The End of All Things is Available Now!

The End of All Things is Available Now!

In May of 2008, I started a new chapter in my life.

Roughly two years prior, I came to the realization that this adulting thing wasn’t exactly turning out the way I anticipated. It turned out I didn’t become a bestselling author by the time I turned 20. In fact, I had no effing clue what I was actually doing. Writing wasn’t paying the bills and I neither wanted to live in a basement forever nor work at Starbucks for all my days.

At one point, during the course of normal daily activities, my husband’s computer contracted a virus. It replaced the desktop with hostageware that demanded money in exchange for its removal. Screw that, I thought, and spent most of a day fighting to remove the virus. Upon success, I found my secondary calling. I would go to school for IT networking and technology. There is money in computers, after all.

I did not give up on my dream to become a full-time author. (Obviously… I’m writing a book release notice.) But writing had to take second string to full-time employment until we were a bit more comfortable.

On May 5th of 2008, I started the work placement portion of my education. For the next 10 months, I served as workstation support for a global helpdesk that supported an international consulting firm.

That same week, I started penning a new novel. It was tentatively titled Symphony of the Stars, and I had been jotting world building notes for it since January.

It came to me in a dream…

Any writer will tell you that they generate the most new ideas shortly after they decide to dedicate all their time to a single project. Sometime in the middle of writing Dreamers Do Lie, I dreamed of another story that started to occupy my attention.

Somewhat ironically, this dream featured characters that I already used for other things. Some of the names will be familiar to people who regularly read my blog. Among them are Domerin and Cazella – two characters that often appear in my writing prompts. (They also appear in the novel I’m currently writing.)

Based on the plot and context of the dream, I could tell this new story was not meant to be about the characters that appeared in the dream. They were stand-ins for similar but not quite the same avatars. I picked up that idea and ran with it, turning these new characters in my mind, seeking the secrets of their stories and how they fit together.

Applying everything I learned from Dreamers Do Lie, I resisted the urge to start writing right away. I spent months building the world the story was going to take place in. I had not yet figured out that outlining before I started was a good idea, but I did spend some time poking the twists and turns of the plot before I started committing the story to paper.

During the day, I helped people fix problems with their computers. During the evenings, and often during my lunch breaks, I wrote my newest novel.

It took a long time.

I have nothing but respect for writers who hold down a full- or part-time job and also write and publish novels. Because it is not easy to find the energy to put into creativity when you get home after 8 hours of work and 2 hours of commuting and still somehow have to cook dinner and sleep long enough to do it all again the next day. I aimed to write one scene every day, but it often didn’t happen.

Slowly, I cobbled the first draft of Symphony of the Stars together between exhausting work days, a return to school, another summer of IT support and, finally, another semester. We moved twice while I was composing Symphony of the Stars. I talked to my coworkers about my creative endeavors and all of them seemed intrigued. (I think my boss was even somewhat annoyed that I spent my lunch hour typing away at my computer instead of socializing.)

At this point, I had somewhat given up on Dreamers Do Lie. I couldn’t figure out how to edit the first novel, and the second amounted to little more than four chapters. I couldn’t seem to figure out what to do with the series, so I slapped it on a shelf. One thing I knew for sure was that I could finish a book if I put my mind to it (although I didn’t seem able to finish a series). So once again, I set my heart on making this book the one, the big break I had spent my adult years longing to achieve.

I finally had my light bulb moment.

We moved twice while I was writing the first draft of Symphony of the Stars. Both myself and my husband graduated from university, and we moved to Quebec so that my husband could start his first full-time teaching job. If you go all the way back to the beginning of this blog, you will discover it was written about a month after our Quebec move.

Around that same time, I decided to give writing full-time another try. I finished writing Symphony of the Stars and started penning is sequel – Song of the Spheres. At some point while I was trying to make this series do all the things I wanted it to do, it finally clicked. I figured out how to edit, I figured out how to ruthlessly slay all of my darlings in order to make them actually closer to what I wanted them to be. And as I’ve mentioned before, that revelation sent me back through my previous projects, at which point I completed them one by one.

This is a simplified version of the story, of course. The first few years I spent trying to write full-time were fraught with struggle. Our first house flooded with raw sewage one month after we purchased it. We lived in a French town and I didn’t speak a word of French, which made me feel horribly isolated. And I struggled on and off with some pretty heavy depression, not to mention receiving an endless string of rejections every time I submitted a story to a magazine or agent.

Some of those struggles I wrote about. Others, I didn’t. I heavily contemplated giving up – but I didn’t.

Symphony of the Stars underwent one final transformation

By the time my work cycled back around to Symphony of the Stars, I had learned a lot about writing. I could see all the story’s flaws, but I also finally knew how to fix them. One of the biggest problems with the series was that an entire chunk of plot was missing. But when I decided to add it in, the book grew from a massive 120,000 words to a gigantic 210,000.

After a lot of time and consideration, I decided to let the story be longer. I had just finished reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower, which might have had a lot to do with the decision. I also decided that instead of trying to force the pricing and marketing to work with the massive monster beast of a novel, I would break it down into three smaller novels of around 70-80,000 words a piece.

Thus did Symphony of the Stars become a trilogy instead of a singular novel. And at last, things fell into their proper places.

The book I present to you today – The End of All Things – is the first installment in the book originally titled Symphony of the Stars. It stands at about 73,000 words, and is the start of the best thing I have ever written. I know every writer says that about everything they write. But at the time of penning this, the Celestial Serenade is by far the best work to ever have come from my fingers (even if I hope to one day write something even better).

You can read this book today. (Scroll down to learn how!) And I’m unbelievably excited to share it with you! The second installment – Across the Void – will be available in June!

The End of All Things is available now!

Symphony of the Stars Book 1 cover

Gaia can’t forget the day the dragon descended over her city, laying waste to everything it saw. Humanity flees in terror of the alien weapon, but it traces their every movement, seemingly drawn by their technology to each of their gathering places.

With every nation on Earth affected by the attack, the survivors must find some way to unite if they’re going to reclaim their home. Gaia might have identified the seed of hope humanity needs. There’s just one problem – it’s buried beneath the precarious pile of rubble formed by the dragon’s first attack.

Alrayia dreams of the end of her world. While everyone celebrates the long awaited homecoming of Kantis, the Caltaran Empire’s greatest warrior, Alrayia convinces her husband, a member of the High Council, to build spaceships that might keep her nightmares from becoming reality.

She alone sees the Caltaran Empire teetering on a knife’s edge in the endless war against their bitter rivals, the Ruvalli. If the Ruvalli should gain the advantage – or if Kantis should fall – Alrayia’s world could well unravel. In her dreams, the final blow is delivered by a mechanical dragon of immense strength.

Can the dragon be defeated? Which civilizations will rise in the wake of its destruction – and which will fall?

Grab your copy now!

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