Welcome to the Minstrel’s Call Blog Tour.
Finishing a series is no small accomplishment. And to celebrate the release of the fourth and final book in The Minstrel’s Song series, I asked Jenelle Schmidt if she would share a few thoughts on her journey. I’ve read every book in the series and though they’re all wonderful. This last one is truly epic!
And just as epic is the giveaway Jenelle is running to celebrate the release. Don’t miss out on this one. These prizes are especially awesome, not the lease of which is that sword. Oh, that sword!
But first, here’s Jenelle.
The Minstrel’s Song Wrap-Up
I never meant to write a series. In fact, I never really intended to write a book or become an author. I have always loved telling stories, and I enjoyed writing. I even co-authored a sci-fi story in high school with my best friend. But I fiercely maintained that I would never want to write as my “job.” I figured if I had to write for a deadline or pay, it would immediately lose my interest and writing, one of my favorite things in the world, would become one of my least favorite things. And I had no wish for that to happen.
Thankfully, God has surrounded me with a family who knows me better than I know myself. In 2001, on summer break from my freshman year of college, my dad issued a challenge to write an “adventure story” that he could read out loud to my siblings each night, while at the same time giving me some of the best writing advice I have ever received, “If you want to be a writer, you should be writing.”
The challenge intrigued me, and thus began one of the best summers of my life.
King’s Warrior came together in a furious frenzy of riding my bike to the waterpark (where I worked in the admissions office), scribbling away in my notebook in every spare moment I had, then biking home and typing up my notes so that I could print out my allotted 10 pages each night. I honestly had no idea where the story was going. Every character who showed up was a surprise guest, every plot twist came as out of nowhere to me as it did to my captive audience. I got instant feedback, and some things changed on the fly as my parents, brothers, and sister let me know which characters they liked best and what they hoped would happen next in the story. It was the most fun I’d ever had while writing.
The next summer, I came home and decided to repeat the process, this time delving into the past of a character I’d never intended to write about anyway: Brant. Though I meant for him to be a single-scene character in King’s Warrior, my family liked him so much that I changed his backstory and turned him into the central figure of that book. It seemed natural that the next book should go back in time and be the prequel that explained how Brant came to be where he was in King’s Warrior. That summer held just as frantic of a writing schedule, but I had a far better idea of where the story was going, and I had more of an outline, of sorts.
The summer after my junior year, I decided to tackle the third book in the series, picking up once more with the characters from King’s Warrior, approximately three years after the end of that story. It was a new adventure, with higher stakes this time, and a nice little wrap-up to some of the things I had left without the necessary closure. This book took me two summers to complete – I finished it a few days before my wedding! And that was it. I believed that the series was complete as a trilogy. I was moving on to being a wife and having a career as a teacher…
But once again, my dad challenged me on this assumption. He kept asking me where “the rest” of the story was… and by that, he meant he wanted a story about Kiernan Kane.
I tried to write this book for years. Thinking that I could do another book like “Second Son” but this time for Kiernan, I started with his origin, and wrote 80,000 words of story… but none of those words felt right. I sent them to my dad and asked for his thoughts, and he told me that they were great… but that what he really wanted was more adventure with the characters he already loved AND Kiernan Kane.
And that was the spark I needed.
After that, Minstrel’s Call began to take form. It grew slowly, unfurling a scene at a time, and it took longer than anything I’d ever written before.
Those 80,000 words of backstory? They weren’t wasted at all. On the contrary, they provided a lot of depth for me to pull from as I wrote this final stanza in the Mintre’s Song. One thing that readers will notice in this last volume, is that each chapter begins with a quote of some kind pulled from fictional books and poets and sayings from the world of Tellurae Aquaous. Many of those quotes came from those early pages I drafted of Kiernan’s history.
But now, here “at the end of all things” as Frodo might say, I could not be more pleased with the result. Minstrel’s Call is the result of 17 years of tremendous effort that has gone into writing, re-writing, editing, polishing, and production so that I can finally… FINALLY present you with these four books together as a set.
I hope you enjoy the adventure. To God be the glory.
Read on to find out about the Minstrel’s Song
War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing…
Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.
When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.
On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all…
Jenelle is giving away 1 Dragon Sword, 1 252-piece puzzle of the artwork for Minstrel’s Call, and 1 signed paperback copy of Minstrel’s Call. (Due to standard-postal shipping restrictions of blades outside the continental USA, and the lack of reliable dragons these days, she cannot offer the sword to winners outside the U.S. However, if someone outside the U.S. wins that particular item, she will send them a $35 Amazon Gift Card instead).
Connect with Jenelle:
Thanks, Jenelle, for sharing your thoughts and letting me be a part of this important moment in your writing career. All the best with the launch!
Other stops on the tour
Some great authors are helping to celebrate the release as well. Check out the other stops!
Kyle Robert Shultz http://www.kylerobertshultz.com
E.E. Rawls http://www.rawlse.wordpress.com
Annie Douglass Lima http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com
Dawn Roberto https://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com
Bryn Shutt https://todaybybryn.wordpress.com/
Deborah O’Carroll https://thepagedreamer.wordpress.com/
Liv K. Fisher http://livkfisher.blogspot.com/
Sarah Ashwood (newsletter release) http://www.sarahashwoodauthor.com
Catherine Chant http://www.CatherineChant.com/blog
Kandi J Wyatt http://kandijwyatt.com
Nancy Moors http://antrimcycle.com
Kendra E. Ardnek http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com
Laurie Lucking http://www.landsuncharted.com
CL Wells http://theclwells.com/shout-outs/