Nearly three years ago, on 14 November 2018 according to my writing log, I started writing the first of the four books in my new series, Mage of Storm and Sea. This is actually a story I've been wanting to tell for much longer than that; decades, in fact. It started with the main character in a book I read in high school in the late 70s, who really captured my imagination. I always wanted to know what happened to him next, but there was never a sequel to that book. I thought of writing my own fanfiction sequel, but that didn't feel satisfying. So instead, what I did was I took the seed, the basic concept, of the story and character, a scholarly wizard who is forced into a war because of a personal connection to the enemy and, while he wins the war, suffers a great personal loss, and completely reimagined it in one of my own worlds with a new hero, a whole new background, and all the what-comes-next I longed to know about.
The Mage of Storm and Sea series is set in the same world as the Wildings books, in the Islands where Silas's mage ancestors came from, a few hundred years before the Wildings books, and ends with the beginning of the Island mage migration to Granadaia. It's been really fun to explore more of this world and history and magic system. Some of the things I've learned while writing Mage of Storm and Sea I wish I had known while I was writing the Wildings books! And the Island culture has been a lot of fun to play in. For example, I had a lot of fun with the clothing. Check out this article where I got inspiration for the sharwas, the formal overcoats worn by men of the Islands, from the sherwani and other traditional men's clothing from India.
As for Esavas... Arg. I don't think any of my heroes have given me this much trouble since Roric in The Lost Book of Anggird (Lost Book stalled out for more than ten years while I tried to get a handle on Roric!) Esavas is very much his own person, and I had to do a lot of digging and trial-and-error and rewriting to finally get him right. But now, finally, he's about to make his debut as a young 19-year-old guy trying to figure out who he is in Dreams of Magic, the prequel novella to Mage of Storm and Sea, set 13 years before the main series. And here is Esavas on the cover!
As always, Yuriko Matsuoka amazes me with her ability to capture my characters.
And here's what it's all about:
They called him a war hero. The savior of the common people of the Islands. The greatest weather mage the Islands ever knew. But once, he was a lonely, misfit youth with some impossible dreams.
Assuming everything goes according to plan, Dreams of Magic will be available on November 1. At first, it will be an exclusive free book to current and new subscribers to my email newsletter. Subscribers will also get exclusive bonus scenes, early cover reveals, sneak peeks, and release news about Book 1, Winds of Magic (including notice about the limited time release price, USD $2.99, reduced from the regular price of USD $3.99). After I've got a couple of the books in the series out, I'll put Dreams of Magic up for sale in the stores too.
This past summer, I got the rest of the new covers for the Daughter of the Wildings series done. While I loved the previous covers by Mominur Rahman, I felt like the series needed a refresh to bring it more in line with covers in the epic romantic fantasy genre. I was thrilled with Yuriko Matsuoka's fresh new envisioning of Lainie and Silas!
But the problem with being my own art director is that I don't art very good, and I have a hard time visualizing and describing what I want sometimes. Yuriko did great work on the covers of City of Mages and For the Wildings, but as I updated the book files and sent the covers out into the world, I felt like what I had described to her as far as how to present the characters wasn't quite what I wanted. Fortunately, she was able to make time in her schedule to redo those covers, and now, I'm pleased to present the new updated covers for City of Mages and For the Wildings! I'm in the process of updating the images on the site and uploading the updated book files, so they should go live soon.
Stay tuned for the cover reveal for Dreams of Magic, the prequel to my upcoming Mage of Storm and Sea series, and info about the release!
Click on the covers for more information
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