Thursday, August 18, 2016

Guest Post: Author Rival Gates on 'Being and Author Today'

My father was a magazine and book editor for years.  Getting published was a mountainous task.  Writers didn’t have spell check, word processor programs, email or inexpensive printers to help them in their task.  They used typewriters and dictionaries to produce a manuscript and copy centers to “Xerox” copies to be sent out.  Then they had to research on the phone and at the library to find publishers and more specifically, the editor to whom you would send your work.  After all that you would pay to mail multiple copies out and then wait for months for a letter or phone call which may never come.  At the publisher it was no cakewalk either.  Editors would sift through piles of manuscripts trying to find two or three to fit the slots open in the publishing season.  It all came down to the cover letter.  Getting published was hard but if you were chosen you had all the marketing resources of the company behind you.  The publisher got you reviews and media attention.  They placed your book in big-box book stores and set up media events for you.  Book tours were set up and they held your hand all along the way.
Today the world is far different than the one my late father left behind.  Everyone now has a computer with software that makes writing easier than ever.  When we have a finished product we don’t even print it out.  We research publishers on the net in a few hours or look for an agent.  Then we send out all the emails of our work that we want for free.  Thanks to e-readers, online book sales have grown dramatically over the years as have the number of publishers.  This explosion has allowed many authors to be published who otherwise would not have had a chance under the old system.  Readers have more selection now than any time in history.  Instead of waiting for months for books to be printed, they can now be made available on in days.  When it comes to marketing it’s another story.  My publishers have been kind enough to be of some help with their writer’s publicity.  For the most part, however, you are on your own.  You must balance social media with finding kind blogs like this one who will allow me to come on and promote my latest book.  At the same time, you must find people with the time and willingness to do a book review for you.  Getting into bookstores is solely your responsibility as well.  But the fact remains; you are published!  You have a chance to make your dreams come true.  And it still all comes down to that cover letter.  Even today’s publishers are bombarded with emails.  If they actually take the time to read that paragraph you wrote about your book, you better have something there that grabs them and makes them want to read your manuscript.  Many things changed but this one stayed the same.  Editors only have so much time and patience.  Be sure you latch onto them with that paragraph.  If you don’t, your hard work will end up in the trash folder.

Rival Gates was born in Port Huron, MI and moved to a suburb of Toronto, Canada at age 5 due to his father’s work as an editor.  He was educated through high school in Canada and then returned to the United States for college at Michigan State University.  Rival began working on this series of books at age 13 and spent his life honing the stories to be just right.  The series would be called “The Sapphire Chronicles.”  His first book, “Quest for the Red Sapphire” drew excellent reviews and was followed up by his second book, “The Sapphire Crucible” which was received even better.  Now Mr. Gates has published his third book, “Mandrean Revenge” and plans to carry his readers along on the battle-tested trail of Linvin Grithinshield.  Dreaming of sword fights and perilous journeys he has no trouble finding material for his stories.  And his latest story awaits.

It has been more than 2 years since the half elf, Linvin Grithinshield returned from his life altering quest with the Red Sapphire as his prize in the medieval world of Letheria.  Apart from surviving the regular assassination attempts he thought life had returned to normal.  Far to the north in the Mandrean Empire, however, trouble was festering.  In spite of Linvin’s best efforts, Lord Mandrean the 13th survived their confrontation and has been plotting his reprisal.  With his empire on the verge of revolt he needs a show of force to display his dominance.  Dispatching Linvin in front of his subjects would fill that role most handsomely.  With the help of his evil Necromancer, Mandrean kidnaps Linvin’s Uncle Anvar.  The elderly elf is the closest family Linvin has remaining and has been a father figure to him for much of his life.  The emperor promises to release Anvar only after Linvin has surrendered himself for execution.  Though Mandrean’s word has slight credibility, Linvin is given a terrible decision to make.  With little choice Linvin sees no other option but to set out for the empire.  He cannot delay as Anvar’s life will expire at the first frost of fall.  That will become more troubling by the obstacles he faces along the way.  Can Linvin reach the empire in time to sacrifice himself in Anvar’s place?  Will Lord Mandrean kill them both?  Or maybe, just maybe, Linvin can pull another miracle and save them both.  One way or another, blood will be shed.

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