Friday, October 10, 2014

Doings at Drakenheath

So this is a good idea of what our house looks like right now:

This is the view from up on what we are calling the Chasm Bridge, down into the living room area with a glimpse of the breakfast nook. It's a bit . . . horrifying.

Actually, things are looking better than this by now. Not a lot, but a little better anyway. Much of the kitchen is unpacked, and other boxes have at least been rearranged to create walking space. But wow . . . it's a work in progress to say the least!

Do notice our fireplace mantel decor, though:


Rohan and I had wondered how we would fill that big empty space above the fireplace, but we needn't have worried. Monster has it all figured out for us! (And really, could we ask for a better decoration?) The kitties all like to take turns lounging up there, so I suppose that means we decorate with "living art." Hey, it works! (Though we'll probably go with something a little more normal-looking later on. Rohan's been looking at beautiful canvas prints of St. George slaying the Dragon . . . )

Oh, and you know that Chasm Bridge I mentioned?

Minerva and Makoose like to reenact the Bridge of Khazad Doom scene from The Lord of the Rings up there. Makoose (clad in grey as he is) plays Gandalf, while Minerva makes a formidable Balrog. She doesn't always want to play this game, though, so Makoose will often perform all the parts himself. Which is entertaining. (So far, he hasn't actually gone so far as Gandalf's dramatic fall, for which I'm thankful. It's only a matter of time, I'm sure . . .)

When Makoose isn't preforming theater for us, Monster spends much of his time lounging up there. Which means I can officially claim to have a Monster guarding my Chasm Bridge in my new home. How many folks get to say that?

The kitties are doing quite well, in case you are wondering. Mutti, my feral rescue from last year, has surprised me the most! The move seems to have been all she needed to kick her into full housecat gear, and she is happier and more contented now than I have ever seen her. I think coming to a new territory where there were no dominant cats already established made a huge difference. Huzzah! Thanks to all of you who were praying for us. We have been enjoying this new home so much, including moonlit walks among our trees, treks with Milly into the woods and down to the creek . . . all the lovely things about country living.

Anyway, what other doings shall I speak of?

Many thanks to those of you who signed up to be influencers for the upcoming Golden Daughter. We filled up that list so fast, it would make your head spin, which was really just wonderful to see. For the next release we might even expand the numbers a little bit. Thank you SO MUCH for being so enthusiastic! Hopefully we'll be able to make this the most successful book launch yet.

Speaking of, I plan to host an extravaganza Chat Party launch for Golden Daughter on the evening of the release date. More details will be forthcoming, but it should be really fun! And I'm going to try to arrange it so that those of you who don't have Facebook will still be able to enter the giveaways (though you'll need Facebook to participate in the actual chat itself.)

And don't forget in the meanwhile, you can share the image below and let folks know that the book is available for pre-order on Kindle! If you pre-order it now, it will show up on your Kindle device the day it launches (which might be a little earlier than the official release date).

Share the link too!

Draven's Light, my Spring 2015 release, is coming along well too. It's about to head off to my editor for the first round of edits, which is exciting. And I plan to do a cover reveal for that book soon after Golden Daughter releases (around the same time it becomes available for pre-order). We might do something a little different from the usual cover reveal blog tour, but I'll let you know more about that later.

Basically, life is SO BUSY these days, I haven't had time to seriously think about blog touring, etc. But do feel free, if you are a blogger, to email me (aestengl@gmail.com) if you would like to feature me for an interview on your blog. I would be very happy to, sometime between now and Christmas. I have a handful of interview requests piled up in my inbox even now, and I promise I'll get back to you patient souls who are awaiting answers. I do want to be featured on your blogs . . . I just need to get my feet under me first.

I have begun serious work on drafting Untitled Book 8 in the Tales of Goldstone Wood. I've been researching it for ages (while working on the Super Secret Project), and it's interesting to now begin pulling all of that research together into actual narrative form. 

Some of that research has included mapping out rough mock-ups of what the featured castles might look like. Here is the map I doodled up for Letania, which stands where Gaheris Castle once stood in Dragonwitch . . . though it is SIGNIFICANTLY bigger than Gaheris, much more of a palace than a mere castle. You can see the House of Lights, situated at the top of the hill.

Many of you have asked about an official map of Goldstone Wood and the countries and worlds. Someday I hope to produce a polished, final map for all of you (I promise!), but in the meanwhile, here's a glimpse of the rough sort of map I use while writing these stories. Each map has to be adjusted for the time-period, and this one is specifically for Untitled Book 8.


Yes, I know it's so ugly! But it keeps me organized when I'm writing about all these folks and their various travels. (And no, I haven't filled in all the Earldoms of this era, only those I need for this particular story. I might fill the rest in just for the heck of it, but right now the focus is on drafting.)

I have a grand total of 10,000 words actually written on this manuscript so far, but I hope to dramatically increase that tally over the next few weeks. My goal is to finish the rough draft by Christmas, but we'll see if that happens.

Oh, and I hope to announce the title of this project at the Golden Daughter chat party. I've made a cool title-reveal banner that will reveal some hints about the story, and it should be really fun. Another reason you should stop in that evening. (Again, more details on that event will be forthcoming.)

The Super Secret Project is on my agent's desk these days, and I believe she is even now reading it. Hope she likes it! I love it and am proud of it (and think it might be an even better book than Golden Daughter), but one never knows how others will react to one's new endeavors. I'll keep you posted on the developments as I am able.

We've received quite a few stories for the Five Enchanted Roses contest! It's strange for me this year, though. Since we have a panel of readers, I feel rather distanced from the contest. I won't even be reading any of the stories until January, and in the meanwhile I just get notes from the various readers to go on as far as knowing what sorts of tales are being submitted. So far the notes have been predominantly enthusiastic, which is very encouraging!

I am VERY eager to see what this collection will end up becoming. I am so delighted with Five Glass Slippers, and something tells me Five Enchanted Roses will be as good or better when it is complete. And I've been very pleased to see the gorgeous cover popping up on random blogs listed among "Most Beautiful Covers of 2015 Releases" etc. It really is quite a lovely work of art.

How are your Enchanted Roses stories coming along? If you've written up blog posts about them (or plan to write up blog posts about them), feel free to share in the comments below so everyone can browse through! I know I would enjoy seeing what you're working on.

Most of you have probably already seen this, but I'll mention it again just in case. Goddess Tithe is currently in production to become an audiobook! I am so excited about this, I can hardly even stand it. We auditioned narrators a few months back, and the gentleman we chose is absolutely fantastic. Today I got to hear his performance of the "Where Did the Songbird Go?" lullaby, and it was so beautiful. We also picked the soundtrack for the opening and closing sequences. It's going to be gorgeous, a very exciting launch into the audiobook world.

I have two other wonderful projects in the works for Rooglewood Press as well . . . unique and beautiful projects, completely different from anything else we've done. But, sadly, both are secret projects for the time being, so I can't talk about them too much just yet. (Though I'm spending quite a lot of time thinking about and planning for them!) In the meanwhile, I must leave you with another enigma . . .

Anyway, I think that's enough doings for the time being. Be sure to keep coming back to this blog over the next several weeks, since I have quite a lineup of fun features and posts scheduled, including a particularly fun interview with a talented and prolific novelist coming up this Monday. (And he's offering a three book giveaway for one lucky winner, so you don't want to miss it!)

In the meanwhile, what have your doings been? Are you well into your new school years? Or focused on exciting new writing projects? Looking forward to the holidays?

13 comments:

Hannah said...

That is so exciting!!! Your house is so lovely and awesome!

I can't wait for the Golden Daughter Chat Party, especially with the title reveal! XD And this Super-Secret Project has really got me mystified!!!

I need to finish up at least THORN on my Five Enchanted Roses entry! :)

Sarah said...

You got awesomeness points for naming part of your house Chasm Bridge. And then those doubled because Monster. :D

Will the Golden Daughter chat party be where? I need to know if I'll be able to attend!

I, alas, have not even started on a Five Enchanted Roses story . . . I might do something for NaNoWriMo, but I'm not totally sure. :P We shall see.

ghost ryter said...

Those maps! Eek! My house has something like Chasm Bridge, though not so dramatic. It's really just a little ledge over our staircase that our cat likes to sit on as he swipes at our heads. (He's at least as evil as Minerva) :)

I'm making slow progress on my Five Enchanted Roses entries. I completed one, and dismissed another as none too great, so am now just trying to get my second story finished. (If anyone wants to read the summaries for them, here's the linkhttp://ghostryter.blogspot.com/2014/08/my-three-roses.html?m=1)

So excited about The Super Secret Project!

P.S. Tell Monster he makes a very adorable piece of art. : )

Anonymous said...

This is one of your most interesting posts yet! I like chasm bridge, It must be fun to watch Monster do re-enactments.
I can't wait for Golden Daughter! Or you super secret project, or the audiobook! Summer here is horrible, you'd think that the heat would have the decency to stay the same all over the world!
Jemma

Allison Ruvidich said...

Eek! How exciting!! I have been dreadfully busy with school, but I did write a blog post lamenting my various deadlines... none of which, I admit, sound as daunting as yours. And now we have THREE super secret projects? !!

Blue said...

Oh joy, a map!
I must say, though, it kind of drives me crazy. After finishing Dragonwitch I was not ready to bid farewell to the North Country/ Parumvir. Seeing this makes me want to know what happened next.

Stenglodius Quartus said...

Your house may be messy, but I still have you beat. Not that that's a good thing...
Also, glad to hear the secret projects continue. I hope you still remember all of my brilliant (*ahem*) suggestions.
One last thing, could you please *boop* Minerva on the nose for me? She looks so cute looking down on her new evil demesne from Chasm Bridge.

Anonymous said...

Please, pardon my slightly nerdy question, but inquiring minds want to know. I recall reading somewhere that the Parumvir names are Latin based. According to my research Parum is Latin for small, and vir is Latin for man...does that mean the story about the Smallman king was already planned out when Heartless was being written?

Becky said...

Your new home is simply wonderful, even with a few unpacked boxes here and there. The dramatic names just add to the wonder of it all. Monster looks gorgeous on the fireplace mantel. I think you're going to have living art there for sometime. And moonlit walks among your trees and "treks with Milly into the woods and down to the creek"...perfect!

Looking forward to the Golden Daughter chat party and all the secret projects. I really am so very blessed by all your works.

As for me, I have basically finished all my amazing years as a homeschooling mom, except for a few class descriptions and a final transcript. But looking around, there's much to do that will keep me busy.

Hayden said...

I cannot wait for Golden Daughter! And i'm really looking forward to the title reveal of the next book... :D

My Enchanted Roses story is almost done, but it definitely needs a lot of tweaking. Ah, the horrors of editing ;D

Merenwen Inglorion said...

Congrats on the new house!
Monster on the mantle=:D perfect :D
Best of luck finishing up with unpacking!

I'm almostalmostalmost done with my entry for Enchanted Roses!! But...I'm stuck. All I need to do is write one or two more dramatic scenes where the curse is broken! :P :P :P
But...I ended up discovering new things about the characters AFTER I had nearly finished it the first time, so I ended up having to go back and tweak a few things. That'll teach me to finish character development first. :P

Looking forward to all the doings mentioned! And I just have to thank you for the Goldstone Wood series: so, thanks for a Christian fantasy which I will carry with me always!

God bless,
-Merenwen

Annie Douglass Lima said...

Thanks for the interesting post. Your new home looks and sounds lovely! I'm halfway through my "influencer copy" of Golden Daughter, and am loving it so far, though I'm a bit puzzled by all the unanswered questions. I assume my email about interviewing you on my blog is one of the ones that's piled up in your inbox - how exciting to hear that you're still interested. :-) As for my own writing, I'm in the editing stage with two books at the moment, and planning a third one to (hopefully) write in NaNoWriMo. Just got back from a quick vacation to Vietnam, where I learned a few interesting cultural tidbits that may make it into one of my books at some point!

Meredith said...

So many amazing doings as always. Congratulations on your new house. I know it's beautiful despite the daunting task of settling in.

Am keeping busy and can't believe that October is moving along so quickly. Seems like these years go by so fast.

Have submitted one Five Enchanted Roses story which I revised more times than anything else I've ever written. But, my writing process has undergone a change this year, so writing this story was tiring but fun, too. I can honestly say that all the characters are truly special to me with this one. Have glimmers of an idea for another entry but will have to pray and see what comes of it.

I hope that all the doings go well for you. Am so excited about Golden Daughter as well as Goddess Tithe's release as an audiobook!

Take care, and God bless you.