The Secret of the Sunstones

Book 1:
The Wanton Kingdom

By Jeffrey Howard

- Afterward -

I wanted to once again thank the readers who made it through this story. It's now several months after I posted the last chapter, and I see it's now slipped far enough down the stack that reader hits are practically non-existent. I therefore wanted to add an Afterward, to talk about my thoughts and plans, and see if it attracts any new attention.

First of all, building this story has been a growth experience for me. I think the first time I sat down and started writing my first words was about 12 years ago. Since then, I've built a 215k word story with thousands of edits and 7 entire beginning-to-end revisions. I've had plenty of reader and beta-reader participation, but only a few people have made it all the way to the end. I'm not too discouraged by that.

I know this section of Fanfiction is fairly niche, that the readers here have their own lives, their own priorities, and their own desires for what they'd like to see in a story. Sadly, I'm out of ideas for how to get more readers from this site, so I've started to look elsewhere for ways to get the story out there.

I've printed up 25 copies from a website called bookbaby dot com, which makes incredible printouts that pretty much look exactly like a real book. It was a wonderful experience just to hold all 546 pages in my hands, feel the nice glossy cover, and look at the illustrations that I had commissioned by a local artist. This book really means a lot to me. I've put so much of my life into it. Where do I go from here?

Well, I've already started posting Book 2, and I have the third book already outlined, so there's plenty of more writing left. I spent a bunch of time with revisions over the last several months, but I really feel that I broke through to a new level of quality, and I'd be excited if new or former readers wanted to check it out.

If you haven't yet read Secret of the Sunstones, it would mean a lot to me to have you stop by and leave a review. Judging by the page hits, very few people actually leave reviews relative to total visitors, but the ones who have really made it worth while. The review count is standing at 118 at the time of this writing, which ain't too bad. I'm really grateful to have had a faithful reader base.

As many people have noticed, the story is a lot like Final Fantasy IV, but it's also very different. So much of the content is brand new and goes in very different directions compared to game canon. As such, I'd like to search for a copyright lawyer to help me determine if it's "different enough" that it doesn't count as a derivative art, or possibly get a license from Square Enix if it does. At that point, I'd like to publish it and take it broader. That would be my dream.

In the meantime, it's here for free to whoever wants to read it. I hope a few more people decide to stop by.

Thanks to everyone who made it far enough to read this.

Best regards,
- Jeffrey Howard