Okay, so, one of the strategies that people talk about with regard to self-publishing is the use of something called a “book funnel,” which is a fairly broad term that refers to, say, a free story or novella that readers can pick up only by subscribing to your email list. Or a free book in a series, used as an inducement to subscribe but also available for purchase. This sort of idea is described, for example, here, and this is a technique that I want to consider more carefully and maybe put in place in 2022. Everyone seems to agree that building an email list is crucial, so well, probably I ought to take steps to do that, I guess.
So to open up options for that kind of thing, I thought, I’ve got this idea for a story set in the Tuyo world, I’ll write that and then think about how best to use it.
I figured this story would run about forty pages, fifty max — okay, maaaaybe up to 60 or so — but it ought to be fairly short, so it shouldn’t take long to write, and then once I had a finished draft I could set it aside for a bit and decide how to proceed whenever I got around to it.
Well, it may not surprise you to learn that the story wasn’t that hard to write and didn’t take too long, but poof! expanded to 130 pages or so, about 45,000 words. I finished it this morning, barring ordinary revision. It certainly seems long enough to just bring it out as a separate story. Which I guess I’ll do, sometime next year. I’ll need to revise it and get a cover for it and so on. I may still be able to use this story as a book funnel in one way or another; I’m not sure.
Regardless, this story is set directly after Tuyo. The basic idea … well, obviously you remember the battle that took place in the winter country. You probably remember that the inKera were going to care for those who were too badly injured to travel. No doubt you realize that a small handful of surviving Lau must have been among those injured. Well, think how a Lau physician would feel, learning about those Lau, abandoned in the winter country, subject to who knows what barbaric medical practices, maybe to neglect or outright abuse. If that physician were brave enough, he might well insist on heading into the winter lands, with as many medical supplies as he could carry, to deal with this situation.
Surgeon Dedicat Suelen Haras Soyauta, personal physician to the king of the summer country, is that physician.
I learned quite a bit about medical practices in ancient Rome and so forth while looking up stuff for this story. As you all no doubt realize, the history of medicine in the real world is horrifically depressing for an awfully long time. You’ll be glad to know that in the world of Tuyo, surgeons may make use of many helpful techniques that weren’t available in the real world. To be sure, some of those techniques would be viewed with great suspicion by the Ugaro, who equate all magic with sorcery.
Lord Gaur warned Suelen very strictly against using any but the most subtle cantrips while in the winter lands. But, faced with actual patients in dire need of treatment — Lau OR Ugaro — I’m sure you realize that any physician worth his salt would disregard all those warnings … and there you go. That’s the basic story.
So, that’s what I did over Thanksgiving weekend — finished this story. I hope you all — those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving — enjoyed the holiday as well!