Howdy, Tribe! I’m sorry that things have been so quiet around here lately. I want all of you to know how much I appreciate your support. Life has been complicated lately and I’ve been forced to take on other work and side projects. At any rate, I have been ramping things back up and you should expect work on Halfbreeds to steam forward here over the next couple months.
Alpha readers will have new chapters to read soon. In the meantime, I thought I would do something for everyone in the tribe.
During the writing process with the Bowl of Souls series there have been many times where I planned scenes that didn’t make it into the finished book. Sometimes, this has been because I felt it took away from the main plot of the story or didn’t fit with a direction I was taking the plot. Other times, I deleted scenes because I felt it was too dark (Usually on my wife’s suggestion.) Nevertheless, I saved those scenes thinking that one day I might release them to my readers or use them in a future book.
So the first scene was written from Deathclaw’s perspective, and was cut from Eye of the Moonrat. It takes place not long after Deathclaw was captured and mutated by Ewzad Vriil and shows him learning to use his newly-changed body.
When you read this section you will probably want to know why I deleted it in the first place. Well, originally the books you know as “Eye of the Moonrat” and “Messenger of the Dark Prophet” were one long book called “The Bowl of Souls”. During the decade I spent trying to get the book picked up by publishers and agents I wasn’t given much feedback, mostly just form letter rejections, but there were a handful of useful responses. One of them was something along the lines of “It’s just too long for a first time writer.”
Now, this left me scratching my head, because as a long time fantasy reader I loved long books. The thicker the better. I mean, the Wheel of Time was one of my favorite series. Still, I realized that I needed to change one book into two. There were several versions of this split. In one of them book one ended when Justan left the Mage School. In the end I decided to finish book one at the point where Justan arrived at the Mage School.
This change ended up being huge for the series because it forced me to flesh out the villains more to give “Eye of the Moonrat” more engaged flow. In the original version, we met Ewzad when he changed Deathclaw and later on when he attacked Fist and killed Tamboor’s family. The book ended much as book two does now with the battle at Castle Vriil. Now that things were split up there was no major villain for book one. This resulted in me adding the prologue and inserting the character of Mellinda.
That’s right, in my original draft, the Mother of the Moonrats was just hinted at. Ewzad was the sole villain. She wasn’t supposed to be a part of the series until later in the third book where she was introduced to Ewzad by the Dark Voice.
But now that I needed more for the first book I added scenes with Ewzad arguing with Mellinda. I linked the goblin attack on Justan’s caravan to Ewzad being exhausted using his power to create portals and wanting Valtrek’s mirror. Now we all know how big a character Mellinda ended up being. So I am grateful for those rejections that forced me to get creative and improve the story.
One downside to the split of the books was the sections with Fist and Deathclaw. The storyline for Fist in the book was for him to leave his tribe, meet Squirrel and Tamboor’s family, then to have the family killed and have him captured only to end up bonding with Justan at Castle Vriil. Splitting it up required me to alter his story a bit and I ended up deciding to end book one with him meeting Tamboor’s family and finding acceptance.
For Deathclaw, it was a bit more complicated. Splitting the books just left Deathclaw’s story dangling. Instead of having him follow Hamford to Ewzad’s castle and reuniting with his sister, he was left floundering in the desert and making the decision to follow Hamford. This also made certain story beats of his time in the desert with awkward placement in the story.
Even now, 15 books later, I’m not satisfied with his arc in the book and wish I had figured out a way to make his story more important than just introducing Ewzad’s powers. At any rate there was one section of a chapter where I felt that Deathclaw’s part didn’t quite fit. I ended up sticking with the part where Deathclaw tries to take control of a new pack, but is rejected by his fellow raptoids, The deleted section originally took place in chapter 26, but in editing I took much of it out. The remnant of this scene is now tacked on to the end of chapter 15.
The scene will be exclusive to my Patreon supporters for the next week, after which I will make it available to the public. If you haven’t joined my Patreon yet, please consider do so. Not only will you get exclusive content, you could have your own personal cussing out by Lenny.