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There’s so much going on – A News Bulletin!

THERE ARE SO MANY UPDATES that having not posted about them as they turned up, I am now swamped with news. Soooo here it goes! It’s news bulletin time!

Exciting thing number ONE

My first short story will be published in the 17th edition of Grimdark Magazine later this year! This is super exciting for me as I’ve never been a short story writer, the story arcs in my mind tending to be on the… long side. For many years I just assumed my brain was wired for novels and trilogies and epic series, but when I saw the open call for stories at a magazine I respected and enjoyed reading, well… it was time to give it a try.

So look out for my story, A Risk of Malice, in the upcoming edition, which you can be sure I will shout about a lot more closer to the date.

Exciting thing number TWO

We Ride the Storm is the Resident Author Bookclub (RRAWR) book of the month over on r/fantasy this month (July). The link to the announcement page is HERE and the first discussion thread will go up on the 14th/15th July, with a final one at the end of the month. So if you’ve read the book, are reading the book or would like to read the book, now is a great time to share your thoughts with a group of other readers and pepper me with questions. (Not scary at all, I swear…)

Exciting thing number THREE

Speaking of We Ride the Storm, it has been entered in the vaguely annual SPFBO competition (Self Published Fantasy Blog-Off) run by the all sorts of awesome Mark Lawrence. For those who don’t know what that is, you can check out the introduction post HERE, and for those who want the TL;DR version – 300 self published fantasy books, split between 10 bloggers, each choosing a finalist to be scored by all of them to pick an ultimate winner. It’s in its fourth year and has been a roaring success so far, and this year is looking no different.

The cover of We Ride the Storm has also been selected as a finalist in the SPFBO cover competition, YAY! You can check out the other beautiful finalists … HERE 😀

Exciting thing number FOUR

I ran a competition for the super duper subscribers to the Madson Quarterly (otherwise known, quite boringly, as my newsletter). The prize was a signed copy of We Ride the Storm sent anywhere in the world, and all they had to do was email me a suggested name for Dishiva e’Jaroven’s horse. She is a Levanti warrior and to them their horses are everything, so it is as much like asking you to name her best friend. The winner was Matt McAbee with the wonderful name, Itaghai. I really had fun with this competition and look forward to doing more like it as we go along, so keep a look out for that too. And if you’re not a subscriber to the Quarterly, then now is a good time to change that. You can check out all the details HERE.

EXCITING THING NUMBER… wait, no, that’s it for the big announcements for now. I’ve probably missed something, but I’m working so hard on line edits at the moment that my brain is as a perforated-metal-kitchen-implement-that-is-required-to-cook-spaghetti for anything else. Ah well, time is a wasting. I must get back to laughing at my own jokes.

 

– Devin

We Ride the (Release Day) Storm

Book! Look, it’s a book!

*ahem*

I should try for something more professional than the impulsive squeeing that is going on inside my head, so here we go. It is with great pride, excitement and trepidation that I announce the arrival of We Ride the Storm, the first instalment in my new series The Reborn Empire. For those who have visited The Imperial Expanse of Kisia before in The Vengeance Trilogy or In Shadows We Fall, there will be some familiar ground and characters, and for those who have not they will make you welcome with open, if blood-stained, arms.

I had wanted to tell this story ever since I finished working on The Vengeance Trilogy, because I knew, just KNEW, the direction the world was heading at the end of that series was going to get… interesting (read: bad). I wanted to see the fallout, to explore how small decisions could have big consequences, how kept secrets could fester, and how a world on the brink of social change could either bend or break when force was finally applied. And if it breaks, what will rise from its ashes?

 

 

I had no great plan going in, I never do. I knew who I wanted to write about and had a vague sense of their character arcs, and from this vague miasma came a story darker even than I had expected (with promise of still more pain to come) and yet owning more humour and humanity than I had thought possible. And there is still so much journey left to take you on. Rah, Miko, and Cassandra still have a long way to go.

It’s safe to say that I love this book. I laugh out loud at the dialogue even though I wrote it, I cry with the characters even though I know what is coming, and I marvel at the occasional line that even I don’t want to fix. (They are rare. I’m such a perfectionist I don’t know whether my books would ever go to print if my editor didn’t prise them from my hands.)

We Ride the Storm will be followed in March 2019 by We Lie with Death, which will feature the delightful (read: cold, snarky killer) Cassandra on the cover, a picture I just CANNOT WAIT to see. She is a fascinating character and I am sure John Anthony will do her justice with his fantastic work.

We Sing for Blood and We Dream of Gods will follow and conclude the series in March 2020 and March 2021 respectively, though there is always a chance the timing will be brought forward if everything goes well. And there is already a portion of my brain busily working away on what happens after the end of THIS story and how that moves even further into the rest of my world, so there’s plenty more to come.

We Ride the Storm is now available worldwide in ebook and paperback (it makes a very pretty paperback), from wherever you most like to get your books. While it’s easy to get on Amazon and Book Depository etc, if you prefer to shop at a local bookstore you can always ask for it to be ordered in. Prefer to get your books from the library? Why not request your local branch gets a copy? Then it will be available for lots of other people to read and enjoy.

And of course if you read and enjoy then please do consider leaving a review, either where you purchased it or on Goodreads, and just generally shouting at all your fantasy-reading friends about it. Indie books (all books really) live and die by reviews, so even if it’s just a single line and a rating it is much MUCH appreciated.

Ok, now the whole formal promotional thing is done, I can run around squeeing, yeah? And get back to working on the next one of course.

 

War built the Kisian Empire and war will tear it down. And as an empire falls, three warriors rise.

Caught in a foreign war, Captain Rah e’Torin and his exiled warriors will have to fight or die. Their honour code is all they have left until orders from within stress them to breaking point, and the very bonds that hold them together will be ripped apart.

Cassandra wants the voice in her head to go away. Willing to do anything for peace, the ageing whore takes an assassination contract that promises answers, only the true price may be everyone and everything she knows.

A prisoner in her own castle, Princess Miko doesn’t dream of freedom but of the power to fight for her empire. As the daughter of a traitor the path to redemption could as easily tear it, and her family, asunder.

As an empire dies they will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.

Well that’ll never get old…

It has been almost a week since they read out my name and In Shadows We Fall as the winner of the 2017 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novella and I probably ought to be used to the idea by now, but nope. For someone who can still occasionally be amazed at having kids eight years after the fact, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m still grinning to myself at random times. And I don’t think this is ever going to get old. I won a thing. And not just a competition, not just a popularity contest, a legit award judged by a panel of people who know what they are talking about. Someone other than me and my mum thinks my work is worth reading. WOW. Nope… not getting old. (I’m totally grinning right now, I bet you can feel the force of it through the screen. I’m grinning so much it’s bending REALITY).

Sadly I wasn’t able to be there to accept my award in person, but a friend (another Devin, no less!) did an amazing job for me. I laughed all through his rendition of my acceptance speech and after that I might have missed the last few awards on the livestream because I was running around the house screaming. Then my editor called and we were both screaming. (Pretty sure I’ve written plenty about how awesome my editor is, but that might need reiterating again soon)…

So, what’s next? I’m publishing the first book of a new series this year (more on that soon) and will be taking my first steps to shopping yet another new series to agents and publishers. I’m super excited about all of it and look forward to sharing the continuation of this journey with all of you.

In the meantime if you’re interested in an e-copy of my Aurealis Award-winning (Sqqueeeee that will NEVER get old) novella, you can get one my signing up to my quarterly newsletter below. Unless there’s something very exciting going on you will only ever get four emails a year from me full of only the most awesome of awesomeness (still excited).

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal!

*cue cover drum roll*

It is that time! Time for a final, full wrap-around cover reveal for the upcoming prequel novella IN SHADOWS WE FALL. The wonderful original art was done by the seriously talented John Anthony Di Giovanni, and the design and layout by the equally seriously talented Shawn King at STK-Kreations.

IN SHADOWS WE FALL takes place sixteen years before the beginning of The Vengeance Trilogy and follows the events that led to the original downfall of the last Otako ruler, Emperor Lan.

From the back description:

 

 

You will die. Your children will die. The empire will burn.

Empress Li is out of favour at court. Foreign-born and past her prime, she is to be set aside. But she won’t go quietly. With nothing left to lose, Li will do anything to stop Emperor Lan signing a secret alliance that could tear the empire apart. Yet when her life is threatened, old mistakes come back to haunt her and only a three-year-old boy can change the course of history.

With everything at stake, could an innocent child be the best assassin?

 

 

So without further ado… here is the cover of the upcoming novella IN SHADOWS WE FALL!

*fans self*

I cannot describe how exciting it is to be getting this book out. I hope you all love the cover as much as I do!

 

IN SHADOWS WE FALL, available for general release on the 16th of November 2017, or RIGHT NOW! (like seriously right now) if you sign up to my quarterly newsletter below. Once confirmed, you’ll get an email with a link to download the ebook in whatever form you like to read.

Come for the book, stay for the newsletter! I mean it when I say quarterly, unless there is some EXTREMELY exciting news to share it will be no more than four emails a year (seriously, who has time for more? My job is writing books not emails!) Each email will contain updates and news as well as the occasional competition and piece of short fiction only for my subscribers.

Win!

Battle of the Bards!

While there are a lot of good things about living in Australia, one that sucks is that everything happens while you’re sleeping. We snore our way through Brexit, sleep peacefully while Trump fires his latest member of staff and wake up just in time to check the world hasn’t ended yet.

This morning I woke to discover I had won Mark Lawrence’s Battle of the Bards flash fiction competition! In my sleep no less!

My story? Between Lanterns and Corpses, about two generals on a battlefield. I’ve had quite a few people ask about the outcome, and the answer is actually in The Grave at Storm’s End, the third book in The Vengeance Trilogy. So without further ado, here it is!

 

 

I watched from the window as Shimai burned. The day I was elevated to Minister of the Left, Kin had invited me to stand here beside him, not an equal, but not a servant, the space in-between the treacherous ground we would tread in the years to come.

But I had knelt at his feet and kissed the hand of a liar.

Beside me now Malice stood with his hands clasped behind his back, reading the scrolls that lined the walls. ‘“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it”,’ he said. ‘That isn’t particularly apt for the situation, yes?’

‘Shut up, Spider,’ Katashi snapped, the tap of his sandals across the floor like a chorus of snapping beetles. ‘This is insane. I am winning, Laroth. I could have taken the bridge by now.’

‘You will take the bridge soon enough,’ I said, not turning my gaze from the window. It was starting to drizzle.

‘What general in history ever called a truce to play a game of Errant with his enemy?’

‘General Mikuzo, in the ninth century. He lost the game but went on to win the battle, I believe.’

He stopped pacing, and reflected in the glass I saw fire flare on his fingers. ‘Just give me Hana and be done with this stupidity. She is mine.’

I turned. ‘Stupidity?’

‘Stupidity!’

‘Your opinion of my skill at Errant is not high, it would seem,’ I said. ‘Tell me, what would hurt Kin more? Losing Hana to you without having the chance to save her, or having the chance to fight for her and failing?’

‘“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others”,’ Malice said. ‘Now that one seems much more appropriate, yes?’

Ignoring Malice, Katashi said: ‘I don’t care what hurts him more I just want him dead. I want my throne and I want Hana.’

‘You will get her when I say you can have her.’

So there you go! There’s a whole story in there as yet untold, but the outcome is an easily missed detail in another story because that’s how my brain works.

Many thanks again to the judges and to Mark Lawrence for hosting the competition and best of all, I get signed books from two of the judges – Sebastien de Castell and Nicholas Eames  *squeeeeee*