So Why That One?

Posted: December 16th, 2014 under Background, E-books, Life beyond writing, Marketing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,

Somebody’s going to ask “So why that story and not that other one you mentioned you were writing/had written?”   Some decisions were easy.  One of the Paksworld stories I was working on came to a halt, hooves stuck in the ground, back up in a hump, neck stretched out, ears flat and would. not. budge.   It’s not a failure to thrive: it’s a story telling me I made a mistake, that’s not how it goes, and it’s not going to cooperate until I take it where it wants to go.  But it won’t tell me.  Eventually, left alone out there in the pasture, it will come wandering up to my mental cabin, climb up the step to the porch, and stomp on the porch.  But it didn’t choose to do that before the time I had to have stories turned in, so…maybe next time.

Then there’s the story that walked right off the list for this book and into an anthology.   “See ya!” it said, over its shoulder, and was gone.    You can read “Mercenary’s Honor” in Operation Arcana, edited by John Joseph Adams, Baen Books.   Then there are the previously published:  some chosen because they were only seen briefly online on publishers’ sites when a new hardcover was coming out.   It was clear that I had a lot more Paksworld fiction than room in an ebook collection, where experience has shown that shorter collections do better than huge fat ones.   So “Bargains,” “Dream’s Quarry,”  “My Princess,” “Gifts,”  and “Judgment”–along with “First Blood” and “Mercenary’s Honor”–will be in later collections.     The first four don’t connect with any of the Paladin’s Legacy characters, and though one of the last two does, sort of, it’s at a considerable remove of time.

Every story in Deeds of Honor…yes, even the two legends…has to do with the past, present, or future of a character in the Paladin’s Legacy group.   The other stories are more scattered across the times and places of Paksworld.   So the unifying relationships, for this book, was that group of books, the untold stories that were hovering around–before, behind, between the pages of those five books.   They’re certainly not the only stories to be told about those characters (there will be more) but they’re the ones I had ready in time to have the collection out this year.   I don’t yet have any idea what might be the connection for the second and other volumes.    I hired my own editor to help me with decisions; she read all the stories, and then helped me with a few last decisions on which to include in the first volume, and with more on how to place them within the group.   They ended up mostly chronological in story time, except for one, which is placed where it is for a particular reason.  You’ll know it when you get there.

So there’s a story about Arvid, and one about Torfinn of Pargun.   Farin Cook has her own say, as well as her parrion.  Two legends, Falk’s Oath and Torre’s Ride.  Vardan’s story, the old story about the boy Selis, and an old man’s story, Beclan’s.







  • Comment by Richard (Simpkin) — December 17, 2014 @ 7:56 am


    By the way, Baen say Feb 16 for Operation Arcana e-book, Amazon US say March 3rd for paperback and Amazon UK April 14. See for full list of authors and stories.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 17, 2014 @ 9:28 am


    Dates keep changing. As with my ebook, so I can’t complain, I guess. Can’t believe it’s only 5 days until DEEDS is being zipped off to people.

  • Comment by Victoria Wehe — December 18, 2014 @ 8:13 am


    Have you ever had a stuck story stomp up onto your porch when you were in the middle of another book?

  • Comment by Dale — December 18, 2014 @ 9:32 pm


    Looking forward to reading these!! Pak’s world just seems so rich, with the original Deed trilogy, the Gird/Luap stories filling in the ancient, and now the new series coloring in the ‘after’ with the generation-sweeping magery arc and the ‘before ancient’ with Dragon. But always with the gritty precision details — the jacks are dug, the watches are set [or not, with consequences]. I hope Paks tells you more of her story some day. Random: do we know where the human “anti-paladins” are trained (Paks faced two at one point)?

  • Comment by Fred — December 23, 2014 @ 7:52 pm



    When you talk about the human “anti-paladins”, are you thinking about the encounter at Sibili?

  • Comment by Karen H — December 23, 2014 @ 8:41 pm


    Great read. Loved the stories.

    Minor formatting quibble in the drop-down generated TOC in the Amazon ebook, the author’s notes about a story is listed before the story itself.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 23, 2014 @ 9:09 pm


    Karen H: As per the notices at the end of the ebook itself (at least in the last pre-publication .pdf file I got), please report any problems with formatting or anything else to JABberwocky via the link given. Since I don’t have an e-reader, I can’t see or evaluate any problems like that.

  • Comment by Fred — December 24, 2014 @ 10:24 am


    Here’s a quotation given on an e-mail list that I received lately, which seems appropriate for Paksworld readers:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done
    better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while
    daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

    * Theodore Roosevelt *

  • Comment by Karen H — December 24, 2014 @ 11:54 am


    I reported the error.

    I especially liked the Last Lesson. Don’t want to say much because spoilers.

  • Comment by Dale — December 25, 2014 @ 10:26 am


    Fred: No, the one I was thinking of was near the end of Deed. I had to go back and read the passage again as my recall was fuzzy. This was after Paks left Aliam’s steading and went northwest. Riders in gray armor, one with a poisoned lance, that struck down Garris and Esceriel with lightning and used words of fear. After going back, I suppose the answer to my question was painfully obvious: Verrakai with blood magery. I had imagined way back when I first read Deed that there would be some evil training hall counterpart to Fin Panir or Falk’s Hall — the answer would be Verrakai steading I suppose.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment