16 August 2011

Book Release, Lessons Learned, and The Future

The book is released!! You can purchase your copy of Der Sternvolker in the Amazon Kindle Store, Barnes and Noble Nook Store, Apple iBookstore, or the Sony Reader Store.

It's been a long time coming to this point. I actually started writing the book over a year ago, and since then its gone through numerous changes. Originally the story took place only five years after the nuclear holocaust that destroyed Earth, and Peter and his crew were part of the Elysium League (like a futuristic Hanseatic League). Peter's father was the head of a major corporation, and Peter was cutting his teeth in the business before taking his father's place. The mercenaries were organic security, and the team was twenty strong. Peter even had a sort of side-kick - a fifteen year old youth whose family had been killed when a rogue European Union military unit razed his colony.

It grew from there. At first it was just going to be a series of short stories, roughly 4,000-10,000 words a piece. But as I wrote and developed the post-Earth solar system I decided I wanted to write a full novel. Peter and his crew changed again into merchant-warriors who forged economic alliances with colonies and city-states to increase the power and wealth of The Elysium League - and themselves.

The idea of the Sternvolk, German for Star Folk, came from several sources. Clan Sea Fox, formerly Diamond Shark, from Battletech was the first source. I always liked Clan Sea Fox for their unClan like, merchant ways. I thought it was amazing when almost the entire Clan moved into ships and began hopping around the Inner Sphere. I had never thought of that, and never read about it in any sci-fi.

The nomadic space peoples in Mass Effect intrigued me, and the idea of an entire culture jumping around space was pretty cool. In fact, the first solid title of the book was The Pilgrimage, and Peter set forth to find himself in the Solar System. In this iteration of the story, Peter and Amelia had been friends since early childhood, and Balder and his six-man team were selectively bred, genetically enhanced super-soldiers that served as the Community Fleet's main offensive force. The book started with Peter and his mercs exploring "Kirk Station", a long lost space station that had been rediscovered in the asteroid belt, and ended up being infested with the genetically altered, feral descendants of the original populace that had been turned into the guinea pigs for a mad scientist. Part of the story was that Peter was the descendant of a long line of Berserkers, and his uncontrollable rage would lead to a huge turning point in the story (and would also spawn the third book in a series). That idea died a slow, painful death because the whole kirk station incident was three chapters and I worked so hard on it. But I wanted the story to be more "believable" (as believeable as it can be. . .), so I hacked it apart and forged ahead. But this is where the final story formed from.

So now we have Der Sternvolker in all its eBook glory. Roughly 246 pages, over 80,000 words, and plenty of blood, sweat, and tears to forge it into a pretty darn good book if I do say so myself (and I do).

There's a lot I learned from this process. . .and a lot I missed.

When you purchase the eBook you will notice that I jump back and forth between calling Rickard's lands "D'Helion District" and "House d'Helion Territory". With all my editing I totally missed that. It SHOULD be "D'Helion District". So, lesson learned: don't just triple edit, quadruple and quintuple edit. Keeping running notes on stuff like that helps, too. This will be corrected in future stories.

Another point: when you publish through BookBaby you will notice that, when your book is ready to be published, you can see in your book details how long you'll have to wait for your book to appear in one of the online stores after BookBaby sends it to that vendor. Some, like Amazon, take 3-4 business days. Others, like Sony Reader, take 3-4 weeks! This is part of the reason that the book is not showing up in the Sony Reader Store yet. Word to the wise: send your book in 6 weeks prior to your publication date JUST to make sure.
"And what is in store for the future?" you may ask. Renegade Data Core is just spinning up and I have lots of ideas that I want to turn into full stories. In the next few months I will be churning out several short stories that will be sold for $0.99 on the site as PDFs. I plan to find an artist or artists and finally create a comic. And I'm already working on the next full length novel. If you read through all of Der Sternvolker you'll know who the next novel is about.

Also keep watching out for more artwork. I will be commissioning the talented Ganassa, and others, to turn my ideas into amazing works of art for your viewing pleasure.

Until next time. . .


  1. The title looks like a great example for German Engrish. If you wanted it to mean something along the lines of "The Star Folk", then it would either be "Die Sternvölker" (plural of stark folk) or "Das Sternenvolk" (singular). Came here by the way of the review on Fantasy Book Critic.

  2. Actually, I made an error myself, forgot the suffix on the first word of the plural form, "Die Sternenvölker" is completely right.

    The odd thing about your title is that Volker is a typical first name and occasionally a family name here, so your title gives the impression it's about someone named Volker and the added "Stern" (Star) that the whole title "Sternvolker" is some sort of nickname for him.

  3. Scotoma: Thanks for the tip. The reason I titled it "Der Sternvolker" was because the main character is male, hence "Der" and the -er at the end of Sternvolk. I've had a lot of people comment on how they think it should be, to include native Germans. I guess it's all part of the learning process. Next time I'll confirm my foreign language usage with an expert/native. Thanks again, and please let me know what you think of the book. :)

  4. Any chance your future European readers can get this book somewhere? I don't have a Kindle or a NOOK app, besides, I'll probably not be able to buy it anyway from an American site.

  5. Heh...
    Forget my previous comment, it seems I can get the book via the Amazon Kindle app. No need for a Kindle device.

  6. Rokuro: Hope you got your copy and are enjoying it. The Kindle and Nook apps are free for iPhones & iPads/Android Phones and for the computer.

    Enjoy! And let me know what you think of the book :)