Eight magical objects. Eight adventurers. Eight stories.
Tales of Ale and Chainmail
A Fantasy Anthology
with stories by
Dave Deickman, Kate Longstone, Jonathan Maloney, Alan Kent,
Thomas D Moore, Ashley Bravington, Crystal Roles, Lucina Nyx
Started in 2021, SkyNation Publishing is based in Brisbane, Australia. Specialising in fantasy fiction, SNP revels in bringing a change to traditional publishing, through different mediums, and partnering with other small businesses to add an extra spark to their title releases.
Getting to know Crystal Roles
Stuff about Me
My maternity leave was up. I was a brand-new mum diving back into full-time work. I had no time to even remember my lifelong dream to be a published author, let alone the energy to imagine it coming true! But one thing about dreams? They have a habit of resurfacing when you least expect them. Usually at odd, almost inconvenient times, leaving you with a choice to either dive in, or let it pass you by.
When I was approached to write this story I initially had a panic – would I be able to fit it in? Would I let down my new son, my partner, my job for taking time for myself? Was I good enough?
However, despite the knee-jerk anxiety I can have, I also I have a long history of diving in to things head first and knowing right down to my toes that I can make it work. I have to make it work. Thankfully, this dream was no different.
Stuff about the Book
The Golden Bells was a melting pot of ideas, including the nursery rhyme ‘Hickory, Dickory, Doc’ (which gave a nice starting point for naming my girls) and the writing prompt – what if a DnD party formed in the girls bathroom?
Initially the story came to me in Deidre’s voice, but as I sat down to write, Doc’s emotional state demanded way more attention. It wasn’t long until I realised; she was the lynch pin. Have you ever had that? You start out writing from one character’s perspective and realised it wasn’t their story to tell? Yeah, it happens to me a bit. That’s usually how a story comes to me, a character starts to ‘talk’ to me, then the story spins out from there. And boy did it spin! Before long the three main characters were all weaving their melody of a tale and I felt more like an observer than a creator.
I had thought it was going to be a stand alone story – Doc’s origin story – but one sleepless night and I have mapped out the next two parts to this story and I’m itching to write more!
Stuff about Writing/Reading
As a new parent, I realized I had to be a little more structured in how I wrote [and by ‘little more structured’ I mean ‘have any structure at all’] so I created: “The Spreadsheet”.
1) I broke down how many words were required.
2) Worked out when my first deadline was.
3) Did some fancy math and calculated how many words I needed to write per night to achieve the word count before that deadline.
4) I then set up a column of ‘should be written’ vs ‘actually written’ that I updated every writing session, so I knew if I was ahead/behind.
This may sound a little intense, but in all honesty, it is what kept me on track and let me know that little by little, I was achieving my dream.
I wrote a brief outline of what I thought the story was about and key scenes. This worked in two ways – linked the story together and gave me a focus point to jump off from when I actually got the time to write.
I carved out about 1 – 2 hours each night to focus on writing. Some nights were better than others, but showing up, night after night, got the story out on paper rather than mostly floating in my head, and that is the secret to being a writer. Get the story out! Once it’s out, you can work on it, mould it, refine it. If it is only in your head, that is where it will stay.
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