The Obligatory Birthday Update

It’s almost like these posts are part of some sort of annual holiday or something, isn’t it? I’m not going to waste time with preamble, cos there’s a bit to say, so I’ll just get into it.

Remember last year I said I was doing my YouTube content and finally I had found an audience and how great it was to feel like the stuff I made was finally being appreciated? Well, I’m still doing that, and I still (mostly) feel that way. However, a few weeks after I made that post, some unexpected events took place. I had recently began working as a content consultant for a company. Basically, my job was to help them with their social media content and give them advice on their YouTube content strategy, but that wasn’t the original position I had been going for. Originally, I’d been trying to work for them as a content writer, but during my interview, my soon-to-be employer reckoned my particular knowledge would be useful in that particular area. It was a much better position than I’d been going for, so I wasn’t complaining.

Whilst doing this, I was still creating content for my own channel too, but it was starting to bleed into my time with that, because I also had to liaison with the editors and script writers, even sometimes having to give pointers to said writers, and proofreading their work. Still, this was all stuff I was enjoying because it was basically me getting compensated for things I was genuinely good at, and in areas I was already heavily invested into. So, the appreciation I had mentioned feeling for my skills/talents in my post last year, was actually heightened to a level I couldn’t have anticipated just weeks after I made that post.

And it didn’t end there.

After a few months working with that company, my employer invited me for a meeting. I didn’t know what it was for other than him saying he wanted to have a chat about the work. So far I’d been told everything I was doing was great, so I didn’t think it was going to be any sort of complaint, but still, you never really know, right? So I braced myself. But I don’t think I could’ve been braced enough.

We spoke a bit about work just like he said, and just general life stuff as well. But then eventually he asked me how I feel about team management. I said to him I have no real work experience doing that beyond school, but I’ve found I tend to be good at managing people in more general contexts like in old customer-facing roles I had. He then dropped a bombshell: he wanted me to manage a team of writers in the creation of a pilot episode for a tv series.

Yes, me.

As you can imagine, I was taken aback, utterly bewildered. I mean, trust me, I have plenty of confidence in my writing abilities, and as I said, I do think I can do a decent job of managing people in a general context, but for an actual production project? Now, had I not known better, I might’ve thought there was some sort of catch, but this wasn’t some dodgy start-up or something. I already had a contract, and if I accepted this, I was going to have to sign a new one. It was all official.

Again, I’d already been working with him, so I knew what his company was all about, and whilst I can’t go into the specifics, I can at least say they’re already heavily involved in media, mostly in the music industry. I’d seen the production of their music videos, heck, I’m jealous of the production of even their YouTube content. It’s genuinely smoothly made high quality stuff, all I help with is the scripts, topics, and SEO. So one thing I knew for sure, was that the visuals for this thing were going to be professional. This wouldn’t look raggedy and rundown, or budget. This would be clean, creative and powerful production. Knowing that gave me a lot of confidence in the project immediately, but also it was very daunting.

I had to help in hiring these new writers, knowing that whoever we hired would be under my guidance, and whilst I didn’t have complete control over anything or the final say, I was still being given a degree of weight and authority I hadn’t expected. The only reason for this, was because my employer wanted to use the skills and talents of his team to create a show, but he knew none of them had the ability to craft an engaging story, and in his opinion, based on what he’d seen of my work, I would be the perfect fit for what he wanted, as I had a unique blend of knowledge and was oddly enough, at the right age to perfectly understand what would be required to nail the tone of the show. He did also have a close associate/friend of his, that is an editor for a magazine, and he was overseeing me whilst I was overseeing the group, which made me feel a lot better about it because I knew there was someone with a bit more experience than me I could refer to for assistance.

For about a month, I was frequently getting forwarded emails containing CVs and cover letters of applicants. Being on that side of things was bizarre, but oddly, I found myself naturally taking to it, which my employer seemed to have believed I would. It was interesting seeing what other people would send in their applications, what pieces of writing they would choose, and how some had the audacity to apply with no writing at all… lol. I think I was getting a hint of insight into what the average literary agent/publishing house goes through, and I really do only mean a hint, because the applications we got were a mere fraction of a fraction of what they’d be getting.

Eventually however, I shortlisted some, sent them to my employer for his consideration, and then interviews took place and from there, the final picks were chosen. I found that whole process very, very insightful and a valuable experience to have. It was so different for me. Imagine being outside somewhere and getting an email notification on your phone of 4 new CVs you need to go through, and that’s on top of the 3 you got already earlier, and the 2 that came through yesterday evening that you said you’d go through today…

I wish I could say more about it and what’s going on, but suffice to say, I ended up stepping away from my YouTube channel for a total of roughly 6 months last year (up until late December) because I had to focus on this. And we were only working on just the pilot. The potential for a full series is what we’re looking into now, but the actual creation of the pilot, auditioning, filming, composing etc. that’s all still ongoing.

However, for my part, I’ve mostly done the work that was asked of me, and so now, I have mostly returned to doing my previous role, whilst still providing input. It has been one of the most unique experiences of my life so far, and something I never would have thought I’d have the fortune of being part of at this stage in my journey, but I can certainly say I’m grateful for it.

I’ve even managed to get a little specific thing I wanted into the show, which I hope someday in the future, I’ll be able to reveal to an audience of my own and point back to as a fun sort of easter egg/reference.

My break from my channel certainly hindered it’s growth, although when I came back, the third video I uploaded ended up being my best performing video ever, getting me over 50,000 views in my first month of uploading it, and the craziest part about that is the video was completely out of left field for my channel. It was a video essay about the Netflix show Arcane, whilst most of my content before and since has been about Kingdom Hearts. So, that was yet another little achievement for me in the midst of all of this.

Soon, I’ll be releasing another video essay, but this one will be about my favourite episode from the anime miniseries Star Wars: Visions. Whilst I don’t expect that video to come anywhere close to what that Arcane video did, or even my average uploads, I’m still going to upload it because I love Star Wars and want to finally make a damn video praising something related to it on my channel.

I’ve also got plans to start doing some other things in regards to YouTube, but I’m not even going to talk about it. I’ll just do it and see how it goes, because I’ve been taking that approach lately, and it’s been generally working out for me a lot better. For some perspective on this: my family didn’t even know about all of this stuff I was working on until a few months in, because I didn’t want to talk about just in case something went wrong, since I have always had a terrible habit of talking about doing things and not always following through (I do sometimes, just not enough lol).

There’s other things I could talk about, but honestly, I feel like since this site was mostly always about my writing, this is the milestone and major information about my writing in the last year, so it’s the only thing I really need to share.

If you happen to be one of the few people that are curious, yes I am still writing my own stories. I’ve always got one foot in the world of Fateslayer, and like I said already last year, I would love to just throw the sequels out there as soon as they’re done, but I’m choosing to hold off until I have built up an audience from the first book, it’s just I’m going about things in ways I didn’t expect.

But it’s been a long while since I posted some writing up on here, so I’ll be rectifying that with a short story very, very soon.

I have to say though, what 2021 did for me was truly significant, because I finally experienced what it was like to actually be compensated for the skills and knowledge I had been accumulating in my own time for almost the entirety of the past decade. I’ve sampled the potential I always knew I had, and it’s just as satisfying as I thought it’d be. I’m not going to act like I’m in some completely new stratosphere, because I’m not, but I’m undoubtedly gaining key experience and knowledge in the exact areas I’ve always wanted.

I’ve said before how I want to tell stories across as many mediums as I realistically can, so you’ve got to understand that for me, having any level of input into a brand new storytelling medium like this, is something that’s astounding because I thought it’d be many more years before that’d be happening. It’s not my production or project or my story, but I have a significant say in how that story takes shape, and to be honest, this is how it usually is writing as part of someone else’s project. Regardless, the knowledge and experience I’ll take away from this will be invaluable in helping me to craft my own content in similar ways someday.

You know, when I started with this NextGenNovelist idea back when I was 17 (I started this site back in 2015 when I was 18, but NGN is from a bit before that), I really was adamant about certain things like being published as a teenager, or being a traditionally published author with DAW books, with all my gorgeous paperbacks lining the shelves of your local Waterstones, or Barnes and Nobles or wherever you go… I mean, don’t we all have dreams like that? My trajectory has adjusted, and over the years I’ve made all the necessary course corrections to better align me with my goals, and… you know what…? I feel like I’m sounding cliché here, so I’m going to stop lol.

You guys get it.

Remember, I’ll be posting that short story soon, so keep an eye out for that.

But until then, thanks for reading this post, and I truly hope you too will continue to grow and gain in whatever ways you desire.

May the 4th be with you, and that’s all I’ve got to say, and I’m out.

Peace!

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May The 24th Be With You

Here I am yet again, a whole year later. Last time I posted on here I gave some updates and shared some previews of The Advent of Shadows, the sequel to my debut fantasy novel. I’m much further along with it than back then, of course, and in all honesty, I could probably release the book this year, but I’ve decided against it for a number of reasons.

The main reason is simply because it’s not necessary. I’ve not done any promotion or marketing for the first book yet, and so I’ve not really given it a fair chance at becoming something by itself. But there’s reasons for that too.

When it comes to self-publishing a novel, usually there are certain things that need to be done in order to give yourself a good chance at success, and two of those things is good marketing (pre & post release) and advertising. That’s the way things are done, and that’s how success is gained and maintained.

I’ve not done those things, and one of the main reasons in all honesty was because 2020 was a bit of a… less than stellar year, and in a lot of ways I simply didn’t put as much energy and effort into things as I should have. However another reason was due to the fact I didn’t want to do the aforementioned things in order to promote my book, because I had a different vision for how I could accomplish what I wanted.

What I wanted to do was create a platform, to become a sort of social media figure first and then through that, direct my audience to my fiction. Now, this is a path less travelled, and only recently is it something I’ve seen more of, but I can tell you that if you manage to do it, the rewards are arguably greater.

The issue is that you have to have the platform and that’s not something everyone can do, and even if you can, it could take a while (but then, what doesn’t?). So, most of last year I wasn’t really doing that, but in November, I began rebranding my YouTube channel to be based around mostly the video game series Kingdom Hearts. The majority of my content consists of theories and discussions where I share my thoughts and ideas on the story so far and where it could be going.

So far I’ve worked my way from around 200/300 or so subscribers in November (2020), to 1850 by today (May 4th 2021). This isn’t a lot of subscribers, but I’ve had a lot of views, a lot of comments and likes, and just overall feedback.

I’ve seen my videos be shared of forums, creating discussion there, and according to my analytics, they’re also shared on WhatsApp, Reddit, Discord and all sorts of other places, so I’m certain there’s a lot of conversations going on around my content that I’m not seeing.

Now, I have to say, I’m very glad to have this level of engagement. I did a livestream back in March when I hit 1000 subscribers, and I was surprised by how many people were commenting and asking me questions in just the first few minutes.

I’d never had that sort of response or interaction before, especially where so many people wanted to talk to me and ask about my ideas and what I thought, as well as of course sharing their own.

I’ve also since been invited on podcasts (one of which I literally did yesterday – another great experience), and received emails from subscribers who enjoy my content and want to share their appreciation or ideas.

I’ve been making content since I was 11 years old. I’ve been on YouTube since 2008. In all my years being on there, I have never truly given myself a fair shot at this. I’ve always been half-assed and never going all the way.

The one thing I worked on and stuck with from the time I started though was my book. It was Fateslayer.

And that’s why even now after all these years, I keep this website going, and I continue to post some updates every once in a while just to let it be known I’m still working on all this.

As I currently write this, Fateslayer is of no concern to anyone but myself and a couple others. But I write these because I hope one day that won’t be the case, and these posts will serve as some insight into my thought process at the time. If not for anyone else, at least for myself.

With that being said, I am happy with how things are going so far with this platform I’m trying to build. For the first time, I feel like I’m being appreciated by others and there’s real recognition of my efforts, but this is just the very early days. I won’t let the praise get to my head, nor let the nuggets of negativity that sometimes get dropped in my comment section discourage me.

I want to begin focusing my YouTube content on more storytelling/writing topics so I can further expand my channel and of course, eventually tie it into my fiction.

I have always been and always will be a storyteller first and foremost. All of this is just building towards my ideal vision of how exactly I want things to be.

I can only hope that someday people are making theories and discussion videos about my stories the same way I am about others.

If nothing else though, I think for the first time in a little while, I’m finally seeing things shift in a direction I’m satisfied with. But I must remain focused, because it can all dissipate in a moment.

Setbacks are a given. Nothing will be perfect and this path will inevitably hold challenges for me, some foreseen and some not. Regardless, I trust myself to handle each as they come.

Who knows, perhaps it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Well, anyway, it’s my 24th birthday today. So, may the 24th be with you, and I hope whoever you are, whenever you read this, I hope you too achieve what you want.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say, and I’m out.

Peace!

A Quote Teaser For The Advent of Shadows

So, I have had the idea to do something like this for a while. I would love to do something like this with audio and voices, but I think that’ll come later down the line when and if I ever have a proper audiobook. Until that point, this is a little teaser for The Advent of Shadows, but unlike my previous teaser, which was an extract from the early part of the book, this time I have taken quotes from the book.

They are completely out of context and have no names attached and come from different parts of the book, so you can try and figure out who is saying what, to who, and why in your own mind. I picked some quotes I thought would capture some important elements of the book, but also, tease the tone that the story will be taking.

And… there might be a little more to some of them than that. Aaaand… there are no errors with any of the quotes. To fully understand them, well, I guess you’ll just have to wait until it’s out won’t you?

Just trust me when I say a lot happens in this story, so many surprises and I don’t really want to give away anything more than I already have. So, I think this will be the last tease I provide for a good while. 

No idea when I’ll next be posting on here, but in the meantime, I’ll be enjoying the lockdown in whatever way I can, and hopefully the next you hear of me, it’ll be during brighter days!

Anyway!

That’s all I’ve got to say, and I’m out.

Peace!


 

“This is a sacrifice that must be made for the realization of Mother’s plan.”

“I am concerned she may be taking her Fate too much to heart.”

To me, your very existence was a curse… And yes, I hated you for it.”

“What reason do they have to keep on fighting against us?”

“You’re not so selfish. I know you wouldn’t forsake the whole world for one person.”

It is clear the Umbrisa-Kin have some greater goal. One that the Umbrisa left them with.”

I cannot deny things have taken a turn for the absoulte worst.”

    “∴⊂⇐↵⊗⊕⊆⊇⊆⊄←ℑ↔↵⌉⌋⇔∧∨¬∩∋∉∈≡≠”

“Do not succumb to the madness.”

As you can see, things have gone quite differently this time. Far beyond even my expectations.”

Sever the threads. Sever the threads. Sever the threads.”

Standing around in front of something like that for two-hundred years? Yeah, I’m alright on that one.”

“The Gods must have created it for some purpose! Where else could it have come from?!”

“Daybreak. That’s us. The light that breaks through the dark!”

“A lady and a Lenria dancing? Well, this is certainly one for the history books.”

“How…? How did I create such a monstrosity?”

Any Kin you come across are to be captured if possible and killed if necessary.”

Your makers… still asleep they all are. My makers… awake. Always. Always awake. 

This is the Fate you deserve.”

A Wild Extract Appears (Again)!

Yes, a little under four years later, and another wild extract appears.

This time, it’s an extract from The Advent of Shadows, which is the sequel to my debut novel. 

I’m doing my best to make as much progress on it as I can, and to any and all who have and will read the first entry in the series, thank you very much. I promise you the sequel will blow that one out of the water though. At least, I certainly think it will.

I won’t say much more, but naturally, there will be spoilers for the first book in this chapter. So if you haven’t read the first book, and you’re the type who hates spoilers, I highly recommend you don’t read this. 

For those of you who are curious about what is in store for you, I already posted the synopsis for the sequel earlier, and below is the entirety of chapter three.

Yes, three.

I put the first chapter at the end of book one as a preview for this book. And for readers of the first book, I think chapter three will be a good tease, as it shows my first time writing from the perspective of a character who never got any POV chapters in book one. Also, chapter two would put out too much plot information that I think would be better experienced in the actual book, rather than months before.

I also have some other book two stuff I plan on posting today, but I’ll leave that for later. 

Till then, enjoy.


A PREVIEW OF THE ADVENT OF SHADOWS
(Everything below is subject to change)

Useful

When she was first ordered to be part of this assignment, Meilin hadn’t the slightest idea what to expect. Being commanded by a Senior to join an operation to the mainland was not something she expected to happen anytime soon, and perhaps if not for her decent display of knifework, it may have not ever happened.

But it did, and so here she was.

Meilin bopped across the bridge that led into the large fortress where the squads headed by Senior Rin had just fought.

She gazed around at the landscape. It was not exactly like she had imagined. Actually, it was nothing like she imagined. Her studies led her to believe the mainland was this lush land full of an abundance of life, albeit the Lenria side of her studies ensured to emphasize how this all masked the darker and more broken side of life on these lands. Yet these fields were all brown and dull-looking.

Regardless, Meilin had yet to meet any humans, and so until then she’d reserve full judgment. But there was so much to take in. So much going on every which way she looked. Even the small town that was beside this fortress was remarkable to her.

The way the buildings were all a similar design, all so neatly placed beside one another, and how the road snaked through, outlining a path from the modest town to the grand fortress.

But what really got to her, was the fact this was nothing next to everything else that was out there.

A human city must be a mad sight, is what she thought. Definitely got to see one of those soon!

“Meilin!”

Meilin jumped. She looked up ahead to see a face not unlike her own staring back at her.

“Hurry up,” Meihui snapped. “I don’t have all day to wait on you.” She stood in the massive doorway that led inside the fort, arms folded, and brows dipped.

“Sorry!” Meilin said before hurrying over.

As she entered the fort with her twin, she took in the large walls and the posh-looking furniture that was in some of the rooms. She would have thought that a fortress would have been much plainer, just a lot of stone and steel or something like that.

As she followed Meihui through the Fort, she realized she hadn’t the slightest idea where she was going. So, she asked.

“Where are we going, sis?” She spoke the words with enthusiasm.

Meihui glared at her. “Do not talk so loud. It’s not necessary.” She led Meilin through a door and onto an unnervingly dark stairwell. “The only reason you are even here is because you wouldn’t shut up about it. So, the least you can do is shut up now.”

Meilin smirked, holding back the hurt she all too deeply felt. This was how her relationship with Meihui had always been. Despite the fact they were twins, Meihui acted as though she were above Meilin, and it often appeared as if she was embarrassed by the fact they were related, especially in such a blatant manner.

Twin Lenria were a very rare occurrence, but there was no significance to their existence. There was only one other pair of twins in the Order presently, and they were much older than Meilin and Meihui. Historically, there had only been one other pair of Lenrian twins, and they both perished in the civil war.

As such rarities, Meilin often felt it was only right they looked out for each other and enjoy one another’s company as proper blood relatives. Meihui on the other hand, seemed to think such a notion was nonsense. She didn’t view herself as a twin. To her, it wasn’t Meihui & Meilin, it was just Meihui.

Once they reached the bottom of the stairs, Meilin entered what appeared to be a dungeon. It might have been more intimidating if not for all lamps and Lenria present in the room.

High-Archivists, High-Paladins and even some High-Artisans were scouring the space as though investigating something. A couple of them were scrutinizing sheets of paper, whilst others were discussing the structure or observing the massive map on the wall. Two women were inspecting some kind of hole that was in one of the cell walls.

One grey-haired lady hunched over the table glanced up as Meilin and Meihui entered. Her shoulder-length locks rested nicely on her white tunic. For whatever reason, she was not wearing her navy robe, but her brands were on display just as well, and from those Meilin identified her as one of Senior rank, specifically a Senior-Archivist.

“High-Archivist Meihui,” she addressed, raising her right three fingers in salute.

The twins saluted back before the Senior eyed Meilin.

“Is this a family outing?” asked the Senior.

Meilin made a playful face. “Aren’t we all family, Senior?”

“Be quiet,” Meihui murmured.

The Senior didn’t give a proper smile, but there was a little tug of something at the corner of her lips. Meilin was satisfied with that.

“She is merely here to observe, Senior,” Meihui explained.

The Senior seemed to be looking at Meilin’s brands. “She is a Paladin. Should a High-Paladin not be accompanying her?”

“Naturally, Senior. I just–”

“You have a habit of taking things into your own hands, High-Archivist.” The Senior’s tone was harsher now, her eyes a tad more piercing. “Only those of High and Senior ranks are permitted to be down here. Bringing one of your lesser experienced sulira with you was not only foolhardy, but a blatant disregard for proper protocol.”

“Forgive me, Senior. I can escort her back upstairs.”

“No. You have wasted enough time. Paladin, you may see yourself out.”

Meilin looked at Meihui, but of course, Meihui just glared at her, as if it were Meilin’s fault that she was down here. It partially was but it was also partially Meihui’s fault for allowing it.

It’s not like I knew I wasn’t allowed down here.

Meilin just saluted the Senior and her twin before heading back upstairs.

She returned outside and just sat on the grass, uncertain of what exactly she was supposed to be doing. She only wanted to go with Meihui because she was bored, and because she was being nosy. She had a chance to go inside the fort and have a peek around, of course she was going to take it!

Bunch of good that did her. She still ended up being left out in the cold, literally.

Surely there was a purpose for her in all of this. She was friends with the Luxia, the bringer of light and all that good stuff. How was it that still nobody treated her special in some way? In all honestly, nobody really treated anyone particularly special in the Order, that was how the culture was. Still, it would be nice if for once she was a bit more acknowledged.

She never really put much thought into it, but Auria only managed to get down to the mainland because Meilin helped her. Well, it was Meihui’s plan, but Meihui only gave them that plan because Meilin had pleaded for her help to rescue Marria.

But Marria died anyway.

If she hadn’t given Auria that way to the mainland, perhaps that would have never happened. Perhaps Marria would still be living. But maybe then the Umbrisa would still be living too.

Meilin sighed loudly, resting her head on her hand as she watched the setting sun. Night would soon come. Night on the mainland. She’d never seen that before. Maybe it would cheer her up a little. She hoped so.

Meilin just watched the other Lenria who were busy doing things around the outside of the fort and in the nearby town. She saw a few flying back and forth, carrying things to and from the fortress.

She kept her eye on the large doorway to the fort, waiting for Meihui to come back out.

But she could only stave off the boredom for so long. Once she no longer could, she began walking around.

She headed into the little town, looking around for Auria, or even Parax or Senior Rin. But she didn’t see them. She reckoned it would be nice to have some friends to talk to right now, so upon seeing one girl she recognized carrying a bucket of water, Meilin approached her.

The girl was only a Varlet, but Meilin knew her face, and felt comfortable talking to her. She knew the bucket of water was likely to wash the clothes of a Lenria or two, and she remembered how annoying that task was, and how further annoying it was when someone interrupted you when doing it.

“Erm,” she started. “Sorry to bother you. I know you’re busy. I was just wondering if you knew where Auria is?”

The girl frowned. “She’s on the Isles,” she said, as if it were obvious. “She’s sick or something, I heard.”

“Sick?” Meilin repeated with a frown of her own. “How could she be sick? You sure about that?”

The Varlet shrugged. “Just what I heard.”

Meilin could see the girl urgently wanted to press on. “Alright. Well, thanks anyway.”

The girl just nodded and waddled off, forgetting to salute her superior. Or perhaps it was just because both her hands were full. Still, Meilin couldn’t shake the feeling it was a tad rude of the child.

She made her way back near the bridge to the fort. She was certain she was meant to be doing something right now. Everyone else was. Even that varlet. Yet here she was, doing absolutely nothing.

Usually that would be a good thing, a great thing even. But right now, it just made her feel useless.

Just then, she noticed Meihui coming out of the fort and heading towards her.

“Well, what happened?” she asked her. “Anything interesting?”

“What did the Luxia tell you of the dark mirror she found in the mountains?”

Meilin was thrown off by the sudden query. “Err… I-I don’t really remember.”

Meihui sighed. “So useless.”

The words were like a kick to Meilin’s heart, but she firmed it. “Well… I remember a little bit about it.”

Meihui narrowed her eyes. “A little bit being what?”

“How she destroyed it.”

“Everyone knows that.”

“Well… also what she said it felt like. And how the Umbrisa came walking out of it, and that when she destroyed it, the Umbrisa had not been destroyed with it.”

Meihui perked up. “Destroyed with it? What do you mean?”

“I don’t really know. I just know she said that.”

Meihui seemed to be in thought. “I think there is another one of those mirrors. Senior Odile thinks the same.”

Senior Odile? Is that who that woman was?

“If that is true,” Meihui continued. “That will most likely be an issue. I just heard that Auria is in the infirmary back on the Isles and Parax is with her. Whatever is going on with her may also be a problem. So, you’re the only person close enough to her who is nearby. They could simply question Auria, but Senior Odile said it would be best not to do so for the moment, and since I know you may know something, I suggested we simply get your input until it is a suitable time to get the Auria’s.”

Meilin rose her brows. “Wait, so you want me to help?”

“I have told Senior Odile that we need more information,” Meihui explained. “You may have some that nobody else present possesses. That is all.”

Meilin made a smug face. “So… you want me to help?”

Meihui glared at her for a moment before rolling her eyes. Then, with an audible groan, she walked away and back towards the inside of the fort.

Meilin grinned.

Finally, she had something to do. Something only she could help out with. Maybe now she might actually be useful in some way, and maybe she would actually be recognized for it.

Synopsis for The Advent of Shadows

First things first.

It’s my 23rd birthday today. Last year, I revealed my book cover for my debut novel as a gift to the world, despite the fact it’s my birthday. For many years now, I’ve always treated my birthday as a sort of deadline or something to draw attention to things I’ve done or plan on doing, but usually, I do that offline and keep it to myself.

This year, I wanted to follow in the spirit of last year and do some more things in relation to my writing, but since I don’t have a book cover for my next book yet (mostly because I can’t think of what I want it to be), I have decided to post some things related to it instead. Partially as a way to show I am actually working on it, but also for some people who have been curious about the next part of the story. 

So, I will be posting a few things today, before inevitably disappearing from this site for ages again. The first of those things will be the synopsis for the sequel to my debut novel. If you finished The Light Within Tears or looked at the next book’s Goodreads page, you would have seen this already, but for anyone who hasn’t, and also just because I feel like it should be on here, here’s the synopsis for my next book, The Advent of Shadows. 

Subject to change ofc…


A matter of months has passed since the events of The Light Within Tears, and now, the Mistress shall learn of the penultimate tale in this trilogy of tragedy, the tale of The Advent of Shadows.

When news of an unstoppable disease and a new mirror of darkness surfaces, Auria spots an opportunity to redeem herself for her past failures and to fulfill her Fate. But Fate has further challenges for her, and when Auria’s healing powers go out of control, she shall struggle not only to save others from the ever-spreading darkness, but also herself.

Still searching for truth in an ever-darkening world, Parax pursues the title of High-Paladin all the while hiding her true nature from her scrutinizing superiors. When she meets Prince Arlas, the son of the Emperor, a conspiracy against both their societies is uncovered. As an unknown threat strikes from the shadows, Parax realizes that to face this enigmatic enemy, she must enter human society, and it is there she will face the greatest test of her loyalties.

Upon hearing about the possibility of new dark mirrors, Meilin joins her twin sister’s team on a venture to the Eastern continent to investigate a place no previous Lenria has returned from. Meilin just wants to be useful, to have meaning, but what she and her twin shall discover in the East, will spawn revelations that threaten to destroy all meaning as they know it.

My Debut YA Fantasy Novel Is FINALLY Out!

…on Kindle!

As Valentines Day ends, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate my one true love…

…my debut fantasy novel.

This beautiful creation has been part of my life for 5 (almost 6 years) and now, finally, I have decided to let it go.

As of midnight, it will available for everyone in the world to read (you can still pre-order it for the last couple hours of today or just buy it tomorrow). I already know a lot of people don’t read books these days… I don’t blame you.

Who needs books when you got Netflix and video games? But, storytelling is a passion of mine, and books are just one of many ways I hope to tell stories.

So maybe Netflix and video games are in my future, but for now, this is what I have for you.

The Light Within Tears is the first entry in the Fateslayer Saga, a Fantasy series that I hope will be thought-provoking as well as entertaining for those who read it.

If you’re interested in books and Fantasy stories, then this may be for you. If not, mention it to someone who might be interested.

It is only available as an Ebook right now, but soon it will be available in paperback, and MAYBE someday in audio.

To those of you who do end up reading it, I hope you enjoy it. For those of you who ain’t really into books or audiobooks, who knows, maybe it’ll be on your screens one day.

Thank you for reading this wall of text. I greatly appreciate it.

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B083TCJMMB

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TCJMMB

5 Common Misconceptions About Starting A Fantasy Novel

There are a number of topics I have always wanted to talk about, but just never did for various reasons. This is one of them.

When I was starting my own fantasy story, I had a lot of ideas about what I thought I was supposed to do, and those didn’t always completely align with what I could actually do, or not do.

This video is mostly for anyone who was in a similar position to myself, or those who already know this stuff, but would like to hear another voice reinforcing it so you feel more assured of your decisions.

I want to cover many more topics, some of which may not be to everyone’s tastes, but that’s the way I’m going to run things.

Anyone paying attention to my channel might have noticed I have uploaded some Kingdom Hearts videos, which may seem completely leftfield. Don’t worry, I’ll still have writing content, but I may be coming at things from a bit of a different angle than I was previously.

But to be honest, when haven’t I?

Enjoy the video.


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A Lenria’s Tale – First Chapter

A/N:

This is the first chapter to the prequel story I started back in 2015. This is as far as I ended up writing for it, but I do intend on completing this story at some point in the future.

This ‘chapter’ is quite short because I never actually finished it, but it still ends somewhat decently. 

As I said in my previous post, I have been away for a while but I am coming back in full force. Keep an eye on my YouTube channel, that’s where I’ll be devoting a good amount of my energy, other than working on new stories that I intend to self-publish by the end of the year.

Things might get a bit crazy over the course of this year.

I’ll leave it at that.

Hope you enjoy reading this, and I’ll see you around sooner than the last time I posted about that.  


I

So, here I sit, shrouded in angst. Resentful. Hateful. Vengeful. I am them all and so much more. I am the dark that stalks the light, bound and imprisoned by an eternal fate no weeping could wither. I am many things, but never regretful.

No, because it is now I who shall determine my fate. It is my words that shall spin this story, my hands that paint the picture, my will that tells the tale. A tale of a young girl destined to destroy. A girl spawned to spawn calamity in turn.

And so we begin where the first signs of calamity did, and to do so we shall take a trip down memory lane to a distant place that’s flames have long since extinguished. To the place which I was born, to my home town of Forswin.

As you may have guessed, Forswin was not a particularly well-known or talked about town. The town just about struggled on, held barely stable by its farming industry–if the town was known for anything, it would be that. The population would always remain in the dozens, a small town of people who simply wanted to go about their day without any trouble.

Myths of magical creatures that hid amongst the human populace had spread like wildfire. There were talks of what to do with them, but the problem was no one knew what they looked like, all we knew was they looked like us.

In Forswin, a town where nobody dealt with the supernatural, where myths and legends remained just that, and we lived in peace as the world turned, and the mysteries turned with it. It was as though no world existed outside our own. But that’s what makes what happened perhaps truly humorous.

Several months after the initial rumors had begun spreading, a new claim emerged. People began saying that all the alleged creatures were women. Of course, you know what happened at that point. The men scoffed it off, their egos too fragile, too arrogant to accept such a thing. “It’s just old fisher wives tales,” they’d say.

The world laughed as stories of magical women became commonplace. But not in Forswin. You see, something the town was frequent in doing – though not as well-known for – was their pious witch hunts. The inhabitants to the small town had believed women possessed supernatural ability for decades, but they always believed that something made them immune to it. That being mostly cut off from the world – save for their farming –  also severed all ties to the hellish Void that corrupted it.

I don’t need to tell you how preposterous that is. Anyway, it was not too long after a fire erupted in one of the small homes in the town that minds began to change, reconsidering what may be. And any doubt that lingered in their minds dissipated when they saw the young, black-haired girl leaving the burning house, not a scar or wound to her. And when they saw those glistening devilish red eyes of hers, what were they to think?

“Witch!” they hissed. “Foul demon! Burn her!” They’d rush for their rusted swords, knees wobbling and arms obviously untrained. They’d not seen action for the past century. The townspeople were out of touch with reality. But on that day they came back to it.

Of course, the girl who limped out of the house was me. And of course, I was far too naïve to understand my power. I had indeed burned the house, but there had been no one in it. What exactly was the problem? Sure, they’d have to rebuild it, it’d be costly, but was that any reason to call me a witch? When Madeline Arell somehow burnt her stew every other day was that because she was a witch? When Aran Nock lusted over Sweet Susie, was that because she was using her witchery to seduce him?

Of course, it wasn’t. But I didn’t think about that. I just ran. I ran as far from the town as I could, straight into Forswin Forest.

And that was where they caught me. Where they shot me down, piercing my lower thigh with an arrow. Where I fell, and first learned what pain, bloody, violent pain truly felt like.

As I bled amongst the autumn leaves, screaming in agonizing pain. Oh, oh if only I knew just what would happen to them only moments after.

That is what makes the beginning all the more important. That is what led to this path to darkness.


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A Lenria’s Tale – Prologue

A/N:

I did not expect to be posting this, but here we are. If you recall, a while back I posted up the prologue to my main fantasy series (Fateslayer), and also provided a bit of a synopsis for the first book, ‘The Light Within Tears’.

Well, this is the prologue to a story which I intended to be the prequel to my main series. What’s interesting, is that this piece (and the following piece I will post) were both written back in July 2015, so I had recently turned 18 at the time.

I was reading it recently, and I thought: “You know what, this ain’t half bad. And I haven’t posted on my website in almost a year. I’ll throw this up on there. Why not?”

So, here it is.

Just for clarity’s sake, this story was to be told from the perspective of the first antagonist of my main series, so it’s probably worth mentioning there will be some level of spoilers most likely. Whilst I will not write this story for a little while from now, and it may well be in a different form to what I’m sharing here, I haven’t diverged much from my original idea of it all since 2015 till now. So, I have a feeling some of the content in here will carry over to the final version… whenever that comes out. 

I’ve mostly left it in its original condition, save for some typos and glaring grammar issues which I have tried to sort out. Other than that’s it’s pretty much untouched from back in 2015. 

I suppose if for some reason you want to compare this to my current writing, you should compare this to Lairé or any future piece I put up, as this was one of my strongest pieces back when I wrote it. 

I won’t say much more about it. Bear in mind it’s the opening to a prequel, so it’s written with a specific audience in mind for the most part. Also, I was just practicing writing something familiar to what I was writing at the time, yet different. It was intended to be an adult novel, whereas my main series is YA.

Honestly, These pieces were the result of me trying to imitate a well-known author’s style and voice. I’ll leave you to guess who.

Hope you enjoy it.


Prologue

The sky roared.

The derelict room lit with each passing thunder, illuminating the stony surroundings. The spoiled stone was teeming with overgrown moss, green vines running through the gaps between each block of rock and seeping out onto the cold floor, their tips just about touching the thick pool of gory crimson.

Trailing from the pool was a single line that traced back to a single, gowned figure. Her long, black strands of hair covering her face. Her right hand pressed against her chest, feeling each and every tender throb of her gloomy heart.

A heart as black as the gown she was garbed in. A heart as black as the wild night sky. A heart as black as darkness.

She slouched against the wall, the thick moss prickling her neck. Her gleaming red eyes beheld her left hand. Nothing was in it, but yet everything was in it. The first symbol of success.

She leaned forward, eying her reflection in the crimson pond. She’d hoped to find a body in healthier form. This one was not the most suitable choice. Besides the obvious loss of blood, the fractured bones and inability to move were other, perhaps more mundane issues. It was too tall, too slender, and too… beautiful.

It was not her. And despite how inappropriate and unfitting of her it was, it was a sign that called for joy. A sign of triumph.

She giggled, hearing her new laughter. She spoke, testing words and phrases once accustomed to her old tongue, with this new one. Her voice was too high and too feminine. She sounded more like some courtesan than what she truly was.

What she truly was… what would become of that person? She was someone else now, someone far more astute. For the first time in her deplorable existence, she was the victor.

She struggled to her feet. A soring agony was lined through her upper leg, fading into her stomach. The bleeding had apparently ceased moments before she entered the body. She limped across the cold stone, grains of filth sticking onto her bare feet.

She was different now. She was a new woman with an era-old vengeance. But she was forever the shadow that curled in the mist of night.

She was Inah.

***

The twittering of birds sounded outside the closed windows of the inn. Inah lay in a bed she’d ‘borrowed’ for the night. She’d had no coins, no items to trade. None but one. The innkeeper was bold enough to notice and foolish enough to ask.

Of course, she’d accepted, promising herself to him for the night. In exchange for a warm bed, he could make it warmer. But the only warmth bestowed upon the bed that night was of his blood.

He still lay there, throat slit, milky white eyes wide open. It almost looked as though he was frozen in perpetual, horrified shock. A still image of terror. He’d been helpful at least, he’d helped Inah test out her new body.

Her new face and body granted her attention, and information, her elegant eyes tempting him into submission as he spewed stories about his daughter he’d sent away to live in Graydus, to protect her from the Empire. And many other stories, some of which should have been saved for the grave. The longer arms had been useful also, easing the effort needed to reach for her previously placed knife beneath the pillow.

As she inspected the small room, she began appreciating details, details her old self would not appreciate. The small portrait that hung on the wooden wall, or the condensed window panes, or even the precisely carved wooden door knob. Her mind was not completely her own, that much was apparent now. She’d fix that, that and her dreadful new voice.

But whatever this strange part of her mind was, it was fond of the place. It liked wooden walls, the architecture, and the smell of wetted grass that was swept in with the wind. It liked it all, for all its minor attractions and flaws. So for its sake, she’d keep it.

***

It had been roughly a year now since she’d usurped ownership of the inn. She’d walked in there twelve months ago, pleading for shelter over the counter with nothing but the blood-soaked robes on her back. Now she stood at, and ran, the counter, adorned in a fine, red velvet gown. Apparently, red was the colour to wear these days. The invading Emperor seemed adamant about that.

Roughly four months ago, a blindfolded figure draped almost entirely in red, wearing an excessively long hooded dress, had appeared in her room at the foot of her bed. She had known the figure, it was her old friend, Xiaa.

Xiaa was there now, just finishing showing out the last of the customers. It had been a busy night. Inah could still hear the deafening jeers of the drunkards. She was certain most of them had attempted to ask her for some ‘company’, but she gracefully declined.

The truth was, she’d kept the sheets clean for the past year, and bloodstains were awfully difficult to wash out by hand and cloth. There had already been enough prying inquiries regarding the change in management.

Inah had spun some tale – one of lies, of course – about how she’d been the innkeeper’s daughter, but he’d sent her away to live in Graydus. But after it was captured by the Empire, she fled with her husband to return here but lost him whilst on the unforgiving road. She always dissolved into tears at that point, weeping for the sympathy she all too well knew a gorgeous woman received. They’d become too concerned with pandering to her to continue when she gently asked if she could just ‘forget about it’.

Xiaa approached the counter, pulling out a stove and pouring herself a cup of wine.

“Careful,” Inah warned, “There’s not much left.”

Xiaa smirked at her. “Nope. You still sound like a nobleman’s daughter.”

“I can’t help it.” Inah attempted to sound colder, but her voice simply broke. “This maddening voice simply wants to remain this way.”

“It’s fitting of your new look.” Xiaa drank her wine, seemingly examining Inah’s chest. “Perfect, even. There’s no need to change it.”

Inah fastened her gown, folding her arms. “That’s easy for you to say.” She leaned forward, her face a hair’s breadth from Xiaa’s. “But I’m the one who has to live with it.”

Xiaa chuckled, careful not to spittle wine. “So, when are we going to begin?”

Inah pulled back from Xiaa, frowning at the specks of dust that spoilt the floor behind the counter. “Tomorrow.” She walked to the stairs, grabbing the broom that leaned against its wooden railing. “I’ve only waited this long to see if there were any significant drawbacks. Anything that would lead back to this body, or anything that could give us away. But apparently not. We’ve probably got another era before we begin to see any truly threatening signs.”

“And what of Morrigan and Lily?”

“They’ll likely work on fulfilling Celia’s dying wish: creating that damned Order of hers.” Inah began sweeping out the dirt from behind the counter.

“Is that jealousy I hear?” Xiaa teased, her ruby lips curving into a distinct grin on her dark-skinned face.

Inah stopped sweeping, glaring at Xiaa. “Jealousy?” she scoffed. “Jealousy for ultimately winning? I defied Fate itself. I disobeyed my own myth. There is no greater victory. If I was envious of anything, it’d be myself.” Inah continued sweeping the dirt towards the front door.

“Of course,” Xiaa agreed. “Though, I wonder what deceptions they’ll feed the children about you at the dinner table.”

A gust entered as Inah opened the door, brushing the specks of dust out. “They’ll say the worst of me, that’s certain. But I’m not so sure I dislike that. It will make my re-emergence that more terrifying.” She stood in the doorway, the gentle breeze swaying her long shadowy strands. “Although, I can’t help but feel as though I should be telling my own side.”

Xiaa turned back on the stool, confusion pressed into her regal face. “Own side? You mean as in telling your side of the story?”

“Yes,” Inah nodded. “Why? Is that such a bad idea?”

“Well… for what reason?”

“Well, it’s not for the same reason that stories of heroes and heroines are told. Or for the same reason why Celia Ambrosia will be seen in a blinding array of brilliance. Not for the reason it will inspire senseless children to be like me. But because it’s different. Because in my story, there is no hope for the protagonist. Because in my story, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Because in my story, I win.”

Xiaa stood from the stool, raising her cup. “Very well, Lady Inah. So long as this part-time writing does not detract from our goals.” She downed the wine before placing it on the counter.

“It won’t.” And with that, Inah pulled the door shut.

***

Inah sat at one of the circular tables in the tavern, gazing at the passing clouds outside the window. She held a pen in hand, a stack of paper and a jar of ink placed on the table. She would truly write out her own side of the story.

And why not? She would have two hundred years – an era – to do it. She couldn’t be out doing her all to fight against fate the entire time. No, she would write her side of the story.

Though what she planned to do with it she hadn’t fully thought out. She could always attempt to publish it, though she guessed the process would be long and tedious, and beyond her tolerance. Perhaps she’d simply leave it in a drawer somewhere, never to be seen by the light of day… until one day when it was uncovered by an ambitious scribe, swearing to discover the truth.

That aside, where would she begin? From when she was a child? From when she first met Celia, or perhaps Morrigan, or Lily? Maybe she should start just before the battle with Celia, keep the story short.

No.

No, this was a tale of darkness. A tale of how things that begin in darkness always end in darkness.

And so that was where she would start, at the same place her darkness did.


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Lairé (Flash Fiction)

A/N:

This was my entry to a flash fiction competition. It was my first time submitting and even writing a story this short, and I managed to get first place!

This story honestly came from nowhere. I had a completely different idea to begin with, then this just popped into mind. Whatever the reasoning behind its origin, I’m very proud of it.

As it’s currently the freshest thing I’ve written (as in completely original and unrelated to my first novel), I’m excited to see what directions my increased ability might open for me.

Enjoy!  


Lairé

At the sandy shore of a coast, there was a boy who asked a simple question. “Are you a siren?”

And at the edge of a shallow sea, there was a girl who gave a simple answer. “No.”

“What are you then?”

The girl frowned before gesturing to her scaled tail. “A mermaid, of course.”

The boy mirrored her expression. “What’s the difference?”

With hands on hips, the girl eyed him wearily. “Sirens are not born.” And then suddenly, she tugged on his shirt and pulled him close for a kiss, before swimming off into the morning sun.

The boy spent the rest of that day thinking only about the gracious dips and dives of the majestic creature. So, of course, like any enamoured youth, he ran back to the same spot the following day. She was there again, still singing her sweet songs.

This time, he asked her name.

“Lairé,” she told him.

Thus, began the first of many shared mornings for the following decade.

They each told stories of their side of the world, his of land and hers of sea. They laughed at the foolish misconceptions that one thought of the other. They sung together… or at least, Lairé sung. And after Lairé taught the boy how to swim, they sometimes swam together.

And of course, they aged together.

It was only a matter of weeks after his eighteenth birthday when the letter came. As the boy turned man held the paper in his hand, he cursed his fate.

He went to the coast on that morning. He knew what he had to say, but lacked the strength to. Lairé swam over in that mesmerising way she always did, humming a smooth tune that gently swept across the sea.

At first, Lairé’s eyes were bright, but then they dimmed. “You’re going to war.”

“What gave it away?”

“I have felt the change in the currents for a long time. I’ve always known this day would come.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You could come with me,” she says, hopeful. “There is a small island not far from here. Nobody lives there, but you could. I could bring you food from the sea, and supplies from downed ships. We could be–”

“No.” He had spent many hours pondering the possibilities. He even knew of better, more sensible ones than she suggested. But the choice was made. “I have to go, Lairé. Not for king and country, but for my family. If I leave to be with you, I will forever hate myself.”

Lairé gave only a somber look as she said, “Come back to me.”

With all the honesty of his heart, the man said, “I will.”

From then on, Lairé waited for many moons.

She waited.

And waited.

And waited.

As the world slowly changed, so did she. Something within her grew cold and weary. There was a wave of something resentful, a steady increase of ire. Her once-sweet songs became bitter things soaked in spite and vile, and her soft hums became harsh whispers.

On one cold and quiet night, she came across a shipwreck. She dived beneath, scouring for whatever treasures she may find. Most of the crew had perished. Except one.

His face had changed just as hers had. It was clear he was now a man of many battles, not all fought with weapons of war. But beneath that, was that same boy.

Lairé brought him as close to their shore as she could. She held his limp body close to her chest, his gentle breaths a final blessing.

Her kind possessed only one power, one she had forever considered a curse. But tonight, on this first and final night they would share together, she was thankful for it.

Lairé closed her eyes and placed her hand on his forehead. She removed any trace of her existence from his memory. She took these memories not out of anger, but out of her last piece of love.

This was Lairé’s final gift. A chance for him to continue living without the pain of remembrance.

She whispered in his ear. “Sirens are not born.”  She then kissed him one last time. “Because they are made.” She pushed the man she once loved into the sea, letting the currents bring him ashore.

Lairé took one last look at him before swimming away across the moonlit ocean, leaving him to a life of lost memories, as she lived on with forlorn melodies.


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