Predatory Power (Terrestrial Magic Book 3) is Out!

The technology of Rome and the magic of the neighboring legends–working together to uncover the mysteries of basilisks and strixes.

Tired of standing alone against magical attacks, Jordan and her allies finally get a research alliance off the ground, combining science and magic to understand the world they live in after the Boom–the cataclysm that brought dangerous legendary animals into everyone’s lives. Jordan believes it’s exactly what’s needed for human and legend communities alike to survive. But there are dissenting opinions, some of them from powerful enemies.

The research collective barely has a chance to start before an attack sends its members reeling. With the alliance in danger of fragmenting, can Jordan discover who attacked them and hold the collective together? And if this alliance can break apart so easily–is it even worth saving?

Predatory Power is available from all major retailers here.

How My Biological Background Informed My Urban Fantasy World

A quote that reads "Science is a 
self-correcting process of discovery, 
not a collection of facts."

‘Write what you know’ was in the forefront of my mind as I brainstormed the worldbuilding for the book that would become Terrestrial Magic.

But as an undergrad in a molecular biology program some ten years ago (now a PhD graduate), I’d puzzled over how to use my scientific background to inform the genre I wanted to write: urban fantasy. I wanted an aspect of adventure in the forefront, rather than setting a large part of the story in a lab . Which left me thinking of ways to incorporate some kind of field work. Legendary creatures were a natural worldbuilding element to incorporate, one that allowed me to crosslink biology with fantasy by having my protagonist use science to study magical animals.

That left me with the decision for how science would inform the details of the story. A lot of the inaccuracies I see in the portrayal of science in the media stem from a misunderstanding of the basics. Science is a self-correcting process of discovery, not a collection of facts.

A quote that reads "The heart of this series 
is about assumptions 
getting tested, 
about finding out more than 
we knew before."

This made me want to focus on portraying the generalities of science. Research as an exploration of the unknown. The way that scientists might think through their problems. How logical and detail-oriented thoughts might come through in the narration.

The scientific process is also slower than people usually assume–although 2020 might have changed some of those expectations. As such, in the beginning of the series, I mix the science happening in the background with plot problems that can move more quickly. The characters need time to advance their research, and maybe a plan to harness magic to expedite the process, before they can discover any answers to the series’ biggest questions.

The heart of this series is about assumptions getting tested, about finding out more than we knew before. Every aspect of the story is informed by the role that discovery plays in it. And that’s all because of how much the scientific process was on my mind as I was building this world.

Terrestrial Magic and Natural Sorcery are part of the Jordan Sanders urban fantasy/post-apocalyptic series.

The covers of two books--Terrestrial Magic and Natural Sorcery.

Cover Reveal for Natural Sorcery, Sequel to Terrestrial Magic

A woman surrounded by magically floating water, in front of a stone wall. Text reads "Natural Sorcery, Marina Ermakova."

Natural Sorcery, the next book in the Jordan Sanders series, will be up for pre-order soon, and here’s the first of the promotional materials I’ll be making available. Next will be the blurb. And once the pre-order goes live, I’ll post the first chapter as well.

Please note that publication of the print version will be indefinitely delayed–given current circumstances, I’m just not comfortable using the supply chains for that yet.

The ebook version will likely be out near the end of April. I’m putting it on sale for an undetermined amount of time, also because of current circumstances. The price will go up eventually.

More information to come soon.

Writing Updates 2019

The first half of 2019 went well with my fiction writing, while it ended up taking a backseat in the second half due to graduate thesis writing. Still, I’m almost done with the first draft for the sequel to Terrestrial Magic–half a chapter left to go. This is how my 2 current projects stand:

Terrestrial Magic 2: first draft ~98% complete

Chains Carried on Wings 2: first draft ~15% complete

This is slower than my target goals for the year, but I’m not too discouraged by it–writing a thesis is something of an anomaly.

First priority is Terrestrial Magic 2, and after that comes out I’ll switch over to trying to complete the second Chains Carried on Wings book.

I do have other projects in the works (which I started before deciding to do indie publishing), but I’ve committed to completing Chains Carried on Wings (which I’m currently thinking of as a trilogy) before publishing or working on any new series. Two series running at once is a good maximum at this point.

I don’t want to commit to any dates yet, but once I finish grad school, I’ll be trying to finish up Terrestrial Magic 2 as quickly as possible. My first drafts tend to be pretty clean these days, so I don’t expect many complications in the editing phase.

Other than that, I’ve got half a dozen short stories–a few set in the world of Terrestrial Magic–that I still don’t know what to do with, but will eventually make available somehow.

 

7.25/10 Score from the Critic’s Report of the Booklife Prize for Chains Carried on Wings

Some publishing updates on my projects:

1. As the title of my post indicates, my YA epic fantasy novel received a 7.25 out of 10 score when I entered it into the Booklife Prize. I made the Critic’s Report publicly available on my Booklife profile such that anyone can see the critic’s comments on plot, prose, originality, and character development.

It isn’t enough to move onto the next round–it needed to rank in the top 10 in the YA/Children’s genre for that, and it currently sits somewhere around 20 (at least out of the entrants who chose to make their scores public)–but I’m pleased nonetheless. Continue reading “7.25/10 Score from the Critic’s Report of the Booklife Prize for Chains Carried on Wings”