Okay, so today is the very last day I can make changes to INVICTUS: CAPTIVE before KDP locks its page in preparation for the preorder drop date, which as you know is this coming Friday.
This is fine! It’s been good to go for a week! But last night I decided to simplify the spelling of one word — very last minute, yes — so I did that this morning and then I felt compelled to scan through the entire preview for both the ebook and the paperback version ONE MORE TIME. They both look fine, but I have this terrible feeling that someday I will do something awful, like load the wrong book or something. I always feel compelled to check and then check again and today that’s over because now it’s too late. Pre-release jitters, ugh.
Oh, I hit “publish” on the paperback version about five minutes ago, by the way. KDP says it can take up to 72 hours, but usually it’s faster. I wanted to make sure the paperback drops about the same time as the ebook, and a few days early is fine with me if everything is in order. Which, jitters aside, it is.
I will be so interested in reader reactions! (This is a different kind of stress.) (A kind that lasts much longer.) I will be very particularly interested in reactions from people who read an early version, because I tweaked this one more than usual, not to mention adding extra scenes and chapters. But I’m interested in general because I expect a good many readers who picked this up will have read NO FOREIGN SKY, which is very different from this duology.
No Foreign Sky
- Is very fast-paced.
- Is not character-centered, though it does the heavy lifting for worldbuilding so I should be able to do more with characters in sequels.
- Has aliens, along with wildly different human societies.
- Is space opera, with multiple iterations of sharply rising stakes.
- Puts almost everything important right out in front of the reader.
- Even though some readers didn’t like names such as Kuotaan, the names are short and there are very few unfamiliar words.
- Is much, much slower paced, especially at first.
- Is character-centered.
- Does not have aliens, but does present wildly different human societies.
- Is not space opera, I’m pretty sure. (What is space opera? I should do a post about that.)
- Hides a whole lot of important stuff from the reader.
- The names aren’t difficult, but many of them aren’t familiar — and there are a fair number of unfamiliar words, lots of which are long, such as “vysovashirovasin.”
Every now and then, I indulge my liking for cool words. This is one of those books. In my opinion, English doesn’t offer enough words like “ovoviviparity.” Well, in the non-English-derived language in Invictus, I got to enjoy creating words with lots of v’s and y’s. The language is derived from Russian. There’s a note about this in the book, but I’ll add here that this whole thing with the language in Invictus occurred because I came across the word “ubezhishche,” which means “refuge” in Russian. I really liked this word, the way it looks, the way it sounds in my mind’s ear, so I dropped it into this story and came up with a backstory that justifies the language.
There is, by the way, a glossary in the back. Hopefully readers will notice that as they skim past the table of contents. If you were at risk of missing it, now you know it is there.
But my point is, given the many important differences, how will readers who liked NFS feel about Invictus? I don’t know! Aargh! I guess we’ll find out!
My own level of enthusiasm for this story has gone up and down a bit depending on how much I was struggling with revision at the time, but having just re-read Captive multiple times for small-scale tweaking and proofing, and then just having finished the first round of small-scale tweaking for Crisis last night … I am back to liking this duology quite a bit. That’s a relief.
Also! Thoughts of sequels are drifting through my mind. I’m thinking of doing something with Erec Chatham as a protagonist, Ketsova or Desya as another protagonist — Desya might instead pick up the pov in a different sequel — and someone from the Sokonakoh Empire as a protagonist or important secondary character. Very character-first ideas here. I’ve got no notion about any possible plot. Something arising from complications connected to the Invictus plot, I suppose.
Yes, SILVER CIRCLE is moving forward. You’ll be stunned to know that things are taking longer than expected; eg, we’re on chapter seven and juuuuust getting moving after much more time on the setup than I thought it would take. But it’s fun setup! I think! We’ll see what happens later, but I’m pretty satisfied with it so far. I’ll probably do some trimming, but that’s not something to worry about now. I have little boldfaced notes to myself about things I need to remember later. I’m doing foreshadowing and thinking, ack, what if I just forget the element I’m foreshadowing? Thus, notes.
You know, if you read the novella in the Tuyo World Companion, I’d appreciate it if you’d go drop a brief review on the book’s page. There’s exactly one review so far. If you don’t quite know how to comment on other elements, which is certainly understandable, then just a quick “Hey, the novella is good!” would perhaps reassure readers who aren’t sure they care about the world notes.