Recently I have returned from my state of undeath by "acquiring" a new mortal body to house my spirit. I come back to you with news:
First, the Wintersteel pre-order is live now! The book will be released on October 6th, and the print length is 513 pages! That's approximately 145,000 words, which makes it the longest book I've ever written.
You may notice that the Amazon page says its print length is 540 pages, and that's because the "print length" section on Amazon is a dirty liar. I'm holding a copy printed by Amazon as we speak and it's 513.
Pro Tip: that section is always wrong. Never trust it.
The ebook and audiobook are both live for pre-order as we speak, and will both be released on October 6th!
The paperback edition will come out on the same day, but we're not allowed to set a pre-order for that one, so I recommend cryogenically preserving yourself for a few weeks if you're after the paperback.
Now this brings us to our first (arguably second?) entry in our brand-new Cradle Behind The Scenes series!
When it came to Unsouled, there were quite a few sources I could have mined for behind-the-scenes information, though I didn't really have any "deleted scenes" for this book per se.
I could have gone through my development of the magic system, telling you that at one point it was based on animal spirits and Lindon was going to get the least-threatening animal spirit I could think of. Potentially a rabbit or a small deer.
Or shortly after that, where I had people developing powers based on one item that was a manifestation of their soul. Lindon was going to get a shovel.
You can see the pattern: first off, the powers of these original proto-systems were always based on specific symbols. Emblems. Icons, you might call them.
Second, Lindon always got the most non-threatening, mundane, or embarrassing version I could give him.
Instead of going into the magic system, I could give you the first draft of the original pre-chapter texts for Of Kings and Killers, which were written a year before Unsouled and chronicled the ongoing attempts of the Abidan in Sector 11 Control to convince Ozriel to destroy Asylum.
My draft of that interaction ended up directly influencing the development of Cradle's Abidan storyline.
But ultimately, I thought nothing illustrated the evolution of Unsouled as much as its original title.
We hadn't finished development on the cover when we changed our minds on the title of the book, but here is an early draft of what might have been the cover for Cradle, Volume One: The Fox and the Phoenix.
-Former Remnant Will
(Phoenix painting by Nat Burt; cover design and all life's wisdom by Patrick Foster.)
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