Augum, Bridget and Leera news; audiobook news; and an interview with AC Cobble.

Items in this update:

1. Augum, Bridget and Leera news.
2. Audiobook contract signed for Fury of a Rising Dragon series.
3. I interview AC Cobble, author of the bestselling fantasy series Benjamin Ashwood.

Item 1: Augum, Bridget and Leera news.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking when Honor’s Price (Fury of a Rising Dragon, book two) will be ready. Well, I finally have some news on that front. I finished the first draft of the book and the first edit round. It’s now entered the deeper editing stages, which will be compromised of approximately six more additional rounds of editing before it will be ready. So we’re looking a late summer-ish launch.

It’s a big book, almost as big as Legend (The Arinthian Line, book five), and is packed full of action, drama and plot. Augum, Bridget and Leera discover ancient secrets about Arcaners while facing a Canterran cult, assassins, and the Von Edgeworth line. There’s a turning-sixteen womanhood ceremony for a certain someone, numerous personal trials for the trio, a frank encounter between Augum and Jez, new spells, and loads more.

Item 2: I signed an audiobook contract with Tantor for the Fury of a Rising Dragon series.

I’m excited to announce that Fury of a Rising Dragon will become an audiobook series! I’ll announce who the narrator will be on my author Facebook page shortly. As to The Arinthian Line, I’m in talks with Grammy winner Stefan Rudnicki to finish the series, so keep your fingers crossed (Audiobooks are notoriously expensive projects and I write long books, so no guarantees yet).

Item 3: I’m trying something different: an interview with an author some of you may have already heard about :) Away we go!

I’d like to welcome AC Cobble, the author of Benjamin Ashwood, to this edition of “Milk Crate Interviews with Sever Bronny.” AC, there’s your milk crate (mind the dust and piles of half-read books) and I’ll take my seat on mine after this awkward pause.

(Awkward pause)

All right, isn’t this fun? My wife works with me in my author career and is super supportive (she set up the milk crates for this interview. You might find her lurking about the place munching on granola bars, Kindle in hand). I also have a cat named Buddha. She’s a small loaf with big eyes and likes to wander about the place like a princess. Any pets, kids, dolphins on your end? Wife? Husband?

Hi Sever, thanks for having me! I’m married to a wonderful wife who … well … initially said no to me becoming a full-time author. She came around though! She has an open mind, if not an initial faith in my ability to tell a good yarn. To be fair to her, my last creative endeavor was painting. It ended in a lot of brainstorming and a still-blank canvass, which she’d bought me for my birthday 6 years ago (someday, someday). We have three children, all boys, ages 8 months to 5 years. Now that I work from home, taking time out of the day to deal with the fighting, crying, and people yelling for food is a wonderful reminder of what my corporate life used to be like. It’s like I never left! My wife has a dog, which after 10 years of dating and marriage has still not accepted me. Maybe the nightly battle where the dog “forgets” she has her own bed in our room and doesn’t need to be in my spot is just a friendly joke? Every night I get a look from the dog that says, “I would prefer it if you died”. Ah, what else? I’m from Tennessee originally but live in Houston, TX now. I love to travel but have very few hobbies outside of writing and the family.

You mentioned you lived a “corporate life.” What exactly does that mean? Any parts of that life you miss? What do you love most about being a fulltime author?

Before making the jump to the book business, I worked for a massive, global corporation (think top 5 in the world). My days were filled with the normal things at any place like that – meetings & e-mail. There were plenty of the stereotypical people and politics that you can imagine going on, which I don’t miss a second of. But there were also some really awesome people who I keep in touch with still (had a few over for dinner this weekend!). I also really enjoyed my final role at the company. I was something like an internal consultant. I traveled about 25% of the time, worked from home 74%, and went to my local office 1%… That was pretty cool – and helps explain how I held a full-time job and wrote a couple of novels. I role allowed me to travel all over the world. I worked in 8 different countries. I saw some really amazing places that I never would have seen otherwise, and a lot of those influences made it into my books.

What’s best about being a full-time author? Freedom. You’re the captain and crew of your own ship, and you can sail where ever you please. I imagine many people who own their own businesses feel the same way, but as Authors, we don’t keep a storefront, we don’t have hours we’re open, we don’t have clients we go visit. What we do, is entirely up to us. That is an amazing feeling.

You’ve written a story in the same genre as me which makes me feel like we’re kindred spirits (come here, buddy! *awkward hug*). What made you so badly want to write coming of age fantasy? What initially inspired Benjamin Ashwood?

Nothing better than meeting another author and doing the handshake, fist-bump, hug dance! Somehow, that always ends up with me gently punching people. I’m ready for the union to proscribe a standard greeting we can use when we emerge, pale faced and blinking, from the writing caves.

Oh, you asked a question…

I was inspired by the books I grew up reading. Robert Jordan, JRR Tolkien, David Eddings, those guys. I love the way all of their stories start, and that’s how I started my tale. A young boy leaves his small village on an adventure. It really spoke to a younger me, and it still does today. It’s the sense that you don’t know what will happen next, but anything is possible. It’s one of the times a fantasy trope connects really solidly with my real life experience. Sometimes, I feel like I hewed too close to those books in the beginning of Benjamin Ashwood, but it’s intended as an homage to the stories I love. As you read deeper in my series, the themes and plots diverge wildly from the books I grew up with. I started on the shoulders of those giants, but the core of the story takes the expectation from those tales and turns it on its head. In real life, I don’t think heroes are Chosen Ones, and I wanted to write a story about that.

What challenges you these days?

In addition to writing my Benjamin Ashwood series, I’ve started a small press called Cobble Publishing. I have 3 other authors under my banner and we’re in production with several of their books! Juggling that along with my own work is a logistical nightmare, but it’s the kind of challenge I really enjoy. At heart, I’m still the business guy I was before I began writing, and I love that part of publishing.

In the creative space, one thing that is tough for me is keeping it fresh. I’m writing my 5th Benjamin Ashwood book, and like the others, there are fights, magic, and all of that great stuff. How is a fight in Book 5 different and more exciting than one in Book 1? That’s the challenge. I want to keep raising the bar for myself and delivering ever more exciting scenes to my readers. It has really pushed me to innovate and expand my writing. I mean, how many ways can you hit a guy with a sword? We’ll find out…

What’s coming up next for you that you’re excited about?

You ready for this? I just released a Boxset for my first 3 Benjamin Ashwood books. On April 17th, I have a debut YA Fantasy from one of my authors, Tanya Schofield, titled “Awaken: Melody’s Song Book 1”. On May 8th, another author, Thomas Webb, has a Steampunk Alternate history called “Stalemate: Clockwerk Thriller Book 1”. I’ll sneak a small collection of Benjamin Ashwood short stories out there sometime in May as well, then on June 5th, “Burning Tower: Benjamin Ashwood Book 5” hits the shelves! Oh, did I mention that there’s a German language version of Benjamin Ashwood Book 1 in the works, hopefully arriving in June? July, we’ll release a currently untitled epic fantasy from author Mark E Lacy. That covers the next 4 months…

Whew. I told you there were some logistics involved!

Finally, I’m doing some early groundwork for a brand new series that I hope to unveil in late 2019. The amount of world building and character development I’m doing is far more than I’ve done before, but if this works, it will really pay off for readers (um, I hope).

That’s a lot on your plate, are you not worried it will take away from your writing energy?

I’ve found that having something else going on really helps keep the creative juices flowing. This began as a hobby for me, a way to relax from the stress of the job, new kids, etc. Writing is my down time, and it relaxes me. When I’ve tried to ramp up and go full bore, I burn out pretty quickly. Very rarely have I been able to sit down and write for a full day. When I have managed it, I needed several days off to recover. So, maybe because it’s how I got my start, I tend to write in bursts of 2-3 hours then switch gears and focus on something else. The great thing about starting a small press is that “something else” keeps me engaged in the industry. I love books, being around books, writers, and every aspect of this process. It’s all fun to me, and it keeps me busy while those creative juices recharge.

You and I are extremely lucky to do what we do full-time. I occasionally dole out advice to budding writers who dream of becoming full-time authors. What advice would you give to those who wish to make this a full-time living?

I completely agree – we are extremely lucky. I tell people that being a writer is exactly as awesome as you imagine it to be. Being an Author (caps) is an easier job for me than Every Other Job I’ve Ever Had. It pays better, too. Seriously. There cannot be a better job than this! But, as Cypress Hill once said, “It’s a fun job, but it’s still a job.”
Yes, you get to do all of the awesome creative stuff. And yes, you are your own boss. It’s completely true, you can work anywhere in the world, at any time. Literally everyone you meet will be jealous. You make up stuff and write it down for a living! But, you also have to do the icky parts of the job. This is your business – you should treat it like a business. You have to market, you have to do book keeping, you have to negotiate, you have to invest in your product, and you have to hold yourself accountable for getting it done! More so than anything else, like a business, you have to serve your customer. Everyone telling you to “write only for yourself” is, in my mind, doing you a huge disservice. It’s not to say you can’t write what you love – see earlier about my influences – but if you want to sell what you’ve written, someone has to want to read it. At the end of the day, the job of the writer is pleasing the reader, not themselves.

They’ve made you walk the plank. What was your crime, and any parting final words for humanity?

Ha, I love this question! Because it’s easy for me to answer… I’ve been in the rum barrel.

In fact, the rum barrel is now more like – just a barrel. So, the rest of you scurvy scallywags are going to be high and dry for the rest of this Caribbean cruise. Up until this exact moment, my trip was quite pleasant. Now, let me raise my tankard with the last of the grog, and share a little wisdom with you:

“In life, with few exceptions, you only achieve what you strive to accomplish. No one wins the lottery without buying a ticket. No one becomes a rock star without putting in countless hours of practice. No one writes a book without pounding out the words. Life isn’t always fair. When you try your best, you still may not reach your goal. But I’m willing to bet everything I have – you’ll never get there until you do try. Study, effort, work – those are your lottery tickets. Being a full-time author (and rum thief), it feels like I hit the lottery. The truth is, I put in the work. I earned it. I DID IT. Whatever your dream, DO IT. Start. That is the only way you can get there.”

Now, I’ll turn up the grog, scream to the heavens, “I regret nothing!”, slip, bang my head on the plank, and fall limply into the water where I’m brutally consumed by vicious sharks and mutant sea turtles. Let’s be honest, there are worse ways to go…

Thank you, AC Cobble and my readers have brought you up a few times, so it’s been a real pleasure getting to know you both here and behind the scenes :)

AC Cobble is the Amazon bestselling fantasy action & adventure author of the Benjamin Ashwood series.

Sever

News about book 5

I’m super excited to report that the first draft of LEGEND (The Arinthian Line, book 5) has been completed this morning. It clocks in around 234,000 words (about 15% longer than CLASH).

The next stage is editing, followed by prep and launch. If all goes well, you should have the final installment in The Arinthian Line by Christmas.

It’s been an emotional ride with this book. Years of work came to a head, and somehow, it all resolved in a way that made me feel personally content as someone living in that world five days a week (could you imagine?). Yet in many ways I feel like one of the luckiest people alive; I get to adventure alongside Augum, Bridget and Leera for a living.

If you want to receive an email notice when LEGEND launches, simply click here. I don’t email often, as my subscribers can attest. I’ll still keep you posted though.

Email / msg me anytime, I love hearing from readers. All my best,

Sever

A letter from Anna Atticus Stone

 A letter from a distant land …
(The following is an excerpt from the coming book four in The Arinthian Line series) 

The trio watched as their infamy steadily grew in the Herald; as armies continued to amass on the Nodian border; as excitement grew for the coming warlock tournament; and yet there still came no news of Mrs. Stone … until the morning of the tenth day, when a grizzled, mud-splattered courier arrived to hand Mr. Okeke a letter at his cabin.Jengo did not even raise his head from eating his porridge. “Another demand from the Legion for tax moneys, Father?”

Mr. Okeke tipped the courier, thanked him, and closed the door. “Not sure,” he said, breaking the wax seal on the weathered yellow parchment. He began pacing as he read. Suddenly, he froze. “It’s from Mrs. Stone—”

The trio bolted from the table, knocking over dishes, scrambling to gather around the parchment.

Leera was breathless. “What’s it say?”

Mr. Okeke cleared his throat and began reading aloud. His slight Sierran accent gave the words a distant slant. “ ‘My dears, I hope this letter finds you as I am very far away in a strange land I have never been to before, with even stranger people. Regretfully, I lost the pearl somewhere in southern Tiberra in a battle. I had forgotten to enchant it so I could find it again. Alas, my memory is not as it once was.’ ”

Bridget placed a hand over her mouth, eyes welling up. Leera laid her head on Bridget’s shoulder while giving Augum’s hand a tight squeeze. It was a difficult letter to listen to. Augum’s heart squeezed. He missed Nana so much.

Mr. Okeke swallowed and continued reading. “ ‘The spell has been an onerous undertaking under the circumstances, especially as I am already quite old. It is taking its toll. I have developed a bit of a cough, and my spectacles have become inadequate. I have eluded the Legion thus far, but there have been many close calls. The tracking party’s prowess has made it impossible for me to visit you at this time. They have proved to be formidable opponents especially well-equipped to thwart me. My days are spent on the road. My feet and bones hurt and I am always tired. I fear I cannot keep this up for much longer. It seems there is never enough time now, for time has become a most precious thing indeed. It seems eons ago since I have laid eyes upon you. I yearn for the simple things most—clean linens, a quiet fire, a good book, a warm meal, pleasant company, and above all, watching you grow before my eyes.’ ”

Haylee gave a sniffle as she drew Leland close. “Oh, Mrs. Stone,” she whispered.

“ ‘How are your studies coming along? I trust you have been working very hard and pushing yourselves. I trust Mr. Harvus has been a good and thoughtful mentor. Have you discovered anything about the artifact in question yet? Perhaps you will have received this letter before your departure.’ ”

Mr. Okeke took a deep breath before reading the last portion. “ ‘I sign off hoping you are all together, that you are warm, safe, in good health and high spirits. Please know that you are in my thoughts often. As for me, my greatest challenge awaits, and that is mastering this formidable spell, and somehow teaching it to you. I only hope to live long enough to accomplish this last act. Remember, my dears, that you are strongest together, that life is precious and short, and that all things must pass. With love and deep affection for you all, AAS.’ ”

Mr. Okeke stared at the parchment before gently folding it up and handing it to Augum, who held the wrinkled letter close, finger tracing over the broken wax seal. For a long time, nobody spoke.

……………………………….

The above is an excerpt from The Arinthian Line, Book 4 (title, cover and blurb preview to be released soon). Expect the book to be released within the coming three weeks or so. I’m working as hard as I can to get it to you as soon as possible though.

I’m extremely proud of this work. It’s my best writing. Augum, Bridget, Leera and the supporting cast grow a tremendous amount in this book. They face new challenges, not just personally, but physically. It’s also the longest book, clocking in at about 190,000 words, which is about 10% longer than Riven. You’re going to get your money’s worth ;)

A grand adventure awaits, my friends, I really cannot wait for you to read it!

Questions? Comments? Just hit reply and email me back here.

All my best to you and those you love,

Sever

P.S. Thank you all so much for your patience. ART team: you’ll hear from me very soon! :)

I was interviewed on a Fantasy podcast

How was everyone’s new year? Let’s kick things off on my end with something new–my first public podcast interview! Aldus Baker celebrates his 50th Fantasy podcast by interviewing me.

Enjoy :)

UPDATE ON BOOK 4:

Book 4 of The Arinthian Line has just undergone another major edit, and is on track to be released within about a month’s time. I wanted to sincerely thank each and everyone of you for your kind patience.

And for the Advance Reader Team: you’ll be receiving an email from me soon, hang in there! :)

I could have updated you guys more, but I’ve been very busy with book 4. It’s the largest one yet, completely packed with story and adventure. It has quite the emotional ending, leading nicely into book 5, which I’ll be starting next ASAP. I’m very proud of this work, and can’t wait for you to read it!

All my love to you and yours,

Sever

A year ago today, an author’s life changed … because of you :)

Projected-five-books-question-mark-visual

WHAT A YEAR!

A year ago today a simple story forever changed my life. When Arcane was released, I didn’t know what to expect. I hoped to hit the top 100 in my genre in five years’ time. Instead, it rocketed up to the #1 spot in the fantasy coming of age genre on Amazon within three weeks of release.

Since then, The Arinthian Line has sold around 20,000 copies; a Grammy winner narrated Arcane’s audiobook; and over 1000 people joined my mailing list. The series has found a diverse audience, from young children all the way to retirees, and I get mail from all over the world.

Oh, and I quit my day job. I can’t believe I am a professional author, writing full time. It’s a dream come true, a dream I owe to you, the reader. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart :)

FOR THE LOVE OF THE UNNAMEABLES, WHAT’S GOING ON WITH BOOK 4?!

Guess what — it’s finished! Next step is editing. Book 4 was an emotional roller coaster. I did not expect to get so attached to the characters. Now that I’m a full time author, I kind of live in Sithesia with Augum, Bridget, Leera and Mrs. Stone. I watch over them, worry about them. I get scared when they get scared; emotional in poignant moments; luckily, I also get to experience their triumphs.

Anyway, book 4 is packed with adventure. There’s a greedy and controlling mentor, an ancient library, and an epic warlock tournament. I am currently expecting it to be ready for January :)

CONTEST WINNER (this small portion is for mailing list subscribers only)

Remember that Name a New Character Contest I held a while back ? A winner has been selected. His name is Michael and he’s from the United Kingdom. The character he came up with is named Caireen Lavo, and she’s already written into book 4. But Michael really went all out — Caireen Lavo is also an anagram! Can you figure out what the name spells?

As soon as the fourth book is printed, I’ll be mailing Michael a signed copy. His name will also be mentioned in the back of the book.

There will be another contest, so don’t worry if you missed this one.

AND FINALLY …

Thank you for reading The Arinthian Line; thank you to those who have taken the time to review the books on Amazon and Goodreads; and thank you to those who have joined my Advance Reader Team.

All my best to you and those you love,

Sever

My new (less formal) author biography

Thought I’d change it up and relax the formality of my official bio. It kind of gives a bit more insight behind why The Arinthian Line is the way it is:

Sever_Bronny_2014

ABOUT SEVER BRONNY*

I’m a full time author living in Victoria, British Columbia. I grew up on Dragonlance and probably spent way too much time playing video and role-playing games (particularly Rifts and AD&D). My favorite sagas are Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones. Much of my youth was spent exploring dungeons. Now my cat likes to keep watch from a customized Lego castle near my desk.

I love to bike camp with my amazing wife, who is my biggest supporter. I play tennis, leisure chess, and once wanted to become a pilot. When I was a kid, I dreamed I could jump off the ground and fly. My head was in the clouds, and in some ways, still is.

The Arinthian Line is my first series, currently consisting of ARCANE, RIVEN, and VALOR. It was inspired by my youthful adventures spent as a boy scout. I am very fortunate in that each of the books hit #1 on Amazon in the Fantasy Coming of Age genre at one time or other. I enjoy talking to my readers very much, so email me anytime at severbronny@gmail.com

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive a notification of release of the next book in the series at http://eepurl.com/HIxzX

I only email 1-2 times a month, so you don’t have to worry about useless spam clogging your inbox.

Oh, I was also a musician at one time, having released three albums with my industrial-rock music project Tribal Machine, including the full-length concept album The Orwellian Night. One of my songs can be heard in the feature-length film The Gene Generation.

I know how lucky I am to be a full time author. I am grateful for it every day.

* — Meh, ended up tinkling with it a bit more. Latest version in the margin.