Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What Comes Next?

While the third book is coming along nicely - including the Kickstarter campaign - there are other Tellest books on the horizon that remain at the top of my priorities.

The first of those things is a Mathias-based prequel novella of sorts.  I've been working on this story at a rapid pace, but it has struck me that it differs quite a lot from my typical novels.  Beyond just the unfamiliar style, it jumps forward in time quickly, as opposed to the minute details that the Child of the Stars trilogy.  As such, I think it's important to present the story in a different way.

While the production style of the book is going to be maintained - I'll still write it, set it aside, and have it edited - the release will be slightly different.  I'm going to provide each chapter of the story in weekly updates, kind of like an online serial.  If it does end up released in eBook format, it will be a free release, or potentially a bonus feature in one of the more robust novels.

Though the as yet untitled Mathias story is important to me, and to the Tellest universe as a whole, it isn't the project I'm most excited for.

The Veil of Mists is going to put a face to Kaos Kreegan's childhood.  One of the things that worries me about that novel is that it's going to put me in a territory that some fans may not be happy with.  While Kaos is my flagship character, he is only part of an ensemble, and that ensemble is not going to be present with him in this prequel.  There will be some overlap.  You'll see David Garus, Alicia, Dirk, and of course, Adelia.  You won't be privy to seeing some of the other fan favorites, however.  Steel Tip and Christopher are not seen in that novel, not even alluded to.

Instead, the focus is on Kaos.  The Child of the Stars' biggest problem is that he was too honorable.  He was too good.  I'm glad that the first story that I told for Kaos was the one where he was pretty much a White Knight, because his character interactions in all the other work should be more interesting.  In his youth, he's a little bit more rambunctious.  He's sure of himself, even when he shouldn't be.  And he's an idiot from time to time, as we're all prone to be.

Also importantly, you'll see some of the more intriguing moments of his life.  You'll understand why he is called Kaos.  You'll see the moment he meets the brothers Caista, or David Garus, or Alicia Mane and her father.  You'll see how he happened upon the Heart of Ariyas.

Of course, this prequel story also gives me the chance to delve a little deeper into the past of other characters that he's met.  The reader already knows, by the time they are done reading As Darkness Falls, that he has some history in Fostervilla.  What isn't offered so casually is that he's also spent some time in Viscosa, the capital of Raleigh.  He's met lifelong friends there, and he's spilled blood beside them, and it should be interesting to share these new characters with you.

After that, we take a little trip down south to the sea, where the next pentalogy (that's five new books) unfolds.  We'll see some old friends and enemies, some new heroes and villains, and of course, for Steel Tip, the return to his home, Ippius.  Gonna be some good times.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Kickstarter Incoming

Though the Enemy Within has been firmly planted in a desk somewhere for the last few weeks, I cannot possibly pretend that it hasn't been on my mind.

I'd like to officially announce that I'll be running a Kickstarter campaign for the third book beginning in March.  I'm asking for pledges to help offset my administrative and editing costs, which should be around the tune of $2000.

I haven't even gone live with this Kickstarter yet, and I can tell you, it's one of the most intensive projects I've ever worked on.  With the books, I have the freedom to work at my own pace.  I probably could have finished The Enemy Within in a year or less, but the stress of that might have hindered the quality.  I have an ultimate deadline for Kickstarter, and not all the pieces are in place yet.  Once it is up, every day is going to be painfully busy.  If people are going to be pledging to me, I am going to make a pledge to them to stay in contact throughout the entire process.  From the opening day of the Kickstarter campaign to the last day of reward fulfillment (and beyond), I'll be available.  It'll be over a month of constant updates, accounting and advertising, but I'm cautiously optomistic that it'll work out.

I'd like to give you a sneak peek at the rewards that I'm considering.

Obviously, some of the pledge rewards are the products themselves.  I'll have various types of the books available to acquire, some which will be unique to the Kickstarter.  For instance, there will be a limited run, numbered hardcover edition of each of the first three books of the Tellest series.  You'll also be able to get autographed copies of the work I've put my heart into.  Plus, exclusive first looks at some of the not-so-distant happenings in Tellest.

Then, there will the swag that you could end up getting, including custom bookmarks, buttons and magnets. 

I'll be working with Rhianna to bring you some awesome art, including charcoal prints and special Tarot cards featuring the characters.

For some of the higher pledges, I've got some really cool rewards lined up, including dedicated short stories and artwork for characters that you inspire.

I'm very interested in this Kickstarter campaign, and cannot wait to see where it ends up, but I also have to keep in mind, not everything is in place just yet.  I still have to record the campaign video, for instance.  Like I said earlier, though, I'm cautiously optomistic that everything will fall into place.  Hopefully I can balance the heavy workload of editing the book and administrating the campaign.  If not, it'll just be another learning experience.