I can hardly believe that it's already November. Christmas is just around the corner. I want to thank all of you who took part as advance readers for the latest novel. Your feedback made it so much better. Your reviews are much appreciated as well! I suppose not everyone knows this, but when it comes time to market a novel, some of the better options for advertising won't consider your book unless it has a certain number of stars or reviews on Amazon. So, like it or not, authors are forced to pursue those recommendations on the journey to finding an audience. Every review or rating is greatly appreciated.
In the Shadow of the Luminaries - Now available on Amazon
I recently entered In the Shadow of the Luminaries into the Publishers Weekly contest for the 2023 Book Life prize. I didn't expect to win, since there are usually well over 800 entries, but those who enter get a book critique and I was curious how it would fare. You can view the critique here, if you are interested - https://booklife.com/project/in-the-shadow-of-the-luminaries-87742
The novel received 9 out of 10, just shy of the 9.25 necessary to be one of the 12 semi-finalists in my genre. Considering that I'm a relatively new author, I'm pretty happy with that result. I got some great quotes out of that critique that I can use for marketing, so that's a win.
Since then, the novel has gone live on Amazon and I'm working hard to get the print editions formatted for Barnes and Noble, Indigo and other booksellers.
States of Inversion series
In the Shadow of the Luminaries is the first book of the States of Inversion series. I had originally planned to write a trilogy, but after completing the first book. I realised that I want to explore each of the people groups in more detail. That's going to take more than three books to accomplish. For those of you who have not read the first novel yet, here is a brief synopsis of those groups:
Itinerant eunuchs by choice. They hold themselves separate from family or worldly influences. The Guild has established itself as an unbiased international organisation called upon to mediate disputes and negotiate treaties around the world. They hold the archives of recorded post-inversion history and serve as an impartial monitor of the world's political temperature. To protect that store of knowledge, tinkers are taught the much feared Invicta Manus fighting style. They are also endowed with surgical augmentations that make them formidable opponents.
A religious order serving the downtrodden within the swath, a ring of reverse gravity encircling the globe. Friaers control the sky lakes and are the creators of the martial arts known as Hamo Saggita (taught to anyone) and Invicta Manus (taught to a select few). They are truth seekers who gather rare artefacts from the time before the inversion event when gravity suddenly reversed. They hope to learn what caused the catastrophe and to understand how the Iridogen are tied to it all.
Founders of the floating tropostates within the swath. They established the caste system that oppresses the Aerish people under their rule. Each tropostate is a kingdom unto itself in the Tropos Archipelago. Tropostates are held together by the massive world chain and their interdependence for goods and services. They are the most technologically advanced of the world's post-inversion societies.
Those who rejected Luminary rule at it's inception and roam free in the swath. They continue to undermine the Luminaries, hoping to destroy the caste system one day.
Tellusans of the United Northern Collective:
The earthbound inhabitants living north of the swath. A collective of fiefdoms under the leadership of Prime Palatine Duron Tagish. A well armed, powerful, and pragmatic culture that arose from many armed conflicts. Home to the largest number of Iridogen.
Tellusans of the Southern Kingdom:
The earthbound inhabitants living south of the swath. A monarchy under the rule of Queen Silvanus, hiding the only intact remains of a mysterious structure that may be responsible for causing the Inversion event that nearly destroyed the world.
A misunderstood people carrying a genetic trait that appeared shortly before the inversion event. Immediately identifiable by their bi-coloured eyes, they are hunted in the Southern Kingdom, tolerated in the United Northern Collective and virtually unknown in the swath. Tinkers and Friaers are fascinated by the Iridogen, seeing in them an answer to the past that has been lost to them all.
Each of these groups plays a part in the delicate balance of peace across the globe. All of it is threatened by the mystery of the inversion event. As you can imagine, there is much history and culture to explore as the drama unfolds and I hope to do it justice. Time will tell how many words that will take. I'll keep you updated as I go.