Well it’s a new year, and as I’ve walked one leg of my life’s journey I am eagerly look forward to starting another.
While I am sure many of you are still finishing up reading, and reviewing!, the Warring Realm series, I am looking ahead to what lies beyond Other-Realm. It is a heady feeling, knowing that you have one series under your belt, but as things closed for this chapter of Luce’s story instead of a sense of finality or closure I felt something like the itch genesis, of new life. I may be done with Other-Realm for now, but those words burning and twisting inside of me weren’t done, not by a long shot. I could feel them coiling and pressing inside my mind, and so the only thing which felt inevitable and certain was that I needed to get writing, and soon.
Now books, as you may imagine, are quite a bit of work, and I am not just talking about actually writing them. No, that portion is some kind of blissful burden that you can lose yourself in, one part labor, two parts love affair. The real work of books is what comes after the all the fireworks of bouncing keys and throbbing neurons; editing, cover design, editing some more, launch planning, probably a little more editing, and then promote-promote-promote. I suppose it is only fair that after all the fun of writing the damned thing you have to actually do some real work of seeing presentable to the public. As my wife is prone to say, “After ecstasy… laundry.”
Yet, I really can’t complain because along that road I’ve had marvelous help in the form of my peerless editors and of course, my publicist/guide/soggy-shouldered counselor Ms. A.L. Knorr. It goes without saying that without her help and the support of all those I mention in my notes and dedications that the Warring Realm series wouldn’t have seen one book, much less a series that has made it into the hands of thousands.
And without them, you, dear Reader, wouldn’t be in for the treat I’ve got planned for this Spring.
That’s right, a new tale is on the horizon, the first of not just a brand new series, but a world, a genuine, living cosmos! I had fun playing in the borderlands between our world and something else, but now I am ready to lay the foundations for a brave new world where we can run wild. Striding through glorious light or chasing deepest shadows we will go in a world I am building piece by piece, story by story. It is a vision of epic fantasy, where history and fortune conspire to shape heroes, villains, and survivors into the instruments of a grand drama that will span kingdoms, cultures, oceans, and the boundaries between gods and men. There is magic and monsters, yes, but infinitely more than that there is the burning blood of men and women who would drive out the dark, both without and within.
And oh there is Dark, ancient and ravenous as ever, so it stands to reason that our first tale should spring from a land wreathed in shadows.
The Buis’de’Noir, an ancient, brooding forest, holds many secrets and even more horrors beneath its black boughs, but even here men have carved out a place to live, love, and war. The Electorate of Chaunticlaine within this dread wood is far from an arboreal paradise, its corrupt rulers forever squabbling in their constant tug’o’war for another acre here, one more levy there. The commoners make due as they can with what they have, which is precious little, fearing the forest, yet dependent on it. It is a land of bolted gates and shuttered windows come nightfall as men and women, high and low, huddle in and around their castles and fires. To venture far from the safety of hearth and home is a death sentence, or at least is would be if not for men and women who make it their business to master the horrors of the Buis’de’Noir. These Buismen, feared and reviled by the very people who need them, are those few brave and skilled enough to face what lies beneath the boughs so that communities do not dwell in utter isolation. Unsung and unloved wardens and wayfarers, they ply their trade for their daily bread and their fellow men’s ungrateful benefit.
One such man, Buisman Francis Turm, is one of the best, and yet his only wish is to raise his family far from the Buis’de’Noir, the Electorate, and everything he has grown to hate. It is for this reason that he will take a contract, one he knows is too good to be true, in the hopes that finally his wife and children may walk free of the shadow of unfriendly trees. For daring to hope, Buisman Turm must face everything he despises in the desperate race to save everything he loves and much more besides.
Monsters walk beneath the boughs, but they also walk in men’s skins, and Turm will have to face both before he can ever dream again of world beyond the Dark Wood.
Look for Dark Wood, book one of the Tales of Turm this spring, 2019.
As always my Readers, you have my love and my thanks.
Aaron D. Schneider