Featured Image by http://geistig.deviantart.com/
With the launch of The Orc War Campaigns only a week away (check out The Sword of Dragons.com!!) and as I continue to write the series, I’ve found an interesting challenge in writing what is, for me, essentially a prequel to Burning Skies.
While Burning Skies isn’t due out for another four months, I finished writing it in 2014, and until I started The Orc War Campaigns, I was heavily steeped in development of the 3rd novel. So to go back to Cardin, Sira, Reis, and Dalin where they were before Burning Skies has turned out to be an interesting challenge.
It’s also exciting! By the end of book 1, Cardin had just been thrust into his new role as Keeper of the Sword and was only at the cusp of learning his new powers. But how did he get from there to the confident, or perhaps over-confident point he will be at in the beginning of Burning Skies?
And Sira, while having been a prominent member of the Warriors’ Guild at the end of book 1, is an established leader by the beginning of book 2. What was her experience leading her team, and for that matter leading Cardin?
There’s also the state of the world. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are some pretty shattering changes to the entire world by the end of Burning Skies. So I had to take myself back in time, so to speak, to where Halarite was after book 1.
The challenges also include, as I just mentioned above, not spoiling what is to come. There is a big reveal about the orcs in Burning Skies, but will it be diminished if I let the reader in on some of that secret in the series?
The Exciting Opportunities
For all of the challenges, there are also soooo many exciting opportunities to develop the world on a deeper level! How was the economy affected by the events of book 1? How was the average citizen affected by it? How are they affected by the war against the orcs?
What of those who became prisoners due to the Prince’s now-rescinded laws? How do they pick up the pieces of their lives?
And that is why I chose not to focus on the central characters from the novels. While they are included, especially in the initial three episodes, this won’t be Cardin and Sira’s story. This will be Amaya’s, and Zereck’s, and Arkad’s. These three will provide a totally different perspective from what readers have already read and will read.
Once released from prison, Amaya doesn’t quite know where to go or what to do with her life, until she’s given an opportunity she can’t pass up. Now she, and her former team from the Warriors’ Guild, answer directly to King Beredis, and will be assigned some of the most difficult tasks, where they must make life-shattering choices for the entire war effort on the fly.
This means that she will not only see the front line of the battle, but she’ll go beyond the front, and be tasked with doing with her small team what normally requires an army to accomplish. Where will her adventure take her?
More than that, I wanted to connect to Amaya on a far more personal and emotional level than I have past characters. Sometimes, the most difficult choices in life are not about whether to parry or thrust in a fight. Sometimes it’s about who you trust, and the person you want to become…
Young Zerek wants to be a Warrior. Unfortunately, he’s not a Mage, and comes from a family of miners and smiths, and looks doomed to a life of swinging a pick axe.
Until tragedy strikes, and everything he knows is taken from him forever. Now living within the walls of the First City, Archanon, Zerek must find a new way in life, and not get swept up in the romance with a gorgeous thief. Can he realize his dreams of becoming a Warrior if he becomes involved with her? Does he even want to become a Warrior anymore? Is it worth it? Did I mention that she is gorgeous??
Even the bravest and strongest of Warriors fears the giant orc. Wielding an enchanted double-axe, Arkad slaughters all who stand in his path, and even stands up to the Keeper of the Sword. All come to fear him, and the only reason the orc line isn’t broken is his strength, courage, and leadership.
But who is he? Where did he come from? Is he really just a mindless killing beast, or is he far more intelligent than the Allied forces given him credit for?
The mystery of the giant orc will be unraveled, bit by bit, but what the Allies discover, and the implications, will redefine everything they thought they knew about their enemy, and the universe in which they live.
That’s all for today, intrepid readers! Keep your eyes open and be ready, January 19th is only a week away. :)
Thanks for reading!