Books (by me)!

 The Bookshelf

Below is a list of all the books I’ve completed, am working on, and have ideas for. For those of you reading this, you are seeing this page instead of a “Home/archives” page. I figured I would try out putting a more relevant page front-and-center on this here blog.

We’ll see how it works while I spit-shine the rest of this mess!


Current Book

 

Garamoush (2015)

Image Copyright (2015): Finn Smulders. New Cover art for this newest (2015) release coming soon.

Image Copyright (2015): Finn Smulders. New cover art for this newest (2015) release coming soon.

 

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: Early Autumn, 2015

Publisher: Ceti Publishing

Position: The (Chronologically) fourth book in the Mortal Efforts series. This is the third overall release of the book.

Back of the Book

Garaheim has known many gods in its time. Even the land’s name has changed, always in step with the reigning god, more times than most can remember. And yet, through all the years and all the names, humanity has been acutely aware of one fact that is beyond dispute.

Humans are small. Gods are great. Their relationship is often harmonious but never equal.

The power of the divine has always shaped Garaheim but never before has the presence of the divine been so undeniable. For most of the land’s histories, the gods were distant and incorporeal, working through miracles and other divine acts. But now, Garamoush, from where Garaheim found its name, sleeps on the very shores of the land he watches over.

The colossal god is not idle, however. He mumbles scraps of divine knowledge in tongues alien to humanity. As such, the Ministry of Fate and His Greatness was established to interpret Garamoush’s words for the good of humankind as well as become Garaheim’s ruling body to displace the warlike lords and kings of old.

The Declarers hear Garamoush’s words, study them, and share them with humanity. The Knights serve as chivalric bodyguards for the Ministry’s finest. The Justices pursue the Ministry’s enemies with unwavering fervor. The Protectors stand to protect Garaheim’s people from the fires of war that had wracked the land for decades prior.

The Ministry is, if nothing else, a new empire whose palaces are built from people instead of stones.

When Stenn, an aging family man and the first Knight to ever retire from the Ministry, has a fateful encounter with a young orphan named Anna, their fates become irreversibly entangled. Together, they must brave the labyrinth of Garamoush’s shell and survive the bizarre new forces of nature and ghosts of their pasts that are levied against them…

Story Behind the Story

After getting picked up by Savoy, Illinois-based Ceti Publishing, Garamoush is set to be released once again in early autumn of 2015. This time though, the book has received an enormous overhaul, down to a sentence and word level. After learning much in my final year of undergrad, in particular the use of free-indirect style (see: Landfall for more), I decided that simple revising would not be nearly enough for this book. As of today (July 15th, 2015), Garamoush has already expanded almost twofold in length and is being reshaped from the roots up to better utilize the skills I have acquired over this last year.

The Foundation

Similar to the previous version(s) of Garamoush, this Autumn 2015 version tackles the idea of faith becoming fact (see Garamoush below for more). Indeed, this idea has been further elaborated on after working out just how those mysterious three prequel books will work and how they contribute to that same conversation. However, this time around, I decided to give a little more focus on the differences between the young and the old which, conveniently, rounds back to the differences between humans and gods. Fatherhood plays a more prominent role now, as well. After all, fathers are supposed to be the alpha males who protect their pups. What better way to emasculate and probe at such an idea than to through a father into a close encounter with God Alone?

What to Expect to See (for the eager)

  •                 Free-indirect style at use and a greater emphasis on character’s internal worlds and thoughts.
  •                 A section devoted to Anna’s past viewed through her perspective.
  •                 A much-expanded beginning including Stenn’s departure from the Ministry and a deeper, longer journey up until his fateful encounter with Anna.
  •                 An additional three (?) chapters/parts added onto the ending which chronicles Stenn and Anna’s fates and trials after where the previous book left off.
  •                 A more in-depth examination of the world of Garaheim, its history, and the lives of its more significant characters.
  •                 More connectivity to Landfall and the rest of the three “prequel” books of the Mortal Efforts series.
  •                 Some brand-new faces (and the bodies attached therein)!
  •                 Some really, really pretty words and grammatically-correct sentence structure (this is a big one).

 

Additional Information/Links

Ceti Publishing’s Website: HERE

A map made by yours truly: HERE

 

 


 

 

Previous Book

Garamoush (2014)

Image Copyright (2015): Finn Smulders. This is the cover used for the Special Expanded Second Edition released in Spring 2015.

Image Copyright (2015): Finn Smulders. This is the cover used for the Special Expanded Second Edition released in Spring 2015.

 

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: July 2014, re-released as a Special Expanded 2nd Edition in Spring 2015

Publisher: Kindle Direct Publishing via Amazon

Position: The (Chronologically) fourth book in the Mortal Efforts series. This is the first and second time the book has been published.

Public Opinion

“A great debut book for Michael Wettengel! Looking forward to the series!” -Erik Nelson, author of the Somnagent series.

“…Michael Wettengel is an imaginative, fast-paced novel that creates a vividly descriptive world inside of god Garmoush’s shell.” -Piper AUTHOR OF THAT ONE BEATLES BOOK.

Back of the Book

The enormous god, Garamoush, has been sleeping for almost two-hundred years. The god’s words, born of his powers of precognition, have brought peace to the realm. To interpret Garamoush’s divine speech, the massive Ministry of Fate and His Greatness was established.

When Stenn, an aging ex-Knight of the Ministry, follows a young orphan named Anna into the labyrinthine world inside of the Garamoush’s shell, their destinies become entwined. Together, Stenn and Anna find themselves in a strange new world and must survive the ghosts of their pasts and bizarre new forces of nature.

Story Behind the Story

First published through Amazon and, later, Createspace and Smashwords, Garamoush was my very first novel. At the end of my junior year of undergraduate education at Illinois Wesleyan University, I was given a fairly clear and concise assignment: Write a thirty-page (roughly) short story. We had about a month and a half to knock the thing together while we continued on with regular classwork.

The look that my professor had when I handed her one-hundred-and-twenty-four pages stuck together with two heavy clips and four staples is something I will never forgot and will hold dearly in my heart for all time. From there, I added another thirty pages or so, refined what I had written, and had the book get passed through three rounds of editing by three rounds of close and respected people. From there, the Amazon page speaks for itself.

Foundation

I had conceived Garamoush first as a title that would ask the question, “What if God was real?” I did not mean this to be a reference to any particular theism in the real world, but it was merely a question of what would happen if faith became fact? What would God behave like? How would people see God if He was actually close enough to touch?

The answer I decided on with less optimistic than one might hope. Garamoush explores the vast disparity of power, influence, and knowledge between gods and humans.

What to Expect

Additional Information/Links

  1. Where to buy it on Amazon (both 2014 and Spring 2015 editions): HERE
  2. Where to get it for free through Smashwords (2014 edition only): HERE
  3. A preview of the first section of the book: HERE
  4. A map made by yours truly: HERE

 

 


 

 

 

Book in Progress

Landfall

The map of Gwendolmyer, as it stands now. It needs to be updated to be more in line with the map for Garamoush (see above). But it's the only real relevant image I have for Landfall, so... Here it is!

The map of Gwendolmyer, as it stands now. It needs to be updated to be more in line with the map for Garamoush (see above). But it’s the only real relevant image I have for Landfall, so… Here it is!

Landfall:

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: Sometime in early-mid 2016, hopefully.

Publisher: Unknown/Not Yet Established

Position: The (chronologically) first book in the Mortal Efforts series and my second book published overall.

Back of the Book (subject to change, but I think this is pretty snazzy!):

                The heroes of Gwendolmyer are all dead. Gwendolyn God’s-Daughter is long dead, her empire fractured into four warring Strains. The Blessed Figure is gone, even his name lost to history. And now, the War of the Broken Lance has slain nearly every hero, champion, noble knight, and decent man and woman in the realm. Dark days fall upon Gwendolmyer. Faith in Thek, Shepherd of Souls, is the best shield the common folk have against the winds and whims of war and lords.

                “Cross-Eyed” William of Harbiton is as common as they come and his faith is not a large enough shield for he and his family. Near-sighted, frail, and fearing the next coming of the tax collector that haunts him like demons of myth, William is a man with little.

But fate demands he live with even less.

Harbiton has been spared the worst of the War of the Broken Lance, but such an enormous city cannot be spared the flame for long. Alistair Steinholt, sole surviving child of the dynasty ruling Harbiton, is returning home and the war is coming with him. Alistair’s other name, the Bloody Lord of Dawn Hall, precedes him and the city shakes in anticipation to welcome home what appears to be first modern hero in a long time.

William simply shakes in fear.

What chance does a simple man have to live his simple dreams when even lords and kings die in the mud of endless war? God is missing. Chivalry is dead. William, a nearly-blind and orphaned engineer, is right to look out of his window and every day see naught but darkness.

Story Behind the Story:

After the completion of my first novel Garamoush in the summer of 2014, I decided that, before continuing on with Stenn and Anna’s story, I needed to lay out the history of Garaheim a little more. So, I turned to writing the story of a man briefly mentioned in Garamoush by the name of Cross-Eyed William. What started as one book quickly became two and then three. Cross-Eyed William became a character so unique to me that I couldn’t bear to truncate into just one book. Taking the knowledge of free-indirect style, a style that works in third person but sculpts every single word in the novel to be through the character’s own perspective and voice, which I had learned throughout my final undergraduate year in Illinois Wesleyan, William and his story has become my favourite piece of writing to date. Having defended it for an Honours Research thesis and read part of it as the John Wesley Powell Research Conference, I simply cannot wait to put it out into the light of day.

The Foundation:

While Landfall is still in the same universe/series as Garamoush, and it will tackle questions of the divine on its own terms, this book breaks even further from the fantasy norms and seeks to examine power and weakness without resorting to magical faff. William of Harbiton is technically a peasant, regardless of how “middle class” he is, is extremely near-sighted, orphaned, deeply in debt, and lives in a city and world that seem poised to kill him at any moment. And he has no skills or strength to fight back, directly or indirectly. Additionally, because of the combination of free-indirect-style and William’s near-sightedness, the chapters through his perspectives will be written with his limitations in mind. This opens up a whole cupboard of new ways to write anything from conversations to sensory observations and gives the book a chance to speak to the human drive for acceptance and our ability to connect or shut out people around us.

 

 

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