My Current TBR Pile

So I know things have been quiet around here since Fatedancer launched. Part of that has just been me trying to catch back up on projects I left hanging to handle all of the aspects of publishing and promotion (like, you know, actually writing the next Bulletproof Witch book), but some of it has also been getting through the pile of books that I picked up on release day, had been planning to read, or stumbled across and sounded interesting. Here’s what my TBR pile looks like at the moment:

  1. Beneath a Brass Sky by Eli Steele
  2. Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson
  3. A Star-Reckoner’s Lot by Darrel Drake
  4. Blood and Steel by Seymour Zeynalli
  5. Six-Gun Tarot by RS Belcher
  6. Volsyng by Set Sytes
  7. Dispel Illusion by Mark Lawrence
  8. Gunmetal Gods by Zamil Akhter
  9. The Brightest Shadow by Sarah Lin
  10. A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham

Not gonna lie, I’ll probably DNF on a few of those (I’m rather picky about what I read, so if something doesn’t hold my interest I tend to move on) but for the moment I’m optimistic about the pile. Even though I’d like to get through these before 2020 ends (and a whole new slew of books starts coming out) that’s not going to happen unless I quit my day job and become a full-time reader.

Pity. That sounds like the perfect job, actually.

Map of Saint Orak City

Thought I’d share a preview of one of the maps from Fatedancer today. Most of the story takes place in or around the city of Saint Orak, which is one of the most populated locations on the planet (Equivalent to NYC).

The map itself was quite an undertaking, and took close to seven hours to complete, since most of those building had to be placed in one at a time. Still, I think it was quite worth it—the whole thing really has a real-city feel to it, which hopefully transfers to the book as well.

As you can see in the image below, the city is quite dense right up to the walls, after which there is little in the way of civilization shown. While there are towns and other settlements that lie outside the walls, due to the constantly respawning monsters that are common both inside and outside the walls, most of humanity tends to favor defensiveness in their building choices. Thus, even farms out in the wilderness will usually have fences and armed patrols around their perimeters.

Inside Saint Orak itself, a plethora of guilds work collaboratively (sometimes) to keep the resident monster populations in check. This means that most citizens can live their lives in relative safety, but rarely venture outside the walls. When travel is required, going by sea is typically the preferred method, since monster incursions are usually far less frequent.

The city is divided into seven districts, although their borders and names tend to fluctuate over time. Trenches and Waydowns remain the poorest districts in the city, while Heights exists almost as a city-within-a-city, allowing the wealthier citizens to stay as near to the city’s best protections against monster attacks as possible.

Fatedancer Cover

So I thought I would do something a bit different than usual and share some of the in-progress images for the development of Fatedancer. MiblArt was particularly open about each step of the process, and I thought it was rather neat seeing it from concept to final product.

First, I sent them a general idea of what I was looking for (I won’t share the particulars because it contains minor spoilers). They took those ideas and provided a rough B&W sketch:

Next, after a few change suggestions, they provided the first rough color image:

A few more tweaks later, and the more substantial color image was complete:

At that point I was pretty satisfied with the image, so all that was left was adding some text and cover-afying it!

I think the final result came out wonderfully!