Welcome Toni V. Sweeney to my blog.
Toni, Please tell us more about how you came to write Sinners.
One thing about writing about a dynasty—it covers a lot of territory and a whole lot of people.
When I decided to write a family saga, I took the easy way out. Writing about the rule of the kan Ingans of the Emeraunt Galaxy, I decided to tell only the stories about the beginning and end of that particular reign. Part 1, The Narrative of Riven the Heretic (7 novels) recorded their origins. Part 2, The kan Ingan Archives (8 novels), told of their scandal-laden and inglorious end thirty-one hundred years later.
Suffice it to say writing a family saga isn’t easy. Whatever is said in the original book has to be maintained in all the others. It can’t be changed unless there’s a very good reason. If a character is taken on an ocean journey by his father and he’s five-years-old at that time, you can’t have another character state dogmatically in another book that he was twelve when it happened. Don’t think some eagle-eyed little nit-picker of a reader won’t catch it and promptly fire off an e-mail to your website, pointing this out. Same with spellings. A character’s name has to be spelled the same way throughout; if it’s italicized in one book, keep it consistently italicized in all of them. A person’s character may change, his faith, his philosphy may be converted—indeed, that’s the stuff stories are made of because they involve conflict—but unless you state specifically there’s hair dye involved or colored contacts, make certain his blond hair stays blond and his brown eyes brown. (Of course if it’s fantasy, you can totally change his appearance and have a plausible reason.) I always think of Stephen King’s example when he was writing Christine: A specific make of car drove into an alley, a different make of car came out. I did that once myself. Not with cars, but I had a character who was blond, only to suddenly become a brunet without explanation (or the use of Clairol for Men.) Thank Goodness for the delete/replace button!
Family sagas are a lot of work because you have to keep track not only of the characters’ names and physical appearances, but also of their ages, especially if each novel encompasses a number of years. Sometimes it’s easier to make a tangible chart, a family tree or spreadsheet with all the relationships, ages, etc., so it can be referred to from time to time. Age plays a very important part in these stories so I had to keep close tabs on how old everyone was and when.
About the Author:
Toni V. Sweeney has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains.
Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone. In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books (US). She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books and the Paranormal Romance Guild. In 2016, she was named a Professional Reader by netgalley.com.
She is an Amazon reviewer, is in the 1% of reviewers for Goodreads, and in 2015 and 2016 was voted one of the Top 10 authors of those years by Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. In 2013, the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice voted The kan Ingan Archives (Part Two of the Arcanian Chronicles) a Special Mention, and the following year, named the individual novels The Man from Cymene, and Space Studs, from the same series two of the Top 8 SF/fantasy novels of 2014.
As of 2018, Toni currently has 55 novels in print, including 3 series, and 3 trilogies.
Find out more about Toni:
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLQBB8
Aric kan Ingan had it all.
Pampered and spoiled, he was groomed since the age of twelve to be heir to the throne of Arcanis…until his uncle surprised everyone by falling in love with an Earthwoman.
Elizabeth Sheffield wanted it all.
Headstrong and beautiful, she’d never met a man she couldn’t wrap around her little finger…until she met Aric.
The vengeful former heir and the margrave’s bride are instant enemies, trading insults and threats, until the unexpected happens: They fall in love.
While Aric and Elizabeth engage in their illicit affair, other forces in the kingdom gather for the more sinister purpose of rebellion and murder…
…with Aric as the not-so-innocent pawn.
On the fourth floor, outside the hallway leading to the royal apartments, Kozlu waited for him. The old man looked him up and down disapprovingly, staring at his travel-dusty clothes.
“You couldn’t take time to change?”
“Why should I? I’m only going to see my uncle.” His tone bordered on disrespect for the man who’d been his tutor as he’d been the margrave’s.
“Aric, it’s more than that and you know it.” Kozlu’s reply held the knowledge he was speaking to someone who had no intention of listening. He started up the stairs, not looking to see if Aric followed.
So it’s like that, is it? Already dispensing with respect since I’m no longer the heir.
“I suppose you want me to return to my rooms and dress in my most formal uniform, complete with metals and insigne, before I meet the creature?” He saw Kozlu’s face darken. “Why don’t I go back to the barracks and rout all the Black Shields, and have them mount a dress parade in the courtyard?”
“Lower your voice.” Kozlu nodded toward the guards on the landing below.
Realizing how close he was to letting his anger take over, Aric took a deep breath.
“You’ve been drinking, haven’t you?” Kozlu frowned.
“As much as possible,” he admitted. “It seemed the most appropriate thing to do.”
“You’d best calm yourself a little,” the elder suggestion. “You look as if you could kill.”
“If I thought I could get away with it, I might,” he muttered. As Kozlu looked around at him sharply, he said hastily, “Don’t worry. I’ll behave myself.”
They started climbing again.
“You may as well accept what’s happened,” Kozlu went on. “The council has.”
“The council isn’t losing anything.” Aric’s answer was sullen. “I was taken from my mother to be my uncle’s heir. For eight years, it’s been drilled into me how Arcanis will someday be mine, and now…to lose it to some mongrel Milky?” He shook his head. “I thought my uncle had more pride in our family. Even someone from one of the other planets—Gataeus, Scylla, even Nereis—would be better than a near-barbarian.”
“I think it’s you who’ve too much pride, Aric,” the old man answered quietly. “Someday, you’ll find yourself in the dust because of it.”
Aric looked rebellious and didn’t answer.
They reached the fifth landing, coming around a dark corner into the archway opening onto one of the stone-balustraded terraces.
Two people sat on a stone bench set in an arrangement of flower-filled urns surrounding a javancia tree, its thick branches offering protection from the ocean’s wind and the morning sun. One was obviously his uncle, and the other was…
“Lord Aric, sire.” Kozlu bowed and backed out of his uncle’s presence, leaving him alone in the entranceway. For the barest moment, Aric was tempted to run after the old man, away from the unpleasantness awaiting him. Briefly, he regretted that third glass of brandy.
Paperback from the publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/cat-romance/sinner-8712018-02-11-21-39-57-detail
eBook/Kindle from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sinner-Arcanian-Chronicles-Part-Book-ebook/dp/B07B614JNF/