Delphinium beta

I’m almost finished with Part 1 of Delphinium’s Beta Copy! I’ll need to stay up tonight to get it all like I want it, but I’ll be sending it to my betas before I go to sleep. I’ll finish Part 2 in the upcoming two or three weeks and then edit part 1 again as they look over part 2. Finally I’ll wrap that up and put it all together as the final manuscript on Amazon
 
It’s going to end up being around 100,000 words in length (Larkspur is only about 15,000 words. For another comparison it’ll be about the length of Prisoner of Azkaban). I was hoping for a bit more, but scenes got cut or rearranged, and I’m sure more of that will happen with even more editing. But I think it’s going to end up as a great sequel. We’re at 38 pre-orders and think that that we still have time to hit 50.
After release I’ll return to posting here more often, Scenes and worldbuilding stuff included. I’ll also start working on Book 3 and the first book in another series.

Delphinium is up for pre-order!

Fairies, disease, and the heir’s return.

Pierre Salvador and his beloved, Elizabeth Anne, travel to his childhood home for the summer. They intend to spend some time alone together before he becomes the ruling duc (perhaps with her at his side). But Pierre finds himself set to inherit a mistrusting people with an uneasy history, and duties cannot be put off any longer. A fatal illness is spreading, he is being claimed by the fée, and someone has already tried to take his life. Though, with his being a Lord of Death, it will take much more to kill him.

The book will come out on August 31st!

I love this book so much. At first it was supposed to be a shortish 30K sequel- have a few small things happen, but nothing too substantial. Now it’s going to be ~120K. So it’s 8 times the length of Larkspur and filled with a number of new characters, plots, and magics.

It isn’t entirely done yet (or else it would be out) but I am finishing it up. A hard deadline like this should help and motivate me (it seems to be helping). So far I’ve gotten several pre-orders, so I’m glad people are still interested. I WILL NOT take this long for book 3. I hope getting into a nice groove with finishing this up helps me get book 3 out a lot faster.

Mailing List Promo!

Early NaNo is going well. I’ve not hit my wordcount exactly every day, but I am consistently working and excited.

With Delphinium now slated to be out soon I wanted to reward you lovely lot.

As you know Larkspur is set as permanently free. This is in the US Amazon, Kobo, and B&N online stores. Amazon in other regions hasn’t price-matched, but it’s at .99 in those places.

Delphinium will be $2.99 at release, maybe upped to $3.99 at a later point. It is going to be 100K+, so *seven* times longer than Larkspur. You will have gotten your money’s worth 🙂

I know I’ve taken ages with it, I know many of you are waiting for it. And so, to those that have joined, or will join, my mailing list before the release will be getting Delphinium for free. After it’s officially out you’ll have to pay. But for the next two months or so (as I finish and then edit it) anyone who joins the list will get a free copy as soon as it is done.

I am not requiring a review to get this copy, though I’d adore if you left your thoughts. This is my gift to you.

Join this list to get a free ARC copy of Delphinium before its release!

Saiva and her language

I meant for this to be a quick post about language, but it seems to have devolved into a little bit of everything.


I write my books in English. And like many fantasy authors this is my variant of ‘the common tongue’ that, for one reason or another, everyone on earth can understand. It makes things easier and it’s a trope that’s well known.

That said, I do not ignore other languages. Clandestina is a mix of countries, but mainly influenced by France and England. You see this from the main character’s name, Pierre, to the occasional French term or phrase thrown in. It is flavoring, and at the same time it sets up how the world works.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We’re going to need some of the mythological background here too.

Saiva is the personification of Nothing. She is the pair and partner of Amôru, Everything Good- The One God (lower-g gods/goddesses are mentioned sometimes in world, but they’re not technically gods in the same way, usually just kyrioi or similar). Their son, Sebelas, is the personification of Good, and is ruling until sin can be extinguished from the world and his father can return.

If Amôru is comparable to the Judeo-Christian God, and Sebelas is Jesus, Saiva is a mix of the Holy Mother of God and Buddha.

She is not evil. She is not the opposite of Amôru. If Amôru is the charity of sharing food, Saiva’s is the feeling of thanks and warmth afterwards. If Amôru is a great tree, Saiva is the soil after the tree has been cut down waiting for another plant. She is what is left, ‘a good nothing’ after a good takes place. She is also seen as universal- the common denominator between all people and creatures. While Amôru may have specific laws that certain bestia may not break, and others can, she is the same to all.

So when referencing this common tongue anywhere in Noctuina, it is called Saiva’s Tongue. She isn’t necessary the creator of it (though she might be, I’m not sure about the mythology of it yet), but it represents her.

That isn’t the only language in the world though. Each realm is inspired by a number of varying real-life cultures, with one being the main influence usually. This culture tends to bring its language with it into the realm, being said realm’s tongue, and a more intimate and personal way of speaking. When a character in Clandestina switches to French they mean it far more than if it was in English. Promises turn into swears, vows might be preferred in the realm’s language, emphasis is placed on the words.

Terms sometimes too appear in different languages. Words in general have meaning, especially in Noctuina, so names are not passed on without a thought, and terms are specific (but like I said before, not everyone gets this right all the time– calling a kyria a goddess, for instance).

Pierre is a duc. This does not just mean I wanted to write duke in French to make it look foreign. It also means that, in his duchy, he is the authority of all bestia residing there. So a fée (or a vampire, or a werewolf, or any other bestia) who lives in his domain will have to answer to Pierre.

[Side note: Aimé is referred to as a prince, but the spelling is the same in French and English. It is pronounced differently though.  I do mean it to be the French term though].

If he was merely a duke, a vampire or a fée might be able to disobey the laws of his land, as long as they complied with the laws of their own people.

Of course the world is never simple, and there are many instances where the law can be seen one way or another based on how you interpret it. A visiting fée to Pierre’s land might be able to argue they belong to their Queen, not him, because they are only there for a short time. And a human in Faery might have very few rights indeed, no matter their status outside of that plane.

New Author Note

I’ve written a new author note at the beginning of Larkspur. It has a few calls to action as well as my warm regards. At the end of the book I’ve also added the opening scene to Delphinium – read it here

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

Hello, dear reader. Thank you for picking up Larkspur, my first story out of many planned. I hope you enjoy it and I’d truly appreciate a review after you finish.

This is a dark story, with equal displays of affection and violence. The tenants and practices of the magic are strictly fictional. But I hope you see the love as real.

Volume two of The Larkspur Series, Delphinium, or A Necromancer’s Home, is being written and will be out soon. It expanded from a short sequel to a 100K+ novel, so it is taking me a bit longer than I’d planned to finish. In the meantime, I am writing short scenes, vignettes, from Clandestina and other realms, on my website – vmjaskiernia.com

If you would like upcoming information, tidbits, and promotional days, please sign up for the Noctuinad Mailing list – www.eepurl.com/P2FIT

In addition to the current series, many other stories that take place in Clandestina (and in other realms of Noctuina) are in the works.

You may also contact me personally by:

Email:  vmjaskiernia@gmail.com

Twitter:  @vmjaskiernia

Happy reading,

Victoria M. Jaskiernia

Mistakes, worldbuilding, and trusting the story

It was once thought that a muse, or a daimon  (genius in Latin), brought fantastic ideas to artists. There’s a great TED talk about it here: http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius?language=en

And it makes sense in a way. Art, while  now we think of it as coming from one person, is also the person’s entire life, various situations, thoughts, emotions, experiences, jumbled up until the brain decides to sort it so someone can write a book, paint a picture, or compose a song.

Our brains are also known for doing many things under the radar. We don’t think about breathing or blinking (until right now when I mention it) nor about our blood pumping or hair growing. It just happens.

And here’s where I want to talk about trusting the story. I’ve written a few posts about how I had to go back and tweak small things in Larkspur because, having worked on the second book now for about a year, there are things I may look at differently. Something small, like a phrase or a name that fit at the time and does not any more. Plwto becoming Thanatos, and then changed to Akhlys as I worked out how the lands of the dead was structured. Not a huge deal, and for the 300 or so people that have an edition with another name, hopefully my books will never be assigned in class and so you won’t get the answer wrong on a quiz.

Then there are the things I wrote it not knowing why, only to find out how they fit in later. It’s your story, your brain, your genius, coming up with a way to make it all work even if you think you’ve written yourself into a corner. All without you knowing.

Sean Platt calls it trusting the story. And it’s helped me when there are large things I sometimes can’t find a good answer for.

Take Pierre’s name. Pierre is as French as you can get, and since Clandestina is heavily based in a French feel that’s great. The problem comes with his second name- Salvador. Not French. And while I play loose with what names come from where, Clandestina has English and Celtic influences as secondary characteristics, not Spanish or Italian (though those are in neighboring realms).

Someone reading my story pointed this out, and how a French noble with a Spanish name in real life would be mistrusted.

I did the whole ‘this is fantasy, some of the names don’t always jive’ but it still bothered me. Whyever would he have a name that was so different?

Then as I was thinking I remember the old legends about how a name holds power, and how fairies in particular were sneaky and somewhat immoral about their tricks. Pierre, having a father who lived in Faery, would have course not tell anyone his real full name. So he, much like I when originally naming the character, picked the name because it sounded cool- not realizing it didn’t fit with the scheme of the land just yet.

So from a mistake came a whole thread to the world that I didn’t know was there before. And it just works.

New book summary

So begins my revitalized writing-and-marketing career– with a new book description for Larkspur.

Forbidden magic, a childhood love, and a goddess of death.

An old romance is reignited when Duc Pierre Salvador returns from University, but his love, family, and friends are unaware of his dealings with the Lady of Death. Being a surgeon is not enough, and he strives to know all the mystical and illegal means of controlling life and death. With his final task to master necrocræft, he must choose what is most important to him.
***
This is a novelette. It is ~15,000 words, or about 60 pages.

It isn’t perfect, I’m still going to tweak it a bit, but with a promotion tomorrow I wanted this newer version up so maybe it can entice some more clicks. I may change the ‘have to choose’ part, since frankly that isn’t true- while he probably should choose, Pierre often wants both.