It’s been over ten years since I first started writing my series about the adventures of a professional monster hunter. With the recent release of The Hunter’s Apprentice as the fourth installment in the series, I thought I’d take a little time to reflect on some of the things I’ve learned while writing these stories over the last decade.
An Appreciation for Steampunk
When I first started writing Keltin’s adventures, I struggled to find a suitable name for the genre I was working in. Despite the stories’ fanciful monsters and subtle magic system, there was something in the technology and aesthetic of the world that suggested something a little different from a standard epic fantasy environment. After some searching, I stumbled on steampunk as a genre and a community and quickly embraced them both. That being said, I’ll admit that my stories are more rural than most of the Victorian, urban settings found in typical steampunk fiction, which is why I’ve taken to calling my stories steampunk-flavored fantasy. Regardless, I am still immensely grateful to have discovered the world of steampunk, and I will always be grateful to have been adopted into this creative and friendly community.
How to Pan for Gold
In book two of the series, Keltin and his friends go Into the North to protect prospectors from all sorts of monsters during a Yukon-inspired gold rush. In an effort to add an air of authenticity to the book, I decided to talk with an experienced gold panner and practice the art of prospecting a little bit. While I may not have struck it rich, I was inspired by the experience and the thrill of seeing that flash of gold amongst the silt.
The History and Mechanics of Firearms
One of my most treasured experiences in writing The Adventures of Keltin Moore has been meeting the fantastic subject experts in the course of my research. I already mentioned panning for gold, but there have been so many more generous, enthusiastic people I’ve spoken to on subjects ranging from big game hunters to horse-pulled wagons. In particular, I feel blessed to have known Gordon and Nancy Frye. The Fryes are a fantastic wealth of historical information, particularly regarding the development and implementation of firearms over the centuries. If you ever read something in my stories and thought that something involving guns was particularly cool, you can probably thank the Fryes for contributing to it!
How to be an Author
The Keltin Moore Online Serial came out before I’d even published my first novel, and I’ve been working on Keltin’s adventures ever since. Over the course of writing this series, I’ve learned how to craft, revise, format, publish, and market my books. I’ve learned how to work with cover artists, how to price my books, and how to pitch them at book dealer events. The Adventures of Keltin Moore have been the vehicle that have carried me through the majority of my career as an independent author thus far, and for that, I am deeply indebted to these stories.
How to Keep Having Fun While Writing
The inspiration for Keltin Moore came as a quirky little idea, and the stories were more for my benefit than anyone else’s, especially at first. Despite a long publication history and a growing community of amazing fans, Keltin’s stories have remained very personal to me. Years ago, I gave myself permission to write stories that I enjoyed, and I’ve held myself to that commitment ever since. I write my stories for myself first, focusing on characters, plots, and settings that inspire, uplift, and entertain me. The Adventures of Keltin Moore do all of that for me and more, and I’m so grateful that so many fans feel the same way.
If you’d like to begin your own adventures with Keltin, be sure to start where it all began with The Beast Hunter: A Keltin Moore Adventure.