July 23

Next update August 17

Only one month until The Scorched Earth hits shelves! That’s right, book 2 of The Chaos Born trilogy is being released on August 19 in North America (September 5 in the UK), but it’s already available for pre-order in both the NA version and the UK version. I’m very excited about the upcoming release of the book, and I know a lot of fans have been waiting a long time to see what happens next. 

The Scorched Earth picks up right where Children of Fire left off, so if you haven’t read the first book you probably want to pick it up first. Traditionally, the second part of a trilogy is known as the “dark middle chapter”. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’m not sure that’s accurate here. The first book was pretty dark in parts – it definitely showed the influence of Stephen King, Clive Barker and other horror masters on my writing. The second book has a similar tone, but in many ways it feels more triumphant to me. A big part of the first book was setting up the main characters, with a focus on the trials that had made them what they were. In The Scorched Earth, the Children of Fire are starting to come to terms with who they are and what they can do. Their power is growing, and the influence of the powerful Chaos magic that shaped their births is spreading throughout the rest of the mortal world. 

I don’t want to say too much about the actual plot in case I spoil things for those who haven’t read the first novel, but you can get a short summary of The Scorched Earth at the Random House website. If you click on the “read more” tab on the cover, you’ll also get a sneak preview of the first 80 pages of the book! On the cover of The Scorched Earth you’ll notice a rather striking figure.

That’s Shalana, a Thane of one of the barbarian clans from the Frozen East; personally I think she’s AWESOME! I don’t want to spoil anything, but much of the action for The Scorched Earth takes place in the Frozen East, a region we haven’t visited before, and Shalana becomes a major player in the story.

If you want another look at Shalana, you can check out the UK version of the cover. The beefy guy standing with Shalana? That’s Norr; Scythe’s barbarian lover from the first book. In The Scorched Earth, readers finally found out why Norr left his homeland, and they’ll get a cool look at the warrior culture of the clans and how they react to his return.

Beyond that, the general scope of the tale is growing. I hate to use a buzz word like “epic”, but in this case it fits – the story isn’t just about the Children of Fire anymore, and the conflict between those who want to preserve the Legacy and those seeking to tear it down is escalating into full scale war. (Writing massive battle scenes was tough – I haven’t done much of that before. But I think it worked out pretty well in the end!)

So what am I doing in the month before The Scorched Earth comes out? Unfortunately, I’m still busy writing book 3, so I won’t be able to make it to a lot of the events and cons like I did last year. But I will be making an appearance at the Austin Barnes and Noble on Aug 19 for a signing. This is the official release day for The Scorched Earth, so obviously that will be a focus of the event. But I’ll also happily sign anything else I’ve worked on: my Star Wars novels, my Mass Effect books, any BioWare games – I’m proud of everything I’ve been a part of.

I’m also going to try and do a few interviews for podcasts and websites over the next month or so. The first one is already out, a great podcast interview with the awesome Teresa Delgado for Star Wars Bookworms. Check it out – we talk about all sorts of Star Wars stuff, and I even sneak in a few plugs for my Chaos Born trilogy. Okay, that’s about all for now. Soon I will make my annual summer pilgrimage up to Canada to visit family and friends, and when I get back I’ll have one last update before The Scorched Earth finally comes out! So check back then, or just follow me on Twitter for all the latest Drew news!