Okay, so it's been three months since my last post and the release of Mages' Uprising. I figured maybe it's time for a progress report (though if you're subscribed to my newsletter, you've been getting progress reports all along, hint hint). So what have I been up to since October? Basically, this:
This is the complete first draft printout of my next series, tentatively titled Mage of Sea and Sky. I finished writing the draft on November 15. Four books (prequel and books 1, 2, and 3), 289,000 words (which will increase as I revise), 949 printout pages. That's book 3 sitting on top of the binder; it wouldn't all fit in my jumbo binder, so book 3 needed its own binder. Now I'm taking the series through my revision triage process, based on what I learned in Holly Lisle's How to Revise Your Novel class. This is where I read the whole thing through, making extensive notes on what needs to be fixed, getting the characters and worldbuilding consistent, checking for plot holes and subplots that go nowhere, and all that kind of stuff. I have a specific protocol I go through with each scene to make sure I hit all the different possible problem areas. So far I've done 366 out of 949 pages. It's kind of a grueling, tedious, time-consuming process, but when it comes time to actually start making changes to the books, I'll know I've identified the major and minor problems and figured out in advance how to fix them, and I can get everything consistent throughout all the books.
I'm really excited about this series. The idea and the main characters have been in my head for a long time, decades, and now I've finally found the right setting for them. This series takes place in the Mardavian Islands of the Wildings world, where Silas's Island mage ancestors came from, and the end of the series leads into the beginning of the mage migration to Granadaia. Some Venedias ancestors may be among the characters; I haven't identified them yet. So, although this takes place in a different time and place in that world, I hope readers who've enjoyed the Wildings books will also enjoy Mage of Sea and Sky.
Just as a teaser, here's a character list from the prequel, which takes place 12 years before the main series:
Esavas Daruvias (the hero), age 19, youngest son of a highborn mage family; an awkward, bookish, misfit young man.
Master Kahusun, a Master of the Higher Order of Magecraft and Scholarship (aka the Tower).
Amavas Daruvias, a highborn mage, Esavas's demanding, hard-to-please father.
Rayaluna Daruvias, Esavas's lovely, flighty older sister.
Pirazina Uyadias, age 17, a highborn mage, a beautiful young woman whom Esavas has adored since childhood.
Valazan Buradias, a highborn mage, the best student in Esavas's training cadre.
Orpajin Valentias, a highborn mage, the second-best student in Esavas's training cadre, a bully.
Master Arbasy, instructor in magical and martial arts for Esavas's training cadre.
Master Lanijan, weather-master for Esavas's hometown.
Mahuras Lamodias, a highborn mage, an acquaintance of Esavas's from school, an enterprising young man who is not especially concerned about the legality of his business ventures.
Watch for more info about Mage of Sea and Sky as I make progress! This series is quite a long way from being ready for release, but I can tell you that new and existing subscribers to my newsletter will get early access to a free download of the prequel.
As for other projects, for those who are sad that there are no more books in the Wildings series, never fear! A new Wildings series, Children of the Wildings, is next in the book pipeline. Right now I'm just gathering ideas (dragons! and what are the Vendine kids up to 15-20 years later? Despite their best efforts to avoid it, will trouble find Silas and Lainie yet again?) and I'm a long way from starting to write it; for the time being, I want to concentrate my energy and brain power on Mage of Sea and Sky. We also have a house move coming up the first part of March (only half a mile away, but we're reducing our living space by 1/3, so lots of decluttering to do before then) and my husband and I are also planning another trip to Germany this fall. But life and health permitting, I'll continue making steady progress and be able to begin Children of the Wildings once I start publishing Mage of Sea and Sky. Hopefully before the end of this year, but I really can't say. Stay tuned for updates (which will hopefully come more often than every three months)!
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