While everyone else is in a dither about J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym and whether or not her new book is doing well, I have taken an axe to the series I’ve been working on. Not THE axe, mind you. Have no fear, the Tairenth novels will proceed! If you take note of the progress bar for my current projects, you’ll see that Book One is nearly finished—and it’s pretty good, if I dare say so myself. It tells the story of Kai’s youth and carries him through some very terrible times. All very exciting, but I also feel like it handicaps the best part of the story, which occurs later in his life. I’m waffling wildly—which suits one of my favorite quotes: Indecision is the key to flexibility.

In the meantime, I’m reordering my timeline(s), reconstructing my beginning, and having a world of fun working on the maps. I’m working on a combination of outline and discovery writing. While the logical, orderly part of me ardently wishes for the structure of an outline, I find it difficult to create one. I just want to write! But I need to know where I’m going… Even with a vague outline, I find that I write myself right out of it.

Must. Be. Disciplined!

So… who is this Kai fellow?

(Original image from the 
movie “Swordfish”
and wildly photo-manipulated…)

The name is short for “Sherakai,” and when I started using it years ago the “Kai” part was unique. Clearly, people throughout the universe followed his story online and copied, eh? When I sat down to put his story into a book I thought about changing it—for about five minutes. And when I chose Hugh Jackman as the model for the character, he wasn’t nearly as famous as he is today. That’s the breaks. I’ve been writing about Kai for over ten years, and I don’t care to change either of those aspects about him. And I am unanimous in that! (Anyone who knows where that line comes from gets a virtual cookie.)

Sherakai dan Tameko was born into a noble family, the youngest of four sons. He had three sisters. He did not have the responsibilities of his older brothers, but his father refused to let him grow up to be a wastrel, so he was taught something of animal husbandry, reading and writing, and the manly and honorable art of the sword. Before he’d settled on something to occupy his future as an adult, disaster struck—as it must in these kinds of tales—and Kai lost everything, including his Self. A mage with far bigger and grander plans than running a mere barony made Kai over. Completely. Mutated by the magic and forced to unspeakable deeds, Kai eventually managed to escape captivity.

Or did he?

His mutation included having a demon thrust inside him. That, together with rigorous training at the hands of the mage—makes him a formidable warrior. Efforts by the demon and the mage to gain control threaten to drive Sherakai to madness. War provides a way to use his particular skill sets, keeps him and the demon fed, and provides an outlet for the terrible violence he harbors. It does not win him friends and he is often hunted. He craves peace. To obtain it, he must come to terms with the demon he loathes—and outwit the mage who will stop at nothing to reclaim his lost treasures.

Stay tuned for more insights into the characters and world of Tairenth!
In other news, I am thrilled to find As the Crow Flies on the GoodReads’ list, “Best Indie Fantasy Books Worth a Read.” Wow! If you agree that it’s worth a read and want to help spread the word, please go give it a vote.
Before you go, what’s your opinion on prequels? Do you love ’em or hate ’em? Why? In what instances do you think they work best?