I’ve recently finished a long series on my newsletter on the mythology of The Golden Rule duology (A Bright Power Rising/The Unconquered Sun). I wrote the original Book of Seven Lights when I was fourteen and revised it countless times over the years. You can check it out HERE.
I feel like a pirate lowering my flag of convenience and hoisting the Jolly Roger! Below are the two new covers for A Bright Power Rising and The Unconquered Sun. They have a much more epic fantasy feel!
The ebooks are already available on Amazon and Kobo with the new versions appearing on the other stores in a couple of days. The paperbacks are to follow soon.
The Golden Rule novels and associated short story, The Parting Gift, are now available on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and other stores. The Parting Gift, which is a standalone set in the same world, will be free until further notice, so this is your chance to dip your toe in the water so to speak if you haven’t done so already.
A Bright Power Rising:
The Unconquered Sun:
The Parting Gift:
I’m running two promotions at the moment. I’ll list them in order of time sensitivity.
Firstly, the short story The Parting Gift is free on Amazon until 24th June.
I am also running a Kindle Countdown (99 cent) deal until 28th June for A Bright Power Rising & The Unconquered Sun on the UK and US Amazon stores.
The Unconquered Sun has finally been released! To celebrate, until 15th February, the mobi versions of A Bright Power Rising and The Parting Gift will be free. The Unconquered Sun will be available also at $0,99 or equivalent.
The net effect of this is that you can get the two novels and a short story for the princely sum of $0.99!
So, at the start of January, I was working on one project (Spaghetti) and by the end of the month I was working on a different novel (Tank). So what happened? I enjoyed writing Spaghetti. I had a fairly good outline. I liked the characters. The writing needed a lot more fleshing out but that’s the nature of first drafts. I was over 20k through the story when on the morning of Friday 22nd I began to question whether the story was original enough. I knew that under the bonnet, there was something new, but I worried it would become evident too late in the story. By 10 am, I decided to park it. I worked on a second draft of short story for the day while I mulled what to do next.
On Monday, I started work on Tank, because I finally figured out how to overcome the POV issues the story posed. I’m very happy with the direction the story is taking. While I don’t have an exhaustive outline, I have most of the key events already written in some rough fashion. In a week, I had four and a half chapters completed (8k words). The writing felt solid, though obviously it needs polish and there are plenty of burrs to be planed away. Research held up writing a couple of times. Sometimes, it’s easier to wait to learn the questions before looking for answers. You can waste a lot of time on superfluous detail only to find it’s a waste of time because there’s some underlying fundamental flaw in your basic premise.
I am hoping to have the first draft finished by St. Patrick’s Day. In the meantime, The Unconquered Sun will be finally released on 11th February.
(1) If you haven’t a copy of A Bright Power Rising, it is currently FREE until 19th December 2015. HERE
(3) I’m giving away free ebooks of The Parting Gift on Booklikes HERE. Ends on 8th January 2016.
(4) The Unconquered Sun will be released on 11th February 2016. It’s currently available for pre-order at 99 cents on Amazon.
When I started back on The Unconquered Sun, I already had a fully written draft. I thought it would be easy to knock it into shape. I simply had to apply the lessons learned from A Bright Power Rising. It did turn out to be a bit easier but it wasn’t easy. It certainly took longer than I expected.
As I reread the draft, my heart sank the way it does when you reach the top of a ridge on a mountain only to find another, steeper one ahead. I had gotten used to the lovely edited prose in A Bright Power Rising. The Unconquered Sun seemed a mess in comparison. But I had already finished a book once and I could do it again. I plowed on.
The most urgent issue was the start. I had to pick up the threads from the first book, but in a way that The Unconquered Sun felt like a complete book, not merely the second part of a serial. I had to summarize the key information from the first book without (a) an actual summary or (b) long indigestible paragraphs of explanation stuffed into the story.
Complicating this further was the re-introduction of NoName (AscendantSun’s twin) into the book. When we last saw him he was going on his not-exactly-merry way to Sunset. There were a few nervous days when excluding his thread from the first book felt like a mistake but in the end it clicked into place. It took a great deal of effort to balance his thread with AscendantSun’s, given the latter also contained the POV’s of Grael and Garscap.
A second ‘hangover’ from the first book was a secret about AscendantSun’s past. It’s hinted at in a couple of places in A Bright Power Rising, but as far as I know nobody has yet put the clues together. After some deliberation. I dealt with it in the first chapter, knowing there were of plenty of twists to come later in the novel. .
The book turned out longer than A Bright Power Rising by about ten thousand words. But there was a lot of winnowing of POV’s both before and during the editing process. Excluding the prologue, there were ten POV’s in A Bright Power Rising, several of whom were only used for specific scenes where the three main characters weren’t present. Quite a few didn’t didn’t survive the first book. In The Unconquered Sun, there are only six POV’s. They all don’t survive either.
By the time The Unconquered Sun had finished editing, I had about fifty-seven thousand words of cut material. Most of it was fairly well written but no longer fitted. Separate to this chunk was a flashback chapter I chopped early on. This became the basis of The Parting Gift, a short story providing a little of the history of the eponymous object that plays a vital role in The Unconquered Sun. The story is set in the early days after the Light War when the Ors were the Sables’ slaves. Originally the first Auctor played a significant role in it, but I chose a different Or, Certamen to be the main character. I did this to inject uncertainty into the main character’s fate (A Bright Power Rising confirms Auctors are still around an Or millennium later) and to avoid Shrinking Universe Syndrome (where the same characters play a significant role in every major event till their imaginary world feels tiny). I think the story will surprise readers of A Bright Power Rising, as it shows a new facet to the Ors’ history.
One contentious issue was raised about The Unconquered Sun. I had always intended that The Golden Rule duology would be just that–two books. I outlined my reasons in a previous post. It was suggested that I should break The Unconquered Sun into two books. I gave the matter a lot of consideration, but in the end I decided to stick to the original plan. I worried I would end up adding unnecessary filler material and the story would lose the momentum. The ends of my stories are often set up in the beginnings so they become (a least in my mind) a ring. I wanted to keep that wholeness. Was it the right decision? I’ll only know for sure after The Unconquered Sun is released on 11th February 2016.
I am delighted to announce that The Unconquered Sun will be released on 11th February 2016. It is now available for pre-order on Amazon HERE.
Ever wish you were someone else? AscendantSun is about to…
He is beset by foes. The Harbinger’s legions threaten the people he strives to defend. Critics among his own followers undermine him. The ambitions of his unreliable ally, Garscap Torp, endanger him at every turn. Worse, the blood-thirsty god he spurned is about to return. However, the greatest enemy he must face is himself.
The riddle set for him on the Crooked Stair will be answered on the bloody fields of Cliffringden. But will he survive it?