I’m going to change that.
First off, a lot has happened since the last blog post, which celebrated the release of “City of Shards”, the first book in my Spellgiver series. Since that time, I’ve released “In the Claws of the Indigen” (pictured above), and I’ve had a short story appear in Historical Fantasy Quarterly. The link to my story “Canvas Tears” in HFQ is here:
I also really enjoyed the other two stories in that issue. Check them out!
OK, but I mostly want to talk about the status of my books.
Since the release of books 1 and 2, I’ve had many excellent reviews, both on Goodreads and Amazon. For that, I am humbly grateful, and thank all the readers who've taken the time to post their thoughts. I’ve also had the inevitable occasional bad review, because you really can’t write a book that everyone likes. But those enthusiastic positive reader reviews have meshed with the positive editorial reviews (from places like Kirkus, BlueInk, Readers’ Favorite, and Foreword reviews) to give me some hope that the series will do well. I was told not to get a Kirkus review, because besides being expensive, Kirkus tends to be snarky, and they often give negative comments. But my Kirkus blurb came back glowing, as did others from BlueInk and Readers' Favorite. While reviews from the big guys are a good ego boost, how well they sell books is another thing entirely. Still, they do help discoverability a little bit, and give some validation that people who read books for a living found something original and worthwhile in this particular novel.
It’s hard getting discovered these days, but so far I'm happy with my traction on the series. I have an Amazon ad for Book 1, but no advertising for Book 2 or my prequel novella “Mountain Witch”. Yet sales of all those books are steady, which seems to indicate that after reading book 1, people are interested enough to move on to the other books. To all my readers, a hearty thank you. I hope you enjoyed the books, and I will make a promise: I shall not fail you by stopping Spellgiver to write other things. I am moving full forward to finish the series, and I will ensure that you get the answers that have been hinted at.
The good reviews from all quarters really has helped me decide to double-down on that decision. Yes, I would've finished Spellgiver anyway, but this has lit a fire under me. For those who don't write, it's hard to understand what a vacuum we writers sometimes work under. Without validation, without some indicator that we are on the right path, it's very easy to lose discipline, and wonder if this is really how we should be spending our time. I love to write, and I very much want to resolve the major conflicts of my world. The positive reviews from all quarters have helped confirm that the right path for me is what I already wanted to do anyway.
OK, so what about the rest of the series?
The Spellgiver series will comprise 4 books in total. Without giving away spoilers to those who haven’t read it, I’ll say that many of the conflicts are resolved in Book 2—except one major conflict which affects the fate of everything in the long term. The third and fourth books address this conflict, and tell the story of the journey to save the land in a Godless age. And if you’ve read books 1 and 2, you know that there are some deep mysteries of the world that have been left dangling, such as the role of humanity, and exactly where did the Carvers and the Gods come from. Those mysteries will get explored in much more detail in the later books.
Book 3, “Secrets of the Land” is being written now, and is about 60% done. When it is finished, I will want beta readers who have read the first two books to read it and tell me what they think. If you’ve read the first two and want to be a beta reader for Book 3, please let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I expect Book 3 to come out in January, 2019, and Book 4 to release in December of that year. And if you haven’t yet read the novella “Mountain Witch”, check it out. This novella gives the story of how things came to be, taking place about 140 years before the events of Book 1. Since it’s a novella, Mountain Witch is just $0.99 on Amazon.
OK that’s it for my status. Thanks to all my readers for making the Spellgiver series a success, and thanks for reading this blog!