Oh sweet merciful night, just let the year end already. Oh, hi. Uh… so, it’s already October. Time flies, though at the same time it still feels as if everything has fallen to a crawl. Things are interesting here in the U.S., and more so in Portland, where I live. Our elections are also coming up and will probably end up being a memorable capstone for a memorable year…
That all said, October remains my favorite month, so I’m stoked. It’s always felt more iconically autumn than September to me and also hosts my favorite holiday (thematically).
Anyway, let’s jump into things.
What I’m Doing & Writing
I’ll be honest and say that I’m juggling a lot at the moment and it’s stressing me out a little. My night job has kind of become my rock and allows me to deal with coursework and the requirements for my other job, but it’s also when I normally do most of my writing, so that has been slowing things down some.
Not too much though, I promise. Stormbringers is coming along nicely, and I still aim to release it this year if all goes well. The cover artwork is done and delicious, and is simply awaiting some design work. Here’s a taste:
I always intended to incorporate some of the complex, layered history of Puerto Rico into Islandborn, and that probably won’t be more obvious than in this novel. There’s a good deal more action and a greater focus on the threat posed by Peacemaker’s companions. The ending might even catch some by surprise, because it sets up a huge confrontation and hints at what might have happened to the lost realm of Vanadyl.
I still want to keep the concept of family front and center though, so Colibrí and Narune’s mother/son relationship will continue to grow over the course of the book, as will Narune’s relationship with his friends, Kisari and Ixchel. This book in particular also focuses heavily on Ixchel, so we’ll get to learn more about her and her fathers.
I’m taking some bits of feedback into consideration too. The opening of the first book was considered slow by some, so I’m slightly upping the pace here. It actually wasn’t hard to do, as the stakes are a little more immediate and begin higher than in Cradle of Sea and Soil. Readers however also wanted more world-building. I’m trying to satisfy that as well, especially because of the opportunity offered by my use of a foreign POV that appears briefly throughout the book.
So, yeah, things are coming along as best as I have any right to expect, given the state of my personal life and the world overall. I’d like to have Stormbringers in the final editing phase by early November so I can take a break for my birthday, but we’ll see. I’ll be working pretty much all of December up to and through the Holidays, so I should pretty much have the outline done for the third book, Oathborn. I’ll should be able to finish another little project I’m working on for SPFBO 2021 too.
Lots to do and getting it all done will be my focus for the month. I’m also going to try to throw up some reviews and seriously get on with my newsletter, which I’ve been horribly neglecting like the idiot I am.
In other news, Self-Published Fantasy Month just finished, and oh was it fantastic. Tons of brilliant authors showing off exceptional books! I also had the honor of participating with a guest blog post, which you can read here.
What I’m Reading
Really just working on reviews for Of Honey and Wildfires and Eyrie, and actually finishing Eyrie. I had planned to read a lot more for September, but I just didn’t have the time or energy. Squeezing in time just to write was a struggle some days, and mostly I came home to die in my bed. In the few snatches of free time that I had throughout the week, I’ll be honest and say I spent them in bed wanting to do nothing and think about nothing.
Yeah, it’s been a rough month.
That said, I’m going to throw those reviews up and start working on some other SPFBO books as well as the new additions to my TBR from September.
What I’m Playing & Watching
There’s not much of interest here for me other than finally being able to play the Early Access of Baldur’s Gate 3. Super excited for it, though it’s obviously not the full game… so I’ll just scrape at the bone. This is the kind of game that’s poised to not only change gaming in the way titles like the Witcher 3 have, but also offer fantasy gamers a powerful platform for adventures in the way Neverwinter Nights once did.
Aaaaand that’s it for October. I’m still alive, still keeping my head low, still clacking away at my keyboard. Three months left to the year. We can do it.
Stay safe, everyone.