Villains and Virtues

A Week of Fantasy Indies Posts for January

I’m doing #FantasyIndiesJanuary alongside my edits for Eclipse of the Crown.

My newsletter came out this week, so check that out first for some freebies, then pop back over here for snippets and a look inside the writing process.


Day One: Introduction

You’ve probably seen this before, but it’s the mood board for Eclipse of the Crown, Villains & Virtues book three. As it’s the finale, everything come to a head, and it’s going to get dark. Well, dark in the sense that there’s an eclipse. And probably some demons will be summoned. And there’s that swirling vortex of nothingness plaguing Damien. And his internal turmoil which is more of an existential darkness. But it’s funny too! And spicy!


Day 2: Do you listen to music when you write?

I do not. My brain doesn’t allow me to not listen to lyrics and rarely lets me ignore rhythm, so music, even instrumental, can be super distracting unless it’s really quiet. The only exception seems to be Christmas music played at a very low volume and layered with fake coffeeshop noise.

But I do love listening to ambient soundscapes that fit the tone of the scene I’m writing. Here are some of my favs:

The Miracle Forest
Guild of Ambience
Teravibe
AmbientMixer.com


Day 3: A word you always misspell

Squawk

You have no idea how many times I just tried typing that out before I was able to use spell check to actually get it right. It’s a ridiculous word, really, which makes it perfect for the way I want my prose to sound, but it’s a rough one.


Day 4: First line of your WIP

I stand by the right to change this, but I doubt very much that I will.

The Grand Order of Dread was established in a time before counting by an assemblage of beings that remain a mystery, for their names alone would cause incurable madness and entire realms to collapse—at least, that’s what the current iteration of the organization has to say when asked about their history of poor record keeping.
The Grand Order of Dread was established in a time before counting by an assemblage of beings that remain a mystery, for their names alone would cause incurable madness and entire realms to collapse—at least, that’s what the current iteration of the organization has to say when asked about their history of poor record keeping.

Day 5: Do you title or number chapters?

I’m a big fan of chapter titles though I don’t do it in every book because, like, it’s hard. Book and series titles are the second worst thing (blurbs are the worst), so why stress myself out with an additiona thirty-something of them? Well, they can be funny, at least I try to make them funny in Villains & Virtues. In Vacancy, I titled all the chapters with a word or phrase from that chapter that potentially had two meanings which was less funny but was actual fun. In V&V I try to use well known phrases and twist them or things that sound like the titles to weird, arcane essays.

Chapter 12: Sometimes greatness is not thrust upon one but placed gently atop one's head

Day 6: Freebie Friday

I threw together a mood board for the Villains & Virtues spinoff I’m dreaming up. A standalone fantasy romance with a lot of cozy elements…except for the emotional manipulation of past trauma parts. Featuring an aggressive, idiot cinnamon roll knight (is that a thing? maybe he’s just a himbo) and an anxiety-ridden, magic-mishap-having, desperate-to-please [redacted for Eclipse of the Crown spoilers, lol sorry]. Working title is Bound to Fall, and I have nooooo idea when it will be out 🙂


Day 7: Snippet Saturday

Sceledrus had been eyeing the back of Amma far more salaciously than Damien did her front, and the miscreant made his move. Damien lunged simultaneously, yanking her out of Sceledrus’s wandering reach for her ass. Amma squealed, knocked off balance and falling onto Damien’s shoulder. He growled from beside her hip, the word feral on his tongue, “Mine.”

The mage gave him a protesting look. “You can’t just lay claim to a servant like that. At least play me a round of dice for her.”

It was far too easy for Damien to shift himself up against Amma’s hip and lift her right off the ground. “I’ll claim her however I want.”

Amma gasped, flailing until her hands gripped the back of his tunic as she slid into place over his shoulder. He wrapped an arm around her knees, hand pressed to the back of her thigh. Skin soft and warm beneath his fingers, he gave it a squeeze, meaning to reassure her he hadn’t actually devolved into the brutish villain he was playing at.

If only someone would assure him it was all an act.

Eclipse of the Crown, Villains & Virtues, Book Three

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