It’s been a while! How you doing?
Given what’s currently going on in the world, the answer’s probably “not great”. I feel ya, I really do. But one of the ways I deal with the real world is to spend a good chunk of time visiting Domanska, a fictional world I’m now heavily invested in. That’s what I’m going to talk about here, and I invite you to tag along with me if it helps take your mind off that heavy reality for just a few minutes!
I’m about to release a new book into the wild, so it seems as good a time as any to provide a bit of an update as to what I’ve been up to and what the long-term plans are for my writing and the world of Domanska in particular.
First up, the latest!
Apart from a handful of assignments in my high school and college days, short stories are something I’ve never really tried before (against all writerly advice, I know). However, it’s always been on the radar as something I should at least take a look at, both as a way of honing my writing skills and as a way of further exploring the history of Domanska and the characters who dwell within.
Of course, I didn’t want to just present these stories individually or publish a collection, so I decided to create a format where I could present a series of interconnected stories and use a narrative device to provide some context. Thus was born Tales From a Domanskan Fireside.
Each book in this series of short novels (I’ve aimed for novella length, but damn that’s hard!) will centre on one character from each of the main novels, as they sit beside a fire sharing stories of their lives or else reminiscing about the past through their own memories.
The first two books of the series will be released this year, both focusing on characters from Wolfeater. The first is The Scars of Jorn Redclaw (19th July), which explores the past of a famed warrior of the Grey Crow and the right-hand man of the Wolfeater himself. The second book is Glories Gone (December 2022), which flips the coin to the Valor, enemy of the Grey Crow, and tells the stories of Velimir, a bison farmer with a bloody past. The fires that feature in both these stories take place the night before Wolfeater begins, with destiny closing in.
Here are the covers and blurb for both books in the new series:
They say some stories are written in blood. But, sooner or later, it’s the scars that hold the truth.
No one knows this better than Jorn Redclaw, a man who made his name fighting beside the legendary Wolfeater. His scarred flesh is all the proof needed of a life lived… and the price paid.
But when you find yourself sitting beside a campfire in the middle of a winter’s night, what else is there to do but relive the glorious past?
From the jagged cut to his brow, suffered when swimming the Adalvas, to the ruined remains of his leg, earned in a brutal fight with the monstrous Old Bear, Jorn will share his stories with the lucky few he calls his friends.
But has he forgotten the only truth that counts? That some wounds never heal.
Some stories are written in blood, others hang on the wall.
Velimir knows the truth of this better than most, for he has dedicated himself to the Great Hunt and the finest deeds of his life are mounted over the fireplace.
From the curled horns of a mountain goat, taken during his first trip into the wilds, to the scarred face of the Mother of Bears, earned during a brutal encounter with the savage Grey Crow, it’s all there on the wall.
Now, stranded alone at home in the midst of the worst winter in a generation, Velimir once again finds himself revisiting those past glories.
And he’ll learn from them the biggest lesson of all… that sometimes not even the past can prepare you for what’s coming.
So what’s next?
For those who don’t know, the first book from the world of Domanska was actually The Ember Child, which was itself the first book in a planned trilogy (The Godsbane). Those plans changed slightly when I realised most readers these days prefer the trilogy to be complete before they give it a go.
I then decided I would switch my focus to writing a couple of standalone novels, to try to grow a readership and put some meat on the bones of this world I’m crafting. Wolfeater was the first of those standalones, and I’m currently working on the second.
Whilst work continues on that second standalone, I still want the world of Domanska to grow. To do that, I’ll also be revisiting The Ember Child. I’m planning to release a fresh edit of the book next year, hopefully sharpening things up (including a new cover) and honing the story based on how the world has grown since Wolfeater. This will be followed up by a Tales From a Domanskan Fireside featuring one of the characters from The Ember Child.
By then, it should be time to release the next standalone, before returning to books 2 and 3 of the Godsbane trilogy. And all of that says nothing of the fact that all these stories will have some interweaving threads tying them all together, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with all the standalone and series-based movies connected by an overarching evil.
And in the world of Domanska, though no one knows it yet… Thanos is on his way.
Thanks for reading!
26th June 2022