As I prepare to write the Goddess’s Vision series, one task that was on my mind was the rerelease of the first series set in that world, Goddess’s Honor. I had a number of reasons for rereleasing Goddess’s Honor in a second edition.
First of all, while my old covers were lovely, they simply didn’t fit current trends in fantasy. They also didn’t reflect the dominance of powerful women in that world. These covers are far from perfect–I made them myself, using figures from downloads I purchased through Depositphotos (and checked upload dates to hopefully avoid A.I. elements), and landscape photographs I had taken using assorted filters from my Canon PowerShot SX530 HS digital camera. That way I could say “no A.I.” with a certain degree of confidence. The Challenges cover, while a bit whimsical, also hints at a strong element within that particular story–the degree to which a land’s magic influences the strength and power of its rulers (and what happens when the land disapproves of its leader).
Second, these books were originally formatted using Scrivener. The interiors just didn’t look that good to me after I got my hands on Vellum and started doing layout there. I wanted to have books that I could feel proud of promoting and selling, rather than books that made me cringe (which was also a factor in redoing the Netwalk books–similar issues). And there were typos–oh dear God, were there ever typos in the last two books, Choices and Judgment.
Third, there were continuity errors. One of the biggest were two characters that went under one set of names in one book, another set of names in the following book. Others were minor, predominantly geographical. Between the continuity errors and the typos, I felt the need for a new edit.
Fourth, I had written several worldbuilding short stories, novelettes, and novellas tied to the series. I thought it might make things easier for readers if I combined the shorter works with the main books so that it would be possible to read the series in order. Most of those short works provide backstory that help with understanding the overall series, especially with regard to Alicira. What happened to her and how she not only overcame it but conquered it is important to the overall story. As a result, Beyond Honor was expanded to include one short story that is a bit of an Easter Egg for later in the series (Vered the Sorcerer-Captain of a magical sailship plays a role in the last three books), as well as what happened to Alicira after the Beyond Honor novella.
I was pleasantly surprised when I went through these edits. Yeah, I needed to fix continuity stuff. I needed to fix typos. I needed to cut out repetition. However, overall, the stories are strong and better than I realized they were. They also possess stronger gay, bi, and lesbian elements than I initially realized. I was just writing characters and going with what seemed to fit within the framework of the story. It confirms my initial decision to withdraw the original first book of the series, Pledges of Honor, from a small press (I was already having issues with them with regard to editing and meeting contract deadlines for another book) on the grounds that since they had taken a turn toward publishing work with a Christian focus, this book would require the rewriting of a pivotal character to match the press’s new standards. I wasn’t about to rewrite the relationship between Haran int Mershaunten and Orlanden en Selail, because those two men play a significant role not just in that book but throughout the entire series.
But the overall story–the two cousins in leadership roles, their long-term struggles, the roles that their children play in battling the impact of a corrupt Empire on their world–holds up throughout the entire arc of the series.
I’m quite pleased with it, and I hope that these new covers and the combination of short works with the longer ones will attract attention.
We shall see.