AD 2- What it wanted to be.

The story of how a strange dream birthed a new novel and world and taught me to trust my creativity and instincts, and what you can learn from it.

Transcript

Welcome to the World of the Ash Dancer. I am the author C E Dorset. You can just call me Charlie. Most of the people that know me do, some don'tm but there's a long and complex story about that and I don't feel like going into it right now. Let's just say, if you're curious about that: Head over to Project: Shadow.com. There's actually a post over there called, "Call me Charlie." It explains the whole long story.

[00:00:26] I say that because you might know me as Eric and I used to do a whole bunch of podcasts from The Confessed, which was dedicated to the Legend of the Seeker. We the Gods and Kings. We did the Project: Shadow podcast. We did dashPunk Unfiltered, and Switzerland: I am still sorry. I'm still so sorry. I'm still so sorry for everything that Wolf said on the podcast. I'm still so sorry. And a bunch of other podcasts over the years.

[00:00:58] Today we're opening a new one. And not only are we opening a new podcast. We're opening the Labyrinth of Souls, because today, my first new book in way too long has finally come out and that would be a Labyrinth of Souls, which is a novella set in the World of the Ash Dancer. I could not be more excited. I want to try not to just blubber in gibber like an idiot, but for those of you who know me, you know it's gonna happen and you just wait for that. I think I can hold it together at least a little bit.

[00:01:41] Now this book was a long time coming. I really wanted to do an accompanying podcast with it. But this podcast is not going to be what you might think it is. You're not going to get the audio for the book here (at least maybe not. We're looking into that) But if you'd like to record an audio book contact me and we'll talk. Because this book unlike any of the books that I've released before features two prominent female leads. In fact if there was a reverse Bechtel test this book would probably fail. There are some guys in the book. Ger's a guy. Master Sosin's a guy. Grandmaster Cacuun is a guy. Tobi's a guy. There's a couple guys in the book but they're kind of in the background. Because this story, more than any that I've ever done, really centers on the personality and identities and. experiences of two extraordinary women and that would be Raih and Jodhaa Bhai. That name may sound familiar but we'll talk more about Jodhaa and her origins later. But if that name does sound familiar to you then you're probably listening to the podcast and probably in a similar fandom as I am. 

[00:03:14] So I feel like the first thing that I have to talk about in this podcast is: Why did it take so long between my last book and this book for me to write a story? 

[00:03:27] And this is one of those things that I debated whether or not I should talk about because in a way it's kind of a really writerly thing. But I think it's something that speaks not only to the story that I ended up writing but to something that all of us face in our lives. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I'm not saying that from a point of view of writer's block because I've had a lot of story ideas come and go in the interim, but none of them felt right. None of them felt like that's what I wanted to spend the next couple of months of my life doing. Because writing makes so many of the things that we do in our life, it's time consuming and it's self isolating work, where it's just me, and a laptop, and the characters sitting around for a really long time and (you know) I know and respect quite a few writers that can just bang it out on whatever topic they have even the slightest inkling about. And I love them, but I really need to feel connected and enthralled by what I'm doing. And the stories that I was coming up with, the ideas that I was coming up with in the interim, I loved and I hoped to get back to them someday. But they didn't feel authentically me. They felt like they had something missing. And I couldn't figure out what it was.

[00:05:08] There was this hollow emptiness in me. Every time I sat down to work on one of those stories that yeah I mean I could write it but what's the point of me sitting down and banging out a bunch of words for you guys to read. If I'm not feeling that love, if I'm not feeling that passion, how can I expect anybody else to? That's kind of what broke me as a writer.

[00:05:38] I had a bunch of ideas but they were, for lack of better terms, intellectually gained. Right. I'd kind of look to books I like to read, stuff that's doing well in the market, and stories that I thought would resonate with my audience and that people would enjoy. But as far as that personal connection, I wasn't putting a lot of that in there. They were stories. It was almost like being hired by another company to work on their IP and that felt wrong.

[00:06:21] It felt like anything that I would make in that process would be inferior and not worth the time, energy, and effort to bring it out into the world and for people to really invest their own time, energy, and effort into. 

[00:06:43] So about a year ago, actually a little over a year ago (As most of these great stories started), I had a weird dream. It was a very weird dream. Basically I had a dream about a woman who pulled a sword from a stone, much like King Arthur. But it wasn't a stone, it turned out to be a dragon and the dragon came to life, and Rahhhh. And it was a very interesting idea. I couldn't get out of my head and I had decided I was going to do NaNo last year (National Novel Writing Month if you not familiar with NaNoWriMo), where you'd sit down and you just decide I'm going to write a book, 50000 words at least in the next 30 days. It's a marathon. It's not an easy thing to do. And I already had a completely other book plotted out. I had the outline ready. I had the idea ready. I had everything worked out. That's what I'm going to do to write this other book. And then the day before NaNo on October 31st, I have this weird dream. And all day I couldn't get it out of my head. So I knew I was ready to do this other book, and so I decided well I'll just take today, I'll do some art work, I'll play around with it. It'll go away. It's not uncommon to wake up after a dream and have a weird idea for a story but usually they go away. Like there's not as much there as you think there is because you start toying with it to figure out what is the story about. You start teasing it apart. And you realize that you were half asleep you didn't have your coffee yet and that's why you thought that that was the most brilliant idea in the world. That's what I thought was going to happen. And so I played around with the idea I kind of did some pictures of the two characters that I saw in there and really tried to get a feel for what this thing was that was really just burdening my mind and wanting to get out.

[00:08:56] So at midnight, as the clock ticked over it's November 1st and I like to start writing at midnight. I told my husband Brian, I said I'm going to go back to the office and since it's early in the process, I'm going to go back there and that idea that's been bugging me all day, I'm going to sit down and I'm going to see what happens. Because I know what's going to happen: I'm going to sit down and start typing and nothing's gonna happen. I'll write a couple of words and maybe a couple paragraphs and then the whole thing will peter out and it will be done. I realize, Oh look. See, there it is. Hallo idea, not worth doing.

[00:09:45] And so I went back to my office and I sat down and I pulled my laptop out and turned some music on and a couple hours later I had written almost 3000 words. I don't write that fast. I'm just going to be honest with you, I don't write that fast. And I kind of have you know wobbled out of the office and looked at my husband and it was like I just read all this stuff and I think there might be a there, there. 

[00:10:18] And so the next day, I was like well let's see what happens that I sat down and started writing. Bam. I mean another couple of thousand words. And I mean it's just flowing out. I mean it's just pouring out of me and I don't write like that. I really don't write like that. I plan everything. I figure everything out and I'm meticulous, and all those things that had apparently been killing my creativity over the years. And here's the story it's just pouring out of me. And so I'm looking at it, and I'm like, This is the thing. But I really shouldn't be writing it yet because I don't know these characters well enough to write them. I don't know this world well enough to write them. But there really is something here and I had gotten to a point in this story where I introduced a character named Raih, and her backstory was so clear to me. 

[00:11:18] It was so clear. I knew who she was. I knew where she came from and I started making all of these notes about her and this friend of hers, Jodhaa Bhai, who by the way would have appeared in the next chapter of the book. That I was working on at the time that would be, Dragon in the Snow. And I knew as I'm writing down the details of how they got together, and how their friendship formed, and all of the things there, I was like, This is a really interesting story and it just kept coming out, and like detail upon detail upon detail on detail. I realized what I was doing was actually outlining another story. And that blew me away, because here I am just trying to get some backstory on a character, a couple of characters, for a novel I'm working on. And I'm realizing oh my goodness this is a whole other book. Not just one book but a series of books. There's a whole bunch of stories here. And I'm fascinated by them and I really want to know more. I want to learn more.

[00:12:31] And that became my gateway into the World of the Ash Dancer.

[00:12:36] So after taking a couple months to work on a map and I really mean a couple of months to work on a map. It's a pretty map you can see it over at Ash Dancer.com. It's a pretty map, lots and lots of detail on everything. I came back to this idea and I was I thought to myself, Well, what I'll do is I'll write a novella. I love writing novellas. They're fun. They're quick. They're easy. I'll write a novella and kind of get out what it is- The initial meeting of these two characters because I thought it was such an interesting idea and such a powerful story. I'll just write that real quick. And, hazzah, I'll have something that I can put out there and say, Hey I'm working on this new world. Here it is here's this little story that you can read. And it'll happened real quick because the stories flowing really fast, really well. Everything's going great. I'll writer this really quick and get it out.

[00:13:44] So, of course, that's not what happened. I started writing it and the more I wrote it the more notes I was taking about the various characters and the people that were meeting and like- there's one part in the opening where in the book Raih and Jodhaa have been invited to attend the magic school. And this is where they met and where their friendship started. And there's this one quick scene where they see all of the teachers standing on this dais and it's in the first scene of the book. And the first couple pages of the book and I find myself writing all these side notes with the names of each and every one of these people up there. Their back stories where they come from. And what branches of magic they teach and how magic works in the world and all this additional content. And I'm sitting back and I'm like This is not going to be a short project because this is-.

[00:14:56] This is my worldbuilding book. This is the book that's going to teach me everything I need to know to write in the World of the Ash Dancer. And so it didn't take off real quick.

[00:15:08] I started writing the book, I believe in March of this year and I finished in October. So it's a lot longer than I thought it would for a little book but it provided so much and it provided so much detail and richness that for every little thing in this story I have reams and reams of what that means and why that and there are a few names that get dropped that I have so much more about. And that's what Ash Dancer.com is going to be: a place where I put a lot of that content, especially right now when I'm kind of going through and figuring out what's a spoiler and what's not.So I don't ruin anything ready body.

[00:15:53] The process of creating Labyrinth of Souls changed me as a writer, because while I had an outline and the book in a lot of ways follows the barest plot points that were in that outline. It took on a life of its own. And I became something that I hadn't been since I was a kid and that's something we writers like to call a Pantser: somebody who writes by the seat of their pants. So much of this was written like that. And when I went back and reread it, I was astounded at how much made sense and I didn't really have to go back and make sure that things were set up and earlier scenes, like it set itself up on the trajectory that it was going. It reawakened in me this thing that I didn't know that I had in me and it reawakened it to such an extent that after I finished writing it... Writing and I finished editing in October, I had this complete other idea for another set of characters that also appear in that other book. Part of their backstory. I spent the month of November I spent NaNoWriMo this year writing that book. And so that's in the editing process right now and that will eventually come out, but I've never written anything like this before.

[00:17:39] I don't mean that in like, This story is so fresh and original. No, I mean like like this. In the manner in which I wrote this. It kind of wrote itself and the few people that I've handed it off to who have read it have had really wonderful things to say about it. That means the world to me and I'm hoping that you love it too.

[00:18:06] But today, it goes up to the wide world. Well, I wrote it on Wattpad. So it's kind of already been out there and I've gotten some nice comments over there. But now, it's out for everybody. So you can go to AshDancer.com and click the link over to Amazon and it's free for the first five days after publication because I want this to have the widest reach it can get.

[00:18:37] Now after the first five days, if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, it'll still be free until March 16th. And I say it that way because depending on how everything goes over on Amazon, I'm going to make a decision in March whether or not to continue that because for it to be in that Kindle Unlimited group of books it has to be exclusive to Amazon and we'll see how well that's going by then make a decision.

[00:19:15] And so I decided to do this podcast and I didn't expect it to be so much inside baseball, but I think it's important to know where the story comes from. Almost as much as it is to know what it is. It's a story of two girls who are going off to a Magical Academy. Trying to find their vocation. What is it that they are meant to do. What are their secret talents. And along the way they have to face some demons from their past. It's a story I think we all have to face. And this is where I get to be a little egotistical and I'm sorry for that, but in so many ways, it was such an important story for me to write because I was on the same path with them. 

[00:20:13] I've got other books out. I've written other things over the years, but this one- I had to face my own fears about what I thought writing had to be and what I thought publishing had to be and what I thought putting a story together had to be. I had to face those demons from my own past. I had to dig down deep and realize that yeah I'm not sticking to an outline but I can trust the story. It knows where it wants to go and whatever it does wrong, we can fix that. And you get it and so I kind of feel like it's the story if my own experience as well. That like Jodhaa and Raih, and Avishai and Kahn, and Percy. It was my labyrinth of souls as much as it was their labyrinth of souls because it reconnected me to that magic of imagination where I didn't worry if it was steampunk enough. Because it's steampunk or if it's decopunk enough because I wanted to put some decopunk features into it but I don't care.

[00:21:49] I like I realized I don't care if it's steampunk enough, or decopunk enough, or epic fantasy enough, or sword and sorcery enough. That didn't matter. What mattered was that it was true to its self, that it felt like the story that it wanted and needed to be and for me that was liberating. 

[00:22:16] I'd gotten locked down into all of this industry speak. Making sure that I was doing the right thing so that I could promote it easily and I didn't do that this time. I really didn't do that this time. And so here it is. Labyrinth of Souls. Out for the world and everyone else.

[00:22:48] You'll notice when you go to Amazon it's in the young adult category. That wasn't by intent or design it was after it was done and I had to decide what category fit it.

[00:22:59] I realized you know it's young adult book and I'd been wanting to write a young adult series for a while, but of course that comes with all these rules of the type of characters you have to have and that type of story that you have to have, and you know all those things that you're told by other people. But this is a young adult book.

[00:23:22] It's about two girls trying to find their calling. Trying to find their place in the world. It is a coming of age story. You can't get much more YA than that. And it is those things not by design but by purpose because that's what it wanted to be. And I think that for me is the amazing magic that is this book and why Labyrinth of Souls means so much to me and why I hope it means so much to you.

[00:24:04] You know like you said it's their journey. It's my journey. I bet, it's your journey too. And as part of that I would like for you to share your stories with me. You can find all my contact information and all the social networks you can find me on over at Ash Dancer.com. That's one word no dashes. Ash dancer dot com.

[00:24:31] So what do you think. This is our first real episode of the podcast. They're not all going to be like this. We're going to do some question and answer episodes. My husband has agreed to help with those. So if you have any questions feel free to send them in. The first, quite a few episodes of this podcast are going to be dedicated to the world of the Ash Dancer, especially as it pertains to Labyrinth of Souls and the things that we have going on there. And I'm going to give it some time. But eventually I'm going to do a chapter by chapter talk and those will contain spoilers so get your copy now. Especially now while it's free. No skin off your teeth. And so what we're going to be doing here is I will share probably some original short stories with you have some short stories written in the setting. And I think it might be fun to do a dramatic reading of them. It could be fun. So those will probably be included in here as bonus episodes. And really just kind of share this world with you and have it, have this podcast be a place where we can talk about not only the magic in the World of the Ash Dancer but the magic in our own lives because, hopefully, this book and this world will mean as much to you guys as it does to me.

[00:26:02] It's already brought so much magic into my life. I can't help but just gush about it. So. For the first five days at least of this podcast because the book just came out and I'm really really excited that a lot that I want to say this podcast is going to be a daily podcast. So keep listening and when the decision is made on what day the podcast will normally come out it will transition into a weekly podcast. So. Be looking for that. But just so you know there will be one podcast today for the first couple days and then it will taper off into its regular format.

[00:26:51] I'm really, really excited and have a lot that I want to say and this gives me a chance to say all that.

[00:26:58] Thank you so so much for your time to listen. And like I said, Definitely, Head over to Ash Dancer dot com or Amazon.com and pick up your free copy of Labyrinth of Souls now while you can. And if you like it spread the word and if you have anything to say about it. Let me know. You join our Facebook group. Hit me up on Twitter. I spend most of my time on Twitter. But the nice thing about the Facebook group is it dings me every time there's comments in there so it's much easier for me to keep up with that. But yeah I am so excited. And I hope you love this because much as I do and I will see you in the next episode. So until then have the fun.

1-What is Ash Dancer and Wuxia?

Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome everybody to the first Ash Dancer podcast. My name is Charlie. You may know me better as Scifi fantasy writer C. E. Dorset, but you can call me Charlie. I hope you like that intro music I spent quite some time working on it and I really like it. And I think it wraps itself around the setting really well and kind of expresses some of the feelings that I have when I'm writing. It also reminds me of some of the stuff that I listened to while writing.

[00:00:31] So this is the first podcast in what will hopefully be a lot more about Ash Dancer and since it is the first I thought we would take a little time and explain what this podcast is about, what we're going to be doing and where all this came from.

[00:00:54] So a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, at least really feels like that, the idea for what would become Ash Dancer originally came into my head.

[00:01:07] It was very different from the story that I have right now and that's one of the things that I really love about this world.  When it originally kind of popped into my head a couple years ago I started kind of poking and prodding it and it didn't really do much. It just kind of laid there and was like well what do we do this. And it was like well what about this. And so nothing really came of it.

[00:01:41] But I kept working on various projects and continued kind of in the back of my head always coming back to it and it went through about three or four different lead characters over the years and different ideas kept popping in and out and it just never came to life. It never really made a name for itself. It never stood out to me as something that I could spend the inordinate amount of time that it takes to write a novel in this world. So I just kind of laid it aside and thought OK well that's that.

[00:02:25] Eventually maybe something will come to me and I'll figure it out and will start working on it then and and then last year happened. I've always believed that in the back of your mind there's a little part that's trying to put things together for you. And I was working on an outline because I decided to do National Novel Writing Month because I really enjoyed doing those things because writing is a very lonely project. If you've never done it, sitting alone writing it's a lot of work. It's a lot of effort and it's very isolating because it's just you and your laptop and really nothing else because all the characters are springing out of your head all the dialogue, all the imagery, and being able to work at the same time as other writers gives you this wonderful community. People that are going through some of the same stuff that you are. And so I like to do those events just to have that camaraderie that comes about from them. So last year, I spent a lot of time working on the outline for a book and I really like the characters. I really like the story. I thought it was going to be the story I wrote in November. And then come October 31st, I'm in bed dreaming the night away. I had a really, really, really bizarre dream.  It was so vivid. Touch it you know what I'm saying.

[00:04:18] It was so real when I woke up and I thought that was a really weird dream I'm going to just kind of jot that down so I don't forget it because that might be something.

[00:04:29] And it continued to work so that I would be able to start the novel I'd been planning that November. That but that dream wouldn't leave me alone. Those characters would leave me alone. That story, that idea wouldn't leave me alone. So I had a moment of frustration and I thought to myself, "OK, so you're not going to leave me alone. Well I've pretty much got my outline done for the thing I'm going to start writing tomorrow, I'll poke at you for a little bit and see if there's any there there. You know maybe I can get started on another outline for what will come next.".

[00:05:12] I kind of poked at it a little bit. I loaded up Dramatica which is some writing software that I really like when you're trying to pull an idea out because it asks really good questions and gets you thinking about things, about how stories should evolve and develop and whatnot. Who the characters are and what they want. I started kind of poking around in there. And the more I poked around with it, the more I felt like there was something here. There was something special in this story and Xiomara would not leave me alone. She was a very forceful character in my mind. She really had a story that wanted to be told and I couldn't stop thinking about her. And so at about midnight we had some friends over and I looked at them and I was like I'm sorry but I'm going to go back to my office for a little bit and just kind of hit this story idea that just won't leave me alone. So I can just prove to myself that there's no there there right now that needs spends more time with it to bake a little bit more and that way when I get up tomorrow I can get into the story that that I intended to write. So I went back to my office and blew up my laptop and I started typing, and kept typing, and kept typing, and kept typing and

[00:06:42] I am a slow writer. I want to be faster but I am a slow writer.

[00:06:48] And in a couple of hours I had written a couple of thousand words. And that's not like me, that's not like me at all. I don't do that. I mean I want to be able to do that. You know my kind of goal for myself is to get to about a thousand words an hour. But you know that's a goal.

[00:07:09] It's a life goal.

[00:07:12] But this story did that. And so I had written kind of the opening scene of the book and the scene immediately immediately after it. I really liked what was going on. And so I thought well maybe there is some there there. And I got up the next day and I wrote more. I got up the next day and I wrote more. I kept writing. And unlike anything that I've done you know in a very, very long time. This story just kept coming out and I realized there was a there there. This is something that's really pressing on me and it's a story I need to tell. And that's really where Ash Dancer came from.

[00:07:55] It kind of spring forth fully formed in so many ways. I knew the characters. I knew the setting. I knew the world that they lived in. I knew how everything worked. And I've spent the last couple months, well, you know, of course, I didn't finish the book in November, because I never finish a book in November.

[00:08:17] Even when I try my books are never 50000 words lomg. So I didn't finish the book then and I started writing all this backstory down because I didn't want to forget it and collecting that up. And that's when I realized that there were so much more here than I knew what to do with. And that's partially where this podcast comes in and everything else that I'm doing.

[00:08:44] So if you haven't visited yet, I highly recommend that you hand over to AshDancer.com. And there you will find some of the stuff that I have written up there. There's a couple of short stories. There's some background on the world. You can find the first three chapters of the book. There the first book which will be titled The Dragon in the Snow.

[00:09:12] I got ready to write a scene and there were two characters that we were going to be meeting in the book for the first time and they started telling me their backstory and their backstory was very detailed and it was very intricate and how they met and how they first became friends. And I started realizing that I really do need to understand that to be able to write them better.

[00:09:33] And that's where the novella came from. And so I've taken a little side jaunt. I'm working on a novella right now called, Labyrinth of Souls, which is their kind of how they got together how they became friends and the world that they inhabit.

[00:09:52] It's fleshing out more of the world and I'm really enjoying all this. I really am and I'm hoping that I can share some of that love with you. And I'm hoping that I can share some of the ups and downs because there are inevitably downs when you write.

[00:10:10] That's something no writer likes to talk about but there's a point that comes in every book where you're like this is crap. This is the worst thing I've ever done. Why am I working on this. But you push on.

[00:10:23] And so that's what we're going to be doing here on this podcast is kind of talking about the process of writing and going into the background on the setting and the characters. This really is going to be a behind the scenes look at what's going on. I've never done anything like this before. I've wanted to I've thought about it. I've tried with other books. When I wrote, The Chain, I actually tried to do a podcast like this and I didn't really know what I wanted to say. And it was a hard thing to do. But this story this world just keeps me talking to the point where I'm boring people in my regular life because I'm as much a fan of this as students or world as I am of Star Wars or Star Trek or any of those other things that I just absolutely love and I can't get enough of. And that says something right there. 

[00:11:33] I have loved my previous fiction. I've liked some of it. I absolutely hated the first draft of one book because the editor that I had was the first book that I ever did. The editor that I had really didn't understand what I was trying to do and I think butchered the book and me being an idiot. I went alone with them. But. You know. I really love this world. There's something special about it.

[00:12:05] It is taking all of those things that I love. All of those things that are so close to my heart and bringing them together in a way that while I would never say that is fresh and original and different. I feel like it is.

[00:12:25] But given the preponderance of books that are out there I'm sure that anybody at any time can point to a story and say see there that's that's what everything looks like. That's you know everything is there. And so I don't like to make the claim that what I'm doing is original. But for me it really feels... I don't know.

[00:12:53] This is my ideal story in so many ways. I really, really like it and I'm hoping to find ways to express that you guys via this podcast. And so I wanted to start by kind of ruining the story by Rumi and explain where well actually most of that for another podcast. There you go a teaser as we talk more about Dragon in the Snow. That's related to a Rheumy story and I actually share the story with you. And where that inspiration comes from.

[00:13:37] But this setting this world the world of the Ash Dancer is kind of the culmination of so many things that I love from the wuxia fiction that I grew up loving. If you're not sure what that is. Wuxia is a Chinese martial arts fantasy fiction, that is... The reason I call the work that I do wuxia even though it's not set in China, you know period. China, is there are certain elements such as the sects in traditional wuxia pian you have things like you know the Wudan, the Shaolin, and the Emei and what have you.

[00:14:21] And you have this kind of underworld where the martial arts Heroes live, and villains live, and it operates by its own rules and it operates by its own code. And that world in wuxia is called The Jhianghu. And there is there are elements of that that I love I love the martial arts combat if you've read any of my other books other than The Chain which is a book that I specifically wrote hoping to have no fight scenes in it because that's something that I write a lot of and I really enjoy writing. And that was one of my challenges with that book is not to have a fight scene in the book. 

[00:15:09] I really enjoy that kind of violent dance that you find in wuxia fiction and all of the secrets, and the little intrigues, and the 18 weapons, and the code of honor of the you know wuxia hero. That is so alike and different from the western knight errant. And I just there's something about that style of fiction that I really really enjoy. And if you haven't seen anything like that, or you're not sure if you've seen anything like that some of the biggest movies that you'd probably know is like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, was a really big movie Iron Monkey, Hero starring Jet Li.

[00:16:07] When I think of this setting I'm almost more in the realm of something like The Duel, though I don't have as good a sense of humor as the writers of The Duel, so I don't expect it to be as funny as that movie is in some parts. The Dragon Gate Inn, a little bit of the Zu Warriors, kind of thing here a bit more of like The Legend of the Condor Heroes, stuff like that. That's more the kind of fiction that I'm looking at. I believe even the last couple of those have all been yeah all of those of them turned into movies or Chinese series so you should be able to find some of those if you want to watch some of those to get an idea of where I'm coming from.

[00:17:07] There's something about that world, there's a characteristic to that world that I just absolutely love. And seeing that kind of get born into this fiction really makes me happy. There are elements in here that for me are clearly inspired by my love of like the Final Fantasy stories and the world that you meet there. And so much of the various types of fiction that I've grown up loving. 

[00:17:39] In so many ways like I feel like this story is individuating itself to me in a way that is different than my previous work which is one of the reasons why I'm so excited about it. You know in my previous work I think you can look at it and kind of tweeze out: Well that's the Star Trek moment. That's the Star Wars moment or that's this or That's that. I'm sure people are going to say I'm wrong when I say that that's not as easy to do here in this world. But I don't feel like it is because the elements of my love of the work of Lewis Carroll bleeds over, my love for Edgar Allen Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft, and the fiction kind of has elements of them. And you know Robert E Howard and you know so many of the other writers that I just love and admire that I don't think they are separable in the same way.

[00:18:54] I mean it feels weird to say this but I feel like this is the first book that I'm working on that is really truly written in my voice. I think The Chain was well and it's kind of where I found my voice. But this book, these stories, this world feels so mine. That's a weird way to say it, a weird thing to say. I get that but it really does feel mine.

[00:19:28] And I want to share it with all of you. And I hope you guys like it as much as I do.

[00:19:38] So yeah. I feel really nervous about doing this podcast, mainly because I'm really putting myself out there. You know I had originally wanted to blog a lot of the stuff. And the problem with that is when you blog something you get to go back over and revise and edit and rethink what you're doing. And I wanted this to be extemporaneous. I wanted to just come out the way it comes out. And so I may say things that are wrong. I may say things that are inaccurate, but I will do my best to share with you what I'm going through working on this book and this series.

[00:20:25] So today, I'm going to be working more on Labyrinth of Souls, which you can sign up over at Ash Dancer dot com to be notified about how that's coming along because of the nature of that story. It's not really broken up into chapters some not going to be posting it as I write. Which I'm not a big fan of. We would like to post as I write so I can get feedback on it, but I will be posting drafts as soon as I can. And of course I will be giving out a free copy of the finished novella to everybody on the newsletter. So if you're interested definitely go over to Ash Dancer and check that out. You can follow me on Twitter. I have two Twitter accounts that I use for this. Well my main one to CEDorsett on Twitter and that's me. That's everything. So when I'm going off about Star Wars, or Marvel movies, or Game of Thrones, or whatever is on my mind, everything goes in there as well as what I'm working on and my fiction and everything. If you don't want all of me, and you just want the stuff related to this setting. This podcast the world I set up a second Twitter account at TheAshDancer that you can find and follow and learn everything you need to there.

[00:21:55] So I am really excited about this.

[00:21:59] I'm going to try to keep these episodes short and by keeping them short I'm also hoping to be able to make them more frequently as I think this might be a good way to either start or end to my writing day is talking to you guys.

[00:22:14] So definitely hit me up over there.

[00:22:15] You can like the fan page over Facebook, The Ash Dancer over there. You can find links to all of these accounts over and Ash Dancer dot com. You can follow the Medium publication where publishing some short stories as I write them. When I say short stories they really like, right now, mostly prose poems which is this genre that I like and sometimes when I'm trying to get up and writing I'll write a poem real quick or a flash fiction story and I'm posting those over there.

[00:22:47] And yeah. I think I'll have less nervous in the next up so I'm really excited to have you guys alone on this journey and I hope you will take it with me.

[00:23:02] So until next time, have the fun, and I can't wait to hear from you and find out what you think about everything that's going on right now and that would actually really help me is if you guys are reading the novel, which is up on Wattpad. And it's on Ash Dancer dot com. You'll find links to both of those at the Web site. If you have any questions those questions would really help I can either answer them on the podcast. I can answer you back via social media or you know might actually trigger a little story or something with a feature that the site.  I really want to make this a world that you guys can get in as deeply as I am. I've got a lot of stuff kind of written that I'm trying to figure out how to post and make it accessible to everyone, so there'll be more of that soon.

[00:24:09] I love this. I love this book so much and I hope you guys do too. Anyway I've rambled on long enough. Thank you guys for listening.

[00:24:16] Next episode will be a bit less bubbly probably because I won't be as giddy that I finally did an episode. I finally started this. So anyway. Talk to you guys later. Have the fun. Bye.