September 19

Next update October 3

Big news! Big news! Big news! Yes, three major announcements this update!

Okay, lots to cover. So let’s start with the first piece of big news – an update for Chaos Unleashed, book three in my Chaos Born trilogy. Since book one, Children of Fire, fans have been clamoring for a map of the Mortal Realms. Now with the release of the third and final book of the trilogy only a few weeks away (pre-order it now!), your prayers have been answered. Behold – the map of the Mortal Realms!

The Mortal Realms

If you click on the map, you’ll open a window with a larger version you can check out in more detail. I really love this map, because it captures the same feel as the maps from David Eddings’ Belgariad fantasy series, which I first read in high school. I think it’s safe to say the Belgariad, along with Terry Brooks Shannara novels and the Dragonlance Chronicles by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weiss, were the books that really got me into fantasy. Without these influences, my Chaos Born trilogy probably wouldn’t exist.

In an interesting twist, those memorable maps from my youth were illustrated by a woman named Shelly Shapiro, who went on to become an editor at Del Rey. All of my Star Wars novels – from the Darth Bane series through Revan and Annihilation – were edited by Shelly! So in some ways it sort of feels like my life has come full circle: the maps Shelly created helped inspire me to become a writer, which led to my Star Wars novels and the chance to work with Shelly as an editor, which led to maps for my own fantasy trilogy in a style clearly inspired by her original work! It’s funny how things work out sometimes.

Speaking of full circle, here’s the second piece of big news: as of this past week, I am back working at BioWare again! For those who don’t know, I spent over a decade with BioWare working on many award winning and fan-beloved games like Mass Effect 1&2, Knights of the Old Republic and the Star Wars: The Old Republic Online MMO. A few years ago I left BioWare to focus on my Chaos Born novels, but now that the trilogy is finished, I’ve decided to come back into the fold. But for those of you who love my novels, don’t worry – I’ll still be writing more of those, too!

Working at BioWare was a challenging but very rewarding job, and it’s good to be back as part of the team. The thing I missed most about BioWare was the amazing people I got to work with, and luckily for me many of them are still there! I suspect a lot of folks are going to wonder if this means BioWare is about to announce a new project tied to my return. The short answer: no. I originally came to the Austin studio many years ago to work on SWTOR and – at least for now – that’s what I’m focusing on again.

Now, for the third piece of news: on October 8 I will be doing an “Ask Me Anything” on the reddit r/fantasy forums! If you have questions for me, this is the place to ask them! And here’s a little insider tip: in my next update I’ll be posting details of a contest for anyone who posts a question to my AMA! Free stuff and the chance to talk with a living legend! What more could you ask for, right?

Okay, I guess that’s it for this update. Back in two weeks!

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