Happy Monday, all…I hope you are well and thriving.
Next week, my fantasy novella Valiant Heart releases and wow, I am over the moon about it! Writing this book has been an adventure. Many ups, just as many downs, and everything in-between. I have learned so much about myself and my process along the way.
You see, Valiant Heart existed in this world once before. Back in the day when I was still primarily writing and publishing poetry and fiction of a slightly more literary ilk, I wrote Valiant Heart as a tribute to games and books I’ve loved, and most of all for original characters I created and adored but who needed a fictional home. I self-published a very different version of the book, sold less than 20 copies and pulled it down when I realized something sobering–the book was far from complete.
I had published what, for me, was the equivalent of a rough draft.
Between that first iteration and now, Valiant Heart has experienced a remarkable journey. It lived through a full-manuscript query request and the ensuing positive feedback, through a series of world-building changes, being shopped around and more. When health issues required my mental time and energy (I’m fine, by the by), I realized that self-publishing might be the best way at this point for my career to proceed in light of the need for a flexible schedule that allowed for extreme self-care.
In the quiet that followed, I realized that Valiant Heart existed not just in its own world, but in my sprawling fantasy and sci-fi expanded universe. Wow. I mean, on some level I knew this all along, but with certain projects shopped with trad publishers and others still in the works, I never gave into the urge to weave it all together, keeping parts sequestered here and there in case of publication and contracts.
The thought of taking a leap of faith into indie publishing and moving all of my favorite projects into this one universe was more than a little daunting. When other projects I had been working on in different spheres of my literary life fell through or came to a natural close, I had no more excuses not to start. I had nothing holding me back. I again had to face down my fear, but in the end decided to be valiant, and to see what striking out on my own would bring.
Turns out, becoming untethered was the most remarkable boost to my creativity and productivity. I chipped away on writing and edits, on making a cover that I loved, on creating a final product (with formatting help from the amazing Cassandra Chandler), and on slowly building a platform from which to launch this shiny new airship into the big blue skies of the world.
Valiant Heart is a light fantasy romance novella that follows Sylvan elf and soldier Niamh Starsong and mechmage Jeron Wright in their adventures through the steam-powered, magic-fueled city of Astra, a jewel in the Commonwealth of Tanahr. It will be available digitally on Tuesday 1/15/19, with a print copy to follow in the coming weeks. I cannot wait to share this journey with you all, and I’m already writing the next two books of the series with all due haste!
Stay tuned for updates, more about the world of Tanahr and the characters who inhabit it, and do sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know about these exciting things as they happen. Thank you all for reading, and wishing you the best on this lovely Motivation Monday!