It has been one heck of a ride to get the Aphora Duology finished and the end is near! How about we take a tour behind the scenes?
Fun fact: something you may not know is that originally, Cate travelled to Ziamen and closed the portal in book 1 but this felt so rushed that, after speaking with a friend, I decided to end the first book just before she goes to Ziamen. This allowed me to explore the demonic world more thoroughly and I’m eternally grateful for this.
Fun Fact: a friend of mine who shares very similar reading tastes, helped me to try and flesh out a 3rd book (because I’d initially said the series would be a trilogy) and I went back through what I’d already written to help set this up. When I decided this wasn’t the right story to tell, I had to go back an un-set up what I had done! I have learnt so much from not planning – never again!
I want to just quickly discuss why this book took so long to write and there really is no easy way of saying this other than, I freaked out. Yep. You heard me. After I released Aphora, I got the jitters and stopped working. I had no clear plan of direction for the trilogy (which subsequently became a duology) and got freaked out about putting my work out there. So, I just didn’t. You may have gathered from my recent post involving my ‘inner anxiety girl’ that I have this insane need for people to like me. For some reason, I felt putting my writing out there wasn’t going to achieve this. Now A) not everyone is going to like my writing anyway, especially as I’m still new and learning as I go; B) not everyone has to like me (I say, shushing my ‘inner anxiety girl’ for trying to disagree); and C) why do I write? Because I want to. That’s it. I love to write, I want to write.
Let’s fast forward to when things really got moving. It was November 2019 where I suddenly decided that Aphora was a duology, not a trilogy. (Check out my post on what duologies are and how this related to Aphora.) My husband, one of my biggest supporters, was nothing but encouraging and this gave me the push I needed to finish the sequel.
BUT. . .I will say this time and time again: writing without a plan was my biggest mistake. I literally made a bullet point list in November 2019 to help me get to the end. Previously, I’d add a bit here or a bit there to the working story, but it was sitting down and thinking about a ‘plan’ of sorts that really helped get the writing wheel turning again.
January: It was January when I finally finished the first draft. I announced it was going to be released June 30th aaand then I decided to put on a brave hat and send it for some editing. This is the first time it has gone to someone, a professional, on a paid basis and not a friend I trusted. Yikes.
The feedback came through and she’d written an 11 page document for me. The first paragraph was the well-done bit. My heart sank. However, when I read her very thorough feedback, I found myself nodding away and agreeing with everything she said as I could see it from her viewpoint now, no longer my own biased outlook where the world of Aphora is obvious inside my own head. I set to work on the major edits, changes in timeline for the story and character flaws – most of which lined up with what my friend had said too, this was just a bit more in depth.
The copy editing came back mid-April and then I was able to start thinking about the publication and contacting the cover designer. It was the same person who did the first book and she is ah-may-zing! I always have issues with the paperback being a bit darker when printed so we had to sort this issue out; the proof arrived mid-May. I could not believe I was holding the finished duology in my hand.
A lot of sweat, blood, tears and time went into this. A lot of mistakes were learnt. No matter what anybody thinks, I am so incredibly proud of what I have done. Even the mistakes I am proud of because I have learnt from them, and I’m now currently in the middle of editing book 2 of my current work in progress: the Bloodline Alliance trilogy (don’t worry, this is a trilogy and has been planned thoroughly!).
With all this in mind, would you like to hear some awesome news? I’m bringing the release date of Aphora: The Last Guardian forward. It will now be released towards the beginning of June. Friday the 5th to be exact. I’ve also decided that as the kindle e-book is on pre-order, all pre-orders will get the discounted price of 99p (if you have previously pre-ordered, you will now pay this new price too!) Make the most of the discount until it ends on the 6th June!
I will also set the paperback to ‘live’ on the 5th June!
You can read more about Aphora: The Last Guardian by clicking the link and get your discounted pre-order kindle e-book copy on here!