You might’ve noticed the disappearance of a particular set of books from Amazon, mainly the very one that brought the spellster universe into being. A certain slow-burn romance about a closeted bi-sexual and his journey towards finding love with a cocky self-assured elf via tragedy and lots of people dying.
Yes, I’m talking about In Pain and Blood.
Almost six years have passed since my Muse first brought me Dylan’s tale as I was still working through my own self-realisation of being a non-binary bisexual. In Pain and Blood took me two years to write and was close to a whopping 310,000 words. The first 10k or so was also lost to a corrupted file, which caused many tears and frantic typing.
A lot has changed since then. The world it’s set in has been fleshed out, particular lines have been drawn and, as I laid out the prequel starring Tracker, I realised that there are quite a few things I would like to fix. And some other points I would add.
Namely, Tracker’s pov.
The idea was always for me to take it through my new editing method because, despite the number of people who worked on it, I find another error every time I open a chapter.
My original plan was to wait until I’d time to tackle the beast once again. It likes to throw in a mean left hook every so often and it doesn’t pull its punches. But with the appearance of Tracking Trouble I went in a different direction.
Now that, with the case of human error on my end that I’ve mentioned here before, that led to releasing Tracking Trouble’s pre-order early, rather than in the New year as I intended… it means the rest of the plan must step up. And, with it, one major change: splitting a behemoth of a book.
I will stress that this wasn’t an easy decision to come to. It requires far more work from me than I had originally allotted (and several new covers), but I strongly believe these changes will improve the story, give certain points in the tale space to breathe, etc. It’ll also mean the paperbacks will have room for the companion novellas.
Even in casually plotting the beats of Tracker’s pov scenes, back before I was certain, I saw how it gives the tale a different flow. It’ll still be Dylan’s story, but the spellster-hunting elf will have scenes set before they meet.
There are already scenes I half wrote when In Pain and Blood was first forming and I did it with an eye towards adding Tracker’s pov: pieces of him searching for signs of his fellow hounds, of him reaching out to Dylan before they were together. I didn’t add them because anything more would’ve made it unmanageable as a single story and…
Well, when I first started writing in the spellster universe, the idea was to have each book centre on one couple. That changed slightly with the addition of the companion novella, An Unexpected Gift, but I still thought I could contain them.
Then To Target the Heart came to me and I knew it couldn’t be one story. Combined, the books that make up the A Tale of Two Princes duology sit at 496k. Making Darshan and Hamish’s tale two seemed the only logical choice and it came with a natural break.
In Pain and Blood also has a spot that makes it possible to become two stories (if you’ve read the book, you might even guess where that is). Having it break anywhere will require work, but it really should’ve been two at the beginning.
Alas, stubbornness is a deeply ingrained trait in my household…When it comes to the story itself, I don’t see myself changing major plot points. However, I am, as yet, unsure just how much Tracker’s pov will alter things (I am announcing this months before I had planned to tackle it, after all). I do know the additions will account for around another 40-60k overall.
So, to make it clear, the Spellster and the Hound series is plotted to become five books:
- Tracking Trouble (the prequel I’m in the middle of writing) Currently coming Jan 31st 2022
- In Pain and Blood (the first half of the original behemoth) Re-releasing Aug 16th 2022
- And the World Crumbled (a companion novella that I’ve been meaning to write for years, but held off because it was set in the middle of the story)
- In Love and Death (the second half of the original behemoth)
- An Unexpected Gift (the extended, erotic, epilogue to the behemoth will likely remain unchanged)
- In Fear and Darkness (a fresh tale that’ll no longer need to explain so much of Tracker’s past with it being in the rest of the books)