October 27th 2019 Update

Queen’s Move is coming along nicely, and I currently have about 25,000 words done on it! While holidays could interfere, I’m fairly confident I’ll finish the first couple of drafts before the end of the year. I also have been working steadily on Webs & Wards, and might finish the rough draft by the end of November, though I’m not holding my breath on that.

I’ve also been asked about whether or not I’ll continue several stories in comments here and on Patreon, so I think I’ll reply here. First off, I do have plans to continue Through the Fire, but I’m not certain when that will happen yet. While I love the story of Ruethwyn and her friends, at present it’s the least successful of my series, so it’s a little farther down the queue due to that. I’m sure a few people have missed that Queen’s Move is book 3 of Lilith’s Shadow, so I’ll just mention that here, and I intend to write book 4 immediately afterward.

Broken Chains came up as well, along with a short story I shared on my Newsletter last year, named Second Contact (previously Angelic Ruins, until I realized that it was rather close to Ancient Ruins). I have a rather large extension of Broken Chains written, but I felt that sharing it when it didn’t have a reasonable stopping point like the short story did wouldn’t be for the best. I would like to continue it, but there’s only so many hours I can write a day without burning out. Second Contact is a concept I love (super-brief description: Elves, magic, and space-angels with plasma cannons.), but unlike the other stories I don’t have a solid destination for a series. Some vague ideas, but no more.

I’m not going to comment directly on extending Ancient Dreams after Crisis of Faith, except to say it could happen, but there’d likely be a time-skip of sorts. The book isn’t out yet, after all! Mantles of Power… I originally intended to finish the series where it is, to be honest, but I realized that it was something I could expand upon eventually. I have no current plans for that, but it’s possible.

However, all of that (except for the next books of Lilith’s Shadow, 3-6) is subject to change. If you readers particularly like something and want to see more of it, let me know! Leave reviews, because that’s one of the things I look at when gauging the popularity of a series. I honestly get communications from maybe ten to twelve readers with any regularity (including my Discord server!), and most of the time only a handful of them a week, so I’m guessing on what all of you might like, among my dozens of ideas that I’d like to write.

I’m very open to chatting with people or hearing what you’d like. One of the things I’ve told myself is that I want to be approachable as an author. So if you want to contact me, feel free!

27 thoughts on “October 27th 2019 Update

  1. The closest I’ve come are the lamia-style characters, like the one in Heaven’s Fallen. There’re serpentfolk that’re similar in most of my series… but as major characters, I’m just not fond of ‘taurs.

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  2. I honestly prefer more humanoid species, at least for major characters. I wouldn’t find the idea of something like a gnoll terribly attractive, where something like catgirls or kitsune are something I can deal with more readily. If they aren’t a major character, I can handle some of them. The biggest problem with ‘taurs is space for them. Incidentally, one is in Webs & Wards, in a peripheral manner.

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  3. Okay, I could see that. And two things, first is what the fuck is a cat girl? And secondly, I personally find Gnolls cool, but the people who had drawn the gnoll race originally in D&D did not know what a hyena looked like at all. Kinda activated my Autism cause they were described as Hyena humanoids but their heads more looked like wolves.

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  4. I enjoy all of your series, but in all fairness Have reread Ruethwyn’s trilogy the most. I started with Ancient ruins and have enjoyed each series, (especially Sting and Song). Hopefully you can keep up a steadyish pace without burning out!

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  5. Keeping up a decent pace without burning out /is/ my goal for certain! But I’ll certainly keep your feedback in mind!

    I’m also looking at doing an Omnibus for both Mantles of Power and Through the Fire, though I may shuffle some of the early chapters of Through the Fire to a short story in the back, to start with the dragon attack. I think it’s a better hook for new people reading the book.

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  6. Ghostly, cat girls are from anime, essentially a human with cat ears, often a tail, sometimes the eyes or fangs, and things like that. Similar to the kitsune in Through the Fire, really… they’re a /huge/ thing in the anime community.

    And yeah… I’d be a terrible artist. I have several pieces to prove it.

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  7. Not at all. While I like the Star Wars universe well enough, I find working in someone else’s universe oddly confining, and prefer to make something of my own. I realized that way back when I got into the top 32 of an RPG contest, and screwed up my entry because I didn’t see something similar already existed (I used the wrong search terms).

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  8. Ah okay.I could see that, and my apologies on the game. I was just curious because I thought about it but I can’t even begin to understand the different time lines in it. It is a massive universe.😂

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  9. I wouldn’t say it’s worth apologizing about the game! It was my own fault, if anyone’s. I flubbed it, and I honestly think it was for the best.

    Star Wars… well, it’s a mess. They had a guy whose full-time job was to keep track of the different levels of canon, and what was going on with them, and I can’t imagine how hard it was. While I liked reading the books, I couldn’t keep track of what happened when, really. And then they reset all of it.

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  10. I have read all of your series and I’m really looking forward to the next few books of Lilith’s Shadow. I’m also a big fan of Ruethwyn so I’ll wait patiently until you get the chance to follow up with her. Keep up the excellent writing.

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  11. Sorry in advance for the long and ranting post! Please note that this just my opinion based on my personal preferences; I’m not going to say that one book is “better” than another, just which ones I liked most.

    While I do buy most of your books at release, I tend to wait for the Audiobook versions to come out to read / listen to your stories. You are the only author I love that makes audio book versions; so while I read more than I listen in general, your audio books are the most interesting ones to me by a significant. This means I tend to pace myself listening to them, despite (or because) they are amazing, as to not run out… So I have a few books not listened to / read yet, so I can’t comment on those quite yet. It also means I have no real idea on how to write character names out, so apologies for that!

    Here’s my list from favorite from least favorite so far:

    1) Mantle of Power: I’m still in volume 1 (1 hour left, out of 13), but I’m extremely happy with the first volume. Characters are neat, the story is interesting, the pacing is good… It’s outstanding on the whole. My one single sort-of complaint is that Aesala feels kind of useless: I know she’s very much outside her element, but I don’t recall a single situation where she gave advice, suggested an improvement to a plan, show much initiative, etc. I had some problems thinking as her as a competent and experienced warrior due to this. Rose felt believable after she was “saved” from the spire (and is probably my favorite) but Aesala not so much. That’s only a minor “problem” of course and it might very well change by the end of the series. Anyway, if the other two volumes are as good as this one, Mantle of Power is going to be some of my favorite books of all time.

    2) Ancient Dreams: I’d say this series had the best villains out of anything I’ve ever read in my life. Kelvanis is pretty much the first evil nation that feels actually believable. Besides the archon, they didn’t kill their own subordinates for minor failings (and even rewarded those involved in failures if it wasn’t their fault), they had their own on-going plans that sometime failed and sometime succeeded independently of the heroes, they weren’t overwhelmingly powerful and still had to do diplomacy with other neutral nations, etc. The Kelvanis – Elven Nation war is probably my favorite out of any fantasy story.

    I can’t say I was a big fan of the guild or dungeon party expeditions: to me it kind of got in the way of the stuff I adored from the book and sometime it was a bit scattered (All your newer books are a lot more “focused” on the main aspects, though). Still, overall I LOVED Ancient Dreams, to the point of strongly considering buying the physical Omnibus version, despite not really buying physical books anymore and owning both the audio and digital copy of each book… Also have the new book preordered and I doubt I can stop myself until the audiobook version to dive into it.

    3) Through the Fire: I’m at two books listened out of three. It’s great! In particular, Ruetwin’s disability was fantastic, especially about how she lived with it, how she selected specific side of the room, etc. Very happy with this series so far, although the dark elf being “overpowered” beyond belief was a tad annoying. The top 3 is very close for me and I adore all three of those series; there’s a bit of a jump for the next entry.

    4) Sting and Song: Was curious enough not to wait for the audio book. It’s a bit too “gamey” for my taste (inventory slots..?), but it’s a lot of fun overall. I’d be “upset” if all your books were like this, but the occasional book or series being like this is a nice change of pace. Joy is, well, a bundle of joy. Bonus points for originallity too. Not my favorite overall, but it’s charming and I’ll be getting the next book for sure too.

    5) Marin’s Codex: It threads a lot of the same ground as the first half of Through the Fire, but without the intrigue or interesting supporting cast that goes with it. It certainly had its moments, but on the whole I prefered Through the Fire by a good amount.

    6) Lilith’s Shadow: I never liked super heroes and I rarely enjoy current-day settings… unfortunately, that still held true even for these books. Even though I found all your other books to range between “Good” and “Amazing”, Lilith’s Shadow didn’t do much for me. I did enjoy at around the last third of the 2nd book how everything tied itself together well, but on the whole, that’s not the series for me. That’s fine; you can’t please everyone with every book! I’m not entirely certain yet if I’ll pick up the next volume of this series or not, but I’m certainly not going to pressure you to write something else instead.

    Except for Lilith’s Shadow, (and arguably Marin’s Codex which I was ambivalent on), all your books ranged from “Good” to “Absolutely Amazing” for me. That’s just my personal preference of course: I’m sure there’s a lot of people with Lilith’s Shadow as their favorite, so write what you feel most like!

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  12. Wow, you weren’t kidding about your post being long! I’m going to answer to a couple of the things you said, even if they weren’t really questions. Mostly because I can’t help myself sometimes.

    My philosophy with audiobooks is to make them as long as they’re profitable as a whole. (AKA: As long as the total across all of them is profitable compared to costs. I’ve paid right around $18,000 for audio so far, and it’s going to exceed $20k really quickly.) However, the cost is prohibitive for a lot of authors. I was lucky in that Ancient Dreams funded my next several audiobooks, otherwise I’d never have bothered with as expensive as they are to make.

    Regarding Mantles of Power: I hear you, there. Isalla is out of her element, and honestly I don’t consider her the main character. Kanae is, in my opinion, though Isalla is the ‘inciting incident’ of the series. Ironically, Kanae ends up in a similar situation in book 2… either way, it’s just as well that you’re pacing yourself, since Sarah can’t narrate Hell’s Ascendant until December!

    I also agree with you where the dungeon teams and delving was concerned. I put them in initially, then realized that I didn’t enjoy writing the delves that much, and it didn’t add much to the plot. Some of the sections I might have written about that got removed from the plotline, mostly because they didn’t add much either. In the end, I didn’t feel it was right to remove them, but mostly tolerated them. (Incidentally, if you’ve listened to the audio, have you seen the expanded ending?)

    Also, I do /not/ have a narrator lined up for Crisis of Faith yet. I’m trying to get Gabriella back, but haven’t gotten a response from the group she works through yet.

    In Through the Fire, Essryl has been intended to be a near-equal of Resvarygrath from when I first conceived of the series. The main difference is that my original plotline didn’t have /any/ interaction between Ruethwyn and his minions until book 3, which… just didn’t work, in my mind. So I adjusted things, and ended up having Essryl taking a different path than I expected. I’m curious what you’ll think of the ending…

    Anyway, as for the rest, I can’t say as I blame you! Not every book is for every person, and while I like Slice of Life (like with Marin’s Codex), not everyone does. Plus writing it can be a pain at times. Similarly, Sting & Song is deliberately ‘light’ LitRPG, with me trying to keep some of the tropes without too many numbers. I have a hard time reading LitRPG exactly because of that, and Sting & Song is about at my comfort zone.

    Anyway, I hope you enjoy Crisis of Faith, once you read it! I’m nervous about the release, but I’m /always/ nervous about releases.

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  13. Wow.😂 I must say I don’t really listen to audio books for the fact I cannot retain auditory memory well at all. Which is the reason I haven’t touched any, and you are very committed to his books to recall things so well Ms. Ayra. I wish I could I say I remember things with such clarity but alas I cannot.😂 Though I do remember the author (Benjamin Medrano for an example) because of the emotions he can elicit from me while I read.

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  14. Not really, to be honest. Having to worry about mounts somewhat limits the stories I’d want to tell, or allows characters to negate some of the natural borders that can help.

    That said, you could consider the riding drakes that exist in Mantles of Power in that regard, and lots of mortal nations use them… so maybe? It’s just not a likely focal point for a story for me.

    Besides which, I read a fair amount of Dragonlance growing up, as well as the Pern novels, so to me it’s a well-trod path.

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  15. Yeah, I didn’t read everything, but I read most of the ‘Dragons of…’ books, as well as the book about Huma of the lance, and a few others. Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman had quite a few books in my local library growing up, along with other science fiction and fantasy. Utah is a surprisingly nerdy state.

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