A lot of people have been asking me about Usurper lately. Which, let’s be honest, makes me happy since it means everyone really, really likes Trenna’s stories and wants to see what happens next.
So! For this week’s post I’m going to go ahead and give an update on where I am and … because everyone has been so very patient … I’ll include a snippet at the end.
I am right at the end of Usurper. And I do mean right at the end.
All the pieces are in place. All the characters have made it to their destinations and are gearing up for the final battle. All I need to do now is finish that final battle. But battle scenes take the longest for me to write.
They’re also my favorite bits to write, but they still take the longest because it’s hard to bring clarity in the middle of swords clashing, people screaming, and wounds being inflicted. Every character has a different set of motivations that become all the clearer amidst bloodshed — remember the end of Sedition?
I will have Usurper’s draft completed by the end of April. It will go in to my publisher/editor people on May 1st. After that, we’ll be waiting on the publisher and all that jazz, but this publisher tends to be very quick about getting things done so … Yes, you will (should, most probably) have Usurper in your hot little hands before 2015.
But I should warn you … there’s a lot of action in this one. Trenna’s back at her prime and getting her hands dirty.
Well … see for yourself … (Please remember, this has not been edited yet. Any and all grammatical errors are the hazards of the craft.)
She spotted the assassin first. Sitting at the table nearest to the hearth, Faxon Mylonas was profile to her, looking almost exactly as he had twenty-odd years prior. Trenna felt real fear curl in her gut at the sight of her son and husband sitting near the man, but her anger overtook that emotion when she spotted Troy. Trapped between the assassin and a woman whose occupation could only be that of a Blood Mage, Troy’s eyes were puffed and swelling and he was holding a bloodied handkerchief to his face.
Liana was moving before Trenna could stop the girl. She saw Faxon tense and knew he was preparing for Liana’s advance.
“Big T, thank gods,” Barmy stood from his stool. “I tried to warn them …”
“Thank you, Mister Friggs. May I borrow your stool?”
“My stool?” Barmy’s face creased in puzzlement.
Liana drew her cutlass, which sent a hiss of alarm through the already tensed room.
“Well, yes, I suppose …” Barmy stopped when he spotted Liana’s advance, gasping with further horror.
“Thank you.” Trenna grabbed the stool and started forward. She waited until Faxon stood, until he had his full focus on intercepting Liana, before she flung the chair over her shoulder with all her might.
It struck the Blood Mage on the side of her head, startling everyone at the table. Trenna took her advantage and rushed forward. The red-headed Mage fell against the table, dazed enough that she wasn’t prepared for Trenna’s second assault. She got to the table before the mage could find her wits, grabbed a fistful of spiky red hair and slammed the woman’s head into the hard, pitted surface.
With the flick of her wrist, Trenna snagged the dagger from her belt loop and held it to the unconscious woman’s throat in clear warning.
Faxon didn’t move. Whatever attack he’d planned against Liana had ceased and his wild, golden eyes fastened on Trenna. Nelek, Kaden and Troy had moved during the attack. Nelek stood with the boys flanking him, not entirely out of harm’s way, but at least they’d have a sporting chance now. Liana’s advance had been stalled as well. Trenna saw her slide toward Troy.
“Hello, Trenna.” Faxon still didn’t move. “Nice to see you haven’t lost your civilized touch.”
(And to answer … yes, I mean the Faxon you met in Sedition.)