Ugly Reality

Yeah, so this weekend my next book, Ugly, is coming out. It’s a superhero novel, which is an odd topic for a fantasy blog, but then I guess superheroes are as much fantasy and sci-fi. Anyway, more details coming soon.

In other news, I wrapped the main text on Vengeance and set it aside for a bit to breathe. Last night I started my first read-through; in this case because I new there were tweaks I wanted to make before giving it a proper break prior to the first main edit. It’s still on track for August, I’ve even got a slot booked with Kate for proofreading.

Meanwhile I needed a little break so I put down a marker for the next Thaumatology book (yes, the next one’s in the works already, though it’ll be several months before it sees print), and then I had an idea smack me between the eyes… and Reality Hack was born. I’m going to have some trouble classifying this one: it’s urban fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and the erotic element is a bit more explicit. I think it might make it out into the light of day though. So far the characters are working for me and that’s always a good sign.

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Demons and Fairies

So, I said I wasn’t happy with Lily’s new model, and while I was creating something new, I did new versions of Twill and Ishifa. And here they are… after the break, because this is Lily, Twill, and Ishifa we’re talking about.

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The New Look Overlord

As you know I’m writing the twelfth book in the Thaumatology series. It now has a name, at least a working one, and I suspect it’ll stay. Book 12 will be called Vengeance. Make of that what you will.

I’ve also been doing some remodelling on my two favorite fantasy characters. I’m not entirely sure I’ve got Lily down right yet. May need a little more work. Ceri, however, looks awesome. She’s come out looking a little like Lena Headey, which is just a perfect look for her. (No, I’m not a Game of Thrones fan; it didn’t occur to me that she was in it until I checked the spelling of her name.)

Since this is a somewhat risque render, I’ll reveal their new look after the break. And please let me know if you think Lily looks great and I’m just being paranoid.

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That Next Book

I don’t even have a working title, but I’m working on the next Thaumatology novel, and I’ve got a (very preliminary) target date for release.

Expect to see Ceri and Lily strutting through your e-reader sometime around August 16th.

It’s been a while since I wrote them and I’m currently reading through some of the previous books to get my brain back in the zone. That’s never good; far too much “oh I wouldn’t have written that like that now.” Still, it’ll be fun getting back in touch with the girls.

Alexandra

What can I say about Alexandra? Enigmatic. Old, but aging very gracefully. A very powerful woman with a heart of gold and a love of the underdog, or underwolf. Yes, she’s an Alpha werewolf, the leader of the Battersea pack. Power hangs around her like a silver cloud. She’s the chosen priestess, if there were such a thing, of the goddess the wolves owe fealty to.

And, finally, I have the modelling tools to do her some justice. So here she is in all her glory. Well, not all of it, but at least some of it.

Alexandra

What’s Coming Up

This is a very, very, vague release schedule for the next few books I have planned. Take a lot of this with a pinch of salt, dates are subject to variation. If you’re wondering why I’m posting this here as well as over in the Steel blog, keep reading.

  • Around February 2nd the next Aneka Jansen book, The Winter War, should be out. (That date is pretty solid. Proofing is booked, I just need the final MS ready.)
  • Sometime in early April then we should be seeing the follow-up, The Greatest Heights of Honour.
  • After that, something new. I’m working on a superhero novel named Ugly. If that works through the schedule, it’ll go out to the shops in May or June.
  • However, Ugly is a new project and may take some rework, so it might swap places with the next, currently unnamed, book in the Thaumatology series. We’re looking at May to September for that one.
  • And the last book I have planned is the sixth Aneka book. All I’m willing to say about a date is ‘the latter half of the year.’ I’ve given myself a bit of challenge getting books 5 and 6 right. They’re going to be hard work.
  • Unplanned, but possible, is a sequel to Ugly. I know where the plot would be going, but not how.

Happy Christmas

This has been quite the year. The first three Aneka Jansen books, The Steel Trilogy, have gone to press and been very well received. More people have picked up on the Thaumatology series as a result. I couldn’t be happier. Next year will see three more books about Aneka, a new one about Ceri and Lily, and maybe the result of another little project I’m working on.

So, if you’ve read my books and liked them, thank you, I’m glad you did, and I hope you have a great Christmas. If you’ve bought them and didn’t like them, thank you, sorry, and I hope you have a great Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Know Your Demons

Know Your Demons

 

So, kicking off the first in what should be a series of articles on the demons of the Thaumatology universe with… det.

What is a demon? Well, there are two answers to that. To most humans and practitioners, a demon is an entity from another universe which can be summoned into ours. To the demons themselves, that kind of demon is a “higher demon,” but there are plenty of other kinds and they are collectively known as “det” in the Devotik language most demons speak. The actual difference between the two classes of demon is that det have no talent for working magic. They can work magic, just as any human can do so in a strong enough magical field, but they don’t have any particular aptitude for it, they can’t work more complex or powerful spells, and in many regions they are actually banned from learning it.

There are many species and sub-species of demons, and even more variety of det. In our world anthropologists are just beginning to realise that the line which created us, homo sapiens, has a lot more branches than they originally thought. They were all clipped out leaving us as the dominant species, and a bottleneck in our numbers around 70,000 years ago has left us with little genetic diversity. That never happened in the demons’ world. Demons evolved to fill a vast number of ecological niches, and with a high magic field pervading the world that evolution took some bizarre twists. While humans have a very limited variation between individuals, skin, hair, and eye colour mostly, demons come in all shapes and sizes.

A typical det is between four and six feet in height, and beyond that there is no such thing as a typical det. The illustration shows two variations (with a Devos higher demon behind them for comparison). The blue one there should be recognisable to readers of the books; that’s Hiffy the blue-skinned barmaid with a very nimble tail. The other det in the picture has toughened hide, pointed ears, and a ridged skull. There are red det, green det, det who live exclusively underwater, det who can’t stand light, and they can range in intelligence from barely sentient to near genii.

One thing, however, is common to all det; they can never become higher demons and the higher demons look down upon them for it. Enslaving det is commonplace. In some regions all det are slaves of one kind or another and most areas will allow the enslavement of a det without legal repercussions. There are rich det, but very few in any positions of power. Det are the common, normal people of the demons’ world; be thankful you’re a human, rather than a det.