Princesses, Wizards & Writing Excuses – Life of a Fantasy Author (January Update)

Goodness, those fantasy princesses…

Between commission work, beta reading a few fantasy novels, and the holidays, work on Book 3 has continued to progress! The two main characters, Adeya and Kyen, are separated for this book (due to spoilers from Prince of the Fallen Kingdom). Adeya’s storyline has been getting the chief of my attention, lately. It only figures. If one character was going to have a storyline splurge out into a giant mess in this fantasy book, it’d be Adeya. My problem princess. 

Every fantasy book I write, I divide into 5-6 sections. Because my characters are separated, Adeya has 4-5 sections all to herself. I’ve been hashing away at her second section for most of December. I was hoping to have it finished by now, but well, problem princess, ya know? So unpredictable.

Also, I’d been considering changing the title for Book 3. I’ve been calling it Illeth’s Keep, but people say that’s too hard to pronounce. Do me a favor? Say “Illeth’s Keep” out loud and comment below if your tongue trips over itself.

In Progress…


A Wizard of Earthsea – Fantasy Book of the Month!

The fantasy book cover for "A Wizard of Earthsea" features a hawk with outstretched wings and curly fantasy script for the title.

Very few fantasy books can lay claim to my very limited shelf space, and this is one of them. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursala Le Guin. I’ve been reading through her 5 book Earthsea series, and I’m not actually a fan of most of her books. The magic she managed to capture in the first book of this fantasy series might be why, because it’s hard to equal again!

Le Guin’s prose is an absolute pleasure to read, almost lyrical, and WAY better than anything I could write. (Prose isn’t my strength.)

Despite following only a single character and being a mere 60K, A Wizard of Earthsea has the feel of an epic. The book embraces the scale of the world, the breadth of the main character’s life, and the potential world-unbalancing threat of his stakes.

The thematic content is on-point. I love, love, love books that carry undercurrents of meaning that help me reflect on life. I can’t get too much into this without spoilers, but the lessons Ged learns are so relatable with a depth that is unsettling.

And there’s dragons. Who doesn’t like dragons?

Overall, it’s not the fast-paced, action-packed fantasy book which I normally enjoy reading. But given its prose, scope, and thematic content, it is no doubt the work of a master. Goals for 2024.

Writing Excuses – The Best Podcast for Fantasy Writers (And Every Writer)

That title is no joke. I don’t even like podcasts. But Writing Excuses has been a game-changer for my writing.

One of my greatest challenges is finding credible resources from which I can learn the craft and trade of writing fantasy books. When I evaluate a resource, I look to see if the person offering advice has industry experience, successfully sells books their genre, and bonus points if they have some formal education. Writing Excuses offers a whole PANEL of writing and storytelling professionals that meet these criteria.

They weigh in on their best tips and tricks on a given topic for 15 minutes, so it’s great if you’re strapped for time like me under all of life’s other obligations. My favorite way to use this podcast is for troubleshooting. They have a HUGE backlog of episodes. So whenever I run into a problem with plot, character, pacing, or writing middles, I search their archives and 9/10 find the answers I need. And it’s all free!!!

Just to be clear, I’m not a sponsor. Writing Excuses has just helped me so much. The Kingmaster wouldn’t be half the book it is without it. So I feel the need to tell every writer, and those I beta read for will tell you I bring up Writing Excuses ad nauseam. Consider yourself told. Now go check it out!

Until we meet again,
~ C. A. Doehrmann

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Do you like fantasy adventures full of swords, magic, and slow-burn romance? Read my book, The Kingmaster, for free by clicking here! Download it from me or from your favorite ebook retailer.

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