Today I typed the final word of the first draft of Defenders of the Wildings, the follow-up series to Daughter of the Wildings. It clocks in at 182,133 words, or 451 printed pages (11 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced). Actually 450 pages, because the last page has like half a sentence on it. I hate it when that happens. This is by far the longest single manuscript I've ever written; the combined draft of the six books in Daughter of the Wildings was longer, but I wrote each book separately. Defenders didn't really want to divide up into six nice, neat novel-sized units, so I wrote it as one big thing and I'll work out how to divide it up and release it later. Two volumes of three "episodes" each seems like how it's going to work out. Of course, cover art is still a ways out, so I'll still be using the Daughter covers to illustrate posts about Defenders for a while.
This book also turned out to be much larger than I expected, and larger than anything I've written before, in scope of action and number of important characters. Of course it still centers around Silas and Lainie Vendine, but we'll also meet Torrin, a young ranch hand who discovers his magical powers, Magical Mik the traveling showman, Pazit Mahita, who is more than the ordinary farmwife she appears to be, and Lut Dorbich and Gidejoni Cajali, underministers from the Chardonikan Union (which got a name change about 80% of the way through, which is why I should probably stick to writing series in their entirety before I release the first book). You can get a sneak peek at Dorbich and Cajali here.
Writing this first draft was an adventure in itself. After two false starts, where I nearly drove myself nuts trying to figure out how to piece all the different parts of the story together (see story's refusal to fit into nice novel-length units, above), I finally got it. I had to do a lot of copy-and-pasting from the earlier versions and filling in with new material until I got to the place where I had left off, but once I got there it was pretty smooth going. I was getting frustrated at how long this was taking, because there were a lot of times this summer and fall when I couldn't keep up my daily production, but now it's finally done, yay. Now I'm printing it out even as I type this, and it'll rest while I finish up edits on Source-Breaker (note to self: get page on site for Estelend series set up) and start revising Heir of Tanaris.
This project brought me to 264,744 words for the year, including a number of short stories and the abandoned parts of the first two attempts. I'm counting words I'm not going to use, because all writing counts as practice, but I didn't double-count the words I copy and pasted. For a while I thought I might hit 300,000, but having to re-work the Defenders draft slowed me down. Still, considering my goal was 250,000 for the year, I'm pretty pleased.
Of course, at this point I can't even begin to say when Defenders will start being released. Sometime next year, I guess. To make sure you don't miss out on release news for Defenders or my other books, sign up for my email alerts (no spam, and I won't share your info). In the meantime, onward with Source-Breaker and Heir of Tanaris, and planning for the next series, Children of the Wildings!
...And Defenders just finished printing. Here it is:
Today I'm happy to welcome G.A. Rael, here on her blog tour with Ultimate Fantasy Books to introduce us to her new book, Boy Meets Witch (The White Cat Chronicles #1):
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I live in New England, but I originally hail from the South. I'm a practicing witch and all my stories involve magic in some form or another! I primarily write PNR and urban fantasy.
Q: When did you start writing, and why?
A: I've honestly been writing for as long as I can remember. There have always just been stories in my head that I had to get down on paper, and I'm not really sure how not to write at this point!
Q: What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
A: My current series is The White Cat Chronicles, and I'm editing the third book, A Wedding and a Funeral for release around Christmastime!
Q: "Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
A: The White Cat Chronicles is set in a world where creatures from pagan myths and Biblical prophecy find a way to coexist while the humans around them are none the wiser.
Q: Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
A: Locke is the one who tends to stand out most. He's the main character's familiar, a cat demon and he's never quite what he seems. Then there's Harper, a reluctant witch who grew up as a faith healer and is just trying to figure it all out. Dennis is probably one of my favorites as the series progresses. He's an anal-retentive lawyer who isn't all he seems, either, and he keeps Darren on his toes.
Boy Meets Witch (The White Cat Chronicles #1):
Harper Adams is a witch on the run--from her past as a faith healer turned accidental arsonist, and from the power she's kept locked away her whole life. She thinks she's finally found a place she can settle down and call home in the picturesque town of Cold Creek, Vermont, but a mysterious white cat who may or may not be bent on taking the curvaceous witch's soul has other plans. Harper's compassion gets the best of her and earns her an unwanted reputation as the town miracle worker as well as the ire of sexy veterinarian and militant atheist, Darren St. Clair.
Cold Creek's residents have a few supernatural secrets of their own, and Harper will have to face the destiny that led her to the last place a witch in hiding needs to be--that is, if Darren doesn't have her chased out of town with a pitchfork-wielding mob before she gets the chance.
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About the author:
I'm a practicing witch and author of paranormal romance, fantasy and magical realism. I'm also a firm believer that the things that go bump in the night deserve their happily ever afters, too!
When I'm not writing, you can find me watching campy horror films with my husband and our menagerie and hiking in the woods in beautiful New England!
Want updates when I publish a book? Join The Coven (PNR & Fantasy Newsletter.)
Visit G.A. at:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon
Time for one of my favorite things to do, reveal a new cover! I just got the final version of the Source-Breaker cover art the other day, and I have been so excited to show this off!
This is from the full wraparound cover for the paperback, showing the spine area with the left side of the arch. The back of the cover is just dark because there isn't really anything over in that direction to show. The ebook cover will look like this:
I just love this. I've been having the hardest time visualizing Kaniev (the dude with the sword and the handful of magic), and the artist, Mominur Rahman, and I went over a bunch of different reference photos, different poses of the same model, and this is the final result. When I saw it, I went, Wow, that's Kaniev! Mominur has this knack for capturing my characters perfectly, and it's always exciting to see how he brings them to life.
Here's the short blurb for Source-Breaker (needs work; I'll come up with a better one in time for the release):
Kaniev, a repairman of magical Sources with a series of failures behind him, and Fransisa, a Source priestess who is being displaced by a new Chosen, come up against a wizard conducting dangerous experiments with Source-power that could damage all the world's Sources.
And here's a peek at an early version of the scene where Kaniev and Fransisa first meet: http://www.kyrahalland.com/blog/sneak-peek-source-breaker
I'm hoping for a mid-December release for Source-Breaker. I've become frustrated with how long my revising and editing process takes, so I'm going to try streamlining it without sacrificing quality, and hopefully can get this book out the door in less than another month. To make sure you don't miss out on the release and the special limited-time low introductory price, sign up for my email alerts!
Checking in with a quick update on how my current projects are coming along. I'm finishing up the second major revision on Source-Breaker, the next novel I'll be releasing. After that comes the last few rounds of edits; hopefully, this will be ready to release by mid-December. I feel like it's been going really slow, partly because I've had a lot of disruptions and the CFS is really kicking me in the backside right now, and also because there's been a fair amount of work with adjusting characterizations and things like that. But one I get through the bottleneck of those big changes, it should go a lot faster.
The other major project I'm working on right now is the first draft of Defenders of the Wildings, the follow-up series to Daughter of the Wildings. I'm writing it all at once, like one big book; it doesn't divide up neatly into separate novels like Daughter did. It's more episodic, like a TV serial, and I'll probably end up releasing it that way. Like with Daughter, what I thought would be the end of Defenders actually wasn't and I needed to add a whole other part, bringing the action back to where it started to finish everything off. But now, after a couple of false starts and more than 150,000 words, I'm within 10,000 - 15,000 words of the end, I think. Lot of work still to go, to get it revised and cleaned up and ready to release, but Daughter of the Wildings has been picking up a whole bunch of new readers lately and I'm eager to offer more Silas and Lainie sixguns and sorcery to the world.
And just to prove that yes, this thing really does exist, here's the prologue from Defenders (unedited, straight from my brain to the keyboard):
Amber Bay shone gold, the color of its name, in the lengthening light of the late afternoon sun as three men disembarked from the Sea Dragon, the large sailing ship that had docked just a short time ago. All three of them strode down the gangplank with an air of authority -- they knew they were where they were supposed to be, and they knew what they were supposed to do. One was a tall, portly man in a long, richly-embroidered robe tied with a broad blue sash. His fair skin was burned red by the sun and wind of weeks at sea; a round, flat-topped cap sat atop his white-blond hair. The second man was nearly as tall, thin, with amber skin and curling red hair cropped close to his head. He wore a well-tailored dark suit, in the manner of wealthy businessmen on this continent, as did the third man. This man was short and powerfully muscled, ebony-skinned with a long black braid trailing down his back.
As they stepped off the gangplank, followed by a knot of half a dozen retainers and assistants, a man on shore came forward from the crowd to meet them. He was tall, dark-skinned as though deeply tanned and dark-haired, also wearing a well-made dark suit. His right forefinger sported a broad gold ring set with a dark red stone. He bowed to the three men who had just come off the ship. "Underministers. Welcome to Amber Bay and the Wildings."
The three men nodded to him. "You are Mr. Desavias?" the tall, fair-haired man asked.
He nodded. "I am. At your service, Underministers."
"You have the items that were discussed?" the red-haired man asked.
"I do, Underministers. That is, I have constructed a prototype according to your instructions, and we have procured more of the substance to fuel it." He nodded to his side, and a fifth man stepped forward. This man was of middling height, lean and muscular, with skin a pale lavender bordering on gray and long dark red hair twisted into thick, ropy locks. He wore tanned leather leggings and no shirt, and was carrying a metal-bound wooden box, with sides about the length of his forearms.
"That is the substance?" the fair-haired man asked Desavias.
But it was the lavender-skinned man who answered them, speaking the tongue they spoke in with surprising fluency. "It is. A gift from the P'wagimet people in exchange for the Continental Alliance's considerations in the past and in the future. This is only a sample. Greater quantities are being safely stored in the place where the weapons will be made."
"Excellent," the fair-haired man said, though he still addressed his words to Desavias rather than the P'wagimet man. "And this... material works as promised?"
"It has been extensively tested, Underminister. I think you three gentlemen and your leaders will be more than pleased," Desavias answered.
"Good," the red-haired underminister said, but the third foreigner's brow creased in concern.
"Are we certain that this is absolutely necessary?" he asked his companions. "It seems to me that the cost is far greater than any benefit this tactic might provide. Even considering the generous donation of the key material by this man's people." He nodded to the P'wagimet man.
The other two men looked at him. "If you are having doubts, Mr. Cajali," the fair-haired one said, "please feel free to express your doubts to the Commissioner and ask to be removed from this mission."
Cajali's dark face blanched grayish. "I... of course I'm not having doubts, Mr. Dorbich. If you and Mr. Semov are convinced that this measure is necessary in proportion to its cost to the success of the mission, then I will not argue with that. Expansion and Regulation are your realms of expertise, not mine; I will continue to concern myself only with affairs of business."
"When you gentlemen have rested from your journey, we will discuss preparations for the journey to the outpost," Desavias said. "Of course, because of the difficulties in transporting the devices, they must be manufactured much closer to the Wildings -- what you call the Middle Lands. And it is more convenient to have headquarters there, as well."
Lut Dorbich, Underminister of Expansion for the Continental Alliance's foray into this new continent, looked at his companions. "Thank you. I believe we will be ready to depart Amber Bay in the morning. We have been forced into inactivity during the long journey; it is time to begin moving forward. Are we agreed on that?"
Yugalis Semov, Underminister of Regulation, nodded in agreement. After a brief hesitation, Gidejoni Cajali, Underminister of Enterprise, nodded as well.
"Very good," Desavias said. "I have a carriage waiting right over here, to take you to your hotel. Follow me, please."
Following the mage and the P'wagimet man, the three Underministers walked to a carriage waiting near the busy, crowded pier and climbed in.
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