With everything going on in my day job and with the birth of my fourth child on my doorstep, I didn't want to even think about starting book 3 until I got my life a little better under control. Now my new son (Emrys McDonald) is here and he's super healthy and super sweet. We absolutely adore him and how lucky we were to have him. Day job is settling into a healthy grove and now I can focus my personal time on getting book 3 under way. It's not as if I hadn't already started it. I had a good 20K word start on The Fall of Hate and I've got an outline that's a mile long for all the material that needs to go into it so I'm not lacking material—just the time to get it all detailed and organized into a workable manuscript.
The cover & interior artists are about to start their work. In fact, I'm putting together a pencil sketch of the cover for book 3 late afternoon today for my cover artist to start working on later tonight / tomorrow. I expect that process (if we stick with the same artist all the way through and that's never a given) will take about 2-2.5 months. Since I'm using a different artist for the interior work, that can proceed on a simultaneous path and I expect the interior artwork to take about 3 months.
That means I should be going to the editor (if the artists hold up their end) with a mostly complete manuscript. Normally I throw it over to her with minimal artwork with the cover barely started. This time around, I'm hoping to rapidly go through the Editor/Proofreader/BetaReader cycle and come out the other side of that with all the elements I need to go straight into print and e-Book conversion. That would save a ton of time. Originally, I had intended to release The Fall of Hate in the Fall of 2017 (for obvious marketing reasons given the title), but I wanted to pace myself given all the life events happening so as not to kill myself in the process. Thus, I moved it to '2018.' That doesn't mean I won't try to get it out by Fall of 2017, and if I 'can' get it done without killing myself or overcommitting, I'll do it. In other words, if I get it done in time for Fall of 2017, I'll release it early. I'm not going to hold it back till 2018 rolls around on the calendar.
I'm also getting ready to do something I've never done before—put the news of A Throne of Souls out on the wire as an official press release. Why haven't I done that before? Well, lots of reasons really. With the lack of brand name, attention, or exposure, I needed to have some meat behind the press release to have it get some attention. Now, I'm starting to build that. A Throne of Souls is in real bookstores now, and in libraries as well. We have many critically acclaimed reviews—all glowing. And, I'm starting to build an audience from the high hundreds approaching the thousands. That's where you start to reach escape velocity as those who read, begin to recommend and review. I'm still lacking in consumer review (quantity) so if you've read A Throne of Souls and haven't yet reviewed it, please take a moment out of your busy day to do so. I thank you in advance for doing so. Thank you very much in fact! Of the three Rs (Read Recommend Review), I've been fortunate to get the first two pretty easily if I can get the reader to read the first ten pages of the first book. It's compelling and extremely unique and as you get into the first half of the first book you see it's not just incredibly unique content, it's a radically different storytelling methodology designed specifically for this story because no storytelling methodology in existence would work for telling this amazing story. I quite literally had to invent a new storytelling methodology to tell it. That's what really makes this story special and I hope you'll tell a friend about it once you've read it because if you read it (cover-to-cover), I know you'll love it too.
A little controversy over the image above, I was asked if it (the story) was Christian or Pagan based on the image above. My response was, "Great question. How about neither?" I'm sure the controversial / occult imagery will have people thinking I'm taking a walk on the 'dark side.' I'm sure others who know me personally and my family of five preachers will think it's really Christian underneath the covers. Both of those assumptions would be dead wrong. You'll just have to read to see what I mean. Good and Evil are not simple constructs in A Throne of Souls. There's much more to it than that. Trust me when I tell you, there is a ton of depth of meaning in this story and you're going to have to put your thinking cap on and read this with a measure of focus to get it. Yes, it's highly entertaining the entire way, wrapped in vivid descriptions and vibrant characters so you'll thoroughly enjoy the read. However, if you really want to understand what's happening in the story and be able to dissect disinformation from information, you'll have to read it with some focus. I recommend reading it in stretches if you can. It's not the kind of material you can read one chapter then put it down for a few days and come back to it. You need to read it like 4, 5, 6 chapters at a time. But I wanted to make it a challenge so that you'd have good, solid bread crumbs along the way to piece together this clue or that. And, I think the reviews indicate I've done just that. If you're reading A Throne of Souls, and you're lost or truly just like 'WTF is going on,' send me a message. Ask me. I'm here. I'm willing to answer those kinds of questions to get you back on track in the story, even if I can't reveal everything that's going on in the story. Just don't be afraid to ask question. That's what I'm here for.