This post is going to be a departure from my typical writing help-related blog posts, and give all of you lovely people a quick update on where I’m at in the writing process, and what I have planned for the future. I’ve been thinking about doing this post for a while, mainly because I always enjoy author updates, and also because there are a lot of new things on the horizon for the Warriors of Aralan series. Pull up a chair!
Warriors of Aralan #9
[distant sobbing because it still needs a name]
I am the worst at cooking up titles, but I’ll figure one out eventually, never fear. The exciting news is this: I’m probably about two-thirds of the way done editing/rewriting/working out all the kinks, and, (Lord willing), it’ll come out sometime later this year! [confetti]
A Light in the Shadows, and Freedom from the Darkness
I owe everyone a bit of an apology here. Since publication, I’ve never really felt right about either of these books, and I plan to revise them in the near future, then release them again. Originally, they were meant to be one book... and after this revision, they might be. (In the meantime, however, feel free to check out any of the other Warriors of Aralan books.)
A Warriors of Aralan Short Story Collection
[throws more confetti]
I’ve been working on a short story collection to offer for free to all my wonderful newsletter subscribers. It’s not ready yet, but it will have three stories—one that explains why Norwynnd has guard towers, the one that I wrote last Christmas titled His Favorite Rakkaus Story, and one that’s still in the works. All three will be from different eras of Aralan’s history, and I can’t wait to offer it to you guys.
An Expansion to the Warriors of Aralan Series
Last but certainly not least… [drum roll] … I’ve finished writing the Warriors of Aralan series, but I have a couple “side series,” in the works: one that takes place in ancient Aralan, and one that takes place in Eclon, starting about the time of Warriors of Aralan #9. They’ll be short—only two or three books each, but they’ll flesh out the world of Aralan even more. It’s already come so far from the days of Branwen’s Quest, and I can’t believe how much it’s grown. [grabs a tissue for happy book parent tears]
So, folks, there you have it… a peek into the insanity that’s my brain. I don’t have definite dates for any of this yet, but I thought I’d give you a preview of what’s to come for the Warriors of Aralan series.
June's reading brought the completion of Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and Crowning Heaven by Emily Hayse. The first was a rewarding (if long) read, the second, probably the most piratey book I've ever read, and the third, a familiar high fantasy tale about a young queen who suddenly finds herself leading a war between two countries.
If you like thoughtful books, this month's list is for you!
My rating: ★★★★
Little Dorrit is chock full of everything that makes a Dickens novel a Dickens novel. Witty (albeit lengthy) prose, vivid characters, the intricate plot of his later works, sharp satire, an unflinching portrayal of the lowest rungs of society, and a wry sense of humor. In short, it delivered everything I’ve come to know and love about his writing.
The title character, Little Dorrit, (otherwise known as Amy), is a beautiful example of a strong, morally upright female character that doesn’t come across as a goody-two-shoes. She wasn’t loud, and she showed her fear, but she spent the first twenty or so years of her quiet existence tirelessly waiting on the family that never knew what they had. She was the glue that held them all together. Her father, captive in the Marshalsea debtors’ prison, couldn’t take care of himself—Little Dorrit did. Her brother couldn’t hold down a job, but she never stopped trying to find him new ones. Her sister was loud, impetuous, and ungrateful, but Little Dorrit was the anchor that kept her from drifting too far on the stormy seas of life. She even worked for her living as a seamstress, and never considered it a shameful thing, even if the rest of her family did.
Arthur Clennam, on the other hand, had known a very different upbringing from the Child of the Marshalsea. He grew up in mortal terror of a God that would send small boys to eternal Damnation, with never a mention of the merciful Father of the fatherless, the Friend to the weak, the Healer of hurts. God is a just God, but He is also not willing that any should perish. Mrs. Clennam’s religion missed the latter part. Because of all this, he grew into a saddened and disillusioned man that thought he was beyond all happiness in this life. He had a good heart on the whole, but his mother’s own dark view of the world (and by result Arthur’s), stood in stark contrast to the quiet faith shown by Little Dorrit.
But the two main characters were far from the only well developed ones! It took me quite a while to read this book, but it never took me long to remember a character that has been out of the running for a while, because Dickens always made sure there was something memorable about them. Flora couldn’t finish a single sentence without starting a brand-new thought. Mr. Pancks bore a remarkable resemblance to a steam tugboat. Riguad was always easy to pick out of a crowd because when he smiled, his nose always came down over his mustache, and his mustache always went up under his nose. Dickens gave each and every character some small quirk, which made them unique.
The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is because it didn’t quite swallow me up—I cared about the characters, but it was missing that indefinable something that makes a book “unputdownable”—and when a book misses that, and is also really long, it can drag a bit. Stylistically, the book was perfection... I just never fell head-over-heels in love with it. Content includes a smattering of language, drinking, a suicide, and implied domestic abuse, but that’s about it.
In closing, Little Dorrit tells a story of contrasts. Freedom vs. imprisonment, the rich vs. the poor, the folly of putting faith in appearances, and discovering, (for better or worse), what those appearances hide. Little Dorrit must have been groundbreaking at the time it was written, and even today it’s a breath of fresh air. Just because everyone does it, or “it is what it is,” or even looks right doesn’t mean it is right, and it certainly doesn’t mean it can’t be changed.
Welcome to Katelyn Buxton Books! I'm a Christian author and blogger, with a passion for writing stories that are not just enjoyable, but also lead people closer to Jesus. Feel free to look around, and enjoy your stay!