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Shadows of Eireland Series Update

Humanborn, book 1 of Shadows of Eireland, released this May. Since we’re already in the September part of 2023, I thought it was time to offer a peek into what’s going on with the series behind the scenes as I veered off my usual process.
Usually, while I prepare for a release of a book, I’m already writing the next book in the same series, and this time it was no different. I finished a draft of Myth-touched a couple of weeks after Humanborn released, and normally, I would proceed to revisions, beta reader, and more revisions. Instead, this time I took a different path, and jumped straight into writing Snakebitten, book 3.

To explain why, requires me to step back quite a few years ago, when I first wrote Humanborn.

Back then, writing a novel set in Ireland was a way to deal with my nostalgia for Ireland. I was happy to move over to the US, but leaving my whole life behind caused a bit of an emotional turmoil, and I also wanted to preserve the memories of the city that had been my home for over 8 years.

When I wrote the first draft of Humanborn, I was convinced it would be a standalone story, but my first readers pointed out that it could as well become a series. Their comments made me think of all the stories I could tell about those characters and within this setting.

So, naturally, I wrote book 2, Myth-touched.

Yet, as time passed, I couldn’t help feeling that there was something off about that story, but I had difficulty pinpointing the problem until my trusted alpha reader caught it: this book had to be two books instead. It made sense, and I agreed with him, but I wasn’t sure how to pull it off. I knew I needed time to think about it.

In the meantime, I focused on rewriting By the Pact and writing the subsequent books in the Pacts Arcane and Otherwise series. I didn’t forget about Myth-touched, but splitting this story felt challenging, and I wanted to get it right.

This was why I decided to write both books back to back rather than focus on revisions to get the new version of Myth-touched out in the world instead. With the stories in those books connected enough that neither could be considered a true standalone, I wanted to make sure everything was balanced and matched perfectly. I wanted both parts of the story to provide the satisfaction of a full book, even if some aspects of the story were overarching between the two of them.

Yesterday, I wrote the last scene in Snakebitten, and looking from a perspective, I can say that this new process paid off for both of the books, and I think readers will enjoy them. Unfortunately, this also means that there will be a bigger gap between the release of Humanborn and Myth-touched as I’m only now jumping into the revisions of the latter. At the moment, I’m aiming for the early 2024 for the publication, but I’m unable to share a more specific date. Revisions are meant to make the book as good as possible, and I don’t want to rush them just to meet a defined deadline.

On the bright side, this also means that the gap between the release of Myth-touched and Snakebitten should be much smaller, and I’m planning to have them both out next year.

I know it might not be the news the fans of the series were hoping for, but I hope having two books to look forward to will make up for a slightly longer wait.

If you aren’t familiar with Humanborn, you can learn more about it or order your copy of the book from your favorite retailer, and if you’d like to stay informed on the books’ progress and release dates, sign up to receive the updates!

Joanna Maciejewska

Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games. Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English. Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.

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