An awesome short story set in the War of Broken Mirrors universe.

Scratching on the Slate

My first name was Aayara Haven. I was the second daughter of Lord Gabral Haven, the nominal head and public face of the Haven family.

This is the tale of how I took my second name.

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It’s been an interesting week.

Sufficiently Advanced Magic is easily my most successful book to date in terms of how rapidly it’s selling. I’m very proud of that.

It’s got some great reviews.

It’s also got some bad ones. That’s understandable, but a couple in particular have frustrated me – because they’re attacking the book for having a LGBT character.

I won’t apologize for that. Far from it, in fact. I wish I’d done more with it; I didn’t put in as much content on the subject as I wish I had. I should have explored it in more detail to make it feel more authentic and help the characters be more accessible¬†to LGBT readers who might be interested.

I’ll try to learn from this experience and include more LGBT content in my future books. People of all genders and sexual orientations deserve positive representation.

Hey all!

The book I’d previously referred to as Attuned is now out and has a new title – Sufficiently Advanced Magic.

It’s a reference to one of my favorite quotes – “Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

It’s a good title to invert in regards to this book, which has a lot of focus on researching magical technology.

Here’s the awesome cover by Daniel Kamarudin:

attuned_final-1200

House of Blades by Will Wight, one of my favorite authors, is currently free in Kindle format on Amazon. I’d highly recommend it. It’s the first book of the Traveler’s Gate series, a deconstruction of the typical “Chosen One” arc where the main character is an ordinary teenager who grew up in the same village as the Chosen One…
…and unfortunately ended up being a part of that Chosen One’s tragic backstory.
It’s a great spin on such a traditional premise. The series also has some of the best combat I’ve ever read. It’s essentially a shonen anime in novel format, and I’d say it was a big inspiration (along with Brandon Sanderson’s works) for my own flashy anime-style combat scenes.
You can find the book here.
I’d also strongly recommend his Cradle series, which I consider even stronger, but House of Blades is definitely worth a read.

Hey all!

Attuned is very close to being complete.

This morning, I got my edits back from Tim Marquitz. He have me some fantastic feedback and pointed out some consistent technical mistakes that I’ve been making. For example, I write too many passive sentences, and I’m still using too many adverbs.

I also use too many em-dashes.

Roughly two thousand of them.

…I may have a problem.

Anyway, I’m going to be spending the next week or two fixing these mistakes. I’m very grateful to Tim for not only making a ton of corrections in the manuscript, but pointing out these consistent issues so I can improve on them for future books.

Once those last edits are done, the manuscript should be good to go.

The cover art is also complete – minus the typography. As with the War of Broken Mirrors books, my cover art is by Daniel Kamarudin, and he did an amazing job. I’ll share the cover as soon as the typography is good to go. I can’t wait to show it to everyone.

Thanks to both Tim and Daniel for their help with the project. I think this is going to be my best book yet.

Just a quick shout out for a book that I read recently and enjoyed, Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko.

As I’ve mentioned previously, one of my next books is going to be in the up-and-coming “LitRPG” genre. For those who are unfamiliar, this genre involves people either playing games, being transported into game-like worlds, or just characters living in video game style settings. As a game designer, the genre is a natural fit for me, and I’ve loved anime in the genre like Log Horizon, Overlord, etc.

Unfortunately, I haven’t enjoyed a lot of the Western LitRPG novels. They often fall into tropes I don’t enjoy or depict the gaming industry in ways that don’t make any sense. Ascend Online is the first major exception; I enjoyed it from start to finish, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in the genre.

The systems made sense, the characters were interesting (the puma is the best), and the general focus of the story was small enough in scale that I found it much more immersive than the usual life-or-death situations that these books often have.

You can read my full review on Amazon here if you’re interested. The book itself can be found here.

If you’re curious about my own books status, Attuned is currently sitting with my professional editor, and I’m hard at work on making changes based on my beta reader feedback. I’m also getting further into the writing on Defying Destiny – I’ve got the foundations of the first chapters for Lydia and Taelien, as well as an updated outline.

Stealing Sorcery has been nominated for a Stabby award over on Reddit for Best Self-Published/Independent Novel!

If you enjoyed the book, please give it an upvote over on Reddit (here) – winning a Stabby would mean a lot to me and potentially be a boost to my career.

There are some other great authors up for awards this year, too, so make sure to take a look at the other categories if you’re interested!

Thanks for all the support, everyone!

 

I’ve finished the second draft of Attuned. My beta readers have been amazingly helpful and giving me a lot of great feedback for improving the manuscript.

This version isn’t 100% complete – I’m still waiting on a couple last beta readers, then I’ll be doing a professional editor pass.

My current estimate on delivering the book is somewhere in February or March. There’s also a slim chance I may end up selling the book to a traditional publisher, in which case that could delay the release, but hopefully help me get it distributed to a much broader audience.

In terms of other books, I’ve been getting back to making some progress on Defying Destiny. The first Taelien chapter is now in progress – and it’s much flashier than most of my intro chapters are. I think my readers will enjoy it.

The first draft of Attuned is completed and has been sent out to beta readers.

It’s easily my longest novel – it’s almost exactly 200,000 words. For comparison, Forging Divinity was 112,000. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire is about 213,000.

I’m feeling pretty great right now. Can’t wait to hear what the beta readers have to say and get this launched!

Just a brief update.

I’m in the home stretch for finishing my first draft of Attuned. At the time of this writing, I’m at about 160,000 words – that’s roughly the length of Stealing Sorcery.

By the time I finish, I expect to be somewhere between 180,000 and 200,000, depending on how many elements I decide to push off to a sequel and if I decide to trim down some of the existing content to improve the pacing in some of the slower areas.

After Attuned’s first draft is completed, I’ll be sending it off to beta readers for initial feedback and editing. After those revisions, I’ll be either sending it to a professional editor or talking to a publisher that could provide one.

While the War of Broken Mirrors will remain self-published for the foreseeable future, I could see Attuned working as a traditionally published book – as a magical school story, it’s a very good fit for the current fantasy market, and I’d love to get my books distributed more broadly. It’d be a dream to eventually see my books in a Barnes and Noble or that sort of thing.

After Attuned is finished, I’ll be moving into working primarily on Defying Destiny, the third War of Broken Mirrors book. I’ve done some outlining and pre-writing for that already, but I’m skeptical that I’ll hit my original Spring 2017 target – it may end up being later in the year.

I’m still working on that LitRPG (“trapped in a MMORPG”) style novel as well, but that’s a lower priority and just something I’ll be working on when I’m in the right mood.