I have to admit, I am feeling a bit spaced out today so you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little all over the place with this blog. It seems that my usual end of year tiredness has gone to a whole new level this year in true 2020 style.
I had meant to write a full blog about the ‘Cry of the Firebird’ rewrite but was so wrecked from the rewrite itself, that November is kind of a blur. If you are on my Instagram (the only social media I am on regularly) you would have seen that I lost my German Shepard to cancer in the last six weeks too so I’ve been tired and devastated, and not fit for human consumption.
But I am back now and will give you a shorter update on Firebird, because I am still getting a lot of messages about it and books I’m releasing in 2021.
The Cry of the Firebird
Firstly, the new version is going to be released in September 2021. I say new version on purpose because I have, quite literally, re-written this book from scratch in past few months.
Why? There is a lot of answers to this question but the main one is that it needed to be. I wrote this first book nearly twelve years ago, when I was still learning what I was doing. Not only that, I didn’t have the resources I do now, I didn’t even have an internet connection, and relied a lot on the books (some outdated now) from my small town library. The story and characters are still the same but everything from representation to pacing is better. I’ve always done my best in the research department but there was some fails that I wanted to fix up as well. I’ve learned so much in the past years and I really love this story and wanted to have it be the best possible version it could be. Now I can honestly say that it is.
How? I’m putting this in incase that people are wondering about writing craft. I don’t really believe in giving writing advice but this I have learned, and keep learning every book, that is PLAN YOUR SHIT. The first three Firebird books I was a hard core panster. It wasn’t until I started writing ‘Wylt’ that I discovered beat sheets and how I could plan in a way that was helpful and not hindering.
In my ‘Cry of the Firebird’ rewrite, I busted out my trusty beat sheets and rearranged the story in order to fit them. This is what I meant about pacing earlier. The original story had saggy bits, and so I rewrote the important info in these sections into other ones to help speed the pace along. I used a combination of Jami Gold’s Basic Beat sheet (I use her Romance Beat sheet whenever I write any romance at all) and Derek Murphey’s Plot Dot (I highly recommend checking out anything Derek does on craft, he has a good YouTube and so much resources). Both of these are like plotting for pantsers. I always do a major outline now, and how I get there I can let the pantser out a bit. If you want more info on how to plan and the different ways, I recommend you also have a look at Reedsy’s ‘What is Plot’ because it gives you a really thorough overview, as well as multiple story structure breakdowns you can look at.
As mentioned above, I have a lot of characters in this series and unlike Magicians of Venice, where I only have Penelope and Alexis points of view, the first three Firebird books have many. These I did my best to combine where possible instead of having them broken up into smaller sections. This helped speed up the pacing and also gives the characters more depth. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do more than two points of view in a story, but be careful, it’s easy to become messy.
I am going to be rewriting books 2 and 3 in the new year too, so if I learn more helpful tips, I’ll post them.
The King’s Seal (and other Magicians stuff)
The final instalment of ‘Magicians of Venice’ will be out in June 2021. It’s already gone through editing and I’m hoping to do cover reveals and give ARC dates early in the new year. This book almost killed me, and I mean that in the nicest way. It’s the biggest, most research heavy book I’ve ever written and even though its been a year, I’m still a bit in awe that I managed to pull it off. I love it intensely, I think it’s the best I’ve ever written and honestly don’t know what book is going to top it for me. I really love this series, but this one is my favourite and I can’t wait to share it with you all.
Thank you to everyone who has been messaging me about how much you are enjoying ‘The Immortal City’ audio book! Unfortunately, I don’t know when ‘The Sea of the Dead’ will be out in audio too but as soon as I’m told, you guys will be too.
King of Swords (The Tarot Kings. Book 1)
This is a fun project that I’ve been talking about here and there on social media. I have finished a draft of the first book and I am currently doing some final tweaks before I send it my editor in the new year. A few things I can tell you, it is paranormal romance adventure which means that even though the world has a lot of other stuff going on in it, it is a romance story. There is kissing and more sex and the focus is on the characters coming together. It’s going to be a big world that I want to get right in the first book, but also leave plenty to be revealed in the others. I currently have four planned and they are standalones, but with linking characters so you can enjoy it as a series if you want to aswell.
Why am I writing romance after something like Magicians? Because I really enjoy it, and 2020 has really taken it out of me so much that all bigger projects were shelved. The time I thought I had to work on bigger historical fantasy, I used up with Firebird rewrites. Let’s face it, all my books have romance in them, I just made it more obvious with this series. I wanted a Venice world that I could pick up and write in any time because I’m never going to get sick of writing Venice.
When? I’m aiming to release book 1 ‘King of Swords’ sometime in 2021 where it’s not going to clash with my other two releases. It will very much depend on how the editing process goes as well. I’m also going to release ‘The Lion and the Star’ a short story that features my main two characters meeting before the events in book 1. This will also have a decent sample of book 1 in it too, as I’m not planning on releasing any ARCS (at this stage anyway). This series will also be digital only, so sorry paperback fans. I really want to keep my indie branch as green as possible, and paperbacks are a massive pain in the ass for many reasons. I will have some cool cover reveals and descriptions to share with you all when I have a better idea around release dates.
That’s me done..this blog has gotten out of control so I’ll sign off. I’m doing a lot of planning and soul searching in what I want in 2021, and tending to this blog more is high on the list. I’m going to be doing my announcements here first over social media in the future so make sure you subscribe to get it in your inbox.
I hope you all have a great and safe holiday season however COVID permits,