Monday, July 8, 2013

A new series

So what should I write next?

I know there are plenty of people who want to see a second series involving Martil, Karia and Merren from The Dragon Sword Histories. Their journey had taken them to a certain point but there were still unanswered questions, especially around Barrett, the magician.

If I did write that series, I hope the first book’s title would be The Bitter Mage.

But I am not ready to write that one yet. Maybe next time …

For this new series, I am tossing up a couple of ideas. There’s two ways I can go.

I would really appreciate some feedback on this – after all, you are the ones that I hope will be looking forward to reading them!

Ultimately, of course, I will be guided by what HarperCollins is interested in!

The first series feels like two books, but if I dig deeper into the planning, it may well come out to be a trilogy.

Loosely – very loosely – based on the Japanese tale of The 47 Warriors, it asks the question of just what is a man prepared to do, how far will he take revenge. And is honour, and revenge, more important than family? When the two collide, what will win out?

This series will take you to the land of Nippon, where the Elfarans first landed and thrived, then took ship from to arrive in Vales.

When a man’s friend and lord is betrayed and killed, a lord he swore an oath to protect with his life, he must go to extreme lengths to gain revenge and expose the evil festering in the land of Nippon. But what if it costs him his family. What if he has to give up everything he is, everything he loves to fulfil his oath …

The second series – and one that I have been thinking about for a while – is definitely a trilogy.

You may well be aware that I like to take a fantasy cliché on and twist it around, send it up slightly. The first series was a gentle send-up of the whole magic sword cliché. Empire Of Bones sends up the elves in fantasy cliché.

This series would have a little play with the whole supernatural creatures trope.

People are disappearing. Boats return empty, even whole villages are vanishing. The King and the Church are claiming it must be demons or something equally sinister. But one man believes there is a far more human explanation.

And when his wife is one of the ones taken, he starts a journey that will tear down a kingdom and expose a foulness buried deep in his land that is darker and more revolting than the Church’s claims of a plague of demons.

But a revolution will be merely the beginning of his troubles …

Let me know what you think!

FInishing Empire Of Bones

Writing those lovely words: The End, to finish off my Empire Of Bones series was an incredible feeling.

But there were mixed emotions.

Of course I was delighted, and relieved, and proud of finishing a series that has sold so well, received so many glowing reviews and has occupied my thoughts for nearly four years now.

According to the Microsoft Word stats, I spent a total of 104,513 minutes working on Wall Of Spears. That’s more than 1741 hours, or about 72 days straight.

And that was the book that took me the least amount of time, with the least number of rewrites of the three!

Altogether it is a frightening total, and does not include the time spent reading hard copy printouts, either, nor thinking time. That is purely fingers-to-keyboard minutes.
And while it's now sitting in HarperCollins' hands, it's not quite finished yet. There is still the production process to go through.
The publisher might suggest some tweaks, as will the copy editor, while the proof readers are sure to find something.
Still, finishing it to that level was very satisfying.

But I was a little sad, as well. These are characters I know well and it is sad to be saying goodbye to them, even though their journey is over and they are in a better place than when they started (except for the dead ones, obviously …!)

It is time to start thinking about the next journey to take.

And it is not a decision to be taken lightly. This last series took three years of my life. I expect any new series to occupy a similar time frame – or perhaps longer.

More on that shortly.