REDUX: The Meaning of Second Chance

BIG SERIES ANNOUNCEMENT!

Dear Reader: Allow me to explain. 

Over the course of the last six months, I have been in a flurry of activity surrounding the crafting of my stories (hence the quiet on social platforms). Stories, both large and small, have burst into life. All the while, I’ve been learning about this crazy business of self-publishing. Two things: neither is easy. 

With the help of many professional and personal supporters, 4 books hit the shelves this year: The Armoured Queen, The Necromancer’s Fire, Rogun and even a little ditty in the science fiction field. This was a BIG moment for me. Not understanding much beyond ‘Write! The world will love or hate it!’ I understand there is a lot more to it than that. In reflection, lessons learned are pulling at my heartstrings. If you could go back and make something better, wouldn’t you? 

Here it is. Orak’Thune began ten years ago. Drafts floating around, friend feedback, etc., were all hugely positive, but I never in a million years thought my world had marketable value. This changed with a few editor friends who disagreed and thought, maybe, just maybe, there might be readers out there, interested in what Orak’Thune could be. We began the work of slicing and dicing, but being new, it fell on me to learn and adapt, and I admit, I was a stubborn newbie.

I have learned a ton since then. So what is a girl to do?

I would like a second chance to re-present the opening of Orak’Thune. Seeing as I am still quite new to the scene, I feel I have a very rare opportunity to slip under the ‘known’ wire to adjust the series into what I know it will become. Book three, The Fire Queen is already vastly different in pace and quality from the previous starter books, and book four, Living Fire, is really where the story takes flight. From the small world conflict and characterization to the enormous world of magic and lore still to come over twelve-fourteen more books, setting the stage has never been more critical! 

And so, Dear Reader, I ask for your patience and understanding and hope you will give me this second chance to set up the world for you. Soon, with The Fire Queen and Living Fire, I truly believe you’ll be hooked beyond what you thought possible for this series. As always, the companion novellas will flow, populating the side stories with more insights and juicy details. As for the core books, it is my sincere goal to provide the very best quality and storytelling I can, every chapter along the way. 

Look for The Armoured Queen redux and The Necromancer’s Fire redux starting mid-winter. I will rework a lot of the marketing and start babbling about them when they get ready to re-release. Following that, The Fire Queen and Living Fire will be ready for mid next year. (Currently in final production now).

For those who supported me on this journey right out of the gate: I will offer to replace your original copy of The Armoured Queen and/or The Necromancer’s FireFREE OF CHARGE – as part of a limited time marketing campaign for the re-launch. Stay tuned for details coming this November! Signed copies, mailed to your home as smoothly as Amazon Prime? Yes! I value you, Dear Reader, and hope you stay with me on the journey to come.

Keep tuned to the Genevieve Ginn and/or Orak’Thune Fan Group Facebook Group/Page for details, and this website, where I will post updates on releases, as before, and details on freebies. 

From the very bottom of my humbled heart, thank you for your love and continued support! 

Genevieve

Have You Ever Loved a Critic? (My Critical Review of the Critical Drinker)

I have recently discovered the world of YouTube. Something I had been avoiding, as my children and husband watch increasingly annoying content that I try to avoid. But my husband, a weirdly good consumer of our cultural world, (he doesn’t read very much and sleeps through most cinematic presentations) every so often advises me on things he thinks I might enjoy, or find useful, as if he was paying attention after all.

Enter the Critical Drinker. Will Jordan is his real name, and besides being a YouTuber of notable value, he’s an indie author like me. A proud and self-aggrandizing lover of all things alcohol (which is a stereotype he’s playing on, calm down mom), Critical Drinker has made an excellent name for himself as a plain, dress-it down film critic. Aside from the obvious, he’s not a professionally aligned journalist, writing for Vanity or other big magazines. CD provides videos he makes himself, reviewing movies he feels like watching. His format is simple; a synopsis of the film, followed by his opinion. Laced with swearing, fart clips, his own colloquial, accent-rich drawl and other quips of levity, CD has impressed me for his ability to get to the fucking point. Be it a movie, a series or just what’s wrong with film making today, he has just enough journalistic information, without going down the salacious path of gossip, to make statements about the state of our beloved theatrical industry, poignant and true.

Enter the resonance. At first, watching Critical Drinker for the entertainment value, I realized that his commentary on story building and development were long gripes of my own. No expert in my own right, I work very hard in my storytelling to build strong plots and characters and, while they will always be fictional, believable. These tasks alone are not enough. Storytelling must also grip us, involve us, move us, and sometimes inspire. Keeping things in order chronologically but thematically is critical too. A good story has basic elements, often formulaic in principle and boring to an artist who does it for the thrill. But I respect that in a lot of ways, I’ve learned these things from what influenced me in my favourite media, and am not surprised to learn that what worked for their success is the formula I strive for in mine.

Big movies have sacrificed a lot of things in recent years, with big studio take-overs and fancy, jaw-dropping budgets for special effects. (Anyone interested in a solid plot and infallible cannon should not watch the most recent Star Wars trilogy with any close observation.) And while I don’t always agree with CD on every movie and every detail, his common theme of plot integrity and not bowing to things like the barf-worthy, political correctness of, “the message” or the flimsy, transparent effort to cover a gaping hole in a story with what he calls, “plot armour”, are so impactful, that without planning on it, I’ve found myself reflecting on my own stories for some of these faux pas.

Critical Drinker is at heart, a connoisseur in a renegade format. A truth seeker and loyal fan of the art and the power of storytelling at its core, his reviews highlight what went wrong, while fully acknowledging the resources these projects had to get it right. In the instance of working with known characters even, the excuses fall away quickly. Did you not read the source material? Is a common complaint.

Fans will know. Fans will find the little thread you left hanging. Fans will pick apart your rendition, your fanfic version, your trillion dollar attempt at taking their favourite hero and making it do what you say. But at the heart of it is the artist’s original concept. The glory behind it all and, if done properly, will resonate to live on.

As an artist of the source material, I take this to heart. Not working towards a commercial result, I have a bit more capacity to ponder these things, and work with them like a potter and his clay. And while the craft is complex, linguistics is an absolute bitch sometimes, the story flow and emotion have got to be just right. A character can be anything, can be a villain or hero, a great person or a wretch. Whatever they may be, they have to be right.

So while I am learning my craft, which now includes the added element of preparing it and boxing it for readers like you, know that I am a disciple of the good story. I am also a fan of the art. All writers are different and have differing appreciation – and patience – for the telling. Some are excellent and some seem rushed. Some are precise, while others are less so, but if there is a holy shit, good story under it all – well done, I say. Let’s have a drink!

If you’re interested in exploring the critical expose of the Critical Drinker and his movie-watching experiences, I encourage you to find him on YouTube and see for yourself. If you’re a storyteller like me, I do not doubt you’ll find at least some good advice.

Oh, and as far as Will Jordan’s own spy-thriller novel series, Ryan Drake, they’re really excellent. I recommend them as well.

As the Critical Drinker says at the end of every clip: “That’s all I’ve got for today. Go away now.”

Mum’s the Word on Two, A New Companion to Tide You Over, and Three Will Set the World on Fire!

Book two is done and out of my hands for the moment. While the professional’s fluff and polish for her debut next month, what’s an author to do?

After so many months of work and re-work on two, not including the original authoring almost ten years ago, I am glad to see her on the way to a polished, glossy cover. But on that same cheery note, book three re-surfaced this week and reminded me that with every new chapter, this story just gets better and better!

By far my personal favourite, (possibly of all in the series!), book three is a fast-paced, punch first/ask questions later kind of thrill-ride, and the villain our heroine is up against comes out of the shadows. Already packed with action from the very first chapter, book three also brings me home for the relationships filling in around Nyssa, the strengths she finds in herself and her family, and the incredible sacrifices she must face to win. Book three is the epic conclusion to one foe in Nyssa’s life, but she’ll not be hanging up her swords and armour or parking Roan any time soon.

That all being said, the companion novella to bridge the three books, aptly entitled Rogun, is now drafted and I’m once again delighted at how these little short stories fit so well in the larger tale. Never envisioned before publishing, the companion series is a brand new avenue for me to take you above the major story as side snippets, happening before or elsewhere to the main plot. Adding history to solve some questions or giving a bird’s-eye view and different perspectives, the companions pull from a different supporting character each time to help enrich the Orak’Thune world.

Rogun, now companion one in the series, is a historical retrospective on the rise of Nyssa’s enemy and the first glimpse at the larger danger that gave rise to him. Presented in the era of none other than Emperor Coltair himself, Rogun is not a comedy but a hard, dramatic story of a violent, ambitious ruler with a diabolical plan, who will stop at nothing to achieve his perceived destiny.

Rogun will be available in March, but will not be available on Royal Roads after its launch. I will offer it only here, but for a very limited run before I list it for sale, so make sure you hop on those posts!

As for book three, The Fire Queen, work has begun on her glamorization. Expect news on her development and release – scheduled for spring, 2022 – as things unfold. As the ending to the original first chapter, (books 1-3 were originally all one book), breaking them down for better marketing has been a challenge for me. I am relieved to see them coming back together again. I will make an offer to box them for new and later arriving fans in the middle of the year too – and just might include Rogun along with them, so stay tuned!

Thank you for checking in. We’ll see you next across the waves! – Genevieve

Ready, Set, Launch!

Did I mention that The Armoured Queen is in the top 50 for Fantasy titles on Amazon.com today?!

With that ASTOUNDING news, today marks the first day on the launch countdown for book TWO in the Orak’Thune series. Final edits are in place, (crying with betas and combing through editor fix’ems nearly over) and I am on pins and needles to get the cover art underway. So, I took a break and made a silly amateur cover, by myself, to satisfy my jitters (and so I could load my pre-order so all those FANtastic new readers taking advantage of the free promotional weekend could see it was coming!).

So many hard lessons learned with this one, so many restarts and tough decisions but I am proud of the result and once again, thank an AMAZING team of alphas, betas and my editor, diligent Sigrid, for their attention to detail and patience with a fragile writer’s heart.

As a cover placeholder now, (full beauty to be revealed soon!) please skip on over to Amazon to find this book on the pre-order list for the first week of February. I do hope you enjoy following Nyssa as she moves closer to her destiny. Book two reveals some pretty big details as far as who she really is and what she is capable of.

With the finale of this journey still to come in book three, The Necromancer’s Fire will line you up with front row seats to the epic showdown of Nyssa’s journey, so far. I promise.

Musings from the Author’s Desk – December 17, 2021

The editing process is, for the most part, standard for most authors. Did you know alpha readers (pre-final draft) and beta readers (post-final draft, pre-formal editing) play integral parts in the writing process, on top of professional editor and proofreaders? As we are in the midst of the swirling vortex of detail that is the final beta and editing of book 2, (yes, it’s well on its way!) one of my betas cued into the rich history of the Bough, an ancient race that plays an integral role to the characters in the Orak’Thune world. For the sake of storytelling flow, detailing history and world building while sticking on point, are one of the biggest challenges to a writer. This beta suggested more on the Bough would be ideal, which book 2 will now expose, but together we envisioned a companion too. I’m excited by this new idea and have added it to the list of companions to come in the upcoming year. May the Great Wood Bless the Betas!

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