All your pestering has paid off, Beaumont & Beasley fans. I have been hard at work on the sequel to The Beast of Talesend, and I’m now finally ready to announce a release date. The Tomb of the Sea Witch is coming…and probably sooner than you had expected.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I have timed the release to coincide with the Realm Makers conference (July 27-29), which I will be attending this year. My plan is to launch The Tomb of the Sea Witch on July 24 so I can market the book while I’m in Reno. Which means that if you’re going too, you can be one of the first people to get a nice, shiny, delightfully blue paperback copy!
I’ve really had a great time working on this book–which is good news, because my writing is usually better when I’m having fun with it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much I’ve enjoyed writing it. (But if you don’t, that’s perfectly okay. Feel free to be honest in your reviews. I want to keep in touch with reader feedback and make sure I’m still producing something that you like reading.)
The story has altered quite a bit since I first started writing it…which means that the excerpt I released in the newsletter last month is no longer part of the book. Sorry about that. My original plan had been the set the story in a small town suffering from ghostly phenomena, but I ended up deciding to set it in a sinister magical academy instead. Think “evil Hogwarts.” Here’s a trailer, and the new synopsis:
Private detective Nick Beasley used to be a debunker of magic. Then he found out magic is real. The hard way. Now he’s on the run from a powerful council of enchanters who want him dead, along with his younger brother Crispin and the renegade enchantress Lady Cordelia Beaumont.
So when Cordelia suggests going undercover at a stronghold of the Council’s power–the Warrengate Academy of Advanced Magic, Nick isn’t exactly thrilled with the idea. Cordelia insists that the school may hold the key to Nick regaining his humanity: an ancient spell created by the Sea Witch from the tale of the Little Mermaid.
But Warrengate has dangerous secrets. An ancient evil is rising from the depths of the sea–and as if that weren’t bad enough, it’s bringing an army of the undead with it. Magic itself is suddenly proving unreliable. Crispin is adopting every magical creature in sight. It’s chaos.
This mission may prove far more complicated than Beaumont and Beasley ever imagined.
Some other tidbits and teasers:
- While there’s a notable J.K. Rowling influence on the story, I wouldn’t categorize it as a Harry Potter pastiche. Warrengate is very different from Hogwarts. There are no heroic Chosen Ones, but it’s also not a “villain school,” per se. Its focus is entirely amoral. Also, a wide variety of magical creatures attend alongside humans.
- The Tomb of the Sea Witch does provide a dark take on The Little Mermaid, but there are shades of the Disney version’s better elements as well. I don’t really like “deconstructing” fairy tales; I find most stories of that description depressing. My goal is to put intriguing twists on classic stories that still contain plenty of heart and humor.
- Many elements of this story stem from reader feedback on The Beast of Talesend. The Tomb of the Sea Witch is longer; roughly 50,000 words (Beast was about 40K). It adds more depth to the mythology of the Afterlands, including an entire merfolk civilization. And the characters have more opportunities to pause, breathe, and interact; it’s not non-stop action.
- There’s a nice little crop of quirky side characters. I really had fun with those. One of them is the son of a very famous literary figure (who’s not from a fairy tale).
- Crispin gets a girlfriend, as well as several new pets (in addition to Reginald the Toad, who has a cameo). I’m rewarding Crispin for being a fan-favorite character. I’m also going to put him through heck in this book, ’cause I’m EEEVILLLL.
- Nick has to teach a group of misfit Warrengate students–who, like him, are magical creatures–how to manage without using magic for everything in their daily lives. Hilarity ensues.
- There are THREE mysterious and shocking epilogues/”post-credit scenes” at the end.
Keep watching the blog and my social media accounts for further news on The Tomb of the Sea Witch. (My newsletter and non-B&B blog activity are probably going to be scaled down considerably this month so I can focus more heavily on the launch and Realm Makers.) Also, watch for the audiobook version of The Beast of Talesend, coming later this month! (The ebook will remain on SALE for $0.99 until July 30–tell your friends!)
How about a trailer for the audiobook too? Eh, why not.
In the meantime, why not check out this awesome review Deborah O’Carroll wrote for The Beast of Talesend?