you are an eReader fan and looking for an inexpensive epic fantasy to read, Song of the Fell Hammer might be for you.
Read an excerpt from the book before buying it. See if it is to your liking. If it is, then buy the book. And write an honest review of it.
And feel free to post any questions here about Song of the Fell Hammer, the craft of writing, the publishing industry, or anything else you’d like to discuss. I’m at your disposal!
UPDATE – September 13, 2011:
Some news I should share with you all. I am in remission. I had a PET scan two weeks ago and the tumors that were in both sides of my neck, in my abdomen, and in my spleen are now no longer there. I’m not out of the woods yet though. There can still be cancer cells running around my body and, in an attempt to kill them as well, I still must undergo at least three more chemotherapy sessions.
Still, I can handle three. I’m fatigued more and more each day but as I’ve said in the past I’m a bastard. Terry would agree with that assessment. Ha! And I will see this to the finish line—and hopefully lead a far quieter life ahead.
Thank you to everyone who has either given me well wishes, has purchased Song of the Fell Hammer, or both. The reviews have done a lot to bolster my spirit these last six weeks. Several hundred of you have bought it; some have even liked it. Would love to see more reviews posted of it though, so if you’ve read it take the time to write a review. All I ask for is honesty. Cheers to health!