28 May 2020

Fallen Desire is coming along nicely

Hello readers!

I want to share with you all a brief update regarding Book II, my future plans for the series, and some of my upcoming life events.

I’ve written 60,000 words and have finished Part One of the story, which is wonderful! A great many events that I’ve been planning, foreshadowing, or teasing the reader about are now coming to fruition. The entirety of Part Two is plot, action, resolution—all the good stuff. While worldbuilding and characterisation occupied much of Fallen Love and some of Fallen Desire, this is where it all comes together.

Do I know when I will finish? No. Despite my good progress, I have a Master’s degree incoming, plus this book is no paperweight. I anticipated it would be around 90,000 words, and right now it looks like it could easily be 100,000. Is there a Book 3 in the works? Well, there might be a prequel novella. (Maybe.) But the buck ends here.

Speaking of master’s degrees, I have decided to study Business and Data Science at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. You could think of it as an MBA with an MSc; it’s two years long, 9 months of which is made up by internships. While business is a straightforward subject for yours truly (I’m an economist remember?) the data science component will require me to brush up on my Python and statistics. Not to mention the dreaded linear algebra and calculus.

At the moment, however, I’m busy trying to find housing. This is, of course, a pain in the behind.

Anyway, I have one more piece of good news: I have a new fan! Her name is JR Vaineo, and she’s a fantasy writer too, so check out her books. I’ll probably republish the review here on the Magical Realm. Stay put!

11 May 2020

Big News: Fallen Desire is coming out with Terran Empire Publishing!

Hello faithful readers!

I am announcing my new relationship with Terran Empire Publishing, a small press based in California. I have recently signed a publishing contract with them for the rights to Fallen Desire, Book 2 in the Fallen series. I already announced this on my mailing list and social media, so I might as well do it on the Magical Realm. I will use this as an opportunity to briefly delve into some additional detail.

What does publishing a book actually mean?

In legal terms, a publishing contract is an agreement whereby the Author sells the rights for a written work to the publisher, in exchange for royalties and possibly an advance. (That’s a test good contracts must meet: there should be a quid pro quo.) But what does that actually entail? Why would I do this instead of just publishing it on my own like I did the Necromancer and Fallen Love?

Well, it boils down to a few different important advantages and one major disadvantage. The disadvantage is that my royalties per book are about half what they would be if I self-published. The advantages are numerous:

  1. I get free editing! Which is great, because editing—particularly developmental or story editing—costs a lot of money otherwise. It’s probably the single biggest added value service in addition to a cover.
  2. I get a book cover! And I don’t have to pay for it out of my own pocket.
  3. The publisher has a physical presence in California, which is important for selling to bookshops. They also make my book known at local conventions that, for obvious reasons, are very difficult for me to attend (I live halfway across the world).
  4. Translation into Spanish is a possibility.
  5. And finally, I get someone to market for me! This is such a pain in the ass to do on my own.

Why Terran?

Why not any other publisher? We met on Kickstarter and they pitched me an offer. I decided it looked good. They were also open to negotiation; that meant I got a very solid contract with clear expectations, and no nasty loopholes.

So how is Book II coming along?

Pretty well, for the most part. I have written more than 50,000 words, and I’ve almost finished the first round of edits. I do my first round of editing once I reach the halfway point (more or less) in order to fix problems as they crop up: I mop up everything from typos and worldbuilding inconsistencies, to characterisation issues and plot holes.

I could in principle wait until I finish writing the story and have my publisher do all this, but I prefer to resolve issues as they come up, because that makes writing the end much easier for me. As it is, I probably will send the manuscript to the publisher in a few weeks.

I am cautiously optimistic that the book will be ready in a couple of months; I expect it will be around 90,000–100,000 words. It will definitely be bigger than Book 1, but I’m just not sure how much bigger.

Any other news?

I’m preparing for my MSc in Data Science and Business, which is going to be a lot of work. Arranging housing is next on the list.

I was supposed to get my driving licence this year, but will I? I’m not sure. The whole coronavirus pandemic has delayed an already slow, bureaucratic process. Since my MSc is non-negotiable, I have to leave in August.

But hey, I’m staying positive! I’ve been working out for the past 2 months. (What else was I supposed to do? Go crazy in quarantine?) I am now the proud owner of a six-pack, which feels pretty statuesque—a feat I attribute to low body fat and smart exercise. Now I’m working on my biceps, triceps, deltoids, and pectoralis major. Plus my transverse abdominis—a tricky muscle to work.

(Alex, as you might have noticed, is obsessive. When he strives to complete a task, he does it, and he does it well. Even if it means metamorphosing from a book nerd into a fitness freak.)

Finally, one more piece of good news: my hair is growing back! In particular, my forehead and temple hair is thickening—hair that I lost in the past two years due to AGA, aka male pattern baldness. How long will I maintain a full head of hair? That I do not know, so I’m going to relish my hair while it lasts.

Now I must return to my writing. Until next time!