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.
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.
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,