My dear blogging friend, Christine, is starting up a new writing-related blog linkup!!! So of COURSE I had to participate! If I’m writing a blog post ABOUT my WIP, that counts as working on my WIP… right?
Like Beautiful Books, this will be a 3-part linkup series, one for each of these last three months of the year. Each one will feature ten questions you can answer on your own blog (or anywhere else on social media if you’d like!). The questions will be focusing on different parts of the novel/your writing.
1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?
The first idea for this story came way back in 2005, and it actually wasn’t my idea at all. Derek had this idea for a world and a set of characters and he set about creating an origin story for the world, as well as drawing a map. I was teaching full-time, and the dream of publishing my first series was still this somewhat nebulous thing. I had released my first book already (The Dragon’s Eye – which I retitled King’s Warrior and republished 7 years later), and wasn’t entirely certain I was ever going to write anything beyond that first series.
But Derek kept offering me this world he’d built. I kept resisting the idea, worried that if I wrote it differently than he’d pictured it, it would hurt his feelings, or that he would want to change things I’d written (I wasn’t super good at taking criticism or edits back then!) Finally, he assured me that he had no desire to write the story himself, and that I could change whatever I wanted.
Quite a few of the characters he created remain in the story – though their backstory has changed and morphed quite a bit from that original idea. The world map has stayed pretty much the same, as well. And Grayden has not changed, either!
2. Share a blurb!
I don’t have a blurb for the 4th book yet (which is the one I’m working on), but here’s the blurb for book 1: The Orb and the Airship:
The life of an airship pirate is harder than it looks…
Especially when a member of your crew decides to stab you in the back. Marik just wanted a simple job. Sure, piracy may be a life of glory and riches, but it’s also a life of complications. So when he is hired to steal a lightly defended airship, it seems like a great opportunity to make some easy money.
Or, you know, a trap of some sort.
3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?
The story takes place in the world of Turrim on the largest continent in the world. This continent consists of seven different countries. Each country is quite distinct from the others, the people groups and cultures in each country are distinct and unique from one another, as well.
On one side of the world is the Igyeum: three countries ruled by a tyrannical warlord. He rules by fear and strength, and is planning his conquest of the countries that are not already under his rule.
On the other side of the world is Telmondir: three countries which have formed an alliance and disbanded their monarchies in favor of a Council with leaders from each country working together to represent their people. While the countries are still separate, they share and trade with one another and they are building one military, because they fear the warlord and his army.
In the center of the world is the great forest… a country devoid of any population. Strange things have happened within the forest, and few who have ventured inside have ever come out again.
My favorite thing about this world is how varied it is. The settings are very different from those of Minstrel’s Song, and many different cultures from our own world have been researched and woven into the settings in this world and story to give it a richer, deeper feel. I’m very excited to introduce readers to this realm!
4. Tell us about your protagonist.
Marik is an airship pirate.
Do I need to say more?
Okay, I’ll give you a bit more, but I don’t want to spoil anything. Marik’s past is a bit murky to his crew, but they trust him implicitly. He’s always led them true and taken care of them, bringing them into the crew from their various pasts and sheltering them from their own ghosts, while never revealing his own. All they know is that he harbors a great bitterness towards the Igyeum, and that while his main goal is to provide the essentials for himself and his crew through piracy, a secondary objective of vengeance is always simmering beneath the surface of everything Marik does.
(I have quite a few other protagonists, but we’ll just stick with Marik for now)
5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?
The main antagonist is the man who is the true power behind the Igyeum warlord. Though he has worked in the shadows and kept his true nature and powers secret, his time behind the veil is quickly drawing to a close.
(I have other antagonists, as well… but it’s hard to talk about them without spoilers)
6. What excites you the most about this novel?
Just writing it has been a blast. I think what excites me the most is just how vastly different it is from Minstrel’s Song. (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Minstrel’s Song and always will!) But it’s always been one of my goals as an author to be like a Timothy Zahn or a Stephen R. Lawhead… an author capable of writing multiple, distinct series that aren’t linked together in any way, and Turrim Archive is just another step on that journey I’ve set for myself. I’m quite pleased it’s turning out so well. I hope readers enjoy it for its differences! (And I hope they notice and appreciate the little similarities, as well)!
7. Is this going to be a series? Standalone? Something else?
Turrim Archive is slated to be a 5-book series.
8. Are you plotting? Pantsing? Plansting?
I’m a pretty steadfast Plantser. This story is getting plotted quite a bit, but I always like to leave room for the characters to roam about freely and change direction on me if they need to. The unexpected is what makes the writing journey fun, and I would hate to ever lose that element of the process.
9. Name a few things that makes this story unique.
Airship pirates + automatons + wizards + high fantasy elements + genetic manipulation
10. Share a fun “extra” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).
Here is the original map that started this entire endeavor!
The shape of the map has not changed since its initial creation, but I’ve filled in a lot of the details. The names on the map are NOT the names of the seven countries… they are names of the people who founded each of those countries. I can’t say more because: spoilers!
I also recently created my very first character-aesthetic board! (They’re all the rage, right now, so I figured I should try it out) – I present to you: MARIK!
I know I focused on Marik in this post… but two of my other extremely important characters are Grayden and Wynn. I thought I’d finish up by sharing a snippet of one of their conversations for you to enjoy….