Below you can find Seto's first chapter from Greatmask (due late Nov) where you'll learn a bit more info on just what the Ecsoli want and who they are :)
(If you haven't seen Notch or Flir's first chapters yet, you can read them over here)
The Bone Mask Trilogy started with a different style of cover art, as you can see below – including the rarely seen and never-used Lost Mask cover.
However, after a time, Snapping Turtle and I talked about changing them to more closely reflect the genre. We thought that the original cover for City of Masks might have suggested a bit more ‘horror’ than ‘epic fantasy’ and so Kerry Fox illustrated the new covers – those most of you will be familiar with.
And I'm happy to say Kerry is also working on the Greatmask cover, which I’m excited to reveal in the coming weeks as it’s even better than the first two!
Today I wanted to announce that Greatmask (the third book in the Bone Mask Trilogy) is due for release on November 28th!
I’ll actually be releasing it myself, as the previous publisher Snapping Turtle and I have parted ways for now – it’s an amicable split and I’m still happy with all the work we did together on the first two books and on Greatmask too.
I’m keen to release this one so I can see what folks think of the trilogy’s ending.
Finishing a trilogy is pretty much the same as finishing a novel; I’m feeling the same doubt – is the ending good? Will it be satisfying to readers? Have I wrapped up enough? Have I left enough open? (Well, it’s the same except magnified, since it’s a multi-pov, multi-storyline ending that’s been building for two books prior :D)
But there’s also a lot of excitement and anticipation too, after four years of hard work!
Checking my old hard drive, I see that I started the trilogy back in late September 2012, which is when I wrote the first 500 words of Notch’s opening in Anaskar’s prison. Next I wrote an unused opening that was much more of a ‘wide view’ that established the city itself, which I’ll share in a future post leading up to the release.
In the meantime, here’s a reminder of the fantastic map I had commissioned a while back. I wanted to plot a red-line showing everyone’s path over the books but couldn’t bear marring the image :D
Here's the full map for the continent found in my Bone Mask Trilogy!
We haven't included a scale but everything is where it ought to be - except the Old Land, which is basically another continent. More on that in a future map :)
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the beautiful work Ren has done for me on this map - and if you're looking for yourself, you can commission illustration from her over at Fiver. Check out her awesome work!
This weekend I'm part of a promo featuring a heap of authors and their works, which are either free or on sale - you can check them out right here.
I've got The Fairy Wren ebook on special for $1 starting from right now (I'm on the right hand side and though my promo is listed as starting on Sunday, it's kicked in a day early on Amazon) but you can see all kinds of other genres and specials at the page too - one of which I recommend is Past Life Strife by Christina McMullen.
In terms of updates I've got a few but they're short - Crossings is going to copy edits in less than two weeks and then it's due to go to formatting for upload to retailers, so I'm hoping to get it out earlier than my estimated November release date :)
The Lost Mask is really, really close now - we're at proofing stage!
Here's the cover (which I love) if you missed it last time I updated the blog:
This means I'm also trying to charge through writing Greatmask, the conclusion to the Bone Mask Trilogy, so I'll hopefully have the progress bar ticking along on the right hand side there soon too. I'm also looking to run giveaways and other promos for Crossings and The Lost Mask in the near future too.
Speaking of promos - I'm also running a newsletter sign-up promo during 2015. You can check it out at the top right of the sidebar, but in short, every sign-up to the newsletter receives a copy of A Whisper of Leaves, my novella-length ghost story set in Japan :)
Just a quick update tonight - very pleased to report that The Lost Mask will be released in this August!
No exact date yet, but I'll be sure to post that soon as I have it. I should be able to share the new artwork for the book soon too.
In the meantime, if you'd like to check out the first few chapters of The Lost Mask you can do so here (there will be spoilers) and if you'd like a chance to win a copy of City of Masks, jump over to the Book Frivolity to enter the paperback giveaway :)
I recently completed an interview with the awesome Kristy at Book Frivolity and it was a blast! I had a heap of fun and even managed to explode a pixie - so I have to thank Kristy for creating such a great interview.
In it I talk a bit about fiction and poetry along with City of Masks and its forthcoming follow-up, The Lost Mask, but also about Cadbury and regret.
You can read the interview here at Book Frivolity and while you're there, if you'd like a chance to win a signed copy of City of Masks, you just have to scroll down to enter the giveaway that's running too :)
Good afternoon (or evening)! Or Morning!
I'm still hoping The Lost Mask will be out soon but it might not be until late July at this stage - so in the meantime you can check out the first three chapters below :)
The Lost Mask - Chapters 1-3
Be warned however, while these late-draft versions of the chapter may have typos - they most certainly will have spoilers for City of Masks.
Thought I'd have a bit of a sale so here it is :)
Until the end of March you can get signed copies of my books pretty cheap (including my poetry over here) but for fiction, check out the details below. Just let me know in the comments here or send me an e-mail if you're interested!
(that’s a ‘zero’ in the address)
Click on the picture for a full blurb and other details!
The Fairy Wren is a contemporary fantasy set in Australia, where Paul, a bookseller, struggles to juggle attention from a strange bird, a shady best friend, an Italian runaway and a missing ex-wife, all the while holding on to a long-buried dream.
Click on the picture for a full blurb and other details!
Finally back with part 3 of the ‘double interview’ where Ryn Lilley (a fellow Snapping Turtle author) and I talk about writing, music, conventions whatever else comes up! This time we've focused on heroes and tropes and authenticity.
RL: What tropes do you find yourself running afoul of as an author, how do you ustilise them in your own work?
AC: I think the one I notice most in my writing is the ‘save the world’ trope because I simply like big stakes in fantasy. Not to the point of excluding other stakes, but that’s generally my favourite as a reader and a writer.
I’ve left that particular trope alone at times, so as to provide the reader with that sense of familiarity, the epic scale, but what concerns me about it is how many big threats are there really? And how many ways can you save the world anyway? There’s always going to be a certain amount of repetition in fiction in terms of themes and plots and characters, but I often remind myself that not every reader has seen it done as many times as the next reader – and so I try and make some aspects of the ultimate threat new and still stay happy with that particular trope.
AC: The big tropes have led me to heroism so I thought I’d ask you, who’s your favourite hero/heroine and why are they so memorable for you?
RL: I have a few, though often the hero/heroine of a story aren’t necessarily my favourite characters. Anghara Kir Hama, from Alma Alexander’s Changer of Days duology is a favourite. I’ve said of Alma’s work before that if she wrote a lunch menu, I’d read it! Why is Anghara memorable? From child of high position, to having to flee for her life, she carries both incredible power, and an inner serenity. Even when totally lost and in a foreign land, she learns and adapts. She is lovable, even when she comes back to reclaim her throne; resolute and about to change even the Days of the Gods – she is still just Anghara. There is an authenticity to her that allows the reader to accept her ability to talk with ancient and harsh gods, and to see her as a Queen in her own right, but still need to be loved for herself.
RL: Back along the same route, who is your favourite hero/heroine, and why?
AC: Nausicaa from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, a manga and anime from Hayao Miyazaki. She strikes me as a girl with conviction, bravery and kindness, a difficult balance to write I feel. She’s one of those characters who is open and while she’s very capable, she’s also very quick to put herself at the mercy of enemies in the pursuit of peace – which seems another difficult thing for some heroines to do.
AC: In your response to heroes I noticed you mentioned ‘authenticity’ and I’ve always been attracted to this quality in poetry and fiction, over say, any idea of ‘originality’– how do you strive for authenticity as a writer?
RL: The key to authenticity, for me, is a character who learns and grows through the circumstances they’ve been placed in, but their core character remains. They are not all things to all people, they are human and fallible, but true to the beliefs the author has built into them. Originality is a term I am uneasy with, for there are only so many plots, so many situations ... but there are alternative universes; each choice can lead us somewhere different. A character who is authentic goes down the rabbit hole and is changed, but not unrecognisable. This is most apparent, I think, in villains. Think of Antonov Latanya in Jennifer Fallon’s Second Sons series; his belief that he is acting as a good, and utterly righteous man, pervades his every action. That his actions, approved by the High Priestess, further his ambitions and increase his wealth is merely a happy coincidence. You can’t just hate him for being a bad guy. He has far too many layers, and holds to that central tenet of righteousness throughout all, making him a thoroughly authentic bad guy.
RL: I’m tempted to ask you questions on villains, but your mention of authenticity in poetry intrigues me. What, for you, makes for authentic poetry?
AC: Tough question, really glad you asked it! I don’t know how well I’ll be able to answer it but I’ll try start by looking outward for a second. Authenticity seems to be something hard to see at first glance. In fact, it strikes me that only across the oeuvre of a poet that we might truly see artifice, appropriation or the kind of obfuscation that exists solely to exclude readers, to see poetry that feels unauthentic.
Again, it’s difficult to judge whether poetry is or isn’t authentic and a certain amount of biographical knowledge about the writer might help, but I think what the avoidance of those aspects and techniques could well leave behind is both honesty and bravery.
Poets who write what they fear cannot or should not be said, poets who do not lie to themselves, who understand and work with their obsessions and poets who do not censor themselves strike me as most authentic.
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Ashley Capes is an Australian writer of fiction, poetry and very occasional non-fiction.
Imperial Towers (Never Book 5) - draft 1
Moss Dragon - draft 1
Reed Lavender (working title) - draft 1
Unnamed Spec Fic - draft 1
Whisper of Leaves (sequel) - Outline