After a long hiatus, I started writing again about a year ago. Very slowly at first. What I’ve produced is in various states of completion.
They tell us that we should meet readers’ expectations. If you’re known for writing Epic Fantasy with Gay Main Characters, that’s it. You can’t write anything else, unless you do it under a new pen name. You should never confuse readers.
As usual, I’ve ignored well meant advice. Nothing of what I’ve written so far could be called Epic Fantasy.
- The Man by the Lake, a short story: finished, final version & edited.
- The Conqueror, a short novella: finished, but needs to be revised and edited.
- Murder in Lorseth (working title), a short novel: finished, but needs at least two rounds of revision and then editing.
In this post I’ll lift a tip of the veil of the last one.
Murder in Lorseth
Murder in Lorseth (working title) is sort of a cozy mystery with two unlikely sleuths, set in the world of Anaxantis, a few months after the Battle of the Zinchara.
The story runs parallel to the main action of Book IV, The Invisible Hands — Part I: Gambit. As such it contains some spoilers for those who haven’t read the first trilogy, The Invisible Chains. Nothing major though.
Murder in Lorseth could confuse some readers. Although it is set in the World of Anaxantis it isn’t Epic Fantasy. It’s more of a Cozy Mystery. In other words: I’ve done it all wrong. Again. Readers of the main series will miss the epic content, and the male-on-male action is limited as well, though implicitly very present. Readers for whom this story is their first venture into the World of Anaxantis and who go on to read the main series, may be horrified to discover the not-so-cozy narrative of those books.
And I’m sure Murder in Lorseth will upset some Cozy Mystery fans as well.
I’m revising this one at the moment. Then it still needs to be edited and I have to find a suitable cover. Last but not least, I have to find someone to draw a map of Lorseth and environs. Because you can’t have a murder mystery without a map. Everyone knows that.
I’ll post a more substantial excerpt in a few days, but meanwhile here is a little tease. Readers of the main series will recognize the structure of the narrator introducing the story. But this narrator isn’t Randamor.
“I see in your eyes that you haven’t come to visit Medwyna the Midwife to hear her moan about her younger days, long gone by. You know I brought both of you boys into this world, and the world was better for it. But did you know that I also brought your mothers into this world? And your mothers’ mothers? The same with your fathers and your fathers’ fathers. That’s how old I am… Still, that’s not why you came. So, why did you?”
“Ah, Randamor send you. Got tired of you, did he? I’m not surprised. My dear friend is even older than I am. And all those terrible memories must weigh down on him.”
“I’m sure if you leave him be for a week or so, he will be glad to see you again. And he has many more stories to tell. What that man must have heard… and seen.”
“Yes, I know a lot of stories too that were told about the warlord and his friends. Not the big ones, though. Not the ones about battles and intrigues, and all those terrible and important events. If you want to hear those, you’ll have to wait until my grouchy old friend’s mood turns and he is prepared to tolerate you again. But, I can tell you some of the minor incidents that happened.”
“Now that I think about it, some of them were quite horrible in their own right. Just not on the same scale. Not the clashes of states. More like little tragedies happening between people.”
“Let me see… There was this girl from Lorseth — Lorseth Market, not Lorseth Castle — who was murdered. Oh, at first it seemed clear who had done the vile deed, and if not for two obstinate pages the wrong man could have been convicted of the atrocious killing.
Yes, it was them. How very clever of you, Verial. In fact, their reputation for solving mysteries stems from then.
It was several months after the Battle of the Zinchara, but before the prince-warlord send them as secret messengers to his mother, Queen Emelasuntha.
I’m sure most of you have guessed who the two unlikely sleuths are. The last sentence gives it away. If you know, please leave a comment.
On another note… something else I should have done ages ago but didn’t, was create a Facebook author page. Well, I corrected that mistake recently. It’s still a bit bare, but you can follow it here, if you’re so inclined: Andrew Ashling’s Facebook Author Page.