I always get sick after I put up a book. Always. I've learned to count on it.
It's because I stress out and go without sleep too much in the days and weeks leading up to a launch, trying to cram as much into the book as I can before it goes out. Then, once the relief sets in, my body crashes.
So I always need a couple of weeks after a book to get sick, get over it, catch up on some sleep, and play Divinity: Original Sin 2.
Now I'm back, and just in time: it looks like we just crossed 400,000 total books sold!
That most likely means that OKAK and Cradle 5 will put us over half a million sold before the five-year mark.
Crazy, guys. That's crazy.
It's up! Get Skysworn here!
...if you're on Amazon.com! I don't know about other domains, sorry!
I was sitting around, and I had it ready to go, so I figured...why wait for midnight?
I uploaded Skysworn just a few minutes ago! Someone let me know when it goes live (I'm checking, but I'm sure you'll find it before I do), and I'll post a link whenever it's up!
...also, don't skip Chapter 1. There was another scene in the chapter that I was going to post tonight, but instead I uploaded the book. It's an important scene, so I didn't want you to miss it.
That's it! Enjoy!
Skysworn is coming out in two days, and I've been so busy that I have neglected you! I should have been talking to you more and more as release approached, and I've instead isolated myself to work on the book.
But no more! Following the "Read More" break, you'll find the first half of Skysworn: Chapter One! This is the first scene in the story, and I've shared a few lines from it already.
If you'd care to avoid spoilers, no problem! Simply don't click "Read More" below.
The beta readers have agreed that there were no major plot changes necessary, so I'm ready to release! Well, there was one change: I had to get rid of the storyline in which Lindon adopted a young orphan girl, he and Yerin grew to raise this child as their own daughter, the girl died of cancer, and Lindon abandoned his quest and spent the rest of his life in mourning.
Otherwise, we're good to go!
And I hope you're as excited to see Skysworn released as I am!
EDIT: Some of you are asking a few questions about the book's release, and they're great questions! Instead of responding to everyone individually, I thought I'd pop an answer up here where everybody can see it (for the chapter, skip to the bottom and click Read More)!
FAQ #1: "What time Sunday will the book be available?"
Answer: Early Sunday morning, but check back here and I'll post a link as soon as it goes live!
I expect to begin the upload process late Saturday night, with the hopes that it will be available shortly after midnight (Pacific time, because that's Amazon's time zone) on Sunday morning. Usually the book is available for sale about 1-2 hours after I upload it, but I have no control over that. It's in Amazon's massive, many-fingered hands.
As for the other regions, which don't use Amazon.com, my guess is as good as yours. Amazon.co.uk usually takes another hour or two, but sometimes it has been up before Amazon.com. So I can't be sure.
Regardless, I'll send out an email to the mailing list, a post on Facebook, a blog post, and a message in a bottle as soon as I get a live link!
FAQ #2: "When is the next one coming out?"
Answer: After Elder Empire is finished, so next year!
I've already gotten some emails about book five, so let me nip this in the bud right now.
Here's my current release plan:
1.) Of Kings and Killers / Of Killers and Kings
2.) City of Light audiobook (may be out before OKAK, depending on how long it takes me to finish those books)
3.) Cradle #5
4.) Something else, probably Traveler's Gate (but I promise nothing!)
5.) Cradle #6
6.) The moon turns red as blood and we are all devoured by an ancient beast from the world's beginning
7.) Cradle #7
FAQ #3: "Do you have any more news about Elder Empire, the series that time forgot?"
Answer: I do! I'm planning a big re-launch of the series to coincide with the release of books five and six.
Basically, as I was working on OKAK, I realized that my writing style has grown and evolved over the last year or two. So in order to avoid a huge stylistic mismatch, I'll be doing an editing pass on the previous four books.
I'll use a light touch, don't worry. Characters and events will stay the same, so if you're familiar with the stories you won't be thrown off, I'm just going to polish up my prose and dust off my dialogue.
Also, the old covers were...made on a budget...though I have a special place in my heart for the Shadow cover.
As a result, I'll be re-covering the first four to match the new style of Killers/Kings, cleaning up the writing, and launching/re-launching all six either simultaneously or close together. Paperbacks for OSAS and ODAD will be updated at launch, and I expect OKAK paperbacks will be available at the same time as the ebooks (though I can't be certain).
But when, though?
Not too much longer. I will not write another book between now and OKAK, and that is a soul-oath between me and you. However, doing six covers at the same time has its challenges, and this is a very complex story. So when will it be released? Not sure.
I have to finish writing OKAK (which is underway) and then make sure the books match up not just to each other, but to the first books in the series as well; if you've read them, you know that the flashback storylines have to wrap around to the beginning of the first books. It gets complicated.
More detailed answers coming after Skysworn! Hopefully quickly!
(And now, it's time for Skysworn...)
Irma passed me by with only some superficial damage to my home, and I've been neck-deep* in Skysworn!
It was an...immersive experience. This is always the point in the process where gradual procrastination catches up to me, and then I have to work a bunch of long days in a row until the words satrt to loko wreid.
Still on track for October 1st! The only thing that could delay me at this point is if the beta readers agree it needs significant rewrites.
Which has never happened before, I just always feel the need to say it in case it happens this time.
Sorry about the quiet since DragonCon; it's not because I've been working, this time. It's the fault of my new neighbor, Irma.
I live in Orlando, and we're not supposed to get the worst of it, but it's still coming down pretty hard. And we just discovered my roof leaking.
I'll let you know if I survive, or if I get carried off to Oz.
I was hoping for September 1st, but that ended up being too optimistic. However, I did finish the book last week, so I'll be getting it to beta readers after I return from DragonCon.
All of which means I'm on time for an October 1st release!
There's only two scenarios that might cause a delay:
1.) An actual emergency, like my brother spontaneously combusting again or the Webspawn hatching early from their ten billion eggs and rising to consume the Earth.
2.) The beta readers tell me the book is broken and needs to be significantly rewritten. This has never happened before (I'm the only one who has ever said to me that a book is broken and needs to be rewritten prior to release), but you never know.
I always have to include this clause just in case, but it's not likely to happen.
TL;DR - Skysworn on October 1st!
I'm leaving for DragonCon as we speak!
In honor of the convention, the Traveler's Gate Trilogy (the complete collection) is on sale on Kindle for $2.99 from September 1st through 5th!
I'm going to be here and there throughout the convention, but I'd like to meet you! If you're going to be in Atlanta this weekend, send me an email (email@example.com) and we'll find a place and time to meet! I'm bringing books, cards, and (a small number of) shirts to sign! And, of course, I'm willing to sign whatever you bring me.
Especially sheared lambs. Those are my favorite things to sign...so supple. So smooth.
In just about a week, from September 1st through 4th, DragonCon will be in Atlanta, and I'll be there!
I'm supposed to be on some panels this year, though they still haven't released their schedule, so I'm not sure which panels or when. I'm sure it will be fantasy-related, so if you're going, keep your eye on the Fantasy Literature track.
Also, if you haven't heard, Blackflame and Soulsmith paperbacks are now available on Amazon! I'll have some with me at DragonCon ready to sign, but if you just want the books, they're already available online!
Skysworn news (and potentially OKAK news, although I may have to wait on that) soon, along with a drastic update in the progress meter!
EDIT: Now that my birthday is over and those mysterious black helicopters have stopped hovering over my house, I've had time to respond to some of your comments. If you were waiting on a response from me, check below!
If I haven't gotten to you yet, I'll be answering more over the next couple of days!
I've done it! I salvaged enough of Blackflame's extra parts that I can cram them into Skysworn.
So Cradle is next, followed by OKAK (which I've also been making progress on, over the last couple of months).
I still don't have a firm release date for Skysworn, and if I officially confirm the date I'm aiming for then you will take it as a promise and lynch me, but it won't be too much longer.
In the meantime...
Let's play a game!
You give me a detail, and I'll make up a short, one-paragraph-or-less story incorporating that detail into one of my worlds. For instance:
"What are prisons like in Cradle?" On the Iceflower Continent, far from the Blackflame Empire, there's a buried chamber chiseled into the heart of a halfsilver vein. Madra is dispersed as soon as it touches the air, and thirteen layers of script repel all aura. There are twenty cells, and no more than twenty prisoners. Imprisoned here are those who cannot be executed.
"Tell me about mountain climbers in Elder Empire." The body of Kthanikahr, the Worm Lord, weaves through a mountain as though through a rotten apple. The Great Elder is miles long, and the stench of his decay is overpowering. Still, some brave the corpse--and the cordon of Imperial troops around the area--to scale the peak and try to harvest a strip of the Worm Lord's skin. It is said that a charm made from this leathery strap can repel Elderspawn, so dozens make the trip each year...and only a handful return.
"Are there any magic wands in Traveler's Gate?" Yes. Most of them suck.
...stuff like that. I'll invent an answer on a spot, and we can do some good old-fashioned worldbuilding together.
It's kind of like writing mini-short stories, except it doesn't take much of my time away from writing books.
"Hey guys, let's get these covers done ASAP."
God only knows.
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