Do all of your books take place in the same universe?
All of my major series (The War of Broken Mirrors, Weapons and Wielders, and Arcane Ascension) do. How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps does not, and I may write other books in the future that are in new universes.
How many books are planned to be in the Arcane Ascension series?
I like to keep my plans for each series flexible. My original target was 6-7 books for Arcane Ascension, but it’s very possible it could be more or less, depending on how I handle things like spin-offs, etc.
Why are you writing multiple series at the same time instead of sticking to one?
Working on multiple series helps keep me engaged with my writing and makes the books more entertaining for me (and, in turn, better quality for readers). By taking breaks from any given series, I have time to think about where to go next with it pre-plan things better, especially things like the areas in which my various series intersect.
Is Defying Destiny the last War of Broken Mirrors book?
- Yes, for now. There’s another book that might end up being considered a Book 4 for The War of Broken Mirrors when I eventually get to it, but I might treat that book as a spin-off stand-alone instead.
- If you’re looking for what to read after finishing Defying Destiny, Six Sacred Swords is the logical next step.
Did you write any books before publishing one?
Yes. You can see more info on these books here.
What genre do you consider your books to be?
Jess Richards coined a new subgenre term called “progression fantasy” to describe books like Will Wight and I write that focus on characters learning and improving in tangible ways over time. You can find more info on the subgenre concept here.
Do you have any advice for new aspiring writers or game designers?
I’ve written a few articles that might be helpful.
- Writing Progression Fantasy
- Getting Started in the Gaming Industry
- Satisfying Character Progression
- Ability and Item Design and Progression
- Writing Intelligent Characters
- Fair Play and Why Some People Like Magic Systems
Are you ever going to write a “true” LitRPG?
Yes. I’ve started and stopped a few of them. I’ll probably finish one eventually.
Do you have any other series planned?
Several. Here are some of the ones I can talk about:
- I have a book in progress with Wrynn Jaden as the narrator/protagonist.
- I have a post War of Broken Mirrors book planned that deals with the people who aren’t already addressed in my other series. This may or may not be considered a War of Broken Mirrors novel.
- I have four different arcs based on different role-playing games I’ve run in this setting that may or may not be translated into books eventually.
- I have multiple older novels that I might rewrite or otherwise revive eventually. I talk about those books a bit more here.
- I have at least one largely unrelated progression fantasy “martial arts school” story that I plan to finish eventually.
Will there ever be a games based on these books?
- A tabletop game is in progress.
- A board game rules set based on the in-world game Crowns is also in progress.
- A PC or console game would require finding the right developer, which is a real challenge. Most developers either want to own the intellectual property (meaning they won’t work with an established universe) or want to work with huge settings that are already super established (like Middle Earth or Star Wars). There’s very little middle ground for works that are established, but not super famous. A smaller indie publisher would be the most likely option here, but I’d still have to find one with a track record that I trust and the capability to make the kind of game that I’d want to see. In my opinion, a bad game would be worse than none, so I intend to take my time and be picky.
Why are your ebooks only available on Amazon?
I publish through Kindle Select. This allows me to do things like put my books up for sale at lower prices, occasionally make them free, and allow lending through the Kindle Lending Library or Kindle Unlimited. Unfortunately, it requires the book being on Amazon exclusively. Thus, I will not have my books up on other platforms unless something changes and I decide to drop out of Kindle Select.
What order are your books meant to be read in?
- My intention is to allow people to start with any series based on their own preferences.
- If you prefer more traditional fantasy or reading in chronological order, start with the War of Broken Mirrors.
- If you love magical schools and/or really detailed magic systems work, start with Arcane Ascension.
- If you want something lighter and faster paced, start with Weapons & Wielders.
- If just want me to pick for you, start with Arcane Ascension.
What’s the chronological order of the books?
- The War of Broken Mirrors is first.
- Weapons & Wielders happens right after that, with the exception of the frame story, which takes place right after Book 2 of Arcane Ascension.
- Arcane Ascension happens years the main story of Weapons & Wielders.
How long are each of the books?
I list these in word count, since page count varies based on medium (paper, kindle, audio) and elements of style (font, size, etc.)
- Forging Divinity – 116k words
- Stealing Sorcery – 165k words
- Defying Destiny – 142k words
- Six Sacred Swords – 113k words
- Diamantine – 170k words
- Sufficiently Advanced Magic – 218k words
- On the Shoulders of Titans – 253k words
- The Torch that Ignites the Stars – 185k words
- How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps – 49k words
When does the next book/audiobook/paperback come out?
- Generally, paperbacks take about two weeks to a month after the Kindle version.
- Audio books generally take several months.
- More information on why there is a gap between launches in different formats is here.
Are you looking for more beta readers?
Thanks for asking! I’m not looking for more beta readers at this time.
Why don’t you sell merch?
Some of my rights, including merchandise, are owned by a publisher. My hope is that they’ll do some merchandise eventually, but I don’t know when that might be or what types we might get yet.
Is there an overall plan for your books?
- Yes, although it’s more complex than a single plan. I established many of the events that were going to occur in the setting long before I began writing the novels, including the end points for several of the major overarching story elements in the series as a whole. Some of the specific details of how those points are reached are flexible, however.
- For a bit more detail on that subject, see this post.
- This post also goes into some of the details about books I started and didn’t complete (or finished and chosen not to publish). That provides a bit of additional insight into my process.
Is Spider Climb coming back?
I’m not sure. Writing Spider Climb took up too much time for me to continue working on my main books simultaneously at a reasonable rate. I may pick it back up when I’m satisfied that I’ve released enough books in a year to take a vacation or something along those lines.
Why do you self-publish?
There’s a lot to say on this subject, but the simple answer is that I didn’t want to, initially. Like many other authors, I wasn’t able to find a traditional publisher write away, and I grew bored and frustrated with the query process to literary agents and publishers. At this point, my books have been successful enough that I could easily get a traditional publisher, but the disadvantages would outweigh the advantages for me. I’d lose a degree of creative control that I find unacceptable, and I’d probably make a lot less money, too.
Why do you go into so much detail about how magic works?
Lots of details on why I do that here.
Your titles for Arcane Ascension books are weird. Where do they come from?
All of the titles for these books are modified versions of quotes related to science, learning, and technology. With the series itself having a strong focus on magical research, I felt that these quotes helped encapsulate the style and themes of the story.
Sufficiently Advanced Magic is an inversion of Clarke’s Third Law, which states “Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. This story shows a setting where magic itself is used as technology – it is studied, quantified, and used as a tool in everyday life.
On the Shoulders of Titans is a more fantastical version of Newton’s famous quote “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” This quote refers to how scientists build off of the research and knowledge of all previous generations. Amusingly, Newton’s quote itself is likely a variation on much earlier imagery from Bernard of Chartres, or perhaps even earlier sources – thus, the quote itself was likely built on the shoulders of predecessors.
The Torch that Ignites the Stars is perhaps the greatest stretch – it is largely a reference to the quote, “Science knows no country because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world,” by Louis Pasteur. It also draws from other similar quotes, such as, “Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge,” by Steven Hawking.
Last Updated: 4-2021