April Update

For those of you that do not receive the newsletter… here is a behind the scenes update.

  1. New logo thanks to some talented folks on Fiverr. I think it looks good and may branch out into some merc merch.
  2. “The Sins of Silver” book two in the Echoes of Illyria saga is about 15% complete. Part One of Faerin’s story is done, working on Crylwin’s story now.
  3. I am looking for beta readers. If you are interested in shaping the story, or just like to get early access send me an email info@realmccoybooks.com

Outside of that I promise to update here more frequently (same with Twitter and Facebook).

By way of apology… here is an excerpt quote from the new book

“Fool,” Nox said, smiling. I saw Vox’s smile staring back at me. “I am already dead.” Then he leapt from the ledge into the throng of Golmere.

March Update

It has been awhile since I last updated the blog so I figured I would take a minute and let you know what we have cooking behind the scenes.

All hardcovers have been mailed out so expect them in the next few days. I am super eager to hear what you think!

With the help of all your support we placed third in the cover of the month contest- as I am sure you know already from my relentless spamming! This was a super cool contest and something that will hopefully give lots of exposure in the future.

We have two cool author promos running. Links are below. Take a peak- it is a great way to score some free books and great deals!

Free Books Promo

Amazon Kindle Unlimited Promo

March Newsletter went out today so check you email and spam filters. The complete first chapter of “The Song of Creation” is posted for subscribers as well as a contest for two $25 Amazon gift cards. If you are not a subscriber, sign up and send me a note so I can send you the letter for March. I plan on having regular contests and giveaways as well as featuring the continuation of “The Song of Creation” as a newsletter exclusive.

Perhaps the best update is that I started Echoes of Illyria Book Two over the weekend, thanks to my lovely wife sending me away for a quiet and productive weekend. The title is “The Sins of Silver” and it will feature pov from Faerin, Lira and Crylwin. It is a direct sequel and will pick up right where book one left off, so those of you dying to know what happens after book one’s cliffhanger you wont have to wait much longer. I imagine I will include Chapter 1 in a future newsletter so make sure you are subscribed!

I think that is enough for now. Thanks for reading!

Salt & Ruin,

-Brandon

Forming

-Oration performed by an unnamed Seveli Justicar. Transcribed by Valan Forvana in the year 3622, Illyrian Long Count.

So it came to pass that those who came before departed from the heavens. They were few, but of purpose and of courage, and of seeing. And they were led by the one whose voice still sang of Sem and A’ev.

And it was that they who left were want to build a new land, one between the heavens as was foretold.

Of how they travelled it is said not, but upon the nothing did they see a place touched by both light and darkness, one that could be of much promise and new beginnings.

And of the first sons, it was Dware who did first suggest a hearth. And it was Sereve of the first sons who did suggest a fire. And it was Gaial of the first daughters who did suggest a renewing.

And the voice did agree.

So it was that Dware did gather what had been unmade in the breaking of the heavens. Iron and stone were both want and plentiful. And he did form it and gave it shape as it would be a home to those that had left. When he was finished, he did speak onto it a name, Ara.

So it was that Sereve did gather what had been unmade in the breaking of the heavens. Geth and ether were both want and plentiful. And he did form it and gave it shape as it would bring light to Ara and those that called it home. When he was finished, he did speak onto it a name, Súl.

So it was that Gaial did gather what had been unmade in the breaking of the heavens. Edrúm and quin were both want and plentiful. And she did form it and gave it shape as it would sustain Ara and those that called it home. When she was finished, she did speak onto it a name, S’iel.

Thus it came to pass that Ara was made, and Súl, and S’iel by those that came before.

Low and blessed was their light.

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Thanks for reading.

Salt & ruin,

-Brandon

Splitting

-Excerpt from Of Gods and Men. Original text recovered from the Great Library of Tol’ Rukar, transcribed by Valan Forvana in the year 3618, Illyrian Long Count.

Forward: Artimus Cahn, second quill to High Lord Hectari Bromaire, 313 A.F.

It is worth noting that there is no mention of Vorad in the earliest of Cyllian texts. It is unclear if this is an omission by design or something lost in translation from Illyrian. I find it curious that his role was not established until after the shaping, something that runs boldly against the Sevali orations.

There was no argument made regarding Elo and his place among the Firstborn. He was king, confirmed by the Brothers and Sisters, and he would rule thereafter. But he grew to worry over what was to become, preoccupied with the vision that was shared with he who was not a king.

“Tell me again, Brother,” Elo said to Sereventus. “What did you see in your vision?”

But It was Sereventus that was blessed with vision of what was to come, and he was not want to share everything that he saw, even if there was much that was hidden even from him. He remained thoughtful and careful with his words, sharing only what he must, even when pressed by his king.

“I saw a new land, dark and cold. I saw a fire that rose high above it. I saw things I have no name for. And I saw the shaping of these things,” Sereventus replied.

And Elo beamed with excitement. “Yes, the shaping, you have mentioned this before. Tell me of it, tell me how it came to you, tell me how to command it.”

Sereventus looked down, choosing his words carefully. “I believe it to be our purpose, my king. Just as the Makers created all that is, so too must we shape it according to the path.”

“Yes,” Elo said smoothly. “This path you have seen. Would that I could have seen it so that I might also know the path. Tell me, do you know how it came to you?”

“I know not, my king,” Sereventus lied, for he feared what Elo would become should he be blessed with the vision. “I know only that I was chosen, just as you were so chosen to be our king.”

And Sereventus took to his knee and bowed his head. Elo was satisfied, and though he coveted the vision, he was contented in his dominion over it. He did not need to see what was to come, for the one who did was bound to obey him, such was the way of things.

Elo considered these words for long under time. When he made his decision, he assembled the Brothers and the Sisters before him.

“Hark and heed my words,” said Elo. “Long have we dwelled upon the plane, lingering near the source of our making. But we have been given vision of what is to come.”

And the Brothers did nod in agreement, for they had heard of the vision many times.

“Our brother says It is our purpose to leave this land of light,” Elo continued, “and travel to a new land, one that is both dark and cold.”

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Thanks for reading.

Salt & ruin,

-Brandon

Regarding the Firstborn

Third day of the sixth cycle 3613, Illyrian Long Count.

Such is an account of my research into the Firstborn and the making of the world. While the Seveli account of the creation of the universe stands apart as unique and wholly original, the accounts of the lesser gods vary greatly depending on the source and subsequent successor culture.

Though my research into the topic remains ongoing; It stands to reason that the Seveli account of the Song of Creation can be agreed upon simply because its words were universally shared among all cultures following the Fall. While information has been intentionally culled by the Silence, it is curious that the individual venerations vary as greatly as they do from this point of confluence.

One might assume the strength of the Seveli oral traditions would hold their account of the lesser gods as most accurate. Ironically, it is in this belief that our plan has been so effective. I have personally witnessed more than one Justicar deliver an oration from a seed that I had planted. Even Sol Serephet couldn’t have predicted such success.

It is curious that the Cyllian tradition weighs so heavily in favor of Sereventus. Would that they knew the truth of their patron. Still, their aggression is troubling, as is this Cause they speak of. Hull tells me that Emerand has doubled their tribute and that peace is secured. He is a good soldier, but he misses the finer points.

I have dispatched three of my most promising students to Emerand as a precaution. Their mission is to secure the true words maintained within the Hall of Knowledge should Emerand come under siege. I have faith that should the worst happen, they will succeed in their mission, though I have made alternative plans to relieve Tol’Rukar of the original missives and any other Illyrian work found in their possession. The Ruklanders shouldn’t notice their absence; I am quite certain the barbarians don’t know how to read.

-Valan Forvana

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Thanks for reading.

Salt & ruin,

-Brandon

Part Two: The First Born

An excerpt from the Grimorlin

The First Born

-Passage from of Gods and Men. Original text recovered from the Great Library of Tol’ Rukar, transcribed by Valan Forvana in the year 3618, Illyrian Long Count.

Forward: Artimus Cahn, second scribe to High Lord Hectari Bromaire, 313 A.F.

There is debate between Sevaelis and the Venticle as to which of the brothers was first to awaken. For the purpose of this text, we will leave an account of the Venticle tradition, as the Sevali orations tend to vary depending on which patron god or goddess is favored in the region.

With the passing of The Father and The Mother into the ether, dominion of the heaven’s was entrusted to the first born.

Elo, being the first of sons to awaken upon Heaven’s Plane, led his brothers and sisters from the cave from which they were laid. It is said that they did not travel far from the mouth of the cave for fear that should their makers return and find them gone that they would be displeased. It is also said that they made camp in that spot (rumored to be north and west of Atol beyond the sea) for thirty and three days. It was upon the thirty and fourth day that Elo assembled his brothers and sisters before him.

“We have waited here for thirty and three days and thirty and three nights,” Elo said to the assembled. “Would we wait another thirty and three days and nights before you heed my words? They are not returning.”

Gol nodded in agreement. Sune nodded in agreement. Dwar was noncommittal. Sereventus was the only brother to object.

“What haste do we have, Brother?” Sereventus asked. “The rise and fall of the sun means not to you nor I. Would that we should wait here, not in eagerness for their return, but in appreciation for what they have left us.”

Dwar nodded in agreement. Sune was noncommittal. Gol was noncommittal. Elo was the only brother to object.

“Tell me, Brother,” Elo said, “What has been left to us? We lay claim to a valley beneath a cave. Yet there is land far unto the horizon. Is this land not also gifted to us? Would that we should explore this land and make it unto us as was intended.”

In this, all brothers did agree, save Sereventus, who was unconvinced.

“See now that we agree as brothers. We have toiled long under the sun. We have been prudent and heeded the wind and the sky in waiting. This land is ours to claim. It is our gift from the makers, so too is the gift to rule it.”

“Prudent we have been, Brother,” Sereventus said. “In this, we agree. I will not object, as such is the will of the Brothers. Though I give a word of caution, for it is woe to he that interprets the will of the makers.”

In this, Dwar did nod in agreement. Sune nodded in agreement. Gol was noncommittal. Elo was noncommittal.

“It is agreed, Brother,” Dwar said. “The will of the makers is unknown, it shall remain unknown, and only Time will reveal their purpose. Now, let us argue no longer. It is the will of the Brothers that we depart this land and lay claim to all the lands under the sun.”

In this, all brothers did agree.

The Sisters remained silent.

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Thanks for reading.

Salt & ruin,

-Brandon

One Month Anniversary!

It is hard to believe it has been one month since I first published A Promise of Iron.

To mark such an auspicious occasion I am running a special thank you promo to all my newsletter subscribers 1/19-1/23. Promo will begin tomorrow AM so check your email!

In addition to this special promo, the monthly newsletter will host giveaways, world updates and exclusive content. You don’t want to miss out.

Not subscribed yet? Click here!

Thanks for reading.

Salt & ruin,

-Brandon

Part One: The Song of Creation

An excerpt from the Grimorlin

The Song of Creation

-Oration performed by a Seveli Justicar. Transcribed by Valan Forvana in the year 3622, Illyrian Long Count

In the beginning, there was Void. All that had been was Void. All that was was Void. But Void was not of what was to come. Low and blessed did two voices wake from slumber. One was of salt and of sustenance and of keeping. One was of ruin and of wrath and of terror.

And the voices did sing, their separate notes, both soft and terrible. Their words told of what was to come.

So did Void stand, for his way was of what had been, and he was fearful. In challenge he did cry out to the voices. And he did boast, and he did bargain, and he did threaten.

The voices heard not. Their song sustained until their chorus became as one. And then there was a tremor, beating in time to the rhythm of their voice. And the heavens did quake and did tremble. And there was much fear. Then the song ceased, and all was silent and there was stillness once more.

Void, fearing what was to come, called out to the nothingness. He did not boast, and he did not bargain, and he did not threaten.

Then there was a light, both violent and terrible. And Void did cower before it.

Low and blessed was the light.

And it shone upon the heavens scattering the darkness. And the light did shine upon Void, and it came to know the nature of things, and it was displeased.

So it came to pass that the light splintered and became two, just as the voices were two. And they took form, dual as were the voices, though in harmony and concert and chorus they were.

And the first voice, one of salt and of sustenance and of keeping did look upon Void with eyes for the first time. And it looked upon him with pity.

So did the second voice, one of ruin and of wrath and of terror, look also upon Void with eyes for the first time. And it looked upon him with anger.

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Thanks for reading.

Salt and ruin,

-Brandon

Part Ten and Three: The Hustle

Retweet, like, follow, rinse, repeat. Feed the algorithm. Keywords, promos, giveaways, ARCs, reviews. Build your brand, build your base. Work the room, network… prowl. As daunting as it is disillusioning— the hustle is real. 

One powerful review can spark another while one bad review can set you back. Don’t get too hung up on either. Believe in your work or don’t publish it. The reviews are a technicality, a necessary evil to the indie publishing world— but they don’t define your work anymore than the art on the cover. 

Eager, hungry #writers lurk in every corner of social media. Collectively, they are the same. Desperate not for fame or riches, but for their words to mean something to someone other than themselves. How do you separate your voice from the chorus? 

It takes time. It takes patience. And when it does it usually happens organically. People are smart and numb to the endless stream of advertisement they are subjected to. It is the long con that separates— building real relationships with digital people. It is the slow play six moves ahead that pushes you to a critical mass. And it takes help… lots and lots of help. 

Keep working. Stay humble. Stay hungry. You have to feed the algorithm. Write, link, blog, post. Content…content…content. Linger in the background, answer the questions, earn the rep, earn the likes, earn your stripes. You gotta keep moving. You gotta hustle. 

Want to encourage an indie author? Follow their blog, their site, their half a dozen social media accounts. Write reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. And most importantly keep reading. As much as we write stories for ourselves, they are meaningless if we are the only ones to read them. 

Thanks for reading.

Salt and Ruin,

-Brandon