My wife says my brain must be on fire. I am hard at work on the second novel set in the Aenya universe, The Princess of Aenya, and I am excited to announce plans for TWO more Aenya books. Tentatively titled, Skyclad Warriors, the direct sequel to Ages of Aenya will continue the adventures of Xandr and Thelana. You can check out the excerpts here: Skyclad Warriors and Gods of the Ilmar. My other project, The Naked Huntress, will be an e-book novella exclusive, starring Thelana, set in the same time frame as the original.
So far, feedback from Beta Readers has been positive, and I am learning to produce better work faster. By the end of this year, I should have a completed draft of Princess ready for publishers. If you have not signed up to become a Beta Reader yet, don’t miss your chance! Click here to join in the adventures of Princess Radia Noora of Tyrnael!
On the Ages of Aenya front, I am likely becoming an independent, which means that, one way or another, I will finally have a product to market. Nearly every agent has responded to my query with, “Sorry, this kind of story is not trending now.” Basically, they want another dystopian teenage romance, a Hunger Games, Twilight or Divergent. I suppose it’s pointless arguing from the position of the artiste, trying to explain that great stories with unique characters (they’re naked!) is always in vogue. Many agents lack the foresight as to what may become all the rage (I think it’s naturism, to be quite honest) or what may turn out to be a classic. The emphasis on turning a quick profit stifles creativity and limits what writers can achieve. Ages of Aenya is a hard sell specifically because it defies convention. Or it may be that it sucks. But reader feedback, and interest in Aenya, continues to grow, and I am encouraged by the free body movement, a new found interest in feminism/equality/environmentalism, which is synonymous with naturism and the Ilmar. The time for Ages of Aenya is now!
I have been avoiding independent publishing since failing with The Dark Age of Enya in 2004; but even then I knew that the story and the characters needed further development. More importantly, DIY publishing is losing its stigma, and the advent of e-books is fueling the trend. The Nook and Kindle provides a great new way to reach consumers looking to escape the cliche/formula driven fantasy novels found on so many shelves today. Want proof? My friend and fellow author Michael Sullivan made between 40-50K a month selling e-books as an independent.
To test the e-book waters, The Naked Huntress: An Aenya Story (working title) will only be available for download. This novella will expand on the story of Thelana, from after she finds her home abandoned to before she meets Xandr in Hedonia. Inspired by the hit show, Naked and Afraid, Thelana will be fighting for survival deep in the rain-forests of Aenya, a place of great beauty and unearthly horrors, with nothing but her wits and determination and a quiver on her back! Look for new story-specific artwork to come!