But wait, you might ask: If book 4 of the Steel Empires series is coming out this week, shouldn’t this be the FOURTH Annual State of the Empires? Well, that’s easy to answer. I didn’t come up with this clever idea until last year, when book 3 came out. While I wish I could retcon this blog series to make it the fourth post (or even the fifth or fifteenth, depending on when you consider the origins of this series), we’re stuck with what we’ve got. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a busy year, or that I don’t have a lot of stuff to catch you up on. So, here goes.
The obvious things first. Steel Time comes out tomorrow. Yay! I was so excited to talk to you about this book last year, and now I finally can! This post kicks off the blog tour for the book, so make sure to check out my own website tomorrow for the first scene. It’s pretty crazy to think that this series is officially past the 50% mark of being published. While I wouldn’t call the first books in the series “typical” urban fantasy by a long shot, this is definitely the point at which things really go off the rails. I love time travel stories, so of course I was going to find a way to incorporate that into my own universe. But my time travel isn’t the result of a magic spell, or fancy technology, or even a certain blue box. It marks the beginning of expanding upon the world-building in my universe even more.
Because I certainly haven’t been sitting around since summer of 2017. Instead, Steel Empires Book 5: Steel Shadows has been completely drafted and sent off to my amazing editor to prepare for publication in 2019. If Victory thought time travel was a paradigm shift, things are about to get even stranger for her, Mikelos, and Asaron next year.
With Steel Shadows on the downward swing, that means I should be working on book 6, right? Things have been moving a bit slower in that regard, but I’ve done a ton of research and the outline is shaping up nicely. (Title still to be determined.) I’m excited to be working on another Toria and Kane story after living in Victory’s head for the past year, and book 6 will include the return of some old friends, visiting new places, and exploring the limits of the warrior-mage bond. There might also be rockets. And creepy robots.
As a special bonus, I’ve also been working on the official story of Victory and Mikelos’ first meeting. I’m definitely a long-form writer by inclination, but this was a story that needed to be told. And, it may have found a home to be released this fall!
Thanks for sticking with me on this journey. The Steel Empires is officially the longest-running series published by Raw Dog Screaming Press/Dog Star Books, and the faith my publishers have in me is humbling. But none of this would be possible without the amazing people who also have faith in this very nontraditional series. Here’s to another year in Limani.