Announcing publication of the concluding volume of my young adult fantasy trilogy, THE FAELIN CHRONICLES. Published under the pseudonym C. Aubrey Hall and available only through, MAGE FIRE takes twin protagonists, Diello and Cynthe, on the final stage of their quest to regain the stolen sword Eirian and rescue their younger sister.

I wish I could share a photo of the cover, but the recent computer wipe/upgrade has left me without picture-processing software. Until I can locate that disk or download new software from the Internet, no pictures are possible for this post.

A couple of weeks ago, a hefty box landed on my doorstep. Inside were glossy hardcover editions, jacketed in 2013-color-of-the-year emerald green. Normally I keep my author’s copies stored in plastic tubs. (Yes, I know that’s bad for books in that it keeps them from breathing, but it protects them from dust and moisture.) However, with my father due to visit, I left them artfully piled in the foyer, so he had to practically step over them to get inside the house. The strategy worked: he noticed them!

My next project will be figuring out how to wedge this trilogy into the Bookcase of Pride that’s standing in my office. The bookcase is tall, and it’s there to contain a copy of all my books, including foreign and second editions. About three years ago, a much smaller bookcase had to be exchanged for this five-shelver. Currently the bottom two shelves hold reference books on the writing craft, but some of them will have to be bumped. It’s a pleasant challenge to have.

MAGE FIRE is traditional, old-fashioned fantasy. It pits the 13-year-old brother and sister against goblins, an ancient spirit that inhabits rock, and creatures that shape-shift between human and eagle forms. The twins are confronted with physical challenges at every turn. They must deal with forms of magic unfamiliar to them while struggling to master their own special gifts. And, of course, they’re still tiptoeing through the Byzantine labyrinth of Fae politics.

Although I always find the middle volume of a trilogy the most difficult to write, conclusions are far from easy. They require finding a balance among explaining what’s happened previously without an awkward info-dump, bringing the story to a finish, tying up loose ends, pushing the primary characters through an arc of change, and achieving victory over the villains.

I think the avalanche is my favorite action segment. The quicksand is my tribute to the Saturday-afternoon Tarzan movies I watched as a kid.

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