I've been encourage by the reviews of the first two books - well most of them :0) It was quite a nervy few weeks when I published the first book after committing to write 5 in the series. What if everyone hated it? Should I continue?
Thankfully, it hasn't come to that, and many readers have also rated the second book, 'Age of Shadow' highly - with some saying they enjoyed it even more than the first :0)
So, now I'm fast-approaching the half-way stage with the third in the series. Unusually for me, I came up with the title before I'd written 10,000 words. The working title, 'Something of Something' (yes, I think I'll stick with this formula) quickly morphed into 'Sea of Souls'. Hopefully, this will become obvious when you read the book!
As the story expands and we head up the east side of the Kolossos Mountains, I'm also going to split into 3 strands by adding Nyomae's adventures. I feel this will help with developing the story, plus save Nyomae having to explain to Elodi and Toryn what she's been up to. Just a quick heads up - she discovers something pretty huge about a certain person on the dark side.
And now to the cover. I cannot rate Kentaro Kanamoto highly enough. I love his work and am so pleased with the first two covers. So, naturally I asked him to do the third. I can't do a full cover reveal yet as a) it's not completely finished, and b) I haven't paid for it yet! But here's the tiniest of details of the cover just to whet your appetite --->
As you can tell, the story moves out to the coast, but this time it's the other side of the Five Realms. I've had two covers with Toryn so I thought it was time to give Elodi that accolade :0)
Kentaro has sent a couple of interpretations of what she might look like, and one perfectly depicted her. Now what she's doing at the east coast, you'll have to wait and see!
I hope to have the first draft ready by the end of July and sent out to my invaluable beta-readers. If you want to volunteer, please let me know. As a thank you, I name characters after my readers who have taken the time to read and feedback their views. I 'fantasize' their names and come up with a selection, then ask for them to choose - a new character in book 3, Amyndra, is one example :0)
Once I get the responses back from my beta-readers I hope to crack on and get the kindle edition out by late September, then the paperback sometime in October.
This is the third out of the intended five, but I have some ideas for going further back into the past of the Five Realms, or as it was back then, the Seven Realms. However, I have to be pragmatic about my writing, so that depends of the sales. Even though it's technically a hobby for me, I do spend close to two hours most days writing. But with the cost of everything rising I still have to earn a living from my main role as an Alexander Technique teacher and may write another book on that subject.
I also have some news to come out soon regarding the first book - so, watch this space!
I've almost completed the second book of my epic fantasy series, Song of Echoes! The Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) will be ready in around 2 weeks. I've already had feedback from a number of beta-readers who have trawled through the early drafts.
I hope to have the book ready to publish by mid-December (maybe a little later). But here I want to do the cover reveal.
And here it is.... well, the Kindle edition for now.
The artwork is by the brilliant Kentaro Kanamoto - see full image below for the paperback. It depicts Toryn and Hope on their travels. I love how Kentaro has blended the moonlight with the clouds and mist :0)
Ever since I opened a copy of Tolkien's The Hobbit and unfolded the map I was hooked into fantasy. As a ten year-old, I vividly remember looking at the mountains and forests and could imagine stepping into Middle Earth and meeting his rich characters.
From an early age, I had drawn maps of imaginary worlds inhabited by strange races and creatures. I envisaged impassible mountain ranges, deep ravines, impenetrable forests, and marshes where the insects would eat you alive. And then ask, what creatures would live here? and how would this world shape them?
This is a great way to set up the scene for a story of fantasy and intrigued - so that is what I started to do in 2018 when I first dared to step into the shoes of a fantasy writer. My first stories were in the realm of sci-fi, dystopia and horror, but I'd always wanted to try my hand at fantasy... and return to drawing maps :0)
I finished the first draft of Song of Echoes, in mid 2019, then set about writing the second, Age of Shadows. I was going great guns until March 2020 when Covid-19 struck, and like many others, this completely wrecked my work (my day job of teaching The Alexander Technique, and therefore interrupted my writing routine.
Eventually, I managed to haul myself back into my imaginary world - after all, it was a welcome relief to the madness and soul-destroying 'Lockdowns'! I have all but finished the first draft of the second in the series, Age of Shadows, and hope to have it ready to go by September 2021.
So then I turned my attention to crafting a map of The Five Realms. I used to do a bit of drawing in my teens, and then tried doing portraits of our cats in my twenties. Then the children came along and put a stop to all that frivolous nonsense of enjoying your spare time (I kid, of course!)
So it required some practice to with the fine ink pens to create some of the features below. Yes, I know they could be better, but hey, I'm pretty please with the end result - see the full map here. You're welcome to download it if you're going to read the books - it will save flicking back and forth when you're immersed in the story (and I do hope you will be!)
Here are some of the places from my story.
I'll post more here shortly about the onerous task of naming characters, cities, lakes, rivers and mountains. Some jump straight out from the page, whereas others take weeks :0(
Song of Echoes will be published on the 5th July 2021.
Roy is an indie author who writes the type of book he would enjoy reading himself. He writes in his spare time and would love to become a full-time author one day. He's also teacher of The Alexander Technique and athletics coach.