Given my job as a full-time university professor, finding time to write fiction can be challenging (to say the least). As the summer moves along and the new semester rapidly approaches, my work hours become longer and longer. Of late, I have spent several days working until after midnight. Each year at about this time, I begin to feel overwhelmed.
What has helped me keep going this summer as I work on Book 2 is the positive feedback I have received both from local people and from folks I have never met. One of the people who really cheered me up in the last few weeks was Claudia from the Nanaimo Woodgrove Chapters. Here she is pictured with The Alchemists’ Council and the “local author” stickers she happily placed on the books.
I was pleased to see the number of copies available–the store had ten that day. However, according to the Indigo app today, only four remain; so I would also like to thank whoever bought those six copies! I am proud to be a local author in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and I appreciate the way this community has been supporting me and the book so far.
Based on the collection in the photo below (sent to me by my friend Tami Joseph), The Alchemists’ Council may seem a bit eccentric as far as local books go. On the other hand, one can always find a means to connect the birds and the bees.
The other people I would like to thank today are two recent book reviewers: Jason and Rain.
First, Jason Henry posted his review on Goodreads. According to Mr. Henry, “she portrayed everything so convincingly that I was shocked not to find a Wikipedia page for Novillian Scribe or Azoth Magen.” That sentence made me laugh aloud (and hope that someone would create such entries someday!). The entire review can be read here.
Just published today, the second review can be read on the blog Lost in the Rain. I discovered it by signing into Twitter this afternoon where I found a notification regarding this tweet:
Of course, not all feedback has been good. Yesterday another two-star rating showed up on Goodreads. Certainly, I realize not everyone will like the book or my writing style. But when immersed in writing the second volume to a trilogy, I have to say feedback such as that from Jason and Rain is what keeps me going. I will be forever grateful to the thoughtful readers who have taken the time to articulate their enjoyment of Book 1. These are the folk for whom I will continue to work the long hours to meet the deadlines for Book 2!
For Jason, Rain, and all the others who enjoyed Book 1, here is a small snippet of the current draft of the next book. As you may realize reading this excerpt, Book 2 is the prequel to Book 1. Among other stories, it explores what happened during the Third Rebellion.
If he said another word, Kalina did not hear it beneath the thundering crack that suddenly resounded through Flaw dimension. Indeed, she could hear nothing at all in the immediate aftermath of the deafening intrusion. Neither could she see beyond the thick mists, now churning and billowing like dust clouds in a desert storm. She could barely breath. She fell to her knees winded, fearing for her life. And then, nothing: no sounds, no sights, no mists, no movement of air or dust. Even the wooden chimes were silenced. She shook her head to reorient herself. She rose to her feet and stared at Dracaen. He appeared stunned, unable to move.
“What happened?” she asked.
And then the shriek: Thuja, screaming in one, long continual note, a siren wailing through the Rebel Branch, a call to arms.
Dracaen came back to life, turned and moved swiftly toward Thuja’s cry. By the time he and Kalina reached the Dragonblood chamber, Thuja stood silent, alongside dozens of rebels who had already gathered. Kalina blinked several times, attempting to adjust for the discrepancy. Something was wrong, but she could not quite process the altered reality; her brain could not quite catch up to her eyesight.
And then: the shock. Beyond the gathered rebels, in front of Thuja, behind the wrought-iron barrier lay absolutely nothing. The Alchemists’ Council had finally succeeded. At last the Aralians had won the Crystalline Wars. They had removed the Flaw in the Stone.
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