Update: May 14, 2017
The Crosser’s Maze (Book Two of the Heroes of Spira) is currently in the capable hands of my editor, and she estimates that in less than a month I will have a marked-up version of the manuscript in my hands. The gap between that hand-off and eventual publication will depend on how severe a thrashing she has given the latest draft, but my middle-of-the-bell-curve estimate now is a publishing date in August.
In the meantime I have begun work on the initial draft off Book Three, “The Portal in the Woods,” though that is a working title only, and I suspect a better one will tap me on the shoulder with an embarrassed cough sometime before it’s finished.
In related news, The Ventifact Colossus made it into Mark Lawrence’s latest Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (better known as the 2017 #SPFBO). This is not to say it was chosen for its quality; the contest simply accepted the first 300 books submitted, and I happened to notice it was happening in the four day window between its announcement and its reaching 300 entries. But it’s still cool and scary to be a part of. How it works is, ten volunteer book bloggers each get assigned a random selection of 30 books, and pick ONE of those 30 to make it to a final round. As such, my chances are quite slim even of advancing past the stage where my particular blogger reads the first 50 pages of each entry and decides which ones to summarily toss. There are a lot of high-quality self-published fantasy books out there!
You can read more about the contest here: 2017 SPFBO
Update: October 10, 2016
I have finished the first draft of Book Two, whose working title is “The Crosser’s Maze.”
It is now in the hands of my team of Beta Readers, whose job it is to read with a critical eye and tell me everything they don’t like about it. I will digest their collective feedback, make a giant pile of cuts, additions and revisions, and then submit the updated manuscript to my editor. She will then tell me everything she doesn’t like, in loving and exhaustive detail, leaving me to sob for a few days about how I’m a worthless husk of an author, but afterward I will follow her advice and the book will become about 740% better. (I also anticipate some spirited debate about the proper use of commas, which will be fought to a draw.)
After that will come the proofreading, formatting, last-minute hand-wringing about that one scene in Chapter Seventeen, uploading, various technical tug-of-wars with Amazon, and finally publishing. Whew. I will keep the top of this page updated as I work my way through this process.
Thanks for your patience, readers! I sincerely hope you find The Crosser’s Maze a worthy sequel to The Ventifact Colossus.
Praise for The Ventifact Colossus…
“The narrative is flawless… the plot has some great twists… this is a great start for The Heroes of Spira and I look forward to Book Two.” – Readers’ Favorite
“…this book is a joy to read. It’s got interesting, well-developed characters; a soundly constructed plot; inventive fantasy; lots of humour; and excellent writing.” – Catherine Griffin, book blogger at ingeniouscat.co.uk
“The adventure is compelling, the action gripping, the humor delightful while not undermining the seriousness of the story. In short, this book is great fun, and I offer my strongest recommendation on its behalf to anyone looking for a new series!” – Edward Aubry, author of Unhappenings and Static Mayhem.
“…The Ventifact Colossus stands heads above its competition. It is literate, the characters are well developed and engaging, there is humor and clever plotting.”
“The characters are complex and interesting. I appreciate the ‘ensemble cast’ approach, as well. Loved every minute of it and hated when it ended.”
“The Ventifact Colossus boasts some of the most inspired fight and action scenes I’ve seen in a fantasy novel.”
“Definitely one of my favorite fantasy novels in years.”
“It’s definitely in my top ten best.”
“The plot is fast-paced and exciting…this series has the potential to be comparable to ‘Lord of the Rings’.”
– various Amazon reviewers who I promise are not my mom.
Welcome to the official page of the Heroes of Spira series!
If you would like to receive e-mails on the status of The Ventifact Colossus and its sequels, click here! Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone, and I will only use it to send you updates relevant to the books. And those will be infrequent, as I have no desire to annoy you so much that you lose interest.
The books chronicle the story of a hodgepodge team of would-be heroes, as they set about to save the world from a variety of absurdly dangerous threats. If you’re a fan of fantasy epics with flawed but likable characters, daring swordplay, high magic, terrible monsters, powerful but mysterious artifacts, intriguing mysteries that will all be explained by the end of the series, and villains with excellent mustaches, then you will surely enjoy the Heroes of Spira.
The first book in the series, The Ventifact Colossus, is available for purchase right now on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. You could be reading it right now!
If all goes well, the second book, The Crosser’s Maze, will be published in early 2017. I’m not so foolish as to announce dates for the later books, but you can still look hungrily forward to the final three installments: The Portal in the Woods, The Infinite Tower, and A Splinter in the Heart of the World. (All working titles.)
You may be asking yourself: “Is this going to be one of those never-ending series where the author keeps tacking on more books, and doesn’t really know where the story is going? Allow me to answer that: certainly not. I already know how the whole story goes, including how it ends. Five books should do it. Maaaaaaaaybe six. But probably five.
You may also be asking yourself: “Is this a dark, grim, nasty series where every character is either unlikable or destined to die some grisly death?” Again: no. This is not grimdark fantasy. I’m not saying your favorite character will survive until the end of the series, or even until the end of the first book, and certainly there will be plenty of tension, conflict and difficulties for the heroes. But I have tried to make the stories fun and exciting, rather than bleak and depressing. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I <heart> Joe Abercrombie as much as you!)
Thanks for visiting!
Banished to an otherworldly prison for centuries, the monstrous Emperor Naradawk is about to break free and wreak havoc upon the world of Spira. The archmage Abernathy can no longer keep Naradawk at bay, and has summoned a collection of would-be heroes to help set things right.
Surely he made a mistake. These can’t be the right people.
Dranko is a priest-turned-pickpocket, expelled from his church for his antics. Kibilhathur is a painfully shy craftsman who speaks to stones. Aravia is a wizard’s apprentice whose intellect is eclipsed only by her arrogance. Ernest is a terrified baker’s son. Morningstar is a priestess forbidden from daylight. Tor is a young nobleman with attention issues. Ysabel is an elderly farm woman. Grey Wolf is a hard-bitten mercenary.
None of them are qualified to save the world, but they’ll have to do. Even Abernathy himself seems uncertain as to why he chose them.
What starts with a simple scouting mission soon spirals into something more far-reaching and sinister. The heroes will contest with dream warriors, evil cultists, sentient gemstones, and a devious yet infuriatingly polite gentleman with a perfect mustache, on their way to a desperate encounter with the unstoppable: The Ventifact Colossus.
The Ventifact Colossus is Book One of The Heroes of Spira.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dorian Hart graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in creative writing. This led circuitously to a 20-year career as a video game designer, where he contributed to many award-winning titles including Thief, System Shock, System Shock 2 and BioShock. He is also the author of the interactive novella Choice of the Star Captain.
Dorian now lives in the Boston area with his fantastic wife and two clever daughters. When not serving as house chef and chauffeur, he works on the kinds of novels he’s been itching to write since he was ten years old.