Pvt. Bill Stamford: Who will he choose… hometown Becky or exotic Franny?

The painting in this post depicts General Stonewall Jackson’s men attacking Yankees at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. In my Civil War novel, Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep, I show Jackson’s attack and later wounding by his own men. Soon you’ll be able to read it in chapter 22. My publisher, Wings ePress, wants to publish the novel.

Confederate troops wounded Gen. Stonewall Jackson in the 1863 battle of Chancellorsville. In my soon-to-be-published novel, I give his wounding a mystical twist.

The publisher’s acceptance letter came Wednesday. I returned the contract and an information and marketing form on Friday. The release date is Oct. 1. Before October there’s plenty of slogging to be done – working with editors, copyeditors and the cover artists.

Wings ePress is one of the oldest ebook publishers, formed in 2001 in the early days of the digital publishing transformation. Nowadays it has to compete not only against the big publishing houses and other ebook publishers, but the indie revolution as well. They’ve revamped their website; it’s easier to navigate and has an ascetically pleasing look. The artists do superb work. The novels of My Sword and Sorcery Fantasy series, Larenia’s Shadow Trilogy, have first-rate covers. More than one fellow writer has complimented me after looking at the artwork.

Mike Staton
This is me — Mike Staton. My arm’s resting on a Civil War era Cannon. By the way, I wrote this post.

Many of you have followed the Civil War novel’s writing progress on my author’s page. I began it in January 2016, spending several weeks developing a detailed chapter-by-chapter outline that provided a roadmap for fleshing out scenes. When I finished the first draft, I ran the chapters through the Online Writers Workshop of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, obtaining reviews. The novel then went through three additional drafts before I felt it was ready for submission.

The novel includes romantic and fantasy subplots – two women to beguile my main character, Confederate Private Bill Stamford, and an otherworldly gift – a halo that flares around someone destined to die, usually in days or weeks. By the final draft, the tweaking was done. No bragging but I found myself pleased with the lovemaking scenes as well as how I depicted Bill’s struggles with the unpredictable halo appearances.

Larenia's Shadow Trilogy3
See? My publisher produces wonderful covers. All three were done by artist Richard Stroud.

In the weeks and months ahead, I’ll give you a peek at the cover. I’ll also provide purchasing information. I’ve high hopes Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep will sell well.

# # #

Some new space news to report. Nothing big. Trump apparently cut the breaking news out of his State of the Union address. Because of time constraints, administration sources reported. Before the speech, those same sources had reported a space goal of a moon landing by the nation’s 250th birthday in 2026. All that remained in the speech was this disjointed sentence: “American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream.”

James Vaughan Photo
Space artist James Vaughan depicts American wheels on Mars, not footprints. But you get the point.

Elon Musk of SpaceX trumped the President the day before with his own moon announcement. He intends to send two tourists around the moon in a Dragon 2 spacecraft in 2018… more likely 2019 or 2020. Musk still needs a couple of successful test flights of his new Falcon Heavy rocket and some orbital missions of NASA astronauts to the International Space Station in the Dragon 2 before embarking on a moon flight. Both the rocket and Dragon 2 have yet to fly.

# # #

I’m a published author… three fantasy novels – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin, and Assassins’ Lair. Soon, a fourth novel – Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep – will join them for sale on my publisher’s website and on the sites of Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. If the mention of the American Civil War and romance piques your curiosity, you’ll want to pick up a copy of my newest novel when it comes out.


14 thoughts on “Pvt. Bill Stamford: Who will he choose… hometown Becky or exotic Franny?

  1. Writing a civil war novel while keeping track of the space program shows you really have diversified interests. I think most good writers need that. Good luck with the book

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so happy for you, congratulations. Looking forward to the new book! Also, thanks for the information on ‘space’. Gotta keep moving forward in that realm. Doris


    1. Thanks for the congratulations on the Civil War book, Doris. I hope that lots of my friends on Writing Wranglers & Warriors purchase it and leave reviews. Of course, all that’s out into October. I’m like Sue… got to come up with a marketing plan. I got some ideas I might use in a future WW&W column.


    1. Yea, I’m going to be calling on the WW&W folks to buy the book and leave some reviews. In regard to NASA, I now am hearing the agency is going to get a 5 percent reduction. That’s not as bad as some federal agencies… I guess it’s “Do more with less NASA.” Streamline regulations, don’t over-regulate companies like SpaceX, let them produce a lunar lander at far less cost that the traditional NASA way of doing things.


  3. So happy for you, Mike, regarding your book! Did you see “A Free State of Jones?” One of my cousins’ sons was in that movie, playing a teenager who gets hung for desertion. Greg and I have the DVD and we were able to spend time with my cousin and her family and meet the family’s “movie star” last summer! Then, we visited Vicksburg (cousin and fam live in Meridian, MS). I look forward to reading your novel when it’s published. Best to you, Mike!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like you have made lots of progress and the momentum continues. I reneged out of a meeting on civil war soldier life tonight because I stayed too late judging a young author’s contest at the school and I have a cold that was dragging on my spirit. Now I wish I had gone. They do things on the civil war every once in a while in that particular organization which is the Casper Posse of Westerners. That org does exist nationally I believe and one in your area might interest you. Looking forward to hearing more on your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do need to check out if any civil war-related historical societies do exist in the Vegas area. I did go to a couple of SCV meeting in North Carolina, but those people were a little bit on the crazy side… they were still fighting the war; they didn’t like Lincoln at all.


  5. Excellent news about your manuscript, Mike- congratulations. I’m sure your publisher will come up with a stunning cover! As for the space ‘holidaying’ I might give it a miss, even if I had the finances.


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