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Going Down the Grimdark Road of Conviction

June 14, 2015

Now that Aconitum is complete, it’s time to tell you about my next serial. First, here’s the cover:

ConvictionI decided to go for something very different from my last one for this and feature the main character on the cover instead of something simple and symbolic.

Conviction takes place in the same fantasy world as a few of my other stories. In fact, one of the characters in it is the protagonist of a story I wrote ten years ago, and he has popped up in two other novels since then. None of them have been published, but perhaps I will get back to working on his story after Conviction.
In any case, Conviction is a complete work in itself, so even though it’s set in the same world as other stories, it’s entirely independent (and I hope that if I someday publish the others, the crossover characters will be little easter eggs for readers to enjoy if they notice).

I wrote the first draft of Conviction in the autumn of 2013. That’s a year after Aconitum, and between them I wrote a middle grade fantasy story (which I’m still working on). I’ve hoped to publish Conviction since its main character showed up in my head, but my main concern was that it was too short. At around 30K words, I felt it was fairly complete, but that’s nowhere near novel length (in comparision, Aconitum is just over 90K words).

Well, then something happened a little while ago. I learnt that the publisher Black Hill Press has teamed up with JukePop for a novella competition, and I realised that Conviction is actually a novella. It has more scope than a short story (and is a lot longer), but its focus is on only a few characters, and the timespan of it is short compared to most novels. So I’ve been working hard those past few weeks to get the first chapters ready for serialisation. The first one went live only a few minutes ago.

So what’s it actually about? Well, have a blurb:

In a world where wizardry is an integrated part of warfare, some kinds of magic are considered too dark and destructive to be acceptable even for military use.
Iliya Radov awaits his sentence for war crimes, and it soon turns out that his fate is in the hands of one of the continent’s most influential men who insists on hearing Iliya’s side of the story before the trial.
Conviction is a tale of courage and carnage. It is a universal story of poverty, education and ambition, of scars on the human soul and of decisions of life and death that no one wants to make.

Three winners will be picked for paperback publishing and the judges will look closely at the novellas’ analytics. In other words; if you are just a tiny bit curious, I would be super happy if you headed on over to take a look at Conviction. It’s 100% free and If you like it, you can support the novella and help me a great deal by voting for it (you can vote once for each chapter).

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2015 8:23 pm

    I think most writers have characters like that. I know The Watcher is someone from a different story I wrote out of the 139 Trilogy, which I also hope to publish one day. But I think it’s fun, to write a character you already know of, the complete product, so to speak, and go back to explore the past again in the future. Like time travel. Confusing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 15, 2015 3:39 pm

      I’m not surprised about The Watcher, actually. He seems very well-rounded and like he has quite a history. I agree, it’s really great to be able to reuse/explore them. In one of the stories, this guy of mine (he’s the Keeper in Conviction) is only in a dream that another character has (it sounds odd, but that story is all about dreams).


  2. J.A. Waters permalink
    June 18, 2015 2:07 pm

    I’m really enjoying Conviction so far and am really happy to hear that there is more to the world already in place. It seems very fleshed out already from just the first chapters and the why makes sense. It also fits with your writing being so character focused that you’d have explored them more. I wish I could read Conviction straight through though… There’s definitely this weird love-hate relationship I’m having with serials right now because of the delayed gratification.

    But yeah, for me characters are always the first thing I think up and sometimes I end up building the world around why they must exist.


    • June 18, 2015 2:18 pm

      Hey, thanks a lot for the comment! 🙂 First I’m all, I’m super happy that you’re enjoying Conviction! I’m like you when it comes to characters and world building. Characters pop up in my head, and if they are interesting enough to explore, I start looking at the world around them. 🙂 And there happens to be a whole lot of world around Iliya. 😉



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