Spring is supposedly here, but Colorado hasn’t decided if it wants to play nice with the warmer weather or not. As this is a typical ordeal, I’ve grown accustomed to it, though having to keep summer and winter clothes out year round can endanger closet space.
But, onto more important matters. Book three has a finished rough draft, though I am discarding titles like water, so that’s something to add to the fun of things. I have no estimated release date for book three at this point in time. If you have enjoyed the first two books in the Journey of an Arbais Mage series, please recommend them to friends, leave a review, add them to your shelves on Goodreads, and anything else that comes to mind. I’d love for book three to be available before the end of the year, but I just don’t know if that’s going to happen. Still, book three does exist and, if you’re extremely curious, so does a version of book four. Book four, however, has not been touched in a while since I was fine-tuning The Price of Survival and then I have been focusing on book three. On the plus side, the fourth edition in the series has a working title, which means it may actually be ahead of book three.
The several times renamed third book, however, has some twists that have caused me to go back and reflect on my lovely, difficult characters.
Zimliya: Yes, I am using her full name. She’s busy at the moment so I might even survive it. When I started writing this series, Z was a name, a rough background, and a giant blank. I knew she was scarred both physically and mentally, but until I started writing, I had no idea just how much she’d been through. I did, a long time ago, start at the beginning (well, I started with her leaving Tenia) so when I began writing When the Kingdom Falls I knew her past, her interactions with her allies and enemies, and how hard she was on herself. For as stubborn and strong-willed as she is, Zimliya is shockingly self-doubting as well. The immortals of her acquaintance have managed to teach her to hide her uncertainty, but as the writer, I get to see all sides of it. To be honest, I thought Zimliya’s history would be far kinder than it was, and as the full abuse she suffered in Tenia surfaced, I wondered just how she survived. I owe Nivo, Kitra, Chevello, Mechail, the Mithane, and several others a great deal because without them Zimliya would have perished or completely lost herself. Zimliya is a challenge to write at times. She is so logical (and I consider myself a fairly logical thinker) that I have a hard time following her choices, her decisions, heck, her thoughts, but the one place I truly struggle with will be mentioned later.
In case you haven’t guessed, I’m one of those authors who insist their characters have their own voices and minds of their own. Which, because I am one of those authors, I fully maintain that they do!
Nivaradros: No matter what you believe, let me just say this Dragon is my favorite character. The events of The Price of Survival aside, Nivaradros will always be my favorite character. He is, in his own way, a difficult pain-in-the-ass, but I know so much of his history that…well, for as dangerous as Nivaradros is, he should have been something so much worse, and I hope to one day be able to show more of his past to you. I may have to write a novella about some of the events. Nivaradros has been playing several long games, and the results will still be felt regardless of certain events. And, for the record, I believe I have about five hundred pages of arguments between Zimliya and Nivaradros that never made it into the first two books. Those two…oil and water at times, I swear. The language they use when furious is frightening.
Zimliya/Midestol: So, in the beginning, I knew about the family relationship between the two of them, but I fully intended it to be No Big Deal. Like a side note of sorts. Obviously, that plan failed, but in retrospect, that is a small failure in comparison to the fact that their relationship was not supposed to go as it has.
In the beginning, I intended these two to have more of a typical protagonist/antagonist relationship. I wanted to tweak things slightly so there was room for polite interactions of a kind, but they were supposed to have a relationship that made more sense.
So, my apologies, I don’t know what the heck happened. As I stated up above I wrote out Zimliya’s early life ages ago in other novels that I discarded before settling on the events of When the Kingdom Falls to start the series from. When Zimliya and Midestol first met, I figured they’d meet, the stage would be set, ongoing battles for power until someone was defeated. Sounds good right? Yeah, I thought so too, right up until they met. It was a pretty normal meeting, but the path veered off in a random direction and that was that.
Midestol instantly was captivated by Zimliya. I don’t know if subconsciously he knew they were related or what, but despite all his cruelty, he was also shockingly kind and their meetings continued to follow that pattern, which, because it was an interaction with Zimliya, set things up far from what I foresaw. So, the really strange relationship between the two? It’s an accident. And while I don’t agree/understand/feel 100% on board with it often, I have found it intriguing, and it is different from anything else I’ve personally read out there.
One of my beta readers, however, really struggled with the relationship dynamics and finally told me he’s calling it a buddy cop type (yeah, I don’t get it either) but with a villain/hero instead. Anyways, if the relationship between Zimliya/Midestol is throwing you a loop, I’m sorry. I am really, really sorry. I have very limited control though, and I admit I have become accustomed to the oddities surrounding Zimliya enough that I may be slightly numb to them.
That’s all I have to say regarding characters for now (and this post is pretty long already) though I may comment more on these ones or others later. I did add a mailing list to my Get In Touch page, so if you’d like steadier updates, please sign up. Also, speaking of beta readers, I may be seeking some more of those if anyone is interested. Feel free to reach out to me with questions/comments/thoughts, and thanks for stumbling onto this website with all my ramblings.