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Architecture and magic

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One of the things I’ve thought about a lot is the interaction between architecture and magic in Albion. 

Now, first, I am by no means a specialist in this sort of thing! But besides having lived in a range of places, I’ve done a little bit of college coursework that covered buildings. I’ve been generally been interested in how spaces adapt and change over time. 

The cover of Four Walls and a Heart in a frame, with a globe and cup of coffee. The cover is a deep red, with a man in a wheelchair and a man standing, both in silhouette, in front of a large blue and glass door.
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In Character : Richard Edgarton

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Welcome to the first in a series posts focusing on a specific character. We’re starting with Richard Edgarton, who’s appeared in a number of books over his life. He’s married to Alysoun Edgarton, and the father of Gabriel (Gabe) Edgarton and Charlotte Edgarton Wright, as well as grandfather to their children. He’s also been Lord of the land, a Captain in the Guard, and a magistrate for most of his life.

You can find the complete list of books Richard’s appeared in on his page on my authorial wiki, as well as the arc of books that deal with the Edgartons as a family

Copy of Pastiche on an open book on grass with yellow leaves. The cover has a silhouetted man and woman in Edwardian dress, in front of a golden stained glass window on a deep teal background.
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Idea to Book: Upon A Summer’s Day

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Today’s Idea to Book post is about Upon A Summer’s Day, which forms a tight duology with Old As The Hills. As I mentioned in last week’s Idea to Book post about Old As The Hills, that book ends in the early afternoon of August 12th and Upon A Summer’s Day picks up early that evening.

In that last chapter, Gabriel Edgarton has been asked a question. Upon A Summer’s Day is his answer – and more importantly and interestingly – exactly how he goes about answering it. With Gabe, it’s always the process, not just the answer. 

Contains spoilers.

Upon A Summer's Day displayed on a tablet in a sunset scene looking out across water to fields beyond, all of it glowing golden and sparkling with magic. The cover of Upon A Summer's Day shows a man in a suit silhouetted over a map of northern Wales in a muted green. He is gesturing, holding his cane in one hand, a cap on his head. Behind him is an astrological chart, with Jupiter and Saturn highlighted in the sign of Taurus.
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Ideas To Book: Old As The Hills

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Welcome to the Idea to Book post for Old As The Hills. There are quite a few unusual things about this book, and I’m excited to get to talk about them. First and perhaps most importantly, this is a book centred on two people in a longterm and loving marriage. It’s not a new romance. Second, it’s one of my books that writes closest to historical events. And third, it’s in conversation with a whole line of esoteric history. That means writing about that period in a way I haven’t done before. 

Old As The Hills takes place in the first year of the Second World War, from November 1939 through August of 1940. It’s immediately followed by Upon A Summer’s Day, which picks up that evening and carries through December 1940.

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Typos are eternal but fixable

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I’ve had a few questions recently about if I want to hear about typos or small formatting errors. Yes, I do! This post explains more about how to let me know about typos. I’m embarking on a larger project to do some tidying in 2024 that includes all the tiny errors that somehow creep in.

Short version: 

If you spot typos or other minor formatting issues in my text, I’d love to hear about it. 

You have your choice in how to let me know. I’ve set up a Google Form with all the information I need to track down the problem. (There’s an option to share your contact info in case I have a question, but only if you like.)

Otherwise, feel free to email me (reply to any newsletter!), use the contact form on this site, or DM me on Discord, and let me know the following:

  • Which book
  • Which chapter or what’s going on in the scene.
  • A short phrase (something identifiable I can search on or skim for) to help me find the right paragraph.
  • What the actual typo or problem is.

Useful to know

I do write in British English. I’ve also made some deliberate choices about spelling and language use when it comes to Albion as a magical community. But it’s my job to make all of that consistent.

If you’re not sure if something’s actually an error, please let me know. I’ll take it from there. 

Longer version: 

My books go through multiple sets of eyes. I do multiple editing passes on my own, including an automated grammar and spelling check. Kiya goes through it multiple times. And then there’s my early readers, who note things as they spot them. (And then me again once or twice.) 

Despite that, typos sneak in anyway. Rereading a few things recently, I swear some have generated in the file while I wasn’t looking.

What that means

First, please do let me know about them if you spot them and you’re willing (as above).

And then second, I’m planning on doing a review for typos (and other small formatting things, making some stylistic choices more consistent, etc.) However, this is a logistically complicated project.

Because of that, I’m putting out a call for typo spotting. However, I expect the fixes (and the uploads) to be a project that takes me a fair chunk of 2024 to complete. 

What does that project look like? 

Reviewing all the books

First, I’ve got to read all of the books again (and at 30 novels and novellas as of last week, that’s a lot by itself.) I also need to do that when I’m at my computer with the final files, not on any other device, so I can see how the file is theoretically displaying on different ereaders.

As part of that, I have to make the actual edits, though finding them is much more work than fixing them. 

Preparing the files

Second, I’ve got to regenerate the final files for upload. While I’m in the files, I’ll likely update backmatter, add later books to the author’s note as relevant, etc. This part is actually fairly easy in the software I use. However each of the major retailers has slightly different preferences so I end up with half a dozen separate files. 

Uploading the new copies

Third – and this is the challenging bit – I’ve got to reupload those books to the various sites I use for distribution. Right now, that’s seven different places. (Kindle, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, Draft2Digital which handles a bunch of other places, Gumroad, and I’m about to add one more.) 

Each distributor has their own user interface quirks. Most of them involve at least a couple of places in the upload or revision sequence where you click something, wait (sometimes a minute or three) for it to process, and then go on with the next steps. These days, I usually work through two of the sites at a time. I swap tabs between the two while the other is processing. I put a movie on or something else I want to watch, but it’s a particular kind of tedious task I can’t do in vast amounts at one go. 

If all the websites are behaving properly, it’s about 15 minutes a book. That ‘behaving properly’ can be a big assumption though! And obviously, getting the time to upload 30 books (or 10ish hours) can also be a trick, so breaking this into smaller chunks is the way to go.

Because even small page count variations can make a difference for paperback books, I either need to correct just typos (nothing that affects page count) for the paperbacks or decide not to edit. (Revising paperbacks also has some other limits – the distributors I’m using right now allow limited revision uploads in several cases. So I need to figure out how to handle that.) 

Getting the revised copy

The other problem with this is that getting the revised copy to your device can be tricky. Most of the distribution sites won’t push a new version to you unless you go through some steps to request it. (That process varies a bit distributor to distributor or device to device). The changes I’m making don’t count as a new edition – they’re far too minor for that. So you won’t, as a reader, get the new copy unless and until you go through the necessary steps. 

(Usually that’s deleting the file on your ereader and downloading it again, but sometimes that doesn’t work. Mysterious are the ways of the ereader.)

I can’t help directly with that – there’s far too many devices and routes for getting ebooks for me to know all of them! What I can do is let you know (here and on my newsletter) when all those cleanup steps are done and the new files are available. 

If you’ve got questions, get in touch whichever of the ways above works for you, and I’m glad to explain more (or clarify here if it helps others).

Perfect Accord is out!

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Perfect Accord is many things. It’s Charlotte Edgarton’s romance, as her brother prepares for his wedding. It’s about friendship. And it’s about alchemical perfume, making hard choices to take care of our families, doing something different that might work better. All with a dose of mangled Arthuriana for improper purposes, forced proximity, and inventive applications of magic.

In 1923, Charlotte’s family is busy preparing for her brother Gabe’s wedding, and she’s not entirely sure she likes all the changes. When her best friend – and the man she expects to marry – gets pulled into a mysterious and suspicious group, Charlotte won’t let him go off alone. What she finds at the remote manor house doesn’t help. She’s sure they’re up to no good, but she’s not sure how to prove it.

When she finds herself alone in a maze – and then in an alchemist’s cottage kitchen – there are even more challenges to solve and overcome. Curious? Get your copy of Perfect Accord and enjoy!

(This is a fine place to start with my books, but if you like the Edgartons, I have plenty more books featuring them.)

A copy of Perfect Accord by Celia Lake on a tablet. The cover has a man and woman in silhouette. He is offering her perfume, and she is sniffing it on her wrist.

New and exciting!

Upon A Summer's Day

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