As part of the launch of ‘The Pillars of Sand’ at Galaxy Bookshop here in Sydney, I used photocomposition to create character art that was given away in sets to people who attended. I did 80 sets, and all of them were accounted for.
For those who’ve not seen them, I thought I’d post a gallery of the portraits here. They may not be exactly what readers see when they imagine the characters, but this is how I see them. I may do other characters who appear in The Obsidian Heart, and The Pillars of Sand. People who have these cards as a series were interested in seeing The Emissary, as well as some of the supporting cast. We’ll see how I go for time. Until then, please enjoy. If people want to do their own art and sent it through, I’d enjoy seeing how you pictured the characters.
As was pointed out by somebody on Goodreads, it’s been some time since I’ve updated my Blog; so here’s an update on where things are in my world of words.
The Echoes of Empire series is doing well, with predominantly great reviews. Of course there are those who’ve not connected with the series, and that’s to be expected; there’s no book that’s all things to all readers, and I did write a book that could be considered challenging, and not typical epic fantasy. However the positive reviews far outweigh the negative, and my readership seems to be growing as does word of mouth. I had the very great honour of being the first Australian (of which I’m aware, happy to be corrected) to be in the final five for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Debut/Newcomer for 2013, with the Garden of Stones also making the long list of the top 20 fantasy novels for the 2013 David Gemmel Legend Award. While I can’t be a contender for the debut again, knowing that there were enough people who rated my debut novel so highly was as flattering, as it was humbling.
More recently all three books in the Echoes of Empire series were part of the Kindle Daily Deal. Another humbling, and intensely gratifying, moment to see all three books in the Top 10 Best Sellers for Fantasy Adventure. It’s a huge genre and my work was in there with some incredible company. Of course George Martin’s new project had to be released in time to stay in the number one spot, but I was happy with the rankings.
Most recently I’ve been working on a new urban fantasy project. ‘Autumn Country’ is the first in what has been planned as a quadrilogy, but we’ll see what the appetite of publishers is like to see whether they want none, one, or all four of the books. The series is told from two points of view, and deals with the bizarre and dangerous world kept deliberately hidden from humanity, behind the machinations of the Great Illusion. There’s more strong and innovative world building, though the world of ‘Autumn Country’ is less fantastical in some of it’s elements than was Ia in the EoE. Below is a snippet from an early chapter:
“Through a shattered window Gallow surveyed the Escheresque ghetto of Pandemonium. Buildings were monochrome geometries in a suspension of dirt and light, where they leaned over twisting lanes. Titanic statues rose into the sky, their upper limits partially obscured by low clouds of dust but visible enough to hint at tentacled horrors. The Soul Wind undulated across the sky, sparking like lit iron filings, and it backlit the leather winged, serpentine shadows that circled in the gloom far overhead, and the smaller humanoid silhouettes wheeling much closer to the rooftops. The air vibrated with what sounded like the droning of metallic cicadas, but was not. He inhaled the scents of storms and desiccation.”
Barring incident I’m expecting to have the first draft down by the end of November, as I get into the spirit of NaNoWriMo in an effort to do 50K new words in the month, plus all the edits. I’m editing this book and sending it to proof readers in Acts: Act I, and Act IIa, have been edited and sent to readers. Readers have come back with some wonderful, positive responses and almost no changes at all; certainly nothing structural. I’m almost finished Act IIb, with then Act III to follow. Breaking the editing down into logical segments has helped tackle the story, and to ensure that I don’t need go completely off the rails. It also means that there’s not a long tail at the end of the book, so the finished product is a little closer at hand. Once the book is written and edited, I’ll be sending it to my agent and we’ll then discuss our next steps.
Once ‘Autumn Country’ is sent I’ll get back to writing the remainder of ‘Darkness in the Green’, the first in an epic fantasy trilogy set in Ia that is told concurrently with the EoE. I’ve also a couple of stand alone novels, a steampunk, some sci-fi . . . oh, and the next trilogy in the Echoes of Empire should the publisher and readers have an appetite for it.