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An Imagined Missive Issue #1. 
Inside you will find a message from our Founding Father, Job Done by Robert Lassen, Writers' Tip, a SnarfQuest update, a Q&A session with our authors, a DragonSoul Saga 3 Teaser, What's Happening, Writers Tip, and a FREE giveaway!
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State of the House

A word from our Founding Father

Welcome, friends, to the first official quarterly newsletter from Imagined Interprises, Inc.
 
Before I created I.I.I. in 2007, I'd had a wonderful and successful career in business. While this experience was not in the publishing industry specifically, I figured business was business. I wrongly assumed I could take my years of experience and use that to build a successful publishing house. Little did I know, the publishing industry does not follow any logical thinking when it comes to business. It's an old industry, created hundreds of years ago, and very, very set it its ways. Ways that run contrary to modern business practices. (Perhaps that is why this industry finds itself in such turmoil today.) Still, this fact led to me getting my preverbal butt handed to me for the first few years. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement.
 
But I'm not the type of chap who gives up easily. So I rolled up my sleeves and began looking for other avenues to make I.I.I. the success I envisioned.
Time will tell if my plans and schemes come to fruition, but I am very happy with the road we are now traveling.
 
We have several great authors, and the addition of Larry Elmore's SnarfQuest is a huge boon. The launch of BuyFantasyArt.com is also going to be a tremendous help. It opens all kinds of doors, allowing us to be more aggressive in signing new, bigger name authors to our house, as well as providing us with a great venue to get those authors' projects into readers' hands. We even launched our first Kickstarter campaign in 2014. While the campaign was successful, it also served to remold our thinking on ways we could move our products to market.
 
The publishing industry is in flux, and many of the old houses are running scared. But out of chaos come opportunity. All and all, I can honestly say I am more excited about I.I.I.'s future than I have ever been.
 
To that end, we have filled a position within the company that up to this point had been handled by committee. Buzz Clore comes on board as our official Creative Director. This is great news for our fans, as it means we now have a fulltime person whose sole job is to ensure our company is communicating with the outside world. Buzz has taken over our websites, social media, and product launches. (He is also the reason this first newsletter exists. And it only took us eight years.)
 
Yes, the future looks bright for I.I.I., and I can't wait to see how it all comes together.
 
I hope you enjoy all our hard work as well.
 
Brian Stalians
Founder/CEO


Job Done

A 100 word story by Robert Lassen

The assassin stumbled among the bloody debris.
 
One target to go. A last target, and his debt would be repaid, his family safe. He’d killed the others so easily, watched bloody flowers blossom behind their heads as each round struck home, not a bullet wasted. Why now should this final shot be so difficult?
 
He thought of his son’s face, and the muffled heartbeat of his unborn daughter. It would have been nice to meet her. He pressed the cold metal of the pistol to his temple, and squeezed. No one remained alive to hear the shot’s echo.
 
Job done.


Writers' Tip

Tips from the Pros

Drake here. For this inaugural missive, I wanted to start with a concept that I have found many new writers have never heard of.
 
Reversals.
 
A Reversal is a moment in your story where you “Reverse” the power of the story from one side to the other. As in, from the protagonist to the antagonist, from the hero to the villain, or from the Main Characters to the Event, etc.
 
As an example:
 
If you are writing a murder mystery where a cop is chasing a serial killer, at the beginning of the story, the cop is called out to investigate a murder. He finds a dead body, and realizes at once this is the work of a very sadistic predator. At this point in your story, the “power” is in the hands of the serial killer because the protagonist does not have anything outside of a dead body. But, as he investigates the crime scene, he discovers a clue that is sure to lead him directly to the killer. Now, we have “Reversed” the power of the story to the cop, because he is winning. He is convinced he has found, and will catch, the antagonist. However, when the cop follows up on the lead he discovers to his dismay that the clue was purposefully planted by the serial killer to throw the cops off his trail. Once the protagonist discovers this fact, and realizes he was duped, we have “Reversed” the power back to the killer.
 
A second example:

Let’s say we are writing a story about a sailor who gets caught in a storm. We open the story with all the power in the hands of the sailor – he is experienced, and in total control of his destiny. Even when the storm hits, he is not worried. Then something breaks, making it impossible for him to steer the ship. Oh, no! Now the storm has the power. (Reversal) But, just before something worse happens, our sailor fixes the issue and is once again in control. (Reversal) He thinks he is safe… until he sees the next big wave. (Reversal)
 
When you craft your novel, you want to make sure that you have at least ten major power reversals through the story. You, the author, should be able to point these out, and understand how they impact the story. You also want to try and put smaller reversals everywhere you can. My goal is one per scene if I am able.
 
These “Reversals” are the pivotal moments your readers will remember, and the ones that will keep them not only engaged in what is going to happen next, but will also keep them guessing all the way to the end.
 
Maxwell Alexander Drake


SnarfQuest Update

My name is Brian, and I am the CEO of Imagined Interprises, Inc. I am more of a behind the scenes kind of guy, preferring to let my team take center stage. So the fact that I am writing this post should tell you that things are not all roses. While bad news is never a good thing, I don't want to keep you in the dark. And as the buck stops with me, I felt it was my duty to take responsibility for being the bearer of bad news.

As we stated in our last update, we were hoping to go to press first part of February. Unfortunately, when Drake was doing the final editing pass on the black and white pages, he noticed an issue with the digital remastering of about 120 pages (Pages 66 through 184, to be exact). When he brought this to our attention last weekend, we went into overdrive looking for a fast solution. We did not find one, and I refuse to cut on quality.

So, we have shifted three of our team to work on this issue, as well as Larry Elmore has also pitched in one of his people. Still, as I said there is no fast fix for this, and we must spend about 2 hours per page to get the pages to where the others are, and where I require them to be.

I am estimating that this could put us as much as two months behind schedule, though the team is shooting to cut that in half.

As each page is corrected, it is being sent to Drake do his final editing pass. From there each page is sent to our typesetter. Meaning, once these pages are corrected, we will be able to go to print without further delay. Still, we are now looking at going to print in March/April.

I will keep everyone informed as we move through February as to a more accurate date of completion.

Until then, please accept my heartfelt apology, and please understand that the entire team here at Imagined is working toward the completion of this project.

Thank you for your patience as we work through this.


Meet the Authors, Part 1

An interview with Drake, JT, and Robert

Recently we had the opportunity to interview Drake, J.T., and Robert. Here are three of the questions and their responses. 

AIM: Who was your inspiration for writing?
 
Drake: It's a tie between bill collectors and pissed off editors who are tired of me being late turning in stuff.
 
JT: My wife, Julie. It may sound cheesy, but it is absolutely true.

Robert: My third-grade teacher was very supportive, which probably boosted my confidence at a critical time. My fifth-grade teacher was great, too - I still have the original handwritten stories I wrote in her class. I couldn't really point to someone who inspired me, though - I never met another writer of any sort until I'd been churning stuff out for years. I wrote for myself, because I loved it, rather than for any particular audience.
 
AIM: Are you a plotter or pantser?
 
Drake: Heavy plotter. I am not a discovery writer, and I really like to know where I am going before I write the first word.

JT: Both. I plot, but it inevitably swerves at some point. 

Robert: Both. I plot my stories out in fairly thorough fashion, but then have no qualms about going off message when an opportunity presents itself. I've learned, though, that I need that structure in place to start with. The first novel I completed involved a massive detour into a sub-plot that consumed a third of the length of the book, and went absolutely nowhere. There's a bloody good reason why that book remains unpublished!

AIM: What do you find more important, character or plot?
 
Drake: I think you should balance both, as both are vital to a successful story.
 
JT: Character. Plot is what happens to characters. People don't identify with "plot", they identify with real, genuine characters who react and evolve.
 
Robert: Ten years ago I'd have said plot. The older I get, the more character matters. I guess it doesn't matter how good your plot is if the characters are dull and lifeless and don't persuade the reader to care about them. Conversely, if your characters are fully-rounded and enthralling, you can have them sit around all day drinking coffee and discussing flower arrangement, and the reader will still stick with them to the flowery, coffee-stained end...but a better plot helps.


DragonSoul Saga 3 Teaser

A message from JT

Dragonsoul Saga 3 is mapped and outlined, and I've begun the actual writing. It picks up right where Book 2 left off. It promises to be just as fast paced. We are going to see more of the Blue Elves, and we'll see more of the political mechanations that have lead us to where we are.

We'll also find out more about the Cataclysm, and what really happened.

I've also got a lot of Slar coming, and his quest will prove to be one of the most dangerous of all.


What's Happening

Drake just returned from LTUE: Life, the Universe, and Everything Symposium. In April, he will be a panelist at the Authors Combat Academy in Nashville, Tennessee and in June you can find him in Columbus, Ohio, at Origins participating in writers' panels as well as having a table in the Library area of the exhibit hall.

JT will be visiting Grande Reserve Elementary School in Yorkville, Illinois, in March to talk to students about writing. You can also see him in May at Heroicon 2015 in Decatur, Illinois.

"No Poetry In Death" is now available on the EverQuest Next website. Drake and Robert are still writing for EverQuest Next even with the switch from SOE to Daybreak Games, LLC.


Free Giveaway!

Just for reading this newsletter, you have been entered into a drawing for a free t-shirt. Winner will be announced in An Imagined Missive Issue #2 which should reach your inbox sometime in May 2015.
Copyright © 2015 Imagined Interprises, Inc., All rights reserved.


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