Our Skirmishers of Steel, Fire and Lace
I had written up two posts on the themes of writing; the motivations and problems of writings and suchwhich. You know how it goes. They had been completed, saved and filed away in a folder (I love my folders, I have folders for folders- ok getting side-tracked…must stop taking about the joys of filing……). And I was going to return to them to edit, tidy and ‘someforth’ before posting up.
Then because of a certain headiness about completing a book, I started writing a lot about it, which is not really my historical way of doing things. Previously it’s been a case of: ‘Ok. That’s done. That’s in print or on an e-book platform. There its is folks, Take it or leave it,’ Which explains volumes about why I don’t sell many books. OK there were a clutch of posts with extracts, which tended to be as examples on writing itself and a few throw away comments but going ‘heavy’ on a forthcoming novel. Gee, gosha…Heavens T’Betsy (no not the riot girrrl band)…. The very idea!
Anyway I thought since I had been fussing about this volume it would be best to write a post giving some detail of the content, themes and motivations. Therefore here is a book launch, my way-
Our Skirmishers of Steel, Fire and Lace. Vol II of The Precipice Dominions. (Preceded by Of Patchwork Warriors.) Set in a world where there is a power known as The Stommigheid, or the Ethereal or Astatheia depending on which organisation or beliefs you subscribe to. You can be born with it, you can work with it through machines, you can achieve some elemental control through study and effort, or you can get accidentally imbued. It can be a physical force, a means of travel, a way to view other worlds and has multiple applications.
Of the three principal characters ‘Force of Nature’, Karlyn was born with it; Trelli (with her feet on the ground) was given it by pure accident; Arketre (soldier in the elite LifeGuard) does not like it very much and does not get on with the many machines attuned to it. The first book was mostly about these three bonding and learning to work together while taking down a cabal; concluding with Karlyn and Arketre falling in love and Trelli going onto higher things.
The second volume takes up a few months after these events. Karlyn and Arketre are on an extended working ‘honeymoon’ and staying low in Terasonia the north-eastern princedom of a sort of European located empire. They are despatched by Arketre’s commanders in the LifeGuard to investigate the near house arrest of the local prince by one of his nobles. Trelli meanwhile has been under the mentorship of The Libratery the all-women branch of the official very institutionalised religion. They wish to hone her new skills, so she can be sent on a mission of their own. Because of the bond between the three women their paths will cross, and the trio will be a unit again
The narrative spans the empire. Most action taking place in Terasonia. It transpires in addition to the local political problems Terasonia is scheduled to be a staging ground of the invasion of the world by a long exiled humanish race The Shadow Lords. This draws in other unworldly powers.
Whereas Karlyn, Arketre and Trelli are the central characters they are never in control or even remotely alpha. Arketre in particular is left ‘out the dry’ by her own commanders with only the most slender of orders. Karlyn has to deal with her own possible heritage with the Shadow Lords. Trelli is trying to make common sense of a time and place where nothing is straight forward, and she fears for her friends falling into the morass of factions, plot and counter plots where no one’s plans truly go as expected.
Despite these numerous challenges and dangers, being united at various levels the three women’s combined and individual actions impact on those plans of various players.
When I set down to write this, I wanted to throw a number of themes and genres into the mix, along with several influences. This was to see if the narrative, whereas not always linear would be an understandable account of the chaos which is war and its attendant politics; the effect this has on those in the front-line, the major players when things go awry and also, those caught in the middle. As it is part of a series with no particular end, some minor narratives are introduced as they will be major later on, whereas some given space now might well take a back-seat in the next volume.
Whereas in the fantasy tradition there are also elements of science, although these are far from comprehensively understood and also religion(s). The narrative combines elements of comedy, mystery, tragedy, sacrifice, crime, adventure, compassion, cruelty, battlefield violence and romance; the latter two being quite graphic at times although in context. No one character has a monopoly on or always exempt from any of these elements.
Being a fantasy of high adventure the book does run into 430+ pages to ensure everyone gets their fair share on the stage and to rationalise why some actions take place. I admit to indulging here because being self-publishing I was having an entertaining time with the world and background building, though I did try to avoid long explanations by one character to others. The bulk of the narrative focusing on characters’ reactions to events and situations. The general motivation is to hopefully provide at the end of the day an entertaining read
Currently all the work has been done, save for the arrival of a cover, general tidying up of the appearance of chapters and then the launching onto, probably Amazon Kindle .
At this stage if anyone is interesting in reading the tale just contact me by email on firstname.lastname@example.org and state whether you would prefer a Word or pdf copy. I do not expect anyone to drop everything and go into beta-reading mode, my intention is more to give folk an opportunity to see the book for themselves.
OK I’m done.
Back to those posts…