Sunday, March 27, 2022

So it's Camp NaNo in less than a week, I suppose it's time I share what I will be working on


Well, summer is right around the corner, and it's high time that I get around to wrapping up my Norse story about Loki and Sigyn Harbinger of the End. So I've decided that is what I shall be working on.

I'll admit, I had hoped to be farther along in this story by now, but alas alack finishing SoS took longer than I thought it would. Fortunately, here we are, on the cusp of the April Camp NaNo so allow me to dust off my keyboard, and let's get writing.

My goal is to write 60,000 words in Harbinger. I think the 60k will be a nice stretch, I know I can do 50k in a month (heck if I'm really on a crunch I've been known to write 80k in 20 days, but I wouldn't really advise making a habit of THAT). Besides, if I write 60k that will put me very close to 80k which is what I'm guesstimating that the length of this novel will be (now bear in mind I also thought that AToGaG would be 80k and it ended up being 120k so I'm not always right on these guesstimations, lol), but either way it will get me much closer to being done with this book and I have every confidence that I will be able to have it wrapped up in early May if I can just get 60k done in April.

Words cannot express how excited I am to finally be able to hold this in my hands. Summer is so close and yet so far! But I suppose I should focus on actually finishing the tale first, eh?

What about you? Are you planning on doing Camp NaNo next month? If so what will your project be? Comment Below!

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Writing Multiple Series in a World: Part One

All Images Via Pinterest

So, I've decided to start another series. This one detailing writing multiple series in one world, it will answer the questions of why I do it, how I do it, and what doing it looks like.

I'll be publishing one post a month in this series for the next three months, so keep your eyes out for parts 2 and 3! The questions are ordered as follows:

Why Do I Write Multiple Series in One World? (March)

What Does Writing Multiple Series in One World Look Like? (April)

How Do I Write Multiple Series in One World? (May)

So, onto the first part of the series. Why do I write multiple series in one world? 

First of all, such a phenomenon is not entirely unheard of. Lots of authors write new series in older and already established world. J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Susanne Collins, Cassandra Claire, Brandon Sanderson have all returned to their famous worlds (please note that this is to the best of my knowledge, I've only read Collins and Riordan to date and I don't even read Riordan's works anymore so I don't have all the information regarding their other series and how interconnected they are). And Tolkien set the majority (if not all) of his works in Middle Earth. The point I am trying to make is that it happens, and usually quite often at that.

Authors spend so much time developing a world, a culture, sometimes even an entire magical and religious system that it almost seems a shame to only set one series in it. Now I can't speak for other authors on the exact specifics of why, I can only speak from my own personal experience so that is what I shall give you.

Currently I have two worlds which I have multiple series set in. I've written many other worlds that I have no spinoffs. Illesya from Winter Cursed, I doubt I will ever do one for. I do hope to release a short story collection set in the Otherworlds, but I don't think that quite qualifies as an entirely different series especially since the short stories will just enhance what's in the original series.

No, only two worlds so far have spinoffs. Amar and Ruskhazar.

Amar has three series set in it, the original series My Time in Amar which is four books long, and then two sets of duologies, Return to Amar (which is A Certain Sort of Madness and A Matter of Curiosity) and Far From Amar (which is not released as of yet)

Ruskhazar has five series set in it and two standalones (Amar definitely doesn't really hold a candle to this world which is why most of what I discuss below and in the subsequent posts will be primarily Ruskhazar related with only a sprinkling of Amar on top). The original series is five books long, then there is a four book long series, two trilogies, a duology, and then of course the standalones.

But WHY?

I think primarily I have five reasons for deciding whether a story should be set in an already established world versus in its own unique realm.

1. I have an idea and it fits perfectly in a story world, culture, magic, and religious system that I have already developed.

Or more specifically, I have an idea and I don't have a world for it yet, but it would fit perfectly in this story world that I already have and I could develop a plot around this magic and religious system and connect it to the world as a whole, so why go through the trouble of creating a whole new world when I can simply insert it here?

2. My world has outgrown one single series

So, you created a fantasy world, you developed a culture, a history, you've figured out what fantasy creatures reside there... and then you step back and realize that you have this amazing concept that you barely even touched on in this series so you decide to write a whole other one to be able to properly flesh out this idea.


Is that only me?

This happened multiple times with Ruskhazar. I have four seperate clans living there, the Higher Elves (short, gray-blue skinned, elves that used to live in the mountains but were almost wiped out a thousand years ago and now they exist with no culture as servants, criminals, or outcasts), the Lower Elves (valley-dwelling elves with golden skin and dark hair and eyes, these elves can easily live for hundreds of years and consider themselves above everyone else, they are usually quite stuck-up and isolated), Highlanders (mountain dwelling people, descended from Viking-esque raiders and born immune to magic, these people are proud warriors), and Lowlanders (valley-dwelling people, merchants, farmers or nobility, Lowlanders are a softer clan, preferring the fineries of life, they are also the only humans capable of wielding magic). And that's not even taking into account the outsiders from the deserts who come to Ruskhazar because they have doubtless been exiled from their homeland.

And then on top of that there are two conflicting magic/religious systems. The magickers who use magic which they believe was gifted them by the goddess Meruna; and sorcerers who draw power from the gods' children the vile demigods. Magic is perfectly legal, there is even a grand and massive academy that anyone wishing to learn magic can attend for free; sorcery is illegal and those caught wielding it face dire consequences.

And then there are also vampires and werewolves, both creatures that humans or elves can be turned into with just one bite. Vampires exist due to a curse, they have many weaknesses but also dark and twisted abilities such as living forever, but having to draw someone's life force in order to do it, they are always trapped in this state of limbo between life and death. Werewolves supposedly exist due to a blessing, they can choose to take a stronger form or continue to remain as a human (or elf), it can have absolutely no affect on their everyday life if they so choose it. Werewolves are primarily Highlanders, because it was a clan of Highlanders that was first blessed. Vampirism is a highly contagious blight that affects anyone.

So, as you can see, with all of these differing groups, systems, and such I started to realize that Ruskhazar had outgrown Rage Like the Gods.

For instance, in RLtG I realized that I gave vampirism a bad rap. I have a few characters who become vampires, but they all hate it and desperately seek a cure. However, not everyone would consider vampirism to be such a bad thing (I mean, it does come with immortal life, doesn't it?), and so the Blood of the Gods trilogy was born, which is a series where all of my characters are either A. Vampires, B. Vampire Hunters, or C. Either in love with a vampire or trying to become a vampire.

I also had no Lower Elf main characters in RLtG, (the closest I have is Eirik who is half-elf) in fact they are for the most part shown in a bad light (which isn't hard to do since the majority of Lower Elves are pretty huge jerks), but there are good Lower Elves out there as well, ones who go against the mold and they needed their stories told as well.

This happened dozens of times over, I realized that I wanted to write a story with more outsiders who are foreign to Ruskhazar (A Tale of Gods and Glory), the only MC in RLtG from outside Ruskhazar is Dagmy and I wanted to explore what it would be like for someone who had a different background (Dagmy was raised in a tribe of mercenaries, Taliz from AToGaG was a city dwelling politician). I wanted to see what it was like to have main characters serve some of the sketchier demigods (In RLtG the only sorceress MC is Azern and she serves the demigod of dawn who is the only demigod not considered inherently evil) but what if I had a character who served one of these inherently evil demigods, who actually partook in necromancy and other sacrilegious horrors? I wanted to write a story where a Lower Elf and a Higher Elf fell in love, there are natural tensions between all the clans, but none so much as there are between the elves, such a love seems impossible so of course I had to write an instance when it actually happened.

The list goes on. The what if? questions just kept coming. And so, consequently, did the side series.

3. The story has outgrown one single series

This may seem like the same thing as the last reason, but it's slightly different.

This has happened to me in two different forms. The first and more common option is that a side character wants their story told. The majority of the Blood of the Gods trilogy characters were first introduced in Rage Like the Gods. In fact, I think all the main characters in that trilogy appear in RLtG at least once before they get their own story.

The second form is when I get the desire to write something spoken about during the course of the series, but it has already happened, it hasn't happened yet, or it does not happen to the characters that the original series is about. My example for this is that Ruskhazar has a fairly developed history going back a thousand years, there are two eras that take place before the events of RLtG start off. Certain characters are descended from legendary figures, other characters have lived through this history (although not all were exactly conscious at this point), and I started wanting really badly to go back and write about some of this history. And so Ancient Gods was born, about a protagonist (who is actually the child of one of my protagonists from a pervious series) who goes back in time and is forced to live through the thousand year old history of Ruskhazar (don't worry, she's a vampire so old age isn't going to get her), meeting these immortal characters and witnessing their backstory before disaster befalls them, fighting beside legendary ancestors of other characters, and just all around trying not to change the course of the future.

4. A new idea is similar in a sense and fashion to a story that I have already developed a world for.

For this one, I'm going to use an example from Amar because it is feeling left out. My Time in Amar is a portal fantasy series about a group of teens being dragged from their homes on Earth and taken to the magical and dangerous world of Amar. There are pirates, dragons, castles, kings, wars, and basically anything a Medieval/Kingdom fantasy would want with the added charm of four teenagers who have no idea what they are doing and accidentally leaving their fingerprints all over this world.

Okay, that's super fun, but a few years back I got it in my head that I wanted to write an Alice in Wonderland themed story. Once again, I would have a main character from Earth who travels to a strange and fantastical land.

These two idea concepts just seemed so similar to me. I mean, I was already writing a portal fantasy! But none of my preexisting characters quite fit what I wanted to do for this Alice in Wonderland theme.

It only took me a couple of hours to figure out that instead of creating a whole other world and a whole new way of traveling between worlds, a new magic system, and all that I could simply make the series related to each other. Which also helped with my worries that the basis of these series were too similar, I could now write them to sort of parallel and compliment each other now that they are connected in this manner.

Now please note that I'm certainly not saying that you should only have one world per genre. I don't think that should be the case at all. Of Gold and Iron is another portal fantasy about a character from Earth traveling to another world, but the world in Of Gold and Iron is heavily based off of Irish myths. It broke rule number one, it didn't fit the magic system I had created. Of Gold and Iron is a faerie romance, and while there are faeries in Amar, they are entirely different creatures in these two separate worlds.

5. Crossovers, baby

I try to keep crossovers at a minimum, at least in earlier books in the series, because I understand that they can be pretty confusing. As a whole I try to establish my characters and series first before I bring anyone in from another series, but it does happen. Characters do meet each other. I mean come on, crossovers are flipping awesome and it would be a criminal act to let such an opportunity go to waste.

Ultimately, it's a fine line between intricate and too complicated, and I do the cha-cha slide on that line. But I also think that it can get confusing to have all of your books set in different worlds as well, especially if you write multiple fantasy series, it can get difficult to keep them all unique, sometimes your worlds might end up starting to look too similar to each other anyway. I personally think it's better to just set multiple series in one highly developed world, than to create several cookie-cutter worlds that are exact replicas of each other. But that's just me.

Okay, so this post ended up being far longer than I originally intended. I will try to keep the other posts in this series a bit shorter, but hopefully I answered your question as to Why I write multiple series in one world.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

The March Muchness Blog Tag


Hello, guys, I'm doing a tag today hosted by the lovely Christine Smith as well as a whole host of other individuals whom you should all check out (they're listed in the image above). This tag is Alice in Wonderland themed which is of course a theme I couldn't turn down since I'm currently working on publishing my Alice Through the Looking Glass inspired tale later this spring.

So, without any further introduction, let's dive straight into the questions, shall we?
  • List six impossible things you’d love to do – wild and crazy answers 100% welcome!
1- I'd tame a dragon

2- I'd learn how to turn invisible and maybe lift things with my mind, that could be handy...

3- I would finish all of my projects on time

4- I would turn my books into TV shows that remain true to the story and don't add unnecessary content

5- I'd sleep 8 hours a night and actually wake up feeling refreshed

6- I would be able to heal from any bump, bruise, or other injury immediately with no coalescence

  • What is a topic that grew curiouser and curiouser the more you studied/researched it?
Um... serial killers and I became less curioser and curioser the more I studied it.
  • If you could invite three fictional characters to a tea party, who would they be? 
Alistair Therin from the video game Dragon Age, mostly because I want to marry him, and a tea party seems like a good place to propose...
I mean just LOOK at him, he's perfection
(Image from Pinterest)

Anakin Skywalker, he is certainly not my favorite Star Wars character, but he is the one I would have the most to say to. I would tell him the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise so he doesn't have to hear it first from Palpatine, warn him about said Sith Lord, and basically tell him that the reason he sees Padame dying is becuase he joins the dark side so if he can just avoid that he could save everyone a whole lot of pain

Probably Anakin's reaction if I said that...
(Image via Pinterest)

Jebediah Holt from the Splintered series by A.G. Howard. Now please, don't misunderstand me, I HATE Jebediah Holt with every fiber of essence within me. He is without a doubt the most DESPICABLE fictional character I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing. The only reason I would invite him to my tea party is so that I can poison his tea.

Me to the cops afterwards
(Image via Pinterest)
  • Which Wonderland character do you feel you’re the most like?
The mad hatter probably, I have a thing for hats, not making them, but I do enjoy wearing them.
  • If you could drink a magic potion that changed one thing about you, what would it be?
Is there a potion that can cure me of procrastination possibly? Is there enough magic in the world able to do that—nah, probably not.
  • How IS a raven like a writing desk?
Because they can both produce a note although it is rather flat.
  • If you were to make an enemy of Father Time, what time in the day would you choose to repeat?
The evening from nine through eleven. It is when I am most productive and think of all that I might accomplish...
  • If you fell down a rabbit hole, what would the land you pop into look like?
Probably Ruskhazar, let's be honest, I live and breathe that place. If Wonderland is based at all off of what is in your imagination, then mine would look a lot like Ruskhazar.



  • If you could have the body of one type of creature and the head of another (for example, the Mock Turtle has the body of a turtle and the head of a calf), what would that combination be and why?
The head of a unicorn and the body of a dragon. Idk why, I think I would look cool I suppose.
  • Have you read or written anything stylistically close to Alice in Wonderland? Tell us about it.
I wrote this:

It's not quite a straight up Alice in Wonderland retelling, simply inspired by it. About a girl who travels to another world, but not to Wonderland, rather to Amar and then from Amar the world of the faeries. Along the way, she meets strange and zany figures (some more based off of Caroll's characters than others), must find a way to get home, and grapple with what is reality or not.

  • If you could either be as tall as a tree or as small as a mouse for an hour, which would you choose and what would you do?
Small as a mouse, being as tall as a tree would draw too much attention to me. If I could only be that size for an hour? Well, I suppose I would find someplace small and secluded and take a nap where no one could disturb me.
  • If you could give your younger or future self one piece of Very Good Advice, what would it be?
I would go to my younger self and tell her to stop being an idiot and that just becuase she isn't immediately good at something doesn't mean that she can't learn to do it. A talent isn't a magical gift, it's something that must be worked at. And then I would tell her to pick up a pen and start drawing because she can do anything she puts her mind to, even drawing. So can that "man I wish I could draw" crap and get to work.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Where we stand with Amar

 So, this post is going up late... I had no time to write it ahead of time because EVERY spare second I've had since Thursday has gone to trying to finish editing A Season of Subterfuge, Courtiers, and War Councils. To be quite frankly honest, most of my time these past four weeks has been tied up with SoS, I don't even know when was the last time I played a video game...

(via Pinterest)

Anyway, before I turn on the TV and kill some innocent NPCs as a way of destressing, I thought I would share the very exciting news that I did in fact finish editing SoS, it's with an editor now and not my problem for approximately 31 days. It was 154,000 words long when I started editing it, and somehow grew to be 181,000 words despite the fact that I removed scenes and characters and shortened the timeframe of the story as a whole.

A Season of Subterfuge is off with an editor, MoC is finally finished, they both have covers, and if all goes according to plan they're going to be releasing this April and May (respectively).

It's crazy to actually have things happening in Amar after all this time. In 2019, after having written the first draft of A Season of Subterfuge, I took what was supposed to be a short break from working on stories set in Amar.

That break ended up lasting nearly two years.

But a few months ago I returned to the very first world I had ever created and my chaotic four. (here's a blog post introducing them that I wrote back when I was working on SoS). On top of that, I returned to my Alice in Wonderland themed duology also set in Amar, and for the past few months Amar has consumed my soul as I tried to wrap up these projects that I haven't touched in so long. Which is both a challenge and not, I'll admit I've forgotten these things. But also this world is a part of me and there are some things about it that I could never forget.

the Amar in question as drawn by yours truly

Heck, for all I know I'm rambling. Forgive me, my brain isn't currently working (I just got off from writing an epic climatic battle scene) so I'm going to stop trying to explain Amar or either of its two series, I'll save that post for a day I'm a bit more coherent.

Anyway, to celebrate my finishing editing SoS, I wanted to share this song with you. It would be the credit song to Season of Subterfuge if it was made into a movie... We Are Young

Also I have a very exciting Amar related announcement to share with you. The first My Time in Amar book A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses is going to be releasing in audiobook very soon! The narrator for this story is extremely talented I just love all the different voices she has done.

Anyway, that's all I have to say today. I'm outa here...

(Via Pinterest)

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Cover Reveal: Ship to Nowhere


Today I have a cover reveal to do. It's not for one of my books though, it's for the next installment of the Clockwork FaerieTale Novellas series by my sister Jes Drew... which is yup. It's exactly how it sounds. It's a fairytale (and other popular tales) retelling series with a steampunk twist. This one is a Sindbad retelling and it's a wild ride.

Included in this installment:

-Disguises and hidden identities

-A gruff, cynical, but noble hero with a dark past

-A young, naive and plucky heroine on a mission

-Seven islands brimming with adventure

-The best first mate/best friend ever

-Lots of trust issues and reluctant feelings . . .

-Hate to friendship to love 

Now, onto the cover countdown:

And for the next installment..


Drum roll please . . .

The inauguration year of Queen Victoria sees a world where the seven seas are yet un-mapped and filled with mystery . . .

Sindbad had room in his heart for one love: the sea. Unlike women, the sea would never betray him, and it was never hard to determine the ocean's mood. The sea kept things simple; just him and his men traveling the globe and discovering new territory for Her Majesty the Queen. But his newest cabin boy is hiding a secret that could derail Sindbad's carefully charted course . . .

Dunyazad is running out of time to rescue her sister from the murderous tyrant she has fallen into the clutches of. With the well of stories keeping Scheherazade alive going dry, Dunyazad decides to have an adventure of her own to be spun into a tale long enough to last until she find a powerful ally that will rescue her sister once and for all. But her tenuous plan depends on her keeping her true identity— and gender— a secret from the misogynistic captain or else risk being stranded on a deserted island. If only the man weren't so infuriating, or handsome . . .

Falling in love may be the most dangerous adventure of all to be found on the Seven Seas.

The Clockwork Faerie Tale Novella series can be read as standalones or together, for whenever you want your steampunk happily ever after.

 Pre-Order for only $0.99

Coming April 16!