I don't envy people who write book blurbs for a living. These individuals are part of a special breed, in my opinion. I hate writing book blurbs. Whatever I write seems perfect for an hour and then inevitably, I'm rewriting it again, to my spouse's frustration.
One can only read some many iterations of basically the same text, before one begins to hate the story being described.
But I recently learned something while continuing my quest for the perfect blurb for Into the Darkness, an admittedly complex tale that has so far defied all attempts to boil it down into less than 200 words. I discovered that all this time, in the two years since I published the first edition, I was forgetting a character.
The sword, Aric.
I said to my spouse the other day, after iteration number #803 (probably not an exaggeration) that it's interesting how writing the later books in a series can redefine how you see the first book in the series and the elements within it. In this case, the sword Aric.
It was not obvious to me before, but Aric is a character all its own. It does not speak or have thoughts, but it does have purpose and intent. That makes it a unique kind of character, one not to be left out in describing the story.
I realized, too, that the sword only ever got a passing mention in Tynan's journals, which must've been a terrible insult, considering its origins. It begs the question, did Tynan's magiks fail him in the end, as he thought, or did the sword actually fail him?
Is it possible for a sword to have an ego? Perhaps. Tynan had enough ego for all of Cathell, so I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that the sword he kept by his side for so many years picked up some of his bad habits.
Once I added a touch of Aric's perspective into the blurb, I discovered that the rest flowed much better. I guess that make sense. The book doesn't center on the sword as much as it does Aeryn and Theo, but it's certainly a catalyst.
So, you tell me: am I any closer to the perfect blurb now?
It first called to her after her father died. The legendary sword, forged by a god, trapped by a dying man's curse in the darkness of the caverns deep in the Black Mountains. It haunts sell-sword Aeryn Ravane until she can resist it no longer. As storms ravage the Northlands, she enters the caverns to finish what her father started.
A young girl named Theo also seeks the sword, though she cares nothing about the legend. All that haunts her is getting her brother back. She needs the sword to trade for his life. She'll steal it from Aeryn if she has to.
The warning comes too late. The sword guards a dark secret neither anticipated. Freeing it promises dire consequences for them and all of Cathell. At every turn, the darkness will test them.
If you haven't read Into the Darkness yet, and this blurb has left you intrigued, that's great to hear.
You can get the first 10 chapters to see if you can't live without reading the rest, just by subscribing to my mailing list. Or, if you know you need the whole story now, you can pick up the paperback at a special price until Jan. 15th.
It would make a nice read as we head into another holiday weekend.
Until next year, my friends...