So I'm working on the January batch of short stories, collectively entitled The Lightning Wastes.
I'm excited about them, and interested to see how you enjoy the chance to tour Endross, Naraka, and Ragnarus. At the risk of almost spoiling you, they tie in more to the novels than the previous six short stories did, so that's nice. There are a couple of characters in these that I really enjoy writing.
Release date for the stories? Before the end of the month.
Work on City of Light is proceeding more slowly than I had hoped. Not because of the short stories; it's mostly because I want to end the trilogy well, so I sometimes get a little too focused on not screwing up. It'll still be early 2014, though. When I say "slowly," I'm talking in terms of weeks, not years.
I did just get the first few CoL cover sketches back from my artists, though (the same ones who drew my previous two covers). It's not quite ready to show you yet, but I'm looking forward to the end product.
Since I like to end on a question, here's an inquiry for you:
What questions would you like to see answered in City of Light? Keep in mind that I will not be answering the full history of Valinhall, as I intend to release a different book about that in the future.
I'm just curious about what you're curious about.
Cheers and salutations!
The observant among you may have noticed that I did not post last week. There were a few reasons for this: first, I was away working hard on City of Light. Second, I wanted to leave the Tower of Winter post up as long as I could, so that as many people saw it as possible. Third, I am a shiftless vagabond.
City of Light is underway, and I can now tell you that I am aiming for a February or March release date. I'm planning on getting the first draft finished by early January, spend the month of January editing, and release it in February when I think it's finished. The plan, after that, is to start my new series in Summer 2014.
My, how time flies when a chronomancer curses you and your descendants unto the seventh generation.
I will emphasize that this is my target. I might miss it. But I'm leaving it vague intentionally so that I have a little room for squirming, in the undesirable event that squirming should become necessary.
What's my next series, you ask? I'm not sure yet. I've been working on a few things, but it won't be Traveler's Gate related. I need a break before I come back to this universe (multiverse?). I have one idea that I like, featuring epic fantasy with slightly less fighting and slightly more...inventive combat avoidance, I suppose you'd call it. Currently, the title of the first book is The Ghost and the Spider.
I've got another idea for a post-apocalyptic style of novel, in which a modern-technology world becomes more and more magical until civilization breaks down, and a new world order arises. This series would center around magical experimentation (nobody knows how magic works, because it's new) and world-conquering. It's a fun concept, but it seems difficult to write, so I might hold off on that for a while.
I also have two stories with little more than titles: The House on Silver Hill and The Seven Lives of Solomon Priest.
I thought those titles sounded cool, and I'd like to write stories around them. This is often how I work: I come up with tons of random ideas at different times, and then when I'm trying to assemble a story, I reach into my grab bag and find pieces that fit together.
For instance, for the Traveler's Gate Trilogy, I thought of the "un-prophesied hero" dynamic: the friend of the One True Hero who would rather save the world himself. Another time, I came up with the idea of themed pocket dimensions from which wizards could draw power. On yet another occasion, I thought of a different magic system based around places called "Territories."
Now you know how I work. Ideas go into a big, jumbled mess, and when I'm trying to put a new story or world together, I fish around for ideas and fit them together like puzzle pieces.
The more you know!
Not much to say this week.
Sales are still going strong; we'll crack 35,000 in a couple of days. I'm hard at work on The Traveler's Gate Chronicles and the pre-work on City of Light. I expect to have the first draft of CoL before the end of the year.
The release date of the Chronicles almost entirely depends on whether Amazon will let me do it as a Serial. Also, how long the Serial takes to initially release...and if I can't do it as a Kindle Serial, I'll have to come up with another delivery mechanism.
In other news, I was recently killed and replaced by a sentient alligator who wears my skin like a rain jacket. Florida, am I right?
It's been a pretty chill week. I'm mostly just truck truck trucking along.
How's your week going?
Oh, you want to know what the title of this post means? Please, allow me to delay by dancing around the issue for several paragraphs.
First, as I know many of you were wondering, the map is coming! I sent my crappy hand-drawn version off to a graphic artist today, so in the next few weeks I'll be uploading a map to The Crimson Vault and House of Blades.
At the very least, you'll be able to get a vague picture of the region. I know lots of you have asked for this, so there you go.
Second, I will be adding a Territory reference section as well (this will be included in the map update). It will have each of the Territories listed by name and attribute, as well as some bits and pieces about the Territory's history, cultural impact, and abilities.
Third, I have uploaded many typo, proofreading, and editing changes to The Crimson Vault. I've changed every mistake that has been pointed out to me, as well as several I found since first putting Crimson Vault on Amazon. These changes should take effect tomorrow, and if there's a particular editing issue that bothers you, please send Amazon an email sometime tomorrow afternoon asking for an updated copy. They'll be happy to send you the new, updated version.
Or, of course, you could wait a few weeks for the map/reference update. Whichever you prefer.
Finally, I'm elated to report that sales of the Traveler's Gate Trilogy have now crossed 30,000 copies.
You know how many writers sell 30,000 copies their first year? Not many. Four months ago, I didn't expect to be one of them.
P.S. Oh, right, the title. I'm also working on a collection of short stories set in the Traveler's Gate universe. The collection is entitled The Traveler's Gate Chronicles, and is tentatively set for release next month (it may take longer, depending on how long Amazon takes to process Kindle Serials). The first story or two will be available immediately, with another story added every two weeks until the release of City of Light. I intend for this to be a Kindle Serial, but if that doesn't work out, I'll figure out an alternative delivery system.
P.P.S. No, this will not delay City of Light. Not even by a day. I will be working the maximum amount of time possible on CoL, but I can't spend ALL of my time working on one thing. I would explode. The Chronicles can provide me with a healthy amount of distraction, as well as something fun for you guys to read between now and early next year.
As the prophets foretold, I have risen from my post-book coma and returned once again to the prestigious throne that is my desk chair.
If you're waiting on an email response or a response to you in the comments, I believe I have responded to pretty much everybody. Now, it's time to begin work on City of Light.
Elysia, not Paris.
Also, for those of you who care about such trifling mundane matters, I passed 25,000 sales last night as I slept. That's House of Blades and Crimson Vault combined, but it's still pretty staggering. You guys are just that awesome.
Now, about the blog: I'm planning on producing more regular blog updates instead of the irregular mishmash that you have tolerated until this point. From here on out, I plan on writing one blog post each Saturday. Of course, I will also post whenever anything significant happens--like when I release a new book, for instance--but in the absence of breaking news I'll probably produce one post each Saturday.
So tune in on Saturday for the first of these regular posts.
Free tip: you probably don't want to miss this Saturday. I'm going to include a spoiler-full deleted scene from The Crimson Vault. It's tentatively entitled, "What Happened to the Bears?"
The bears from Elysia, not Chicago.
In the meantime, between now and Saturday, I'd like to hear your questions. "What kind of questions?" you ask. Well, let me clarify:
What is the one question about the Traveler's Gate Trilogy that you would like me to answer?
Keep in mind, as you formulate your inquiry, that I would respond to such a question in the form of a short story.
The Knight Progress:
"I couldn't leave it all to the power of friendship."
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Hey, what about those short stories you claim to have already written?
Apparently they're kept here!