When I wrote Of Honey and Wildfires, I wanted it to be a standalone. It’s own story, in its own package. However, as I wrote the book and then ended it, I realized I was not okay with that being… it. These characters needed their own conclusion. We had the trial. Now we need the redemption. Plus, I just love the world, and there are soooooooooo many awesome ways for me to play with shine.
Basically, I typed “the end” and realized I was not ready for this to be a one-and-done thing.
There’s a point near the end of Of Honey and Wildfires when Arlen is telling Elroy a story he was told as a child.
“Do you want to hear the story, Elroy?”
“Anything,” the man replied. “Please. Give me something to hold on to.”
The naked desperation in those words filled Arlen with ice.
“There’s a land,” he said. “Far, far away, across an ocean with a whirlpool for a heart. This is where the world starts, and the world ends. It’s called Sefate.” Elroy had calmed down, his hands crossed over his breast, rocking himself back and forth gently, head bowed and eyes closed as he listened. “Sefate is not a place you or I would recognize, for it is not as much a land, as it is a tree.”
“A tree?” Elroy asked.
“Yes,” Arlen replied. “A tree, shooting out from the middle of the world, so large, so sprawling, entire civilizations exist on but one of its branches. Can you imagine such a thing? There is nothing but ocean around its base, and people, like you or I, living their lives on its limbs. As a boy, I used to vow I would run away and find Sefate. I wanted to live there, with nothing but the beating heart of the world under my feet.”
“Sefate,” Elroy said. “I should like to find a place like that. It sounds very peaceful.”
I wrote that story with nothing really in mind but a fable you tell someone when they are in pain and you want to distract them, but the idea of Sefate really burrowed in my brain.
So basically, what I realized by the end of Of Honey and Wildfires was that I was not done telling Arlen, Cassandra, Ianthe, Elroy, and Chris’s stories yet. And I also wanted to explore this world I’ve created, and the shine that fills it, and tell more stories about the lives it touches.
The story of Glass Rhapsody, the book following Of Honey and Wildfires came to me in about ten minutes flat. It was basically there as soon as I typed “the end” after that epilogue in Of Honey and Wildfires. The story for Daughter of the Bright Earth was also there, but it took a bit longer for me to flesh out.
Sefate and shine is what ties it all together.
So, I’ve made a few decisions recently, and I want to share them with you.
- Glass Rhapsody is going to be published early in 2021. Daughter of the Bright Earth will follow in the summer.
- Songs of Sefate is going to be the series title that serves as the umbrella for a conglomeration of stories that all take place in different parts of the same world. For example, Of Honey and Wildfires and Glass Rhapsody will essentially be a duology. Daughter of the Bright Earth will, as of right now, be a complete standalone set in a (very, very, very, very, VERY–seriously, prepare yourselves) different part of the same world. I have the rough outline of a book I’m tentatively calling The Reason for Stars, which will come sometime after that.
- Binding this together under one series, Songs of Sefate, will both will bind my stories together, thematically speaking, while giving me the freedom to play around with diverse settings and themes the way I really, really want to. Stay tuned, and hopefully you’ll gain a new understanding of shine, and the world, and how it’s all interconnected as I keep telling stories in it.
- I’ve updated the goodreads page (and I’m working on Amazon right now) to reflect this.
And because you have all stuck with me this far, here is a teaser from Glass Rhapsody. Please keep in mind, this is unedited so it will likely change before you read it in the book.
Thanks for sticking with me, readers! I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I am.