I received these awesome pictures yesterday, but I couldn't post them because...you know, April Fools. Everyone would assume it was somehow a trap.
But now that it's April 2nd, I'm free to share this cool story with you: about six months ago, shortly after the release of Crimson Vault, I got an email from a fan named Aaron Hetherington. Aaron wondered if I could explain the different symbols/banners for the various Territories in more detail, since I only give a vague overview in Crimson Vault.
I described the banners as best I could, and then I didn't hear back from Aaron until yesterday. It turns out that he and a graphic artist friend of his, Sara Miller, had come up with banners for each of the eleven Territories in the Traveler's Gate Trilogy.
I'm not going to lie to you: they're pretty fantastic.
If these banners tickle your fancy, and you'd like to hit up Sara for some commission work, I hear she's available here: http://saraphimcreations.elance.com
This is one sample of her work, and you can hit the jump for the other ten:
Quick update tonight: I've decided not to push Gardens of Mist out for Christmas. It will still be out before the end of December, but after Christmas.
Why? Because now I get to spend some time with my family. I was going to work today and tomorrow uploading the stories, then head home for Christmas on the 25th. Now I get to relax today, and head home tomorrow.
I could still have gotten the book out, but honestly I think I'm doing the right thing by waiting a few days. As many of you have said, it's best to take some time off over the holidays.
So now you know. Gardens of Mist out a few days later than I was hoping, but still before New Year's.
To compensate you a little bit, I will reveal that Crimson Vault paperbacks are finally available, but only through this direct link. Once Amazon shows the paperback properly on the normal Crimson Vault page, I'll make a wider announcement.
Also, thanks again for your enthusiastic participation in the last blog post! I got a lot of suggestions, some of which were e-mailed, tweeted, or private messaged to me. It's neat to see what you all want in your stories, and your responses are helping me decide where to go after the Traveler's Gate Trilogy.
If you want to keep leaving suggestions/requests, feel free. I still monitor the comments on old blog posts, as long as they're not TOO old.
Thanks for reading, and have a Merry Christmas Eve Eve!
Once more, I have returned!
Sales have crossed the 46,000 mark, well on their way to 50,000. I stand in awe of you, and the zeal with which you press my ebooks upon your unwitting friends. You are an inspiration to salesmen and advertising agents the world over.
On the writing front, I'm steadily chipping away at both City of Light and the paperback version of The Crimson Vault. The paperback is on the way, I promise you that!
As far as The Traveler's Gate Chronicles goes, the writing is the easy part. But that brings me to my topic of the day:
I have three short stories that I'm considering putting first in the Chronicles, and you may get a peek at one of them next Saturday. I can't decide, however, which of them I should put first in the collection.
I thought you might help me make up my mind.
So, which of the following stories do you think should come first?
A.) This is a story that takes place in and around Helgard, the Tower of Winter. There may be some familiar concepts and landmarks, but it's narrated by a new character, and it takes place long before House of Blades. Here are the pros and cons of putting it first.
--I set the right tone for the rest of the collection. If I start off with a familiar character as a narrator, a new reader might expect every story to be told from the perspective of someone they know, and that won't always be the case.
--It's a very different look at Travelers and Traveling than you get in the Trilogy proper.
--The connection to House of Blades and The Crimson Vault might not be immediately apparent to new readers, who do not have the benefit of this blog for their edification and betterment.
--The information you get in this story, while compelling and interesting, has no obvious relationship to the main plotline of the Traveler's Gate Trilogy. It's just a look into another corner of this universe.
--There's no Valinhall. This may actually be a good thing, since most of the stories don't deal directly with Valinhall, and we wouldn't want to start readers out on the wrong foot.
B.) A story in Denner's past, dealing with his upbringing in the Dragon Army and how he became the guy who dealt with flying creatures of all sizes.
--It starts with a somewhat familiar character, and deals with Valinhall, so the reader starts out on firm ground.
--The background is very closely related to the plotline of the Trilogy.
--Lots of swords and sword-fighting.
--I don't want people to expect the rest of the collection to have lots of familiar characters and revolve around Valinhall. For the most part, the Chronicles is about exploring the aspects of the Traveler's Gate universe that we DON'T get to see in the Trilogy.
C.) The story that motivated Valin to rebel against Damasca and form the Dragon Army. Also, why he called it "the Dragon Army."
--This story holds lots of explanations for things I haven't yet explained in the Trilogy.
--No Valinhall, just an explanation for how/why Valinhall was founded.
--Valin's a fun, interesting character.
--I still plan on doing a Valin novella at some point, which would likely reuse some of this exact same content.
--Same drawbacks as the Denner story: it features a somewhat familiar character in Valinhall.
--I haven't written this story yet. The other two I'm just putting the finishing touches on, but I still haven't begun this one. I know what happens, of course, but I haven't put pen to paper.
So I'm interested to know your thoughts. I plan on including all three of these stories in the Chronicles (the first two for sure), but I wanted to know which of these you would want to see first.
Let me know in the comments, you brave soldiers.
The bear charged through the Elysian Gate, answering the Traveler's call.
Alin's voice hung in the air, demanding and rich with power. Where his summons had previously sounded no more insistent than a polite request, now it rang with all the authority of a king. The call promised everything the bear wanted: strong prey, a challenge, and a chance to ride into battle beside his brothers. He was all but powerless to resist.
Even though this summons hardly sounded like it came from Alin at all.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have crossed 20,000 sales.
As of yesterday morning, we passed the 20K mark. That's incredible! Thanks everyone for buying the books, leaving a review, telling your friends, and using your private jet to write my name in the clouds. You guys are the best!
Also, thanks to those of you who sent me the typos from the first edition of Crimson Vault. I really do like receiving those, because the text isn't set in stone. I can fix these typos, and then future readers get a slightly cleaner draft.
I still haven't cleared all the typos out, due to Dragon*Con, but I'm working on it. Beginning next week, I should have all your changes made. At that point, you should contact Amazon if you want the updated, cleaner file on your Kindle.
In the meantime, I'm back from Dragon*Con, and I had a blast! I am now going to follow that up by taking some REAL time off, as--though Dragon*Con is unbelievably fun--it's not a great way to relax after writing a book.
So this week I'm going to relax, play some League of Legends,
On my way to DragonCon, right now!
The only real panel I'm looking forward to today is Jim Butcher's steampunk thing at 5:30, but let me know if I'm missing out on something cool.
Oh, also: The Crimson Vault sold over a thousand copies yesterday.
In case you were wondering, that's a lot.
You guys are the best! Thanks for buying, thanks for reading, thanks for leaving reviews on Amazon, and thanks for telling your friends. Right now, Crimson Vault is the #1 best-selling Epic Fantasy book on Kindle, the #1 best-selling Epic Fantasy book on Amazon as a whole, the #1 best-selling Sword & Sorcery book on Kindle...
You know what? I'm not going to bore you with that. It's high. And it's all because of you guys, so thanks!
You should reward yourselves by reading a good book. I recommend Blood Song.
An interview with me just went live over here, so apparently it went up at the same time as Crimson Vault.
This was not planned, but it worked out.
Check out the article for some largely fabricated answers and the worst picture of me in all existence!
Here's the story behind the picture: I had a horrible cold, but I couldn't find a picture of me that fit the magazine's requirements for the story. So I had to take a picture with my iPhone, even though my face is all red and puffy.
I swear I don't normally look like that.
...normally it's even worse.
Speaking of which, Crimson Vault has somehow sold almost a hundred copies. How did you do that, guys? How? Amazon still says it's not published.
I have officially submitted The Crimson Vault to Amazon.
It is now "in review" by Amazon staff, and should be available for sale tonight.
...assuming nothing goes wrong.
Of course, I slept not at all this past night, and now I'm off to DragonCon in Atlanta. Which means I may not really experience the con, I may just sleep all weekend.
Well, it'll be a good time either way.
EDIT: Apparently a partial page is up on Amazon here. You can buy it, but apparently details like the preview aren't fully up yet.
This is out of my control. It's in Amazon's cold, clammy hands.
I reached a milestone in The Crimson Vault early this morning, so that means I can tear myself away from the grueling editing process to bang out a blog post for you lovely gentlemen and ladies.
I'm aware how the phrase "lovely gentlemen" sounds, but I'm not changing it. Take that, The Man.
As you may have noticed, the lovely scarlet-hued image next to me is, in fact, the cover for Book 2 in the Traveler's Gate Trilogy: The Crimson Vault.
Big thanks to Chelsey and Caitlin Bateson for once again doing a fantastic job on the cover! I'd especially like you to take a look at those doors. I love those doors.
This book, at the moment, is longer than House of Blades by about 40-50 pages. I can't promise that it will survive the remainder of the editing process at that length, but who knows; it might end up longer.
Also, right now, it's looking like I'll upload the book around the 29th, to give me as much editing time as possible before I leave for DragonCon. Don't take that as set in stone, though; it will be available before September, but that's all I can guarantee.
And that's all the news that's fit to print, ladies and gentlemen. Except for one thing, I guess: there are now officially over 16,000 readers like you out there who have experienced House of Blades. Big thanks to you folks for spreading the word!
SPOILER WARNING, BUT NOT REALLY: In a few days, I'm planning on putting the first chapter of The Crimson Vault here on the blog, just to give you guys something to chew on for the next week or so. I'd put it up now, but I want to put a bit more polish on it first.
Good idea? Bad idea? You're insane, Will, get back in your cage, oh no he's got it in his mouth, what has science done, we're all doomed, I can't believe we tried to play God, what sort of abomination is this?
"Calder straightened his back, focused his mind, and opened the door."
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