Saturday, 24 September 2016


Title: Of Sand And Malice Made
Series: The Song Of The Shattered Sand 
Author: Bradley P. Beaulieu
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 1st September 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Çeda, the heroine of the widely anticipated, just-released novel Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, is the youngest pit fighter in the history of the great desert city of Sharakhai. In this prequel, she has already made her name in the arena as the fearsome, undefeated White Wolf; none but her closest friends and allies know her true identity.

But this all changes when she crosses the path of Rümayesh, an ehrekh, a sadistic creature forged long ago by the god of chaos. The ehrekh are usually desert dwellers, but this one lurks in the dark corners of Sharakhai, toying with and preying on humans. As Rümayesh works to unmask the White Wolf and claim Çeda for her own, Çeda’s struggle becomes a battle for her very soul.


Title: Twelve Kings In Sharakhai
Series: The OF The Shattered Sand
Author: Bradley P. Beaulieu
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 1st September 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings—cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens, and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.

Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power...if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first.

Goodreads Link

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Could you tell us a little about The Song Of Shattered Sands Series, and your plans for it? ie. How many books will there be in the series?
The Song of the Shattered Sands series is an “Arabian Nights meets Game of Thrones” sort of tale. The twist is that, while it does have multiple points of view, it primarily follows a young woman named Çeda throughout the story, and shows how she stands up to the twelve immortal kings who rule the city state of Sharakhai with an iron fist. The first book, Twelve Kings, shows how Çeda first gets wrapped up in a storm that’s been brewing for four hundred centuries, ever since the Kings of the city made their dark bargain with the gods of the desert to ensure their rule over the city. Çeda becomes a prime mover in the new order as she fights to avenge her mother’s death at the hands of the Kings. But as the book goes on, we start to see a greater purpose for her, and she begins to fight for more than just herself.
The series as a whole will begin to reveal more about Çeda’s past, including what her mother was really up to on the night she died. And the scope itself will broaden slightly as more influence is brought to bear on a city that may be more vulnerable than it appears at first. It’s planned as a six-book series. The second book is written and turned in, and I’ve just started tackling the third book now.
Of Sand and Malice Made is a prequel novel that shows more of Çeda’s adventures in Sharakhai before we meet her in the opening pages of Twelve Kings. In it, we meet Rümayesh, an ehrekh, a sadistic creature forged long ago by the god of chaos. The djinni-like ehrekh are usually desert dwellers, but this one lurks in the dark corners of Sharakhai, toying with and preying on humans. As Rümayesh works to unmask the White Wolf and claim Çeda for her own, Çeda's struggle becomes a battle for her very soul.

Are the Cover Designs & Titles for the rest of the series already chosen? (& Who has/is designing the covers for you?)
The covers are being designed by the wonderful team over at Gollancz, though they’ve been kind enough to let me have a bit of input along the way. One of the things I’m glad we worked into the design itself is the “arch” theme we have going for the covers, a motif we’ll continue throughout the series. At this point, the first three books in the world (Twelve Kings, Of Sand and Malice Made, and the second book in the series, Blood Upon the Sand) have been developed. The others will wait until we have the story written.
 As for the designers, I believe it was Andrew Unangst for Twelve Kings and Laura Brett designed the cover for Sand and Malice.

Did you plan out the whole Series or are you planning and writing as you go alone wherever the plot & characters take you in each individual book?
A few years ago I was sitting on a panel with Scott Lynch, and he was talking about how a few different series, from Lois McMaster Bujold and Steven Brust, if I’m remembering correctly, looked at different aspects of a world in each of the books in a series. In other words, the books in the series were not simply one long arc broken up artificially by the book covers, but rather, different prisms through which the world was viewed. Scott said he’d adopted that same approach for his Gentlemen Bastards series (a series I highly recommend, by the way). In the first book, he had a major heist, a la Oceans Eleven, in the second book it was piracy on the high seas, the third book is about cheating in politics, the fourth book is about war, and so on.
That approach really spoke to me, so I’ve been using it as the series has progressed. The second book has yet to come out, so I’ll try not to be too spoilery, but suffice it to say that in the first book, Twelve Kings, I’m trying to show the heart of the city of Sharakhai, what it’s like now and why someone like Çeda would want to bring the Kings down. In the second book, we’ll see more about the Kings and the Blade Maidens who protect them. In the third book, we’ll head deep into the desert and learn more about the desert tribes who gave birth to Sharakhai. And so on.

Do you already know what happens, right up to the last word of the last book in the series?
I know what happens in broad strokes, yes, but I don’t know all the details. I know who ends up where, I know the outcome, but the specific incarnation of the grand finale and the path everyone took to get there, that’s where it gets more fuzzy. I’m firmly in the gardener camp (using George R.R. Martin’s architect vs. gardener spectrum). I’ve never been able to plot too heavily. I have to get moving into the book before I can really flesh things out and figure out where the book is going. That’s half the fun of writing, isn’t it?

What made you decide to have a “Prequel” in your series?
This is more luck and happenstance than anything else. I’d planned on writing a short story or two between Books 1 and 2 just to try to keep my name out there, boost the profile of the series, etc. The first of those stories, “Irindai”, sold to the Blackguards anthology from Ragnarok Publications  I then decided I wanted to continue that arc and wrote two more interconnected novellas. Together, they told a pretty cool story, I thought, and I was ready to self-publish the three of them together. I had the Kickstarter ready and was prepared to push the button to get it going, but about a week before, my US publisher, Betsy Wollheim, pinged me and asked what I was planning to do with it. I told her my plans but said it wasn’t written in stone, and we ended up working out a deal for DAW Books to publish it. 
I’m glad I tackled this project from the perspective of providing an easy entree into the series. It’s also acted as fodder for the series as a whole. The characters we meet in Sand and Malice are going to appear in the series and come into play over the course of the series. Just how, exactly, I’m not sure. But two of the characters have already made cameos in Book 2 and I’m planning on giving them larger roles in Book 3.
How long did it take you to write Of Sand And Malice Made, from the original idea to finishing writing it? Did it take longer to write than the full length books?
As it’s an arc of three tales, I wrote them over the course of a year, but intermingled with the drafting of Book 2, With Blood Upon the Sand, and other projects. Total writing and editing time was probably around four months, where the full-length books have taken me more like a year to write.

Is there anything in the series so far that you would change now if you could and what would it be?
No, not really. I’ve become better at letting a thing be what it will be. Once a book is written and out in the world, it doesn’t really pay to play the “what if” game, because in a sense, it’s no longer mine. Or at least isn’t mine alone. It belongs to the fantasy community as well. So I’ll let the books be and build upon them and see where the series goes as a whole.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome article! I am currently reading Of Sand & Malice Made atm and very much enjoying it!