Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Interview with Zachary Bonelli and Aubry Kae Andersen!

I am so happy to welcome author Zachary Bonelli  (founder of Fuzzy Hedgehog Press) and artist Aubry Kae Andersen (The AKArchy) to my blog today. They are running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the art buget for Insomniuma story that is as much about coping with loss, tragedy and adversity, as it is about finding purpose and meaning in a hostile and barely comprehensible dream world.

Nel Hanima goes to sleep in his Seattle apartment and awakens in the fantastically paradoxical City of Nowhere. Among the city’s bizarre inhabitants, Nel discovers three other humans—Giniip Pana, Rev Merveille, and Drogl Belgaer—each from their own alternate reality version of Seattle. Together, they learn that Nowhere is actually a dream, a whole universe conjured into existence by someone’s overactive nighttime imagination. But this begs the question—whose dream is it? And more importantly, how do they wake up?

Insomnium is expected to begin its release cycle on October 30 of this year. A final version, all twelve collected episodes in print and ebook formats, will become available on February 12, 2014. In order to make this schedule a reality, the Kickstarter campaign will have to reach its funding goals by the end of the day on July 7.

Okay, let’s get started on the questions! How did this collaboration come about?

Zachary: Aubry and I met in our science fiction writers’ meetup group. About a year ago, I described to her one of the scenes I wanted illustrated for Voyage. It was Kal and Rko’s kiss inside a forcefield bubble surrounded by lava. She drew it up on the spot, and I asked if she would be interested in working on the series.

Aubry: I’ve been working with Zachary on his Voyage serial project for nearly a year now, providing illustrations, cover art, and other random graphics, as well as editorial advice on the story.  When Zachary decided to take a break from Voyage and work on a fresh story, he approached me to provide illustrations.

How has it been to work together?

Zachary:  Great! I think that Aubry’s illustration style compliments my writing well. I tend to write about people being thrown into places that are weird, not only in that the normal social rules break down, but even the places and people themselves tend to be different and unique. Aubry’s signature style, the hand drawn faces, with cloth and other textures filling in the color digitally, fits this motif.

Aubry: Working with Zachary has been great.  Our ideas mesh together very well.  He has a fantastic imagination and I love bringing that to life.   I can’t really say there have been any challenges involved, either.  I couldn’t have asked for a better client, or a better friend.

How did you decide which scenes to illustrate?

Zachary: In the case of Voyage, it depends on the episode. Sometimes I have a scene that’s screaming out at me, begging me to be artistically realized, and I communicate that desire to Aubry. Other times, it won’t be as clear in my mind which scene should get illustrated, and we’ll both chat about it until we come up with something. Sometimes I’m useless and I just leave it up to Aubry entirely, based on the text of the story.

In the case of Insomnium, the illustrations will be for the covers. Insomnium’s City of Nowhere is divided up into wards, which each have a governor. And the episodes more or less contain one new ward and one new governor. Our plan is basically to match governors and wards to the covers for each ep. You can see the preliminary sketch for the ward of Earth Above Heaven Below and its governor, the Farseer, on the Kickstarter page, for example.

Aubry: For Voyage, I read all his episodes, then together we pick out the scene that would be most visually appealing and representative of the themes.   Zachary trusts me a lot to envision an illustration’s subject and composition, but I always present him with a sketch first, in case I miss a detail like correct clothing or hairstyles.  For Insomnium, this process will be much the same.

What have you learned during this project?

Zachary: I feel I’ve learned a lot about the drafting process. Voyage is this big, sprawling thing, that’s taken over a decade to finally get into a state where it feels “right.” Insomnium, on the other hand, is a much more tightly contained story, coming it at a total of twelve episodes, as opposed to Voyage’s seventy. Not to imply that Insomnium is superior. Voyage is just more “epic” in scope. Planning and writing Insomnium has taught me a lot about the structure and arcs of shorter serials.

 Aubry: In our preliminary preparations for Insomnium, we’ve learned making a video of ourselves is hard.  We’re both fairly introverted people with weird senses of humor.  We’ve also been learning the nitty-gritty of publishing–the unglamorous stuff, really, like how to register a business, how to pay taxes, how to handle marketing, and so on.  Artistic endeavors like this are a lot more than just spewing your imagination onto computer screens and paper.

Aubry, What/Who influences your artwork?

My mother, Charlotte Warr Andersen, has always been a big influence on my artistic tendencies.  She’s a pictorial quilter, and you can really pick up a similar style in the art I make.  I just don’t have the patience to sew, so I piece together paper and fabrics using glue or Photoshop.

She and my father encouraged me to pursue my art, ever since I was a child.  It’s not a lucrative career choice, so anybody going into an artistic field really needs to find support like that.

Aubry, Who are some of your favorite artists?

My favorite contemporary artist is Yoshitaka Amano, a Japanese illustrator most famous for his depictions of Final Fantasy characters.  I played those video games while growing up, and was always wowed by his work in the instruction booklet and Nintendo Power Player’s Guide.  That was before the Internet was everywhere.

If we’re talking dead artists, my favorite is Francisco Goya.  He was before his time, I think, making very raw, expressionistic work during a time when art was more about hazy, romantic perfection.   

Zachary, What/Who influences your writing?

My favorite book of all time is The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. You’ll see a lot of that influence in Insomnium. I’m also fond of Neal Gaiman and China Mieville. If a piece of writing has a really weird and creative high concept, I’m game. 

Zachary, Who are some of you favorite authors?

Besides the three mentioned above, I’m also fond of Ursula K Le Guin, Philip K Dick, and Neal Stephenson.

Finally what is your advice to aspiring authors and artists out there.

Zachary: I’ve lost a lot of time in my life, which I could have spent writing, to the false idea that I would never be “good enough.” If you have a story that just needs to be told, then write. Just write. Seriously, go write your story. Then write other stories. Then come back and write your first story again if you need to. Whatever you do, just keep writing. Don’t stop because of something as trivial as not meeting someone else’s expectations. Grow, live, learn, and write some more.

Aubry: A lot of people are pursuing the arts these days.  The people who succeed will be persistent and differentiate themselves from the crowd.  This comes easier if you truly love the make your art, if you need to express yourself in order to keep yourself happy.  There’s a reason so many artists and writers are perceived as a few cards short of a full deck.  Creativity often comes at the cost of normalcy.  People who lack the same creativity still enjoy creative things, yet they’ll often look down upon the everyday artist struggling who sacrifices their comfort for their art.  That type of person will call the artist or the writer lazy or crazy because they aren’t pursuing a more stable career.

Don’t listen to them.  Embrace your own weirdness.  Surround yourself with friends who will accept you in all your mad glory and support your goals.  Show naysayers to the door.

That’s great advice! Thanks for stopping by!  

Zachary Bonelli grew up in a small town in northern Illinois, west of Chicago. After graduating high school, he dual majored in English Literature and German Language at a small, Midwestern liberal arts college. After undergrad, he turned his eyes towards exploration, and spent many years in Japan, Thailand and Hawaii. Zack loves stories. He’s long been fascinated by video games as a storytelling medium, and loves exploring different cultures, discovering the different underlying stories that different groups of people tell themselves, the stories that define who they are and how they perceive the world. Nowadays, he lives with his partner near Seattle, Washington.

Aubry Kae Andersen is a freelance designer living in Seattle, WA.  Her business, the AKArchy (, does design work for web and print, as well as illustration.  She has a BFA in Studio Art from Westminster College of Utah, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for A/NT Gallery (, a non-profit artist’s collective where she shows her more traditional work.  In addition to all that, she’s working on her debut novel, Isaac the Fortunate, slated for release later this year.

If you’d like more information about the Insomnium Kickstarter campaign please go to:


Publisher Website:




Other Systems is out in Paperback!

My science fiction novel, Other Systems, is now available in paperback!

Other Systems Cover

Right now you can purchase it at




Without an influx of human DNA, the utopian colony on Kipos has eleven generations before it reaches failure. Earth is over ninety light years away. Time is short.

On the over-crowded Earth, many see opportunity in Kipos’s need. After medical, intelligence, and physiological testing, Abby and her younger siblings, Jin and Orchid, are offered transportation. Along with 750,000 other strong immigrants, they leave the safety of their family with the expectation of good jobs and the opportunity for higher education.

While the Earthlings travel to the new planet in stasis, the Kiposi, terrified the savages will taint their paradise, pass a series of indenture and adoption laws in order to assimilate them.

When Abby wakes up on Kipos, Jin cannot be found. Orchid is ripped from her arms as Abby is sold to a dull-eyed man with a sterilized wife. Indentured to breed, she is drugged and systematically coerced. To survive, Abby learns the differences in culture and language using the only thing that is truly hers on this new world: her analytical mind. In order to escape her captors, she joins a planetary survey team where she will discover yet another way of life.

  • ISBN-13: 9781937546144
  • Publisher: 48fourteen
  • Pages: 404

If you want more information, read deleted scenes, or see other extras: check out

48Fourteen Scavenger Hunt Featured Book: Change of Pace

48Fourteen Scavenger Hunt!!!!

Hop between each author’s blog/website and collect the highlighted clues.Then go to the link above and enter the raffle.

 The book which I am featuring on my blog today is Change of Pace by Sofia Essen.


I read this book back in April of 2012 when it was first released. Here is my original review:

Essen’s debut novel is a wonderfully light beach read. The synopsis begins: “What do you do when you get dumped, fired, and turn thirty in a single unfortunate week?…”

While the beginning moved a bit slow with relaxing shopping trips and drinking wine, this worked well as it mimicked the life that Essen was describing on Crete compared to Anna’s previous life in New York. The novel is written in first person, so the reader won’t always know what is going on with other characters and why, but Anna is an interesting narrator and it adds to the fun of watching her learn about Crete, her family and herself.

If you want a book that is upbeat and an enjoyable read, this is the book for you.
Now, I would also like to add that I have sometimes thought of Essen’s descriptions of life on Crete and the relationships between the characters over the past nine months. Though it is a wonderfully light book, the images stick with you.




What do you do when you get dumped, fired, and turn thirty in a single unfortunate week?

You book the last available ticket on the next plane to Greece. Or at least that’s what the normally unadventurous Anna Cox does in a moment of uncharacteristic spontaneity. When she panics as she belatedly realizes that not booking a hotel room in a country she knows nothing about might not have been the best or smartest idea, the charming and easy on the eyes Englishman in the seat next to her comes to her rescue – he takes her to the rural island village in Crete that he calls home.

As Anna settles into village life, she learns that change, even the unwanted and unexpected kind, can be a good thing. She begins to see that there is always more to any story or person than meets the eye, including herself. In Crete, where time moves differently and days float and blend into one another, Anna finds the courage to discover who she really is, open up to strangers, and to fall in love without holding back even though she might get hurt.

Praise for Sofia Essen and Change of Pace:

“Sofia Essen’s vivid descriptions of Crete, its culture, cuisine, and people, transported me there and made me feel like I was on a free holiday.” ~ Lady Jayne’s Reading Den


“The writing was simply brilliant, especially during the first half of the book…It was sarcastic, witty and emotional when need be.” ~ Fani, Goodreads


“The writer’s brilliant use of irony as a structural element of the plot ushers in an aura of unpredictability…”~ Malcolm Livera, Amazon


“This is a wonderful story of love, change, letting go, and taking a leap of faith.” ~ Eva’s Sanctuary

cop3About the Author:

Sofia Essen has spent twenty years as an expatriate. She is presently on an indefinitely extended vacation on a Greek island. Living in a place that is as inspiring as it is perplexing is what made her pickup a pen and write Change of Pace. Her other interests include long walks with her Yorkshire Terrier.

Connect with Sofia:





Where to buy Change of Pace:


Excerpt from Change of Pace:

Tiny nudges my leg with his nose impatiently. He wants his walk, and he wants it now. I put his collar on him and we head out. Instead of turning right outside the gates, I turn left on impulse and begin to trek up the steep hill behind the village. Half an hour later, I stop and look down at the village. I spot the bed and breakfast—it looks like a dollhouse from up here. As my eyes rove over Drapanias, my mind stops spinning at last. When I ask myself the same questions that I’ve been asking myself for days, I finally have some answers.

Why am I still on this island? I’m still here because I’ve fallen in love with the village below me and its inhabitants. Should I go home? They say home is where the heart is. So I’m going to trek back down the hill to the village. I don’t have everything figured out yet. But knowing where I want to be is a start. I want to stay in Drapanias for as long as I can, which means I’m definitely going to start looking for a job. And even though Daisy is right about me craving consistency in a relationship, at the moment, I crave Alex more.

Feeling both mentally and physically refreshed, I practically skip downhill. I jog up Villa Drapanias’ driveway behind Tiny who is in a hurry to get his breakfast, which Jane should have ready and waiting for him by now. I unclip Tiny’s leash from his collar and he zooms toward the main house while I continue to my guesthouse. When I open the door and step inside, I’m greeted by a sight that evaporates every remaining ounce of angst I’ve harbored over the past few days – Alex standing in the middle of room, wearing nothing but a threadbare towel around his waist.

Our eyes meet across the room. Without a word, he comes toward me and suddenly I’m forgetting everything but the feeling of his arms around me and his lips on mine. His touch ignites a fire in me and a hunger for him that makes me dizzy. When he lifts me up and carries me to the bed, I feel like I’ve been drugged. Alex is the drug, and I want more. And knowing he wants me just as much as I want him when we’re together like this is a powerful high.

Readers can win a copy of seven books featured, and two runners up will get a book of their choice! Check out the rest of the great books and blogs at the 48Fourteen Scavenger Hunt!!!!


The Martlet is finished!

I have finished my next novel, The Martlet an epic tale of friendship and betrayal about four assassins who play with necromancy on the side. Though this book does follow many of the tenants of epic fantasy, the story is full of rich characters that the reader will love to hate. I’m sending the novel to 48Fourteen first. While I do not know if they will be interested in this title since it is a different genre than Other Systems. Also it has four protagonists and they are all villains. Still I am curious to see what they say.
The novel opens with Lady Mira on a job to clean up a situation.
“Dressed in loosely woven flax rags and careful to keep my weapons covered, I stepped out of the Expanse into Vodnik Territory, and looked across the dusty port city. While I watched the on-goings of both commoners and nobility, clothed as I was, the populace ignored me. I meandered towards the Great House. I heard no rumors of the scandal I had come to set right.Good.”
She has enough to do, but runs into her uncle Roark who has been drinking blood of the living in order that he might have eternal youth. His presence effects her more than she lets on.

“Though his footfalls were inaudible, I felt his presence leave my side as he walked back towards the banquet hall. Outwardly I was serene, but inwardly confused and fuming. Lost memories inundated my mind. I wanted to laugh and keen at once.

When I was little, Roark used to tell me he read my developing mind in his sister’s womb and loved me before I was even born. Of course, like all members of the Guild, Roark is a born liar. Still I loved my daughter while she grew within my womb, so maybe he’s telling the truth. Part of me hopes he is.

Regardless, it is a mistake to trust him. It always has been.”


Lord Roark and his companions Kian and Eohan, seek life eternal. After all, a Fairsinge only has a thousand years to live and that is simply not enough time. Their latest attempt is to direct the spirit of their  fallen comrade Lady Elana into Roark’s new born niece. When it is obvious that the experiment failed and the babe was nothing more than any other child, it is suggested she should be drowned in the Expanse. However as a Martlet, Roark sees victory even in the darkest failure. In an uncommon fit of remorse, Roark takes the child whom he names Mira and trains her in both the way of the Martlet and the Guild. Mira grows into a gallant warrior, however in their quest for eternal life, Roark and his companions plays fast and loose with Guild Law. When Roark is dishonored and Eohan is turned into a zombie during an experiment, Kian rushes to save them while Mira journeys to Underworld to bring back one of their own before he resurrects.

Creating Talamh: The Beginning of Nora and Calafas

Talamh is the world of Faminelands. Beyond the needs of the world, I need Lark and Orin to be outcasts in their society. Orin especially would suffer. While  I also knew that Lark and Orin were siblings, I considered maybe Orin was a foundling or just he was the bastard while she was coddled.

Then I changed my mind again.  If she was a favorite, when Orin is cruel, the reader might think that he hated her. Rather, I wanted them to have a bond. Something that ties them together.

So I simply decided their parents love was so strong that they denied their families wishes and got married anyway. However the entirety of the village ignores their marriage and their children. While this story is reported in the Carp’s Eye, in my notes I had their whole love story written out in some detail. Here is the beginning…


Journeyman Bowyer Calafas glanced up from his new design when the dark-haired lady and her silver-haired father entered the bowyers’ shop. He and his master fell to their knees. The young man’s mouth hung open; too dry to form words. All he could think was that her brilliant green eyes sparkled brighter than the ruby that lay upon her brow. She held her head high; her hands bore proudly the many scars of battle. He knew Lord Arna on sight and had witnessed the Ascension Ceremony. Still it took him a moment to recognize Nora.

Master Orodherth welcomed the nobles into his shop. As he moved towards them, he gave his former apprentice a sharp kick in the thigh.

Arna smiled kindly. “Hello Good Bowyers.”

Calafas slowly rose, but remained slumped forward in order not to tower over the Lady. He was only a few fingers taller then she, but felt too tall and gangly. As Nora purchased bow strings and five bundles of arrows, he wondered if his teeth were stained. Calafas nodded dumbly and marked her purchases with chalk. 

She asked Orodherth, “Can they be delivered within five hours? Hunter Brogan shall be loading the wagon near the stables and we make our way South.”

Orodherth grumbled in his typical fashion, “Of course, milady. We’re doing nothing else today.”

Nora laughed. Calafas thought her laugh was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. He blushed furiously when she tilted her head and looked at him. Calafas tried to think about his work. He did not know how much of his feelings Nora would comprehend; but Arna could read even the most fleeting thoughts. Calafas was sure if the Lord heard a hint of his desire, he would be cut down.

Nora smiled. “Son of Daria, I recently purchased this quiver from your mother. She does such lovely work. I hope she is well?”

Calafas found his voice, but felt his tone was too coarse. “Yes, milady, my mother is well. Thank you, with your permission, I’ll mention that you’re pleased. It’d please her greatly to know that her work…uh… pleases you.”

He wanted to pound his head into the cob wall. Orodherth and Arna frowned, but Nora smiled wider as she had heard his thoughts as easily as if he spoken aloud.

“Yes, send your mother my regards.”

Without speaking, Arna shot a warning into both of the younger elves’ minds.

Nora blushed.

Calafas stammered, “Milord, forgive my eyes for looking upon Lady Nora’s radiance. Once she was a child and now she’s the Goddess of the Hunt herself. My hope is that my arrows will serve the Ladies and Champion Hunter Brogan well.”

Arna allowed Nora and Calafas to experience discomfort, but said nothing on the matter. He settled on a price with Orodherth as was their practice. Nora waited patiently for her father and gave the men a nod as they left.

Orodherth frowned at Calafas, but the younger man didn’t see him. He was looking at Nora’s disappearing figure with his mouth open. Orodherth slapped the back of his head. “Wake up, Man! She’s a pretty one, no doubt, but she isn’t for the likes of us! Now if your heart is set upon being a suitor, go look at the Smithy Essaria. Get us a discount on arrowheads.”

“Yes,” Calafas mumbled, but his brown eyes still gazed outside.

Orodherth repeated the blow. “Did you hear me, boy? I don’t like to think I wasted two centuries training your sorry arse only to have you hung! Get on that order.”

Even without Orodherth’s words, Calafas knew he could not have Nora. When he was a lad, Lord Arna had given him the chance to be a warrior; he had chosen a different path. If he was a fighter, he might be able to win her, but alas, he was not. 


Arna gripped his daughter’s arm as they walked along the wall. “If you wish to take a consort, you are of age. However, I beg you not to flirt so openly. You have been placed first among my daughters. It would destroy your mother to see you act as if you were a kitchen maid.”

“Sorry, my Father. He was just so uncomfortable, I felt I should say something.”

Arna knew his daughter had not lied, she just had not told the complete truth. She was attracted to his innocence. Calafas was a man who never had killed. A place where she might retreat when the darkness overwhelmed her. “But you like that boy?”

“He has a sweet temper. I feel that when I’m around him,” she said, “but his emotions are almost stifling.”

“He is one of the Cursed.”

Nora asked, “How can that be?”

Arna smiled at the innocence of the question. “Beloved, just as you and I do, he had an ancestor with the Curse. He is not strong in it, but in his adolescence, he was trained enough to control it.”

“You trained him?”

“The world did not start when you were born!” Arna replied, “Of course, I trained him. Once I learned his path, I introduced him to Orodherth.”

“You rarely take such a keen interest in the life of a commoner.” She read her father trying to find out if he held a secret. She could not sense one, but he was an Ancient and much more powerful than she.

 “Save that boy, they are rarely interesting,” Arna said.


From the practice range, Calafas watched the nobles depart from the East Gate. Nora sat tall on her mount while her mother and uncle drove a wagon laden with burlap sacks. A flash of silver danced when she passed a torch. He fought the urge to run to the gates and watch until she disappeared into the forest. Instead, he restuffed the targets and bundled the old filling into faggots.

When he came back inside the hut, Calafas heated the last of the venison pottage for their supper. Orodherth counted their inventory in preparation for the Autumn Hunt and Festival. Though Calafas needed more rest than his ancient master, he felt fidgety. He stayed up to help him. Finally Orodherth yawned and went to his hammock.

Once the old man tranced soundly; Calafas looked over their stock of wood until he found what he was looking for: a piece of delicate white beech. He tested the wood for flexibility and moisture before he began to carve.

It would take him two weeks to finish. The bow was lightweight, fast, and powerful; he knew it would serve Lady Nora well. Five petal asters intertwining with knot work symbolizing of love and unending devotion curved around the handle to the bend in the top.

Knowing the weapon was worthy, but he was not, Calafas believed the weapon would never reach its intended. He considered putting it to the flame. He had not the heart to burn his first master-worked creation. He oiled the wood, carefully wrapped it in leather and hid it high in the rafters of the hut.

Orodherth pretended he did not know. He considered telling the lad’s mother, but unsure of Daria’ reaction, he thought better of it. He did not know who sired Calafas but one in ten were the unwanted bastards of heartless noblemen. He knew it was likely. He just didn’t care.

Before the young man had come to him, the Master Bowyer had been alone for centuries. His companion was long dead. He took no woman, even for a single night, in order to continue his line. He did not care about such things. He was old and needed someone to replace him when Death came for him. The lad had been an eager pupil; now he was a proficient bowyer. Their souls were entwined with the love to layer and carve the wood. That’s all that mattered.

Not knowing what else to do, the old man prayed to the Great Lady. He begged that his lad would refocus on his work and that if he desired a wife; he would find one within their station.

Orodherth felt it likely what Calafas thought was love was actually just a mixture of lust and admiration of a great heroine. He repeated this to the younger man until the Master believed that Calafas believed it was true.

Faminelands #3: Mareton’s Curse Update: it’s gone to press!


As you can see from the title Faminelands #3: Mareton’s Curse has gone to press. I got it back last Friday from the last beta reader who is also my grammar nazi. She said she found it impressive. I went through it again, so now it is on its way to Ka-Blam to be printed.

This has definitely been one of the harder titles for me to finish up. Specifically because there were subplots that had to be closed in this book. As my readers know I believe in believable characters, but my  writing is plot driven. When I read books, I need to have a satisfying ending, to be a satisfying read and I write that way as well…or at least try to.  I am very proud of the artwork in this book. I felt more than once I stretched my artistic ability.

As I said before it will be released on March 1st. You can pre-order it here. Maria and I will be shipping pre-orders on Feb 26th.


Pet Peeves: Writing Stupid Scientists

I am going to get this out of the way first, If you want to read a science fiction book, filled with scientists who explore planets on a survey team who act like *gasp* scientists…and FYI they NEVER put their face in a new species, take off their helmets in questionable atmosphere, or any other such nonsense… then check out Other Systems which is available on AmazonBarnes&Noble and Kobo. Yes I just plugged my own book in the silliest way possible.

Last night, I watched When World’s Collide, 1951. It is an extremely good movie. The scientists are smart. Non-scientists get angry due to the fact that they speak in theories as they work to create a rocket before Zyra and Earth collide. It is fantastic to see them work out the problem. The characters are smart. They are determined and they are survivors.

However, the reason I have been thinking about it is because of the Martlet. I didn’t realize that I would be writing another book about the scientific process, because it is about a group of people making hypothesis and testing those hypothesis with a variety of experiments, in this case, assassins who want to live forever so they play with necromancy on the side. The main plot involves the team losing their liquidator, Eohan. Then Roark and Mira go to the underworld before he resurrects in order to claim his soul.

While that is still the plot of the novel, if I am honest, I found the plot line  lacking. Something was missing. When I reread it, I realized the draft wasn’t a book I wanted to read…so I set it aside and considered what might be missing. That was when I realized, it played out like a movie I would enjoy. The story was good, I enjoyed the characters, but it lacked the depth that I enjoy reading…I believe my readers want that too.

The battle is for knowledge and a friend’s soul. The problem was the lack of science. I admit it is psuedo-biology mixing with what we would consider alchemy and witchcraft. This group was supposed to be the best, they are supposed to be smart. So I am going back and filling in the gaps now. Mira is running all over the Realms in order to gather what she and Roark will need to make a trip into the Underworld. Kian and Roark are running experiments with life and death.  They are all stealing bodies. (Thank you, Knifeman by Wendy Moore for giving me detailed explanations on how that actually worked!) They screw up. I am a bit worried about the pacing because like Other Systems, I ended up adding a few early chapters for context in order to answer the “why” questions.

Why is Eohan important to these people?

More importantly, why do they just assume this trip to the Underworld will work? No, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is not required reading in the Assassin’s Guild.

Anyway, I realized that I hate writing stupid scientists. I also hate reading stupid scientists and seeing them in movies.

So if there is going to be scientists, I make them smart!

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