An Update

I know it’s been a month since I’ve written anything here. It has been very hard getting through the last month since my dad’s death. I have only written sporadically. There have been so many other things on my mind as well. I just graduated with my electrical engineering degree, and I’m in the middle of the job hunt.

As such, this poor blog has been sadly neglected. I’m hoping I can change that. With every day that passes, my world gets a little closer to being normal. It’s nowhere near normal yet, but it’s better than it was.

Right now, I’m about halfway through the first draft of the second book of a series I’ve titled The Dark Essence War. I was very happy with how the first book turned out, and I’m enjoying writing this one so far (when I actually have the time and energy to write).

I need to get back to editing Sunlord, the final book of the Sunweaver trilogy, so that I can get that complete trilogy out and move on to my next book.

That would be Watersong, the first book of The God War’s Chosen. I feel like it just might be the strongest series I’ve written so far. The Dark Essence War could top it, but it’s not complete yet.

That’s one of the fun things about being a writer. With every project, you find yourself more and more as a writer, and you grow, often in unexpected ways. At times, I look back on Empire of Chains, my first published book, and realize just how much I’ve grown as a writer in the last few years.

Right now, I’m trying not to have anything set in stone as far as deadlines go. I’m still processing the grief from my father’s death, and I don’t want to push myself too hard until I’m sure I can handle it emotionally.

As always, thank you for reading, and if you’re looking to try out some of my work, Sunweaver and Empire of Chains are both available for only $0.99 (or free with Kindle Unlimited).

Empire of Chains

Sunweaver

And if you enjoy any of my books, please do take the time to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Heck, even if you don’t enjoy it, I guess you can leave a review anyway (though I won’t be quite as happy about it).

Writing, Depression, and Being Realistic

I know I’ve been rather quiet around here lately. That’s both for good reasons and some perhaps not-so-good reasons. On the good end, May was a productive writing month for me. On the bad end, depression has reared its ugly head once again.

Depression has been a hot topic on the internet in recent days, after the suicides of some high-profile people. It has always been a major part of everything I do. I’ve struggled with depression since the age of ten (so that’s 18 years at this point).

In my case, I struggle specifically with bipolar disorder. It’s predominantly depressive in my case, and the manic side is well-controlled on medication (better-controlled than the depressive side at any rate). Because of these struggles, I am not always as productive as I’d like to be.

To those who are following me, you’ve seen that I’ve been keeping a pretty rapid release schedule, releasing a book every three or four months. So far, I’ve been able to keep that schedule, but I’m starting to feel stressed about meeting these self-imposed deadlines.

And that’s how I’ve realized I’m going about this the wrong way. Writing has always been an escape for me. Since I began self-publishing, though, it has turned into yet another thing to cause me stress. That’s not what I want out of my writing career going forward. I need to find a balance. Some days, I simply don’t have it in me to write or edit. Trying to keep a consistent writing habit makes it feel like a chore rather than something I enjoy doing. If writing becomes like a chore, I’ll lose my will to keep doing it.

So I’m going to be dialing back my efforts. Some people can handle the rapid-release treadmill. I’m not one of them. I have my limitations, and I’ve recognized that. I’m no longer going to beat myself up because I’m not being as productive as I want.

We can all be our own worst critics, and that’s even more the case for those of us who struggle with depression. And we need to call it what it is. It is abuse. If I said the same things about someone else that I said about myself, it would be emotional abuse. And I’d never do that to someone else, so why should I do it to myself?

In the end, life is about finding as much happiness as you can no matter what obstacles are thrown at you. Focusing so much on my self-publishing career has been a rewarding experience in many ways, but it has also driven me crazy at times.

Once, I thought that embarking on a writing career would make everything feel better, but even if you’re doing what you love (if only part-time), you can still struggle with depression, and sometimes that thing you love simply makes it worse. I have to do what’s best for me, and what will ultimately be best for my readers. At the rate I’ve been going, I’ve been on the edge of burning out, and there’s no telling whether I would come back from that.

So, if it takes me six months to release a book instead of three, or if it even takes longer, that’s not the end of the world. I have to find the right balance. I hope you all can be patient with me. I’ll try to be better about keeping everyone updated. Thanks for reading.

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.

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:

2017-1192 Ryan W Mueller b01

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.

I’ve finished the proofread of Sunweaver!

,I can now say with great pleasure that I will soon unleash another book upon the world. Tonight, I finished the proofread of Sunweaver, the first book in a new epic fantasy trilogy. This book has been with me for a few years now. In fact, I wrote most of it way back in 2014. Needless to say, it has been through many revisions to become what it is now.

The best news is that I’ve also written the other two books in the trilogy. That means the wait should not be long before you can read the entire trilogy.

I’m not abandoning my World in Chains series either. I will continue working on the third and fourth books in the series. I’ve written them, but they haven’t seen extensive revisions and editing just yet. The third book of World in Chains should be my next release. Look for it sometime in the spring.

Now, back to Sunweaver…

The coverĀ  I got for this one is absolutely stunning, thanks to the great artists at Deranged Doctor Design.

2017-923 Ryan Mueller b01

The pre-order should be up on Amazon shortly. Once again, I am also enrolling the book in Kindle Unlimited, so if you have a subscription, you can read it for free.

It’s scheduled to release on January 11th. I hope you enjoy it. I know I’ve enjoyed writing it.

 

I’ve finished the first draft of Godchild.

I finally finished the first draft of Godchild, the second book of The God War’s Chosen, which I expect to be a trilogy. I really don’t think I’ll have enough material left for two more books. I may end up with a slightly longer book, but I’m okay with that. The first two books in the series are relatively short for epic fantasies.

I’ve been working on this first draft on and off since June of 2017. Normally, I like to do the initial drafting process in a month or two. Six plus months is much longer than I like. Obviously, I had other distractions. I wasn’t even close to writing every day.

But it’s done, and that’s all that matters. I’ll probably take a short break from drafting now and turn my focus to getting Sunweaver ready for publication. It’s the first in a trilogy, so I want to make sure it’s the best it can be. It’s very close, and I anticipate releasing it before the end of the month.

As for The God War’s Chosen, I suppose I should describe this series a bit. It’s a gunpowder fantasy with a lot of magic. The gunpowder aspects show up a lot in the first book, and while they’re still there in the second, the magic starts to play a much more central role.

The two primary settings for the first book, Watersong, are a tropical island nation and a desert nation. These are very much a departure from what I’ve written previously, and that’s a good thing. When you get into the second book, you’ll start to see how this series is connected loosely to both World in Chains and Sunweaver.

Like Brandon Sanderson, I have an entire universe in which I write my stories. They are all connected to some degree, but I will always strive to write each series so that you can read it without reading anything else. I don’t want to intimidate readers with some crazy reading order. I may give a recommended reading order at some point (once I have more books out), but it is not necessary to read any one series before another.

Some of my future series may not be as strongly connected as my first three. I don’t want to risk getting repetitive with some of the story elements.

Also, as I stated in my last post, I have not yet determined what series I’ll write after I finish The God War’s Chosen. It may be something set in a new world, or I may finally pull enough ideas together to write sequel and prequel series in the same world as World in Chains.

As always, thanks for reading. If you have Kindle Unlimited and want to give Empire of Chains a chance, it’s free with your subscription. Even if you don’t have KU, the price is only $0.99. And if you enjoy it, please do sign up for my mailing list so that you’ll be the first to know about new releases and sales. There are links for both the mailing list and my books over in the sidebar on the right side of the website.