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What is Galdorland?

What is Galdorland?

In my post yesterday I threw in the term Galdorland and you might be wondering what that’s all about. Simply put, it’s the umbrella term for all the books set in a world I have created. Think of it like Discworld, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or Star Wars.

Galdorland is a world that is very similar to our world. So similar, in fact, that the term Galdorland is really only something I will use to refer to the universe. As far as anyone living in that world is concerned, it is still called Earth.

The big difference between our world and the world of Galdorland is that magic and monsters that we think of as myths and legends, are very real there.

I published the first books set in Galdorland about ten years ago. Since then, the possibilities for the universe I created have kept coming back to me and every now and again I sit down and try to write them. Outside of the main books I have published a couple more “side books” and a few short stories.

The trouble with publishing more, was that I was never quite sure how that world worked and it has taken me until now to make firm plans. That means there is going to be a lot of changes.

As you may know if you’ve read some of my other posts, I am currently in the process of going back through old titles and tidying them up. What I am calling “Remasters” for want of a better term. Unfortunately, a fresh round of edits and a new cover isn’t going to be enough to fix the original Galdorland books and bring them into continuity with what I am writing now. Instead, they are going to need a bit more work.

That means I will be removing the original books from sale to do the work. The new editions will be available again in the middle of the year.

I am really excited about this project. These are books and ideas that have been with me since I started writing professionally and it now seems that I am in a position to do them justice.

Books for 2024

Books for 2024

I hope you had a good holiday season. We got through it, which is about the best we hope for these days. I don’t like to dwell too much on the season, other than it being a time to hang out with family and eat some good food. There was plenty of both. Now it’s back to work and I have some exciting plans for the year ahead.

What I thought I’d do today is list the projects that I am planning to publish. The further from today’s date they get, the less fixed things are. There might be a few changes later on in the year but whatever the dates end up being, these are the books I am expecting to release in 2024.

The White Silence – February
An apocalypse story set during a long winter. This is one of four books that I will be publishing this year which were written previously and never published for whatever reason. I took the draft I had and treated it like a first draft, going through all the usual editing stuff. Most of that work was done last year and I am now in the process of getting the cover made.

Night Hunter 1, 2, & 3 – March, April, May
The first three books in an urban fantasy series. Like The White Silence, these were written a while ago, but unlike that book, I know exactly why these weren’t published. I will write about Galdorland in more detail another time, but suffice it to say for now, that these books are set in the same world as the Blood Hound series, albeit in the modern day. I have been thinking about that world for a long time and when these were written I had specific plans for what I was going to do with it. I then changed those plans and decided not to publish these. Well, the new plans never worked out so I get to publish these now.

Jessica 1, 2, & 3 – October, November, December
A second Galdorland series, set in the modern day. A story that I have been trying to write for a long time but is now finally moving forwards. I am really excited about these books. As of right now, they are the only books I plan to write and publish this year. I will have a lot more to tell you about them later on.

Short Stories – Whenever
While I get back up to speed with writing after the winter break, I am writing short stories. I started the first one this morning. I am not sure what I’ll do with them yet. There doesn’t seem to be much of a market for short stories. More than likely I will send them out to mailing list subscribers, so if you haven’t already signed up and you would like to read the short stories, now would be a good time.

There is loads more going on at the moment, but I want to keep this post focused on the books I will be publishing. More news to come.

Diminishing Returns

Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems as if there is a fundamental difference in the way we think about books and other mediums. The longer a book series goes on, the smaller the readership. It feels as if we have accepted that each new installment will only appeal to a percentage of the readers who liked the previous book.

On the surface, that makes sense, but we don’t think that way about other things.

No one is suggesting they should stop making Star Wars or Marvel films because they will only appeal to a few existing fans! No one expects viewers of Doctor Who to have watched 60 years’ worth of stories.

In film and, to a lesser extent, television, we view each new entry in the series as a potential entry point for new fans, but I rarely see books talked about in the same way. 

There are reasons for this. Films are more self-contained; you can watch the latest super hero film without having seen all the others leading up to it because all the relevant information will be explained. I don’t feel so confident about picking up the latest in a book series.

So then is it because of the way we write books we expect each new edition to sell worse than the one before? To an extent, and if that’s the case, then can we overcome it? I think so.

The only long-running series I can think of that doesn’t have this problem is Discworld. You could jump in at any point in the 41 book series and enjoy the story. That is largely down to the brilliance of Terry Pratchett, but also because the stories themselves are self-contained, like films are.

As I begin the process of re-launching my series with new titles and remastered editions of old books, I’m looking at these lessons closely. I want each book, or sub-series, to be something that anyone could pick up and read. Sure, you will get more out of it if you read them all, but they should be accessible to all. And as I think about that, it seemed interesting that the best lessons for how to do it are contained in films and television, rather than books.

Ideas That Stick

It started off as an idea for a television show about a super hero called Champion. I came up with that while I was at college, so around the year 2000. It was a pretty good idea, highly influenced by the Tim Burton Batman films and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I produced a lot of notes and plans for it, and then, because I was dreaming big, I came up with an idea for a spin-off that would be set 150 years before.

The spin-off, was called Blood Hound and that went through various incarnations before ending up as a quartet of books that were published in 2018. Which seemed to be the end of it, but the idea didn’t go away.

In the years since then, I have written other books set in the same world, some in the Blood Hound era, some in the modern era. Some were published, others have not been yet. The idea kept growing and I started thinking that I should rewrite the whole thing with all the new information and ideas. I made some notes on that as well, but it didn’t get very far.

Now I once again find myself working on a story set in Otherland, which is the name I’ve given to all the titles set in this universe. This new story is set in the modern world, which is very similar to our world, except there is magic and monsters in it.

I have written a lot of stories but it is rare that a world sticks with me the way this one has done. There are a lot more stories to tell about it, and I’m excited for this new era. There are going to be some changes to the existing stories, nothing major, just a few names and things that need to be updated to bring them inline with one another.

The first new releases are a series I wrote a while ago and never published. Currently called Night Hunter. That’s almost done and should come out in March 2024. There are three books, with more to follow. Then it’s the new series that I’m starting now.

This world is not done with me yet.

Weekly Update: Getting back on track

Production

Untitled Cozy Catastrophe

I am currently at 44,000 words on the first draft of this, which I started at the beginning of November for Nanowrimo. That’s around about 70% on the first draft.

Hell Hole

This was about 95% written when I stopped work on it, due to things going on in my life. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to ever work on it again, but things change and it’s probably what I will be doing when I finish work on the Cozy Catastrophe.

The Ladies Adventure Society

This is about 50% done. Not sure when I will get back to work on it, but it’s still on my list.

Revolver

I am less sure that I will work on this, but I still really like the story. I am keeping it on the list for now.

Editing

Still working through the re-masters and making good progress. There are some new titles which have never been published before that I am going to start working on soon, and that’s more exciting and unexpected.

Publishing

I have published quite a lot of remasters now. I’m not sure which ones I have written about here before, so I will just give a list of all the ones that are available:

Novels

Short Stories

And I think that brings us about up to date. I’m trying to post more regularly to my blog now, so check back again on Monday.

Heinlein’s Rules

Last week I put an index card on my desk, which I see every time I sit down to work. On it are Heinlein’s five rules for the business of writing:

  1. You must write
  2. You must finish what you start
  3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order
  4. You must put it on the market
  5. You must keep it on the market until sold

I first became aware of these rules on Dean Wesley Smith‘s website. He has a lot of great thoughts on them.

Yesterday I wrote about rule four, but the only one of those rules that I have consistently stuck to is rule 1: You must write.

In recent years, I have found finishing what I start to be a challenge. My computer is littered with incomplete manuscripts.

When I put index card on my desk, I made the commitment to follow those rules. I didn’t think that it could make much difference, but I am glad that it has. My current story went through a challenging period, and I was beginning to convince myself that I needed to start it again, or give up on it completely.

Having the rules as a constant reminder helped me push through those doubts and once again the story is flying. I wrote over 3,000 words on it today.

I have a lot more thoughts on these rules, and how I intend to apply them, but right now my focus is on sticking to rule 2 and finishing everything I start.