War Witch: Rise

For those who haven’t already clicked over to Anime Evo and checked it out, today I’m showcasing the front cover of my soon to be released novel, War Witch: Rise!

The first book in an epic fantasy series, set in a world caught in an eternal war between Gods, War Witch is the story of two young women who set out on a quest to find and defeat the most dangerous villain alive. The journey, and the war, will change them both in ways they cannot foresee, and may well bring their quest to an end long before they face their deadly foe.

For a bit more, scroll on down, but first, here it is. The cover of my first novel with publisher Booktrope.

War-Witch-front-cover-finalYes, I made it very big. What can I say? I’m pretty excited about this.

The cover is by amazing artist Amalia Chitulescu, and you can see more of her incredible work at Deviant Art. Go show her some love. Believe me, she more than deserves it.

As for the book itself, here’s what the back cover has to say about it.

In the war between Heaven and Hell, mortals are the weapons. Granted Divine Power, the Blessed are agents of the Gods, seeking out the Demon Seed and showing them no mercy in an endless war for the fate of creation.

For one such Blessed, Ramora, the mute warrior priestess of the God of War, to save the Middle World means hunting down the Dark Blessed who took everything from her. A fierce, strong, and clever Cleric, backed by a lost art of magic, she foolishly believes herself ready for the battles to come.

By her side, Chara, a young farm girl with an unusually agile mind, and a fate that may yet destroy her as she is groomed by Heaven itself to be a weapon like none other. Her illusions of herself, and the nature of the world, will be stripped away as she faces absolute evil with nothing but her desire to stand firm.

Together, they will challenge Hell, and the most fearsome foe the world has ever seen.

Now, that’s just what the back cover has to say. I’m gonna have a heck of a lot more than that to say about it, believe me. Of course, that’s all gonna have to wait, because we’ve got more important matters to attend to first.

First off, when I said this was my first novel with Booktrope, that wasn’t to imply it’s my first novel ever. I did some time in the self published circle before Booktrope gave me a chance. Most of that was invested in my zombie apocalypse series, Bunnypocalypse, which will be getting reprinted through Booktrope in the near future, because they are awesome.

However, this novel is still my first one to be accepted and published by an actual publishing company, making it a pretty momentous event in my life. I’ve been trying to get a novel published for over twenty years now, and the number of rejection letter you get in that time can really dampen your spirits.

Why wasn’t I accepted sooner, you ask? There’s a number of reasons, mostly to do with what I write. Which is a nice way of saying that War Witch isn’t going to be the kind of fantasy novel people expect. It’s not Lord of the Rings, is what I’m getting at.

I’ve always known that my inability to write standard fiction was a big roadblock I faced, as very few publishing companies are going to gamble on anything that steps outside the norm. Yet, for whatever reason, coloring inside the lines isn’t something I can do. Never has been, and I really doubt it ever will be.

How does that apply here? The first obvious way is that both my main characters are women. Don’t even give me that eye roll. You know as well as I do that leading women in fantasy is not common. That said, this isn’t something I did because I was trying to be challenging, but instead, simply because that was the story that came to me. Writers don’t always get a say in what their imagination kicks out, after all.

Another way this book deviates from the norm is that one of the characters who plays a large role in the story is a martial artists Elf, who by the way, happens to be black. She’s awesome, funny, charming, and a bit dirty minded. I adore her. This book would not be half as good without her in it.

It doesn’t stop there, either. My imagination is a crazy thing, and I often liken it to a giant frenzied squirrel that’s just running around shaking every tree it can, looking for only the most out of the ordinary nuts. This book has a scholarly were-jaguar, a lesbian Troll, a gunslinger who wields magic weapons, an inappropriate rabbit spirit, a flying fortress, and a wise Ogre. It does all kinds of things fantasy snobs says you aren’t suppose to do and it revels in it.

It is also the culmination of twenty years of work for me. Twenty very long years I spent detailing out the world, filling in the nooks and crannies, and giving it all the life I could. Twenty years spent trying to find the right way to tell this one story, that has sat in my head for so long now, I don’t even know who’d I be without it.

So, come next month, December of 2015, I will share that twenty years of effort with you all. Even then, it’ll just be the first step on a new journey, and one I cannot wait to make.

Get ready, and grab your ass, folks. The War Witch is coming.

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