How magic works

We had a number of conversations  during the first few weeks of developing the plot and writing the first couple of chapters deciding exactly how magic should function in our world. Would wizards require wands or magic words?  Would they spend time memorizing complex spells?  Could anyone learn magic or were you born with the power and had to learn how to control it?  How would we limit magic to prevent the wizards from being too powerful and completely taking over the world?  Would all of the races have wizards, or only the humans? After a lot of discussion...
Continue Reading

The Lessons of Harry Potter

Any authors trying to break into this industry enviously noticed the success of the Harry Potter series and dreams of duplicating it. I doubt any author will have the success of Rowling, but we would be fools not to analyze her writings. What makes Harry Potter so successful in my mind is the broad appeal beyond its target audience.  Her readers gain an emotional attachment to the characters and her world is vivid and well developed.  She does a good job of seeding solutions to later problems early in the book.  And of course she loves to end...
Continue Reading

A Plot is Born

I think my original suggestion for Duck Blood Soup was that we recast Ender’s Game as a Fantasy novel.  Not very original, but at least a starting point.  I figured the book could start out with a bunch of Orcs attacking and wiping out human settlement.  A lone wizard prevents the Orcs from completely destroying humanity, but dies in the process.  The king starts training up young wizards as a defense against a second wave he is sure is going to attack at any time. Fortunately Frank shot down that idea.  He wanted nothing to do with Orcs, or...
Continue Reading

Picking a Genre

When we Frank and I started collaborating on Duck Blood Soup, the first discussions were around basic plot and genre.  I have always been a fan of Fantasy novels by Weis and Hickmann, R. A. Salvatore, and of course J. R. R. Tolkien.  Frank taste were a bit wider, covering Science Fiction and Historical Fiction, as well as more of the military and spy novels.  Oddly enough, Frank had little taste for Fantasy novels. Frank suggested that we stick in the Fantasy realm, but switch from Swords and Sorcery to Muskets and Magic.  We had no idea of the...
Continue Reading

Author’s Background

Duck Blood Soup was written by Jim Hofer and Frank Hofer.  The book has passed through dozens of test readers who have provided us with great feedback that has really helped shape the book and round out the plot.  The story has been professionally edited and we are continuing to revise it based on our editor’s suggestions. We are actively seeking a literary agent to help us get it published.
Continue Reading