The Gilded Empire is published!

I’m excited to say that The Gilded Empire is now published. That’s three books in the World in Chains series and four books overall.

One more World in Chains book is still to come, and then the entire series will be out.

I’m excited about this one because it’s the book where I really started taking the series in some directions that even I didn’t expect. And it’s all shaping up for an action-packed finale. The final book will be titled The Winds of Time, and I have a tentative goal of finishing my edits by the end of July.

If you haven’t already tried the series, it’s a perfect time to get started. With the final book coming out soon and the first book priced at the bargain of $0.99, you can start reading for almost nothing and not have to wait too long for the conclusion.

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If you want to buy any of my books, you can simply click on their covers at the right side of this page, and that will take you straight to Amazon. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can even read them for free.

As always, if you want to be the first to know about new releases and deals, you can sign up for my mailing list (also at the right side of this page).

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the books.

The final draft of The Gilded Empire is complete!

Just now, I finished my final draft of The Gilded Empire. I anticipate another week or so to do the final proofread, and then the saga of Nadia, Markus, Berig, Kara, and all the others will continue.

This book has a very special place in my heart. It’s the book where I really take the series to fun and unexpected places. The first two books seem like fairly straightforward epic fantasy reads. This one keeps the spirit of the first two, but introduces elements that make it much more complex and interesting.

After finishing the proofread, my next project will be editing The Winds of Time, the final book of World in Chains. If all goes well, I should have that out sometime this summer. Then I’ll turn my attention back to Sunweaver.

For now, though, I’m going to make that last push for The Gilded Empire. I hope you like reading it as much as I liked writing it.

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The Gilded Empire: An Update

I’m happy to report that I’ve been finding the time again to do some editing on The Gilded Empire. I’m also happy to report that the editing process is going very well.

I will not hit my initial deadline for the end of April, but I’m confident I can have it ready sometime during the month of May.

I’m really excited about this book because I feel it’s the best in the series so far. Empire of Chains started out as a pretty traditional fantasy. The Shadowed Land threw a few new wrinkles into that more traditional setup. The Gilded Empire takes the series in strange and unexpected directions, and it includes some of my favorite scenes in the entire series.

If you haven’t read Empire of Chains yet, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s only $0.99, or you can read it for free with Kindle Unlimited. I still expect to have the entire series released by the end of the summer, so it’s the perfect time to jump in.

An Update on The Gilded Empire

I know I’ve been quiet around here lately. That’s because life has become very busy. It’s been a tough semester in my electrical engineering courses, so I haven’t been finding as much time to write (especially here on this blog).

Because of this, I’m going to have to push back my tentative deadline for The Gilded Empire. I had hoped to have it out by the end of April, but I’ve had very little time and energy to edit it recently. It’s in pretty good shape overall, but there are still a few rough sections, and I don’t want to publish it until I feel it’s ready.

That probably means a delay of a month or so. As I said, I’m pretty close. I just need a little more time.

After that, I still hope to have The Winds of Time edited and published by the end of July. Again, this is subject to change, and it doesn’t bother me too much if I’m a little behind my self-imposed deadlines. It may be tough with The Winds of Time because it’s the longest book in the series.

This is mostly me reassuring you, the reader, that I am still working on these projects. With only one summer course, I should be able to get The Gilded Empire into shape by the end of May.

My next two releases after I finish World in Chains will be the second and third books of my Sunweaver trilogy. Tentatively, I expect to release those by the end of October and January, respectively. After that, it will be The God War’s Chosen, most likely next spring. I’ve already written the first two books, and I’m writing the third at the moment.

After that, I have no idea what my path is. I have a lot of ideas vying for my attention.

Cover Reveal: Watersong

I’m excited today to reveal the cover for the first book in a future trilogy titled The God War’s Chosen. The book is Watersong, and it’s an epic gunpowder fantasy primarily set in a tropical island nation.

Thanks to the talented people of Deranged Doctor Design, I have a great cover for the first book of the trilogy. The next two covers should be finalized over the next month. It will probably be a year or so before the first book is published, but there’s nothing like getting people excited early.

Without further ado, here’s the cover:

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Celebrating Fantasy: The Chosen One

This may be a controversial view, but I enjoy “Chosen One” stories. A lot of them are cliched, yes, but when you run across a great one, it can be a very rewarding reading experience. It’s all a matter of how the author executes it.

A sufficiently talented author knows how to write this kind of story without losing the tension. The big thing it comes down to is making any prophecies open-ended. Don’t have the prophecy spell out everything that’s going to happen. Don’t tell us that the Chosen One is going to succeed. That takes all the suspense out of the story.

One of my best examples for this is the Harry Potter series.

SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE SERIES YET.

 

Rowling handles the Chosen One trope very well in my opinion. For one thing, you don’t find out until the fifth book that Harry is the Chosen One. Even then, the prophecy you’re given is open-ended. Harry can defeat Voldemort. There’s no guarantee that he will.

Instead of taking away tension, this introduces more tension. Now you know that Harry is the world’s best chance of defeating Voldemort, but you don’t know that he’ll succeed. As the reader, you feel the pressure Harry feels as he struggles to find a way to defeat Voldemort. It’s an unimaginable amount of pressure.

This works even better because the prophecy is not his sole motivation. At this point, he’s suffered so much because of Voldemort, and he’s taken it upon himself to defeat Voldemort regardless of the prophecy. And that’s the beauty of a well-done Chosen One story. The hero is not doing things solely because prophecy says they should. The prophecy is just one piece of what motivates them.

 

Similarly, you can look at The Wheel of Time for a Chosen One story done very well. In this case, Robert Jordan accomplishes it through the creation of a deep and complex world and throwing a great deal of ambiguity into the prophecy and the outcome of the final battle. Even if you think Rand will defeat the Dark One at the end, you don’t know how it’s going to happen, or if Rand will survive the battle.

Then there are all the other characters. These prophecies say nothing about what they’re supposed to do. By having a cast of so many characters you care about, it takes a lot of focus away from the direct Chosen One/prophecy narrative. It’s a story of a prophecy, but it’s also a story of all these other characters connected to the prophecy, some more directly than others. And that makes it very enjoyable (despite a bit of a slog through the middle portion of the series).

 

There are countless other examples, but these are two of the most prominent that come to mind. I’m not going to talk much about the Belgariad, for example, because I don’t think Eddings handled the prophecy aspect of the story quite as well. It’s a fun, light read, but I never felt any doubt about the final outcome.

What about you? What are some of your favorite Chosen One stories?

A Slight Change in Plans

I’ve decided to make a small change with my editing process and publishing schedule.

First, I’ll address the editing process. I’m currently hard at work revising The Gilded Empire, book 3 of World in Chains. I’m not sure when I’ll finish editing it, but I still think I can get it out there this spring. That may be delayed, however, because of the changes I’m making. Instead of revising just book 3, I’m also going to do some work on book 4 before, The Winds of Time, before releasing The Gilded Empire.

I don’t anticipate this taking that long. It’s mostly to refresh myself on all the craziness that happens in the fourth book before finishing up my edits of the third. This is necessary so that I deliver two books that don’t contradict one another. I did veer a bit away from my original plan in the fourth book, and I need to make sure those changes are reflected in the third.

I may end up doing something similar with the second and third books of Sunweaver. It’s one of the dangers of writing more by the seat of your pants. You can come up with some amazing twists you’d never think of while outlining, but it can make things a bit messy when it comes time to revise. That’s why I prefer writing an entire series before publishing any of it. I’m hoping I can get better at planning, though.

 

Now, on to the publishing schedule. I think it’s a better idea to publish the final two books of World in Chains before returning to the second and third books of Sunweaver. Part of this is my desire to get a finished series out there. Another part is that the worlds of World in Chains and Sunweaver are loosely connected. Anyone who’s finished The Shadowed Land and read Sunweaver might have noticed this.

The second book of Sunweaver does contain very minor spoilers for the ending of my World in Chains series. I don’t think this would result in anyone enjoying the ending of World in Chains any less, but I know some readers don’t like anything to be spoiled.

Personally, I think it can be enjoyable either way. If you read book 2 of Sunweaver, you’ll know that a certain character from World in Chains has survived the events of the series, but you won’t know how. So it’s a matter of which you’d prefer as a reader. Do you want to worry for the life of this character, or are you okay figuring out the mystery of how they end up in a completely different world?

In the end, I don’t think it’s a problem to read the series in whatever order you wish. I just thought I’d get the information out there and update everyone on why I’m changing my publishing schedule a little bit.

Based on these changes, I’d expect The Gilded Empire around April and The Winds of Time around July. After that, Fireweaver will probably come out around October and Sunlord near the beginning of 2019.

I may be able to speed up this schedule, but even these dates are tentative. There are a lot of other things on my plate between work and school and family commitments, and I can make no promises.

Thanks again for reading. If you want to be the first to know about new releases, you can sign up for my mailing list at the top right of the sidebar.