Greetings, Aenya fans! I’m back with more exciting news … So, what started as a fluke, something I wanted to write for myself, for dollars on Kindle, turned into one of my best works of fiction. I am talking, of course, about The Feral Girl. Seriously, I hadn’t even thought to offer the book in paperback. But my longtime fans have been raving, telling me it’s my “most accomplished novel” to date. Really? I guess the learning process never stops. But I will admit: Thelana is my favorite character. There is a genuine, visceral quality to her story that I think readers find compelling. It also expands into the book that launched the series, Ages of Aenya, helping give that story a greater sense of emotional depth.
I’ve attended two signings this year, one at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa and another at Cypress Cove near Orlando. Now, I’ll be at Emerald City in Pinellas Park, FL. If you haven’t been there, you really should check it out. It’s a warehouse-sized comic mecca; they sell everything from vintage issues of Superman to life-size Batman statues to every role-playing game supplement you can imagine. While they don’t normally carry novels, the owner let me showcase my stuff on their shelves, and the books have been selling like hotcakes since. In fact, he’s been so impressed with the Aenya Series’ capacity for making him a sale, he’s started a no-pictures book section. So if you’d like to meet me in person, pick up a signed copy of The Feral Girl, or get some free bookmarks, be sure to head over to Emerald City this coming Saturday, August 6th!
Introducing: The Magiq of Aenya!!!
What’s next for Aenya? The Magiq of Aenya … that’s what! I’ve been hinting at this story for a few years now with The Children of Aenya. Why ‘children?’ I wanted to pay homage to my favorite Sci-Fi series, the third of which is called Children of Dune, and thought it would be cool for my (as of then) third book to share a similar title. Besides that, my upcoming novel features two girls, Lilliea and Rose, ages eight and fourteen. Their story is based around the seven-year Dungeons & Dragons campaign I’ve been running for my family, and I’ll be using my children’s PCs for inspiration. But I decided to change the book’s name because The Magiq of Aenya is strictly young adult, and putting “magic” in the title helps emphasize that. But if it gets lumped in with content not suitable for children (did you know Dr. Seuss wrote a nudist book?) the way Amazon linked Princess to a HISTORY of nudism in America, I may have to change the title again (removing the buzzword that Aenya has become) and write under a pseudonym. God, I hate the algorithm!!!
The Magiq of Aenya is my foray into the YA market and should entrance readers from middle schools to nursing homes. The thematic focus is near and dear to my heart: the wonder of childhood, the sense of magic we feel when we are young, and why and how we lose it as we get older. This is partly where the “magiq” comes in. Aenya has always been a low-magic setting, and this book isn’t going to change that. Much as I enjoy Harry Potter, I’ve always preferred systems that feel a bit more, well . . . magical, the kind that gives you that goose-pimpling sensation that makes the young and young at heart almost believe in it.
I’ll be taking visual cues from Studio Ghibli / Miyazaki and paying homage to my favorite flicks, like Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away (fans of Princess should already be familiar with this). I’d like the story to be something the studio could turn into an animated feature, like Howl’s Moving Castle, Tales from Earthsea, and When Marnie Was There (a storytelling masterpiece, I might add), all which were based on American novels. Throw in a touch of D&D adventuring, and hopefully, I’ll have something truly magical on my hands, a delightful book (delightful is the keyword here) that readers, agents, and publishers will find irresistible.
My daughter, Jasmine, who will soon be attending UCF as an art student, has agreed to help me design the characters (below). Lilliea, I think, looks a bit Harry Potter-inspired, while Rose reminds me of Mei from My Neighbor Totoro. These are just first drafts, but I am eager to see what Lilliea and Rose will look like three years from now when the novel is completed.
Themes? Art? Maybe you just want to know how this all fits into the overall Aenya series. Well, The Magiq of Aenya, while technically a spin-off, continues Ecthros’s journey from The Princess of Aenya . . . and might even feature Ugh, everyone’s favorite little goblin-guy. So there’s that.
OK, Nick, this all sounds well and good, but what the heck is with the “q” in “magiq”? Are you trying to be clever, or have you joined a cult? Well, there’s a reason for the Q, and you’ll have to read the book to find out! But who knows, the novel might see yet another name change in two years.
I will be starting work on The Magiq of Aenya on August 10th. I have FOUR beta readers signed up (mostly family), but if you’d like to be a part of the process, shoot me an email at email@example.com!
A Look Into the Far, Far Future
The writing process is a lot like traveling through time. Unless you’re an astronomer, it’s rare for any other profession to plan things on such grand timescales. A book series might literally take decades to complete (people have been waiting ten years for the next Game of Thrones!) . . . which is a hard thing for non-writers to wrap their heads around. But while I’m in the shower or settling my head to sleep, bits of story creep into my brain from the far-flung future, offering me a glimpse into what I may or may not be working on (I was planning The Feral Girl way back in 2015).
Today, I’d like to offer you that same glimpse. Like Kevin Feige announcing the future of the MCU, here’s a peek at the potential, upcoming decade for www.nickalimonos.com:
Coming 2024/2025: The Magiq of Aenya (tm)
Coming 2027: THESEUS (tm): Being of Greek descent, Greek mythology is near and dear to my heart. Others have tackled the subject, from Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief) to Madeline Miller (Circe), but there’s something that feels off to me about their interpretations. I think I can do better, and I owe it to my peeps to write a fantasy novel set in my country — the birthplace of fantasy.
Coming 2030: The Doom that Came to Casablanca (tm): The classic film Casablanca meets H.P. Lovecraft. Also, my wife is from Morocco. Need I say more?
Coming ???: Gods of Aenya (tm): Believe it or not, I already have a start on this. Yes, it’s another Xandr and Thelana story. The problem is, I can’t be spending two to three years of my life on something that will never get published (as a proper sequel to Ages of Aenya, it just wouldn’t make sense, not if AoA doesn’t get picked up first). But if and when publishers see the light, Xandr and Thelana will be making their grand return in Gods of Aenya. Or maybe, someday, I’ll feel compelled to tell their story, publishers be damned!