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  • Writer's pictureCharles Harned

2021 Updates

If you're reading this, welcome back and thank you for being a part of my world. Our world. I hope everyone who visits my website and takes an interest in my work knows that I really appreciate it.

A few updates that I hope you find just as exciting as I do. I've definitely shirked on my duties keeping up with this blog over the past couple months. The goal is to do better keeping everyone updated and putting out useful information for readers and writers alike going forward.


Very recently, I completed the first draft of my next novel. Let's call it Pharos for now. Pharos is a mystery thriller implementing Antiquity and the (fictionalized) research division of one of America's largest tech companies. The protagonist, Howard Gibson Bey, is something of a fish out of water as a historian working at a company that designs top secret innovations and bleeding edge technologies. But his presence serves a crucial purpose. Bey heads up one facet of a highly experimental project that fits perfectly with his narrow expertise.

Comfortable in his life as a bachelor in San Francisco, everything suddenly changes. In the interest of not giving away crucial details, I will only say that Bey winds up in just about the last place he ever expected - Egypt.

Now, there are dozens of really good books out there about Ancient Egypt and adventures related to searching pyramids, finding mummies, and all other manner of things related to our lasting fixation with Egyptology. I'll list a few of my favorites at the bottom of this post.

But Pharos isn't about any of that. A massively deadly weapon has been stolen. Bey is thrown headlong into a plot where the only way to find the weapon and stop it in time is to uncover clues pertaining to an ancient man called Origen, one of the fathers of Christianity. Clues have been hidden by a deceased "keeper" from a secret society that has existed for nearly 2,000 years. All the while, he's being hunted by terrorists who wish for Origen's history to sink permanently into the sands of time.

Pharos pits religions and ideologies against one another in the context of a fast-paced thriller that will have readers fearing for every character's life. This isn't exactly a new concept, but Pharos weaves together the Alexandria of 2020 and 230 C.E. seamlessly, using cutting edge technology and seemingly unrelated bits of history to create a scintillating story with deadly consequences.

For fans of authors like James Rollins, Dan Brown, and Michael Crichton I think this book will be right up your alley. I love the convergence of history and technology set inside a pacey plot with complex characters.

Plenty of updates to come as I dive into editing and rewrites.


On to the next bit of news. I'm very excited to announce, after months of preparation, the launch of the first consulting and business strategy firm catered specifically to writers. Gold Quill Consulting is a business I've wanted to bring into existence for a long time. It's finally a reality.

Let me explain a little further. There are tons of resources out there for writers trying to break in and establish themselves in the publishing world. Tons. So many that it can quickly become overwhelming. I liken a new writer trying to find their niche in this sea of information to a swimmer clinging to a bobbing buoy in choppy waters. Find your spot and cling on for dear life to avoid getting swept away.

There are freelance editors, marketing consultants, author coaches, self-publishing consultants, vanity publishers, and (possibly) grifters who promise to get you traditionally published or die trying. And that's all great (except for the grifters). The issue is that there is an alarming scarcity of firms dedicated to recognizing authors and their work for what they are - a business.

Gold Quill's mission is to help authors - new and established - by rolling all of these primarily freelance services into one. By establishing a relationship, a writer will have every service and resource they need to perfect their manuscript, attract an agent or publisher, or even self-publish.

As a business founded by writers for writers, we have years of invaluable experience and know exactly what it takes to do all of the things that lead to success. We also carry the business background that so many creatives simply lack or don't want to deal with.

Let's walk through the process step by step:

  1. A writer comes to us with a completed manuscript. Not everyone needs professional editing, but most writers do. Even just getting another pair of discerning eyes on your work almost always leads to improvement. We offer editing services ranging from full developmental to proofreading.

  2. Next is where Gold Quill differentiates from the pack. We provide clients with an exhaustive breakdown of where they fit in the publishing world and more specifically their genre. Focusing on commercial appeal and best agent/publisher matches, we devise a strategy for pitching your book for acquisition. This includes creating a perfect query, synopsis, and even a mock-up cover to help cement the dream.

  3. Selling is by far the hardest part of publishing. We devise custom marketing plans for each of our clients based on genre, social media following, and their own unique situation that will best lead to success. We design websites, social media platforms, and work tirelessly to grow your readership.

  4. Our clients have access to wide-ranging resources including our database of literary agents, publishers, and self-publishing guidelines. We'll even bundle all our services together and self-publish your book for you. Gold Quill is truly about helping authors grow and succeed.

  5. Finally, the fun part. Authors need merchandise. Whether its bookmarks to give away at writing conferences or shirts and mugs to sell on your website. We design and procure any and all items for our clients at no additional cost.

There you have it. Emerging writers often look at the cost of services like editing and consulting and bulk. But what they don't realize is that just getting a foot in the door with an agent or publisher can be all but impossible without the right combination of timing, commercial appeal, and subjectivity. Not using a service like Gold Quill Consulting can be much costlier in the long run.

We aim to create a full-service relationship with our clients. Any need can be met, any resource is at your disposal, and we help steer you in the right direction toward representation, publication and beyond. Think of Gold Quill Consulting as pre-representation management. Writers need someone looking out for their best interests. Put simply, that's our mission. Check out our website for pricing and new client information.


Thanks for reading. More to come soon. Don't forget to subscribe and comment or email me at

- Charles Harned

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