One Year As a Full Time Author

I’ve been a full-time author for a year as of the beginning of April.

It’s been one hell of a year. I went from a truly awful grocery store job to happily puttering away on my novels. Last August, I left my lease and started traveling full-time as a digital nomad, and I’ve spent the time ever since puttering around SE Asia and the South Pacific. My fourth novel, the standalone epidemiological fantasy novel The Wrack, comes out later this month.

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The Wrack Synopsis

The Wrack officially has a synopsis now! And we’re drawing steadily closer to release- you can expect it out in mid or late April!

Sorry, no April Fool’s jokes for you. I hate April Fool’s. (I did consider writing an essay on how the videogame genre of First Person Shooters (FPS) is inherently a critique of capitalism, until I remembered that, oh, wait, April Fool’s is about posting things that aren’t true, and the FPS genre most certainly is a critique of capitalism.)

Fantasy Charity Sale

The amazing Bryce O’Connor recently organized a bunch of us fantasy authors into running a mass charity sale to raise money for COVID-19 related causes. You can find a complete listing of participating authors here, and you should definitely check it out. There are some fantastic authors participating, including Andrew Rowe, Sarah Lin, Benedict Patrick, Travis Riddle, Mike Shel, F James Blair, and many, many more! Also me- books two and three of Mage Errant are for sale.

I highly recommend checking out the sale- everything’s either $0.99 or free, and it’s all going towards charity! I’m personally donating 100% of my earnings from this sale to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), who are doing amazing work fighting COVID-19 in some of the poorest parts of the world. (They’re always doing amazing work somewhere.) Other authors have picked causes of their own, ranging from the local to the international. Go nuts, people, you really can’t go wrong here!

(I should note that I normally donate 10% of my income to charity anyhow, and I’ve been donating to MSF for this pandemic already, so if you’ve bought any of my books since September 2019, you’ve donated to charity!)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a bunch of money to spend on fantasy novels.

Edit: Due to Reddit Reasons, Bryce O’Connor’s own books for sale aren’t on the list! You can check them out here!

Free Books for Quarantine Reading

The Mage Errant Publisher’s Pack ebook (which contains books 1&2) is free through Sunday, March 22nd! Just in case you need something to read while you’re self-quarantining to hide from COVID-19. (I’m quarantined for real, at the moment! Whee!)

In addition, I recently posted a list of epidemiological reading options on reddit, if this whole pandemic situation has you interested in learning more about epidemiology, or reading some epidemiological fiction.

The Wrack Cover Reveal

It’s been one heck of a haul, but at long last, The Wrack has been sent out for some good old fashioned editing. I haven’t set the release date, but it should probably be out in mid to late April!

To celebrate, how about a cover reveal, featuring art by the amazing Amir Zand:

The Wrack Cover

Oh, and I should note that Sarah Lin’s The Brightest Shadow is out now, and I got to read it months before all of you, and I’m definitely gloating over that, because it’s absolutely amazing, and you should all go use it to tide yourselves over until the Wrack is out. Seriously, it’s brilliant. Go read it now.

The Language Problem in Fantasy (Or, Why I’ve Gained So Much More Respect for Tolkien and Translators Lately)

I originally posted this on Reddit.

The study of etymology (the study of words, not ants) has been a bit of a curse to me as both a fantasy fan and author, because whenever I come across or use a word whose etymology I know or can intuit based off my prior knowledge, I immediately have to parse whether it makes sense there. Some words are just so tied into the history, culture, and evolution of a language that they just don’t make sense in fantasy novels. It throws me out of the story if it doesn’t makes sense, which, well, is really jarring. I could just stop studying etymology, I suppose, but that’s definitely not happening and there’s no point suggesting it.

When reading a fantasy novel and giving serious consideration to what’s going on language-wise inside the story, you’ve got to assume that the characters are either:

A: speaking English (or whatever language you’re reading the book in), or

B: Having their speech translated from their language into English (or, again, whatever language you’re reading in) by the author of the book. (Or, rarely, by a translator within the book who is acting as a narrator.)

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