Camp NaNoWriMo and the Mighty Newsletter by Matthew Marchitto

Camp NaNoWriMo turned out to be a success. I’d pledged to write 20,500 words, and I hit that goal plus 55 extra words.

The project was the sequel to The Horned Scarab, tentatively titled The Underbelly War. I had already written 10,000 words of the rough draft, and wanted to use Camp NaNo to spur me on to finishing it. I’d guesstimated that the story would only need 30,000 words to tell, but I’d been wrong. Looking at the rough draft and all the dangling plot threads, I’d think it needs another 20,000 words before it’s a complete (albeit rough) story.

I don’t know when it’ll get those extra words. As I’ve said on here and on my twitter, The Underbelly War is unlikely to see the light of day. The Horned Scarab just didn’t make enough to justify the expense of self-publishing a sequel. So for now, I’ve written 30,000 words of it—including some rough endings—and made a ton of notes for whenever (if) I return to it.

In its place I’ve been working on submissions for shorter works, but I’m going to devote the majority of my writing time to finishing a full length novel. Once done, I plan on shopping it around to be traditionally published. Wish me luck.


The Mighty Newsletter

In other news, I’ve made a newsletter. You can subscribe here or on the sidebar of my blog. It’ll be a sorta monthly email letting you know when new stuff I’ve made comes out, as well as book recommendations, and sometimes even a mini-blog only for subscribers. I plan on including other goodies in it, short stories, poems, and even giveaways. SUBSCRIBE and you’ll get it all sent right into your inbox!

Orconomics: A Satire by Matthew Marchitto

Orconomics: A Satire, by J. Zachary Pike, is a riff on fantasy gaming and its conventions. Taking place in a world of orcs, dwarves, elves, and a whole manner of other creatures, it tips the expected status quo on its head. In the world of Arth professional heroics is exactly that, a profession, with investors and stocks and a ranking system. The goal is to kill the baddies, take their loot, and divvy it up among the heroes and investors.

Death is not only expected, but encouraged. Heroes either get the loot, die in the dungeon, or get hanged as deserters.

But it’s not glamourous, it’s a taciturn job, where causalities are hand waved away as long as the investors get their loot. It’s anything but heroic.

Gorm Ingerson, a fiery hearted dwarf warrior, is a disgraced hero. Once called Pyrebeard, known to all the land, he now drinks himself senseless in backwater gutters. Gorm is given a second chance by a priest of a mad god, and he takes it (with a little nudge from a blackmailing mercenary). Along with a cast of characters that comprises the party, they set out on what is expected to be a doomed quest.

Orconomics strongest assets are its characters. They’re all fleshed out and fun to read. They bicker, make peace, and bicker again. As the story unfolds there is a real sense of comradery that develops between them, but one that doesn’t overshadow the interpersonal conflicts.

If you’ve ever played a fantasy game, either a video game or pen and paper RPG, there’s a lot in here for you. Like how each hero has a class (warrior, mage, thief, ranger, etc.) which will sound familiar to most gamers. And each hero has to accrue points from killing enemies to gain “ranks” (level up). There are a whole lot of other little nods and jabs at conventional gaming, but even if you’re only casually familiar with fantasy games there’ll still be something in here for you.

One of the main aspects of the story are NPCs and their role in the world. An NPC is a shadowkin (orc, knoll, goblin, etc.) who have been granted their non-combatant papers. This means they can work and live among lightlings (humans, dwarves, elves, etc.), but that doesn’t mean their treated the same. And early on we get a clear picture that they’re living on the bottom rungs of society. As Gorm and his party get further into their quest, we get to see even more of how professional heroics interact with the shadowkin and NPCs. It flips the dungeon crawl on its head, making the shadowkin fleshed out characters that occupy a gray area.

The first quarter of the book meandered a bit. It was front loaded with exposition and set-up, but once the party got together and started the quest, I was all in. The interpersonal relationships are the crux of the story, and they are all fascinating and enjoyable to read. By the end, this rag-tag team of washed up heroes really felt like a team—even if they don’t all get along.

I’d definitely recommend this to fans of fantasy, but especially to fantasy gamers.

Check it out on Amazon and Goodreads

5 Things I learned from Self-Publishing by Matthew Marchitto

1. Writing the book is easy

I never thought I’d say that, but it’s true. Writing the book is the most doable part of the process. I know how to write a book, not perfectly or without flaw, but I can do it. Even on those nights when hitting the word count feels like slogging through waist deep sludge, each clicky-clack of the keyboard a stab of self-doubt, I know that ultimately, I can do it. Maybe it’ll take longer than I expected, but it’ll be done.

Read More

The Horned Scarab - Out Now! by Matthew Marchitto

Ghorad-Gha, once magnificent city of clay and bronze, crumbles. Those prosperous few burden the shoulders of the downtrodden. In a city of forgotten glory, the lawless thrive. 

A monk turns up dead, and Arn is determined to find out why. Along with his stone skinned companion, Rohqim, they'll be dragged deep into Ghorad-Gha's underbelly, where the Horned Scarab reigns.

The Horned Scarab, a fantasy novella set in a prolonged bronze age, is now released for purchase. It's the first part in The Investigative Privateers series. It follows Arn and Rohqim as they investigate a murder and get dragged into a much bigger conflict. 

You can buy it now at: Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Nobles, and Kobo.

Add it on Goodreads.

Read the first chapter here.