The Four-Book Trilogy
How can a trilogy have four books? An interesting question.
The Last Whisper of the Gods Saga is a trilogy. The three books - The Last Whisper of the Gods, The Curse in the Gift, and Shadow of the Otherverse - form the entire story: beginning, middle, and end. Those who have read all three can testify that the story concludes. Nevertheless, there will be a fourth book.
The Last Whisper of the Gods Saga: Stories from Ayberia is not "mandatory" reading for those who have explored the trilogy. It's a supplemental volume. It offers new material but it's meant to enhance the experience of reading the other books, not drag them out. So consider this book to be for fans only. What does it contain? There are three sections: deleted scenes, prequel short stories, and a sequel novel.
There will be six short "deleted scenes" - self-contained sections of chapters that didn't make it into the published novel for one reason or another (usually because cutting them improved the pacing). It was fun to go through and resurrect some of these scenes. Although none of them would improve the saga if re-incorporated into their original volume, they represent opportunities to revisit some old friends.
For quite some time, this website hosted eight short story prequels that were intended to introduce interested readers to the world and some of the characters of The Last Whisper of the Gods Saga. Those have since been taken down. I'm now in the process of revising them. Some will be longer, some will be about the same. But they'll all be collected in one place in a more polished format. They are: "The Priest" (about the priest Valdemar, who wandered into the stable in Chapter One of The Last Whisper of the Gods), "The Virgin" (Ponari, a.k.a. "Mrs. Warburm"), "The Knave" (Justin), "The Warrior" (Vagrum), "The King's Man" (Langashin the torturer), "The Serving Wench" (Annie), "The Iron King" (Rangarak), and "The Spymaster" (Gorton). These can be read prior to The Last Whisper of the Gods Saga to provide background and color. They can be read afterward to expand the backstories of some of the characters who have played a part in the tale. They are relatively spoiler-free.
For those craving something new, there's "The Prelate's Legacy", a 70-page novella sequel. Transpiring 15 years after the last chapter of Shadow of the Otherverse, it expands on an event mentioned in passing during the epilogue. The novella features some new characters and old favorites. This is not spoiler-free. It openly references the end of the trilogy and therefore is best read afterward (although it is, for the most part, self-contained).
Stories from Ayberia is currently in the development stage and will be released in ebook form for $2.99 in late June. I don't have a final publication date but June 20 sounds about right.
The only other Last Whisper news is that plans are afoot to publish the trilogy in trade paperback format toward the end of the year. November looks like the most likely date. All three books will be published simultaneously. Despite my desire to hold down costs, I have discovered that the overhead on limited run paperbacks is pretty steep and tied to page count. These are pretty long books. I had hoped to offer them around $10 each but that's unrealistic. I would lose money. So it looks like they'll be $15.99 (Last Whisper), $17.99 (Curse), and $19.99 (Shadow). Those aren't final.
In a future post, I'll start talking about my next series, The Elusive Strain, which should see the publication of Book One before the end of the year. Books Two and Three will arrive in 2017 with Books Four and Five in 2018 to round out the five-book series.