June Updates

Hello, everyone!

I’ll skip the preamble and get straight into some updates.

Arcane Ascension 4‘s first draft is at roughly 75% completion. This is estimating a similar length to Sufficiently Advanced Magic as a basis — as always, the length can drift as I continue to write and decide to add/remove scenes, through editing passes, etc.

At present, I think the story is coming along pretty well, and I expect that people who didn’t like the more slice-of-life vacation style of Arcane Ascension 3 will probably be happier with this book, especially toward the ending. Structurally, the book is most similar to Arcane Ascension 2, although the overall content mixture includes elements from all three previous books (and some new stuff).

In terms of expanded universe projects, I’m about ready to start looking at the beginning of the second expanded universe book. The author is already making a good pace on that and I’m excited that we’ll probably be seeing the first one out this year (but there isn’t a release date yet). I’m also still actively in talks with a couple other authors on the subject of expanded universe books and may be getting some off those up and running in the coming months, but I’ve depriortized those discussions to focus as much of my time as possible on writing AA4.

I’m basically in “buckle down and write AA4” mode in general, and as such, I have not made any meaningful progress on any other books during the last month.

I’ve continued discussions with publishers for some other types of media – and one of those projects is still actively in progress and super exciting – but there’s nothing new and exciting to report just yet. My hope is that we’ll have a formal announcement for one of these big projects within the next few months, but it’s been hard to evaluate the timing on it. I think people are going to be very excited, though, and I’m happy with what I’ve seen in terms of the quality of what is being worked on. I wish I didn’t have to be so vague, but hopefully the surprises will be worth the wait.

In terms of AA4’s actual completion and release, it’s still too early to estimate that with any degree of accuracy, but I’m comfortable giving some general thoughts. Assuming I continue writing at a similar pace to my last couple months and end the book at a length similar to what I expect, the first draft should be completed around the beginning of August. At that point, it will likely take me about three to months for beta reading and editing, based on how long the previous AA books have taken. This means we’d theoretically be looking at a launch window around November/December. I’d love to get it out sooner – and it’s hypothetically possible that I could end up doing that if I write or edit faster than expected – but that seems like a pretty realistic timeframe. It’s also possible that it could get pushed back if, say, I decide to make the length closer to AA2/Soulbrand, or if I run into major problems with beta reads/edits, life gets in the way, etc.

Assuming the book releases around the end of the year, audio is usually about 6 months after that. There’s no recording date set, so this is purely an estimate based on my previous books – it could be longer or shorter.

Hope this helps give people a bit better idea of what to expect. I’m very excited to share Arcane Ascension 4 with readers as soon as possible – we’ll just have to see when it’s ready.

Best,

-Andrew

May Updates

Hello, everyone!

This is going to be a relatively light update, unfortunately – there’s a lot in the works, but nothing is ready for a significant announcement.

Arcane Ascension 4 remains my primary work in progress. I’ve been continuing on it, but it’s a long book and progress has been relatively slow. I’m hoping to have a more tangible update for you next month.

My other book projects are essentially entirely on hold while I focus on Arcane Ascension 4. I don’t usually work this way, but I’m trying to focus more exclusively on AA4 to get it done as soon as possible, given that I’m behind where I wanted to be on my schedule for it.

The first expanded universe book is making good progress – the writer got notes back from the publisher’s editor and has been making changes. The cover artist is set up as well. The publisher has set a targeted window for publication, which is a very good sign, but it’s not my place to announce what that date is – at least not yet. So, good progress, but I can’t actually show you anything from it at this point.

In terms of other expanded universe projects, I’m still spending a considerable amount of time working on these and have a targeted release date for one of them, but don’t actually have the ability to announce them yet either. Right now, I’m *hoping* that I can announce one alongside AA4’s release, but I’m not certain it’ll pan out that way.

Thank you all for your patience and interest in the books! I hope you have a good month.

Best,

-Andrew

New Crossover Book Announcement

Edit: This was, of course, an April Fool’s Day joke. That said, the poster part is real – you can actually get that and help support a charity!

I’m incredibly proud to announce my involvement with an exciting crossover project with several other amazing authors! This unique progression fantasy series is the culmination of years of work on finding the perfect blend of elements to make a truly terrific story.

Behold, JÄGER(MASTER)!

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Bud Wiser was long known as the greatest warrior of the grand realm of Hi-Nak’en. He was a man of measure, of clout and power, whose skill with a blade was never matched.

That all changed in death.

Sacrificing himself to save a small child from being trampled by a team of draft horses, Bud finds himself in the presence of a god. Unfortunately for him, this particular deity is obviously overworked and underpaid, because they hardly let him get a word out before tiredly assuring him his next life will be one of “plenty and leisure” as a “reward” for his bravery and fighting spirit on Hi-Na’ken. The next thing Bud knows, he’s waking up from a night of drunken revelry, finding himself the sole proprietor of a bustling tavern whose patrons are clamoring for food and drink. Worse, almost immediately Bud makes a terrible realization:

In this strange new world, the laws of magic dictate that the only objects one can touch and wield are those relevant to the “Job” the gods assign them at birth.

And what’s Bud’s new Job? What is the role assigned by the heavens to the former champion of world order?

… “Tavern Owner”.

Audio book coming soon, too!

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Love the cover art and want a poster? Grab one here: https://store.podiumaudio.com/products/jagermaster-poster

Want to pick up the book? Check it out here: shorturl.at/oBCQU

Death Game Quality Assurance is Out on Audible!

Hello everyone.

My latest book, Death Game Quality Assurance, is out on Audible now! This is an Audible Original, and thus, it’s exclusively on Audible for the time being.

This story comes from a very personal place. Working as a Quality Assurance Analyst was my first real job, and I worked in QA for years before moving into game design (and eventually switching careers to write books). I still have a lot of fond memories of my first team for QA night crew…and a lot of memories of things that didn’t go quite like they should have, too. =D

This book is a parody of video game development itself (with a focus on MMORPGs), as well as the LitRPG and GameLit genres of literature. If you’re not interested in any of those things, this might not be for you – it’s much more of a direct parody than my previous works.

Style wise, this is vastly different from my previous works – it’s virtually all dialogue and it’s a full cast recording. It’s also only a couple hours long – you can think of it as being more like a radio show than a traditional novel.

I hope everyone enjoys the story!

Best,

-Andrew

Some Quick Recommendations

Hey, everyone!

Just wanted to mention some quick progression fantasy recommendations from things I’m reading.

First off, Paragon of Blood.

This one is for people who are looking for a classic “weak to strong” style fantasy in a LitRPG setting. It’s a post-apocalyptic LitRPG, meaning it takes place on future earth where game mechanics have been applied to our world. Fair warning that this one is a little darker in places – the “blood” in the title is definitely present, and there’s a little bit of body horror imagery involving something similar to a symbiote. (I don’t want to spoil too much with details, but think “forceful fusion with another entity”.) It’s coauthored by one of my favorite authors – Luke Chimilenko, the author of Ascend Online and coauthor of Iron Prince – and much like his other books, it’s been a fun read so far. (I’m about 80% into it now.)

Next, The Enchanter.

For those of you who enjoyed Mage Errant, this is another magical academy novel in that tradition (with some similarities to Arcane Ascension as well, as the title might imply). I haven’t had a chance to read this one completely yet, but I’m enjoying the section I’ve read through so far. I’ve also *heard* that it’s a LGBTQIA+ one, but I haven’t actually hit the romance arc(s) yet – it just launched today – so I can’t confirm.

I’ll have more news on my own side soon. Stay safe, all!

Secret Book Announcement!

Hello, everyone!

I’m very pleased to finally be able to announce one of the secret projects I’ve been working on. This is the Audible Original novella I mentioned working on last year – and I’m incredibly excited to finally tell you about it.

Most of you will have heard a particular premise before – gamers get trapped inside a video game..and if they die in the game, they die in real life.. Variations on this premise are commonplace, encompassing everything from early examples like Tron and novels like Wyrm by Marc Fabi to episodes of Batman the Animated Series...and, of course, numerous anime spanning from .Hack/Sign to Sword Art Online and beyond.

As someone who comes from a game design background, I love these stories, but I’ve always had questions. And among them, the foremost in my mind was…

…How did an absurd game like that make it through development?

Behold, my answer:

Death Game Quality Assurance is an affectionate parody of GameLit and LitRPG fiction, specifically the “trapped in a MMORPG” style stories, from the perspective of a Quality Assurance team testing the game while it is still in development. It’s also a very deliberate parody of game development itself, especially QA, where I spent the first years of my own game development career. This might make the book a bit more niche than my usual fare — some game-dev specific jokes may not work for everyone — but if you’re a gamer or a fan of LitRPGs, you’ll probably get a lot of the nods and humor regardless.

This is also unusual for me in another respect – in terms of narrative style, it’s written entirely almost entirely in chat logs, bug reports, and game system messages. This makes the narrative style much more like a radio show or podcast – and I’m thrilled to report that we got an *amazing* full-cast recording for it (meaning different voice actors for each character). We’ve got some phenomenal talent in there, including one particular amazing voice actor that my fellow progression fantasy and LitRPG fans will recognize in an instant.

The book is out on Audible in just two weeks. Due to the nature of the book as an Audible Original, there’ll be a delay before the book is released in any other formats – but the narration is incredible and I highly urge people to check this version out if you’re interested in LitRPGs or game dev at all. You can find the Audible Release of the book here.

I can’t wait to hear what people think of the book…and to announce a few more surprises soon.

Take care, everyone!

-Andrew

Arcane Ascension Anniversary!

Hello everyone!

Today is the fifth anniversary of the launch of Arcane Ascension, and to celebrate, I have some updates and other things to share with you.

First off, some amazing news on the first Arcane Ascension expanded universe book – as of this morning, the author has finished edits based on beta reader notes and my revisions. We’re now about to deliver it to the publisher for final edits and publication. I’m extremely excited about this and hope to be announcing more about it along with the co-author extremely soon.

Next, Arcane Ascension 4 updates. I’ve made solid progress on this and I’m going to say I’m a bit beyond the half-way point on the first draft now. I’m currently targeting a Q3 release. I considered putting up a preview chapter to celebrate the day, but given how much that would spoil the cliffhanger ending from the last book, I decided it would be wiser to give a preview of something else instead. Which leads me to my next update.

Edge of the Woods is at a similar stage of completion to AA4 (there are fewer words written than for AA4, but it’s intended to be much shorter). I’ve deprioritized to focus on AA4. To help celebrate today, here’s a link to the very first preview chapter. This is unedited and extremely unpolished, but I wanted to have a bit of writing to share with you today.

Finally, to celebrate the day, all three Arcane Ascension books are on sale on Kindle’s US and UK stores. You can find them here.

If you know anyone you think would love the books, help spread the word about the sale! Now is a great time to pick the books up.

I was hoping to have a bigger announcement I’m hugely excited about for today, but it’s not quite ready yet. I’m hyped to share more about it with you later on this year – probably around the same time as AA4’s launch.

Thanks to everyone for all their support for the series over the years. I hope to have more updates soon!

Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Finalist Sale

Hello, all!

This is *not* the promised “longer status updates” post — that should be within the next few days.

This is a simple heads up that Sufficiently Advanced Magic, as well as a *ton* of other amazing books, is currently on sale for 0.99 on the US and UK Kindle stores as a part of a sale for historical finalists for the SPFBO (self-published fantasy blog-off). I strongly recommend checking the other books out — they’re some of the best of the best of recently published fantasy fiction. You can find the sale landing page here.

Quick Updates and Sale

Hello, everyone!

This isn’t my full February update – that will be later in the month – but I wanted to let people know that Six Sacred Swords and Diamantine are currently available as a part of Audible’s two for one sale. For those of you who enjoy my books and haven’t picked them up yet, now is a great time.

As for updates, Arcane Ascension 4 is my primary focus right now, and I’m making steady progress. It’s still a long way from finished, but I have a full scene-by-scene outline for the remaining work, which will make progress significantly faster. I’m extremely excited about some of the scenes in there, many of which involve content I’ve been teasing for a long time finally happening on-screen, as well as some answers to a few long-asked questions.

Barring any complications, I should have a larger update later this month. Take care, everyone.

End of the Year Updates (December 2021)

Hello, everyone!

As 2021 comes to a close, I’d like to provide a bit of insight about what I’ve been working on, as well as help shape expectations for next year.

To get started, let’s talk about what most people are going to be interested in – book releases.

Novel and Novella Updates:

Audible Original Novella: I finished this earlier in the year, but it hasn’t been formally announced yet. I still don’t know when I can do that. This isn’t a Demon King sequel or in the Arcane Ascension universe – it’s something new. To the best of my knowledge, it’s currently being recorded with an estimated release sometime around Q2 of next year. This may or may not be accurate – I don’t have a ton of insight into Audible’s production process.

Arcane Ascension 4: This is still going slower than I’d like, both due to personal matters and the immense amount of time that I’ve been spending to get certain other multimedia projects up and running. I’d put the overall progress on the first draft at around 35-40%, depending on the length we end up at. I’ve also done something unusual (for myself) and recently completed a scene-by-scene outline for the book, which I expect to potentially increase the speed at which I can complete it. I’m generally pleased with my progress on the “main” plot, but I’ve been more hesitant in regards to some of the other plot elements, which may be a little too dark. I’ll continue evaluating that and make cuts as needed as I write. My current target is still somewhere in the middle of 2022 for this book, but trending toward the later half.

Edge of the Woods: This is my tentative title for the faerie forest/”cultivation Peter Pan” novel I’ve mentioned a few times in the past. Progress on this has also continued steadily, with a target of releasing it sometime after AA4, or possibly after W&W4. I’m targeting shorter books (roughly 80k-100k words, or the same range as things like the early Cradle novels) for this series. The intention is to have something lighter that I can work on without the absolute exhaustion of writing 200k+ word books like the first two Arcane Ascension books, Soulbrand, etc. This will hopefully be both good for maintaining my energy levels and a better experience for readers, since you’d be getting content more regularly, at least in theory.

Weapons and Wielders 4: I haven’t done any significant work on this since my last update. Might be next after AA4, or it might end up being after Edge of the Woods.

Carefully Worded Wishes: Wrynn Jaden’s book. This is on hold for the time being while I focus on other projects.

Scales of the Serpent: Sera’s Judgment novella. On hold.

War of Broken Mirrors Sequel: This is probably still a ways off. I know what I’m doing with it, but I probably have at least a few other books to go in order to properly set the groundwork for it.

Adventurer’s Guild Novel: I may do a novel adjacent to a tabletop campaign I’m currently running, which focuses on a group of trainees for an adventurer’s guild. This is on the same continent as Edge of the Woods and ties into it. I’ve found that running games is a great way to flesh out an area of the world for my books and this has been no exception. Even if I don’t do a novel like this, I’m still getting a lot of inspiration for Edge.

Other Media:

Tabletop Game: I’m in talks with a major publisher about this. It’s going slowly, but I’ve done a lot of work to try to make this happen, and I’m going to continue to push hard on it. If this publisher doesn’t work out, I’ll continue to evaluate other publishers or just self-publish something eventually, but I really hope this particular angle works out – it’d make my childhood self very happy.

Translation: The first translation is out! I’m still super excited about that, but there’s nothing new to report – I don’t have any kind of sales data or idea how well the book is doing from Audible’s perspective. I don’t expect to see too much traction on this until we get other forms of media for my books and increase general world-wide awareness.

Super Secret Project: I’ve put a lot of work into another major form of multimedia for the setting this year. I can’t announce this officially yet, but it’s awesome, and I expect to be able to announce it formally around the middle of next year if all goes well. This has been a tremendous amount of work – I’ve been doing setup for it for a few years now, and last year was a lot of more direct progress now that it’s in full production – but I think it’s going to be absolutely awesome when it comes out. (No, this isn’t a TV show or a movie. That’s still possible, but this is something else.)

Works by Other Authors: Huge progress on this front. I’m excited to say that the first draft of the first “expanded universe” book for my setting by another author was completed a few months ago, and we’ve spent the last few months working very heavily on editing for it. We’ve gotten the draft into good shape and I’m proud to say that it’s been sent off to a limited set of beta readers as of earlier this week.

I can’t provide plot details yet – I need to discuss how we’re going to formally reveal the book with the writer and the publisher first – but I hope to be able to do that within the next couple months.

I’m extremely excited about this book, as well as the potential for other authors to be working on books set in this universe. It’s also been a good learning experience for me – I’ve written in other settings before and worked with other game designers on my own setting, but having another novelist working in my setting has helped me see some gaps in my documentation style. Working to address this will not only help with future novels in the setting, but also help me make sure to be clear with setting details for other types of media, like if I eventually get a TV adaptation, etc. My hope is that this experience will help improve both my speed and quality for working on future works in the setting.

Closing:

It’s been an exhausting year, and not enough of it was spent on directly writing. My hope is that sometime in the next few years, I’ll be a position to offload some of the non-writing work onto hired employees, but I’m not prepared for that just yet. Fortunately, even without hiring help, I’ve done a lot of laying groundwork this year for my own work to be more efficient next year.

I’m extremely excited about the upcoming projects that should be launching next year. I wish I could say more about the secret projects, but alas, we’re not there just yet. I hope everyone ends up loving this stuff as much as I do.

In the meantime, I hope that everyone has a wonderful time ushering in the next year, and that the new year brings you joy and prosperity.

Happy New Year,

-Andrew Rowe