Happy Read an Ebook Week

Today marks the beginning of Read an Ebook Week.  In celebration of the week, I am changing the price of Senta and the Steel Dragon Book 0: Brechalon from 99 cents to $0.  This is not a limited time thing, but is a permanent change. 

I will have to remove Book 0 from Amazon, as they will not allow me to distribute free books, but I am uploading it to Feedbooks.com.  This along with the other stores which distribute it, should give everyone a chance to find it.

Book 0 was actually intended as Bonus material anyway, so this puts it right where it should have been all the time.  I’m going to provide links to the download in the other books of the series.  If you purchased Book 0, and paid 99 cents for it, send me an email or leave a post here, and when book 4 comes out (very soon) I will send you a coupon code for it.

Casting Brechalon

Terrence is still in his twenties in Brechalon and Henry Cavill would be a good choice to play him.  Of course I would want British actors for all these characters.

Emily Blunt would make a great Iolanthe.  She is beautiful but can be scary cold too.

I really like Charlie Cox in Stardust and he would make a great Augie.  I think though Augie would be the easiest character to cast.

Annabel Scholey might be a tad too sexy to be Yuah, but Yuah is described as being more beautiful that Iolanthe and there aren’t many actresses who would fit that bill.  I really liked Annabel in Being Human.

Zeah is probably the hardest character to cast, but I could imagine David Thewlis speaking his lines complete with stutter.  He’s actually the right age, though I think he might need make up to look a bit older.

Prisoner 89 aka Zurfina.  As soon as I saw Lynn Collins with blond hair (it’s usually dark brown) I thought she was perfect.  The fact that she is Dejah Thoris in the upcoming John Carter makes her a must for the part.

Andrew Garfield would make a great Nils Chapman.  In fact, I think he would make a better Nils Chapman than a Spiderman, but that’s just me.

Karl Drury is a scary guy and needs to be intimidating, especially to Nils.  Rufus Sewell could pull that off in spaces.

Have a different actor in mind?  Let me know.

Brechalon: Magicians

Spoiler Alert

And finally, we have our last characters from Senta and the Steel Dragon Book 0: Brechalon.

Madame De La Rosa: Madame De La Rosa is a very old seer. She is an expert in divination, and it is she that Smedley Bassington comes to for information. This is her only appearance in the story.

Amadea Jindra: In Brechalon we meet Amadea Jindra as Madame De La Rosa’s apprentice. She is a major part of the storyline in Book 3: The Drache Girl. I’ll fill in more about her when I get to that book.

Professor Merced Calliere: Calliere is a brilliant scientist and inventor. He is Edison, Westinghouse, and Babbage all rolled intellectually into one, but his attitude is all Tony Stark. He is a happy go lucky academic, who is clearly smitten with Iolanthe, though whether she thinks of him as anything more than another resource remains to be seen.

That’s it for Brechalon. In a day or so, we’ll start looking at the characters from The Voyage of the Minotaur. Many of them are the same as this book, but two years have passed and things change.

Brechalon: Very Minor Characters

Spoiler Alert

Here are the most minor characters who appear in Brechalon.  Though all are minor, some of them have more importance to the plot than others.

Barrymore: Barrymore is one of the butlers in the Dechantagne household.  I needed a name that conveyed a kind of patrician dignity (think Lionel, not Drew).

Marni: Marni is one of the Dechantagne maids.  There are quite a few household servants, but not all of them get names.

Blackmoore: Blackmoore is a drug dealer– Terrence’s go to drug dealer.  He is fairly influencial (feared) in his world of Black Bottom.  I don’t know if Blackmoore is his first or last name, I assume, last.  His name is an homage to Blackmoor, the D&D adventure by David Arneson, who passed away while I was writing this book.

Mika and his brothers: Mika and his brothers are street toughs, who though they are minor characters, create an interesting chain of events in the story.  I tried to write Blackmoore and Mika with an Irish brogue.  I don’t know if it came through or not.

Brechalon: Flashback Characters

Spoiler Alert

There are several characters in Senta and the Steel Dragon Book 0: Brechalon that appear entirely or mostly in flashbacks.

Smedley Bassington: Wizard Bassington appears mostly in flashbacks though he appears in the present in one chapter.  Bassington is an important character in the series and plays a large part in Books 3 and 5.  He is a paramour of Zurfina and he is a government wizard.  He is also, as we find out, a great manipulator.  I had a very clear image of what Bassington looked like.  His appearance is based on Stephen King.  I set up my copy of the Dark Tower to the author’s photograph whenever I was writing him.  I had been carrying the name Smedley around for a while, and it just seemed to fit.  Except for his final scene in this book, he’s not that interesting, I don’t think.  He has his part to play, and plays it.  I really enjoyed writing him in Book 3: The Drache Girl.  He is a great foil for Senta.

Master Akalos: Master Akalos was the Dechantagne tutor, a cowardly little man, and not very important to the story.  He is referenced once or twice, but Brechalon is the only place we see him, and that in a flashback.

Iphegenia Dechantagne: The mother of Terrence, Iolanthe, and Augie is murdered by her husband, as we see in a flashback in Book 0.  I don’t think she is ever mentioned again, but she plays an important role nonetheless, in shaping the Dechantagne siblings.  I love the name Iphegenia, and have always been fascinated by the myth of Agamemnon’s sacrificing her.  I would have used the name somewhere, but it fits here.

Lucius Dechantagne: The father of the Dechantagne’s, he is only spoken of in the later books, having died some time before Brechalon, and having lived without facing real punishment for his wife’s murder, though it does apparently cost him his standing in society.

Jolon Bendrin: As we find out in book 0 flashbacks, Jolon Bendrin is a rapist.  He is mentioned only briefly in book 1, but finally makes a satisfying appearance in the flesh in book 5.

Simon Mudgett: The man who was in bed with Iphegenia Dechantagne when her husband kills her.  He is mentioned once more in the series.  I pulled Simon out of nowhere, but Mudgett I have been saving for a while.  The name comes from Herman Webster Mudgett (aka H. H. Holmes), America’s first serial killer.

Brechalon: Prisoner 89

Spoiler Alert

Prisoner 89 is Zurfina the Sorceress.  We find her at the beginning of book 0 imprisoned in Schwarztogrube, the prison for magic users run by the Kingdom of Greater Brechalon.  During the course of the story, we see her capture and the events surrounding it in flashbacks.  Of course, Zurfina’s sole goal in the story is to escape the prison any way she can, and of course the first way she tries is magic.  The fact that she manages to pull together some pretty intense magic in a supposedly magic-proof location hints at her true power.

The story here is an example of one of the problems with writing a prequel.  Zurfina’s imprisonment isn’t disclosed in the regular story (books 1-5) until well into book 5, but readers of book 0 know it all before hand.  This would be a big clue to one of the major secrets in the series.  Fortunately, it isn’t revealed until book 5 either.

Zurfina is prisoner 89 because I was writing it while working on my master’s degree and I used my student number.  I accidental transposed it.  I was actually student 98, but I think 89 sounds better.

Brechalon: Augie and Company

Spoiler Alert

Augie Dechantagne
Augustus P. Dechantagne is the third of the Dechantagne siblings in the Senta and the Steel Dragon saga and is probably the least important.  He is least important to the story and he is least important in his own life.  Augie is a happy go lucky rake– the kind of guy that everybody loves and who can get away with anything.

Augie plays a big part in Book 0 and Book 1, particularly the latter.  When we meet him in Book 1, he is in Birmisia.  This is important because as a result of his knowledge, his family decides to build a colony there.  Augie is a lieutenant in the artillery, so he is obviously intelligent, but being in the son of a wealthy family, he is generally unambitious (the exact opposite of sister Iolanathe) and is never serious about anything (the exact opposite of brother Terrence).

Lt. Arthur McTeague
McTeague was created for Book 0, and he doesn’t appear again in the series.  He is Augie’s co-commander and friend.  We don’t learn much about McTeague, other than he is a likeable friendly guy, like Augie.  The name Arthur comes from my own family– a cousin and a grandfather, both of whom I am very fond.  McTeague comes from the book McTeague by Frank Norris, about a sociopathic dentist.  I read it in college and liked it.

Colour Sergeant Bourne
I needed a sergeant for my two lieutenants, and who better than Colour Sergeant Bourne.  He is named of course, for the character (based on a real person) in the movie Zulu.  This is especially fitting, since Zulu is not only one of my favorite movies of all time, but was an inspiration for the combat scenes in Book 1: The Voyage of the Minotaur.

Brechalon: Nils Chapman & Karl Drury

Spoiler Alert

Nils Chapman and Karl Drury are characters in Brechalon, Book 0 of the Senta and the Steel Dragon Series.  They were both created for specifically for this book.

They are both guards in Schwarztogrube, the ancient fortress in which the Kingdom of Greater Brechalon imprisons wizards and sorcerors who either break the law or defy the govenment.  Chapmabn is a fairly innocouos fellow and Drury is vile and evil.  Both have the misfortune of being on Schwarztogrube while Prisoner 89 (Zurfina) is there.

When I was writing this I was thinking specifically of one particular detail.  Zurfina calls Chapman “my pet,” a name she later reserves for Senta.  When we find out Chapman’s fate, it adds a whole new level to the Zurfina/Senta relationship.

Both Chapman and Drury were names that have been floating around in my head for years.  Nils and Karl were chosen to reflect their ethnicity and personality. 

Yuah Korlann

Spoiler Alert

Yuah Korlann is one of the most important characters in the Senta and the Steel Dragon series.  She has probably the most important arc for any of the characters and it is one of the most tragic in some ways.  It is a story of rise and then fall.

When we meet Yuah in Book 0: Brechalon, she is Iolanthe Dechantagne’s dressing maid, a position for which there is no up side.  She has grown up in the Dechantagne household and even attended lessons with Terrence, Iolanthe, and Augie when they were children.  She loves Augie like a brother, hopelessly pines for Terrence and her relationship with Iolanthe is complicated to say the least.  Iolanthe seems to enjoy putting Yuah in her place.

Yuah is a Zaeri, the minority religion, and this poses problems for her, especially considering there seem to be few Zaeri of marrying age aroud.

When I wrote the first draft of The Voyage of the Minotaur, Yuah was named Ewa.  I changed it to match her father’s name and because I kept mispronouncing it in my head.  I like the name though, so someday I’m going to have a character named Ewa.

Saba and Yadira Colbshallow

Spoiler Alert

Saba Colbshallow and his mother Yadira Colbshallow are characters in the Senta and the Steel Dragon series, beginning with Book 0: Brechalon.

Yadira Colbshallow is the Dechantagne cook and has served since she was quite young.  She is a widow, with one son upon whom she dotes– Saba.  In book 0 and book 1, Mrs. Colbshallow is a minor character who pops up to offer advice or information.

Saba Colbshallow is one of the major characters in the series, though he occupies a very minor role in Book 0: Brechalon.  When we meet him here, he has just turned 14 and is being given his first assignments in the household.  Part of what I like so much about Saba is that he changes so much.  He grows and changes and so he occupies a different role in each of the books.