Reach Out and Touch… Book

Okay, I will admit that Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode has been stuck in my head ever since I got my hands on the physical proof. No, it’s not quite appropriate, but that’s just how it is.

Forsaken Lands: Tragedy is now officially available both in ebook and print form. Currently the printed edition is only available through my Createspace E-Store, but it will also be available on Amazon within the next week (supposedly!). The price for the printed edition is $9.99, and if you buy it through Amazon, you will be able to download the ebook version for free.

Pretty cool, if I do say so myself. It is a huge weight off my shoulders to be completely done with Tragedy. I am sure someone, somewhere will find some kind of typographical/grammatical error to pick at in the future… and that’s okay. Nothing is ever perfect, including books printed by the big publishers. The big deal is that it is done, and I do not have to read it for a good long while.

I’ve been getting in a few hundred words here and there for Book 2 between job interviews this month (non-writing jobs, of course). I am very happy to be making some real headway on the story, and can’t wait until next week when I will have plenty of time to devote to it. Here’s a little taste, in case you weren’t already as excited as I am. đŸ˜‰ *potential spoilers ahead*

“If this is a joke you should know that you’re about to walk away with a black eye. It’s not funny,” said Adria.

“No joke. As Adreth said, this isn’t a government and it’s certainly not a democracy. He’ll do what he pleases, and he thinks this is a good idea.” Les pulled the cig from his lips to steal a swig from Adria’s drink and coughed. “Skies above I hate ale.”

Adria snatched the mug out of his hands and leaned forward, lowering her voice. “And he made this decision tonight?”

“Skies no, he made the deal a while ago. She’s on her way here tonight.”

“Here?” Adria seethed. She was on her feet without meaning to be, ready to turn and walk up the stairs to strangle her goddamned twin.

Les grabbed her by the arm as tight as he could manage. “Rendezvous was in Saphena. The detail left to pick her up an hour ago. They’ll be here any minute.”

She wrenched out of his hold easily. As much as Les had grown as a fighter, she was still a fair twice as strong as him. The man couldn’t easily make up for a lifetime of privilege. “I don’t need very long, trust me.”

I’ll be checking in before the holidays, I’m sure. Stay safe out there in the meantime!

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Tidbits and Much-Anticipated News

If you follow me on facebook (and if you don’t, please direct your attention to the left side of the blog and hit ‘like!’), you know that I’ve been doing a lot of editing. I’ve also been working on the cover.

Yes, September is over and the book has not materialized. And yet I think this is a good thing – it gave me time to modify the ending, which is necessary for Book 2 to flow properly. Also, the edits were important. Many much edits (like my grammar?).

At any rate, this is my little gift to you since I’ve been holding out for so long. The following is the rough cut of the glossary of terms I came up with. Hopefully it comes through in the novel that there is quite a bit of backstory to the world of Forsaken Lands, far beyond what is “necessary” to be explained in the story. If there is continued curiosity about how the world works, I may release more bonus background info in the future!

Elseth’s Lands: Located on the northern half of the continent, Elseth’s land was once a geographically diverse, fertile land. Recently the state of the land has been changing, and with it many crops have begun dying and lakes have dried up.

Elseth’s Children: Believed to be the direct descendents of the goddess Elseth and her lover Layvin, Elseth’s Children live on the northern half of the continent. Elseth’s Children are distinct from the Kaldari by their dress, quality of building materials, and the capacity to produce “gifted” children. They have a pantheistic religion with many temples to various gods and goddesses scattered throughout their lands. Each large city is ruled by a governor and governess, with individual sections of society represented by democratically elected barons and baronesses (small towns have a baron and/or baroness who reports to their regional city). Gifted individuals may not hold public office; the only gifted individuals involved in politics are those who sit on the Divine Council and advise the governor and governess of Nivenea. Nivenea’s governor and governess are nominally considered the highest authority in Elseth’s Land.

Leyvada: The language of Elseth’s Children.

Followers of Shelm: Since The Decline began several years ago, more people have begun to doubt the validity of Elseth’s Children’s predominant religion. The Followers represent a splinter group of mostly rural individuals who have decided to follow the Kaldari god, believing that The Decline is the One God’s punishment for worshipping demons. Interestingly, the Kaldari and The Followers have not historically been allies; the Kaldari generally find The Followers to be radical, misguided pretenders.

Nivenea: The capital of Elseth’s Land and home of the University, a bastion of progress. Nivenea is the most advanced city in the world and is home to over 50,000 inhabitants. Nestled in the hills of Layvin’s Embrace, Nivenea is highly defensible and normally has a very mild climate.

The University: The center for knowledge and Learning, the University trains gifted individuals for careers which highlight their special talents. Leaders also study at the University, and all the citizens of Elseth’s Lands are welcome to browse the public librairies on the first floor. The University is additionally the epicenter of Nivenea’s undercity, where the Justices live, train and hold prisoners awaiting public judgment. The highest floor of the University belongs to the governor and governess; their quarters serve as the platform for Nivenea’s famous spire, a symbol of Nivenea’s divine blessing.

“Gifted:” The term applied to Children of Elseth who are able to control matter and energy. The traditional gifts are the ability to harmonize with plants, affinity for creating machines, weaponization of kelspar, charging kelspar and communicating with the gods, and activation of healing materials (by career they are Greens, Engineers, Justices, Clergy and Healers, respectively). Roughly one in 10 of Elseth’s Children are gifted; giftedness can run in families, but may also be random.

Deldri: The Deldri were once known as those chosen by the gods, revered by the masses and treated as leaders. One leader became very powerful, and declared himself the godking. A band of clergy members known therafter as the Divine Council killed the godking, and declared that the Deldri were insane, dangerous mistakes. They began covertly and systematically killing young children who developed Deldri traits until eventually the Deldri became a myth. Only in the last 25 years have the Deldri began to appear again. Only about one in ten thousand Children of Elseth are born Deldri.

Kelspar: Found only in the land of Elseth, kelspar is the radiant crystalline ore which enhances the divinity within a gifted individual. It is considered a direct gift from the gods meant only for the Children of Elseth, and is a source of both mechanical and spiritual energy.

“Corners embrace you:” A traditional parting statement, derived from Elseth’s Children’s beliefs about death. It is thought that when a person dies, their soul joins all the other souls in the world. In this process, the person’s “essence” shatters and is lost forever. The corners of the world are governed by individual gods and goddesses; to be embraced by the corners is to have parts of your soul exist cohesively, so that a recognizable part of yourself will appear in a child’s new soul. When a person says that they “hope your essence scatters to the twelve corners,” this is quite the opposite sentiment – they hope that no part of your soul ever exists cohesively again.

The Decline: The Decline probably began thirty years ago, and has progressed very slowly since then. The Divine Council has been following the progression of The Decline since it started, though the people of Elseth’s Lands only became aware of it in the last 10 years. The Decline represents the loss of fertile land, the death of many of crops, increasingly erratic weather patterns and an increased incidence of natural disasters. New illnesses including “the blight” have appeared. Some believe that The Decline is a sign that the gods have abandoned them; others see The Decline as a test of Elseth’s Children’s collective soul.

“Blight Touched” or “The Blight:” The blight was only discovered in the last 30 years, seemingly at the same time as The Decline began. It mimics many mental illnesses known in the past, but is rapid in onset and responds to none of the known remedies for illnesses of the mind. It afflicts both the gifted and ungifted, and may strike at any age, even in the very old or very young. The blight touched have vivid visual and auditory hallucinations and are best described as “wandering through a perpetual nightmare they cannot escape.” The vast majority of blight touched individuals commit suicide or die in a hallucinatory accident within a year of the onset of symptoms.

Followers of Shelm: Since The Decline began several years ago, more people have begun to doubt the validity of Elseth’s Children’s predominant religion. The Followers represent a splinter group of mostly rural individuals who have decided to follow the Kaldari god, believing that The Decline is the One God’s punishment for worshipping demons. Interestingly, the Kaldari and The Followers have not historically been allies; the Kaldari generally find The Followers to be radical, misguided pretenders.

Kaldari: The Kaldari provinces lie to the south of Elseth’s Land just beyond the Border Mountains. Historically the Kaldari have been tribal people, living semi-nomadic lives on the harsh terrain that is their homeland. Children of the One God, the Kaldari reject the pantheism of Elseth’s Children and embrace the mercilessness of their land and deity. There are 5 provinces, each with a distinct tribal symbol and terrain. In the last several years the Kaldari have loosely banded together under their leader Drei, collectively referred to as the Kaldari Coalition of Tribes.

Ebonstone: Ebonstone has long been used by the Kaldari as a symbol of leadership. It is known that ebonstone could render the wearer immune to clergy or Justice attacks; exactly how the stone works is unknown. The Kaldari believe it is the One God’s answer to Elseth’s Children’s “demon magic.” Since ebonstone is very scarce, it is worn as a tattoo or prized jewelry piece by the leaders from each of the Kaldari provinces. When a leader dies, the leader who is to succeed them must remove the stone and take it for themselves.

You can find this Appendix in alphabetical order on the blog navigation area to the left. Additionally, I’ll be adding a pronunciation guide *hopefully* before the book hits the virtual shelves.

A little riff – rambling, reading and editing

I’ve been away from the keyboard for a little over a week now. This post may be a little rambly, but I’ll just have to ask you for a pass on that one (after all, the description at the top of this blog does specify “ramblings” as part of the content). Seattle has taken me on a wild ride between working and exploring this fabulous city. There hasn’t been a lot of time for writing, though I have been reading a lot – and if you ask any author worth their salt, they’ll tell you that reading is as important, if not more so, that actually putting words on a page.

The book I’ve been reading is by my favorite author, Anne Bishop. Now, I will say that her books are not for everyone; I totally get why a person wouldn’t want to read The Black Jewels Trilogy, a story which was dark and explicit enough that the first time I opened it I considered throwing it away. I like reading the books of authors who exemplify in their work what I hope to show off in mine, and Anne does an amazing job (in my humble opinion) at writing edgy, lovable characters. She has certainly done that with her latest novel – the one I’m waist deep in at the moment – Written in Red. If you like urban fantasy with a strong character focus, I highly recommend that you check it out. I don’t know how good it will be for your brain, but I certainly think it’s been good for mine! I might post a more extensive review when I finish it, who knows.

While I haven’t made a whole lot of writing progress lately, what I have been doing consists of somewhat tedious content and cleanup editing. Unfortunately for me, editing is this trance-like state of ruthless abandon requiring exquisite concentration… and I’ve had approximately none of that since I’ve been displaced from my home, living out of a suitcase in an alien city.  Nonetheless, slow, painstaking progress has been made. If you’d like to take a look at things I’ve been working on, I’d recommend clicking on over to Teveres’s Intro – the first half of Tragedy’s prologue up on createspace.

I think that’s about it from me, folks, so I’ll leave you with a question: which authors have inspired you, and why?

Have a great week!