Tag Archives: Altaerra

Meet Magic’s Daughter

In just three weeks, Magic’s Daughter will make its debut on the Radish app.

Meanwhile, I’ve conjured this Q&A to prepare you for my return to Altaerra.


What is Magic’s Daughter about?

Behold, yon back-cover blurb:


Selena Nelesti wants nothing to do with her noble name.

While her mother schemes to find her a highborn husband, young Selena escapes into her studies, learning about the warriors and wizards who shaped the world.

But ancient history cannot free her future. To destroy the shackles of duty and forge her own path, she must seek out new knowledge—forbidden knowledge.

All magic requires sacrifice, however, and if Selena is not careful, it may consume her completely.

At its core, Magic’s Daughter is a coming-of-age story of a girl who feels out of place in her own family as well as the world. The tale falls within the sword-and-sorcery fantasy genre.

Who is the book about?

Selena Nelesti, the youngest daughter of a Superian duke, is our protagonist. She’s smart, stubborn, and, at times, self-centered.

We also meet Selena’s parents, her many brothers and sisters (each with his/her own quirks), and a couple of love interests as she gets older.

What does the title mean?

Selena was named after the moon, where, according to myth, the Goddess of Magic dwell. Since Selena can’t relate to her mother and siblings, she fantasizes about running away and being someone—anyone—else.

“Family” is a big theme in this book; the title tips its (conical) hat to that.

Where does Magic’s Daughter take place?

The book is set in Altaerra, the same world as in The Renegade Chronicles. But whereas that trilogy primarily took place in the island province of Capricon, Magic’s Daughter focuses on Superius, the most powerful kingdom in the Continent United.

Altaerra is a medieval realm populated by humans, elves, dwarves, and other fantastic races. It’s also home to all kinds of magic.

Is Magic’s Daughter a sequel to The Renegade Chronicles?

Although I wrote Magic’s Daughter after The Renegade Chronicles, it actually takes place a few years before the events of that series.

So it’s a prequel then?

Not precisely. Magic’s Daughter starts before the Renegade War and ends during its aftermath. A few names from The Renegade Chronicles crop up, but Magic’s Daughter is about a new cast of characters in a different (though not-too-distant) part of the world.

Who is the intended audience for Magic’s Daughter? What’s it “rated”?

Any fan of sword-and-sorcery fantasy is susceptible to Magic’s Daughter’s spell. Because the book stars a 14-year-old girl, the story fits nicely into the young adult (YA) subgenre.

If it were a movie, it would be rated PG or maybe PG-13 for some violence and sexual situations.

What was your inspiration for this book?

Selena Nelesti is one of three wizardly characters who play a pivotal role in future storylines. Rather than start with a book about how the trio meets—and jump into another saga—I wanted to try my hand at a story entrenched in family drama and focused on a single character, rather than an ensemble as in The Renegade Chronicles.

Moreover, I wanted to explore why Selena is how/who she is when she eventually connects with her future companions.

Could I write a self-contained, coming-of-age story that champions intrigue over battle? Is Selena’s childhood and introduction to magic worth telling? Am I capable of weaving disparate mysteries together to create a satisfying story?

Magic’s Daughter answers those questions with a resounding “yes!”

Where will Magic’s Daughter be available?

The book will first be released on Radish, an app that specializes in serial fiction. The first seven chapters of the book will be available on Sept. 3, 2019.

The first three chapters will be free. Readers can pay virtual coins (that equate to real-world currency) if they wish to read ahead. New chapters will go live every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday thereafter.

I’ll publish the entire novel in paperback and e-book in spring 2020.

What’s next? Will there be more books set in Altaerra?

My initial hope was that Magic’s Daughter would serve as an alternate entry point into my Altaerra fiction and serve as a “Book 1” for a new series that centers on the magic-casters. I have half of a rough draft of a potential Book 2, so it’s altogether possible that their future adventures will be released in some way, shape, or form.

In the short term, however, my next novel will be a standalone YA portal fantasy set in a very different world. (More on that in the months to come!)

Where can buy The Renegade Chronicles?

So glad you asked!


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A return to Altaerra

Dorothy was right: there’s no place like home.

A long time ago, I built a fantasy world and penned countless adventures across many of its locations and time periods.

I eventually wrote a series of sword-and-sorcery novels set in Altaerra and, much later, published them, releasing Rebels and Fools, Heroes and Liars, and Martyrs and Monsters on an otherwise unremarkable Tuesday in 2016.

Then I moved onto a new series, not anticipating a return to Altaerra anytime soon.

Neither did I expect that returning home to my story about a wickedly brilliant witch would feel so good.


I mentioned Magic’s Daughter briefly last month, listing it among my upcoming projects. To start at the beginning, I wrote the first draft of Magic’s Daughter immediately after finishing the final book of The Renegade Chronicles in 2005.

The goal was to write a story that could serve as a bridge between The Renegade Chronicles and a new series that focused on spell-casters, including Selena Nelesti, the titular character of Magic’s Daughter. Worst case scenario, Magic’s Daughter would be a standalone novel.

But even though I completed a first draft of the book, I never truly finished it.

I read the completed manuscript, took notes for editing, and then didn’t touch it again for years. I simply couldn’t get motivated to work on it. For one thing, it was a very different from The Renegade Chronicles (more on that later), and for another, I was eager to write what happened next.

Which I did.

In fact, I made it halfway through the sequel before stalling out. It felt like I was connecting the dots between the two series and, truth be told, I was feeling burned out. I had been reading and writing sword-and-sorcery fantasy, exclusively, for a dozen years. Nothing felt fresh anymore.

Could it be that I was—gasp!—tired of Altaerra?

Plot twist

Before I explain why I picked up Magic’s Daughter again after 14 years, let me expound on the differences between The Renegade Chronicles and this “new” book:

  • Magic’s Daughter starts well before the Renegade War and only tangentially touches upon the political strife in Continae.
  • Whereas The Renegade Chronicles features an ensemble cast with multiple point-of-view characters scattered across Capricon, Magic’s Daughter focuses on a single protagonist (Selena) in Superius.
  • Because it functions something like a biography, Magic’s Daughter favors drama and intrigue over fast-faced action. (Think of it as a slow burn rather than a barrage of flashy fireballs.)
  • While a few familiar names from The Renegade Chronicles pop up in Magic’s Daughter, Selena’s story introduces people, places, and concepts that stretch far beyond the rebellion and the wars that follow.
map of Western Arabond

Whereas The Renegade Chronicles primarily took place in Capricon (that small island south of the mainland), Magic’s Daughter is set in Superius.

For these reasons (and more), I’ve been reluctant to rework Magic’s Daughter, though I never stopped thinking about it. In fact, I reread it shortly after The Renegade Chronicles were released. Since then, I had earmarked it as a story more suitable for some other storytelling medium—such as a comic book or a serial novel, perhaps released chapter by chapter on my own website.

When I stumbled onto an article about a popular app for publishing serial fiction, I knew I had to give it a shot.

A happy ending…hopefully

Radish (https://radishfiction.com) puts thousands of serialized stories at readers’ fingertips. It’s built on the premise that people like reading on their phones or tablets during their commute, while on break, or in some other small pocket of time.

Quick and easy—kind of like magic.

Authors can choose how they want to release (and monetize) their fiction on Radish. Here’s how it will work with Magic’s Daughter:

  • The first seven chapters of the book will be released on Radish in early September.
  • The first three chapters will be free. Readers can pay virtual coins (that equate to real-world money) if they want to read ahead.
  • New chapters will go live every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday thereafter.
  • Eager readers can spend coins to read the new chapters immediately, while more frugal fans can wait for them to become free a few days later.

Once the book has been published in full on Radish—and after the statute of limitations has expired—I will publish the entire novel in paperback and ebook, likely in May 2020.

Work in progress

As I write this, Magic’s Daughter is in the process of being proofed, and a few beta readers are paging through it. I hope to have the teaser as well as more information about the characters and plot ready to share in August.

Expect a cover reveal in the next couple of months, too.

In September, I’ll share the link and instructions for accessing the free preview and, if you like what you see, additional chapters.

I can’t wait to introduce the readers of this world to Selena, Superius, and the Assembly of Magic. If I owned a pair of ruby slippers—or some other means of trans-dimensional teleportation magic—why, we’d already be home!

Want to learn more about Altaerra?


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