Autumn 2018 Key Chains and More

Hello again Alchemists, Rebels, and Readers! Today’s post comprises brief news items, which I’m uploading between marking sets of university midterms.

Thanks to Sarah at BytheBookBoutique, my keys are now sporting an Alchemists’ Council library catalogue key chain, which I custom ordered from her shop on Etsy. My correspondence with Sarah, the artist and shop owner, was delightful. The key chain’s quality and functionality is excellent, with the clip having proven repeatedly useful.

Key Chain Enlight

BytheBookBoutique offers a variety of library book options (both literary and historical) in a range of designs (necklaces, bookmarks, and more). Here, for example, is a Brown v Board of Education necklace.

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I was particularly happy to hear from Sarah that both The Alchemists’ Council and The Flaw in the Stone are available through her local branch of the Chicago Public Library. As of today, all copies are still in use; thus, I assume they currently reside either with Sarah or another Chicagoan! Thank you Chicago!

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Sarah’s comment prompted me to check other American libraries to see whether they carried the books. To my utter delight (as someone living and working in a small Canadian town), several do! I certainly enjoyed learning that Book One has been signed out multiple times at the 42nd Street branch of the New York Public Library. Thank you New York City!

NYCLibraryF18On a final note to this brief seasonal post, I want to express gratitude to two recent book reviewers. First, thank you to Christina Paige for her creative and detailed review from September 2018. How could I not smile at the phrase “compared to Tolkien”? To read Paige’s full review, click on the Amazon image.

Amazon PAIGE F18 Drop ShadowAnd, second, thank you to Matthew Rettino for his nuanced review of The Flaw in the Stone. I especially admire his close reading of the historical allusions, as depicted in the excerpt below. To read Rettino’s full review, click on the excerpt’s image.

Rettino Book 2 F18As to Book Three of The Alchemists’ Council — The Amber Garden — the first full draft has been submitted. My editor and I will be working on the manuscript over the next year, heading toward a release date in 2020.

Have a colourful autumn filled with plentiful reading time!


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Time & Travel: Summer 2018

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Here we are once again–the summer almost over, and the new semester about to begin. As of next week, I will return to full-time teaching (and all related activities) at VIU. But, today, I will take the opportunity to update readers on book-related summer news!

My primary focus over the past few months has been the completion of the manuscript for THE AMBER GARDEN (Book Three of The Alchemists’ Council). Since this volume represents the final installment of the trilogy, its construction has proven the most challenging of the series for me. All threads from the first two books had to be brought together here. Given the myriad characters and hundreds of years involved in the plot of this series, detailed charting became an ongoing necessity. The photo below depicts a segment of the 18-page timeline document.

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To make timeline consistency even more complex, Book Three involves multiple time-travel scenes. Consequently, over the next few weeks, I plan to reread Books One and Two, checking yet again for continuity issues. If only I could employ some bloodline time-manipulation alchemy to provide myself a few more weeks of uninterrupted reading!

Flaw Working Copy

Earlier this month, during a two-week trip to Ontario, I had the pleasure of meeting Okiki Kendall. Okiki is the person who will be narrating the audio version of The Flaw in the Stone. We spent the better part of a day together discussing the book, the pronunciation of character and manuscript names, and some of our personal philosophies related to subject matter of the series. I feel very fortunate and grateful that ECW found such a talented vocal artist to be Book Two’s narrator. At last report, Okiki had finished the initial recording sessions, which means the audiobook should be available sometime this fall.

Okik at ECW2

Of course, visiting Toronto also provided me the opportunity to meet with other ECW folk, including David Caron (Publisher) and Jessica Albert (Digital Production Manager and Art Director). Our conversations ranged in subject matter from Scrabble strategies to Book Three plot points–all while sipping iced-tea at Rooster Coffee House on Broadview and enjoying delicious BBQ at Beach Hill Smokehouse on Main. During my visit, Jessica was also featured live on CBC Radio to discuss the growing popularity of audiobooks. Click here to listen to her interview.

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The Toronto visit also allowed me time to stop by the Riverdale branch of the Toronto Public Library, where I found Book Two, complete with a maple-leaf sticker. (Yeah Canadian writers!) Though I consider The Alchemists’ Council series to be fantasy, I gathered that various genres of speculative fiction are labelled as “Science Fiction” here. Frankly, I am pleased that The Alchemists’ Council books are available at Toronto libraries no matter their designation!

Riverdale

Back home on Vancouver Island, during a stroll through the Nanaimo Night Market, I was fortunate to find an item representative of Book Three: a bee on a timepiece! This beautiful pendant was fashioned by artisans at Long Lake Studio in Nanaimo. Click here to be directed to their Etsy page, where you will find numerous delightful pieces of eclectic jewellery.

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Of course, shortly after returning to town, I also dropped by Nanaimo Chapters to sign the store’s latest copies of Flaw in the Stone. If you live locally and want to pick up a signed copy, please do!

Chapters Stickers

I hope the upcoming season is a positive and productive one for us all–professors, students, writers, and readers alike! Feel free to write to me if you have any questions about the books. Meanwhile, Long live the Quintessence!

ECW B&W Photo taken outside ECW Press in Toronto

From the HOME/BLOG page scroll upward to access MENU items (including BOOK REVIEWS) or downward to read the latest BLOG posts. Scroll to the bottom of the HOME/BLOG page to access the OLDER POSTS, ARCHIVES, and SEARCH.