About “Lost Souls”

Long, long time ago, in 2008…

…struck by inspiration, I started to type absolutely ghastly, sprawling, cliche-ridden epic fantasy romance. Three years later, I had it: a manuscript that stretched over 120K words, set in one of the MMORPG games I played at the time. I didn’t believe it was the best book ever written, or a potential Locus Award winner, but, boy, I was proud.

Apparently, Ernest Hemingway said: “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, poo detector.” (he didn’t use the word “poo”, by the way ;)) Mine seemed to have kicked in at some point as I was trying to massage my monster of a story into an acceptable shape that agents would love (as I did have this idea that I would submit to agents and be traditionally published. I didn’t know of independent publishing… at all).

So I switched on the poo detector and let it scan my manuscript. It flashed up a message: “forget it, darling” and then exploded. (not so shockproof, then). I went sniffing about the agents’ websites, trying to fathom what would they like, and one word popped up enough times for me to clutch to it: “original”.

This was where I started playing the good ol’ game of “what if”. Ok, what if… what if you could revive the dead by luring back their soul after they died? Oh, that’s what necromancers do (duh). What if you were something more than just a necromancer? What if you served someone who needed those souls? Powerful beings, like Demons… um… Daemons? And maybe you couldn’t do it on your own? Perhaps you’d need two people to succeed? A man and a woman dynamic would be nice. So, a Reviver and… hmm…she would sing an incantation, so that makes her… an Incanta? What if their roles were strictly defined? What if they lived on an island they couldn’t ever leave, as they had been exiled from their homeland for their sorcery?

And so on.

(By the way, I didn’t know that the word “original” on the agents’ websites actually stood for: “Original twist on the story we already know”. Which makes perfect sense – how else can you present your story to an agent/editor if you can’t even compare it to anything?)

But hey, I had fun creating the world of Malvaar. I’m not entirely sure how it ended up being so dark and horror-esque, as I swear I can’t sit through a single horror movie. Creating this dark world from scratch was time-consuming, too, and perhaps this is why I wrote two standalones set on Malvaar – I couldn’t just abandon it and move onto the next world – so much to explore! I really love how often “unique” or “original”, or “nothing I’ve seen before” comes up in the reviews. It’s truly rewarding.

But it turned out to be TOO unique. I knew I was supposed to be persistent with querying agents, but eventually, after a few nice rejection letters, I decided I wrote the wrong type of book again. And that was how “Incanta” gathered electronic dust on my hard drive until early 2014, when I stumbled across the article advising on how to publish on Amazon. I read it in depth, gave it a serious consideration… and I joined the vibrant and happy indie publishers tribe.

Plans for the future

At the moment, I’m working on four novels: “Incanta, Exiled” (which is technically a complete draft, but since it’s really old, I’m pulling it apart, re-jigging, and screwing it back together again. I want it to be even better than “Incanta”, and since it involves a new world (I’m doing a lot of world hopping – sorry), I need to have everything ironed out.  Also, I’m wondering about the way the series should go, and still debating the ending of this installment. The way it is now… hmmm… you might like it… if you’re a masochist.

Three other novels belong to my new fantasy series, but it’s hush-hush at the moment 🙂 (You can see the word count and other updates when you click the covers). They are coming along nicely, and I do intend to inject a lot of uniqueness into them, yet at the same time they will be familiar (I’m a slow learner, but I DO learn).

So, bear with me. I’m not going anywhere, and I promise I’ll have more stories. I’m also on this “You’re a Mum Now” adventure (no, I’m not sitting in a dark cave musing over the next books: my life is busier than ever now). You can always email me, oh, and if you know of a way to send me some time, I’ll take it. Always.