It's July 1st here in Australia and that means that Never's 6th adventure is out now :)
You can grab your copy from Oz retailers here (or the same link works for international buyers when your timezone clicks over too).
Since this is the one where Never learns his true name at last, I'm pretty excited to see how everyone reacts :) As part of release day, here's a preview of a map for Never's world too - it's a partial view of the full map, which was a kickstarter reward.
You can also win a paperback or ebook copy of the story by signing up to receive updates about Never's 7th adventure - visit my newsletter if you're interested!
Here's my progress on a few projects!
While they're not in priority order, I will say that Imperial Towers is the 1st prioity. The conclusion to Never's quest for truth is the story I'm most keen to finish and I hope also to launch a Kickstarter for it early next year, so stay tuned for more news in 2017!
The unnamed speculative fiction project might end up being used for a penname - I've been working on it for years but haven't found the right ending yet. The sequel to A Whisper of Leaves is something I'm excited to get back to but for now it's only at outline stage.
At Snow’s urging, Never climbs into the Folhan Mountains to search for the Altar of Stars, which he must reach by the new moon. Yet he cannot shake off his doubts; will the answers he seeks even reside with the altar? Or is Snow manipulating him once more?
Today is the launch for The Peaks of Autumn – the 4th installment in Never’s quest for not only his true name but also for a way to break the curse on his blood.
As you probably know by now, I’m thrilled by the cover (thanks, Lin and Vivid Covers) and have been busting to release this one, to get that beautiful artwork out there (and the story itself too) While most of the Never stories up until now have been novella-length, this one is a novel (albeit a short one) and I hope you’ll find the extra time spent with Never to be full of action and surprises.
If you want to read right away and are in a position to financially support my writing you can find purchase links right here:
Barnes & Noble
If you’d like to enter some giveaways for the ebook, ones that are open now but closing a couple of weeks from now, you can visit Library Thing/Booklikes/my fiction site. (You can also enter a Goodreads Giveaway for the print edition of Never: Vols 1-3 when it opens next week.)
Library Thing Giveaway
(scroll to find me)
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the story!
New to The Book of Never? Learn more by clicking the image below – you’ll find a few of the ebooks currently on special for the release of The Peaks of Autumn. (Also, the Never Prequel short story should be permanently free in the near future too.)
If you happen to be new to the 'Never' books and have heard me blather on about The Peaks of Autumn (coming soon) over the last few weeks and wanted to check out the series risk-free, you can grab a copy of the prequel short story Never for free today.
Here's some links (Amazon only for now - planning to change that soon)
Free October 6th
Once again I'm in debt to both Lin and Vivid Covers for the illustration and title work - awfully happy with this cover! :) I'm especially thrilled with the colour-scheme (well, that and Never's pose - actually, everything!).
To further celebrate the pending release of 'Never 4' I'll be offering a cover-art guessing game featuring the covers from the Never books very soon, an idea I recently saw over at the excellent Fantasy Literature site, so stay tuned :)
River God Release Day! (Well, for certain hemispheres – just a few more hours and it’s the 1st of July in the US too).
For those of you following Never’s story you can see the ebook the print edition of the first 3 volumes below, (also available through other retailers – a small list is here)
e – https://www.amazon.com/River-God-Fantasy-Novella-Never-ebook/dp/B01GKE8R2M
p – https://www.amazon.com/Book-Never-Volumes-1-3/dp/0994528914
Less than a week until River God goes live!
Here's the final preview chapter (#3) and stay tuned for details of a blog-based giveaway and a reminder or two about a few other giveaways I'm currently running.
Here's a preview for Chapter 2 of River God :) (and here's one if you missed if from last week!)
(Well - the ebook will be a virtual 'box' and the print version of the collection will be the three volumes in a single 400+ page book so you'd have to image that there was an actual box :D)
Today I wanted to talk a bit about the path to publication and even some aims I have for the Never series – especially now that the release date for book two is right around the corner.
Back in December 2014, I sketched an outline for an epic fantasy/adventure story that would follow its main character on a quest to discover his true name.
There was not a lot of detail back then, but what I did know was that I wanted a five part the story and that each part (or release) would feature a distinct setting with a specific goal and resolution, even as the main character’s search remained the unifying theme across the books.
I had a bit of a idea in mind too, that if someone asked me about series I could answer in two ways:
Epic fantasy without the epic length
Imagine Indiana Jones with magic and more sarcasm
In regards to the first statement, to expand a little – I wanted to keep the epic scope and sweep of world changing events common to epic fantasy, but I didn’t want to tell the tale across say, fifteen 700+ page books. (I have nothing against long books by the way, but the story I had in mind didn’t feel like that style).
And so The Book of Never is a five book series and the first three are novella-length, whereas the last two books are going to be closer to full-length novels. I felt this would better suit the adventure-feel to the series too.
For the second statement, I have to jump back to New Year’s Day, 2015 when I started the first draft of book one: The Amber Isle. (Most cunningly, I called that particular Word document ‘Never – Book 1’.)
By now, I had a name for my main character: Never and a central problem to go with it – Never didn't know his true name and before we meet him in the book, a long, futile search has already made him a little bitter, a quality which is shown through his frustration and sarcasm.
By the time I finished that first draft of The Amber Isle I knew both the treasure-hunting and time spent exploring lost ruins and ancient civilisations lent it that Indiana Jones feel. Thus, I had a well-established point of reference for readers. Assuming said readers also liked epic fantasy and magic, it was my hope that people would enjoy the mix of adventure and fantasy in the Never books.
If I jump forward to the 1st of March 2016, it’s the release of The Amber Isle and Never’s quest has started. For those of you reading this post who are unfamiliar with the story, here’s a mini blurb:
Roguish Never is on a quest to lift a curse on his blood and to learn his true name; but upon joining a group of treasure-hunters he soon finds himself unearthing world-altering secrets that have long lain dormant within the mysterious Amber Isle.
The story mostly takes place on and within a series of islands called the Grey Chain, as Never searches for the Amber Isle and the secrets within.
Each subsequent book features a different setting:
A Forest of Eyes sees Never heading into the White Wood, hot on the trail of more clues to the truth and then in River God he spends most of the story navigating rivers and the dangers within. By the forth book (The Peaks of Autumn, due in October) he has climbed into the mountains and finally, when Imperial Towers is released, you’ll see the bulk of the action take place in deadly cities.
Here’s the schedule if you wanted to keep an eye on the stories:
Book of Never 1: The Amber Isle - March 1st 2016
Book of Never 2: A Forest of Eyes - May 1st 2016
Book of Never 3: River God - July 1st 2016
Book of Never 4: The Peaks of Autumn - October 1st 2016
Book of Never 5: Imperial Towers - January 1st 2017
It's my hope that you’ll enjoy the central mystery surrounding Never’s name and heritage, but also the exploration and adventure offered by the world I’m developing :)
As I’ve mentioned earlier, A Forest of Eyes is out on the 1st of May and right now, draft one of The Peaks of Autumn is ‘resting’ while River God is with my editor.
While at present the books are only available as ebooks, July 1st will be a twin release – both the River God ebook AND an omnibus/collected print edition of books 1 – 3 will be available for purchase.
If you happen to check out Never, I’d love to hear what you think of his story :)
Thanks for reading!
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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