It’s been ages since I’ve written an actual blog post that wasn’t a release announcement. I do enjoy writing these posts, but I’ve been so focused on creating my books that I kept procrastinating on writing another blog.
So much has gone on in my life since my last blog post, and to be honest, after reviewing and redoing my website, I realized that those old posts just didn’t fit into what I was planning for the future, so I deleted them to make way for a more consistent series of blog posts. From now on, I intend to structure my blog posts into specific categories that will (hopefully) be easily accessible via my website menu. Of course, there will still be new release announcements, but I also want to have an “Updates” category so I can create posts letting my fans know what I’m working on, or what I’m planning to start, and another category for supplemental content to my books that will expand upon the universes I’ve created for each of my series. I’m really excited about that second category, which I’m thinking of titling “Lore and More.”
Now, the reason I started thinking about adding lore blogs was because I have made the commitment (finally) to typing up my series bibles into a format that will make researching for new books in each series much, much easier! Currently, my world-building and character and timeline notes are scattered all over the place. I have about a dozen journals, a pile of looseleaf notebook paper, and a bunch of napkins and receipts and envelopes, all of which contain notes that are pertinent to my published novels and the worlds and characters I created for them.
I love to bring in details in new books from previous books in the series, especially the small details that may have only been mentioned in passing before that many readers may not actually notice, but I love to drop little Easter eggs in the hopes that my fans will pick up on them. Friak was in my ITS universe from the very first book, The Scorpion’s Mate, even though he hadn’t even been born yet, lol. In fact, sometimes those small details end up becoming a pivotal part of a plot in a new book I’m working on, (Friak’s story is a prime example of a callback to a previous book, and a crossover at that), and when that happens, I’m totally stoked. I don’t always plan these things in advance, but sometimes I do plan it, then I forget my original plan because months or even years pass between the book I wrote that introduced that detail and the new book I’m writing that will make the most use of that detail.
To combat missing out on these things, I will often reread the entire series before writing the next book, but as you can imagine, when the series gets longer and longer, that option becomes less viable if I want to get books finished in a timely manner. Plus, rereading six or seven books in a series to then write the eighth can give me a bit of series fatigue that makes me want to hop around to new projects. I love my stories, and I love to reread them, but not when I feel like I’m under the gun with (self-imposed, usually) deadlines.
So, I created a template for my series bibles. Well, several templates actually, including a timeline template and character details template. As I’m going back through each of my series, rereading not only the books themselves but also digging through the extensive notes filled with details and events I never published, I am discovering some stuff that I’m finding entertaining to rewrite or expand upon. A lot of this is lore, like the origin mythologies that I had to condense while writing them out by hand because my brain was working too fast for my pen. Then there’s the detailed information on the cities, the worlds, the complexities of the political landscape for each species, the mating rituals, the theologies….
Okay, perhaps not all of these things will be as interesting to my fans as they are to me, but I’m thinking my readers might enjoy some of the mythologies and legends associated with my worlds and characters. Like perhaps they might want to read the tale of Doshakeren’s epic battle against the Northern Mountain as told by the storytellers of his old nest. Or maybe even how the Fayi tell the tale of their origin, and how they describe Cold Mother and her Dark Nest.
Right now, those particular tales are still in note form, but I have fully completed the origin myths for Tak of Clan Et, from my Into the Dead Fall book of the series with the same name, and Iyaren, who is the other hero in that same book. I drew inspiration from Ancient Egyptian mythology for Tak and Iyaren’s character designs, as well as the god and goddess they once served, and I stuck with that inspiration for their origin myths. I focused on the Osiris myth, but I veered far from that inspiration, creating relationships and connections that didn’t exist in the inspiration myth. Still, the influence is there, and loving Ancient Egyptian mythology like I do, I don’t shy away from it, while at the same time I did my own thing.
What I love most about Tak and Iyaren’s origin myths is that they are two separate versions of the same story that, when compared side-by-side, show the biases of each species and how their different perspectives (from opposite sides of a battlefield) influenced the tales they tell about their origins.
I love to present a story from multiple points of view that conflict with each other in order to examine how perspective alone can change the shades of a story, so something that appears clear-cut when viewed from one angle is quite a bit fuzzier when viewed from the opposing angle. But I digress….
Allow me to get back on topic. I would like to share these bits of lore, from myth to legend, to short stories recounting heroic deeds of actual book characters, because they will be the kinds details that I intend to record as I continue typing up my series bibles.
These are the kinds of details that I love to see from those series that I am interested in that are created by other authors. They’re the details that don’t make it into the books. They’re tales that might be referenced but are never actually told to the readers, because they don’t pertain to the specific story. It’s important to remain laser-focused when working on a manuscript so I avoid bloating it with extraneous details. (My idea of extraneous differs from some other readers, as I like lots of world building, but not at the cost of story pacing.)
I feel like both my blog posts and my newsletter exclusives can be a place where I share these bits of lore and further expand upon my worlds and characters, because I imagine that if someone is subscribing to these, then they are invested in the worlds and characters I’ve created, and like me, they want to know more than what I can cover in the stories I’ve published. (Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss exclusive content! :D)
So, in addition to hopefully blogging with regular updates, along with sending out a monthly newsletter with exclusive content, I plan to start sharing lore as I complete it or come across it in my scattered mess of notes while working on my series bibles.
I will categorize this first blog in ages as “Updates”, and so I will add a quick update. I am currently working on Uriale’s Redemption, which is book 5 in my Shadows in Sanctuary series. I know I’ve been promising this book for literal years, and for not delivering in a timely manner, I apologize! It’s because I’ve failed to deliver this book for so long that I stopped making promises for upcoming releases until the first draft of a manuscript was complete to my satisfaction.
I’m 65k words into this book, and the story is concrete in my mind now (fully developed and fully visualized), which means this is the one! The final version! The one I was meant to write, though I still have a ways to go before it’s complete.
The outline for Uriale’s Redemption has gone through multiple rewrites throughout the years, and in fact, I ended up realizing I couldn’t even tell his story until I told another story first, which ended up becoming Executioner’s Grace, because Uriale’s destiny involved something that hadn’t happened yet. I won’t go into further details that would be spoilery, but suffice it to say, all the pieces are finally in place on the board, and now it’s time to play the game.
In addition to Uriale’s book, I’m working on a little side project set in the same world, because as I develop certain aspects of a story, I’m inspired to expand on…well…lore. Including the origin stories of certain factions in my books. I’ve always had extensive notes for that lore, but now, I am fleshing out a complete story with a bit of a horror flavor to it, though it is still intended to be a romance with an HEA (of sorts). I have been wanting to write a horror-romance forever, and though most of my books flirt with horror elements, I have always wanted to make the story a little darker (by “a little” I mean a lot XD). So far, I’m just playing around with this side project while using it to flesh out the main world building, but if I finish the story I envision, it may end up being a novella length that I would consider publishing. If you’re interested in such a story, comment below and let me know!
Other projects are in the works too. Kevos’s book (Sentinel’s Journey, book 2 of my Children of the Ajda series) and Ava’s book (The Director’s Mate, book 9 of my Iriduan Test Subjects series) are still on target for this year, fingers crossed. I will also be working on those series bibles and whew! Those notes are insanely extensive! It’s a lot. My readers have seen only a small fraction of how much detail there is in the Iriduan Test Subjects series universe especially.
What kind of tales and lore would you like to see? What books would you like to see from me? Which characters are you really eager to see more of?
Let me know in the comments, because I take all of the feedback from my fans into consideration when planning future projects. My Shadows in Sanctuary series is one that I resurrected specifically because so many fans of the series contacted me hoping for the next book, when I had thought no one was interested in the series anymore, so I’d backburnered my manuscripts for that series.
Thank you so much for reading my blog, and if you’re subscribed to this blog or my newsletter (or both!), know that I really appreciate your support. I am honored and thrilled that you want to continue on this journey with me.