Click the screenshot or this link here to view the full interview. I've really enjoyed getting to know Michael DeAngelo and the Tellest books. Though YA is not my personal thing, my daughters have enjoyed his Mageborn and Dragonspeaker books a lot.
I finally decided that it's time and picked up the following domains:
While this Weebly domain will remain active indefinitely, I'll be quietly working to convert all content over to FORSAKENISLES.COM for a consistent web experience with the content of my writing and the worlds they empower.
I'm also hard at work on the next book, which for now I've titled "Merakoran Agenda." This story picks up with Ash and Khalla following the story told in Bomoki's Gate. They're trying to put together a team to go back to Merakor. Behind the scenes, the Thieves Guilds of all the Isles' nations are vying for power and control over the black market material flooding them from Bloodstone. I'm 40,000 words into it and it seems likely that Ash and Khalla's relationship might not survive... or at least, Ash's secrets won't. I'm having fun with a Rogue Guild in Taysor headed by a new character named Grant. Grant and his team don't want to be bound by the rules of the other guilds and so do their own thing. They're compelling to write. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more updates.
Syliri and Bruce are coming soon. There's a checklist of things to ensure are done before publishing. Compared to writing the actual story, that checklist is miserable. But, it's worth getting done. The closer I get, the more I can't wait to share this tale with you all.
August 2nd. Dar Tania 2: Set's Dream will have a promotional price of $0.99 as an eBook until mid-August. If I could control paperback pricing, I would discount that as well.
I'm working through final proof of Dar Tania 2: Set's Dream, or what I have been naming "Syliri & Bruce." For reasons I cannot explain right now, not because I can't list them off but because the hold this story has on me won't let go, I am crazy excited about it.
I always wanted to tell stories around some of the epic and tragic characters in the Forsaken Isles, while also continuing my arc of powerful female protagonists. Syliri fit the bill and this story became personal and deeply fulfilling to write. I'm not going to say something corny, like "I'm Syliri." But, I will say that Syliri's isolation and aspirational dreams of being not the way she is, it touched me.
Maybe it's all the negativity in news these days, but IF a red dragon, medusa, and a human ranger can all get along, then surely...
My outline for Set's Dream focused, like all my books, on three things: an ideology, action, and oppositional bad guys. While writing, I often found myself relating parts of my life to bits here and there in Set's Dream. I'm not going to give away the 3 parts of Set's Dream, but I will for Dar Tania:
Well, I've already outed the Slaadi as the bad guys...
Slaadi are an alien race that dwells in the untended clutter of the Abyss. Able to make themselves look like anything they want (they're shapeshifters), they usually masquerade as whatever race they're dwelling with.
Morbatten, through the writings of Sage Alaura, recognizes levels of Slaadi as per the power ranking of dragons by color. That is, Green, Blue, Red, Gray, Black. Gray and black are distinctions the Slaadi themselves use and so Tania adopted that after Red.
The rest of this posting is about how Slaadi society works.
At Azuros +, Slaadi reproduce by creating transformant worms. Acting like parasites, these take control of a targeted host. Each worm contains a pearl of sentience from its maker. This enmeshes with the host giving the Slaad total access to their memories. Slaadi prepare targeted hosts by inscribing an Abyssal rune on their right shoulder. It looks like a spiral set of scars.
Official title will be: Dar Tania II: Set's Dream
Because this continues the time thread of Dar Tania's life and features many familiar and new characters from that story. Though I have mentally thought of this as "Syliri & Bruce" for years, I have to admit that reading Christopher Tolkein's "Beren and Luthien" made me consider a less romantic title.
Over the weekend, I had a good review of book cover art with the illustrator. I'm so excited for this next project. My test readers/editors are starting to kick me feedback and everything is coming together for an early August release! I do not know this author, but think Ylgolth might look like this.
So, let's talk bad guys - the Slaadi.
I have no idea who this artist is, but Syliri would love to see herself like this. Syliri & Bruce picks up 5 years after Dar Tania. On Dar's orders, the medusa Syliri and ranger Bruce (they met and had a thing in Dar Tania) begin exploring the territory considered by the dragons to be part of Morbatten.
Tellest.com is the world/game/books by author and creator Michael DeAngelo. They're fun. I was lucky to have him pick up and review Dar. The picture is clickable and will take you to his full promo.
It's fun to see these things out there, to connect with other writers, and also with you, the readers. My current project, Syliri & Bruce, is nearing completion of a first draft. I find myself thinking that the next one feature the characters strongly noted in reviews and emails. Hit me up with your thoughts.
May the dragons watch over you.
Free for Unlimited readers. It's 554 pgs. Sadly, I don't yet control paperback pricing, which is $18.99. The Kindle edition is $4.99.
Createspace keeps generating blank pages in the last 100 pages of Bomoki's Gate. It's killing me. In their process, you upload a file and then wait for about 30 hours for them to "approve" it. That process generates the final book file. My original submission did not have a random blank page. This is the 5th time I've tried to solve this. It's none of the obvious things like jacked up section breaks. This last time, I wrote extra content to fill this. There is no apparent reason, even in the doc code, that suggests why this is happening.
Editing is hard. First off, it's hard to see your own blind gaps. Test readers help and I want to call out the following people: Brian M, Mark F, Ben D, and Tony R. In a draft, I end up with so much mark up over 100s of pages and 10s of 1000s of words that I look at it and go, "Ugh." Like this demon in the picture (not my art; thank you Google search), Bomoki's Gate was always right there teasing me. "Come on," it'd say. "Come sit down, grab a drink. Start this editing for real."
I woke up at 5 am this morning and 7 hours later, I've finished the last 100 pages and incorporated notes from the test reader group. I'm exhausted. But, I thought I'd share some of my own learnings, for the curious and for other writers.