I am slightly behind schedule for Delphinium. But only slightly! I’ve had one Beta finish up Part 1, and another is almost finished. I’m working on Part 2, which is now 25 chapters long, but everything is settled and in the right place. A few chapters have been split up, a few moved over to Book 3, other chapters combined… but it all feels right and in sync now.
So I went ahead and set up the pre-order. Again.
I gave myself a bit of extra time, and factored in how long it’s taking my betas, and chose the release for December 1st. It gives me a month and a half to finish, a month for my betas, and then a few weeks to sew it all together. If I somehow finish early I can always move it up anyway.
I know I did this last year and things fell apart, but I am in a much better space both mentally, with my day-job, and with how I feel as a writer. And I needed a solid date because it wouldn’t put my ass in gear otherwise.
And so without further ado!:
Delphinium, or A Necromancer’s Home is now up to pre-order for the special price of 99¢! It goes up to $2.99 at release, so grab it while you can.
Personal goal: 102 pre-orders to match with Larkspur’s 102 reviews on Amazon.com. If the reviews go up, I’d hope the pre-orders do as well.
I really like titles. Series and book titles hold a lot of meaning, and are very important in how a story grabs you. As I love naming my characters and finding the perfect name for someone, finding the perfect book title can be similarly difficult and fun. Granted, I know many of my titles can be vague or odd sounding (thankfully that kinda works for the fantasy genre) so since I have this blog, I can go ahead and explain! 😛
(I’m sure I’ve explained this before, but searching through this blog I can’t find it. So I either erased it or explained it somewhere else.)
First of all: The Larkspur Series. The first book is called Larkspur. This is a flower that’s both poisonous when consumed and has several meanings in the Language of Flowers. These range from ‘First Love’ (purple), to being fickle (pink). It has also been used in the past to ward off ghosts and other supernatural things. I loved the many meanings and how they related to each other and the realm of Clandestina. I first came across it when I was looking for poisons that Pierre would have also been looking to use. It is also July’s birthflower (like a birthstone, but, well, a flower) and Lizzy was born in my world’s ‘July’ – Iovilios.
I had a series title in mind, The Courting of Life and Death, but it did not feel as natural. I actually released Larkspur with this as the series title, but changed it soon after. I took the ‘Twilight” and “Game of Thrones” approach and named the series after the first title. (I know the series title is A Song of Ice and Fire, but most people are going to call it ‘Game of Thrones’ nowadays. Which is exactly what I wanted to avoid).
Thus started my ‘one word title’ trend for the books of Clandestina.
To make the title a little clearer, though, I was advised to use a subtitle, and so I went with the slightly older fashion of adding “or” and a short description of the work as an EitherOrTitle (TV tropes link!). In the end it was Larkspur, or A Necromancer’s Romance.
(Yes, I say necromancer even though Pierre is never referred to canonically as a necro-mancer, but a Suitor of Death, or a practitioner of necrocræft. This is further explored and clarified in book 2. -mancy means divination and while it’s a catch-all now for ‘magic’ it is not in Noctuina. But everyone ‘knows’ what a necromancer is so I put it in.)
Here with go with book 2- Delphinium, or A Necromancer’s Home. Again it relates to flowers. The same flower, actually. Larkspur is the common name for the flower, and Delphinium is the genus. To me that means it was larger, more specific, more encompassing. Fitting for a sequel. A Necromancer’s Home was also Necromancer’s Love at first, before the story expanded and was about much more than just Pierre and Lizzy.
(Originally Delphinium was named Spadille, after the capital city in Piques. Spadille, of course, is another name for the Ace of Spades, known as the card of Death).
Book 3 continues on with this: Aconitella, or A Necromancer’s Wife. Aconitella is another scientific name, this time it is a subgenus of Delphinium. Now that we’ve had the common name and the more encompassing genus, we get back to things that are more, say, concentrated. There is not much known about this very subgenus, but the name caught my attention. It seems to be similar to the name Aconitum, wolf’s bane/monkshood, a cousin of the Larkspur, and so I assume the name is taken from the same place, the Greek akónītos, “without dust, without struggle.” It is named such because once poisoned you did not have the time to struggle and simply fell down dead. You may not even have realized that you were dying before it’s too late. I liked this idea of falling into danger without realizing it, almost peacefully dying without a struggle because you were captured so thoroughly. In this book Lizzy and Pierre marry at the very start, and Elizabeth finds herself in the middle of something that she was not aware of entirely before. It is one thing to be a friend, or even someone courting a man who loves death, but to be his wife may be to find yourself in too deep.
Book 4, Consolida, or A Necromancer’s Love, involves another subgenus. Consolida. To consolidate is to come together, or to secure something. It also reminded me of console, to help someone work through pain or grief. It felt like a nice fitting end to everything that has been done throughout the series. The subtitle A Necromancer’s Love evens it out- because this love, which was at first only death itself, has become so much more throughout the years that this series will cover.
Of course that’s not the end! As I mentioned in a previous post this is only series 1 of 4 planned out for Clandestina. But I’ll explain those titles in more detail when I get to them
Chapters 1-14, the first 40% or so of Delphinium, has been sent to my betas!!!
I’m aiming to send the Part 1 Beta out to the beta readers on August 1st. That will give me two more ‘weekends’ with how I my work-week is planned out, and makes it reasonable but not ‘I can put this off forever.’
Tonight I’ll finish up chapters 11, 12, and 13, with tomorrow hopefully getting 14 and 15 done, though they still have a lot more writing involved than just the edits in 11-13. 16-21 during the week and that second ‘weekend’ of mine.
August and September will be finishing up Part 2, sending that to betas, doing my own look-over of Part 1 (and then 2) after the betas, with it all being wrapped up and Delphinium being released sometime in October.
I really want to put up a pre-order… but I also know that that might be a bad idea. So instead I’m posting about it here publicly for some accountability without it being the end-all-be-all when Life decides to give me the finger again.
Now back to that last scene in Chapter 11 so I can get to spiffing up 12. 13 is over wordcount so that’s nice, because I don’t think I can stretch 11 and 12 without it feeling forced. It should even out about right though.
Delphinium is about 80% finished. I have most of it written out, I just need to connect the last pieces together and have it make sense. A few new characters keep popping in here and there as well, so I have to manage how I introduce them and if they get any significant page-time. Also trying to juggle a few new points of view, but I think those will really only be significantly implemented in book 3. For now it’s by far mostly Pierre, Lizzy, and then a few other characters getting a ‘cameo’ scene.
Delphinium has 38 chapters. Part 1 consists of chapters 1-21, and is 90% done. Chapters 1-10 are ready to be sent to betas. I’m fixing up / adding onto chapters 11-21 and when that’s done I’ll send it out to said betas. I thought about sending out 1-10 already, but splitting it into 1/4ths just seemed like too much even for me.
Chapters 22-38 are less done, but still have everything plotted out already. I know where it’s all going, the end, and it wraps up nicely with no major cliffhanger. I’ll get on writing more in those chapters after I send the first half out to be read.
Oh, and the total wordcount will be around 110,000 words (each chapter is going to be about 3000 words, but lengths vary). For comparison Larkspur was only 15,000. I want to make this book the best it can be, and really showcase my writing and the realm of Clandestina in a way that Larkspur only hinted at. Honestly there’s so much I didn’t know about Clandestina or my characters when I was writing Larkspur, much of this is a surprise and an exploration of the world for me as for you.
I thought about putting it up for pre-order again. It just hit me that it’s been a year since I put it up for pre-order the first time. A lot has happened to me in that time, a lot has changed for me, and with my writing and the story. I just found a new character and his family last week even! But I realized that while the pre-order copies sold were awesome and the pressure helped me a bit, it did not pan out well last time. And the last thing I want it to tempt fate and try it again only to have it all go bananas.
So instead I’m making myself accountable by writing this and being open.