I certainly have been reading a lot lately. I’ve also been writing a lot lately. It’s so easy to get caught up in those two modes. I read on my Kindle while I’m riding my bike in the morning (I have a trainer, so I can do that without crashing into anything). Sometimes I read at night, too, but doing so tends to keep me up late. Just one more chapter. I can quit anytime. Yeah, sure. When I’m not editing or proofreading, I spend a good 5-6 hours a day writing, on weekdays. Weekends are more chancy – I can maybe wedge in 2 hours if I’m lucky.
My current project is book 2 of The Greatest Sin. The first draft is about 2/3 complete, and I expect to finish it next week. It’ll be a bit longer than The Fallen, and we haven’t figured out what to name it yet. There’s a working title, but who knows what it’ll actually wind up being. I anticipate tossing ideas back and forth with Erik about that several times over the next month or so.
Titles are a funny thing. The series is called The Greatest Sin because, despite how little Chavali cares for the subject, the debate about what the greatest sin is, what it was that made the Creator shun her creations and seal herself behind the Great Divide, is the most important aspect of the setting. In Tilzam, everyone knows there’s a Creator. As the Prologue of The Fallen makes clear (I hope), all its sentient beings are born with a racial memory indicating that there is, indeed, a Creator being.
Unfortunately, this memory doesn’t make clear why the Creator cut herself off from the world. Just that there’s some awful sin she couldn’t stand. Enter people, who then proceed to squabble over what that sin is and how to stop people from doing it. Naturally, being people, some are laid back about it, and some are violently zealous, and most fall in between.
As a point of note, it’s worth saying that the memory is written without gender reference for a reason. The people of Tilzam have no idea if ‘he’, ‘she’, or ‘it’ is proper. Most have decided the Creator is female. This has led to a world where women tend to be in positions of authority, and tend to have greater power. In most places, family names and inheritances are passed through the female line, not the male. This doesn’t mean all the positions of authority are held by women. Shappa, the country the Fallen are bound to and live in, is ruled by a King. Teryk, one of the Fallen, speaks briefly about his father, who was a lord in Mecalle. For the most part, it’s more like true gender parity than actual favoritism for women.
At any rate, we’re looking forward to releasing this one sometime this summer. Unless something unexpected happens, Book 3 will be my NaNo this year, and then we’ll polish it up and get it out next winter. Hopefully, we’ll be able to hold to that frequency, putting two of these out per year for the next…decade? Maybe longer. We’re in it for the long haul.