Facets of Fantasy was my second book, published in 2009. It contained 5 novellas that explored varying angles of the speculative genre—everything from epic fantasy to light period work (which is a kind of fantasy, rather than a true exploration of history, as anyone who’s watched period can see.) Two years later I made another volume with all the stories edited and two of them rewritten. At the time I didn’t realize I could just upload those changes into the existing book—so now there are 2 Facets books. The one with the blue cover is the second, published in 2011, and will contain the final assortment of stories.
Over the last 6 years, I’ve used the second Facets book as a way to sort the first one. I’ve always been a bit questioning of the reaction to Facets of Fantasy—something, though never fully developing into anything bad, has always felt shady and unspoken about reader’s reactions. And no matter what they said, I could never quite figure out which story they really liked; really disliked; really thought was interesting; and really thought was boring; and why they thought any of that. Facets of Fantasy became a bit of a problem. I was determined to get to the bottom of it.
I rewrote Halogen Crossing and The Amulet of Renari for the second book. Nothing. (Except people have always let slip a faintly snotty remark about Renari.) I enlarged The Trouble with Taranui to be much longer and eventually made it its own book. Nothing. I tried to make the much-acclaimed Jurant a single, but somehow that didn’t work at all. Nothing. I worked Millhaven Castle into a different story, Alyce, and I’ve already posted about entirely new story that that effort created. And still nothing. Nothing about why a boring collection of stories seemed a problem in my writing life—something that was a bump, a roadblock, and in a way a big secret.
For a while, I added Victoria into the mix because reactions to it were similar. Then it was removed in preparation for examining it independently of the entire Facets dilemma. I've made The Amulet of Renari a single ebook again for the time being. Whether this will solve the problem, I don’t know. But eventually I will whittle it down and find out why Facets of Fantasy is THE book I need to do something about.
And there will be more updates.
There are still a few loose ends that need to be tied up with my other books. But I’m starting to look ahead to working on Temmark Osteraith. I wanted to do that months ago, but things can get set back. It’s important to lay a solid foundation and getting all my books in order was an essential part of that. It’s actually building a house to last instead of throwing some sticks together because you need shelter in the moment.
The world of Temmark Osteraith used to be the “Milland” world and appeared in a couple of stories about a girl named “Alyce” who got into all kinds of trouble. So it feels long ago—but also moving forward in an important way. I finished most of the story of what will now be Temmark Osteraith fifteen years ago and I’m such a different person now, in a lot of ways, that I think the audience attitude to the book now will be quite different from the audience for Milland. Or even for some of my other books published more recently.
Temmark Osteraith has maybe a bit of a wilder aspect, if you’d like to call it that, than the old world of Alyce’s Milland. It was this very off-beat, funny, kind of adventure in a period-historical type of world. Whereas in Temmark Osteraith we have a futuristic world, characters that aren’t even human, and a house that still a bit resembles an old mansion, but with an unpredictable personality of its own. A lot is different now from that original draft—setting, character names, some of the plot, you name it—but it still has things that are similar too. A bridge between the past and where my writing is today, to the extent I think it actually brings out the story that was always underlying Milland instead of replacing it.
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
I write stories about human emotions--about the journey of life. Every step of it can be meaningfully great or simply terrible and you can only reach the end after experiencing many kinds of things that make you grow. Emotional travels are the travels of life and the road of living is not one planned out in notebooks or organized in Scrivener. It is felt in love, hope, and fear and developed through an understanding of why humans go through these. And, on top of that, my stories are adventure stories. History, fantasy, and daily modern situations are all adventures as long as you don't know for sure what's going to happen when you wake up each day. Because that would be like repeating the same day over and over again and who wants to do that?
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