My esteemed readers! I bring, in effect, not one but two new book announcements for you today!
The first may seem like cheating initially: The Necromancer and the Revenant: Resurrected Edition! And yes, that title absolutely wrote itself. Before you kindle your ire under the reasonable suspicion that I am a filthy layabout double-dipping into your hard-hit wallets, allow me to offer you two key statistics and a few vital assurances.
The first published edition of The Necromancer and the Revenant featured roughly 168,000 words. The Resurrected Edition includes more than 225,000 words of refined prose. However, even that imposing size difference cannot capture the changes’ full scope.
I heavily edited or outright replaced many sequences from the previous edition. I cropped out tonal breaks and out-of-place lore dumps in exchange for more character moments. I also introduced two major new characters to the continuity as a whole. Namely, I invented the concept of the Tonnish “zhumozhe”, or devil-matron, a powerful demoness responsible for overseeing and coordinating the many demons who serve the Ton houses as messengers and, sometimes, living weapons.
Thus we receive the character of Azukai, zhumozhe to House Lin; her name is a shameless portmanteau of three characters from a certain legendary tale told by other writers. Doubt not: I fully intend this to offer insight into her personality and actions throughout the novel. For you see, even when I meme, I meme with purpose! You’ll also meet Wozhao, Azukai’s main nemesis as the zhumozhe to House Sairo; her name does not reference any other characters, at least not that I know of. This, too, reflects on the demoness herself. I hope you’ll enjoy them both greatly, readers.
Otherwise? Suffice to say that demons play a much-expanded role in this edition, and not always in the ways you may expect.
I brought in another character who didn’t previously appear until The Necromancer and the Reaping Spear; by his arrival, I also clearly established stakes and explained enough about the Celestial Pact’s workings to clarify why this tale’s mortals must solve the Revenant crisis on their own. The divine reasoning is, shall we say… questionable. Further, I’ve revised several major plot beats.
All these changes add up to tens of thousands of additional words in new content which don’t always reflect in the word count. I estimate there are over 100,000 words of new content in total.
Last and most vital of all, I completely reworked the arcs and character beats for several major players. This includes the arc resolved during the third act climax! In other words, it’s, well, a resurrected version of the story.
Why did I do all this? You see, I merely planned to edit one character’s beats so that I wouldn’t be saddled with an overly-swift character development going into The Necromancer and the Reaping Spear. But, when I realized that this change would still be large enough to mandate a new edition, I thought, “I’ll just improve my other gripes while I’m in there.”
Caerllyn, you idiot. Never trust yourself to make “a few small changes.”
This swiftly turned into a labyrinthine task that I only mostly completed this past Saturday. As of this posting, I still need to go nuclear. That is, copy all the text into notepad so as to remove behind-the-scenes glitches in Word, then copy it back into Word and apply my styles again before publishing on Smashwords. During this process, I’ll also carry out a final proofread. This is a rather long book, so I fear I may miss a few typos here and there; these, however, are the sorts of things which do not require a new edition to address!
Even with those likely scratches on the lacquer, I promise you the Resurrected Edition will be an order of magnitude better than its first form. It also means my planned quartet as a whole will be far less lopsided; it appears I like writing my novels in the 200,000-plus word range. I estimate that Reaping Spear will be close to the same length after I revise it.
So, what does this mean for you? Firstly, it means that the weekend after this post, ideally on Saturday the 16th, I’ll publish The Necromancer and the Revenant: Resurrected Edition on Smashwords. Then, if all goes well, I’ll publish The Necromancer and the Reaping Spear a month after that–somewhere in the latter half of June. Lucky you, you’ll get to rip halfway through the series in just a few months should you have the time!
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth it to you to grapple with that much text, Smashwords has a preview option that I’ll configure to let you see the first 15% of both books–that’s over 30,000 words worth of samples! I’ll also release the first chapter of Reaping Spear well in advance. Meanwhile, I’ve pasted the new, vastly improved version of The Necromancer and the Revenant’s first chapter into the original preview post, which you can reach by clicking on these words right here.
For my part, readers mine, I must fly away and work on other things. If you enjoyed either this little teaser or the revised first chapter preview, please gift me a like, offer your thoughts in the comments below, and share this writing with any you believe may cherish it. Be sure to follow me here on the blog proper for updates and, If you’re into such things, you might also follow me on Twitter. If not, then I must bid you farewell for now. So, farewell!