Category Archives: The Third Soul

why so serial?


Matthew asks in response to my post about writing 10,000 words in a single day:

“You ever thought about writing serially? Like releasing a few chapters of something a week and making it like 99 cents? 10k is absolutely insane. I’m not sure I know another author who makes 10k words in a week.”

Good question! Actually, I have tried something like that, and I concluded that it doesn’t work at all well.

I released THE THIRD SOUL as a serial, and I wrote THE BONE QUEST series of FROSTBORN short stories structured as a serial, and based on the reaction to them I’ve come to the conclusion that a large majority of readers simply do not like serials and prefer novels. Both THE THIRD SOUL and THE BONE QUEST get a lot of complaints because of their length.

So, I’ve concluded that the majority of readers prefer novels to short stories, novellas, and serials. (I like short stories, but I kind of suspect they might be an artifact of the old days when people did a lot of reading in magazines and there were only so many pages available.)

I think the only way a serial would work is if you wrote the entire thing in advance and made sure each, say, 10k words were ready to go every Friday, like a webcomic artist who prepares three or four weeks’ worth of comics in advance before launching his website.

Of course, if you did that much work, you could just release it as a novel to fewer complaints about length.

I’m launching three new novel series this year – SEVENFOLD SWORD, GHOST NIGHT, and a science fiction series, and I haven’t decided if I’m going to have short stories accompanying them. If I do, I think I’ll group the stories in their own series like THE BONE QUEST, but have each one be completely stand alone.


why is THE THIRD SOUL so short?

A reader emailed to ask why the individual volumes in THE THIRD SOUL are so short.

Basically, it was an experiment I did in 2011, back when ebooks were still closer to their infancy, to see if a series of linked novellas would sell as well as full-length novels.

They did not. 🙂

So eventually I combined them into THE THIRD SOUL OMNIBUS ONE and THE THIRD SOUL OMNIBUS TWO and left it at that.

I might return to the world of THE THIRD SOUL at some point, but I want to finish the FROSTBORN series before I make any decisions about what I’m going to write next. If I do return to THE THIRD SOUL setting, I think it will be with full length novels (60,000 to 80,000 words), rather than novellas.



Shay asks:

I’m trying to organise my books right now and wondered if you could update us with a list of the books and short stories/novellas in chronological order again?

Sure. Here are all the series in order, with the various short stories inserted where they would be chronologically:


#1 Child of the Ghosts

Ghost Aria (Short story)

#2 Ghost in the Flames

Ghost Dagger (novella)

#3 Ghost in the Blood

#4 Ghost in the Storm

#5 Ghost in the Stone

#6 Ghost in the Forge

Ghost Claws (short story)

Ghost Omens (short story)

#7 Ghost in the Ashes

#8 Ghost in the Mask


The Wandering Knight (short story)

The Tournament Knight (short story)

The Dragon’s Shadow (novella)

#1 Demonsouled

#2 Soul of Tyrants

#3 Soul of Serpents

#4 Soul of Dragons

#5 Soul of Sorcery

#6 Soul of Skulls

#7 Soul of Swords


#1 The Testing

#2 The Assassins

#3 The Blood Shaman

#4 The High Demon

#5 The Burning Child

#6 The Outlaw Adept

#7 The Black Paladin

#8 The Tomb of Baligant

(Omnibus One has 1-5, and Omnibus Two has 6-8.)


#1 The Tower of Endless Worlds

#2 A Knight of the Sacred Blade

#3 A Wizard of the White Council

#4 The Destroyer of Worlds


writing schedule for the rest of the year

A few people have asked if I plan to do another THE THIRD SOUL story before the end of the year. I am planning on one – it will be called either CRYPTS OF THE OLD EMPIRE or BLOOD OF THE ELDER KING.

This is my writing plan for the rest of 2013:



-Write a short THE THIRD SOUL novel.

I’m pretty sure I should be able to finish FROSTBORN: THE EIGHTFOLD KNIFE by the end of the year, and if all goes well I should be able to at least start the new THE THIRD SOUL story before 2014.


new books in THE THIRD SOUL now available!

I am pleased to report that the next three installments in THE THIRD SOUL series – THE OUTLAW ADEPT, THE BLACK PALADIN, and THE TOMB OF BALIGANT – are now available! Click on the links below for more information.

Cover image copyright Bliznetsov |

Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Read the first chapter here.

Cover image copyright Dmitriy Cherevko |

Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Read the first chapter here.

Cover image copyright baytunc |

Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.


The Outlaw Adept & The Black Paladin sample chapters

Cover image copyright Bliznetsov |

The release of the next volumes in THE THIRD SOUL series is imminent. Specifically, we’ll be doing something a little different this time. The novella THE OUTLAW ADEPT, and the novels THE BLACK PALADIN and THE TOMB OF BALIGANT will all come out at the same time. Additionally, the previous stories in THE THIRD SOUL have focused on Rachaelis Morulan and Corthain Kalarien and their adventures in the city of Araspan, but the new stories will revolve around new characters and locations.

Here’s the first chapter of THE OUTLAW ADEPT.

And here is the first chapter of THE BLACK PALADIN.

I would post a sample chapter from THE TOMB OF BALIGANT, but I’m afraid it would spoil THE BLACK PALADIN. 🙂


THE THIRD SOUL is coming back this month

I am pleased to report that THE THIRD SOUL will be returning this month with three new books – a novella called THE OUTLAW ADEPT, and two short novels (50k words and 60k words, respectively) named THE BLACK PALADIN and THE TOMB OF BALIGANT. I will release all three simultaneously, and they should be out by the end of the month. So if you’re traveling over Easter, you’ll have something to read. 🙂

Cover art below. I’ll have some sample chapters up soon.

Cover image copyright Bliznetsov |

Cover image copyright Dmitriy Cherevko |

Cover image copyright baytunc |


THE THIRD SOUL is coming back

Now that GHOST IN THE FORGE is in the can, what’s next?

I’m going to start the final DEMONSOULED book in April, but before that, I’m going to write something new in THE THIRD SOUL series.

Actually, to be more specific, I’m going to write three new things in THE THIRD SOUL. Specifically, a novella, and then two short novels in the setting. They’ll bring in a lot of new characters, and they’ll have new protagonists. I will return to Rachaelis and Corthain at some point, but before I do, I want to explore and expand the world of THE THIRD SOUL a bit more.

To do that, I’m going to revive a really, really long novel I wrote before I actually wrote THE THIRD SOUL called “The Black Paladin.” “The Black Paladin” was the origin of the setting in THE THIRD SOUL, and like GHOST IN THE FLAMES, I spent a lot of time trying to get “The Black Paladin” published. After I gave up, I wrote THE THIRD SOUL using the same setting as “The Black Paladin”.

And then ebooks happened.

Anyway, the novella is tentatively entitled THE OUTLAW ADEPT, and will take place in Araspan, with Thalia Kalarien as the main protagonist. The two novels will be THE BLACK PALADIN and THE TOMB OF BALIGANT, and will take place a good distance from Araspan. (And in fact, as the plotline goes on they get farther away from Araspan.)

Anyway, look for THE OUTLAW ADEPT sometime in April, with THE BLACK PALADIN and THE TOMB OF BALIGANT after that.

Watch this space for more information!


the little novella that could

Cover image copyright Fernando Cortés |

THE BURNING CHILD came out on November 4th, and since then it has sold 178 copies, which is really good for a 22,000 word novella.

Thanks, everyone!

A few people have asked if I intend to do additional stories in THE THIRD SOUL. I would like to, but I admit I’m not entirely sure where to go from here. I do have an idea for another story called CRYPTS OF THE OLD EMPIRE, but that would be a 60,000 word novel or so, and I’m pretty committed to DEMONSOULED and THE GHOSTS just now.

So we’ll see – but you never know when an idea can strike.


free ebooks for Black Friday

Today is Black Friday, the high feast of the cult of consumerism, and if you’d prefer to stay home and read, I’ve got you covered. Or, if you have to drive relatives to the store, and would rather hide in your car with your phone and an ereader app, I’ve got four free ebooks for you.

DEMONSOULED is the first novel of my DEMONSOULED series, sword-and-sorcery tales chronicling the adventures of the knight Mazael Cravenlock as he wages war against serpent men, inhuman invaders, dragons, and other creatures. I’ve written five books in this series, with a sixth one coming out early in 2013. You can get DEMONSOULED for free at Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, Nook UK, iTunes, and Smashwords, and also at

CHILD OF THE GHOSTS is the first book of my THE GHOSTS series, about the adventures of Caina Amalas, an elite spy and assassin who fights rogue sorcerers, slave traders, corrupt lords, and anyone else who threatens to overthrow the Empire of Nighmar.  There are five books in the series, with the sixth book planned for spring 2013. CHILD OF THE GHOSTS is available for free at Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, Nook UK, iTunes, and Smashwords, and also at

THE TESTING is the first novella in “The Third Soul” series, about Rachaelis Morulan, an apprentice mage in the corrupt Conclave of Araspan. It’s free at AmazonAmazon UK,Barnes & Noble, Nook UK, iTunes, and Smashwords.

THE TOWER OF ENDLESS WORLDS is the first book in an urban fantasy series about an evil wizard from a high medieval fantasy world and an evil politician from Chicago. The politician gives the wizard guns to conquer his world, and the wizard teaches the politician black magic to dominate the political scene. Get it for free at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Nook UKiTunes, and Smashwords.

Happy reading!