First, I just want to thank all of you that have already picked up Bloodline. And there are a LOT of you!
It feels like just yesterday that we were watching House of Blades sell a few copies, hovering over our calculators and saying "Okay, if we can manage to sell a few books every day, maybe I can actually write full-time. But how long can we keep that up?"
Well, I'm pleased to report that we haven't run out of new readers yet.
We hit #1 on the Kindle Store again, for the second time this book, and we stayed there for an entire day*. Even now, we've only "fallen" to #2. That's...incredible. I never know what to say to that.
*Correction: two entire days.
I will say that all these people devouring the book, and discussing it online, really fires me up to work on the next book. I'm refreshed and revived, and excited to get writing!
And that'll probably last until about halfway through the next manuscript, at which point I'll have my regularly scheduled panic attack.
But such is writing.
Once again, thanks so much for putting up with me all this time! I can't wait to see where we go from here!
In case you've missed it somehow, Bloodline's coming out tomorrow!
Well, April 6th. And it's April 6th in some places very soon.
The paperback is up for pre-order in most places, but I guess not everywhere? I'm not sure, Amazon rollouts are weird. It's supposed to be up everywhere.
Tonight at 9 PM Eastern, I'll be doing another traditional release stream as I play some slow-paced game and answer questions. Check it out at <twitch.tv/willwight> if you're interested! If you're not interested, check anything else out instead.
And now, as is tradition for all releases, I get to stew in my nerves until the book comes out. Usually for a few days after, too. Let the emotional distress begin!
There aren't too many deleted scenes from Bloodline, but this small scene was cut pretty early in the process because it didn't make much sense. But even though it's both unedited and declared unworthy, I still thought you might enjoy reading it!
But before we get to that, a couple of reminders!
First off, in case you didn't know, Bloodline (Cradle #9) is going to be released this Tuesday, April 6th! It's supposed to be available at midnight in your time zone, but apparently that's unreliable, and it can sometimes be minutes or even hours later.
Amazon is a fickle mistress.
Second, I'll be streaming on Twitch to kick off Bloodline's release from 9 PM - 12 AM (EST) on April 5th, just like I did for the last couple of books. Check out Twitch.tv/willwight when the time is right if you want to see me answering questions while halfheartedly playing some random game. Probably Valheim this time.
Aaaaannnd that's about it! Without further ado, here's the tiny little micro-scene that might have blossomed into one of the first scenes of Bloodline, if I hadn't pruned it away with my relentless shears of judgment.
Eithan eased his broken, bruised, and blood-caked body down to sit on a chunk of rubble. His tender wounds and spinning head aside, he was feeling rather good.
Not far away, Lindon was straining his will to exercise his newfound authority, and that was going to be the fastest way out of this crumbling tower. Sophara’s body was still warm outside—he knew from experience that it took dragon corpses entirely too long to cool—and the Blood Sage had scuttled off.
But that didn’t mean the tower was clear of enemies.
Rubble shifted next to him, and Yan Shoumei crawled out from beneath a pile of timbers, coughing dust. Eithan instinctively shifted to the side, only for his ribs to scream protest. Gritty gray clouds landed on his robes.
Trying to stay clean was like sweeping sand at this point. The only thing that kept his robes decent was his blood sticking them together.
The girl leaned on Eithan’s chunk of masonry for support, still hacking her lungs up, black hair powdered gray-brown from her time in the rubble.
Even weak as she was, she could have burst forth in a show of power. She could have used her sacred arts to protect herself, and made her life a lot easier.
Instead, she had wrapped herself in layer after layer of veils. She was thoroughly cocooned, having wisely deduced that using blood madra here would draw attention far more than filling the halls with hacking coughs.
She was wise. His students were so preoccupied with their situation that they hadn’t done more than a cursory sweep with their perception. They had overlooked her.
He corrected himself when he saw a pair of red eyes, all the way across the other side of the tower, locked on his location. Yerin should only see blank stone in front of her, but she was frowning and looking straight at him, her scarlet blade-arms flexing.
Well, one of his students was too preoccupied to make a proper search.
“I’m impressed,” Eithan said to Yan Shoumei, and the Redmoon artist stumbled away from him in shock.
Her spiritual sense was completely deafened by her veils, and her eyes were still gummed shut with blood and grime. He had assumed she would have at least noticed his presence, but from the way she rapidly blinked and swiped at her eyes, she’d had no idea anyone was there until he spoke.
He smiled brightly at her. Surprises were always fun, as long as you were the one doing the surprising.
She froze, and he could practically see the thoughts crawling across her mud-caked face. Should she run? No, he’d catch her. Should she fight while he was injured and weak? No, he was too advanced. Should she scan him to see if he was too injured to fight? Maybe unleash her Blood Shadow? What if that drew Lindon and Yerin down on her?
While she was paralyzed between fight and flight, he gave her a gentle wave. “I mean it, I’m impressed. I know how hard it is to keep yourself restricted when you’re in danger. It was the right call.”
Yan Shoumei’s voice scraped out, even more dry and ghostly than usual. “Don’t toy with me.”
“Why not? Isn’t that better than killing you? I hope you realize that you were part of an assassination attempt against a Monarch’s children. The survival rate for such a failed operation is…not high.”
“Then kill me.”
That time, her voice shook. There was something of a quiver to it, so it came out more like a plea.
He read danger in that tone. Not danger to him, but danger nonetheless. If he left this situation alone, she would draw a blade and lunge at him, trying to force him to kill her.
She knew better than to be caught by Malice.
Maybe light banter hadn’t been the best approach.
Eithan frantically shook his head. “No no, I’m sorry, this is a bad time for jokes. I do apologize.”
She stared at him as though she couldn’t believe he’d just used the word “joke.”
“Yes, I see that I have failed to uphold the gravity of this situation. Let me cut to the bone: you should run away. I will cover for you with the Monarch.”
She crept warily a few steps closer to the entrance. “Why?”
“Because if I chased down everyone who was bullied or bought into doing Reigan Shen’s bidding, I would be a grim black-clad specter of vengeance rather than the bright, fresh-faced soul you see before you.”
He spoke more gently, now that he didn’t have to worry about a suicide rush. “You had no choice. I know that’s the coward’s favorite defense, but in this case it is literally true. You had to choose between killing and dying, which is no choice at all. Go home.”
With an underhand toss, he threw her a void key.
Not his, of course. He’d scavenged this one from a Redmoon Overlord, and there was nothing interesting inside.
“I don’t know what’s in your key, but in that one has several weeks’ worth of rations, scales, and other supplies. Keep your veil on, your head down, and your Blood Shadow quiet until you’re out of Akura territory. You can make it.”
She stared at the void key in her hand until a tiny whisper of her spiritual perception leaked out of her veil, so she could sense inside the storage and verify his words.
He had responses prepared for her distrust, for her gratitude, and—most likely of all—for another expression of stunned disbelief.
So he was caught with his mouth open and no idea how to respond when she said, “Come with me.”
There was an awkward moment of silence before she filled the silence herself. “You’re not the son of a Monarch. You can walk away.”
“I really, really can’t.” He gave her his best smile. “But I am truly flattered by the offer. Alas, it is the curse of the truly gorgeous; I can never escape attention from anyone who sees me shirtless.”
He expected rolled eyes.
But she nodded sadly, wearily, as though he had told her he planned to work himself to death in an iron mine. He suspected she might be reading too much into his words, but all she said was, “Thank you.”
In a sudden flurry of motion, she dashed off, leaving Eithan alone with his thoughts.
For a moment.
Yerin appeared next to him in a flash of white light from her Moonlight Bridge. “Letting her leave, are you?”
“She’s not our enemy, really, and if you’ll—”
Eithan had prepared himself for a lecture on the foolishness of leaving his enemies alive. Once again, he was left wrong-footed.
“…I have been surprised by young ladies too often in too short a time. I’m not certain my heart can handle it.”
Her brow creased in a frown. “Don’t talk like you’re three days from dead. Archlords can live a thousand years. You’re not much more than a screaming baby.”
“I hear that a lot. And I admire your optimism in assuming we won’t be murdered tomorrow.”
“You know me, all bright and shiny,” she muttered. “Now let’s go. Back of my neck itches when you’re not where I can see you.”
Recently, we've been hearing from a few parties interested in potentially adapting Cradle into a series of movies. We're excited for the opportunity, but in order to make the series more market-friendly, we've been asked to make a few minor tweaks.
Nothing that should affect the series too much, I'm sure.
--First off, they were concerned that Lindon was too intimidating and large, so they decided to cast a scrawny kid with glasses. His black hair and pale skin will remain the same.
--The system of sacred arts in the books tends to be pretty complex, so instead of learning from a bunch of different sects and schools, we decided to set it in one big school so that the viewer can learn along with the reader.
--The violence was a little much, and I had to agree, so techniques will now be used through pointy sticks instead of actual weapons.
--The CGI budget couldn't handle a giant turtle, but we didn't want to re-cast Orthos as something else, so instead of a large black turtle, Lindon will now be mentored in his Path by a small white owl.
--Now that Lindon's a lot shorter, there's a bit of concern that he won't stand out as well on screen, so they've given him a distinctive mark on the face so you can recognize him immediately. Some kind of scar on the forehead, I think, or maybe a facial tattoo. I'll have to check on that one.
--Eithan being only a little older than Lindon didn't test well with audiences, so we've now made him incredibly old and wise, with a long white beard and some half-moon spectacles.
--Lindon and Yerin were too serious by themselves, so we're giving them a third friend, a red-headed sidekick who exists mostly as comic relief.
--Yerin is now Hermione.
I've been gone for three months, and I only gave you two reports on what I was doing, so that means I owe you a final report on what I've been doing!
Spoiler Alert: the answer is "not much."
But before that, just to let you know, Cradle: Path of Gold (the second collection of books, so volumes 4-6) is FREE today! And maybe for a couple of days, I don't know. But if you're halfway through the series and you want to pick up three Kindle books for free, now's the time!
Of course, these books are always free to listen on Audible Plus, but I know some people are like me and prefer to read with their eyes rather than their ears.
Anyway, on to what I've been doing...
I took a week and stayed in a cabin writing for fun, as I suggested I would last time. I enjoyed it, but I didn't come away with a BIG IDEA or half a book or something, like I was kind of hoping.
Instead, I came out with a bunch of little ideas. Some of them might crawl their way to you at some point, but for the most part they were just a way to stretch my writin' muscles.
I did a lot of reading this last week or two--mostly a week--because I finally started on The Wandering Inn. And there is, uh, there is a LOT of it. I've read two million (ish) words in the last week (ish) and I'm not even at the halfway mark yet. Plus it's ongoing.
I might end up recommending it, but I'm told the best is yet to come, and I want to at least catch up before I offer my humble opinion.
Let's see, what else? I got my sister started on Stardew Valley after years of attempts on my part, and now she's losing sleep to make sure her flowers make perfect rows down to her crops.
It's been weird coming back, because I used to have more work to do. I had a lot to do other than just write, and now most of those non-writing tasks have been taken over by members of The Team, so I'm feeling kind of superfluous right now.
Hey, more time for writing!
First off, I'm back!
For those of you who may be new here or might have forgotten, my name is Will. I'm primarily known for my full-time job as a sleep paralysis specter, but some of you may have read my books I guess.
It's funny, because in some ways it feels like I've been gone forever, and in other ways I feel like I was just writing Bloodline like two days ago.
But I wasn't!
I know a lot of you have been wondering if I took a break at all, since it turns out Bloodline is coming out April 6th instead of in June or July. Like maybe I bamboozled you, or wrote a book on my vacation. I assure you, I did not!
I finished Bloodline before going on break. When I wrote the blog post in December, I really had intended to be done with the book by then, and I wasn't quite finished yet. But I finished in the last couple weeks of December, before I went on the break, and I kept it a surprise!
Honestly, I doubt I could have taken a long break like this successfully with an incomplete book over my head. Any of my other tasks or duties I could postpone, but the book would have haunted me. I would have been thinking about it the whole time and would have come back ready to change everything.
By finishing it, I could let it go! Mostly. I still kept thinking of things I could change or add or improve, but that's just kind of how it always is. There's no escaping that trap completely.
I gnawed my foot off to try and escape, but it didn't help.
Then just a few days before I was scheduled to finish my break, the pre-order for Bloodline hits #1 in the Kindle Store, and we're already deep into the book launch process, which is pretty crazy! We're hitting the ground running!
Speaking of which, release stuff:
--Starting tomorrow, there's a sale on the merch store for 15% off all merchandise using the promo code "LITTLE BLUE" (sale lasts for ten days)! This is to celebrate the release of the Bloodline merchandise, I'm pretty sure. But it doesn't matter why, does it? It's a sale.
--Just to remind you: paperback copies of Bloodline will go up for sale a day or two before the official release date, so that those of you who care about paper copies are more likely to get your books on the actual day of release.
--The aerosol and psychic vibration versions of the story are available only in alternate dimensions, and cannot be side-shipped to the material plane at this time. If you believe you may qualify for such copies, please conduct a standard summoning ritual and consult with our dimensional services manager, Brrgmoth.
--And speaking of alternate versions, the audio version of Bloodline will be available on April 6th just like the other two versions! We've said this before, but we do keep getting questions about it. I assure you, the audio version will be out.
However, the rest of the Cradle audiobooks are free to listen with any Audible subscription as part of the Audible Plus program, but Bloodline will not be. At least not at launch. I assume it will be eventually, but I can't guarantee that because I'm not Audible.
--Finally, I've missed you all!
I await your response to the next book with a mixture of excitement and spine-freezing fear, as is tradition. But I do hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for reading!
Hello all, beta reader gnome here.
I come to you kicking and screaming voluntarily in my hat and my feet firmly planted in the garden. Thankfully they have left my hands free so that I can pen this missive to you all. First, I’d like to address the question you all are inevitably asking and scheming about. No, you can’t become a beta reader by asking. I became a beta reader due to a blood pact I made with Will after we experienced an incident with a hippo and a hula hoop. I saved his life by sacrificing my hair, and this work was my reward. Yes, being a beta reader is work. While you all are racing to finish the book in 4 minutes, we have to meticulously pore over an unfinished and unpolished draft.
That is the actual first thing I’ll tell you all, what we actually do. I know it sounds all cool that I get the book earlier than everyone else, but really it’s only [some arbitrary percent] cool. Will’s a great writer, but sometimes he needs help to work out some rough patches in a draft. And you do that by getting feedback. That’s where I and my fellow readers come in. We read this rougher draft and we give feedback on it. There are no bloopers, sometimes Will just substitutes in a [scene goes here], and there’s even the occasional ape attack. That’s right, we sacrifice our first reads so you all can get a better one. Now don’t get me wrong, I love doing this. But there is some small part of me that wishes I could read that fresh, polished book like the rest of you.
So, let’s get into this feedback. My personal approach is to give both macro and micro feedback. I have chapter wrap-ups and whole book feedback, but I also note sections or moments that stick out to me in either a positive or negative way. Positive feedback is just as important as negative, Will needs to know what I liked as well as what didn’t work for me. I tend to focus on the overarching plot, character, and general story flow. I know you might be thinking “Wait! I don’t care about those things! What about the length of Lindon’s left pantaloons or how many times Lindon punches a clown!?” Don’t worry, there’s someone else for that! Will has multiple readers who cover all his bases, really, I guarantee you it’s all covered. However, that doesn’t mean we have absolute power over what Will ends up putting in the book. That brings me to the next topic.
In the end, Will is the final arbiter of what changes in the draft. He treats all of our feedback as suggestions and he should. Will shamelessly steals from Neil Gaiman and says, “A reader knows what they don’t like, but they don’t actually know how to fix it.” He’s right. At a certain point we just trust Will to know what’s best, and 99% of the time, he does. There were plenty of times where I suggested something that Will fixed in a wildly different and better fashion. We also don’t know everything behind the scenes either. Will doesn’t give us a “this is what this is alluding to” manual, so we’re as much in the dark about the future as the rest of you. We get these books one at a time. So if there is something in the interest of setting something up in future books, Will keeps it. In the end, Will knows what serves his stories best.
Finally, let’s get down to the real secrets. Where is Oz- Oh no! They’ve noticed my hands are still free! I can go on no longer. Before they get me, I hope this was an informative look into the beta reading process and I hope you all enjoy the book!
Bloodline out in print, ebook, and audiobook April 6th, merch up now on the Will Wight store! Preorder for ebook and audio live NOW, exclusively on Amazon and Audible! Also, don’t forget you can listen to all 8 currently released Cradle books on Audible Plus for the price of FREE WITH A MEMBERSHIP!
The next blog post will come from Will himself who’s currently rebuilding his own bodily infrastructure on the slopes of Mount Sinai. His return is imminent.
Hey everybody! Will’s brother and Emotional Confidant Sam here to highjack his blog and show off my affinity for click-bait titles. Today starts the Audible and ebook preorder for Bloodline, releasing on April 6. We generally get asked a lot of similar questions around book launch time, so here’s a quick FAQ about the release:
The main question we’re getting asked right now revolves around Will’s break and the fact that no one can trust what he says since he is the father of lies. But trust me, the brother of lies, when I tell you that he really did go on break. He’s been off the whole time and hasn’t written anything Cradle-related. Was Bloodline actually written by Will? Is it secretly only 13 pages long? Did we intentionally muddy the public timeline and have him complete the book before break so he could feel entirely relaxed and not have a book hanging over his head? THE WORLD IS SO FULL OF MYSTERY! His return is imminent though, dependent on us recovering his body from the Mariana Trench.
That’s all the serious news to be conveyed, but this is the first time I’ve been allowed to touch Will’s blog so I want to put some real-life information out there…
Will gets asked a lot about his personal inspiration for characters, scenes, and lines of dialogue. People often want to know if certain things in his books come from real life experiences/people he knows. For the most part, the genuine answer is that his inspiration doesn’t come from anything personal at all. Some of my earliest memories involve him creating stories from thin air to entertain my six-year-old brain with nothing fuelling him but his own imagination. There is ONE THING in Cradle that is a direct rip off of his actual life though. One specific nuance to everyone’s favorite blond protagonist that comes entirely from Will’s life:
The man is obsessed with scissors. Literally at any given point, Will has several pairs of scissors lying around his room. They’re his favorite thing to fidget with and there have been more than a few times when he’s casually doing some monotonous task, while idly scratching his face with scissors. It’s basically just a matter of time until he stabs himself. But that’s DEFINITELY where Eithan’s preferred weapon comes from. Not sure if it was a subconscious add to the series, but here we are.
The hype around Bloodline is incredible and we genuinely want to thank everyone for being so patient and supportive of Will during his break. The mental refresher was necessary, and it meant a ton to him that the vast majority of the fan base was behind him. You're the real MVPs. Looking forward to those in-depth Reddit reviews,
P.S. If you haven’t noticed yet, there may, or may not, be a previously unreleased audio clip floating around somewhere. And it may, or may not, already be up on this site and Will’s other social media pages…
Two months with no writing, and I have unlocked a new level of existence. I can see flavor now, taste color, and hear bad Internet connections.
I’d love to check in with you guys about what I’ve been doing, but the answer is largely “Nothing.” It’s been great.
I’ve been playing a lot of Valheim. Finished One Piece, and followed up with Dragon Ball. I saw Willy’s Wonderland, a Nicholas Cage comedy/horror movie that’s effectively “John Wick gets trapped inside Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza,” and it now might be my favorite movie of all time.
Last month, my goal was to crash and recover. This month, my goal was to do some new things that I normally don’t have the time to do...and I didn’t do a whole lot of that, tbh. The pandemic/quarantine gets in the way of most of my plans.
This last and final month, I’m setting aside some actual writing time, just not for Cradle. For whatever side projects I want to waste time on. I’m looking forward to it!
Until then, my radio silence continues. I miss you all! Especially you.
First off, I intended to blog at the beginning of my break, but I had to give up before I smashed my computer into little tiny pieces.
When I tried to blog on the first day, Weebly (the service through which I managed my site) mandated a password change before I could log in. I reset my password, and my password reset went through, but the email to change my password didn't. Leaving me lunging at my laptop with a hammer while my loved ones wrestled me down.
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, so I was able to start my break peacefully. At the time, I intended to stay connected through social media, so it didn't matter if I blogged at the beginning or not.
But I quickly realized that I need a break from social media too.
When I checked my Reddit or my Facebook or Twitter or whatever, I was mentally still working. I kept thinking about the next book, and what we could do later on in the series, and basically still thinking like an author.
I needed to cut that off, so I've been on a strict no-social-media diet for a month now.
I did not expect that to be necessary, and it's been difficult, but it's been good for me.
So that's where I've been all this time, cooped up in my Regeneration Pod with no phone waiting for my Reddit addiction to die down. Which begs the question: what have I been doing?
Well, in the first week off I didn't do much of anything. I don't remember much. Probably many YouTube videos were watched. I pretty much coma-d non-stop.
Second week, I spent most of my time catching up on my reading. I read between a million and a million and a half words that week, which was nice and refreshing as I haven't done that in a while.
I spent some time in a cabin in the woods, played a truly disgusting amount of Minecraft, bought the Dragon Ball manga (now I own the complete series; I only had the DBZ half before), and picked up my re-read of One Piece where I left off last year (right after the Paramount War arc).
Essentially, I've been having a nice, relaxing time! There's a lot I wanted to do that COVID prevents--visiting friends, traveling internationally, cruising, forming a Team-Rocket-style evil organization to take over the world--but within those restrictions, I've been having fun!
Physically and mentally, the break has been great so far, and while I regret having to step away from you guys for so long, I definitely needed it. It's only this week that I've stopped thinking about the business and book sales and the future of the series, because it took that long for my previous thought patterns to reset.
I'm installing a manual reset button in the back of my skull to expedite this process next time.
P.S. For all you One Piece readers out there, I'm regularly amazed at how great One Piece is and has stayed for so long. What great, resonant, emotional storytelling. Having said that, Punk Hazard sucks and I hate it.
Want to get short stories and book releases before anyone else? Sign up below!