What’s Happening with A Trial of Sparks & Kindling?

As you all know, my summer was a whirlwind of writing. I wrote the first draft of A Trial of Sparks & Kindling (and then some) in 7 weeks. It was intense. I’m still not fully human after that sprint.

Now that I have one book out, I have a teeny tiny itty bitty fanbase, mostly made up of friends and family, or the odd friend-of-friend or family-of-family. These folks–few as they are, bless them–are freaking vicious. All they want is a sequel. Like yesterday. And they make the fact known loudly and constantly.

Which brings us to this blog post.

What’s happening with ATOSAK?

The manuscript has been beta read by a team of superhuman readers, who picked up the crumbling plot and glued it back together with the best ideas ever. Some of these folks (I’m looking at you, Amber) brainstormed ideas for Book 3 that will blow off your socks, but okay. We’ll get to that.

I got the beta feedback, made some adjustments, then sent the book to my most epic and wonderful sensei and editor, Nerine Dorman.

So to answer the question, a lot that involves a red pen is probably happening with ATOSAK, but it’s out of my hands for now.

So, what are you doing in the meantime?

Well, brainstorming. I’ve had a few of these sessions up to this point.

Most brainstorming involves my devious and brilliant cousin Tanja, who finds ways to be cruel to readers previously unknown to man. With her by my side, the course for book three was plotted out.

The betas also had some brilliantly delectable ideas, but this last brainstorming session with Amber was wild. From now on, it’ll be known as the brainstorming session to rule all brainstorming sessions, the One That Changed Everything. Characters who were set to die will live to ruin things for the other characters in ways nobody could predict, while some of those who had been home-free and would survive won’t be so lucky anymore. Or perhaps they are the lucky ones, who get away before the shit hits the fan in the most explosive of ways.

A lot of my time is spent refining these ideas, and finding ways to join the different storylines in a coherent way. Most of this happens around 2AM when I’m woken in a cold sweat with some brilliantly evil ideas of my own. 😀

I’ve never been much of a planner, but ATOSAK has changed that. For book 3 to work, I must have a detailed general plan–and that’s what I’m creating.

I’ve already written a chunk of Book 3, but that’s on hold ATM as I’m editing another project, which brings us to point 3.

Cover prep

My fabulously talented friend and co-author, Tallulah Lucy, will once again design the cover. While I’m editing her upcoming novel, Keyflame (exciting!!) she’s looking at the pinboard we’ve created for the cover.

I can tell you ATOSAK will have a red cover, but not much else is confirmed.

For A Study of Ash & Smoke, we went with this stained glass window on the cover.

ATOSAK will also have a window, also featuring Cara. This time, though, her pose will be different. We’re still working out the rest of the details, but it’s so exciting just to be playing around with colours and ideas.


Okay, I will. 🙂

ATOSAK features a brand new viewpoint character. Everybody’s favourite rake, Pointy, gets his very own voice, and boy, does he use it.

I had the best time ever writing him, and really loved seeing him come to life on the page.

Anyway, here’s a little scene from ATOSAK, where Pointy is hurt, but glib as ever.

Jeanita was hunched over her table when Pointy entered the basement room. Nathaniel prepared ingredients for her, and neither had the common decency to look up, even when Pointy shut the door a bit harder than what was necessary.

He wiped the sweat from his brow with a trembling hand then tutted. “So rude.”

“What do you want, Du Pont?” Jeanita spoke around the pencil clamped between her teeth.

“Sutures, if you wouldn’t mind too much, apothecary.”

Nathaniel paled when he met Pointy’s gaze, then jumped up and grabbed a stool. “What the hell happened?”

“I fell into a rosebush.”

And that’s all I have for you today.

If you haven’t done so yet, do be a dear and check out A Study of Ash & Smoke, and please leave a review when you’re done! Reviews give authors wings.



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