Update: Book 3 is rewritten!

Rewriting HRD was a roller coaster. I essentially started over three times and my wall is currently covered in post-it notes, it’s just missing the red string and I will actually look like a serial killer.

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HRD also has a temp cover I’m still semi proud of. This won’t be the final version but Sil and Emilie are looking slick.

The plot of this book is much bigger than Fire’s Hope and Laevatein’s Choice and I’m determined to streamline this wild ride into the most exciting journey yet. The whole concept behind HRD when I started it way back when was to send the Shadows on a hike, inspired by hiking Old Rag, the challenge of course was to give them a reason why. With the advice of my trusted critique partner I was lovingly told that the original plot made absolutely no sense. I had a series of really good incidents but no lot stringing them together. So when I dove into the rewrites that was my challenge.

I have a lot of self editing to get done before I start Beta Reading but if you’re interested in being on the list then that time comes please shoot me a message using the form below or DM me on Instagram.

The book falls at 130k words and will be broken into 6 parts of five chapters with questions at the end of each chapter. You are not expected to edit but if you do find any nagging typos I would appreciate it if you marked them.

TS:HRD summary

A massive volcanic fissure opens up in the center of the ASH setting everything on fire before vanishing without a trace and Mark feels that he is being called out or taunted by another Shadow of Fire who is a powerful Orchestrator. He’s not the only one with the powers of Pyrokinesis, and Keller explains many Shadows can be grouped with similar abilities. Using an ancient Infusion technique called the Proofs, Mark leads a team of Shadows to follow the Orchestrator’s call into the mountains, alongside Sil who is battling anxiety after the events in LC, and Kip, who appears to be too ill to be out here.

I wanted to explore themes of gender, masculinity, and where violence is necessary. Mark is now very quick to violence with his new Shadow, Strength and the others look up to him, even though time-and-time-again Strength is not good at solving any of his problems. In addition to confirming that Mark is bisexual, I am going to be introducing six nonbinary characters. They will receive varying levels of respect and acceptance from the other characters and highlight the arbitrary nature of gender roles among the Shadows (and us).

This book falls into the YA category with most of the characters around 14-17 years old, it includes disturbing visuals, depictions of anxiety/panic disorder, and contains mild language (i.e. hell, “oh my god”, arse, shit). I always strive to keep my books appropriate for young readers and if any instances of language seem excessive, I will rely on beta feedback to make changes in removing them.

What’s Next?

I’m going to do a full read through and maybe a few more passes for anything that needs to be reworked and then I’m going to red-pen the book on paper. This usually takes a few weeks. This book needs a little more work than LC did so it’s going to be a bit longer before Beta Reading starts. Once red-pen is done and incorporated I’m going to divide the book into beta docs, and write up questions. as soon as that’s done, beta reading will begin. Probably mid-May, if the editing process is slow and I don’t want to start it in April because I’m planning to go to the Netherlands again and I won’t be able to work while I’m abroad.

In the mean time, I’d like to start building an Indie YA author compilation to help spread exposure for other YA authors. I love browsing YA books but I haven’t found many ways to do that on Amazon or other platforms, and us authors need to stick out for each others. YA is an incredibly saturated market and its easy for our work to get drowned out no matter how much work we’ve put into it. I’m hoping to work with new authors soon to build this list of books.

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