Sunshield is out in the world! We had a great time during release week, with several awesome events hosted by bookstores, blogs, podcasts, and Reddit. You all showed up throughout the week to ask questions, share photos of your books, and help me figure out what to wear to the virtual launch.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard from so many of you as you progress through the book. I’m so grateful to everyone who is enjoying it and/or cursing me from afar as they finish it! No matter what you think of it, please remember to post a short review on Amazon or Goodreads--that means a lot!
Since release day, I’ve had the great fortune to have been a guest on several podcasts and blogs to chat about Sunshield, writing, and sundry other topics. So in lieu of a brand-new blog post (Covid has really taken a bite out of my work schedule, and as you may have noticed, monthly blogs have been one of the casualties), here are links to some of the places I’ve appeared. Make sure to check out their other guests and topics, too! Also listed are all the independent bookstores where you can purchase a signed copy of Sunshield!
Check them all out below the jump!
Well, life has changed a lot since my previous blog post just a few weeks ago. I hope all of you are safe and well. It's been challenging to write and create in this new physical and mental reality, with my kids out of school and all kinds of anxiety. But I've been fortunate to have a lot of good news on the publishing end of things, starting with this exciting new sneak peek of Sunshield! Now you can read the first three chapters, meeting each of the three protagonists I've introduced to you over the past few months! Plus, Creatures of Light readers get a glimpse of an old familiar character. Follow the link below!
But wait! That's not all! If you have pre-ordered Sunshield or pre-order it any time before its release, follow this link to enter proof of purchase and receive an exclusive themed cell phone wallpaper!
More, you say? Guess what! Following the first two installments in the trilogy, Creatures of Light is an April Kindle Monthly Deal! From now until the end of the month, you can get the e-book for only $0.99 from your favorite e-book retailer! I highly recommend Bookshop.org, as your purchase goes to your local independent bookseller! Get it now!
Sunshield releases May 26th--look for some virtual events around that time to celebrate its launch. And someday... we'll all get back together again, and share all the things we've read while in isolation. Until then, be well, be good to yourselves, be good to others, and one crisis at a time.
March art round-up
Lark, Veran, The Witcher, a brain candy Queen's Thief piece, and some thank-you pieces to people who are making isolation a little brighter.
A desperate outlaw. A sheltered diplomat. An imprisoned heretic. If you’ve been following my blog posts over the past few months, you know we have one more Sunshield protagonist to meet. I’ve introduced you to Lark, the dreaded Sunshield Bandit, and Veran Greenbrier, the earnest court translator. The final cog in this trio is Tamsin Moropai—poet, musician, and the epicenter of an ambitious political coup.
Last month, I introduced you all to Sunshield and one of it’s protagonists, Lark. But she’s not the only main character. The book is written in rotating perspective among three characters, and while it’s Lark who gives the book it’s name and muscle, there’s another narrator who might strike a chord with readers of the Creatures of Light trilogy. His name is Veran Greenbrier, and he’s the son of Mae, protagonist of my first book, Woodwalker.
Though... it could be said he takes after other members of his family.
In this month’s post, I’ll share a little bit about Veran’s character, his struggles, and his earliest sketches in my notebooks. For the sake of readers who haven’t yet read Woodwalker, I’m going to keep this post free of spoilers for the Creatures of Light trilogy. Readers already familiar with Mae will know Veran’s lineage and the kind of upbringing he had. Those not familiar… let’s go not so much with mama bear, but mama wolf, who cuddles her pups before leading them out to kill an elk and howl about how great her territory is.
See it all after the jump!
Hey writers! Got a tricky scene that isn’t working out, and you can’t figure out why? Confounded by your characters’ inexplicable desire to do the opposite of what you want them to do? At a complete blank at what your protagonists are destined to do next? You might have a pivot point!
I’m using my last post of 2019 (written in 2019 but obdurately posted in 2020) to talk about this little writing nugget, partially because I haven’t done a post for writers since the summer, and also because I’m hoping this slide into 2020 will be a pivot point for me. 2019 was rough, for a variety of reasons from sheer business with my summer job to a series of mental/emotional cataclysms, but 2020 already feels more stable. My next book, Sunshield, releases in May, and I have several long-awaited goals coming to fruition in this next year. So it seemed topical to discuss these little oddities I think of as plot “pivot points.” Below I’ll talk about what these tricky scenes are, why they can send a manuscript spiraling out of control, and a few ways I approach them.
See it all after the jump!
Writers are busy, distracted beasts.
There’s never been a time in my writing career that I’ve had less than three manuscripts going at once. That’s not to say I’m writing them all at the same time—they’re always at different stages, from concept to drafting to editing to publication (for a peek at some of my strategies at each of these different stages, check out My Strategic Author Shoebox). This was true in the very early stages of Woodwalker, back in 2015 when it was just a baby manuscript looking for an agent. That year, I was a park ranger in Yellowstone querying my first book, drafting my second, and plotting my third, when a brand new character popped into my life. Over the past four years, that character has sprouted a whole world and duology around her, with book one, Sunshield, debuting on May 26, 2020.
The Outlaw Road duology has three narrators, but at the heart of the story is a single character, and it’s her alias that gives book one its title. Head below the jump to read about her origins and the story that grew around her, along with her visual development!
If you've been following along on social media this month, you've seen my daily Inktober pieces focused on climate change. It's been tough spending every day researching new ways we are poisoning our planet, which is why I wanted to use all that time and effort for something good. I hope we can all commit to making small changes in our lives while working toward large-scale changes in our communities and countries. Pick just one small action you plan to take to combat climate change, share it with me, and be entered to win a selection of this month's Inktober pieces. See all the details--plus suggestions for helpful changes--below!
While I can often come up with content for my “For Writers” and “For Artists” blog posts, I sometimes have trouble figuring out what readers are interested in. Do you want character sketches? Deleted passages? JK Rowling-style exposés on secret and possibly irrelevant backstory?
This month, instead of guessing, I decided to let you all tell me what you’re looking for. I finished out September with an Instagram Ask Me Anything, which I promised to answer in this month’s blog post. See your questions and their answers below!
It should go without saying, but there are MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS for the entire trilogy below--continue at your own risk!
Thanks to a summer of posting ranger photos and hashtags, I’ve had quite a few people get in touch to ask about becoming a park ranger. Since I’ve already scrambled this summer’s blog post topics anyway, I decided to take a detour from my usual posts and reflect a little on this season and the many routes to get into the coveted flat hat.
All statements and opinions are my own and are not endorsed or maintained by the National Park Service. All photos are my own.
Read it all after the jump!
There’s a lot of advice out there for writers at every step of the game, from concept to drafting to publishing. Different things work for different people—I know authors who edit heavily as they draft, not moving on until a scene is close to perfect, while others take whole chapters that are giving them problems and—get this—delete them. Not move them to another document—DELETE like a freaking CYBERMAN.
Everybody goes about this nutty process of book-writing in a different way, which is why I tend to stay away from offering hard and fast rules for writers. But! Having several different manuscripts in all stages of the game right now (one in concept, two in drafting, and one in revision), I’m using July’s blog post to break down the main strategies I use at each step of the process. It’s not really a toolbox so much as a shoebox—just a few useful knickknacks for navigating each stage of a novel’s journey.
Take a look below the jump!
Emily B. Martin
Author and Illustrator