Uriah's Reviews > Merchant

Merchant by R.T. Kaelin
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Apr 12, 11

bookshelves: epic, fantasy, series, short-stories

A great set of short stories that give background on one of the characters from the book Progeny.

The focus of this collection of short stories is on Nundle, the halfling mage. The storytelling is strong and rich. A must read for fans of Progeny. Someone reading these stories without having read the book may not understand the connection the stories have with future events but will enjoy the tales nonetheless.
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R.T. Kaelin Uriah - glad you liked it. The first story of the second bundle, Family, is already out and the second should be out soon (I'm writing the third).

Question - do you feel Merchant stands on its own and might draw new readers to Progeny? That's the real goal of the short stories: to bring new readers in.


Uriah That is a difficult question and I think it can be answered with either a yes or a no. Let me explain my views:

Why wouldn't this bring in new readers?
Halflings, as adorable as they are, seem to exist in some form or another in every fantasy world. I suppose we can thank Tolkien for that. Nundle plays a significant role in Progeny but Halflings in general and their land don't factor into the story much beyond that. From the perspective of a fan of Progeny, I loved these stories as background, but as a fan of fantasy, I don't see the connection into a larger world that makes me want to go read Progeny.

Now, why would this bring in new readers?
First and foremost, you are an excellent writer. Your stories and descriptions are well thought out, not too wordy and very engaging with developed characters. People who like your writing will want to see more. These stories are easy to share. I read them on your website (secretly hoping that someday they'll be printed together in a volume) and I can send the link to family and friends that I think are interested and say "This is an engaging new fantasy author, check him out!" With a personal recomendation (or blog/interview reccomendations), your stories get read and then Progeny gets read too. Also, the stories contain hints of an interesting and dynamic world outside that might be fun to explore. (If this seems like a contradiction to my previous thoughts, it depends on the approach to the story.)

If I were to make an analogy here, I would say you are fishing for readers. This particular story bundle is like a fish spear or harpoon. It can be effective but it needs someone to aim it and drive it home before it can really reel people in. I think Nundle is an engaging and a favorite character which is why people will be willing to share it. You may want to look at some stories that are more like baited hooks, where if someone stumbles across them the take the bait and then you can reel them in. These stories would probably show more of the world development at large and could leave some unresolved issues that lead towards Progeny (Not too unresolved though as then it just is annoying).

Hope that helps. I eagerly await each new installment and am glad to cast this spear out towards those I know.


R.T. Kaelin Uriah - I think you make some excellent points. And I think your analogy is spot on.

I'm hoping the second batch of stories will be more of a net than a spear. Especially the third one (which I just finished up writing today - edits are next).

FYI - No 5., Union, is out now.


Uriah Hooray! I'll read it tonight.


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