Languishing No More

Those of you who’ve been following me for a time know that I published the first book in the Redemption of Erâth series all the way back in 2014, with the second coming out over two years ago in 2016. And whilst I finished the draft of the third book over the summer of 2016, it’s been languishing in edit hell for going on two years.

Some of that time, of course, was spent away from the increasingly detailed fantasy world of Erâth whilst I worked on my first young adult novel, 22 Scars (published last November). And as much as I’ve been putting effort into publishing, publicizing and marketing this other story, I’ve been longing to return to Erâth and continue the story of Brandyé, Elven, Elỳn and their family and friends.

Over the past few months, I’ve (slowly) spent time revising, cutting and editing book  three of the series, entitled Ancients & Death. It’s at a place now where I believe it’s as good as I can possibly make it, from both a story point of view as well as an editing point of view. I feel like it’s ready for the world, and I want to get it out to you all.

However – if I do so, it’ll be the first time I’ve published a novel without a professional edit. And I’m very reluctant to proceed without it. I’ve used the same wonderful editor for all my novels so far – both fantasy and otherwise – and she’s been instrumental in improving the style, pacing and fluidity of everything I’ve ever written. So why would I forgo her this time?

In a nutshull, it comes down to budget. As good as she is, she’s also expensive – for me, anyway. And in that regard, I’ve come to realize that I need to prioritize my projects. I’m not making any money from writing; I’ve invested far more into my books than I’ve made back (by a factor of hundreds), and as much as I appreciate the vast improvements it’s made in their quality, I just can’t afford it anymore.

So what I’ve had to do is learn from the edits she’s provided, and try to apply the same mentality to Ancients & Death myself. It started with severe cutting; I chopped something around 25,000 – 30,000 words from the original draft. Then I moved onto continuity, looking at the events and timelines to ensure they made sense. Finally, I read through the novel as slowly and in as much detail as I could, looking for every spelling, grammar and typo error I could find.

I think I learned a great deal about structure over the past eight years since I started writing, and I believe the pacing and action of Ancients & Death is far superior to both Consolation and Exile. This is important, because it’s one of the things I’ve been faulted for in the past by both my editor and my readers. I really can’t wait to see what you think of the result here.

At the end of the day, one of the advantages of self-publishing is the ease with which I can put out updates, corrections and revisions should they be found post-publication. But as far as the overall story goes, I’m pleased with it. And I’m ready to share it.

That means that – sooner, rather than later – there’ll be a third installment in the Redemption of Erâth series. And I can’t wait to tell you when it’s going to drop!

Road Trip, Days 5-8

So, I’ve been out of touch with the world for a few days, and for that I apologize. After leaving Boulder on Thursday morning, I was out of contact with the internet and wider world until nearly Sunday. That being said, I certainly had some interesting events occur; here’s what happened!

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Movie Night: Ant-Man (and the MCU)

Year: 2015

Director: Peyton Reed

Production Company: Marvel Studios

Leads: Paul RuddMichael Douglas

I remember when Marvel was a comic book company, creators of sometimes-cheesy print heroes like Spiderman, Iron Man, and the Incredible Hulk. Now they are multi-billion dollar entertainment company, with enough bank revenue for Stan Lee to retire on a private Caribbean island (probably), largely thanks to the insanely popular Marvel Cinematic Universe, kickstarted back in 2008 with Robert Downey Jr.’s inimitable turn as Iron Man.

Superheroes have never been more popular. According to Wikipedia, the first true ‘superhero’ movie was The Mark of Zorro, back in 1920. I would argue that Zorro isn’t quite superhero material, but Batman is, and made his first big screen debut played by Adam West in 1966 (based on the still-amazing TV series). However, I would argue that the true age of comic book superhero movies started in 1978, with Richard Donner‘s Superman. To this day, there is something profoundly memorable about Christopher Reeve‘s portrayal as the Man of Steel, and Donner truly captured the essence of the comics.

What Marvel have managed to do … since Iron Man … is nothing short of astounding.

In this regard, DC Comics truly reigned supreme for the first decade and a half, with 1989’s Batman introducing us to the darker side of comics (one could hardly argue there is much darkness in Adam West), despite the sequels becoming increasingly cringeworthy. Superman and Batman, already the bread and butter of the comic book world, triumphed in the cinematic universe, and Marvel remained sidelined as a second-rate imitator (the same year as Tim Burton‘s Batman, Marvel’s The Punisher was released direct to video).

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