~2015 in Review- FINALLY~
Okay, so not many books were released in 2015, but Dante-Part 2 was a pretty damn epic finale for that massive cliffhanger that I left you on in Part 1. Sorry/ not sorry about that. And since it was nearly 400 pages, it was almost like two books right? I would apologize for not getting books out faster to you, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
I will not sacrifice quality, to give you quantity.
I would love to give you three, full length novels that size each year, and could, if that was ALL I had to do. It’s not though, and those of you who have been following me for a while, know that I have a family and a job to take care of on top of the writing that I do in my sleep, or at least when I should be sleeping, really. So there’s that. There will be more Guardians soon, and a spinoff series for the Immortals we met in Ratha, then as they joined forces with the Guardians in Dante. I will have at least one Guardian/ Immortal book out this year…I hope. That really depends on my new series actually since I’ll be throwing you, my lovely readers, off a cliff from hell.
Which brings me to something that I did write “The End” on in 2015, on my birthday…December 26th actually. It’s being released 2/14/16. I was so damn excited to write a “normal” sized book for once. It was my intention to have all three books in this trilogy release in 2016, and they still may, but I just give up on the “normal” sized book thing.
I can’t do it. I just can’t.
I wrote “The End” at 77K words- industry standard for romance is between 70-90K. I was slightly nervous knowing my extensive revisions that I do, (and they are massive, just trust me…I’ll elaborate on that in a minute) but when all was said and done two days ago, I had cut 10K, and added 30K. “Holy freaking $hitballs,” as my dear Valkyrie likes to say.
Indeed Kara, indeed.
What to do? It’s shorter than my Guardian novels by about 20K, but I can’t shave off any more of it. Every. Single. Line. Is. Important. It’s all character/ world/ plot development. You know, those things that make great stories and invest the reader. I know some authors are extremely proficient in the ability to tell it shorter, and make you fall in love just the same. The problem is, those aren’t the books I love to read for the most part, and apparently it’s not the ones I write well either. I can’t tell when I’m done until I’m reading and there’s no more, “Well, this needs to go because of what I changed with that other part…” or, “Now I need to elaborate on this because of that bit I added in my last revision…”
Well, you get the idea.
That “done” happened at 107K words with this book, and after 7 novels I realize that I just can’t write short books. Not short, but normal sized ones. If I’m not invested in my characters and world, who is going to be? Not my readers, that’s for sure. So I write until it’s “done,” and I guess I just didn’t realize there would be 40,000 words written in 3 weeks during revisions. I’m not putting a bunch of fluff in there, it’s all important. I’ve said this in prior blogs too. If it doesn’t move the story forward, or belong due to character development, I don’t add it. I don’t write in fluff and don’t even think about word count at all until I’m finished with something. I know my books will reach the requirements of the industry in length, my issue is stopping them.
Dante-Parts 1 and 2 had to be broken up for that reason. That work would’ve been over 800 pages. Could I have released it at once? Of course, I’m Indie with my English rights to that series. Would it have been wise? No. Of course not. I’m not George RR Martin. I can’t release 1200 page books and expect to get picked up. So, I’ve trimmed, and this book is at least respectably shorter, and could be considered for the extra 7K down the road, especially when it’s going to be ON FIRE, lol. Seriously, it’s so hot. I know I’m biased, but my pre-readers are cursing me out and throwing kindles…so I have high hopes. Haha. So without further ado, DO YOU WANT TO KNOW????
What is this new series you speak of Ms. Sage?
What is this series about? Well, it’s a bit of a coming of age, even though our MC is aware of what she is and has been training for her role for hundreds of years. She’s the last Valkyrie and the only remaining key to Asgard, which has been sealed off by some seriously dark magick. The whole “Pro Ragnarok Nation” (as one of our MC’s Rune calls it) is all for the complete destruction of Midgard and the other realms. Why? Why would anyone want that? Well, when there are no more Gods or Kings to sit on thrones, anyone can then pull up a chair.
Midgard (aka earth) has been off limits for a long time, but after the completion of Ragnarok-the Norse equivalent of the end of the world-anything goes. Hel is literally waiting to rise, both the Goddess and the realm, and if Kara can’t figure out how to BE a Valkyrie and release Freyja and Odin’s warriors, we are in some seriously big trouble.
Some of the legends of Ragnarok are just that, legends. But a great deal of those legends are true. The catastrophe’s, the kin killing kin, the three long winters before the wolf Fenrir swallows the sun and moon..(okay, okay, that part about the sun and moon are just legends.) Our hero is a Valkyrie, not a superhero astronaut. She can’t stop a wolf from eating the sun and moon. But she had better get to Asgard so she can set the warriors free in Valhalla and Sessrumnir. The problem is in the title, she’s the LAST one here, and no one can teach her how to travel. Races all travel differently and without her mother, or any other Valkyrie to teach her, she’s pretty much alone.
Well, she does have an insanely hot Dragon that’s been her teacher for the last two-hundred and fifty years, who mostly just kicks her already overloaded hormones on high when he’s not making her insane in other ways. Then there’s Rune, the Elven enigma that comes along to teach her about her magick some more. Rune is trouble, but the good kind, mostly. Depends on if you’re a female he’s pleasing or one he’s not, that you would think that. Kara will let him know, that is certain. I don’t write whiny females that need saving. I write kick-ass females that SAVE. Well hello there Kara-I mean Scarlett. She would be perfect for Kara in the movie, just saying.
This is urban fantasy romance, with one Hel of a cliff, and cast that’s going to make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. I’ve stayed as close to the original mythology as I could, but it’s not exact. I had to fictionalize some to create this work. If you’re a true lover of Norse Mytho as I am, you’ll spot the differences. And if you have never heard of the Prose Edda before or done anything other than read Beowulf in high school, you’ll still love this.
It’s also in first person. Unlike all my other titles except my poetry.
What? Miss Sage wrote a first POV narrative?
Why yes, I did. I can tell you that for the last few years a first POV has been rumbling around, and this was the perfect series to do it with. I will also give a word of advice for new authors that may read this blog. DO NOT DO THIS.
First is very hard. I had to scrap 50K words mid-year of this book. Okay, I didn’t scrap them, but I had to completely re-write it. I was writing in what’s considered as first-third, and that’s not what I wanted. I know that the majority of readers want to read first-third, because it keeps them in their comfort zone of third, while bringing them into first POV gently. Do I do anything freaking GENTLY? Hel. To. The. No. (Hel is spelled correctly Grammar Nazi…I know you’re there…Norse Mythology…lol)
So yeah, the learning curve and the immense amount of re-wiring that comes with writing in first POV commenced. It was a struggle at first; it was a massive challenge; it was a bitch that I was going to own.
And I did. It flows finally as my third does, but we get to live through the eyes, ears, sensations of the character speaking on a whole new level. THAT is what I wanted. I challenged myself as an author to make that happen without stilted sentences and redundant words. It’s not easy. It’s hard as hell actually. That was the next step for my personal growth though. I think that authors should continuously step up their game, and I knew that this, is what would step up mine. Oh my Gods, did it ever. Writing in first for a novel the size of mine is not a light undertaking. You learn new rules to play by, new foundations to build upon; new ways of conveying the living breath of your characters and your world.
It’s so good, and so hot. But I’ll let you be the judge of that, lol. (That’s Kara and…nope, not telling you that…)
This work is not for anyone under the age of 18 due to graphic sexual content and violence. Like all my work of course. But I do have a surprise. When the trilogy is done, I will be re-writing it for the YA market as well. My daughter has demanded a book from me, and if we remove the kissing and um…yeah, the other bits, it will be perfect for that.
Here’s a song I’m hoping to use for the trailer. I couldn’t have gotten any closer with music if the artist and I had created it after my book was done. Awesome.
Varien – Valkyrie Part 2
Pretty amazing and beautiful, huh? I thought so too. After reading #TLV, you can tell me how close this was to being spot on.
My cover reveal will be happening in the next week sometime, so please keep an eye out for giveaways! The amazing artist Claudia at Phatpuppyart has once again rocked the Sage casbah with her mad skills and amazing team. We aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover are we? No, but we do. This one, had better win some awards. That. Amazing.
Oh! Immortal Dreams and Immortal Bound…they ARE coming back soon. They will be re-released in 2016 with something new that you haven’t seen since childhood. I’ve been playing and re-arranging…plotting and revising. They’ll be back soon with a whole new level of “Boss,” as one of my readers called my work recently.
In 2016, you will get character interviews once a month, and a newsletter shout out once a month as well. And I swear to Asgard I will do my best to keep you all updated here on my blog as well, as much as possible. Which will be full of funs stuff for this series. I know this blog is a little different. Thank you Mel, for the inspiration to make things new and different in 2016. It’s a new world after all…realms actually, as it were. xoxo
To the best PA’s in the world, Lesia and Tiffany: Thank you for creating the time I need to do these things. Keep ruling the Queendom ladies, I can’t wait to see my PA’s get PA’s…which you will. LOL. Until then, thank you, thank you, thank you…for everything you do. I adore you both.
Signing out from Sageville, so I can get “The Last Valkyrie” to you in the most perfect packaging ever. You’re going to love this, I just know it.
Jen Sage xxoo