The Dark Harp
The Dark Harp is a fairy tale about an evil King, a beautiful Queen, a conjuring Wizard, and a young Prince finding his way in the world. And all the characters are bound together by two magical instruments with the power to change the kingdom. This is a tale I wrote for an audience of one. It was a Christmas gift for my son, a challenge of sorts. And like most of my projects it grew and grew. A few words here. A few more there. The scope became bigger than I thought possible. But day by day, I worked at it. Finally, I presented the first draft to him on Christmas Day over a year ago. It was my deadline. Night after night, I read one chapter to him. At first, I struggled with the feedback. I was my worst critic, but I could tell when the story wasn’t quite right. Kids can be brutally honest. When mistakes were made (there were many), I went back and reworked the story. Then I had a number of folks edit the book for me (college professors, school teachers, professional editors, and more). It’s taken more than a little work and help to get this far. Check out the scope of our tale (numbers or statistics as follows):
Number of Words: 44,781
Times Read Out Loud: 5
Shortest Chapter: 905
Number of Chapters: 39
Original Dark Harp Paintings: 9
Longest Chapter: 1,921
Reading the Harp
In writing my first book Knights of Legend, I spent a significant amount of time on the design of the print version. Paper weight. The art. Cover (it’s a commissioned painting). If you are going to read about Jason and the Knights, the printed version is the definitive version. There aren’t too many of these left in the wild these days. With the Dark Harp, my son painted the cover. This project is a joint effort. In looking at different mediums, I chose this site. Besides going to a gallery, is there a better way to show off a painting? Yes, there is a Kindle book. But this is the definitive version.
Each Sunday, I’ll be launching a new chapter of the book. To ensure you are reading in the right order, there is an Order of Precedence page and menu (category) with corresponding pages. I tried to make it simple, but the scope of the story (it’s big for a kid’s book) makes it challenging. To get an email reminder of each installment, please subscribe. It’s just an email. (You can also click on the link below, which takes you to my email hosting provider. It’s a secure service used by a great many companies). Note, I don’t sell your information and only send you updates on the Dark Harp and other writings. I’ll also post reminders on my Facebook author page and Twitter. You can also follow along there.
A Serial Story
Why did I take the installment approach? In literature, most of Charles Dicken’s books were launched in the same serial manner in the weekly newspaper. I wanted this book to be a throwback of sorts too. It is a fairy tale. No, I’m not of Dicken’s pedigree, but I love the approach. And the Dark Harp is meant to be read aloud to children. I read children’s books, reviewed chapter length, and studied pacing (you can find out more about the approach in the Making). I hope you read our story to your kid. I did. Five times and then some (Yeah, I think he grew tired of it but loved to hear the changes). It’s cool to think that everyone is reading a fairy tale to their kids on Sunday nights. Bed Sheets. Dim lights. Hot chocolate. You get the idea.
Prophecy of the Black Lion
Maven’s story begins with the Prologue. This is the first chapter, so start here.
And this is the next chapter, scheduled to be released in early December.
Well, you can do that too. The Dark Harp can also be found on Amazon for those electronic reader folks. If you want, read the entire book in a weekend.
Tokens of Appreciation
If you find any joy in the tale, please consider a small tip of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good dinner for the starving artists. This is definitely not required. We want people to read the tale. Understand, it took thousands of hours to bring this story to life, and there is a cost between editing work, design, and more. We think we did a solid job. But of course, you be the judge.
Thank you so much for reading.
© J. Scott Bradley, Thanks for reading