The last two weeks have thrown up some big changes for me and my little writing Dungeon… One of the biggest is the decision to self publish my first trilogy of fantasy books!
Woo! Book babies! Everyone loves book babies!
I’ve decided to run a bit of a commentary on the process as it happens, allowing myself to work through the rollercoaster of taking on this behemoth project, and perhaps providing insight, and a kindred spirit, to anyone else out there walking the same path, or considering it. If you want to keep up to date with my journey, you can join my mailing list, or follow along here on the blog.
But first, let me introduce you to my world…
The Coraidic Sagas are a series of stories set on the continent of Coraidin, a secondary world I created when I was quite young. It has evolved over the seventeen years I’ve been writing stories here, and now exists as a place full of magic, dragons, danger, intrigue and adventure.
The Woaden Empire have conquered and colonised their way across the frigid north. Since a handful of warring tribes were brought to heel under a ruthless leader, their lust for power, and an unshakable belief in their own gods-given superiority, has driven them to annex nation after nation. The lands under their control now stretch from the continent’s western coast to the Morgen Ranges in the east, and south to the Ruken mountains. Here they have met resistance from the Free Nations, namely the mountain kingdom of Isord, the fertile plain-lands of Arinnia, and the small but wealthy duchies of Orthia and Marlow.
Across the soaring peaks of the Malapa (the Ice Towers), an isolated cluster of clans govern the South Lands. Cut off from the north by the sheer size of the mountain range, hemmed in by a line of reefs, and bordered by an unforgiving desert wasteland to the far south, the clans have subsisted as nomadic hunter-gatherers. Only in recent generations have they settled into villages, formed permanent borders, and begun to farm crops and livestock. Their world has been largely untouched by the wars in the north, and their technology and weaponry have not progressed at a pace with the steel-wielding armies of the Woaden and the Free Nations. Bitterly cold dry seasons, and humid, rain-soaked wet seasons have shaped the clans into a tough, uncompromising people, proud of their heritage and culture despite the looming influence of the north that threatens to unpick the very fabric of their lives.
Beyond the ship-hungry reefs, the Syod Archipelago stretches into the warm western sea. A haven for criminals, pirates, smugglers, and anyone looking to leave their previous lives behind, it is a lawless place built on ruthless, bloody commerce and a disregard for authority. For an age it has existed outside the rule of the Empire and her grasping hands, too fractured and unruly to colonise while the lure of more lucrative spoils await on the mainland.
This has been the way of things in Coraidin for generations. But no thing is ever constant, and no place can exist outside the inevitable grind of change.
And change is coming to Coraidin, to its people and the delicate political balance that has held the continent together for hundreds of years. Power will shift and lives will be irrevocably altered in the face of what is to come, and none will escape unscathed.
The first book of the Sagas, Blood of Heirs, is due for release in late 2018. Here we get a glimpse of our two main characters and the challenges they will face:
Lidan Tolak is the fiercest of Erlon Tolak’s daughters; more than capable of mastering the wilderness of the South Lands and one day leading the clan. However, she is pressured to adopt a submissive lifestyle more befitting her position as First Daughter—an existence governed by her volatile and manipulative mother, who Lidan suspects of keeping dark secrets.
Caught between her warring parents, Lidan’s world begins to unravel when another of her father’s wives falls pregnant. But before she has time to consider the threat of a brother, a bloody swathe is cut through the heart of the clan and Lidan is forced into a fight, not only to prove her worth, but simply to survive.
Ranoth Olseta, son of the Duke of Orthia, wants nothing more than to be a worthy successor to his father’s throne. His family have held the frontline against the aggressive Woaden Empire for generations, but the enemy now move closer with each season.
When his home comes under threat, Ran must use every available resource to protect himself and his people. However, in becoming his city’s saviour, he is marked by the enemy and condemned to death by his family. Confused and betrayed, Ran is forced to flee Orthia, vowing to reclaim what he has lost, even if it kills him.
Facing an unknown future, and battling against forces both familiar and foreign, can Lidan and Ran overcome the odds and uncover the secrets threatening to drag them into inescapable darkness?
Blood of Heirs will be followed by sequels, Legacy of Ghosts and Empire of Shadows.
The next step in the process of publishing these books involves a lot of behind the scenes planning and organising, editing and re-writing, sobbing, maniacal laughing and probably some rocking back and forth in a dark corner. I have plenty of such corners in the Dungeon, so I should be quite comfortable!
I am immensely excited and terrified all at once, and happy beyond words to be able to share this journey with all of you. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!
Yours in tortured words,