New Character Artwork

I’m not crying, you are!

I recently commissioned artwork of Freyne and Nika to celebrate the completion of The Darkest Realm. OMG, it’s amazing 😭 I’m usually a heartless cow, but this made my eyes misty.

Freyne and Nika, by reendhanasukma.

Where am I up to?

  • Suffer through writing a blurb
  • Work on the maps and get them ready for print.
    • World
    • Lorendia
    • Maikaden
    • Gri’Ran’s Gate
    • Kia-Mor
    • Bar’Am
    • Gri’Ran’s Rest
  • Edit and send it off to my beta reader.
  • Send info to my designer and commission the cover.
    • Booked for mid October
  • Update to cover of book 1
    • Booked and organised
  • More edits.
  • Read through book 1, followed by a re-read of book 2, and ensure everything is right.
  • Send to proofreader.
  • Set up interiors.
  • Send final page counts to designer.
  • Plan some sort of launch party
  • Set up preorders.
  • Launch.

Each time I finish and publish a book, I am usually overcome with excitement and impatience, and rush rush rush to get it out to the masses. This time, though, I find myself feeling quite mellow. I’m happy and excited, but not bouncing off the walls like usual.

I was discussing this with my bestie who noticed this and mentioned it to me. I came to realise that as much as I’ve grown as a writer, I’ve also grown as a publisher. I’m determined to get it right this time around. The Lowest Realm and Catalogue of Disaster were both rushed, and I’ve had to rework them as a result. On the other hand, I took my time with Beneath the Grandstand and there are only 3 words I would change in the entire book – which are just a personal thing to me and my OCD. No one has picked up on these three words lol.

Patreon

Tomorrow I will be recording the next chapters of BtG and CoD to Patreon. I’ll also be recording my monthly update and uploading some more things, so stay tuned.

Check out my Patreon HERE! For $1.50 a month you get access to heaps of content 🙂

Twitch map streams

I’ve been streaming my progress of Maikaden map live on Twitch, so make sure you jump on and say hi. You will need to make a Twitch account, but it’s easy and so so worth it! If Twitch isn’t your thing, check out the edited streams on YouTube.

TWITCH

YOUTUBE

Stay safe folks and I’ll check in soon!

Much love,
AAC 💜

TDR Is Finished!

Happy August, everyone! I bring you great and exciting news!!

I’ve deliberately held off posting in my blog until now. I am so excited to announce that The Darkest Realm is FINALLY complete!! It has taken me 2 years, three different versions, to get where I am with this. For the longest time I was starting to regret announcing that there would be a book 2 and contemplated just making it the stand-alone it was meant to be. But I persisted, and WOW it was so worth it!

So, what’s next?

  1. Suffer through writing a blurb
  2. Work on the maps and get them ready for print.
  3. Edit and send it off to my beta reader.
  4. Send info to my designer and commission the cover.
  5. More edits.
  6. Read through book 1, followed by a re-read of book 2, and ensure everything is right.
  7. Send to proofreader.
  8. Set up interiors.
  9. Send final page counts to designer.
  10. Plan some sort of launch party
  11. Set up preorders.
  12. Launch.

Aim is to launch it on November 9th, which will be the 2 year anniversary of releasing The Lowest Realm.

But wait, there’s more!

To celebrate my growth as a writer, I will be re-launching The Lowest Realm just before the launch of book 2. I’ve sent TLR to my proofread / editor who is tidying it up for me. There will be no major changes to the plot, I’ll just be fixing punctuation and the sex scenes. I’ve watched enough porn since writing that book that I know I can do them a little better. No, I will not make them more graphic as this is not erotica.

I will be giving The Lowest Realm an updated blurb, and make some changes to the back of the cover to bring it in line with my branding.

And finally, I have commissioned some artwork of Nika and Freyne! I am so freaking excited about this! If all goes well, I’ll get some done of more of the characters. I’ll be updating the pronunciation guide so it will be an embedded video to make that easier, too.

On a final note, I will be adding a lot more content to my Patreon over the next few weeks. I’ll try and add some of the behind the scenes things such as interior setup, maps, publishing and so on. I’m super excited! Don’t forget to check it out at patreon.com/AmyAlexCampbell

I just want to give you all a big thank you for your support since I started this crazy journey. I have made new friends along the way, and reconnected with old friends alike. You are all my family and I love you.

Much love,

Amy-Alex x

Announcement! Patreon!

Click here to visit my Patreon ^

Big news, folks!

Today is the two year anniversary of finishing off the draft of The Lowest Realm. To celebrate, I’m launching my shiny new Patreon!

For those who don’t know what this is, Patreon is a way to support your favorite artists. There are writers, video creators, digital artists, musicians, and all sorts of creative folks on there. Fans get to sign up to their favorite creator for a monthly recurring fee, and in return they get access to exclusive content depending on their tier.

For my Patreon, I have 4 tiers available: Neophyte, Monk, High Priest, and Disciple. The features of each tier are listed below:

So if you sign up to be a Neophyte at $1.50 per month, you will have access to the monthly progress video or live stream; you get to submit questions for Q&A, participate in polls, and you get 10% off all books in my online store!

For the monk tier, you get this, plus access to character bios, interviews with characters, you can submit name suggestions for characters and locations. Instead of 10% discount, you get 15%.

High priests get all of the above, plus you will get to hear me read a chapter of one of my stories each month. I will post map images or host a live stream of me drawing them, and an occasional short story. This tier receives 20% off books in my store.

The final Disciple tier is not cheap, but this is Amy-Alex Campbell laid bare (not to be confused with naked – there is no nudity here). You get to read the icky offcut files, those versions that were so terrible they never see the light of day. I will print your name in the back of my next book as one of my supporters, and you get 25% off books in my store.
The biggest deal for this tier, though, is you get a copy of a limited print run version of Catalogue of Disaster. This run is discontinued as the pub mark was incorrect, there is a typo on the copyright page, and there are a few issues through the book which have since been changed.
Why would anyone want a ‘dud’?
I plan to be famous one day, so these copies may be worth something to someone some day – or not.
You also receive a hand-drawn initial map customised just for you. I will post you the map and book to wherever you live in the world.

I’m not doing this just to try and pocket all of your hard earned money. Any money made will be put back into running my website and keeping my Adobe subscription. To me, this platform enables me to directly interact with my true fans and readers, and by that I mean YOU. It creates an intimate environment where YOU get to experience behind the scenes and see what it’s truly like to be a writer. This content is just for YOU, not for Janice to randomly find and share / retweet.

If you have any questions, please email me or leave a message below.

Link: https://www.patreon.com/AmyAlexCampbell

Much love,

AAC <3

Update from Lockdown

Howdy awesome peeps!

I have no idea what day or week we’re in now….week 3 or 4 I think? I haven’t really been paying attention as usual. Since lockdown 2.0 started, I have been working on The Darkest Realm, and oh em gee, I am loving the story as it progresses. We have some awesome new characters, get an insight into the Miscreant and his closest generals, and new plot elements to bring more life to the story.

Each and every day, I update the progress bar with how many words I have written in the last 24 hours. That way, anyone who visits the website will know exactly where I am at, and hopefully can help me celebrate the milestones 🙂

Yesterday was a bit of a rest day. I had to run some essential errands, and decided to retro-fit one of the filters on my axolotl tank. This is such a big job, but totally worth it!

I also got to slip in an hour of gaming with a friend last night, before trudging back to the Chromebook for more writing. I spent the evening reworking chapter 15 and fixing up some of the dialogue, made sure things flowed properly.

Apart from writing, I’ve spent too much time on social media. I’m only human, after all!

Future Considerations

As an author, I am my own brand. I am a business, and therefore I plan for the future accordingly. Some things I’m considering:

  1. Patreon. I do a lot of work behind the scenes, such as writing crap that never makes the cut (TDR 2.1 is so cringe, I cringe just thinking about how cringey it is).
    Sometimes I write ‘scribbles’ which are part of developing characters, which then turn into mini stories as to why they behave the way they do. I have a hot scene between Garret and Jake that will probably never see the light of day…. Plus I’ll be writing a shorter story that covers how Tysion and Ashavan met.
    There is also so much work that goes into drawing maps, I can post videos and bloopers too. So there is no shortage of content!
  2. Beneath the Grandstand is my most successful novel to date. Davo Hardy, an Aussie film director, recently read it and loved it. Once I complete the Miscreant series and develop a bit more of a reader base, we’re looking into crowdsourcing the funds to adapt the book into a film. Super excited about this!
  3. Catalogue of Disaster has been receiving mixed reviews. It was only ever meant to be a short story of 40k words, something fun and fast paced. It was my first ever attempt at writing m/m romance in a modern setting. As much as I love this story, I feel like it has the potential to be so much more, especially now that I have grown considerably as an author. Therefore, I plan to revisit this story and flesh it out into a full length story like Beneath the Grandstand. I want to see Garret and Jake doing depraved acts in the archives, making out in the fire escapes, giving them a reason to get in so much trouble. There was going to be a part 2, but now I’ll just rewrite it into one sexy-ass story and bring it to life. I’ll still keep CoD, but the rewrite will be renamed and kick CoD out of the Marsden Park Series. Maybe. We’ll see.
  4. Between the Lines will still be written eventually. I started that project full of excitement, but writing about gangs in Australia is much harder than the United States. We don’t have guns here, and our crimes are nowhere near as extensive as over there. In Western Sydney, we deal with Eshays, which are hardly worth writing about. Therefore I will have to approach this from a different angle.

There are so many exciting things coming up, so make sure you follow me on Facebook or Twitter (or both, I post different content on each) and sign up to the newsletter.

That’s all from me today. Stay safe everyone!

Much love,
AAC <3

Back in Lockdown

Howdy folks!

It’s been a while since I posted last. As always, life has been busy, and I’d been forced to concentrate my energies on my day job and a few other things. As of 6pm yesterday, the Greater Sydney region has gone into another 2 week lockdown following a rapidly growing cluster of the Delta variant of Covid-19. For me, a non-essential worker, I now have 2+ weeks to focus on my writing and bring you some much awaited updates!

  • The Darkest Realm
  • Maps
  • An Announcement!

The Darkest Realm

While I am still around the 31,000 word mark for The Darkest Realm, I’ve been doing a lot of work on the maps needed for this book, plus I’m reworking the ones I used for the TLR relaunch.

I’ve been anticipating the lockdown, so the other day I went to look at Chromebooks to see if they would be any good for my needs. I managed to get a HP model on clearance knocked down to $200 which was slightly better than the Lenovo I was looking at. This means that should I have to go to work, I can bring this along and still type in my break, without having to lug my iPad and keyboard setup which is surprisingly heavier.

The other pro is the lack of distractions. I’ve been struggling to stay focused when writing on my laptop, especially with my games, Twitch, social media and all those fun things screaming for my attention. This Chromebook is purely for writing and basic web browsing. I will not be adding social media on here (except for WordPress haha).

Maps

I recently purchased Procreate for my iPad, and GRI’RAN’S CLAWS, IT’S AMAZING!! For those of you who have followed my map-making journey, you’ll know how much I suck at digital forms of cartography. I’ve tried Inkarnate and Wonderdraft (and I love these!), but having legit OCD I struggle to get everything exactly the way I want it.

With Procreate, I’m getting the hang of drawing maps by hand with the Apple pencil on the iPad screen. It took me a little bit of experimenting, but since I’ve discovered layers and how to do all that fancy stuff, I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at it!

A timelapse of the development of the map of Lorendia. Note the old style mountains down the bottom – I no longer use this style!

Now that my confidence has grown, I’ve decided that it’s time to push myself as a cartographer and take my maps to the next level. I really struggle to get assets like mountains all the right size, and found myself getting frustrated having to start over every time I made a mistake. It was such a long process to get the maps ready for publication the first time around: tracing, scanning, editing, etc.

I’ve had to learn new ways to draw deserts, foothills, mountains and coastlines, but I’ve been enjoying the challenge. When I’m ready, I’ll update the map sections of my website.

And finally……

A Small Announcement!

I’ve been looking at options to include international readers in obtaining signed copies of my books. Unfortunately, postage is super expensive to ship books around the world, something like $50 – $75 depending on location.

I’ve decided to offer signed bookplates in my store! For those who buy a paperback from their local book shops, they can then purchase a signed bookplate from my online store, and I will post it for a much cheaper price.

A faded AAC Publishing star logo printed on a round white sticker, and Amy-Alex Campbell's signature scrawled across the top.

That’s all from me for now. As always, feel free to reach out to me on any of my social media channels or leave a comment on this post and say hi! Is there content you want to see more of or less of on any of my socials? Let me know!

Take care everyone and stay safe.
Much love,
AAC <3

Book Sale!

For a limited time, I am offering signed copies of The Lowest Realm for $15 when purchased direct from my online store (Australia only). For those outside of Australia, you can alternatively purchase a signed bookplate for $5.95 + free shipping worldwide.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW

Note: This story features queer characters and relationships (m/m).

Blurb

Life on an offshore oil rig is grueling hard work. For Nika the hard work, isolation and discipline is ideal.
On the eve of flying back to the mainland for a two week break, disaster strikes, and Nika is thrown into darkness.

When he awakes in a strange world, with no memory of his past, he finds himself in the presence of monks, who offer to help, on one condition. Nika must deliver an urgent message to the king, and in return, the mysterious monks will help him recall his memories and find a way home.
Instead, Nika is sent on a long journey with his new friend Freyne, and the spoilt Princess Iryna, to fulfill a prophecy that will restore balance to the world.

Nika must adjust to more than just a new world; as his body undergoes a transformation he does not understand, he must also deal with being hunted, forbidden love, mancery, and gods he’s never heard of.

Alternatively, purchase the eBook here:

I Now Stream On Twitch!

I finally did it! I finally got my butt into gear and set myself up for streaming!

For those who don’t know, I’m a gamer at heart. I draw a lot of inspiration for games like Diablo, Vampire, Borderlands, and even Tomb Raider back in the day. My current addiction is 7 Days to Die, a zombie first person shooter.

Hardcore! I’ve been playing Diablo since #1 was released years ago!
So why I am posting this on my writing blog?

I’m glad you asked 😛 I have been dabbling in making videos of my map making, and thought it would be cool if I could actually stream some sessions. Another author I met through Twitter also told me that some writers live stream their writing sprints, which I thought might also be cool. Mind you, my sprints are more of a slow walk through the field of distractions…anyone watching me write will probably be treated to YouTube, random Google searches, and probably some porn too (just kidding…..maybe).

Follow me on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/amyalexcampbell

This is all a work in progress, so I’m not going to promise amazing regular content (yet). But I will do my best to keep things interesting, so that those of you who want to, can join me on the journey as I race to meet my 31st July deadline for The Darkest Realm.

That’s all for today. Take care <3

Much love
~AAC

Fantasy Maps and Seasons

As some might know, I’ve resumed my work on The Darkest Realm. Similar to book 1, the map is a work in progress as I write, as some things need to change as I go. I thought I’d do a post regarding those extra things to consider when making fantasy maps / writing fantasy stories.

When working on a fantasy story and map, we need to consider so much more than just forests and the story; we need to take into account science while we’re at it.

Regardless of your type of fantasy world, it is likely to exist on a planet and have a sun. Therefore, you need to consider seasons, time zones, hemispheres and an equator. Basic rules of physics and astronomy still apply, so we have to consider the planet’s rotation in relation to the sun, etc.. Once you have these penciled in, you can start to consider what biomes would exist.

I use our own Earth as a reference so my climates and biomes are more realistic. For example, I wouldn’t find a scorching desert right next to the southern pole…unless it’s caused by magic!

My characters have just finished crossing the Lorendian Desert, and are entering a savanna, which is roughly where South Africa would be in relation to Australia. So today I’ve been looking up to check seasons and all that good stuff. It turns out that the African savanna tends to have a dry and wet season instead of summer, autumn winter and spring. Good to know.

As my characters head into the south / west hemisphere, I’ll have to flip the seasons around and give them appropriate weather and climate. These things may sound minor, but to me they can be the difference between being totally immersed in an alternate fantasy reality, or being jolted out of the experience thinking ‘Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound right!’

There are some really useful guides online. Gardening and farming guides are good such as the one below. My dad was a farmer for years before retirement, so I learnt to always trust gardeners and farmers when it comes to the true seasons. Also, check out this video on YouTube to see how our Earth experiences seasons and why.

The final thing I want to add in is the use of a calendar. I know that every writer does things differently, so it may not be your cup of tea. But for my fantasy stories, I have a calendar and track every single day of their journey. That way can keep track of the seasons and ensure travel times and speeds are realistic, etc.

My next step for this calendar is to flip seasons as they prepare to head into the northern hemisphere.

One final point to mention. For those who enable long distance travel in their magic systems, remember that if your person is way up in the north and it’s lunch time, if they teleport to the opposite side of the world, chances are it will be dark there.

I hope this helps in your fantasy work!

For those who have pre-ordered The Darkest Realm, I’m super sorry but I need to push back the date. It wouldn’t be fair to my readers to release a messy draft. I want to make sure this story is well ironed out and as edited as possible, and that won’t be possible if I rush. I’m sure you would rather read something amazing than a scribble on a napkin. Don’t worry, I’ll have it out around August to September if all goes well.

A final reminder that I am now streaming on Twitch. I do both gaming and stream my map making, so if you want to see me live and have a chat, follow me on Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/amyalexcampbell.

Much love,
~ AAC <3

My New Office!

Morning!

I’m just keeping it short and sweet today. Between uni, assignments, and life in general, I haven’t had the motivation to sit down and write. For the last 6 months or so, I’ve been sitting at the kitchen table to write.

Urgh. There are so many distractions, that I just can’t concentrate. So I’ve finally cleaned out the spare room and made it into a proper office!

I now have a space for writing, cartography, and chilling in general. It’s still a bit of a mess, but meh, mess can be cleaned.

I’ve been working on The Darkest Realm – I know the progress bar on this page doesn’t seem to be moving, but that’s mainly because of edits. One scene just isn’t sounding right, so I’ve been working on fixing it and fixing it. Last night I got to start writing the next scene which is from my sexy new guys POV (I’m so in love with him 😍).

Still taking me a while to fully plan Between the Lines. Since I am writing a Maori character, it is only right that I buddy up with some people and have a chat so I don’t write anything that is insensitive, accidentally racist, or just plain wrong. My neighbor is a New Zealander, and has kindly offered to introduce me to some of his friends. It will just take time, that’s all.

Thankyou to those people who have been visiting this site a lot in the last few weeks. I see you, and I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to visit 🙂 Thanks also to those who recently purchased / read Beneath the Grandstand too 💜

That’s all from me for now. If you haven’t already, please sign up to the newsletter. I’m waiting until I get a decent number if subscribers before I start with content. As per my promise, it will only ever be used for upcoming launches and exciting big news, so don’t worry about it being spammy 🙂

Take care everyone! Much love, AAC 💜

Inspiration Board

First of all, Happy Easter! I hope you all had a safe long weekend and didn’t eat too much chocolate 🙂

I’ve been in a bit if a slump lately and haven’t written anything for a couple of months. I’m hesitant to call it writer’s block, because I know I’ve written myself into a wall and haven’t planned this chapter very well. (See my post on this here)

So what do I do when this happens? I think about the scene and play with it in my mind until I have some sort of visual. I also find images help inspire me to get out of the slump.

Currently, Nika, Freyne, and their friends are in the Lorendian Desert, traveling across the Great Causeway. I have totally stuffed up the chapter, so I have been working on rewording parts to make it work. Instead, I have to scrap the entire chapter and start it again.

Here are some random photos I found online that have helped to spark the creative juices. This set includes different types of desert.

This set contains different stone bridges. The Causeway is one long raised bridge across the desert, with regular shelters to protect those who cross.

And of course, the Fens! The character who lives here is awesome, and I can’t wait to introduce you to him!

I’m also hung up on the name for one of my cities that my characters will soon be visiting. If you have any suggestions, leave it in the comments below!

Anywho, here’s hoping I can crawl out of my funk and get this finished in time for the June release!

Take care all <3

~AAC