Ever since I published The Scorpion’s Mate, I’ve included long, perhaps somewhat rambling, Author’s Notes at the end of each book, in the hopes of giving my readers a little more insight into the inspiration behind the book they just read, some of the themes and intentions, my writing process for that book, and what I might have planned for current characters and future books.
I know that some of my readers and fans will read these notes because they often reply to questions I will ask in them, however, I’m never quite sure whether readers in general are interested in these increasingly longer and more detailed Author’s Notes, and I realized that when I said all that I intended to about a book, I would often end up with pages for an Author’s Note that I’m not even certain the majority of my readers are interested in.
I don’t want to take up pages upon pages of a book with content that doesn’t interest the readers who purchased it, so ultimately, I chose to keep my Author’s Notes much shorter and to the point, basically giving thanks (because seriously, thank you to everyone who reads my books!), and then giving an update on current and future projects in regards to that series, which are all things I would want to know as a reader.
However, I still want to share so much with my fans who are interested in all those things I used to put into my Author’s Notes.
Since I revived my blog with the intention to blog more frequently, I realized I had a perfect solution at hand. I could share those extended Author’s Notes with my fans by posting them as a blog, which will not only go out to my blog subscribers, but will also be available on my website, and indeed, I plan to post the ones I’ve written in the past as well as any new ones for future books, including the Author’s Note that I would have included with my latest book, Uriale’s Redemption, which you’ll find below.
For those who are unfamiliar with my usual Author’s Note rambling, I basically talk about all that I said above, in varying degrees, and sometimes add some more personal details. I am generally a private person, so I don’t share a lot on social media about myself and my life, however, these Author’s Notes sometimes explain a bit more about me in regards to my inspiration and life experiences, as well as my writing process (which sometimes changes, depending on the book), so even if you’re not interested in the book in question, you might find something interesting in these notes.
However, please be aware that there might be spoilers ahead for the associated books.
Author’s Note for Uriale’s Redemption
For those who are new to the Shadows in Sanctuary series, you may not be aware that I promised Uriale’s book five years ago…and then failed to deliver, much to my own chagrin.
In fact, it was because of this broken promise, boldly proclaimed in all my Author’s Notes for the previous books in the series, that I stopped giving myself firm deadlines for future books. Now, I will only give a potential release date when the first draft is either finished or nearly there.
In every other case, I keep my release plans very vague. I really hate going back on my promises, because my word is important to me. My fans have given me their time and their trust, and I deeply respect and appreciate that and seek to be worthy of it at every opportunity.
So, since Uriale’s Redemption changed how I do things, why then, didn’t I write it when I promised I would? Or the next year? Or the next? You get the idea, lol.
The truth is that I tried. Multiple times!
I even wrote half the book, then scrapped the entire manuscript, around fifty thousand words, which represents weeks of work for me. Though this isn’t the first time I’ve had to do this (I tell my Scorpion’s Mate saga in that Author’s Note), this time was particularly frustrating, because I had felt confident in the story and had even commissioned a cover in a sadly unrealistically optimistic belief that this would get done in time.
Alas (I love that word and rarely get to use it, lol), I not only didn’t meet my own self-imposed deadline, I grew skittish at even trying to write Uriale’s book again, and quite frankly, pretty much gave up on my villain-to-hero story, even though it has to be my all-time favorite romance trope. (I did do it in two other series, though, so there’s that :D)
The thing was, I loved Uriale as a character and still wanted him to have his own book. His arrogance made him fascinatingly flawed, and there was a certain degree of tragedy to his back story that I wanted to share, because I like to show motivation in a villain, or at least go into why they declined from what they no doubt saw as a heroic position. Uriale was a perfect chance to do that, and ultimately, I hope that I succeeded in his book. I didn’t want either him or Anata to be written as cardboard-cutout villains, but rather as broken souls, giving in to corruption and hedonism to deal with past pain and trauma.
But back then, I was truly struggling with getting Uriale to cooperate with my plots. He has a strong will and a mind of his own, and he knew exactly what he wanted, but I wasn’t in on the plan. XD
Something just wasn’t working in his story, and it wasn’t until I wrote Carnifex’s story, in Executioner’s Grace, which ended up becoming book 4 instead, that I finally figured out what that was.
Uriale’s genetically engineered progeny simply wasn’t old enough prior to Carnifex’s book to be much of a character in his own right, and he and Uriale had to have some kind of reckoning before Uriale could embrace his son and claim him as his own. The fact that Ellana, (whom I had planned for Uriale from book one, but had changed that plan a couple times), was raising Micah now made it possible to bring them all together once and for all. (And oh, how I love the way it turned out!)
While writing Executioner’s Grace, Uriale’s story simply unfolded for me, all of it laid bare for me to get my act together and write the book already. Coupled with fans of the series eagerly begging for Uriale’s book, I knew I needed to buckle down and get it done.
And whew! It was a ride! Writing Uriale’s Redemption hollowed me out, I’m not gonna lie. I was so wrapped up, so fully consumed by the story that when it was done, I crashed like I was coming down from a high, and ended up feeling depressed for about a week after I typed “The End” on the first draft of the manuscript.
I finally came out of my after-finishing slump (I’ve had them before, just not as intense) and dived in to tackle the revisions and edits. Again, I was consumed by the story, getting so wrapped up in it at times that I struggled to pay attention to the task at hand.
I love this story, even though I can admit that I hated writing it! It was such a struggle, such an all-consuming challenge to tell Uriale’s story after all these years, that I wanted to throw my hands up and quit so many times, but I also couldn’t walk away from the story and characters, feeling compelled to return to my manuscript day after day, for nearly two months.
I knew this particular series had a much smaller fanbase than my Iriduan Test Subjects series, so I wasn’t expecting huge returns on those two months of effort, but it was worth it anyway to give my loyal fans, those who love this series, the story they’ve been waiting for all this time.
I seriously appreciate all of you who have contacted me through social media or email to beg for more from this series. I had let it die after Jessabelle’s Beast years ago, and resurrected it only after getting so much encouragement to continue, and given the two books that followed and how proud I am of both of them, I am very grateful that I did so, and I have my fans to thank!
I think Uriale’s Redemption is some of my best work, writing-wise. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as it is fairly complex and gets a little dark in places, but I could picture this story so clearly, and I felt like waiting five years to write it meant that it got the best of my skills put towards creating it.
I’m still learning and growing as a writer, so I’m not trying to say it’s the most amazing book ever…but, yeah, I am. It’s the most amazing book ever! (At least to me. You gotta love what you create 😉 )
I hope you agree that the book was at least good. In fact, I’m greedy enough to hope that you loved it!
The future of this series is uncertain at the moment. It honestly doesn’t get much attention, though when readers do discover it, they often contact me to tell me how much they love it and how they want more, and for that, I am deeply appreciative! That kind of feedback really inspires me and makes me eager to work on the next book in a series. Though I’m a professional writer, indie as I am, who makes money with these books, they’re still creative works that take a lot out of me, and I’m also emotionally connected to them (I’m only human, I can’t treat a story that took heart and soul to write like a widget from an assembly line), so when I receive awesome messages or emails that praise the series and beg for more, it has a huge impact on me.
I have many more ideas and even outlines for stories in this series, and I would love to write all of them, though realistically speaking, I couldn’t do it in my lifetime, especially since the possibilities only grow with each new book, so I have to focus on what my fans want next.
That being said, let me know in the comments which characters from the series you’d like to get their story! Fan feedback helps me decide what I’ll work on next for a series.
As for what I’m working on at the moment, I was supposed to take a break from writing for a while, because this book wiped me out so much that I felt overwhelmed. However, I started playing around with some concept art sketching of character ideas, and came up with a chameleon hero that I decided should have a story of his own. (I have a TikTok now, and I posted a video of painting this guy there :D)
Since I wanted to make it a lighter read with less complexity than a book like Uriale’s Redemption, it’s been a much more relaxed experience writing this new book, which will also be much shorter. I’m aiming for a light, steamy read that incorporates a ton of romance tropes, particularly SFR, and hopefully puts them all together in a fun, very entertaining way that my fans will enjoy. I’m really leaning in to the tropey-ness on this one. 😀 I love the romance genre, and I love all the associated tropes of it, as well as the science fiction tropes that also occur frequently in this book.
After I finish this WIP, I plan on actually taking that break, XD before I dive into one of the other two books I’ve been planning for this year, Ava’s book, and Kevos’s book.
Thank you so much for reading my Author’s Note for Uriale’s Redemption, and if you read the book, thank you for taking the time to check it out!