Sorry for the delay on my updates - I'd been bouncing around between introversion and distraction in my writing - shifting between "all sail, no rudder" and "all rudder, no sail"; I finally found my wind last week and pressed through until Book 2 of the Aerthos books was wrapped. I've started the oh-so deliciously tedious and occasionally heartbreaking editing process, although I already feel much better this go round.
I'm not logically certain that I should feel so confident, but there it is. Book 2 - "Reaper's Flight" is much more ambitious - we see more of Aerthos this time, with travels to centers of mythological and historical wisdom; we see more technological marvels and even pick up with Rom's journey over the Great Wall that haunted her youth in the scientifically stunted community of Oldtown. Old friends, new enemies, and even a look under the hood, so to speak, as to the nature of Rom and the Sheharid Is'iin.
From a specifically trichotomous (I dare you to find a way to use that one in a sentence!) perspective, I've technically passed the halfway mark in this Big Story, but I already don't want to leave. Book three (tentative title: Fall of the Shepherd) is already laid out and waiting for me to dip my quill (how did that sentence become so naughty?), but I will be spending my time also developing out a novella I plan to release - potentially for free, or at the least as an appendix to book three - focusing on the main villain, Artifice.
I do enjoy a good villain - and when I say "Good Villain", I mean the ones who have a perfectly sound justification for all their naughtiness. Take Darth Vader, for example. He was so much more interesting when he was caught between his love for his son and his loyalty to his Emperor. Granted, it was a challenge to follow him down the dark and sinister path towards the dark side, but I kind of have to point a finger of blame on George Lucas for that one. All the pieces were there, it was more a case of actual movie production dropping the ball.
But that whole idea of "best intentions" serves me not just as a warning sign for my characters, but for me. As much as I enjoy the stories that are there to be told, I am aware of the responsibility I have to tell them well. I'm not just concerned about people finding the books to be a waste of their money, but a waste of their investment of time. Every minute someone spends in one of my books is a minute they're not spending elsewhere - that's an investment which humbles me more than I can say.
But after all is said and done, I believe that all these characters - regardless of the outcome of their choices - have wonderful stories to tell. The whole world I'm discovering right along with my readers is even more fascinating than I had promised - and even as I fall ever deeper in love with it, I have to force myself to remember that it is only my vacation home.
We'll visit it together, shall we? And then come home and talk about our journeys.
So for now, the first draft of Book 2 is complete - it is being given a couple rounds of edits, and then will be into the final stages of production - design, cover art, etc. I've come up with a nice concept for the cover - and will probably have Morrow Stone re-designed as well, to balance all three books out with a solid visual staging, but don't worry - 2nd Edition of book one will also drop in price the moment book 2 is launched.
Plus, I'll be attending the Emerald City ComiCon 2011, and handing out freebies with the book art as well. Presently, we're on track for a September/October launch.
More deets as they become available.