A new series begins.
Last week I announced the release of two new titles via Lulu.com and I guess I am up to my old tricks again with not just one more book, but the start of a whole new series; Gaenor’s Prophecy – Signs of Change.
This is a sequel to one of my most popular stories, the four-book series – Gaenor’s Quest. I designed the stories to take place in what at the time was an unusual fantasy world, one based in a world that had a vaguely Nineteenth Century technology rather than the well-worn (and safer to write if you actually wanted to make a sale twenty-five years ago) pseudo-medieval milieu. Since then the rise of Steampunk and Gaslamp Fantasies have made this sort of imagining far more common, but at the time I got letters back advising me that cigars and coffee were not medieval and should be removed. I was somewhat amused that these same editors and prospective agents felt that tea and tall ships were perfectly acceptable in a pseudo-Medieval story. Since tea reached Europe well after coffee did and tall ships were distinctly Nineteenth Century it opened my eyes to the inconsistently that comes from those who have not done their homework.
Anyway, at the time I had planned to rewrite The Red Light of Dawn (first volume of Gaenor’s Quest) in a more conventionally medieval milieu – I would even have replaced the barks and brigantines with caravels and what-not, but real life got in the way and I had to get a real job which cut down so much on my writing time that I actually stopped for about eight years, When I started writing again, I was no longer as interested in finding a publisher. First and foremost, I just wanted to share my stories, so I wrote the rest of the series. By then both Steampunk and Gaslamp Fantasies were known items so I was no longer so much of a pioneer. Still, this is not a Steampunk world. I guess it is closer to Gaslamp although even then I was not thinking in those terms. The magic within is very scientific in its way and does not violate the Laws of Phyiscs as we know them… or at least the magic does not violate them intentionally. I thought of it as a 19th Century milieu without any fancy descriptions and that is still how I think of it. My readers, however, may call it what they wish.
The story centers on a young woman, Gaenor of Narmouth, her master (later, her partner), Artur the Southlander, and her determination to become an adept (an initiated magic user) which is certainly not a common occupation for a woman in a time just before a Woman’s Suffrage Movement had gotten rolling. I suppose I could have centered on her struggle to excel in a Man’s occupation, but on doing research I noticed that the first few women to push themselves into traditionally masculine occupations were more or less tolerated so long as they were good at what they did. They were frequently seen as a novelty not as a threat. Of course being seen as a threat was not far behind, but at first many got the moral equivalent of a pat on the head and a heartfelt, “Good for you, dear.” So that’s how I wrote it. Gaenor was a first in her world and found easy acceptance most of the time because she really was very good at what she did
Well, a young woman having an easy time getting respect does not make for much of a story. A good story needs tension and the tension must be resolved. In this case the tension was provided by mysterious beings who lived on a remote island and had cast a spell that, left unchecked, would destroy the world. I figured that would be tension enough.
To keep it short, they had to assemble a team and save the world. In Signs of Change, it has been about twelve years since they saved the world, but just as in the comic books, the world needs saving again although this time they are up against an enemy that has a military technology that is superior in some ways to the magic they know so well. Worse, that enemy is on a holy crusade to conquer the World.
Want to know more? Signs of Change (along with all my books, including the four volumes of Gaenor’s Quest) is currently available at Lulu.com in digital and dead-tree formats and will soon be available at Amazon, B&N.com, the iTunes Bookstore and other fine outlets.