Hello everyone and welcome to your May Progress Update for all things From Ashe!

Not going to lie… after writing A.R. Dragonfly for a few years, it feels weird to leave that out of a progress update… but alas, here we are!

This month’s progress update may not seem like much from your end but, trust me, from my end, it was a LOT of work… and I do mean, a LOT.

In fact, I can break this down into three sections: Editing, Publishing, and Writing.

Editing

Since the last time I did a progress update, I did the second and final editing passes on From Ashe Vol. 2! I did multiple grammar checks, carefully read it and I BELIEVE I got everything the way I wanted to with the least amount of typos and errors possible. I always say BELIEVE not because I’m a Naruto fan but because no matter how many times I read something, no matter how many times I do a grammar pass on it with two different spell checkers, I always find something after the fact and it irks me to no end.

I know… just hire an editor!

With what money? I’m not exactly rich like Stephen King or popular enough to get canceled on a monthly basis like J.K. Rowling…

That means I have to do everything myself if I’m going to continue to do this in an affordable way. Plus, if I were to get an editor, I would have a very strict policy of only having them fix the obvious things that matter. The moment they try and change my story or try to insert one of their ideas, they’ll be fired instantly!

I’m very protective of my work!

Publishing

Obviously, with the editing done, it was time to throw Volume 2 into InDesign and get it ready for print! I mean, I did kind of advertise that the book was scheduled to launch on June 1 so I can’t exactly have it sitting on Google Drive. It’s nice that the book is finished and all but it doesn’t do the readers any good if there’s no physical product to pick up and read!

I went through and offered up pre-orders for autographed copies and I had a pretty decent turnout! Volume 1 did really well and, as expected, Volume 2 did okay but not as much as Volume 1. That typically happens as more people are interested in getting a signed copy of a first volume. The subsequent volumes after that hold a smaller importance for some reason and that has always been the case. Either that or the people who did order a copy of Volume 1 just flat out disliked it and don’t have the balls to tell me! (aka… tell me if you hated it and why!)

With the print-ready PDF created and ready to go, I threw it at Amazon for it to go through the approval process. I must be getting good at this because the book got approved on the first try which means I could now order my author copies to sign!

It still bugs the crap out of me that I HAVE to push a book live to get my author copies. I would love it if Amazon could approve a physical book and then ask us when we want to make it live all while giving us the option to order copies for ourselves. It’s not that hard of a thing to do and I can’t imagine why a trillion dollar company can’t do something like that. Would definitely be nice.

So, yeah… if you are reading between the lines here… TECHNICALLY Volume 2 is live in physical format on Amazon RIGHT NOW if you REALLY want to go ahead and get yourself a copy early. It might be hard to find, though if you don’t know how to search for it. It’s not like a clue or a hyperlink is just going to fall out of the sky and point you in the right direction or anything.

Writing

So, with Volume 2 done-ish (I still need to format the book into Kindle and get that up for pre-order), I decided that Volume 3 wasn’t going to write itself… and… uh… I kind of got carried away.

I sort of wrote the first four chapters in three days.

As I’ve stated a few times, Volume 3 was going to cover Ashe and Renji’s backstory (among some other things). I’ve had this story in my mind since the very beginning. It was one of the backbones that the series was going to be built upon. I’ve lived this story over and over in my head multiple times to where I knew it like the back of my hand and when I started writing it, it just flowed out of me. I couldn’t stop writing as I was constantly thinking about it. When I stopped to take a break, it was still there in my head wanting to get out so I went back to writing it.

Before I knew it, the entirety of their backstory was down and on paper. Sure, it’s a first draft and I’m am unhappy with a lot of it but that’s what the first major editing pass is for. I knew that it didn’t have to be perfect the first time around… I just needed to get my thoughts out there as much as possible and that’s what I did.

Some parts are a jumbled mess but I definitely want to go back and flesh a lot of it out, add some more emotion to it, and really do a good job in pulling you into Ashe and Renji’s worlds. This book is going to define the Ashe and Renji that you’ve known in the first two volumes so, obviously, I want it to be memorable, impactful, and emotional. Plus, I wanted to get this out on paper now because I decided that instead of writing and stockpiling books, I am going to slow down and take things one book at a time.

I want to place my sole focus on just one book in order to shape and craft it how I want it. I don’t want to be thinking about Volume 4 or 5 right now (even though I already have a good idea of what I want to do in those books). I really want to focus my attention on one thing at a time and after the positive feedback I’ve received on Volume 1 thus far, I am convinced that this is the method I should have used all along.

The Future

So, what does all of this mean for the future? Well, it means there might be slower releases. With A.R. Dragonfly, the releases came, roughly, every six weeks. It kept me busy, it kept my artist busy, and everything was running smoothly. As many have noticed, it has now become a three month gap between Volumes 1 and 2… thus, doubling the amount of time between releases.

This allowed me to sit down and mold and shape Volume 2 to exactly how I wanted it. I was able to rewrite some scenes, add more content, take some content away, work on redundancy, and all of those other issues that plagued Final Hope and A.R. Dragonfly. This means if Volume 2 is slated for June 1, you can expect Volume 3 on or around September 1. That’s not a hard release date, by the way, just what I am planning at the moment.

Plus, I’m doing it like this for a reason. Three months is PLENTY of time for me to write and edit a book and take breaks in between. It helps prevent burnout and ensures I have the energy to focus on this series.

That’s why I came to another decision… a decision that may change over time but it is the current plan right now.

I am temporarily shelving Reincarnated as a Wolf Girl Assassin. It was meant to be an in-between project when I wasn’t busy with From Ashe but after I changed my methods of writing, editing, and publishing, I really don’t want another series distracting me.

BUT… and this is the part that might change over time. My plan is for Wolf Girl to be my next light novel series once From Ashe is finished which means that I am going to veer away from slice of life and try my hand at seriously taking a stab at an isekai fantasy series!

I made this decision because while the first chapter had been crafted for an online writing contest (I lost), I realized just how much fun I had writing it. I really could see myself writing this series out and I didn’t just want to make a whole bunch of rushed micro chapters just for the sake of saying “okay, got some new content for you.” I really wanted to flesh this out… which is really weird for me to say because I dislike the isekai genre. I don’t SUPER HATE it but I just think it lacks a lot of originality.

I’m not saying Wolf Girl is going to be original. It’ll probably fit right in with your run-of-the-mill isekai but I do want to focus on it… tell a fun story… kill a few characters as I’m prone to do with all of my books… and just have some fun with it.

So yeah… it’s tentative… but that’s currently the plan and since From Ashe is going to be a long series… we’ll probably not see Wolf Girl for a while. It’s way too soon to even think about it.. but don’t worry… I do promise Kino/Fenris will be back in some capacity in the future!

Reviews

I said that From Ashe received some positive feedback and I meant it! Right now, it’s sitting on four Amazon ratings / three reviews. It has three 5-star ratings and one 4-star rating! Either that means people are being very generous to me or I actually did something right!

Either way, I’m happy that people are enjoying the first book; however, that little nagging feeling is living rent-free in the back of my mind that somebody out there didn’t like it and just hasn’t said anything about it yet. I know it’s coming as not every book is going to get a positive review. Not every book is someone’s cup of tea.

But, I would rather them dislike the book because the story or the characters didn’t mesh with them versus something I did wrong (poorly written, too many errors making it unreadable, etc). If it’s something I can fix, I wish to know so I can fix it… plain and simple. I sound like a broken record in saying that but it’s the truth!

Also… I want to give a shoutout to fellow author Morgan Hart as he informed me that he will be doing a video review of the first volume of From Ashe in the near future! To my knowledge, this will be the first YouTube video review of the series so I’m really looking forward to it!

Until Next Time

I said that this was going to be a short update on your end but given the amount of work I put in, I feel like I’ve done a lot more than what I’ve said here!

I’ll be sure to let you guys know if some cool things happen like A.R. Dragonfly getting a webtoon adaptation, From Ashe getting an anime, or I sell enough books to quit my job and live off my writing (i.e. all pipe dreams).

Until then, I’ll probably see you guys back here for the launch of Volume 2 on June 1!

Ja ne!

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