Writing Update – April 2017


This month I’m going to change around how I do these updates to make it clearer the order in which things are happening. I’m also adding a summary list at the top if you just want to know the status.

List of projects:

  1. Tales of the Undying EmpireKindle and print versions available from Amazon; complete.
  2. The Traitor and the Thief – Manuscript completed, waiting for final pass before going to beta readers.
  3. The Broken Temple of Yinak – Story completed, ready for editing, will be posted in April.
  4. Origin – Awaiting review and decision on how to move forward.
  5. The Revenant and the Reaper – Outline completed, working on chapter-by-chapter plan.
  6. The Darkness in the Deep – Outline completed, chapter-by-chapter plan completed.

Tales of the Undying Empire

With both the kindle version and the physical book available from Amazon, this is now complete. Unfortunately, Amazon is still working on linking the two entries and making sure they both show up on my Author page, but I’ve notified of them of this and it should be corrected soon.

The Traitor and the Thief

This has been sitting waiting for my final pass before it goes to my beta readers. The Broken Temple of Yinak (see below) has taken up more of my time than I originally planned, but I’m ready to get to the final pass now and I will be focusing all my energy on this until it’s out to the beta readers. I’m not making any promises on timing, though, because sometimes I find things that I had missed earlier that requires a bit more work to correct.

But I’m working hard and I hope to have good news next month.

The Broken Temple of Yinak

This is the first story of Kaus Kagunvar, and I wanted it to be just right. And so instead of a short story, I’ve actually written a novella. I hadn’t planned to do it this way, but the story needed to be told in a particular way, and I can’t say I’m disappointed in the result.

So I will be posting this in its entirety next week as my “short story” for the month. I have additional stories about this character planned, and it wouldn’t surprise me if some more of these turn out to be novella length as well.

But other than The Broken Temple of Yinak, I will probably hold onto the other stories and publish them all in a collection once I have enough to make it worthwhile. This is going to take some time, as I’m going to work on them between my other novels. But I really enjoyed writing about Kaus Kagunvar, and I hope you enjoy reading about his exploits.


Not much to say here this month. Once The Traitor and the Thief is off to my beta readers, I’ll review the story and figure out what work needs to be done to get this published. But considering everything else that’s going on, I could see this one being delayed until much later in the year.

The Revenant and the Reaper

I already know how the Undying Empire: Rebellion trilogy is going to end, and I have a fully-complete outline for this book done. I need to work on my chapter-by-chapter plan, but that comes after I take a look at Origin and usually happens right before I start writing (while everything is fresh in my mind and I’m excited to get working on it).

The Darkness in the Deep

Just to be clear, this is a working title only. But this is the next novel in the Tales of the Undying Empire series, and signals the return of Jeyrra and Flasek from The Severed Oath. I already have the outline and the chapter-by-chapter plan completed, and so I’m ready to start writing it as soon as I finish The Revenant and the Reaper.

This Blog

I don’t usually talk about this blog in my plans, other than the short story that I’m going to post. But I’ve been blogging steadily every week since I set out my plan here back in July of last year. I’ve managed to keep it going without missing a single week, and I’m pretty happy with the way things are.

I’ve taken a look at what posts get the most attention, and the clear winner is my posts about stuff I find cool. My posts about The One Ring, Night’s Black Agents, The Conan RPG, and Talislanta: Savage Lands are the highest-viewed posts by far, with my Reading & Writing posts in second place, followed by everything else.

I’m pretty happy with the reads I’m getting on my short stories, despite the fact that the posts about them are pretty low in views—but it’s the stories themselves that matter, so that’s not a big deal.

I’m not quite ready to change anything up here, but I’ve been considering what I might want to add or drop. I’ll keep an eye on things for the next couple of months, and probably make a change right around the one-year mark. Not sure what the change will be, but I know I’ll definitely make some adjustments.

That’s it for this week. I can’t wait to share The Broken Temple of Yinak with you next Sunday.

Writing Update – March 2017

I’m going to change up the order of my updates this month to highlight the biggest news first.

Tales of the Undying Empire

The Kindle Omnibus Edition of the first three novels in the Tales of the Undying Empire series is now live at Amazon!

I’ve priced this Omnibus so that you get all three novels for the price of two if you bought them separately.

The files for the print version of the Tales of the Undying Empire Omnibus Edition have been submitted, and I’m just waiting on final approval from Amazon for it to go live. I expect this will be available for order by the end of this coming week.

The print edition took a lot of work to produce the final product. At 728 pages in a 6” x 9” format, this is a hefty volume. But I’m very happy with the finished book, and I’m excited to see what others think of it.

The Traitor and the Thief

Now that Tales of the Undying Empire is complete, I’m going back to the manuscript for The Traitor and the Thief for another pass. I expect this will take about a month before I’m done and it goes off for editing.

Short Stories

The response to Inheritance last month was amazing. I received a number of comments from readers who told me that it really connected with them, and it has been my most popular story by far.

I’ve been playing around with a few ideas for this month’s short story, but it’s not quite finished yet and I don’t want to promise something that I can’t deliver. So I’ll just say that it’ll be my first post of Spring, and it reflects some of the themes of this time of year.

As mentioned last month, I’m about to start dedicating time to the first of the Kaus Kagunvar short stories, The Broken Temple of Yinak. I expect to have it ready for posting in April.


Once I complete The Broken Temple of Yinak, and after I finish the next pass through The Traitor and the Thief, I’ll be dedicating a week or two to evaluate Origin and see what needs to be done to get it ready for publishing. However, my primary commitment is to complete the Undying Empire: Rebellion trilogy in a reasonable timeframe. So while I’m going to spend a bit of time on this, if I see that it’s going to take some real effort to get it out, then it’ll bump down the list while I focus on The Revenant and the Reaper.

The Revenant and the Reaper

This is the third book in the Undying Empire: Rebellion trilogy and I’m really looking forward to diving into this one. My plan is to start writing this book in early May, and I’m making some adjustments to my weekly writing schedule to get more time in front of the keyboard. So I’m aiming to get the first draft of the manuscript completed by Hallowe’en at the latest.

That’s it for this month. If you haven’t read any of the Tales of the Undying Empire novels yet, don’t forget to check out the Tales of the Undying Empire Omnibus Edition.

See you next week.

Writing Update – February 2017

This month is a fairly short update, but overall things are moving well and I’m excited by how these projects are going.

The Traitor and the Thief

The manuscript for this book is essentially complete. I’ve got a couple of scenes that I’m going back to rewrite, but that will be done by the end of this coming week.

I will then leave the manuscript to sit for a couple of weeks to clear my mind of it, before I go back and do another pass to see how everything hangs together and smooth out any rough spots.

Then, it’s off to editing.

Short Stories

This month’s short story is one that is very personal to me. I wrote it a few years ago, but I’ve kept it private until now. I’ll reveal more next week when I put it up on the site.

As mentioned in the list of projects last month, I’ve put the Kaus Kagunvar story The Broken Temple of Yinak on hold until I can give it my undivided attention. So, I don’t expect it to be ready as March’s free short story, but if everything holds up well on my schedule, you should see this one in April.

Tales of the Undying Empire

The next project on my list is to get the Tales of the Undying Empire Omnibus out on Kindle. I’ll start tackling the issues with that shortly, and I hope to have it out by this time next month.

Other Projects

Both Origin—the story I wrote for my son—and the third book in the Undying Empire: Rebellion trilogy, The Revenant and the Reaper, are on the list. With the completion of the manuscript for The Traitor and the Thief, things are moving well and I expect to get started on these in the next few months.

I’m really happy with how things are progressing, and I hope to see you back here next week.

Writing Update – January

The Traitor and the Thief

The manuscript for The Traitor and the Thief is almost done! I’ve made some great progress on the book, though I did discover a problem that required me to go back and rework a couple of earlier chapters. However, I expect that I’ll have the draft completed by the end of the month.

I’m very excited to see this one done and off to editing.

Short Stories

I had to unexpectedly change plans last month with my free short story. I ran into a snag with the originally-planned Kaus Kagunvar story, and replaced it with a different story, Unhidden.

I’m going to be holding off on The Broken Temple of Yinak for a bit. I want the first Kaus Kagunvar story to be something special, and I need the time to do it justice. Since I’m so focused on completing The Traitor and the Thief at this point, I don’t think I can commit the necessary brain-space to this story at this time.

So this month’s story is going to be another fairly short one. I don’t have a name yet—I’m still trying to come up with something appropriate—so I’ll just say it’s another story set in the Undying Empire and leave it at that.

Tales of the Undying Empire

My plans for the Tales of the Undying Empire Omnibus have been slightly derailed. I had some difficulty with the files for the Kindle version, and I’m working through those. I’m not going to make another release date commitment at this time. I’ll just announce it here and on Twitter when it’s ready to be released.

One More Project

So, almost two years ago, my son asked me to write a story for him. And the result was a 60-thousand-word story that I tentatively called Origin. It’s a story for kids of 10-12 years of age. I read it to my son, and since then it has been sitting on my hard drive and I’ve done nothing with it.

I’ve come to the decision that I am going to release it, once I have time. Needless to say, getting this one out is not a top priority.

Basically, my plans (in order) are:

  • Complete the manuscript for The Traitor and the Thief.
  • Get the Tales of the Undying Empire Omnibus out on Kindle.
  • Complete the Kaus Kagunvar story, The Broken Temple of Yinak.
  • See what needs to be done to Origin (or whatever I eventually choose to name it) to get it ready for publishing.
  • Get working on The Revenant and the Reaper, the conclusion to the Undying Empire: Rebellion trilogy.

So I wouldn’t expect to see Origin until much later in the year. But if it generates enough interest, I might just be interested in doing more of them.

That’s it for this month. It’s time for me to get back to writing!

Writing Update – November

The Soldier and the Slave

I’m happy with the initial interest in The Soldier and the Slave, and it continues to do well in the Kindle version (less so with the print version).

My current Kindle Select contract is up on January 6th, and I’m considering whether or not I should leave it in the program or release it more widely. As of today, I have more reads through the Kindle Unlimited program than I have sold copies of the book, and my royalties for each copy read is actually higher than what I make on a sale. So, from a financial perspective, it’s to my benefit to keep the book in the Kindle Select program.

However, I do know that having my book out on multiple platforms will increase discoverability, which is really what I’m after at this point. So I have to consider the pros and cons of each approach and decide my course of action based on that. For now, The Soldier and the Slave is in the program at least until early January.

The Traitor and the Thief

I’m continuing to work on this book, and the manuscript is proceeding well. I’m still on track to have the manuscript completed by the end of the calendar year, but this may extend into the first couple of weeks of January depending on how the month of December goes. My life outside of writing is quite busy right now, and I’m not getting as much time to write as I’d like.

I’ll keep everyone in the loop in December’s writing update.

The Revenant and the Reaper

Nothing new to report here. I’m focusing on The Traitor and the Thief right now.

Short Stories

My Hallowe’en story was well-received, and I’m happy it gave a few people the creeps as befitting the season.

This month’s story is one of which I’m particularly proud. It’s an Undying Empire story entitled Snowfall, and gives a glimpse into another aspect of life in the Empire and the creatures running around outside the cities.

This story was originally written some time ago, and I intended it to be connected to the events in The Witch’s Path. But that novel was altered while I was developing it, and so became something different from what I had originally envisioned. So this story has some familiar elements to it, but is its own thing.

Tales of the Undying Empire

The first three novels in the Tales of the Undying Empire series are no longer in the Kindle Select program. I’m working on getting them back up on the other distribution platforms, such as Kobo, iBooks, etc. though this will take a bit of time as I’m focused on getting The Traitor and the Thief completed.

I will announce it on this blog when those three novels are available on platforms other than Amazon (though they will remain for sale on Amazon as well, of course).

The omnibus edition of Tales of the Undying Empire is, unfortunately, delayed. I’m trying to get it out as quickly as possible, but there were some production issues that I have to address to ensure it’s a good product when it’s released.

I’m not going to give another release date here just yet, as I hate to announce a date and then miss it. So I’ll keep you updated on this blog. I’m hoping to address the issues and have it up for sale soon. However, my priority is to work on The Traitor and the Thief when I have a good chunk of writing time, and that means this is being worked on in bits and pieces.

That’s it for this month. Look for Snowfall here next week.

Writing Update – October

The Soldier and the Slave

The launch of The Soldier and the Slave last week went off as planned, and all the people who pre-ordered the book received it on Sunday.

On Monday, Black Gate published a review of The Soldier and the Slave by Donald Crankshaw. Donald also reviewed The Severed Oath back in April 2015, if you haven’t already seen that one.

Print sale:

Unfortunately, an error caused the print version to be listed at full price. This has now been corrected. Originally, I was planning on running the sale October 9-23, but since it didn’t start on time, I will now run it until October 30th. So if you want to get a print copy of the book, this is your chance to order one at the discounted price.

The print sale will run until October 30, 2016.

The Traitor and the Thief

I don’t have much to say this month about The Traitor and the Thief. Writing continues and is going well, and I’m still on track for my December 31st deadline.

A common refrain is that the middle book in a trilogy tends to be the slowest, as elements are used to set up the major conflicts that will be resolved in the third book. I’m trying to avoid this by making each of the books in the trilogy contain a “complete” story in and of itself. So, while each book contributes to the overall Undying Empire: Rebellion story, each could also stand alone.

This should help avoid the middle-drag syndrome.

The Revenant and the Reaper

I don’t really have anything to say here this month.

Short Stories

Hallowe’en takes place at the end of this month, and so I’ll be publishing a scary story to go along with the general spooky feelings. This one isn’t for the kids—it’s pretty creepy. I wrote it for anyone who’s ever been creeped out by a mirror, and I call it Reflection. Look for it next Sunday.

Someone asked me if I plan to name all my short stories with one-word titles. I started doing this without thinking about it, but I noticed what I was doing a little while ago, and I think it works well (so far). As long as I keep feeling that the one-word titles work, I’ll keep using them.

Tales of the Undying Empire

The omnibus edition is nearly complete. I’ll be getting the proofs some time this week, which gives me a bit of time to make any tweaks before my planned launch on November 1st.

The cover is now complete, so I’m happy to reveal it here:


I think this is going to be a great-looking book, and I look forward to holding it in my hands.



Writing Update – August


The Soldier and the Slave

For various reasons related to setting everything up on the back end, the dates in my last writing update turned out to be off by a week. Here are the corrected dates:

  • Today (Sunday, August 21): The Goodreads Giveaway is live! Five lucky people will receive a free copy of The Soldier and the Slave. The Giveaway runs until September 25th.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Soldier and the Slave by Andrew J. Luther

The Soldier and the Slave

by Andrew J. Luther

Giveaway ends September 25, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


  • Pre-orders for The Soldier and the Slave are also now live on Amazon. The pre-order price includes a 25% discount off the regular price. The pre-order runs right up until the book is launched.
  • Sunday, October 9: The book goes live, in both print and ebook on Amazon. Anyone who pre-ordered the book will receive it automatically on this date. The pre-order price will no longer be available.

The Traitor and the Thief

Progress continues on the second book in the Undying Empire: Rebellion series. Since the last update, however, I haven’t managed quite as much writing time as I would have liked. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of not being able to do this full-time. At this point, I believe I’m still on track to complete the first draft well before the end of the year.

The Revenant and the Reaper

I’ve been focusing on The Traitor and the Thief, of course. I continue to make notes here and there as I write book 2.

Short Stories

The short story for this month is called Pages. Like Echoes from last month, it’s a bit of an experiment. I got some great feedback on Echoes and I’m looking forward to some of the short stories I’ve got planned.

Tales of the Undying Empire

I do intend to return to this series of standalone stories set in the Undying Empire. I already have a fourth book planned, and in fact it is completely plotted out and the first chapter is already written. So once The Revenant and the Reaper is finished, I’ll be diving right into this book. I don’t have a name for it yet, but the story involves the return of Flasek Lumayth and Jeyrra, a couple of popular characters from The Severed Oath.

Thanks for continuing to read. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments.

Writing Update – July

Continuing with my new blogging plan I outlined here

The Soldier and the Slave

So, needless to say, getting The Soldier and the Slave to published status has taken longer than I planned. I ended up making another full pass through the entire book again in order to improve a couple of areas that I wasn’t 100% happy with, and I’m now glad I did.

I now have the initial proof of the physical book in my hands, and it looks fantastic. Storn’s artwork (1, 2, 3, 4) really comes out nicely on the cover and everything is where it should be.

I’ve been debating about launching the book in mid-summer, which is not really the best time to push out a new novel. However, I hate to sit on this for any longer than I need to. There are a couple of things that still need to be done before I can release it, and I’m not necessarily going to get the needed time to do them in the next couple of weeks.

So here is the plan:

Sunday, August 14: I’m going to launch the Goodreads Giveaway of The Soldier and the Slave and open up pre-orders for the book.

Sunday, September 18: The Goodreads Giveaway ends. Pre-orders will continue for two weeks

Sunday, October 2: The pre-order period ends and the book goes on sale at the introductory sale price (higher than the pre-order price, but lower than the normal price).

Sunday, October 30: The normal price kicks in.

So if you want the best deal on the novel, pre-ordering will get you the lowest price. Buying it in the first four weeks after release will get you a good deal (but not as good as pre-ordering). And buying it after that will be normal price.

The Traitor and the Thief

Work is coming along nicely on The Traitor and the Thief. First draft is about 50% done at this point and I’m getting lots of good writing time in. I’m not going throw out any projected completion dates, because at this early point in the process it’s just a guess. However, if I manage to keep up the current pace, I can see the first draft completed well before the end of the year.

The Revenant and the Reaper

I’ve already planned out exactly how the entire trilogy is going to come out, so the structure of this one is solidly built. I’ve been jotting additional notes as I write The Traitor and the Thief so that I can jump right into this book as soon as I’m done book 2.

In fact, I’ve already got notes on a few scenes that I know will have to happen. I’m very excited by the entire trilogy and think this will be a great addition to the growing Undying Empire saga.

Short Stories

This month’s short story, Echoes, is already finished, so I’m ahead of the game right now on the blog. Next month’s short story is already structurally planned, and some initial writing is done.

Neither of the next two short stories will take place in the world of the Undying Empire. These are fun side diversions that allow me to explore other settings and situations that grab my imagination.

Tales of the Undying Empire

Along with the proof of The Soldier and the Slave, I also received proofs of the first three books in the Tales of the Undying Empire series. The new covers are great, and I’ve made a bunch of tweaks to the stories themselves to improve them in a bunch of minor ways.

If you’ve already read the first three books, don’t worry as there is nothing substantially different in these—you won’t be missing anything new. But both The Tower of Dust and The Severed Oath are technically new editions because of some stuff I had to change on the back-end publishing side of things.

One major change is that I’ve temporarily removed the books from all non-Amazon sources. This is because I’m going to be putting all four novels into the KDP Select program to see how this affects my sales. The product pages for these first three books will be updated by this time next week, and they will be available in the Kindle Unlimited program as well.

I want to be clear that this is an experiment. I’m going to try the program (it runs in 90-day increments) and see how things shape up. If it improves my sales, then I may stay in it for a while. I plan to comment on this in my monthly writing updates, so you can see how it’s affecting things.

Audio Books

The last thing I’m looking into is getting audio versions of my books out there. This is in the early stages, so I can’t give any time estimates to release at this point. I’m just letting everyone know that I’m working on this and it’s definitely going to happen. I’ll keep you updated as things solidify.

That’s it for this week. Come back next Sunday for my free short story, Echoes.

RPGs and novels – where gaming and writing intersect

The last few months saw the release of newest edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the granddaddy of the entire tabletop roleplaying game industry. As someone who has played roleplaying games (RPGs) pretty steadily for the last 33 years, this is kind of a big deal. Or, at least, it was supposed to be (more on that in another post).

Fantasy gaming has been a big part of my life. I met my best friend because of D&D, my wife plays, my son plays, and I’ve introduced a good number of people to the hobby over the last three decades. When it wasn’t D&D, it was Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, or Runequest, or Vampire, or Call of Cthulhu, or Ars Magica, or Star Wars, or Marvel Super Heroes, or…

One question that I get asked a fair bit by those who know I’m a roleplayer is whether any of the characters or setting of the Tales of the Undying Empire series is based on anything that has happened in any of my games.

The answer, regretfully, is no.

I saw regretfully, because it seems like all those games would provide a rich vein that I could mine for ideas, personalities, settings, etc. It should be so easy to take elements of my past campaigns and weave them into my novels.

But the truth is that the setting of the Undying Empire was created specifically for the purpose of the novels. As was each character who appears in the novels that I’ve written so far. My gaming and my writing are separate parts of my creative mind, and that’s likely how they will stay.

Because of the flip side of the question is whether I will use the setting of the Undying Empire in any future games I might run. And the answer to that is also no.

Writing, for me, is a joyful experience. I love writing with a passion. And part of the writing experience is exploring the world as I create each new story. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’ve created no detailed maps of Ythis. I have a single rough sketch, on which I’ve noted key locations from the books which I have already written. But the city, the world, is still a mostly-blank canvas.

If there is one thing I will do everything in my power to avoid, it’s to detail the world and then try to fit my stories into it. That the antithesis of how I want to create the world of the Undying Empire. I know the broad strokes, and I have the details where I need them.

For the purpose of a game world, there’s not enough there yet. And there won’t be enough for a long time. I haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s going on in Ythis, and that’s just one city in the Undying Empire. And the Empire only covers a good portion of one continent.

So for me, there is gaming, and there is writing. They use many of the same mental muscles, but they are used in very different ways. Roleplaying is a social hobby, a chance to collaborate and interact. But writing? That’s a different animal entirely, and I need it to be different.

Novels based on roleplaying games are fairly common. What do you think of them, or the idea in general? If you’re a gamer, do you read novel tie-ins? Does it enhance your gaming experience, or your reading experience? And if you’re a writer who also games, how does one affect the other for you?

Leave a comment and let me know. There’s no one right answer for everybody, and I’m interested in hearing your opinion.

The Witch’s Path Update

The first draft of The Witch’s Path is finished!

The final story turned out quite different than I had originally planned, but I think it will be much stronger than my initial idea. But the change in focus also necessitated a change in the cover image, so if you were one of the winners of a signed copy of The Severed Oath back in December, the picture of The Witch’s Path cover at the back of that book won’t match the version that will be released this summer.

But I think the new cover is much better than the previous version, and really gives a better sense of the focus and tone of the book.

So what happens now?

Well, first I will be doing a complete read-through of The Witch’s Path manuscript, doing bits of rewriting as I go. Once that is complete, I will send the manuscript off to my trusted readers for their opinions. When I receive their feedback, I will review their comments and make any necessary changes. And then a final editing pass is done before the files are sent to the online book stores and to the printers.

At this point, I’m aiming for a late-June release. Please keep in mind that this is still a tentative timeframe – there are any number of issues which may delay the release. I will post a more definitive date once we get closer.

For those on Goodreads, I will once again hold a contest to give away some signed copies of The Witch’s Path, just like I did with The Severed Oath back in December. So stay tuned on Goodreads for information about the contest.