The Battle of Iron Gulch by R.G. Thomas Guest Post & Excerpt!

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Hi peeps, we have R.G. Thomas stopping by today with his upcoming young adult release The Battle of Iron Gulch, we have a brilliant guest post from B.G. and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~

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The Battle of Iron Gulch

(The Town of Superstition 03)
by

R.G. Thomas

Thaddeus Cane has finally reached the foot of Wraith Mountain. He hopes to soon find his mother, Claire, who was cursed by the witch Isadora when Thaddeus was just a baby, and bring Claire back to Superstition to live with him and his father, Nathan. With Teofil, his garden gnome boyfriend, and Teofil’s mother, sister, and new elf friend Dulindir, Thaddeus discovers, however, that getting to his mother will not be as easy as they’d hoped. They are forced to find shelter in the small town of Iron Gulch as Thaddeus’s father takes a job in order to secure the equipment they will need to climb the mountain.

The longer they stay in Iron Gulch, the more Thaddeus feels things in the small town are not as pleasant as they appear on the surface. When a new and vicious enemy suddenly reveals itself, Thaddeus and his group will have to battle not only for their own lives, but those of the residents of Iron Gulch. As the battle rages on, they find Thaddeus’s mother, and turn their fight to free her and end Isadora’s tyranny once and for all.

Release date: 10th January 2017

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R.G. Thomas

Over the years, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about my “choice” of being a writer. (I use quotation marks because, really, I don’t think I had a choice in the matter; I’ve always needed to tell people stories.) As the release date approach for The Battle of Iron Gulch, the third book of my Town of Superstition young adult series, I figured it was a good time to answer at least one of those questions.

Today I’m going to explain how I write. Not the mechanics of it (fingers to keyboard and, voila! A book is created!), but the tools I use to get it done.

Many, many years ago I used Microsoft Word to write a book. Just one long file with page breaks between chapters. It worked well, but it was difficult to find specific passages or chapters again, especially if I had no idea what words I’d used in the description which made the Find option less helpful.

Then I discovered Scrivener, and it changed my life.

Now, each book is its own Scrivener file called a Project Binder. I like to think of it as one of those three ring binders that used to exist way, way back in the olden days when I attended school. Within this Project Binder, each chapter of the book is its own folder which I name something descriptive, and not just Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc. For example, in the Scrivener file for The Battle of Iron Gulch – The Town of Superstition: Book Three, a few of the folders are named as follows: Goblin Attack, Approaching Town, and Meeting Ruby. If I want to keep track of just how many chapters I’ve got in a book, I’ll add numbers to the chapter names, such as 1 – Goblin Attack.

Within these chapter folders, Scrivener allows me to add as many text files as I want. I can have one long text file, or break the chapter up by different actions. For instance, in the chapter folder named Meeting Ruby, I separated the chapter into three text files which are titled: Meeting Ruby (yes, this is the chapter name as well, and I wanted to further separate the action within the chapter so I could easily refer back to it), Chores to do, and Learning Magic. Each of these files contains a complete scene.

Another item I really love about Scrivener is the template. There are a couple of different templates in each Project Binder, one for characters and the other for places. The character template provides a place for me to write as much or as little as I want to about each character in the story. This is where I add details I want to refer back to, such as eye and hair color, height and weight, if mentioned, any habits that may be important, or even scars. Many times I’ll just copy what I’ve written in the story and paste that detail into the character file. For Teofil, Thaddeus’s gnome boyfriend, I wrote these notes: His wide, handsome face filled Thaddeus’s vision, and he stared into Teofil’s big, blue eyes the color of stormy ocean waves. A lock of his thick, dark blond hair had fallen across his broad forehead. He wore all earth tones: forest green pants, pale yellow shirt, and brown boots that laced up his lower legs.

Now, when I create a new Project Binder for another story in the Town of Superstition series, I simply click on the Characters section in the previous story binder and drag all of those templates into the new binder. Now I’m all set to go with my existing cast of characters to which I add new files as Thaddeus meets new characters in his latest adventure.

Once the story is ready to go to Harmony Ink Press for edits, I simply Compile the Scrivener file into a Microsoft Word document that I send in email. It’s that simple.

Scrivener isn’t for everyone, but it’s flexible and powerful enough to be used by any writer. And if you’re a writer working on a series of books, it’s a real time saver! I know it’s helped me stay organized while writing the first three books in the Town of Superstition series, and there are a lot of characters, and a lot of action and danger, to keep track of!

If you haven’t checked out the books, here’s the blurb for the Town of Superstition series:

 When fifteen-year-old Thaddeus Cane moves to the town of Superstition, he quickly realizes the place lives up to its name when he meets and falls in love with Teofil, the garden gnome next door. But Teofil isn’t the only magical being in Superstition, and Thaddeus will encounter witches, wizards, and even dragons as he embarks on a dangerous journey—and the adventure of a lifetime. Along the way, he’ll uncover family secrets and learn that there’s much more to him than he ever imagined.

And here is the blurb for the upcoming third book, The Battle of Iron Gulch – The Town of Superstition: Book Three, available January 10, 2017:

Thaddeus Cane has finally reached the foot of Wraith Mountain. He hopes to soon find his mother, Claire, who was cursed by the witch Isadora when Thaddeus was just a baby, and bring Claire back to Superstition to live with him and his father, Nathan. With Teofil, his garden gnome boyfriend, and Teofil’s mother, sister, and new elf friend Dulindir, Thaddeus discovers, however, that getting to his mother will not be as easy as they’d hoped. They are forced to find shelter in the small town of Iron Gulch as Thaddeus’s father takes a job in order to secure the equipment they will need to climb the mountain.

The longer they stay in Iron Gulch, the more Thaddeus feels things in the small town are not as pleasant as they appear on the surface. When a new and vicious enemy suddenly reveals itself, Thaddeus and his group will have to battle not only for their own lives, but those of the residents of Iron Gulch. As the battle rages on, they find Thaddeus’s mother, and turn their fight to free her and end Isadora’s tyranny once and for all.

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Excerpt

 

Thaddeus took the opportunity to admire Teofil. He was handsome in a country boy kind of way, with high cheekbones, a rather large nose, and a thick beard around his jaw that was of the same blond shade as his messy thatch of hair. Though Teofil was a garden gnome, he stood as tall as Thaddeus and had strong shoulders and arms.

Thaddeus pulled his gaze from Teofil to glare at his lame attempt at a fire. “Fat lot of good it’ll do us since I can’t get the stupid fire to take.”

Teofil sat beside Thaddeus and leaned in to peer at the fire pit. Thin wisps of smoke curled up from the pile.

“It does look a bit….”

“Weak?” Astrid offered.

“Manners, Astrid,” Miriam said without lifting her gaze from her knitting.

Teofil stuck out his tongue at his sister, and she returned the gesture.

“Is that a greeting?” Dulindir dropped an armload of sticks on the pile that was larger even than the one Teofil had deposited. His hair glowed where it fell halfway down his back, reflecting the light of the stars just starting to shine in the darkening sky.

“Elves,” Teofil grumbled. “Always showing off.”

“Dulindir,” Thaddeus said, “do you know how to start a fire?”

The elf gave a single nod, then approached them and knelt on the other side of their stick pile. Thaddeus watched Dulindir wave his hands slowly back and forth over it, his long, thin fingers breaking through the delicate wisps of smoke. The insects humming around them stilled, and it seemed to Thaddeus that even the gentle breeze—a constant across the open plain they were crossing—had paused. Thaddeus leaned in closer, his eyes widening as he watched Dulindir’s actions. Teofil leaned in as well, his attention just as riveted.

“There’s very little heat,” Dulindir stated. “You need a true flame.”

He reached into a small pouch he carried tied at his waist and produced a box from which he drew a matchstick. A quick strike on the side of the box produced a tiny flame, which he held to the sticks, and a moment later the kindling caught.

Thaddeus sat back and narrowed his eyes. “Nice trick. I could have done that.”

“Yet you did not,” Dulindir said. He stood up and stared out over the grasses that stood tall and still in the deepening twilight and looked toward the darker outline of the mountain.

“Smart-aleck elf,” Thaddeus muttered.

“You might as well get used to it,” Teofil said. “Seems like he’s with us for the long haul.”

The tone of Teofil’s voice conveyed perfectly his annoyance with Dulindir. Thaddeus figured it had a little to do with the elf’s personality, and a whole lot more to do with feeling protective of his older sister.

Thaddeus looked off toward the black outline of the mountain and pulled his knees up to his chest, wrapping his arms around his shins. His butt felt numb from sitting on the ground, and his feet ached from the distance they’d walked. Add to those pains the ache in his shoulders from having dug down a few feet into the hard dirt to create a fire pit, and Thaddeus truly missed his comfortable bed back home. He looked forward to the time they would all stretch out around the fire to get a few hours’ sleep before striking out at first light for, hopefully, the last day’s walk to the base of Wraith Mountain.

The fire crackled, and tiny sparks and embers spiraled up toward the velvety purple sky that stretched overhead. More stars had appeared, and Thaddeus smiled. Teofil and Astrid had told him the story of Faux Flora, a fairy princess who had lived among the treetops. To fool the Plains Dwellers who wanted her to live with them instead, she built a replica of herself that was swept up into the night sky, where it now resided as a constellation Thaddeus knew as the Big Dipper. The story had been the nugget of the idea for the gliders that brought them all back to Miriam and his father from the abandoned town of Bower’s Grotto and the legendary Well of Tears, and just in time to save Nathan’s life.

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About R.G.

R.G. Thomas has been reading books from an early age. As a young gay man, however, he found very few characters with whom he could truly identify. Now that he’s an adult—or at least older than he used to be—he likes to write stories that revolve around gay characters. The Town of Superstition is his YA fantasy gay romance series which includes wizards, witches, and other magical creatures.

When he’s not writing, R. G. Thomas loves to read, go to movies, watch some TV, and putter around in the small suburban patch of ground he calls a yard. He visits his mother once a week, not just for the free cookies, and enjoys spending time with close friends drinking wine and making up ridiculous things that sometimes show up in his books. Although he hates the process of travel, he does enjoy experiencing new places. His dream trip is to one day visit the country of Greece, and he is currently saving his nickels and dimes to make that a reality.

Twenty years ago he met a man who understood and encouraged his strange, creative mind, who made him laugh more often and more freely than anyone else. They were officially married in November of 2015 and today they still laugh often as they live in a suburb just north of Detroit with their two cats who act as both muse and distraction to him while he writes.

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