Schooled in Magic/General Update

29 Dec

As you know, Little Witches came out just before Christmas (Happy Christmas) and, pretty much immediately afterwards, I finished the first draft of The Right Side of History, which picks up immediately after Little Witches.  I’m hoping to get the eBook out by mid-February, but obviously it depends on editing and cover designing.  After that, my rough plan is to write The Face of the Enemy and Child of Destiny in February and April respectively.  After that …

I do intend to expand The Cunning Man’s Tale (which will be published in Fantastic Schools III) into a full novel, perhaps as the first of a trilogy.  It follows a very different character from Emily –  for starters, he’s not a magician – as Heart’s Eye becomes the home of a steampunk-style world.  I’m scribbling down notes for that, although – as always – I intend the first novel to be fairly stand-alone.  I also intend to continue with the Stuck in Magic serial – I hope you’re enjoying it. 

I do have more story ideas for Emily, so she will be back.  <grin>.

On different books …

Cast Adrift is being looked at by a publisher, but – of course – there’s no guarantee of anything.  If it doesn’t get through the filters, I’ll publish it online and then start writing the squeals. 

Fighting for the Crown (Ark 16) just came out too and I’m scribbling notes to turn the Drake’s Drum concept into an actual plot. 

I have a rough plan for The Prince’s War, which will be the first of a new series following Prince Roland as he kicks ass in the chaos of the dying empire.  I’m not sure, yet, if I should write that one in March or Drake’s Drum.

I’m messing around with other ideas, both fantasy and SF.

One of them is set in the very dawn of empire, in which a star union is bent on reuniting the human race for very good reasons … not, of course, that everyone sees it that way.  The hero would get in serious trouble as he graduates the space academy and, for political reasons, is punished by being promoted to Lt. Commander (he graduated as a LT), given command of a rust-bucket and told to establish law and order in a distant sector.  His enemies think he’ll be blown away (it’s a rubbish ship), find it an impossible task or simply get lost when the time comes for more promotion,

Another – more fantasy than anything else – would follow a princess, the twin sister of the Crown Prince, who escapes her uncle’s clutches when he takes the throne for himself, poses as her brother and raises a rebellion. 

I’ve also been looking at a handful of short stories for the Fantastic Schools set and suchlike.

What do you think I should do first?


33 Responses to “Schooled in Magic/General Update”

  1. Jared December 29, 2020 at 4:08 pm #

    Wonderful!! I’m really excited for more SIM. You are a very prolific writer and I’m glad because I always have something to read!

  2. Tim December 29, 2020 at 4:22 pm #

    Just bought Fighting for the Crown, please write Drakes Drum next 🙂 I am 100% up to date on the Marines in the Empires Corps series, and following Prince Roland sounds like a proper yarn could come out, but the virus in that timeline I’m dying to know what happens there…! 🙂

  3. Mike Newman December 29, 2020 at 4:50 pm #

    Please dont end the schooled in magic series !!!

    • Ethir Nandor December 29, 2020 at 4:58 pm #

      I am very happy to hear she will be back. I was not looking forward to the announced end of the series.
      Emily has grown up a lot since book 1, but this world is full of different problems and situations that might challenge her in different ways.

      Personally I do not need a the longer story arches like the ‘cloak’ situation. A strong point in this series for me is that the books (mostly) stand on their own, and have different styles and subjects. That keeps a 20+ book series fresh.

      As long as you have ideas: PLEASE share them with us in book-form 🙂

  4. thomas Monaghan December 29, 2020 at 5:03 pm #

    This one please!!!

    One of them is set in the very dawn of empire, in which a star union is bent on reuniting the human race for very good reasons ..

  5. Cathy Howat December 29, 2020 at 7:56 pm #

    DRAKE’S DRUM, PRINCES WAR, news series. Perhaps you could name the old ship VOYAGER, VAMPIRE, OR WATERHEN. They were three of the six old V&W class destroyers purchased by the RAN in the mid thirties, that formed the ” Scrap Iron Flotilla ” in the Med in the early years of WW2. Despite their age and outdated armament they performed valiantly, look it up. HMAS WATERHEN (aka ” The Chook”) was our first naval casualty of the war.


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  6. johntae71 December 29, 2020 at 9:16 pm #

    I like the dawn of empire theory. You send a ship of malcontents commanded by a righteous dude off to the back end of nowhere filled with “forgotten” populations and promptly forget about them.

    A functional warship, trained crew, motivated leadership. What could go wrong if left alone for decades.

  7. Chris December 29, 2020 at 9:25 pm #

    If it were up to me it would be more Emily all day every day.

  8. rwahrens December 29, 2020 at 10:19 pm #

    I’d love to see the protagonist in The Cunning Man’s Tale in a scene where he meets with Emily and one of them realizes they are both from Earth. Some interesting scenarios could come from that meeting, good AND bad!

  9. Corwin December 29, 2020 at 10:38 pm #

    I want and need more novels set in the Zero universe. I have very little interest in SF and especially military SF, but I love your SIM and Zero books.

    • Mikael December 29, 2020 at 11:46 pm #

      I also have little interest in SF at the moment but love the SIM and Zero books.

  10. SnarkOrBoojum December 30, 2020 at 5:34 am #

    Let’s make a list of questions that must be answered before the end of SIM series(except the obvious ones):

    1. Who built the castles on the nexus points and why? In one of the books Emily hinted that castles represent some runic alphabet on more global scale, so it was some sort of ritual or spell, then what is it for?
    2. What is true nature of nexus points? That mysterious holes in the world that bring magic and life, exists in all points of time simulteneously and in the several last books poses some inteligent. One nexus point tried to seduce Emily with promises of unbelievable knowledge, the other one brought her back to life(it is how I, personally, see that scene in Oathkeeper. Is Emily a mimic now?).
    3. What happened to master Wolfe? He was dead, then he become mimic. That is ok if that story was the end of him, but remember he used necromancy to remade himself as a mimic, and in the “Firsts Of Justice” Emily found some traces of his influence. Is he evolutioned himself in something even more dangerous?
    4. Is technological earth and the magical earth linked somehow? Not only Emily and other one person travelled from our world to the world of SIM, but in the “Paste Tense” Myrddin The Sane(or Merlin) travelled back and even be able to use magic in our world. Maybe it is not two different worlds but one world only splitted in half somehow?
    5. Where did the Emily’s demon go? The one which she got from the Robin. Emily sold part of herself to the demon for safe return from the past. Because of that Emily lost her ability to see him, but there are some hints in the books that he always with her. She sees the glimses of him sometimes on her shoulder. What is demons plan? How they linked to the nexus points?
    6. What happened to the third continent? The continent that was on the old maps, but not exists on the new ones.

    Please extend the list by questions i forget to add, or remove questions if you know the answers, that i missed.

  11. Ian Martin December 30, 2020 at 6:41 am #

    Only end schooled in magic if it has a good conclusion and all ends are tied up
    otherwise you are not being respectful to the people keeping you in the job you enjoy

    • SnarkOrBoojum December 30, 2020 at 10:16 am #

      How do you think Emily’s story arc must ended? I dont beleave that is some “live happily everafter” in her future. Will it be the soft end, the one where Emily is dead to the SIM world, but still actually live, after she was achieved all of her goals(and we can meet her as secondary character in other books)? Or hard end where Emily is actually dead and gone(or returned to our world, what is practically the same)?

      • Jared December 30, 2020 at 10:49 am #

        I think she’ll have achieved her goal of being a loan power. Wether she does what void did and change her name who knows. But I’d don’t think she will die. Chris says as much above. But I believe she will become somewhat of an outcast because of her power. Even though her friends are loyal I could see a point in time where being her friend could cause a lot of social and political problems for them.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 30, 2020 at 3:56 pm #

        Right now, I’m thinking that some of her friends will come up with a better solution to the Allied Lands problems that Void’s solution and Emily will be in “I like this idea and will support it (with a strongly implied I’ll back it with extreme measures)” Mood.

        Then once the solution accepted by most of the Powers-That-Be, Emily will step back and follow her own interests. Study of magic itself. Finding better ways to make life easier for the average person in the Allied Lands. And so forth.

        She may become a Lone Power but not in Void’s Way.

        She will have friends but will try to not take part in many of the (remaining) political arguments.

      • SnarkOrBoojum December 31, 2020 at 3:29 am #

        Right now I am with master Lucknow – even Emily’s existence upsets the balance of the world. But they(other magitians) not afraid of her(i mean not afraid to mess with her) even after all what she done. Do you think that status of lone power will protect her? She must do something very extraordinary to get white council of her back. Cannot wait to read next book.

      • Jared December 31, 2020 at 5:01 am #

        I think they’re scared of her. How many magicians did they send to capture her? And I bet they are all really powerful.

  12. Arthur Raisfeld December 30, 2020 at 7:38 pm #

    Where can I find the Stuck in Magic serial? I somehow managed to miss that.

  13. Bryce December 31, 2020 at 6:37 am #

    I am sorry the book was okay. But I did not see what the book was for. Other then the last chapter where the wizards showed up to arrest Emily. Maybe some one could let me know what I missed.

    • Arthur Raisfeld January 1, 2021 at 11:03 pm #

      Please don’t put spoilers here without a warning! I hadn’t read that far yet.

  14. roykmathur December 31, 2020 at 8:55 am #

    My favorite of your series is Emily, more so than others in the Schooled in Magic series. I have imagined her developing a magic programming language/engine, which would make casting complex spells easy by using an Object Oriented approach such as Inheritance. You hinted at it in how the nexus are controlled.

    I was hoping for a continuation of Inverse Shadows.

    I enjoy the A Learning Experience series over the Ark Royal series.

    I haven’t yet started reading the Fantastic Schools series, even though I purchased the first book a couple months ago.

    BTW, after reading a couple other authors books, I am ecstatic that your books rarely have editing errors. Such a relief! Kudos to you.

  15. terrag32256 January 2, 2021 at 3:34 pm #

    Do you have any plans to expand the Unwritten Words series? I just finished the third one and I loved it.

    • chrishanger January 27, 2021 at 10:50 am #

      I have a rough idea, but no clear plan as yet.


  16. Bryce January 5, 2021 at 7:34 am #

    I would like a book on the lone powers. There must be more than 2 that we have met.

  17. Tarun Elankath January 9, 2021 at 6:53 am #

    I hope “Child of Destiny” is the penultimate book. The last book should be “Lone Power” – at the ascendent Peak of Magic. And also please tie up all the loose plot points and the questions about the previous Empire, the Fae and the origin of Nexus Points, etc.

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