Heya, hope you’re all doing great! I have a few updates to share today, so let’s jump right into them.
To start with, I’ve partnered with a publisher to produce the audiobook for Awakening Arte. I don’t have an ETA, but I’ve submitted everything on my end and have been told it’s going into production. The audiobook might be ready by the end of the year or soon after, though nothing is concrete yet. I’ll let you know as soon as I have more information.
I’m really excited about finally being able to offer this, as audiobooks have become increasingly popular and I know there are tons of people out there who prefer it (I still read rather than listen to almost all my fiction, but I do sometimes get in on audiobook deals and love to listen to nonfiction). This of course also means I’ll be able to provide audiobooks for the next books in the series as well!
Speaking of which, the second Eldest Throne novel, Edict of Honor, is nearing completion and should make my late November/early December target. If there are any problems, it’ll probably be because of delays in getting the cover artwork or editing done, which is mostly out of my hands. I’ll try my best to ensure everything goes smoothly and give myself ample time to pivot if I need to, but I don’t really want to rush anything and I’m happy with both the artist and editor for Awakening Arte, so I’d honestly prefer delaying the book a bit if I really need to. Crossing my fingers, though.
Edict of Honor will be slightly longer than Awakening Arte and will really expand on the just about everything. Aside from finally training with their third cantrip, Abjure, Roun and his friends will also embark on their first official mission as Grimoires of Avyleir. The mission seems simple at a glance: guard a village against raids from a wandering brigand clan. When they arrive, however, they find that the village’s inhabitants are not what they expected and learn that the brigand clan is more than it appears to be. To make matters worse, an infamous apostate has allied with the brigands and believes Roun and company are guarding an artifact he’s been seeking for over a century. Some big, juicy battles ensue with a few surprises, all of which leads to a climax I’m really proud of. I think you’ll really enjoy it as well.
You’ll also get to learn more about the rest of the team, Authority, brigands and apostates, and the world overall. There is some pretty big growth in the book too, as well as a bit of delving into familiars, one of the key gateways for a Grimoire’s advancement (and consequently the reason few Grimoires make it beyond Low Gold). Trivia time: back when the Eternal Empress walked among her people, familiars were instead known as spirit guides.
And for our final topic, I’ve been made aware that it’s Self-Published Fantasy Month again. Yeesh, hard to believe it’s been an entire year already, but here we are. Unfortunately, I won’t be taking part in anything special this year, but I wanted to ramble a little in celebration, so excuse me.
Self-published fantasy has come a long, long way over the years, which isn’t actually surprising all things considered. The entire “self” industry is flourishing, from YouTubers to streamers and other kinds of influencers on platforms like Snapchat and OnlyFans. The “self” part is maybe a bit ironic these days, as almost all of us are at the whim and mercy of powerful megacorporations. Self-published authors bow before Amazon unless they’re very lucky, Youtubers kneel before Google, and though Amazon owns Twitch now, Amazon is allowing them to play the role of silent, unfathomable overlords all on their own.
Despite this rather disheartening truth, another separate and equally meaningful truth is that there’s still never been a better time for creatives to throw themselves into the abyss without depending on gatekeepers. This is a big deal, as anyone who has been in the query trenches knows how it feels to place all of your hopes and dreams in front of someone that’s reflexively making a sweeping motion towards the trash bin before you’ve ever even sent them anything.
That said, self-publishing is hardly easy or a quick road to success. I remember reading some advice that suggested it was “a marathon and not a sprint,” and I’ve taken that to heart. I’ve only two books out right now, but that’s two more than I would have ever been able to get out there twenty years ago.
This is especially true for people like myself who are authors of color that enjoy writing outside of the standard Euro-centric tropes of the genre. None of this, however, would have been possible without readers like you who are willing to give authors like me and books like mine a chance.
That means Self-Published Fantasy Month is ultimately about you as well, so thanks for being your wonderful self!