A Novel Hiatus

Michael O. Varhola
 

During the month of November, any number of friends and associates noted that I had not posted much of anything to the Skirmisher website or even responded to or apparently read other people's posts to it. And, now that the rigors I endured during that month have ended, I am able to give more than a curt, "I'll tell you more in December!" response. 
 
In short, this year I decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month, a program in which paricipants are challenged to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, Nov. 1-30. Although I am the author or co-author of 10 non-fiction books and dozens of gaming books, I have never really been keen on events like this one for  a variety of reasons. A number of things, however, prompted me to participate in this most recent NaNoWriMo. 
 
One of those things was that one of the eleven New Year's resolutions I made for 2011 was to finish a novel by the end of the year and, not being on track to do that, I figured that if I was not going to get one done by the end of November that I sure as hell was not going to get one done in December. And, finally, there was a good story I really wanted to tell, one based on "Necropolis," the current adventure OGL/d20/D&D adventure I am running for my twice-weekly game group at the local library, whose members include wife Diane K. Varhola and friends Si Baker Goodwin and Laurie MacBean. 
 
Swords of Kos: Necropolis is a swords-and-sorcery novel set on the Aegean island of Kos that ties in the Kos campaign that Skirmisher Publishing LLC has used over the past decade to playtest its new materials. It follows the adventures of Paros, a streetwise rogue with a penchant for alchemy, Parthenia, a savage female Elf barbarian, and Selene, a priestess of the outlawed Titan moon goddess, as they brave the hazards of a long-abandoned cemetery and the catacombs that lie beneath it. Dangerous though the hazards and supernatural guardians of this place are, an even greater threat might be the Necropolis itself ...  
 
Nothing more about the story itself needs to be said here, there being few things more tedious than someone who goes on interminably about their novel, game scenario, or character. But, if I have whet your interest, you can read the first 10,000-or-so words of the story on my NaNoWriMo page. And if you enjoy that taste of the strory then more is coming, because we have decided that -- after having the piece thoroughly edited and revised as needed -- to release it as the first entry in a line of Skirmisher fiction, which our fans and contributors alike have been encouraging us for several years to launch. The decision to do so has been somewhat academic up to this point and had as its first major obstacle the lack of an appropriate first entry in the line to work with. And, with the completion of Swords of Kos: Necropolis, that obstacle was removed.