I have 3 signed advance copies of Kingdom of Ashes, and I’m very willing to share! If you’re already on Goodreads, you can enter the giveaway here. If you’re not on Goodreads, what are you waiting for? It takes 20 seconds to create an account, and it’s a great way to discover new books.
If you win the giveaway, you’ll receive an autographed paperback and a character card of your choice.
I ship worldwide!
Best of luck and happy reading!
With less than four months left to publication, things are moving at full speed! Kingdom of Ashes is now on Goodreads, and a giveaway is on its way. Stayed tuned for signed paperbacks, postcards, and other fun gifts!
If you are anything like me, then you:
- A) Dream to see your book characters illustrated,
- B) Cannot draw a believable humanoid if your life depended on it.
Luckily, this is where my personal superhero, TheSwanMaindeN, comes in.
When you get an artist to illustrate your characters, you can take different routes. You could describe in detail what exactly you want to see, you could give them complete freedom, or you could go anywhere in between.
When I asked TheSwanMaideN to illustrate my book cover, I gave her a detailed description of what exactly needed to be there. However, when it came to Armida’s portrait, I decided to try something different and to give her only a vague idea about the character. “You are great at drawing hair,” I said, “and even better at drawing dresses. Go for it.”
This was one of my better decisions because – surprise, surprise! – it turns out her imagination is way better than mine. What I got was this:
What inspires you?
This is perhaps one of the more frequent questions writers get. What gives you an idea for a new character, new scene, new book? Inspiration is a tricky thing and can come from the most unexpected sources – reading a news article, watching a beetle crawl, hearing a stranger say a random word. When you go seeking inspiration, it is hard to say where you’ll find what you are looking for, but there are two main sources that are a great starting point – Art and Real Life.
Art could be anything – a book, a painting, a movie, a sculpture, a song. Real Life could be simple everyday conversations with the people in our life. Perhaps someone you know has an intriguing personality and you want to base a character on them? Or perhaps their past experience gives you a story idea? You can also get ideas from observing nature and from traveling and interacting with various people and cultures.
Museums are one place where art and real life meet. Here you can travel to distant lands just by taking a few steps. Besides inspiration they are also great for research – if your story is set in the past or in a place you have never been to, there is only so much you can learn from books. A trip to the museum can be a step into a different world and can give you a better glimpse into your character’s life and surroundings.
Since I’ll be living in London for a few more weeks before leaving the UK, I decided to make the best of what’s left of my stay and revisit some places that inspired me. The Victoria and Albert museum holds a few objects that influenced my writing. This post is about how you can use a trip to the museum to help you shape your story.
I’m happy to present this beautiful character portrait by the talented Nadica Boshkovska (aka TheSwanMaideN on DeviantArt):
If you’ve read the free sample, you have already met Tristan. He is the vampire who first finds Myra in the dungeons and accidentally saves her from interrogation and torture. Arrogant and vain, he is viciously disliked by mostly everyone at court. At a first glance, his loyalty to the Prince is his only redeeming quality, but Myra discovers further bits and pieces of his past, secrets and motivations as the story goes along.
I think the portrait does a great job capturing his personality, or at least the face he shows to most of the world. Once again, I’m very grateful to be working with this skilled artist.
I finished the first draft of Kingdom of Ashes back in summer 2014. After that the manuscript has gone through numerous revisions and has evolved beyond recognition. The story kept growing, until one of my editors suggested that there is enough material for two books. After some thinking I decided the story indeed works better split in two, so now you’ll be getting two novels, Kingdom of Ashes, and Men and Monsters. This means I still have a lot of editing to do to make sure you don’t feel like you’re reading half a book, but I believe I can get the books ready for publication early 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Note that Nightfall is still an ongoing series, and I expect 6-7 books total. I know some readers are hesitant to start a new series, out of fear of series fatigue, and would like to know if the first book can be read as a standalone. To be honest with you, Kingdom of Ashes and Men and Monsters together can definitely be read as a standalone, without reading the following books. However, I wouldn’t recommend reading Kingdom of Ashes without Men and Monsters since a few questions are raised in the first book and answered in the second. You can give it a try, but I’m not sure if it will be satisfactory enough. I just wanted to let you know before you decide to jump into the series 😉
I am happy to present the stunning Kingdom of Ashes ebook cover by the talented Nadica Boshkovska (aka TheSwanMaideN on DeviantArt):