The video above says all I need to say right now :). Oh, by the way, notice I’m on Tiktok? Please follow me and give this teaser a like if you think it’s cool!
Have a great day!
The video above says all I need to say right now :). Oh, by the way, notice I’m on Tiktok? Please follow me and give this teaser a like if you think it’s cool!
Have a great day!
Merry Christmas to all! I feel compelled to write this blog right now as a way to get out of a sort of funk I’ve been suffering with. I haven’t wanted to do much of anything online, besides spend money :} . It has been a bad 2 years for me, but this Christmas season, so far, is a lovely one.
My first announcement for today is that the third installment of Sufferborn has been written! It’s only the first draft and will be followed by a long few months of editing, starting in January, but the project is halfway complete at this point. It took me 11 whole months to write it and it is nearly 230,000 words long, whew! For the first two books, it only took about 3 and a half months to write their first drafts, but this year was different. I had trouble focusing. I took on a big computer building side project, two of my relatives died, and I continued to deal with publishing-related woes that are hard to explain to those who don’t work in this business. I was spread thin, and 11 months got the job done.
I’m psyched about Sufferborn book 3! This book is VERY important in the series as it’s at the center of the entire composition and it stands as a pretty big mid-series climax. So buckle your seatbelts, Sufferborn fans. By now, you all know that I don’t write slow books, haha! My books are full of action and drama.
Since I finished the book a little later than expected (LOL), I’m, of course, having to push back the release date. So I’m hoping for mid 2022 now. It’s a very big book and shouldn’t be rushed. I’ll do my best and keep you informed.
I also finished the front cover painting for book 3! Another very big task done. There will, as always, be a back cover painting too, but I’ve yet to decide on a subject. I’m currently working to create a reference and…
Dah-da-na-naaaaahhhh! This brings me to my other bit of big news: I am writing this post on a bitchin’, badass, new custom-built computer—the first computer I’ve ever created with my own hands! It’s beautiful. I talked about this project in a previous post, you might remember, but the finished project turned out slightly different. What I have learned is that building a computer is quite a twisty-turny adventure. You really have to be in tune with what you’re doing and trying to accomplish. But I did it, and it’s just fabulous. This computer is the new center of my publishing company, and not a moment too soon. As it turned out, I wound up deciding to get a Ryzen 5950x, which has 16 cores, instead of my original plan of getting a threadripper. I made this decision after discussing it with someone online who convinced me I didn’t need a threadripper for what I was trying to do, lol. Alongside it, I wound up getting a Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card. Obviously, I would have gotten a higher tier, but the current graphics card situation was insane, and I just decided to get the best thing I could get my hands on. To be honest, my 3070 is AWESOME. Computer people in the youtube videos act like it has to be a 3090 or you’re just not at the best level, but all that talk is silly. I’m here to tell you this if you are currently trying to get a graphics card. My computer is amazing thanks to my 3070. I managed to get it by watching the Newegg website closely, checking its stock about three times a day (so not too closely, hahahah!) When I happened to catch this 3070 in stock, from a reputable American seller, I jumped on it. Ok, I didn’t even jump on it that quickly lol. I hemmed and hawed for about an hour. I asked my mom if she thought I should get it lol. And THEN I bought it. I paid about 800 dollars more than its retail value, as these were ridiculously inflated this year. My decision was justified though, because it’s for business. I really wanted my workflow to improve. And it has.
The book and the computer were the best things to come out of 2021 for me. I’m really hoping things will be different in 2022. I’m feeling good these days. I get a winter vacation, since I’m letting the book simmer before reading it with fresh eyes. And my day job has lightened up considerably, because this is a slow season for the work I do. So finally, I’m getting some rest and feeling at peace, after a long, grueling year of deaths and penny pinching and emotions coming from places both external and internal.
I hope for now, my suffering is over. And I’m excited about Christmas. How about you?
As it is close to the middle of the year, I feel it’s appropriate to give you all an update to the progress of Sufferborn book 3.
I’m expecting its release to be around early 2022—but please don’t think that sounds bad, it’s really not. For the past two years in a row, I’ve managed to release book 1, Sufferborn, and then book 2, Unwilling Deity, in the fall of each year. There is a certain rhythm I intend to keep for my book releases, and as a result, the starting and ending points of each book creation will land a little later in the year, each year (for example, Sufferborn came out in October of 2019 and Unwilling Deity came out in November 2020). After taking my annual “between books break” in 2020, I started writing book 3 (title to be announced) on January 1, 2021. So far, it is taking a bit longer to write this one than the previous two, and I think that is due to my trying to juggle it with various different things like marketing and such. But I am hopeful that the book’s first draft will be finished soon and I will proceed with its publishing tasks.
However! There is one thing in this year that could possibly delay book 3’s release, backing it up a little farther into 2022: I am building my first high-powered workstation computer.
Let’s put an emphasis on “possibly,” because I’m not entirely sure if my pc building venture will actually delay the book. I am having to work more hours at my day job to come up with the money, and my new workstation will not be cheap. As long as I can keep up my discipline and wake up extra early every morning, I shouldn’t lose any writing time. But the cost of pc building will have to be juggled with the cost of publishing (and this year I have to buy another 10 pack of ISBN numbers. Yay :[ ).
The thing about pc building is that in order to make a workstation, and not a gaming pc, I need better/faster components and lots of memory. I want to do this right, so my pc will work faster, longer, and allow me to do complex operations like 3d rendering. I’m EXTREMEMLY excited about what I will be able to do with my new pc—the art I will make—the new software and media I will try! Right now, I’m working on a pc that has a 4-core AMD processor and was the cheapest pc in Best Buy 6 or 7 years ago. I am planning to put a 24-core threadripper CPU into my new computer, so I’m expecting the difference to be like night and day.
As far as pc building goes, there are circumstantial complications for this year: a shortage of graphics cards and insanely high inflation for them in both retail and on the second hand market. As far as getting a graphics card goes, I’m biding my time as I have to save for all my other expensive pc parts, but it’s still a worry. In 2021, building a pc costs more money than ever before. Between it and my busy life, I’m estimating Sufferborn book 3 may release in February 2022. That’s my best guess-timation, but I will follow up if I foresee any developments.
I might also show a few pics of my new workstation pc when it’s complete. I think my Sufferborn art, book covers, and marketing graphics are about to get a LOT better. Art is my favorite part of life. It’s half the reason why I’m in this business. ❤
Finally, it’s here! I am proud to present the brand new cover for Sufferborn (book 1)! It was a long journey, short if you consider the time frame, but a fairly smooth transition. The worst part about it has been my anxiety: what should the new cover look like? Which idea to go with? How long will it take to paint? How long will it take for the final oil glaze to dry? How long will it take to get it professionally scanned? And can I get a ride to the photoimaging company downtown Nashville?
The thing is, I needed to get it all completed before February in order to use the new cover for an ad I had already bought. Though all of those concerns ran smoothly, it was the waiting that hurt the most. When you have a big project (and OMG, yes, making a good, hand-painted book cover is a HUGE project), you just want it to be over and done right now—hahaha, know what I mean? But patience and diligence pays off. Even if it takes a long time, practicing patience and diligence will get you the narrower time frame—procrastination will draw it out for additional months and even years.
So the painting. In my haste to create and get it done, I have been completely uninspired about what to name it. Though I usually love naming paintings, this one I couldn’t quite take the time to care about what it was called—lmao! I slapped the title “Sufferborn Trio” onto the back for the benefit of identification when dropping it off at the photoimaging company and called it a day. Dusted my hands off.
Sufferborn Trio is a great one, I think. In my opinion, it’s a fine replacement for the original cover, titled “Open Heart.” Sufferborn Trio is no less complex and expertly done. I did my best to be as expressive as possible, keeping loose, while at the same time digging in hard to create the BEST possible piece I could within my personal skill boundaries.
Take notice of the two characters at the sides, Daghahen and Lamrhath, the insidious twins who will become quite the epic pillars of drama as time passes. Looking at my references, I knew that the two characters on the sides had to be foggy and recede so that the central figure, Dorhen, can clearly stand out. I had two steps for making that possible: step 1 was to paint them thinly and “coldly,” and step 2 was to go over their whole figures, after they dried, with a whitish glaze. A glaze is when you add a tiny speck of paint to a large glob of pigment-free linseed oil. Because I need my book cover paintings to dry fast, I used liquin original instead of oil for this. I especially used a lot of thin, expressive strokes for Daghahen (at left) to create his elderly appearance. A lot of his blue underpainting shows through. Lamrhath (at right) was painted similarly, but with more careful, thoughtful strokes and coverage. His colored layers are still thin, allowing the underpainting to show through, but all of him is still extremely thin and even, dare I say, underdeveloped. That’s how they both turned out looking faint and cold. It also kept my painting time short and simple, a win-win.
Dorhen, on the other hand, got all my love—as he always does. His face contains the thickest layers of paint on the whole piece, followed by the rest of his exposed skin. Any piece of clothing that appears dark, I take the liberty to keep thin and easily executed, which is something that I’ve picked up in the last decade of painting.
But I won’t bore you anymore with painting techniques. In effort to make this new cover communicate the book’s genre more clearly (dark/epic fantasy), I chose these three characters. These three are present in the prologue of Sufferborn. The twins are the root of the problems that concern the main characters, Dorhen and Kalea. And this scene depicts a moment at the middle of the book when all the elements come together to create the “real” dilemma in the Sufferborn series. This should be a fitting cover indeed.
There you have it! A brand new book cover. Hope you enjoy the book and its new look! If you are a person who misses the old cover, subscribe to this blog on the sidebar for news on when I have posters available. If you would like to get your hands on a copy with the old cover, click the “contact” tab at the top of this site to ask me directly for one. I have a few kicking around and might be able to hook you up (and I’m happy to add autographs)!
Well, we made it. 2020 is almost over, lets be joyful. I spent the entire year writing and publishing the second book in the Sufferborn series: Unwilling Deity. Sorry for my lack of a post back around November 26, when it came out. I’ve been living in a whirlwind! But yes, the book is out now, and I’ve often pondered that this one was created in 2020. I wonder if I’ll always remember that.
Unwilling Deity is a pretty wild book, I must say—at least as far as my history of writing. I shocked myself with the things I worked up the nerve to put on paper. I tore down some boundaries, hopped to the outside of my comfort zone, and set loose the wildest side of my imagination. I guess Kalea experiences a similar whirlwind within the book. It’s almost like she goes through her own “2020.”
As usual, creating the book took total dedication and diligence, but as I sit here, on December 29, 2020, I feel relaxed and at ease. I might just be getting the hang of this book thing. Heck! I even already have book 3 outlined! I’m supposed to be on a 2-month vacation away from writing, but found it feasible to go ahead and do the outline, working for only a few hours each day until it was done. It’s not 100% done yet, I still have to arrange my scene summaries in proper order, but the hard part of that is behind me. On January 1st, the next book will begin.
Creating the book in 2020 wasn’t terribly hard, of course, even as far as taking my cover paintings to be professionally photographed. The process had its usual stresses, but all in all, I feel positive that book creation might become much easier soon. I’ve done two novels now, and am about to write the third. As a hard-working person, I feel after 2 years, that I can handle it better now, physically and emotionally. I’ll let you know if it unfolds otherwise, hahah!
Before I go, I’ll tell you a few things which might be necessary. Unwilling Deity turned out 40,000 words longer than Sufferborn, and that resulted in an increase in its printing cost—which means I had to raise the price to 17.99 USD for paperback. In order to make up for that price increase, I added two additional illustrations to the lineup. So where Sufferborn had four illustrations in its paperback form, Unwilling Deity has six! I think that’s pretty cool, and I do think that it looks good this way, so therefore I’d like to use this amount of illustrations for the rest of the series. I do wish I could write the next book slightly shorter, for my convenience and yours, but alas, my book 3 outline has several more entries than even Unwilling Deity had. This is an epic series, after all, and by nature epics tend to get thicker with each installment.
Also, Sufferborn, book 1, will get a new cover! It already has a new blurb on Amazon, and a new front cover is coming soon. I’ll talk more about this cover change soon. I’m currently working on the painting, and enjoying the process, as usual.
Hope you had a good 2020. Happy New year!
Has it been a year already??? Holy crud.
Guys, I don’t know what to say. This book is special on so many levels. It’s the project I devoted my life to–literally, every life decision I made centered around this. At age 13 I started coming up with the characters and adventures that would eventually blossom into a book called Sufferborn. At age 34 I published it. I couldn’t be more proud, and now I am overwhelmed because I’m about to publish book 2 Unwilling Deity (Preorder here!). Where did the year go?! And in the near future of January 1st, 2021 I’ll begin writing book 3.
Sufferborn, though, is amazing, I must say. It truly is the fruit of my life-long labor. It’s epic. Lots of characters, lots of attention paid to those characters’ development as well as the development of their cultures–particularly the elven culture. It’s sweet, it’s sad, it’s magical, it’s brutal. It’s tragic. The first book is only the beginning of a much bigger story. If you haven’t tried Sufferborn yet, what are you waiting for? It’s only 99c until Black Friday 2020!
Here’s to the birthday of my first novel! Cheers!
Sufferborn book 2, Unwilling Deity is ready to show its face! Please excuse my lack of pageantry in this cover reveal, just a simple blog post, but I’m very very busy…publishing the darn thing! It’s the year 2020 at the time of this writing so I don’t think I have to explain that things have been a little…weird. It was not a good year for me—for other reasons. Hard to explain. Anyway! I’m looking forward to the last bit of the year because that’s when it comes out—the book (*cue the angel choir*). All my work will pay off. Just the satisfaction of holding the final product in my hands—that’s what I live for.
I work EXTREMELY hard at this stuff in order to put these books out in a timely manner. I promise, you won’t be waiting yearS to get the next installment of the story, just…you know…ONE year XD. I have to work overtime, besides doing my day job, in order to create these books, it’s a very big deal (at least to me) and it shakes up my life like I’ve never known before. And now that turbulence is the norm.
So the book cover! It’s an oil painting. Are you surprised? “Her Ecstasy,” was painted on linen stretched over a panel. In person, it’s 27×36 inches big, and I’m not sure how long it took to paint. My process usually takes about 40 hours, BUT I gotta tell ya, it took several tries to get this right. My first attempt I painted over and then scrapped my second attempt before I finally came up with this beauty, so there you have it. The book cover. A long, frustrating process, but I am happy. It says a lot about the story on the pages. Lots of themes going on here to prelude what you are about to read.
This book, folks, was really something for me to have to write as well. It put me on an emotional rollercoaster besides the whole “2020 effect.” The book is rough, dark, gritty—it’s wild! I don’t know, you should just read it.
And it will release on November 26! Thanksgiving day, because this is what I’ll be thankful for (*glasses clinking*). I’m going to see about putting up the preorder soon, perhaps in a few days. So you should DEFINITELY follow this blog! Just click the button on the side panel and you’ll never miss a future book in the Sufferborn series!
Get it NOW at your favorite retailer! Available in ebook, paperback, and hardback. The ebook can be found on Amazon Kindle, but will soon be available in a greater range of stores, so please check back soon.
Signed Sufferborn copy on Etsy
T-shirts on Etsy
Back Cover Description:
Her life had been planned out for her, until an elf with a fiery past came to tempt her future.
In an age of hostility toward elves in her region, Kalea couldn’t just stand and gawk when one of the handsome creatures was caught stealing. He might’ve died had she not helped him escape his grim fate. This was her first sin and she is aware of it. She might have set in motion the ruination of her social standing, her chastity, and ultimately her life…if not her own preservation.
She warns him not to follow her, yet the elf, Dorhen, manages to find her home at the convent where she is looking forward to a long, peaceful life of prayer and study. She is about to take her vow of chastity, and although consorting with any male is forbidden, Kalea can’t resist her fascination with his beautiful eyes and sweet, gentle nature. A precarious interest in Dorhen begins to blossom within her. Meanwhile, a sinister plot unfolding in her home region is about to slither right into her safe little convent in the forest, bringing Dorhen’s ominous past with it.
When sorcerers raid the convent and kidnap the other novices, Kalea manages to escape with Dorhen’s help, but he vanishes in the aftermath of the attack. Determined to save her sisters and the elf she loves, Kalea sets out on a perilous journey across a land rife with magic and festering with an unknown evil… an evil that threatens to destroy all Kalea holds dear.
Sufferborn is a sprawling, dark fantasy with sensual elements that explores the power of faith, supernatural dreams, and love. It follows the treacherous journey of a heartbroken young woman as she struggles to let her old life go in order to achieve the desires of her heart.
Trigger Warnings: This story was written for adults and has an overall sexual theme. Contains violence and blood , sex, slight and brief rape scenes and reference to rape, abduction, cruelty, and moderate swearing.
October 19, 2019! Get ready, because you have two months! Right now I am hard at work pulling together everything needed for the release of Sufferborn, my debut novel! It will be the first book in a long series (of six installments, I’m estimating), telling the tragic tale of two souls who meet but struggle to stay together by the cruel hand of fate. Sufferborn is a piece I’ve been developing over the course of twenty-one years, and counting.
Right now, I am proud to reveal the book’s cover! This is originally an oil painting on linen, completed earlier this year. The painting is titled, “Open Heart.” I’ve been oil painting for pretty much as long as I’ve been working on the Sufferborn story, and my hard work, education, exploration, and discipline has led me to this.
I’ll be releasing FOUR different formats of the Sufferborn books. Some formats may be delayed, please bear with me. I will try my hardest to have the ebook, paperback, and hardback available on the date of release, but just in case things get complex, the hardback release could possibly be delayed. As I said, I will try my best! The one version that will, sadly, have to be delayed is the fourth, and greatest, edition: the presentation edition. This version will be beautiful. I will choose a local printing company for this one—it will NOT be available everywhere. Presentation edition will only be available through me (my website/etsy store, and at my table when I attend conventions). This edition is very special, as it will feature two extra illustrations, plus a “presentation” page in the front matter. The presentation page will be the area I can sign, or even you can sign it and “present” it to your loved ones who read fantasy. The production of presentation edition will be quite different from using Amazon, and that’s why its release delay is inevitable.
Anyway, that’s my news! Keep in touch for more updates and information. Feel free to follow me on social media—links to my social media are located on the right side of this page, and have a great week. I will be having a very busy two months. ~J.C. Hartcarver