Warrior Prince currently sits at just over 32,000, or, to put it another way, ten chapters complete. According to our publishing calendar, I’m right on schedule. (Or should I say ‘write’ on schedule?)
I always find it tricky to start a new book in a series. This has nothing to do with the plot; it’s trying to find the best way to begin. The opening scene in a story is important as it sets the tone, and if it’s a later book in a series, it needs to gently remind the reader of where they are in the overall story.
This becomes readily apparent when watching a new season of a TV series that you’ve been waiting a year for. It also happens to be why they have those ‘previously on…’ clips at the beginning. Of course, it’s a little difficult to do that in a book, so we, as authors, must come up with more inventive solutions.
To celebrate the release of Enemy of the Crown, the first six books of my Heir to the Crown series are FREE for a limited time. Enjoy the first four main books in the series, along with two of the side stories. Start with Servant of the Crown from your favourite retailer here.
My latest book, Enemy of the Crown, was released on Thursday, August 24.
Merceria faces its most dangerous foe yet in the twelfth book in the Heir to the Crown series. While it primarily focuses on Merceria’s reaction to the imminent invasion, it also tells the story from the viewpoint of the Halvarians, finally revealing how the empire is structured. And yes, these are the same Halvarians who’ve threatened the Petty Kingdoms for years.
And we can't forget Beverly, Aubrey, and Aldwin, who've found themselves stranded in a foreign land.
Enemy of the Crown sets the stage for the largest conflict in the history of Eiddenwerthe! The story continues in Peril of the Crown, coming June 2024
Grab your copy here
Peace is impossible while the family survives!
As the Northern Alliance threatens the Stormwind's power, the family retaliates, forcing the rulers of the Petty Kingdoms to bend to their will. Hoping to finally end the family’s influence, Athgar and Natalia travel to Abelard for a secret meeting, striking a deal for the future of Therengia.
With a bold plan to destroy the Volstrum, they must cross Zaran, where the brave vanish and the foolhardy lose their minds. Is there truth in the stories of dangerous beasts, or are they just tales meant to frighten children?
Struggling through the wilderness, with danger threatening at every turn, they seek solace in the knowledge that their sacrifice will lead to a future without strife. Only when they discover a secret long lost to the annals of history do they see a beacon of hope.
The end is coming—a titanic clash of the most powerful mages on the Continent.
Witness the ultimate confrontation in Cataclysm, Paul J Bennett’s epic conclusion to The Frozen Flame series.
Enemy of the Crown's current word count is 60,000, which is roughly fifty percent complete. I’m presently right in the middle of writing chapter twenty and will be finished with the second act in a couple of days.
The story is pretty much sticking to the outline, with the characters where they’re supposed to be (for the moment!). The stakes have just been raised regarding the overall plot, but I can’t give you any more details without spoilers. Sorry, not sorry.
Suffice it to say that I’m on track, schedule-wise, to be finished writing before the end of July, then I'll be starting on Warrior Prince, book six in the Power Ascending series.
Enemy of the Crown, the twelfth main book in the Heir to the Crown series, is proceeding nicely, already sitting at a word count of 33,500, and I’m almost done writing chapter eleven.
My estimated length of this book is 120,000, and the outline includes thirty-six chapters. That means chapter twelve would mark the end of the first act (which it does according to my outline), although my word count may be just shy of 40,000 by that time.
I’m not too worried, though. There are already indications I may be adding a chapter or two, as the characters are providing some twists of their own.
I’m pleased to announce Torrent, the seventh book in my Sword & Sorcery series, The Frozen Flame, was released on May 30, 2023. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve made the ebook version of The Frozen Flame Publisher’s Pack FREE on all the major online retailers (Includes books 1, 2, and the prequel).
If you happen to be a member of Audible Plus, you can also download the same collection in audiobook format for FREE.
If you want to take advantage of this deal, you should hurry. It’s only available for a limited time!
After a false start, Enemy of the Crown, book twelve in the Heir to the Crown series, now sits at just over 6,000 words. What do I mean by false start? I was two chapters into it and didn’t like how it was flowing, so I rewrote them both from scratch. They still cover the same plot points, but the story flows much better.
I’ve also got a working map of Halvaria, divided into regions with several cities marked on it, and it has a hex overlay to make calculating distances a little easier. There’s a lot more work to be done on it before the book is finished, but it’s much easier to visualize where the story occurs.
Now, I must get back to work!
Until next time, Happy reading!
I've been asked if I might consider writing books set in much earlier years of Eiddenwerthe, such as the founding of Merceria or the fall of the Old Kingdom. While I have many notes on the subjects in question, I doubt I’ll write stories based this far in the past because the history has already been established.
For me, part of the allure of writing epic fantasy is the ability to shape events based on the actions of my characters. If the outcome is already known, and the reader knows it, I think it detracts from the story. That’s not to say it’s impossible, as I have written multiple origin stories, but these are not based on past history.
Plenty of authors do an excellent job of historical fiction, and it’s one of my favourite genres to read, but I like to shape the future rather than follow an already established timeline.
That also means that my future series (which I’ve already started planning out) will be looking forward rather than back.
The first draft of Torrent is now complete. Coming in at just over 101,000 words, it’s very close to my estimate of 100,000. I’ve also worked out a three-act structure for the last book in the series, Cataclysm, but even as I write this, I’m thinking of things I want to add. The final book in the series will resolve Athgar and Natalia’s story, but there are others I’m just itching to write about.
Next up is Enemy of the Crown, which will detail the inner workings of the Halvarian Empire. This one will require much more planning, so it will be a week or two of extensive outlining before I begin the writing process.
Until next time, happy reading!
Paul Bennett, Writer of Epic Fantasy Adventures.