Okay…okay…I’ve finally come up for some air. And HOLEEE CRAP is this place a mess. Dust. Enough post-its to encircle the earth, and a whiteboard that looks like somebody tossed a loaded scrabble board at a spider’s web.
Of course I’m only up for a moment (yes, I’m aware they have pills for that) and then I’ll be plunging into the final draft of Forge of the Jadugar. I’ll then arrange some pretty words on the cover, take a beating from my editor, and endure a week of hair-pulling (document formatting is a source of male pattern baldness – and yes, I’m aware they have pills for that as well) and I’ll be in the home stretch, ready to do it all again.
Actually, I won’t. I’ll never be ready for this process. I don’t think you can be fully prepared. It’s like charging through that portal into an unknown landscape. You can prep all you want, but chances are you’ll have left the keys to your dragon on the counter. Forgotten your favorite troll slaying knife in the dishwasher. Your mana potion in the coffee maker…
Did I leave the wand charger on?
This book has been a BEAST. A real troll riddle. As neat and tidy as Pilgrim of the Storm seems, I set an entire universe into motion and juggling those pieces has been exhausting. Pilgrim is its own story from cover to cover, but it is also, in essence, the first act of a greater work. And things get complex fast in Forge of the Jadugar.
Sidge has a quiet moment of triumph in book one. The tone is subdued. Short and sweet. It worried me greatly (and still does) where and how to chop this story up, or whether I should at all. But I really wanted to present things in digestible chunks and avoid the typical doorstop fantasy.
Sure, this isn’t how they do things. But c’mon, I’m writing about a bug dude whose mentor uses psychedelic mushrooms to unlock the secrets of the universe. Am I really concerned about how everyone else is doing it?
Not really. I should be, I suppose. Being the guy that writes one particular type of story over and over seems to be the best route to building a fanbase. Writing the same stories over and over, the best way to instill some sort of Pavlovian reflex in your fans. If that’s the case, I’m going to fail at this and pretty damn spectacularly.
I suppose I’m searching for a reader with eclectic tastes. Somebody that likes to wake up Christmas morning, tear open their presents, and be genuinely surprised by what they find. Or somebody who orders the most intriguing thing on every menu and not just the chicken nuggets, over and over and over.
I want people who aren’t prepared to read what they read, because they never bother to leave the house with everything and instead risk the adventure of finding what they need along the way.
It’s a huge ask. A leap of faith. But don’t worry about catching me, I know this bug dude. He’s got wings…
Pilgrim of the Storm is ON SALE right now.
And for a great sampler of new, undiscovered worlds check out IoD’s All These Shiny Worlds anthology which includes an excerpt from Forge of the Jadugar – FREE!