About Ryan Mueller

I'm an author of epic fantasy. I like to take the classic themes of epic and high fantasy and add a few modern twists. My influences include Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and many others. I'm also an author of middle grade and young adult fantasy. My influences here include J.K. Rowling, Brandon Mull, and Rick Riordan. Magic features heavily in my stories, and I prefer to have my main characters on the good side of the morality spectrum. That's not to say they don't have flaws, just that I'm a little weary of the Grimdark movement in fantasy. My stories can get dark at times, but I still inject optimism and human decency into them. I may also try science fiction at some point. Pretty much, I love anything under the speculative fiction umbrella (for any age category).

My Current Writing Status

Right now, I’m still working on the final book of a trilogy set in the distant past of the World in Chains world. I’m about 30,000 words in, and I anticipate the book coming out at roughly 100,000 words. I also have a few other projects that I’m writing as side projects for when I get stuck on the primary project. Ideally, I’d like to move to a writing model where I always have multiple stories I’m drafting at once.

On the revision front, I’ve completed all revisions for Empire of Chains, The Shadowed Land, and The Gilded Empire to create “Enhanced Editions” of the books. I’m currently a little over 20% through the new revision of The Winds of Time. I have finished the proofread of Empire of Chains, and I’m almost finished with the proofread of The Shadowed Land. Once I’ve completed revisions and proofreads for all four books, I will republish them with the new versions.

Technically, I’ve already republished Empire of Chains, but I’m not really going to promote it much until the entire series is ready. At that time, I will update all four books, as well as the four-book boxset. As of now, only Empire of Chains is available in paperback form, but I do intend to get paperbacks for the other three books in the series.

After I finish with the enhanced editions for World in Chains, I will work on creating enhanced editions of the first two books in my Sunweaver trilogy, and then finally publishing Sunlord, the final book in the trilogy. It has been almost three years since I’ve published anything.

After the Sunweaver trilogy is published, I will turn my attention to The God War’s Chosen trilogy and the Essence Warrior trilogy. Both are completely drafted but largely untouched since I wrote them.

In the meantime, I have big plans for my whole fantasy multiverse. I’ve laid out a timeline for all the series I’m setting in the four worlds you’ll visit in World in Chains, Sunweaver, The God War’s Chosen, and Essence Warrior. These four worlds are all part of one particular sector of the universe with a common mythology and a lot of interconnections. Think of it as sort of like Sanderson’s Cosmere but with the interconnections being a bit more obvious.

That being said, every series stands alone. While they tell a long and interconnected history of this sector of the universe, they all feature their own main characters. You will see a lot of characters appearing multiple times. Inevitably, whatever order you choose to read my books in, there will be minor spoilers. At the same time, though, I leave enough to the imagination that there’s room to enjoy the stories no matter what order you read them in.

As always, thanks for reading.

A Complete First Draft and Revision Progress

Yesterday, I finished the second book of the series I’m currently drafting. I anticipate one more book in the series. I think this climax was one of my most epic I’ve written so far. It’s going to be a while before this series sees the light of day, thanks to my huge backlog of books I need to revise.

On that front, I’m making good progress on the enhanced editions of my World in Chains book. I’m halfway through the third book. The first book did have a few changes to the story, but nothing that will leave you lost if you’ve already read it. The rest of the series is getting more of a cosmetic fix than anything, though there will be a few changes to some of the background details about the world to fit better with the fantasy multiverse I’ve developed.

Again, none of these details will be major issues that affect the core premise and story. They’re my way of making the story shine the brightest it can.

Once I finish with World in Chains, I plan to give the same treatment to the first two books of my Sunweaver trilogy, and then I will revise the third book and finally release it. I feel bad that it has been almost three years since I’ve released a book, but these last three years have been tough for all of us, so I’m trying my best to be patient and understanding with myself.

I’m glad that I’ve rediscovered the passion I feel for writing.

As always, thanks for reading.

Progress is good

I’m making steady progress on the Enhanced Editions of my World in Chains books. I’m already done with the first two books and moving through the third. Thankfully, the later books in the series won’t take me as long as the first did.

After that, I intend to move on to my Sunweaver books. The first two books will receive Enhanced Editions as well, and then I can get on to revising Sunlord and finally releasing it (only three years since the previous book).

After that, my plan is to move on to my next two completed trilogies: The God War’s Chosen and Essence Warrior. All the while, I’ll be writing as well.

A Long Overdue Update

It has been almost two years since I’ve posted on here. Some people, like Brandon Sanderson, might use the stress of the pandemic to become more productive as writers. Until late last year, I was the complete opposite

Between the stress of the pandemic, the insanity of politics, and still coming to terms with a new career and the loss of my dad, I struggled to write. The mere thought of sitting down to write (or edit) exhausted me. This cut into a lot of my plans.

I haven’t released a book in almost three years. I never thought that would happen to me. When I’m writing, I’m a fairly fast writer. But I also struggle with mental illness, and this period of time has been tough for me, as it has for many people.

When I last provided an update, I was working on a major revision to Empire of Chains. I hate to say it, but I’m still working on it. It is just about done. At this point, it just needs a proofread. I’m also working on the other books in the series, and my plan is to update the books and jump into marketing them once I have them all ready. I may also run through my Sunweaver series first as well. I’ve grown as a writer in many ways, and while I’m still proud of the books I’ve put out, I want to see them shine the way they deserve to.

If you have read all or part of either series, don’t worry that you’re missing out on something if you don’t read the enhanced editions, as I’ve come to call them. The core details of the world, plot, and characters remain the same. Most of the changes revolve around making the existing scenes more exciting for the reader, along with a few background worldbuilding details to make sure I have consistency between all the books I’ve written. So far, every series I’ve written is set within the same fantasy multiverse. As I’ve gone along, I’ve made tweaks here and there, so I’m updating my currently published books to make sure they’re more in line with everything I’ve established in this multiverse.

So, what are my plans for the near future?

First, I intend to finish the enhanced editions of all the World in Chains and Sunweaver books that I’ve released. Then I will release Sunlord, the final book of the Sunweaver trilogy.

After that, my plan is to edit and revise my third series, The God War’s Chosen. I’ve already written all three books.

Following that, I will turn to my fourth series, Essence Warrior. Again, I’ve already written all three books. I just need to revise them.

My fifth series, which I’ve tentatively titled War of the Ancients, is set in the distant past of World in Chains. I am currently in the process of drafting the second book in a likely trilogy.

I also have a couple other series I’ve made a start on, but it’s probably going to be a while before I pursue them as more than secondary projects when I feel stuck on my primary project. One of them is set in the same fantasy multiverse as my other series, while the other is separate.

In the end, I have something like thirty books tentatively planned as of now, so I have no intention of abandoning this whole writing thing. Thankfully, I’ve gotten my mental health to a place where I can write again. Writing is also great for my mental health. I guess you could say it’s a virtuous circle.

Here’s hoping I don’t take almost two years before my next post.

As always, thank you for reading.

The new revision for Empire of Chains is going well.

I’m currently a few chapters into my major revision of Empire of Chains, and I’m enjoying the process. It’s been fun to revisit these characters and take the opportunity to make an even better book for readers.

This new version will be even more action-packed than the original, and I do love writing action scenes. I’m also really excited to get to the reworked ending I have in mind. Thankfully, it won’t result in major changes for the rest of the series. It’s more a way of making the ending even more exciting.

I’ve learned so much about myself as a writer in the last few years, and I’m eager to take all those new lessons and use them to make my first book something I can feel even more proud of.

So far, I wish the revisions were going a bit faster, but that should come in time.

Another update on my plans

So it has definitely been an interesting time for me as a writer. My new engineering job has required me to do quite a bit of typing, so sometimes I’m worried that I’ll start getting strain in my hands and wrists. So far, that hasn’t happened, but it makes me nervous. I’ve also run into the fun of working from home. My engineering workstation and my writing workstation are in the same place, and it can be difficult to switch gears.

That being said, I’m starting to figure out where I want to go with things moving forward. I’ve recently begun a complete rewrite of Empire of Chains, my first published novel. The rest of the series will see a few changes as well, and I intend to re-release all the books at some point, though that could be quite a while at this point in time.

I’m excited for the prospect of a relaunch because I feel like I’m in a much better position now to do it right, both in terms of my abilities as a writer and my experience and resources for marketing.

I’m considering a relaunch for my Sunweaver trilogy as well. The first two books would see a fair amount of changes, and I’d wait to get them ready before publishing all three books.

For both of these series, when they are ready, I’ll probably do a rapid release schedule (something like every fifteen days).

I also have two more trilogies I need to revise.

I’m not sure what new material I’m going to write next, but if I can’t think of anything, I have plenty to keep me busy.

My Current Plans

Right now, I’m in one of those phases as a writer when there’s a lot of uncertainty over what I should be doing.

I’m most of the way through the final book of my Essence Warrior trilogy (it was going to be a longer series, but it feels right as a trilogy), so I definitely intend to finish that in the coming weeks (hopefully).

I also need to edit Sunlord, the final book of my Sunweaver trilogy. I released Fireweaver almost a year ago, and I haven’t released anything since. Obviously, it was a tough year for me with my dad dying and a retail job that was draining all the energy out of me. But now I’ve had almost a year to (mostly) come to terms with my dad’s death, and I’ve started a new engineering job that doesn’t drain me anywhere near as much.

Beyond that, I’d also like to get started on revising and editing Watersong, the first book of another trilogy I’ve written: The God War’s Chosen.

And then there’s the project I keep debating. Over the last few years, I feel I’ve grown immensely as an author, and reader feedback on my World in Chains series has told me that there’s a big jump in writing quality between the first book and the rest of the series, so now I’m strongly considering rewriting the first book so that the writing is more even and more in line with the writer I’ve become.

After all that, there’s the age-old question of what I should write next. Right now, I have no idea. Well, that’s not really true. I have a lot of ideas. I’m just not sure which one to pick.

As always, thanks for reading.

Considering big changes

My writing journey over the last few years has been very much up and down. It was a great feeling to publish my first book, and then a few more after that. But it has also been a struggle looking at meager sales and mixed reviews. In retrospect, there are a lot of things I would change if I could do it all over again.

When I first decided to put all my series in a shared world, it seemed like a great idea. I love Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere after all. But as I’ve written, I’ve realized that I’ve allowed things to become too complex. This is mostly due to the fact that I’ve written most of my books with very little planning.

That’s the biggest thing I think I need to change. No doubt it’s fun to write by the seat of your pants, but I think it is holding me back (both in terms of quality and quantity). I’ve always been more of a big picture person, so this approach has run counter to my nature. I’m focusing on the immediate scene I’m writing instead of keeping the bigger picture in mind. Too often, when I don’t know what comes next, I just throw in a random action scene. While action scenes are fun, I think I need to remember that there’s a lot more to crafting a good story than writing whatever fun action scene comes to mind in the moment.

Overall, I still like what I’ve written, but it’s hard to look at it and not see the same flaws readers are pointing out to me. A lot of these flaws come from impatience. I didn’t want to sit down and plot out the story. I didn’t want to spend time making sure my characters were more fleshed out. I wanted to get to the good stuff. That might have worked for me because I knew the worlds and the characters so well, but it’s clearly not working for some readers, and that’s what really matters.

So now I’m caught in a place where I’m trying to figure out the best way to approach the rest of my writing career. Thankfully, I am now in a place with my day job situation where I no longer feel any pressure to look at writing as a significant source of income. This is giving me the chance to take a step back and evaluate where I really want to take things. There’s a part of me that wants to take the books I already have out and rework them with my new approach.

There’s also a part of me worried that I’m just experiencing a period of doubt. I do think it would probably be best for me to step back from the project I’m working on right now because it’s exhibiting all the elements of my writing that I’m finding problematic. I still love it, but I just don’t think it’s where it needs to be for me to take the next step with my writing career.

One of the big things I’m considering is relaunching my career under a pen name. I would probably just go by initials. If I did go this route, I would likely relaunch all the books I’ve already published, with significant changes (likely complete rewrites). It sounds like a daunting task, but if my new approach of greater planning allows me to write faster, it won’t be as much of an issue as I expect.

Regardless, I do think I’m going to start planning some new series to work on. I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head, and some planning would help me get them to a place where I can write them. I just need to remember to be patient with myself at first. I won’t be able to write the stories immediately, but once I do write them, all the planning I’m doing will make the writing go much more smoothly.

A new year, a new chance to get things rolling

I won’t lie. 2019 was possibly the toughest year I’ve ever been through. After my dad’s death in April, it felt like the rest of the year was a complete loss. I wrote maybe once or twice a month on average. I didn’t edit anything. My most recent published book was all the way back in May. This is not at all the way I envisioned the year going, but sometimes life gets in the way, and you have to take care of yourself.

Depression hit me really hard all year. My job in retail got to the point that it was sucking out whatever joy I still had life. Every day felt like a great ordeal, and there were so many times I just wanted to stay in bed all day. Even when I got out of bed (on the rare days I didn’t have to work), I rarely had the energy to do anything productive. I watched Youtube videos for hours on end because that was all I had the energy to do.

In many ways, I feel like I lost contact with who I am and what I enjoy. I stopped writing. I stopped reading. I did still play some of the games I enjoy, but that was about it. Everything in life was crushing me mentally and emotionally.

But 2020 is a new year. Due to getting sick, I’ve had my first break from work in a few months, and even though I’ve been sick, I’ve begun to feel more energy to do the things I enjoy. I also got some great news today from a company I applied to for an engineering job. I’ve now accepted an offer to work there, and assuming everything goes all right with background checks and such, I will finally be working in my field.

Sure, it will be a full-time job, but it will be in a field I enjoy. In fact, it’s the part of the field I enjoyed the most in school. I feel like it’s the perfect job for me, and perhaps that’s why I got so many rejections before. It was so that I’d get the right job.

The mere thought that I won’t be trapped in retail for eternity feels like a giant burden removed. Similarly, my salary will be six times higher than what I was making. With that kind of financial security, I can stop stressing so much about money. That stress won’t be gone, but it will be much easier knowing I can actually save some money.

That brings me back to writing. I’ve written each of the last two days (about 700 words yesterday and about 1,000 today). These aren’t huge days, but it’s something, and that’s my goal for this year. I want to write at least a little bit almost every day. I’m not going to hold myself to a word count goal or a goal of writing every day. I’ve tried both in the past, and they make me resent writing. Instead, I’m just going to write and see how far my mind takes me. I may have days when I write only one sentence, but it’s still a sentence. It still means I’m not going months without writing anything.

I don’t know if I can keep this up, but I feel like this is the best chance I have. The new year gives me an opportunity for a fresh start, both in writing and in the rest of my life.

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted any updates here. The last few months have hit me with some of the worst depression I’ve ever suffered, at least since going on medication. For a while, I thought I was handling my dad’s death, but it apparently just took time for the loss to really hit me.

Today is the first day in a long time that I’ve felt there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve managed a little writing, and that felt good.

Right now, I think I have to take things in baby steps. If I force myself to write, it won’t end well. But maybe I can get back to it because it’s one of the things that helps me deal with all my struggles.