Aekhartain, Books

SALE!

To celebrate the end of another year, the halfway point of another northern winter, Christmas, Yule, the solstice or just because, I’m holding a bit of a sale.

Are you ready?


FREEBIES!

While Sing to Me and Be With Me remain free from everywhere except Amazon – and always will be, since they were written to be given away – Sisters of Icarus is still available for nothing. Sadly, again, this is everywhere except Amazon, and will remain so until The Icarus Child is out, at the very least. Perhaps longer, I haven’t decided yet.

Now, just until January, you can also get Dark Rebel for FREE! If you’ve been a bit unsure about venturing into my Anglo-Saxon world, now’s your chance to explore for free. Let Demero guide you as you get a glimpse at Caligo’s life and see how the Aekhartain of Darkness comes about.

Click on any of the covers below for links and more details.

An Aekhartain Romance  Be With Me  Cover_1 Sisters of Icarus  Cover - Dark Rebel


DISCOUNTS!

Just for the love of it, if you’re still looking for something to read after you’re done with the freebies above, then have a couple of discounts to tide you over.

From now until the beginning of January both Unbound and Free and The Rebel Returns are only .99 (£/$/Euros etc). So if you want more Demero/Demairo, he’s all over both of these books. Plus more Shaiel and Caligo too. What’s not to love?

And for those on Amazon, Dark Rebel will be this price too, since it’s the cheapest Amazon will let me go.

Unbound and Free  Cover - Dark Rebel  The Rebel Returns

Grab ’em while they’re cheap!


Elsewhere, The Crying Child has increased in price, while Orion’s Kiss remains the same. Keep an eye out in February for a freebie run of the latter.

Until then… happy reading!

Aekhartain, Overworld, Updates, Writing

So About 2015…

I have some plans. I like making plans, even if I rarely stick to them. I thought I might share some of the ones I have lined up for this year.

During January I hope to write the next Aekhartain release. I’m currently neck-deep in Dark Rebel and mostly enjoying my traipse across the 9th century landscape. I don’t know how long it’ll be yet, because this is a completely new story. I had to scrap the original because it doesn’t fit any longer with the timeline or the world setting. Oh, and it’s rubbish.

The rest of this release (Letters from the Dark and Dark Words) will hopefully just be updates of the originals, because although they have their faults they still capture Nawaquí/Caligo better than anything else. I might also be adding something extra at the end. I guess it depends on the word count.

So writing, rewriting, editing and all willing I’m hoping to get this out by February/March. We will see.

Elsewhere this month I plan to clean Unbound and Free of typos and other mistakes, and release the updated version. I’ll also be bumping the price up to $2.99, so this is a first warning. I’ll issue another one when I have a better idea of the timeline.

I also need to find time to read through Wingborn for a quick edit, before I go begging my beta readers for some assistance. This will be the first of the Overworld books, which are pure fantasy and involve people flying around on giant eagles. Yes, giant eagles. More to come nearer release time, but I’m aiming for May *fingers crossed*

Those are my plans for January, though I’m hoping to have tackled them all before the end of the month. As for the rest of the year, well, my optimistic release schedule currently reads like this.

Dark Rebel (Historical Aekhartain) – February/March
Wingborn (Overworld #1) – May
Sisters of Icarus (Icarus Child #1) – July
The Crying Child (Icarus Child #2) – August
The Icarus Child (Icarus Child #3) – September
Possible Overworld novella freebie – ?
Winter Nights (Modern Aekhartain, Issie and Eddie’s stories) – November/December

There might be more freebie novellas, though ideally I’ll be posting free short stories here instead. I suppose it depends on big they end up and how much time I have, both to write and edit them, as well as prep them for a big release. There’s also a possibility that I’ll release the second Overworld book too, since it’s already written. I guess it depends on how well the first does. For now the year seems busy enough. I’m also hoping to post here on a more regular basis, but we shall see.

In the meantime I have a story to keep writing and plenty of stuff to edit. Anyone else got any big plans for this year?

Books, Free Fiction, Writing

Be With Me

An Unbound & Free Novella

Be With MeEveryone deserves a second chance at love.

Barely even a wife before she became a widow, Briallen feels like she’s lost everything – and now she has to stand by while a group of strangers moves in to the house she once called home. As hard as that it is to face, it’s made even more difficult by a man she feels drawn to, and two children she can’t help but love.

Elisud’s world is changing. Homeless and wandering, with a grieving nephew on his hands, he has no choice but to live on the farm – even when he feels the constant call of the sea. Determined to make things right for his nephew and daughter, he can’t help but notice Briallen and the bruised look in her eyes.

Both battered by grief and woes, can these two wounded people ever see past their own pain and accept the love that’s kindled between them? Or will their own self-doubts hold them back?

Set in the British Iron Age, this romantic novella deals with an age-old tale of loss, grief, healing and love, with a little help from family.

Available NOW for FREE from:
Smashwords|| B&N || iBooks || Kobo
(
I’m sorry but I can’t control the pricing on Amazon.)


Be With Me in Brief

What’s in it?: A 50,000 word novella, and the first chapter of Demero’s story, Unbound and Free.
When is it set?: 256 AD
Where is it set?: Roman/Iron Age Britain
What kind of story is it?: A second-chance romance
What’s the genre?: Historical Romance
I haven’t read Unbound and Free, will I get lost?: Although this novella takes place right in the middle of U&F, it’s not vital to that story, so no. I’ve tried to keep spoilers to a minimum too.
Any age restrictions?: Not really. There’s some kissing, but the sex stops before anything really happens. Mild language in places.


Continue reading “Be With Me”

Aekhartain, Books, Updates

Coming Soon!

Coming on Wednesday (1st October) a whole new free novella!

This might not be the final cover. I haven't decided yet.
This might not be the final cover. I haven’t decided yet, but isn’t South Devon pretty when looking from one high point to another? ;) As for the dandelions… they seemed a good idea at the time.

This is a 50,000 word romance that takes place in the middle of Demero’s book, involving two of the minor characters. If you haven’t read Unbound and Free, don’t worry, I’ve tried to keep spoilers to a minimum (though there’s a couple of things I couldn’t avoid). If you have read U&F then this story is about how Elisud and Briallen met and married, with lots of Demairo and Ceri moments along the way. There’s a moment with crows and some obligatory drooling over Dartmoor, but mostly it’s about adjusting to life on a farm after a lifetime by the sea. I’ll put up a blurb when I write one.

Oh, it’s also set in the 3rd century AD, in south-west Roman Britain, where Roman influence was barely felt, leaving it with more of an Iron Age feel. If the historical aspect of U&F put you off before, why not try this? It’s free and it’ll give you a fair idea of just how historical I go. (I try to be as accurate as I can, without having a degree in ancient history or archeology, but likewise I try not to lay out all my research just to prove I did it – even though I sometimes really want to.)

Also happening on Wednesday: I’m taking Orion’s Kiss down from Smashwords, and all its associated sellers (B&N, ibooks, Kobo, etc), and making it an Amazon exclusive. It’ll be a three-month trial, so it might well go back up on the other sites after that, but for the moment all sales of that book are coming from Az, so it seems silly to let them keep more of my royalties than I need to. All my future releases will still go out to Smashwords and everywhere else, but if this works then I’ll probably move them all to Amazon after six months or so. This won’t affect my freebies.

Other than that I’ve already started on my next Aekh tale, a proper novel this time, and I’m considering what to play with for NaNo this year (anything but Aekhartain). I’m also reviewing books like mad, for no other reason than when my life gets busy I tend to read more, so joining NetGalley was a way of getting new books without playing for them ;) If you have a book you’d like me to review, send me an email and we’ll talk.

In the meantime, merry Friday, everyone!

Aekhartain, Books, Writing

Unbound and Free

TALES OF THE AEKHARTAIN
Historical Aekhartain Vol. 1
~ Demero’s Tale ~

Unbound and Free~ ~ ~
Once there was an island…
Demairo’s life is far from easy. Living on an isolated island with a father who hates him, and a mother he adores, things are difficult enough without the whispering voices that cry on the wind. Because this is no ordinary island.

And on that island, there lived a boy.
Luckily Demairo is no ordinary child, and he has some unusual friends to support him. But a storm is coming, and no amount of crows, seals or shining stars can save him – unless he chooses to be saved.

A choice is only the start of the journey.
Set in Roman Britain (256AD), Unbound and Free is a collection of four stories following Demairo across almost thirty years as he finds out where he truly belongs.

The Tales of the Aekhartain are about to begin. Stick a feather in your hat brim and come along for the ride.
~ ~ ~

Amazon: US || UK || AUS || CAN || DE ||
Smashwords || B&N || iBooks || Kobo

Unbound and Free in Brief
What’s in it?: Four stories: two novellas (Jealousy’s Shadow and Unbound and Free), a novellette (the Wanderer Returns) and a short story (Elisud’s Choice). [110,000 words in total.]
When is it set?: 256-284 AD
Where is it set?: Dumnonia, which was a south-western province of Roman Britannia (modern day Devon and Cornwall, but for this story it’s Devon), on an AU Earth.
What kind of story is it?: It starts with a little boy trying to do his best by his family, and moves on to an adult basically doing the same thing. There’s a mix of hope, despair, crows, seals, stories, stars and a few ghosts in there to help things along. Lots of things get lost, but luckily some important things also get found along the way.
What’s the genre?: Historical Fantasy.
Any age restrictions?: Not really, but it does deal with verbal and emotional abuse, as well a few bits of bad language. There’s violence too, but mostly off-screen. This is a sad story in several places.

Behind the Story
The original Unbound and Free was the first Aekhartain story I ever started, back in November 2003 when I was feeling terribly homesick and not particularly happy. In it Demero is having a rough time, working on a farm somewhere for a not very nice guy, when Shaiel shows up and gives him wings.
Well, I think that’s what happens. I have to admit I can’t bring myself to read the original anymore, because it gives me a headache. Needless to say, the only thing this new version has in common with the old is the opening sunrise as seen from Dartmoor. (Slightly toned down, too. The original opening was a page and half long in Word, using 10 point font.)
Jealousy’s Shadow came later, in 2006, when I was revising U&F and wondered what had happened to Demero’s parents. That’s when little Demairo was born. I’d recently finished writing Shaiel’s big story, Icarus Child, which is set almost entirely on the island, and for some reason I decided to go back there. Poor Demairo, but at least I gave him crows and selkies.
The new version is broadly the same as the original, with changed names, better character development and a better resolution. Or at least, so I hope. I made the seals less obviously selkies too, but used Elisud’s stories to at least hint at the possibility that they’re more than what they seem. I also introduced Demero’s hat.
(What’s with the hat? Well, to be honest that hat has more of a plot line than ten characters put together. It will be back, so look out for it. Seriously, I’m not joking. That hat has a life of its own.)
Elisud’s Choice and The Wanderer Returns are completely new, written just for this collection. If I’m honest U&F is new too, and definitely much longer than the original. It ended up as quite a patchwork tale, since I started it in one direction, changed my mind, rewrote great chunks of it, finished it, then realised the direction needed to change again (literally this time, east instead of west), and I finally had to go back and sort out a lot of the smaller details. Hopefully it doesn’t read that way. It took a lot more effort than I thought it would, but I quite like it.
Demero’s story isn’t entirely over, either, because he still needs to find his wings, officially meet and make his peace with Shaiel’s mysterious lady, and there’s a whole range of Aekhartain skills he needs to learn. But there’s a lot of time between his awakening and that of the next Aekhartain, so no doubt he and Shaiel have a few adventures yet ahead of them.
However, my Wanderer has always done things in his own time, so no doubt he’ll let me tell the rest of his story at some point. I look forward to sharing it with you when he does (and I hope it doesn’t take ten years this time.)

Read on for a sneak-peek at the Prologue and Chapter One of Jealousy’s Shadow.

~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~

The Island

ONCE THERE WAS an island. It wasn’t a big island, or even famous. It lay just off the British mainland, less than a morning’s row away, if the weather was good and the sea was calm. Barely more than a mile in length and half a mile in width, it rose from the water in an undulating wave of green-covered rock.

But this was no ordinary island. For one thing, unlike the many other rocky outcrops that littered the southern coastline of Britannia, no birds nested on it. Few people ever chose to go there either, for all it looked quite inviting from the shore.

“Too bleak,” some said.

“A little remote,” said others.

No one knew how it came to be there, what myth or legend had dropped it into place or dragged it up from the turbulent seas beneath. It just was. And it waited.

The waters along this part of the coast were treacherous; hidden rocks and submerged islands crouched in the shallows and storms swept up swiftly from nowhere. For those caught out by such things, the island might have seemed a timely refuge.

But this was no ordinary island.

Though it looked green and firm on top, its own shores were pocked with caves and coves. Each one dug deep claws into the bedrock, and every year the hungry sea gnawed a little deeper. Inside the heart of the island lay a dark hollow, and it was there that the spirits of drowned sailors were drawn and gathered.

That was the island’s secret, its dark treasure. Its curse.

Those lost at sea could never set foot on land again, but inside the island the lost souls felt sheltered and protected, surrounded by rock and wave. In this darkness they waited – and hungered.

For time unnumbered the spirits had no choice but to wait, an ill-wind on an exposed rock, within sight of land but unable to reach it. They were lost and could never go home, but every day they could see the shore, feel its presence. So close, so close, but just a little too far away. They were trapped, and their bitterness soaked into every facet of rock, watered each blade of grass and sighed on every evening breeze that the island possessed.

Yet there were some amongst the living who chose to go there. Strangers, eccentrics, misfits and hermits, each found themselves drawn to the rock in the water and made their home on its desolate shore. Some didn’t last long before they had to leave, others stayed and let the spirits transform them. There were few who resisted for long, and though the dead sailors often found women harder to crack, given enough time they could work even their whispers into the most pure of hearts.

The curse didn’t care who it took, just as long as it fed on something. Fear, pain, misery – the spirits were far from fussy. They had been simple men in life, and had simple needs in death.

Help.

Salvation.

Freedom.

For though the island sheltered them when they were lost, once it caught them in its dark heart it never let them go. So they stayed there, the souls from the sea, the cursed from the land, gradually losing all sense of themselves until they were mere ghosts. Faint shadows of bitterness, anger, hunger and torment. They wanted to be free, even though they no longer knew what freedom was.

The world turned around them, sailors came and sailors died, folk moved on and off the island, until rumour spread of a curse in those rocks. A curse was a powerful thing in those days, strong enough to keep even the most curious away. The spirits grew hungry as their land was forgotten. Invaders came to Britannia’s shores, but even those mighty Romans quailed before the island’s blight.

It was abandoned, condemned, forgotten by the living, but the dead still grew. Sleeping in the darkness inside the island’s heart, but not defeated, not gone. The hunger grew in the shadows, the bitterness, the desperation. They wanted to taste freedom, they needed it as the sea needed the land to fill its unceasing appetite. Though the beat of its rotten heart slowed, it never stopped, and with every slow pulse its power spread over more and more of the grass and rocks, wrapping them in its bitter grip.

For centuries it harvested the sea’s grim bounty, tending to its morbid crop, and it waited.

On the mainland much was said of the cursed island and the strange stories that grew there. Over time they waxed then waned, until no one much remembered them anymore. It was a place of emptiness, ill-luck and barren fortunes. Yet even such dark places can seem like a sanctuary to the desperate. Any empty land can be a promised land if one has nothing else to call one’s own. There will always be those who don’t believe in curses, or who think they can defeat them.

They are the island’s favourite type of people: strong, stubborn, a little brave and slightly foolish. A feast for the starving spirits beneath.

*

AND THAT IS where this story begins. On an island, just off the mainland, less than a morning’s row away. A place to hide and be protected, but not so far away that life would be impossible. A gift for a young bride, a fine new home in which to raise her family, far from the watchful eyes of a superstitious community. A place for a young husband to prove his worth.

A place for an island of ghosts to go about its bitter work.

Once there was an island, and on that island there was a boy…

~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~

One
Dumnonia ~ 256 AD

DEMAIRO SAT ON the shore, staring out to sea. The waves were whispering to him again, soft words, strange words. He didn’t understand them, and yet he did. The words were unfamiliar, but they tugged on his heart. Hopeless, homeless and lonely, so lonely. They were lost and ever more would be.

They wanted him to help them, they begged him to save them. But he couldn’t. He was just a boy; hopeless, useless and lonely, so lonely. He too was lost, for all that he had a home.

Shush, shh, the sea sighed as if to comfort him as it whispered up the sand and curled around his bare toes. A hermit crab scuttled through the soft foam, dragging its home behind it. Demairo wished he could do the same. To be free to wander wherever he wanted to go, to pick up everything he needed and walk away. If only he could do the same.

“Demairo!” This voice was a shout on the rising wind, using words he could understand. “Mairo, where are you?”

Wishing the crab silent luck, Demairo scrubbed his arm across his face and looked up. His hair blew into his eyes and he shivered beneath the chill wind. He hadn’t noticed it picking up, nor had he paid attention to the dark clouds crowding over the horizon.

“Mairo!”

Turning his back on the storm, he sprang to his feet and ran up the beach, stumbling in the soft sand and rough winds. “Here, Mam!” he called. “I’m here!”

“Oh, Mairo.”

The wind blew him into his mother’s arms, and she held him close against the strong buffets. “Didn’t you notice the storm?” she scolded lovingly, running a hand through his curls. “I was worried I wouldn’t find you. That you’d already been swept away.”

He let her words wash over him, burying his head against her chest, feeling her warmth and love wrap around him. Here was home, here was safety. No voices could reach him here; not the strange whispers, nor the harsh words.

“Lowena?”

The voice made Demairo tense, his mother’s arms tightening hard around him. He didn’t look up, didn’t need to. He didn’t want to see that angry face. The words were bad enough.

“Bring the boy inside. It’s late. The storm will be upon us soon.”

“Yes, Dewydd,” his mother murmured, but didn’t move. Instead she waited for the heavy footfalls to crunch away, then hunched tighter over her boy.

Demairo held her just as close, wishing it was only the two of them, that they could pack up their things in giant shells and set sail across the open sea to a new world, a new home, a new hope.

The wind howled, pushing hard against them, almost taking them off their feet, and his mother pulled back with a breathless laugh. “Well, keresik, we’d best get in before this wind carries us both away.”

Demairo didn’t say that he wished it would. Nor did he tell his mother to wipe her eyes. As the storm broke over their heads, pouring ice-cold rain across the island, he knew he didn’t need to. Within moments her tears had been washed away, draining deep into the sand at their feet.
As his mother took a tight hold of his hand, fighting against the wind to lead him home, Demairo sank deep inside himself. The voices were back, screaming in the storm. He couldn’t understand the words, but he knew what they were saying.

Help us.

Save us.

Free us.

But how could he, when he couldn’t even help himself?

* * *

ELISUD WAS WAITING when Lowena burst into the house. He had a blanket and a smile, both of which he wrapped around Demairo, hauling him close to the fire, leaving Lowena free to check on the evening meal.

“Been out having adventures, eh, Mairo?” Elisud laughed, rumpling the boy’s curls.

Lowena listened to their chatter as she tasted the broth, wondering where Dewydd was. She didn’t ask; she didn’t want to know. The last thing she especially wanted was for him to appear at the sound of his name. Instead she stirred the broth and watched Elisud dry her son, continually astonished at how different two related men could be. Dewydd and his younger brother looked so alike, but Elisud seemed to carry sunshine and lightness in his heart, while Dewydd brought only darkness.

It hadn’t always been like that. Sighing, Lowena pushed the thoughts away. They were old, familiar things, worn smooth and small like pebbles on the beach. She would learn nothing new by going over them again. Some things were the way they were, and there was nothing she could do to change them.

“Me now, Da. Dry me!” Ceri, Elisud’s young daughter, pulled on her father’s arm, begging to be allowed into the game.

“But you’re not even wet, puffin,” her father laughed. “You’re as dry as tinder, and just as like to go up!” Suiting his actions to his words, Elisud lifted his little girl high, making her scream with laughter.

It made Lowena smile, until she saw the look on Demairo’s face. Pure longing, for a father who would play with him, tickle him to make him laugh, who would smile and love him.

“I thought someone was being murdered, or Elisud had brought home a live gull chick again.” Dewydd stumped into the room, solid like the stones that held up the door lintel.

And just about as warm, Lowena thought wryly to herself, while Ceri ran around the fire to throw herself at her uncle.

“Uncle Dewi, Uncle Dewi, Da said he’ll throw me on the fire!”

Lowena’s heart almost broke as her gruff husband looked down at the little girl and laid an affectionate hand on her head. “That’s enough now, cariad,” he said gently. “The storm’s enough noise for tonight.”

“Uncle Dewi,” she giggled. “I’m not nearly so loud as a storm!”

Dewydd just patted the child on the head and looked at his wife. “It’s late.”

Lowena hunched her shoulders and hauled the broth away from the fire. “We can eat,” she told him, beckoning for Demairo to come help her with the bowls.

The look in Dewydd’s eye as his son carried his broth to him sent a chill down Lowena’s spine. She tried to remember how gently he’d dealt with Ceri, how he’d been almost kind. But Ceri wasn’t his child, and Demairo wasn’t a giggling little girl.

“Do you enjoy scaring your mother, boy?”

Demairo’s head hung low, his shoulders hunched, braced for a blow. “No, Da.”

“Do you think she has time enough to go haring about all over looking for you?”

“No, Da,” Demairo murmured, his voice getting softer.

“Do you think you’re the only person on this island that matters, to make everyone drop their work and go searching for you?”

“No, Da.” He lifted the bowl a little higher, silently urging his father to take it, to eat, to let the subject drop.

Then why do you do it?” Dewydd shouted, lashing out with his arm.

Demairo flinched back and Dewydd struck the bowl, splattering the broth across the floor and all over the boy.

“Fool!” Dewydd roared. “Now look what you did. Wasteful, selfish, spoiled brat. Go clean yourself up, and wipe away this mess while you’re at it.”

As Demairo scuttled off to obey, his father watching him like a despised insect, Lowena quickly filled another bowl. Anything to distract her husband. “Here, Dewydd. There’s plenty more to go around. No harm done.”

“Have we so much that we can throw food about now, Lowena?” he growled, taking the bowl. “Have we enough to paint the floor? Or is there something you’re not telling me? Set up some trades, have you, wife of mine? Been out fishing when my back’s turned?”

“No, Dewydd,” she whispered, pulling her hair across her face. An old gesture, a defensive one. She’d tried to stop it once, almost managed it when she’d first married, but times had changed and old habits never truly died. Her shoulders hunched in an echo of Demairo’s earlier stance, and she silently urged her boy to stay in the shadows. She could feel him watching, damp from having been outside, shivering in just his linen undershirt.

“You think me a fool, Lowena?” her husband growled.

“No, Dewydd.” She thought him many things, but not a fool. Never a fool.

“Then don’t treat me as one. Boy, clean this mess, then to bed with you. Time you learned the meaning of wastefulness. No food for you tonight.”

Demairo skittered out of the shadows, using moss from the rocks outside to dab at the broth busy soaking into the floor. There was no point to it. The broth was thin, with few enough chunks of meat or anything else to liven it up. Better to leave it to dry overnight then wash it out in the morning. She didn’t bother saying such things, though; Dewydd would only get angry again.

So she watched her boy patting pointlessly at the floor, tense and waiting for his father to lash out again. Neither Lowena nor Demairo relaxed until Dewydd gave a low grunt of satisfaction.

“Bed,” he growled.

Demairo crept away like a whipped dog to his grass mattress, which was laid far apart from where the others slept. The lowest place in the house, as commanded by his father.

Only then was Lowena able to move again, scooping broth into bowls for the others. Ceri was huddled against her father, quietly waiting for the anger to go away. Elisud’s face was blank as he accepted their food from Lowena’s shaking hands.

There was a time when he would try to interfere, try to defend her and her boy. But Dewydd was bigger than his brother, meaner too, and Elisud had Ceri to think of. So now he stayed silent. They all did. No one wanted to attract more of Dewydd’s attention than they had to.

He wasn’t a bad man, Lowena had to keep reminding herself. The man she’d married had been loving and kind. It was just that life hadn’t treated him the same. He was a disappointed man, angry at the world. They were poor, life was hard, the island was bleak. He wasn’t a bad man, he was just angry.

Outside the sturdy walls of their home the storm raged on, with howling winds and rattling rain. Inside the fury had passed, settling into the temporary lull between rages. No one ever knew how long the calm would last, but each hoped for a long peace.

Slowly eating the broth she had no appetite for, Lowena stared into the shadows at where her boy was huddled, and wished she knew what to do. But there was nothing, not in this life, not in this world. So she finished her meal, cleaned up after the others and when the fire was banked, lay down beside her husband to sleep for the night.

~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~

Unbound and Free

Amazon: US || UK || AUS || CAN || DE ||
Smashwords || B&N || iBooks || Kobo

Aekhartain, Updates

Demero Update and What’s Next

Merrivale Dartmoor -- February 2011
Merrivale
Dartmoor — February 2011

I’ve finally finished all the original writing on Demero’s book – Unbound and Free – which has proved to be so much longer than I anticipated. All in, it’ll be over 110K words, which is over 400 pages in standard book form. Phew.

However, as happy as this makes me (and it really does), I’ve still got to go back and do some major rewriting on Story 1: Jealousy’s Shadow and coax some of my lovely, ever-so-helpful reading friends to look over Story 3: Unbound and Free and the newly (as of early this morning) finished Story 4: (title not quite decided). So nearly there, but not so nearly after all.

But it’s progress, it is coming, and hopefully I’ll get it out before July ends. Huzzah!

After that there are a few romantic stories I want to tell from this book (one from before it starts, two right in the middle), and I’ll probably want to write something with some of these non-Aekhartain characters again, but I’ll see what happens. I also want to write a little short story with Freyda and Dóma, so I’m thinking up ideas for that.

Then it’ll be a Book 1 rewrite for Shaiel’s big tale – Icarus Child. I’ve been wanting to put that off until I’ve established the Aekhartain a bit more (it certainly wasn’t anywhere near the first Aekh tale I ever wrote), but some of the things that happen in Demero’s tale are forcing my hand. Blame the island, I always do. Unfortunately this means I have to put off Nawaquí’s tale, which means I also have to put off everything that comes after.

I HAVE TOO MANY STORIES! But I know this, I have known it for years, and these are only the Aekhartain section of my private library.

So, the revised release schedule now reads something like this:

  • Unbound and Free: Demero’s Tale (Historical 3rd century AD) — July 2014
  • A free U&F related novella, plus a handful of short stories on the blog — Aug/Sept 2014
  • A Freyda/Dóma short on the blog — Aug 2014
  • Sisters of Icarus: Icarus Child Book I: Shaiel’s story (Historical – 3rd-2nd century BC) — Winter 2014/5
  • Fighting the Dark/Crusades of Darkness (A something with Dark in the title): Nawaquí’s Tale (Historical – 8th century AD) — Spring 2015 (or earlier if I can manage it. His only biggest fan’s birthday is in February.)
  • The Crying Child: Icarus Child Book II: Shaiel’s story (Historical – 2nd century BC) — Summer-ish 2015
  • Winter’s Child: Issie and Eddie’s stories (Contemporary – 1990s/2000s) — Autumn/Winter 2015
  • The Icarus Child: Icarus Child Book III: Shaiel’s story (Historical – 2nd century) — 2016 (which is a depressing thought)

As always with me, all of the above is kind of fluid and subject to change. At some point I’ll probably have had my absolute fill of all things Aekhartain and run off for a few months to play with my other stories (Overworld tales, I miss you!), but I promise I will always come back. The Aekhartain have been luring me back for a decade now, I’m not about to abandon them any time soon.

As always, any questions, please feel free to ask!

Aekhartain, Writing

A Writer’s Progress

Coombestone Tor, April 2012 Dartmoor
Coombestone Tor, April 2012

These last two weeks I’ve been working on Unbound and Free, the second half of Demero’s story. I had such great plans for it, using it as a blatant excuse to let my characters roam around Dartmoor, coming into contact with all those giant granite tors I love so much. Sadly, the story had other ideas. I hate it when my plots don’t do what I want them to. However, I hate it even more when a story I’m reading makes no sense whatsoever, and there really is no good excuse why certain elements of this plot should end up on the moors.

Rubbish. I hate the change even more because the new way doesn’t only make more sense, it just works better, by tying the first story, Jealousy’s Shadow, neatly into the second. It’s one thing to find out my first idea was wrong, but it’s really annoying to find out it was rubbish too.

Ah well. After a week of rewriting, I’ve finally passed the point I’d reached in the first version and can now forge on anew. Which means I now have no idea where the story is going, so the next few writing days should prove interesting. I know where I want it to go (sort of), I just don’t quite know how to get there (yet). Which is pretty much business as usual for me.

At least Shaiel’s about to show up, so things will finally take a firmly Aekhartain-esque turn. Funny dreams — check. Over-familiar birds hanging around, preferably of a corvid persuasion — check. Some incomprehensible mumbling in a made up language — check. Someone wishing for wings — check. An author with no idea where the story is taking her, but vaguely hoping it will get to the point before too much longer — check, check, check!

By Jove! I think it’s an Aekh tale after all! XD

Aekhartain, Writing

Victory!

I finished the first part of Demero’s book today, a rewrite of the story Jealousy’s Shadow. The original is from 2006 and I always remember it being better than it actually is. Which makes me sad when I look back over it and wonder where I went wrong.

Well, hopefully this time I’ve got it right. It’s fifty thousand words, which is quite a bit longer than I intended (and over twice the original), but hopefully much better for it. I wrote 6,500 words this morning, determined to finish it, and I did! Thank goodness for public holidays!

Now all I have to do it read it through, check my research, coax some of my lovely friends to read it, then crack on with the next Demero story. Hopefully that one won’t be quite as long, the original is barely 10K, but then again the original Orion’s Kiss was somewhere around 7,000 words, so old word counts mean nothing.

I guess it all depends on whether I massively change the setting or stick with the original. Both have their bonuses, but a new setting means new research… I wonder how lazy I’ll be feeling in a couple of weeks?