First things first:
Pre-order is up through DSP only. All other sites will come mid-June.
Next order of business, a few things:
1) The audiobook will be out when its out. Look, folks, I wish it could be out day one. I've advocated for pushing back releases on books and letting everything happen all at once, but no dice. I know everyone loves the audios, and they're great! Michael is amazing. But it won't be out right away. Depending upon the length of the story, it could take months. So when you hear a release date for a book, plan on on adding 4-6 (possibly longer) mos after for the audio.
2) There is a new character that has caused a bit of an uproar (heh). His name is Ruv (pronounced Roov), and as people have read from the blurb, he is supposedlySam's true cornerstone. Now, if you'll recall from The Lightning-Struck Heart, there is never just one cornerstone. Morgan tells Sam that if it's not Ryan, it could be someone else. Take that as you will. Which leads to--
3) This will not become a menage or MMM story. I don't write MMM. Nothing wrong with it, it just doesn't hold any interest for me. So rest assured this won't all of a sudden go in that direction.
4) The length of Destiny is roughly around the same length as Lightning, possibly a little bit shorter.
But when all is said and done, you should still expect some what-the-fuckery.
The Lightning-Struck Heart is built around a trope. If youthink about it, and take away all the manic crazy and the dragon rimming a unicorn in the butt stuff, TLSH is about rescuing a prince from a dragon who has stolen him to its keep.
I love fantasy. Ever since I was a kid, I've read as much as I can get my hands on. I grew up in Mordor and Discworld and Earthsea and Narnia. I love everything about it: swords and wizards and magic and fantastical creatures in faraway places.
That being said, sometimes, fantasy is really fucking stupid.
Which is what I wanted to do with what I refer to as the DESTINY FUCK YEAH! Trilogy. It's comprised of A Destiny of Dragons, The Consumption of Magic, and A Wish Upon the Stars. These books, which follow the events of TLSH, tell one massive story. (Which brings me to another point: since all the books are connected, you should be aware of the dreaded word cliffhanger. Destiny doesn't end on a cliffhanger, not really; at least not the type where everyone is about to die and all of a sudden, it's over. However, it does end with many things unresolved. But the good news is, all the books are complete and will be released within a few months of each other: Consumption in the fall and Wish in early 2018.)
And I built this new trilogy around tropes, mainly the Chosen One Who Has A Destiny Trope (capitalized, so you know it's true).
Look, destinies are dumb. They really are. Frodo and Bilbo and Harry Potter and countless of other heroes have had destinies thrust upon them. They are the CHOSEN ONE. And I hate how much I love that trope (or love how much I hate it, I dunno). I wanted to write a book(s) where there is a destiny, and it's immediately called out for how ridiculous and vague it is.
In addition, each of the books in this new trilogy will play around with another specific trope. For Destiny, it's the trope you find in sequels to books that feature an established couple: the dreaded Introduction of a New Character Who Only Exists To Cause Trouble and/or Jealousy for a Happy Pair.
I've done this before. Legit. Check Isaiah in Who We Are. But I really wasn't conscious of the trope when I wrote that book back in 2011. But holy hell I am now, and I exploit it as much as possible. I liked the idea of grumpy and growly Ryan Foxheart. I also like Ruv. I really do. I wanted to create a sympathetic character that you will hate initially, but then might have a little twinge of something for later on. Hell, some of you might even root for him to get all up in Sam's bidness. (You know who you are, you Lady Tina's of the world.) And while I won't say what happens there, I can promise that Team HaveHeart will have much to cheer for (even if it takes them--you know what? Never mind. I'll just keep that to myself.)
These books will always first and foremost be absurd comedies. Always. However, there is an emotional heft and a sense of urgency that wasn't in Lightning. While I firmly acknowledge the tropes I'm playing around with, that doesn't mean they won't lead to...consequences. Of a...certain variety.
Before I do sequels, I always sit down and ask myself what do I want to accomplish? Why does (fill in the blank character) need another story, and what will they learn by the end?
Destiny picks up roughly a year after Lightning ends. Sam is young, of course, still in his early twenties. When Destiny begins, he's still...Sam. The main goal, aside from fucking around with Tropey McTroperson, was to show Sam mature. He's gotten his happily ever after, but what does that mean? And can he be the same person he's always been, even when the weight of the world falls upon his shoulders? Sam of Wilds needs to grow up if he's ever going to do what's being asked of him. Or does he even want to?
The other question I asked myself arose from this scenario: in TLSH, Sam of Wilds is told repeatedly that he's stronger than any other wizard out there.
So, just how strong is he?
Which led to: Morgan and Randall are hundreds of years old because of the strength of their magic.
What does that mean for Sam? Will he stay as he is now while most everyone he knows and loves ages and fades away around him?
There are specific scenes in Lightning that paved the way for this new trilogy. If one were so inclined, I might suggest one goes back and re-reads the scene with Dmitri and the fairies in the Dark Woods, specifically the end of that meeting. And also any scenes that explain just how important cornerstones are. Because in the end, it always comes back to the cornerstones.
All pre-order locations should be up soon, and I'll have more to say on Destiny in the weeks ahead.