Sunday, September 26, 2021

What I did in September

I didn't get quite as much done this month as I would have liked due to a bout of bad health and some unforeseen situations arising. The first couple of weeks of September chewed me up and spat me back out which I think was rather rude of them, but ah well, what's done is done. Also I reached the end of my prescheduled blog posts so I'm actually typing this up right now in the present days away from when I am actually supposed to post it. I really liked prescheduling, kept my time free to do more writing while not totally abandoning this blog so I'm probably going to try to do that again (especially for November).

I did have some wins this month though...

I finished my first POV in Rage Like the Gods. My stubborn idealistic academy magicker student Meruna's story has been shelved until book two. Only four more POVs to wrap up and then I'm done with this book. My thief boy bard Eirik's POV is almost done, but I'm not quite as close as I would like to be with the last three. Really want to try to get that done in October though.

Speaking of what else I would like to have done in October... A Tale of Gods and Glory. The going has been a tad slower for that one than I would have liked, but I'm hoping to really knuckle down and get it done next month. That story is sitting at 20k currently, I'm not exactly sure how long it is going to be but am I naïve to hope that it will be shorter than 100k? (the answer to that is probably, there's quite a bit that happens in the three year timespan that this story takes place over, but I'm really trying to give more of an overview of what is happening and not get bogged down by the little details that get me every time)

I finished editing Of Stars and Shadows! And guess what, true to form Of Stars and Shadows grew (I have a bad habit of adding to my word count exponentially while editing, don't ask me how, I only added a few scenes...), it is no longer 73,000 words long but is now over 90k. It's still my shortest full length novel completed, but it's almost 20k longer than it used to be so progress. I sent that off to my editor and beta readers so currently it is out of my hands, giving me more time to focus on RLtG and AToGaG. I also contacted my cover designer and hopefully will have a cover to reveal very soon. I'll be looking for people to take part in that soon, but I don't have any official dates yet. Hopefully I'll have something more conclusive and maybe even a sign up sheet by next week.

Also, I decided that with the end of this trilogy in sight that I wanted to just plow through, start book three Of Dawn and Fire and maybe try to publish that earlier than the next fall that I had been anticipated. I haven't 100% made up my mind yet, but I think I'm going to make ODaF my NaNo project this year (it follows with the proud legacy—OGaI was my NaNo project in 2018, and OSaS was my Camp NaNo project for this year). Now obviously I can't share very much about it because the second book isn't even out yet and of course there are spoilers abounding in book three, but I can share that this book is going to have some slight horror elements, war, and of course Jaye and Ravven fighting a lot. Also the aesthetic collage I made for it...

(images via Pinterest, all credit to their original creators)

I'm so excited for the cooler weather. I love fall with all of my heart. I haven't cracked out my sweaters as of me writing this because it hasn't quite been cold enough for that yet, but I've been eyeing up my hoodies and joggers with much anticipation.

Also can I just say that I love the spooky atmosphere of October? Seems like the perfect time to finally finish up my werewolf story with cults and shapeshifting monsters (AToGaG); start a faerie story about war and creepy spirits (ODaF); and finish up another book with one werewolf MC fighting a werewolf turf war, another MC who is going to turn into a werewolf, a MC who is currently a vampire, and the last MC who fancies himself to be Robin Hood (RLtG).

Also I've been mulling over a new project. I'm not going to announce it until I have something more substantial to go on, but I might just end up having two secret projects going into the new year...

So yeah, that's what I've been up to and what I'm going to be up to. How has this past month treated you? Any plans for October? Are you planning on doing NaNo this year? Comment below!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Never have I ever tag... the writer's edition

Tag, I'm it. Time for you all to learn all of my deep dark secrets.

First the rules...

Link and thank the blogger who tagged you. Thanks Grace!

Include the graphic somewhere in the post (or make your own!)

Answer the questions truthfully and honestly.

Tag 3 bloggers. To that I reply nah, mate, I'm good. Probably the thing I'm going to become known for in the blogging community is the fact that I never tag anyone. Whoops. Oh well.

Now onto my secrets...

…started a novel that I didn’t finish.

Oh boy have I. Like just counting the ones that I actually remember and plan to write someday there is quite a few. But the ones that I fully intend to leave lost to the ages? Yikes. I don't even want to think of all the half scribbled pages of cringeworthy garbage underneath my bed or buried on my old computer's hard drive *shudders*

…written a story completely by hand.

Yes, Week of Werewolves. And can I just say? Never again.

…changed tenses midway through a story.

I have changed tenses midway through a paragraph. Heck, why stop at tenses? I've also changed persons. It's the woes of working on multiple projects. I go from one story that is third person, past tense and to the next which is first person, present and I end up writing something that looks like this:

I know what responsibility is. I have always been taught to put my tribe first. But what if that's just what they teach everyone so that they keep us under their control? She pondered this, but then realized that someone was watching her. She quickly schooled her features praying that they would not give away her guilt

(and no this is not a snippet from anything, I just typed it up from nothing to be an example)

…not researched anything before starting a story.

Every. Single. Time. Because I never research until I'm like halfway through a paragraph describing someone's lunch and I'm like WHAT SORT OF THINGS DO VIKINGS EAT FOR LUNCH??? DID THEY EVEN EAT LUNCH??? WHERE DID THE WORD LUNCH COME FROM??? WHAT ARE WORDS EVEN??? AHHHHHH!!!!!

…changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft.

Um, no I don't think I've done this actually. The closest I have come is in Week of Werewolves my main character's name is Chelsea Jean Welling and everyone called her CJ but I changed it so that only like two people called her CJ, and another character called her Chels. But those are just nickname alterations, nothing so grand as changing my character's whole name. (although I may misspell them from time to time)

…written a story in a month or less.

Pfft, I wish.

…fallen asleep while writing.

I don't fall asleep while doing anything. Like I only fall asleep if I am in a perfectly quiet, absolutely dark environment—and also it has to be my bed.

…corrected someone’s grammar IRL/online.

Unfortunately, yes. I swear I'm not pretentious! I use incorrect grammar as well and then I turn around and am like, "actually it is were not was."

…yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of my novel.

I know a lot of people make notes for themselves for when they come back to that point in their novel, but that must be a Google Docs joke that I am too Wordpress to understand.

…used “I’m writing” as an excuse.

Yes, and what a perfectly valid excuse it was.

…killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life.

Not as of yet, but believe me there are a few people I know in real life who I'm dangerously close to doing that to.

…used pop culture references in a story.

Does mentioning Pirates of the Caribbean once count? I think that probably counts. *shrugs*

…written between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Nah, mate, I'm sleeping then. If I am awake between the hours of 1 and 6 a.m. then for the good of your safety I suggest you better run.

…drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

Ew, no. I know it's like a huge writer stereotype that we live and breathe coffee and stuff, but caffeine and I are not on speaking terms anymore.

…written down dreams to use in potential novels.

Yes, yes I have. In fact Of Gold and Iron was a dream that got turned into a novel. And I have other dreams of mine scribbled down on scrap pieces of paper that I'll probably locate someday.

…published an unedited story on the internet/blog/Wattpad.

I edit the ever loving snot out of my stories and then find typos anyway *facepalms*. So unedited? Nope. Have I published things with typos? Oh, yeah probably.

…procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

I've been out of school for years, but yes. For my senior year, I actually worked writing into my school schedule. And yes it did come before the majority of my academic studies, but hey I finished like four books that year. Totally worth it.

…typed so long that my wrists hurt.

Um... maybe? I can't think of a specific instance, but I'm sure it's happened. I have weak wrists.

…spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

EGADS! No, thank heavens. I drink from my magically lidded sippy cups to remain hydrated and keep my laptop from taking a swim.

…forgotten to save my work/draft

Unfortunately... more times than I can count. RIP those files.

…finished a novel.

Actually, I have even managed to publish a few.

…laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

I wish I could say yes, but no. Maybe I'll chuckle mildly ominously, but only while reading back through my books, not while writing and not often.

…cried while writing a scene.

I hate to break it to you guys, but I am completely impassive when I'm writing. My face is basically -_- the whole time. I don't laugh, I don't cry. Just -_-  24/7, 365, at one hundred million percent.

…created maps of my fictional worlds.

Oh yeah. I've made a bunch of maps. At least one for every fantasy world I've spent a large part of time writing in. The map for Amar is actually published inside Week of Werewolves and Time of Trepidation.

Said map of Amar, it's the only one not actually scribbled into a lined notebook to be used only for my own reference

…researched something shady for a novel.

Define "shady"...

Whelp that was fun. Hopefully you didn't learn all of my deepest darkest secrets in one day.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

A Little bit of a History Lesson


(images via Pinterest, I take no credit for them)

So today, after announcing my big plans for Ruskhazar last week, I thought I would share a little bit about the Ruskhazarian timeline. As I stated before, all of the books in Ruskhazar take place over about a forty year span of time, but they actually are set in two separate eras.

Ruskhazar itself has four eras.

First Era: The ancient times, there was not even a Ruskhazar at this point. The peninsula was inhabited by two separate clans of feuding elves, but then the Khazars a nomadic tribe of barbarians come in from the south and settle in the valley with one of the clans of elves, the Lower Elves. Around the same time, a tribe of raiders known as the Rus come from a northern island and sailed south before settling in the mountains near the tribe of elves known as Higher Elves. The Rus were an isolated, warlike people and oftentimes would come to the valley to raid the Khazar and Lower Elf cities until finally the Khazars and Lower Elves grew tired of this. They formed a peace treaty and with their combined forces waged a war with the mountain folk, both the Ruses and the Lower Elves' ancient enemies the Higher Elves. This war almost completely wiped the Higher Elves off the map, leaving few survivors and a demolished civilization. The Rus faired somewhat better, but they were forced to become citizens under the Khazar and Lower Elf rule. The Rus eventually became known as the Highlanders and the Khazars Lowlanders. Thus Ruskhazar was formed and the four peoples were united.

Second Era: With the uniting of Ruskhazar, the second era began. It is one of mostly peace and prosperity and simmering tensions. This era lasted 3,000 years and from it come most stories and legends. It is a well-documented era unlike the first, and is still fresh on everyone's minds.

Third Era: A vision from the gods ended the second era, priests across the lands came forward announcing that the third era had begun. This era is the one where most of my books take place in, it is only twenty to thirty years long, but is the most crucial era of them all. This is the era of the end of the world. Marked by an apocalypse foretold long ago, civil war, and the rise of the vampires what happens in this era will determine the fate of Ruskhazar. Either it will crumble under the threat of necromancy and walking dead, be destroyed by bad blood thousands of years in the making, or it will be saved.

Fourth Era: This new era has just dawned and it has yet to be seen what shall become of it. It's full of hope and opportunity and a new start. Since the world that everyone knew may or may not have ended in the third era (I certainly shan't say, if you want to know what happens in the third era, you must read the books).

So last week I shared the current publishing order for the twenty or so books set in Ruskhazar. But technically I divide the stories up into two categories. The third era stories and the fourth era. The third era is what I'm currently working on. Fourth era is yet to come, I may not immediately move onto those books once I finish the third era. I  suppose it depends on how I feel after I finish the third era books. So I thought I would share which stories are third or fourth era so you have a clearer picture of these stories and what they are all about...

The Third Era:

Between Gods and Demigods (Rage Like the Gods #0.5)

A Tale of Gods and Glory

Rage Like the Gods (Rage Like the Gods #1)

The Gods Created Monsters (What the Gods Did #1)

Folly of the Gods (Rage Like the Gods #2)

An Assassin's Guide to Cheating the Gods (Blood of the Gods #1)

Rage Like the Gods #3

What the Gods Did #2

Rage Like the Gods #4

What the Gods Did #3

An Immortal's Guide to Betraying the Gods (Blood of the Gods #2)

What the Gods Did #4

Rage Like the Gods #5

What the Gods Did novella (rumored)

Secret Project (rumored)

The Fourth Era:

Ruskhazar Duology #1

Ruskhazar Standalone

Ruskhazar Duology #2

A Lady's Guide to Defying the Gods (Blood of the Gods #3)

Secret Project (rumored)

As you can see, the majority of the stories in Ruskhazar are in the third era. The image above is a collage made about all of my books taking place in the third era. These books have to do with the rise of necromancy, civil conflict, and the return of the old monsters. It lasts only a little over twenty years. An Assassin's Guide to Cheating the Gods is the first book chronologically and it takes place during the chaotic time of the dawning of a new era and everyone wondering what that will mean. If I end up writing that secret project it will be at the very end of the third era, at the announcement that it is coming to a close.

The fourth era... well, the fourth era has its own problems, but the impending end of the world is not one of them. I shall refrain from saying anything else about the fourth era because as I said, that's still quite a ways away.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

What Nicki Did

 Ah so, this was not actually a part of my summer plans. This was sort of an unexpected addition to everything I had going on, but I'm certainly not complaining.

No, I'm not complaining at all.

So I said I was working on two secret WIPs at the beginning of the summer and that was very true. One was A Tale of Gods and Glory and the other I have still yet to announce. However, a couple of months ago I picked up another WIP. And this other WIP is set in Ruskhazar as well.

There's no point in keeping this a secret from you guys. Ruskhazar has really grown from being just the world that Rage Like the Gods is set in. It ended up getting too big, too complex, with too many facets and I got carried away. I now have seventeen-twenty books (some are not 100% confirmed since they are newer ideas) planned to take place in this world.

And yes, gadzukes that's a big number. It certainly beats Amar's record of eight books planned in one world by quite a bit. But I just love Ruskhazar so much, it may not be the biggest fantasy world as far as landmass, that I have ever created, in fact it's the second smallest (Illesya from Winter Cursed is still the smallest), it's just a peninsula full of mountains inhabited by two clans of men and two clans of elves who all hate each other. Five gods look over the people of Ruskhazar, once there were seven but two killed each other. The demigods are dead. The old monsters are dead. It's a relatively safe place to live in if you don't mind occasionally being mauled by a werewolf or becoming a vampire's snack. That is, it was until recent years, now necromancy is on the rise and consequently it isn't the only thing rising. The dead are coming back and if left unchecked this necromancy will bring about the end of the world.

All of these Ruskhazar books take place in about a forty year timespan centered around this age of the restless dead. They are all directly affected by the state that the world is in. The six books in Rage Like the Gods are about the heroes who were destined to save the world. The other sixteen or so books are about everyone else.

So by now, you're probably asking, what are these other books? Well I'm glad that you asked.

You already know of Rage Like the Gods. That series is six books long counting the prequel novella Between Gods and Demigods which I already wrote and published and you can purchase here.

Then there is A Tale of Gods and Glory one of two standalones set in Ruskhazar, I'm not going to get into the details of the other standalone only that it's well, a standalone set in Ruskhazar, it sort of mirrors and parallels A Tale of Gods and Glory in a sense, but is capable of being read on its own with no real connection between the characters.

There is also the Blood of the Gods trilogy which I introduced late last year.

There will also be a duology which I'm not going to say much about at this moment only that it will be a tale of forbidden love and magical schools.

The purpose of this post is to introduce the fourth series that takes place in Ruskhazar. A four book long series called What the Gods Did (I'm sure you're probably noticing a common theme in these titles seeing as they are all gods something or the other, that's a purposeful thing done in order to connect these series so that you can easily look at my books and know which ones take place in Ruskhazar or not just by their titles).

Well what did the gods do?

The Gods Created Monsters

(yes that's book one's title)

(all images via Pinterest, I take no credit for them)

It's the story of four strangers thrust together to create a small elite group made specifically to hold the end of the world at bay. Ruskhazar is crumbling from the inside out, monsters long since thought extinct are rising with renewed hunger and so a team has been created to hunt down and kill these monsters and keep villages safe until the gods' chosen ones (aka the cast of Rage Like the Gods) finally step forward to save the world and restore everything to the way it was.

This team includes:

Alya a former noble woman whose family was recently brutally murdered by the king's son. Now she will do anything to get a crack at revenge even signing up to hunt monsters for a living.

Conan a guardsman with no real experience in the world who dreams of finding a purpose worth dedicating his life to. Especially since his former employer turned out to be a bit of a psychotic murderer and killed Alya's whole family.

Ikor an esteemed scholar at the Academy of Magickers who may or may not have killed a few people to earn his position, now being blackmailed to join this group or else lose everything he fought for.

Zarynn a silver tongued sorcerer who after being arrested decided that killing monsters was better than being put to death.

And Fluff, Alya's gray tabby cat.

And I'm not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that they are the worst monster hunters that Ruskhazar has ever seen.

This story definitely draws some inspiration from D&D and just how badly a well-meaning party can mess up. It's a tale of monsters, a found family, and a whole lot of chaotic messes.

Rage Like the Gods tells the story of those with the power to save the world, but don't want to do it.

What the Gods Did is about people with absolutely no power to save the world trying their darned best despite it. And failing. But hey, it's the thought that counts.

I made a rough list of the order my Ruskhazar books will be published in so that you can see sort of what it will look like (I am hoping to publish the next three after Between Gods and Demigods next year)

Between Gods and Demigods (Rage Like the Gods #0.5)

A Tale of Gods and Glory

Rage Like the Gods (Rage Like the Gods #1)

The Gods Created Monsters (What the Gods Did #1)

Folly of the Gods (Rage Like the Gods #2)

An Assassin's Guide to Cheating the Gods (Blood of the Gods #1)

Rage Like the Gods #3

What the Gods Did #2

Rage Like the Gods #4

What the Gods Did #3

An Immortal's Guide to Betraying the Gods (Blood of the Gods #2)

What the Gods Did #4

Rage Like the Gods #5

What the Gods Did novella (rumored)

Secret Project (rumored)

Ruskhazar Duology #1

Ruskhazar Standalone

Ruskhazar Duology #2

A Lady's Guide to Defying the Gods (Blood of the Gods #3)

Secret Project (rumored)

And maybe you're looking at this list and thinking, well at least I won't have to wait to long between Rage Like the Gods or What the Gods Did releases on this plan, but there sure are a lot of books between each Blood of the Gods book, what if there is a cliffhanger I will be having to sit on for five other books just to wait for the next Blood of the Gods story? Don't worry, each Blood of the Gods book is roughly a standalone, the characters' stories are complete in each book and indeed chronologically act as the bookends of Ruskhazar. I said that these books take place in a 40 year timeframe, well actually most of them take place around the same time give or take some years. However An Assassin's Guide to Cheating the Gods is set 20 years before the events of Rage Like the Gods. A Lady's Guide to Defying the Gods takes place around 20 years after the events of Rage Like the Gods, while An Immortal's Guide to Betraying the Gods takes place during the events of Rage Like the Gods. So for chronological order's sake they have to be spaced out.

Now I'm not sure if any of you are actually wondering this, but maybe you are and you're thinking wow that's a lot of books and a lot of commitment what if I'm only really interested in reading one series? Well you can do that with these series. There are connections and ties between books, but each series can in fact be read on its own. You wouldn't get the full scope of the depth of this world, but the individual stories themselves would not suffer because of it.

So there you have it, now hopefully you have a better idea on what my plan for Ruskhazar is. Also fun fact all but two of those books listed above actually have titles, however I'm waiting to share those for a later date mwahahaha....