A couple quick updates!

The first draft of the sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic is completed.

This draft is 214,500 words, which is just a smidgen shorter than the final version of SAM (which is 218,000). This could get longer or shorter based on beta reader feedback, but I suspect it’ll stay somewhere in the same range.

I’d expected this to be a much shorter book, which is part of why it took a bit longer than I expected. For the future, I’m just going to plan around all my sequels being this same length.

The current working title is Wish Upon a Scar, but I’m still debating if I’ll go with that as the final title or not.

I’m currently doing a little bit of self-editing. After that’s done, I plan to send out copies to beta readers on Sunday. I’ll be giving my beta readers a few weeks to read it and send me notes, then it’ll be off to my professional editor.

I’m still aiming for a release in paperback and Kindle formats in March or April. At this point, I’m guessing it’ll be late March, but it really depends on how many notes I get from beta readers and the editor.

 

For those of you who are curious about my writing pace and process:

The writing on this took me roughly 10 months (from approximately March of last year to now). I did some other writing during that time frame as well – about 20,000 words on Defying Destiny, and a little less than that on a Keras spin-off (tentatively titled Six Sacred Swords) and a LitRPG.

I also wrote a short story for the Art of War anthology, which is out next month. I strongly recommend checking it out – it has some other great writers involved, and the proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders.

All in all, I probably wrote about 280,000 words between March and now, which puts me at just under 1,000 words a day (assuming writing seven days a week). That’s not a terribly fast pace if you look at it in terms of daily word count, but the actual writing output is good enough that it would translate to about three “standard” length novels.

I also have a tendency to accelerate toward the end of a project. Of those roughly 280,000 words, I wrote about 70,000 of them during December. This was partially because I was close to finishing the book, and partially because I shut myself off from all my outside distractions.

I also wrote quite a bit for non-novel projects, which slowed my pace a bit in ways that are harder to quantify.

For example, I’ve written about 30,000 words for a rules set for a War of Broken Mirrors tabletop game, and a greater amount for an Arcane Ascension LARP rules set. The LARP is harder to quantify, because a lot of it is updating rules and lore documents that I’d already written, but I’d ballpark the range at somewhere around 100,000 words of work on it.

So, that’s basically another novel worth of work. Maybe more, if I’m being honest. I consider that time worthwhile, though, and not only because it’s fun. Working on the tabletop and LARP rules helps me flesh out my settings and systems further.

For example, working on the games gave me the chance to flesh out all the foreign attunements, make the runes for each of the levels of each attunement in advance, and write up a formal timeline of events for everything that happens in between the War of Broken Mirrors and Arcane Ascension books.

That’s just a small fraction of it – it’s basically another novel or two that’s entirely world and system building. And I make use of that in the books. Not every game mechanic translates into novel format, of course, but things like schools of magic, major historical events, factions and organizations, and that sort of thing absolutely do.

 

Stabby Award Update:

I won the Stabby Award for Best Self-Published Author. It still feels surreal.

This is my first writing award, and it means a great deal to me.

There were numerous times when I was collecting rejection letters from agents and publishers with my earlier books that I considered quitting. I pushed through that sadness and self-doubt, but it wasn’t easy.

Sufficiently Advanced Magic is the eighth book that I’ve written. The first five were never published. It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point.

But it’s been worth it.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me, either through voting, just reading my books, or giving me words of support over the years. I’m extremely grateful.

I’m hoping to make the next book even better.

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Happy New Year, everyone!
First, some news. I’m at 195,000 words into the sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic. It’s not *quite* done yet. My expectations were that it would be shorter than Sufficiently Advanced Magic, but it turns out it’ll probably be about the same length.
With the first draft almost done, I’m expecting a release around March. I’ll be working on finishing my third War of Broken Mirrors book, Defying Destiny, after that.
Sufficiently Advanced Magic has been nominated for Best Self-Published Novel in this year’s Stabby awards on Reddit’s /r/fantasy.
If you read Sufficiently Advanced Magic and enjoyed it, please consider voting for it!
If you want to vote for the book, all you have to do is upvote (click the up arrow) for Sufficiently Advanced Magic. (This requires a Reddit account.)
How to Upvote
There are a ton of great competitors this year, both in this category and otherwise, so you may want to check those out as well!

Someone asked me on Goodreads earlier how I got into writing, and I figured I’d copy and paste my answer over here in case anyone was interested.

***

When I was in elementary school, I read the Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I also played a bunch of Dungeons and Dragons. Those inspired me to write my own little stories when I was a child.

I also got started on my earliest attempts at game development in elementary school (through a program called Unlimited Adventures, based on SSI’s Gold Box D&D games).

By middle school, I was running D&D campaigns, and eventually playing in live-action role-playing games.

In college, I responded to an open call for submissions by White Wolf. I submitted a couple monster ideas which made it into one of the Scarred Lands RPG books. That helped me make a connection with White Wolf. After that, I ended up writing for their World of Warcraft tabletop RPG line.

From there, it was a jump over to working directly for Blizzard. While I wasn’t in the writing department, I let them know that I’d done some writing for the setting before, and Micky Neilson tapped me to do a few writing jobs here and there. Micky was a huge inspiration and a great mentor.

I eventually decided I wanted to write full-time, so I left Blizzard and wrote a couple books. I submitted these books to agents and accrued *hundreds* of rejections.

I went back to working in the gaming industry, having failed to publish anything. But I kept writing.

I worked at a couple more companies after that. While I was at Obsidian, I finally decided I was done trying to go through the traditional agent and publisher route. I self-published Forging Divinity, and it was a great success (by first time self-published novel standards). It wasn’t enough to make a living on, though, so I kept working in gaming.

Sufficiently Advanced Magic is my third published novel – but it’s the eighth book I’ve written. It took me eight books to get to the point where I’m finally writing full-time. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s ultimately been very rewarding.

Just a mini-update.

The sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic is now up to 115,000 words. My current target for finishing it is about 165,000 words (roughly the same length as Stealing Sorcery, and a good bit shorter than Sufficiently Advanced Magic).

No guarantees it’ll actually end up at that length – there’s still a lot of room for variation depending on how the “endgame” portion of the story goes. I’m just ramping up to that, and I’m excited about it.

I think the story is shaping up pretty well so far. There’s a lot more of a focus on character interaction than in the previous book, which I think some readers will enjoy more than others.

Hey all!

In case you haven’t picked it up already, Sufficiently Advanced Magic is a Kindle Daily Deal. That means it’s on sale for 99 cents on the US Kindle store.

You can find it here!

Hey everyone,

Last week, I received the final version of the map of Kaldwyn, the continent where Sufficiently Advanced Magic takes place.

I’m planning to include this map in either a revised version of Sufficiently Advanced Magic, the sequel, or both – I’m not sure just yet. But in the meantime, you can take a look right here!

kaldwyn final sma

The map was drawn by Karl Vesterberg from traditionalmaps.com, and I was very pleased with the results.

If you want to see it in a larger size, click on this link.

Hello everyone,

Just a quick status update for those of you who aren’t on my mailing list yet.

I’m about 35% of the way into the sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic (roughly 70,000 words). It slowed down a little bit because I decided to cut out a portion of content that I felt was too early in the story, which also required spending some time making adjustments to other parts of the book to keep it consistent. I may end up re-inserting some or all of that cut content later, but I’m not sure.

I’m also about 20,000 words into Defying Destiny, the third book in the War of Broken Mirrors.

Finally, I’ve been dabbling with some other side stories as the mood strikes me, such as a spin-off for Keras and a few ideas for more traditional “LitRPG” style stories. I’m not sure if these other stories will end up going all the way to publication or not – time will tell.

I’m still targeting early 2018 for the sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic. Defying Destiny will most likely end up coming after that at this rate, given how much I’ve switched my focus. I still intend to continue working on Defying Destiny gradually, however, so hopefully it will be quick to finish after the next sequel.

After that, it’s going to be a bit trickier – there are parts in the third Arcane Ascension book that were going to be tied into the fourth (and most likely final) War of Broken Mirrors book, so I might end up doing two War of Broken Mirrors books back-to-back. It’s still too soon to say for certain.

Hello everyone!

I’m proud to announce that Sufficiently Advanced Magic is finally available in audio format, narrated by the amazing Nick Podehl.

For those of you who are interested in status updates, here’s some new information!

  • The sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic is about 25% written, at about 50,000 words so far. That’s close to half the length of Forging Divinity, so it’s going to be another big one.
  • The third book of the War of Broken Mirrors series is also in progress, at about 15,000 words. This has been a tougher story for me to write, but I’m making gradual progress.
  • I also have some side projects in progress, such as a more “trapped in a MMORPG’ style novel and a Sufficiently Advanced Magic prequel from Keras Selyrian’s perspective.

I’ll be updating my mailing list shortly with some preview content, so if you’re on the mailing list, stay tuned!

Hey all,
 
If you haven’t picked up Sufficiently Advanced Magic yet, the Kindle edition is on sale for 99 cents in the US kindle store.
 

Hey all,

Some quick updates about book status.

Defying Destiny has been going slower than planned for a number of reasons. Some of them have been general practical things, like moving to a new apartment and my video card dying.

The main one is really that I’m getting a lot more interest and encouragement to write the sequel for Sufficiently Advanced Magic, and that book is also fresher in my mind.

Going forward, I’m going to be splitting my time between writing both books. This will definitely delay Defying Destiny further, but I’ve found that I get a higher amount of total writing done each day this way, since I can switch between books when I’m in the right mood to work on one or the other.

I’m still hoping to get Defying Destiny out this year if possible, but I may actually get the sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic done first. Not sure yet.

 

Aside from that, I’d like to give a quick book recommendation: Valley of Embers by Steven Kelliher.

Valley of Embers (The Landkist Saga Book 1) by [Kelliher, Steven]

It’s another anime-inspired fantasy novel, and it’s currently *free* on Amazon. Stylistically, I’d compare it to something along the lines of Avatar: The Last Airbender crossed with the corrupted animals from Princess Mononoke.

You can find it here, and if you’ve already read it, the sequel is currently on sale for 99 cents.