I am OVER-THE-MOON-CRAZY-EXCITED to announce that, as of 8:51 PM AEDT (Melbourne time) last night, the first draft of my epic fantasy novel Old Blood is DONE! The moment I typed out the last word (it was “dark”, by the way), I kinda felt like crying because this is the first fantasy novel I’ve actually completed in 5 long years!
This project has been a labour of love for the last 12 months or so, though literally 95% of it has been written since July 2017, hence the dates given below. Now I can share with you the final statistics for Old Blood, what my plans are from here, and, because I’m in a celebratory mood, I’ve decided to include a short excerpt down the bottom. Hope you enjoy it!
|No. chapters||34 + prologue|
||4 main + 8 minor|
|Start date||01 July 2017|
|End date||09 March 2018|
|Total time||252 days|
The plan from here
First off, as of right now, I am going to take a 6-8 week break from this WIP. That doesn’t mean I’m going to forget about it entirely–I don’t think that’s even possible–but, rather, I’m not going to write anything new or edit anything already written. I have a few world-building elements I need to stew about in the meantime, but for the next two months my main focus is going to be on my other project: Holding Up the Sky.
Around the start of May, I will commence the rather daunting task of editing this beast, and hope to have a second draft completed sometime later this year. Once that’s done I’ll most likely send it out to beta readers. I don’t have much experience doing this (read: no experience, outside using friends and family), so if you have any advice about beta readers please share! Somewhere in all this, I will also start writing the second book in the Graceborn series, working title to be announced at a later date. (Have I bitten of more than I can chew? Maybe. Oh well.)
Okay, I’ll stop rambling now. Here’s the excerpt 🙂
He stood high on a hill, looking down upon the great plain below. Wind buffeted his body, making his cloak billow out behind him like the wings of an almighty bird, poised to take flight. If it weren’t for the subtle weave of air he spun about him, keeping his feet firmly on the ground, he might have found himself carried away upon the violent wind—a wind that ripped and tore.
Down below, a battle raged.
The wind carried the clang of steel on steel and the moans of dying men to his position upon the hillside, and the air was so redolent with blood he could smell its coppery tang even from the distance at which he stood.
He swung his head, searching for some sign to identify exactly where he was, but a strange mist swirled around the outskirts of the battlefield, obscuring what lay beyond. It was as if this—this battle—was all there was, all there ever had been, and all there ever would be.
The lines of the opposing army were too far away for his eyes to discern whose sigil they bore. But the army closest to him, with their backs to him…they were clad in short, midnight black surcoats draped over armour that glinted darkly in the sickly light. They wore no symbol marking noble house or nation.
A nameless, faceless army, befitting a nameless, faceless foe.
But they hadn’t seen him yet. There was still time.
As he watched, heart pounding, eardrums throbbing with the music of war, shadowy figures burst from the ground between the ranks of that dark army. Earth showered down around them as they soared up into the sky, shrieking with unholy screams that seemed to bend and warp the very air. The wraiths rocketed away to the east, and the lines of the opposing army broke and ran.
The creatures exploded through the ranks of fleeing soldiers, and everything they touched turned to ash. Metal, leather, fabric…human flesh. All disintegrated into dust the moment those fingers of smoke and shadow closed around them.
Complete annihilation was nigh.
He knew what he had to do.
He closed his eyes, and raised his arms out to the sides. Breathing deeply, he reached down into himself, into that shimmering well of power that lurked within him. He cast his awareness outward, to the colourless glow of the Grace of the world, and he pulled. Pulled it towards him, into him, joining it with his own power.
Please, he prayed. Help them. Help me.
Sweat broke out on his brow. The Grace writhed inside him, a godly force barely contained within his very human body, more of it than he’d ever held at once. It raged against him, but he bent it to his will, weaving as he had never woven before. He wove all that Grace into a destructive force—a force to destroy an entire army in one fell swoop—and then he flung his arms forwards, towards the battlefield just down the slope.
He opened his eyes.
Before him, the world had started to burn.
You can read the blurb of Old Blood (Graceborn #1) here.