January 26th 2020 Update

I got a start on the next book of Lilith’s Shadow this past week, as well as dabbling in a couple of other projects, but I got it up to about 6,000 words, which isn’t bad for how scattered my focus has been. I also wrote several other things, though, so I think my overall total was closer to 10,000 words for the week, which is fairly close to my usual productivity. I think I’m going to stick with Queen of Diamonds for the title, after a good deal of personal debate.

Another thing I’m considering is what I want to do after Queen of Diamonds. Hopefully I’ll have written Hives & Heroism concurrently, so both will be done by that point, but I have no way to know for certain. If I haven’t finished Hives & Heroism, that’s definitely going to be my primary project, but after that… well, currently I’m thinking I need to write something else for a change of pace. Probably not anything from Through the Fire, simply because I have at least three books planned for it, and I don’t want to make people wait that long for the next Lilith’s Shadow books. I would prefer to get out the entire arc I have planned in short order, so I’m considering a volume of a science fantasy book expanded from a short story I wrote named Second Contact, or what should be a single volume about another character from the world of Through the Fire, Jacqueline Heartreaver. Jacqueline has been a long-running… well, I debate heavily on whether she’s a villain or anti-hero, honestly. Probably closer to an anti-hero, at least in my mind.

Regardless, that’s where I’m currently at with future plans. Narrowing them down can be really, really hard.

On another front, I approved the audiobook of Crisis of Faith this past week. I don’t know if it’s going to get kicked back by Audible or not yet, so I’m not going to jump the gun on saying when it’ll be out, but early February is a good bet. I got Gabriella back from the original Ancient Dreams trilogy, so I hope people who loved her portrayal enjoy it!

Finally, when thinking about my old books, I got to wondering. If you care to reply, what’s your favorite scene from one of my books, and why?

2 thoughts on “January 26th 2020 Update

  1. Sorry for the character spelling since I’ve been mostly listening to the audio books! I’m not quite up to date yet (I’m caught up to early Mortal Gods at the moment, but nothing after that bar Sting and Song), but so far my favorite moments were:

    1) Tyria’s awakening in Halls of Power. It’s probably the best description of “intimidating power” I’ve ever seen, and I have to admit it was pretty satisfying to see the Archon realize just how badly he messed up then.

    2) The camp scene after Rose’s rescue in Heaven’s Fallen. First, I really appreciated that the reveal of Kitania’s true origin wasn’t being dragged out: the secret was very obvious to the reader, and for me it can get annoying when the characters are “behind” for hundreds of pages (or hours, in my case). Here, Rose figured it out pretty quickly, which very pleasantly surprised me.

    Secondly, I thought Rose would freak out at the rescue and “brainwashing”, cause a ton of problems, jealousy issues, etc… Yet, everything was very pleasant and went in a mature way. It was pretty heartwarming, and I have to say that Rose is probably my favorite. Kudoes for Kitania’s meeting with her mother too!

    3) The test for the studens in Queen of Ice. It was pretty neat to see all the magical art descriptions all come together during the trials. Plus, I let out an actual “That’s messed up!” when Azreal sent a Wresverigrath clone at Ruethwin, so I have to say I certainly was pretty into the story at point…

    Korima is also pretty fantastic and fun in general; I enjoyed how wholesome the kitsune village part was.

    On a separate note, while it wasn’t a specific moment, I enjoy the bad guys in Ancient Dreams and Lilith’s story being believable. A lot of fantasy villains just kill their henchmen at the slightest bit of failure; you have to ask yourself why anyone would work for people like that. In your books, the bad guys are good and trustworthy to their own allies (bar the Archon anyway) and tolerate failure in reasonable amounts, so it makes sense for less scrupulous people to work for them. “Well made” believeable villains help stories tremendously in my opinion, and you often have those in your stories which I appreciate.


  2. It’s always interesting to hear which moments people enjoyed the most! I’m not going to reply to all of them (though I easily could), but rather a couple of points.

    My primary alpha reader wished that the test in Queen of Ice had been the end of book 1. It was a hard series of scenes to write correctly, and Essryl… well, yeah, she doesn’t believe in coddling students. Figuring out a way for Ruethwyn to confront Resvarygrath in a believable yet satisfying way was hard, but I really enjoyed how it all came together.

    Also, I loved the kitsune village, too. I spent a bunch of time figuring out how their architecture would work due to their shapeshifting, and it was one of the most restful scenes I think I’ve written (at least for me).

    The other thing I wanted to comment on is villains. Villains killing people out of hand is an enormous pet peeve of mine, which was why I try to make most of my villains different. Sure, a ‘mustache-twirling villain’ works on occasion, but I like to make them people, with enough good points it makes sense that people would follow them.

    Anyway, again, thank you for your comments! Things like this help me when I’m writing new stories.


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