Jill Williamson’s new series, The Kinsman Chronicles (Bethany House), is releasing in an unconventional way: nine short eBooks comprise the series, and three eBooks will be bundled into a print edition, forming three parts. Jill talked to us about this new series, her inspiration, and the reason she chose to release the books in smaller bites at a faster pace to her readers.
You released the first three parts of this series as an eBook and now The King’s Folly is releasing as part 1 of the series, correct? Why did you choose to follow this format for releasing your work?
The idea of serializing the eBooks came from Bethany House. Rather than making readers wait a full year between the releases of each print book, they thought it would be fun to break up the books into eBook parts and release a new one every four months. That way readers wouldn’t have to wait as long between installments. I thought it was a fun idea to try. In this ever-changing market, it’s always exciting when publishers try new things.
How many parts and eBooks will be a part of the series?
There are nine parts to The Kinsman Chronicles, which will be released in eBook format only. There will be three paperback volumes that each include three eBook parts. The paperback volumes are called: King’s Folly, King’s Blood, and King’s War. The first three ebooks included in King’s Folly are: Darkness Reigns, The Heir War, and The End of All Things. You can see the current breakdown here: http://jillwilliamson.com/books. And if you’d like to give the series a try, Darkness Reigns is free on all eBook platforms.
What inspired the series?
In my Blood of Kings trilogy, I mentioned that hundreds of years ago Arman (who represents God) bestowed the magic of bloodvoicing upon those with royal blood when the kings first came to the land of Er’Rets. That got me thinking where these ancient kings had come from and why they’d left their homeland. I started playing around with the idea of a prequel series, and I was hooked.
Can you tell us more about the setting, time and place?
The Kinsman Chronicles is an epic fantasy series set in the same world as my Blood of Kings trilogy. The story starts out on a different continent called the Five Realms. The story takes place 500 years before the Blood of Kings trilogy and tells the story of how Achan’s ancestors came to Er’Rets and began to follow Arman as their One God. I drew parallels from the era of Judah and Israel, where many kings did evil in the eyes of the Lord.
How is this project different from your previous ones?
The Kinsman Chronicles is true epic fantasy while the Blood of Kings trilogy was more of a heroic fantasy. The scope of The Kinsman Chronicles is huge. There are many point of view characters, some from each of the five realms. It was a challenge to portray so many characters and make them all compelling for readers. But because this story is so large and I wanted to show people from each land, this format was necessary.
What kind of research went into this project?
I had to learn a lot about deserts, since the Five Realms is a desert land. And for volume two, King’s Blood, I’ve had to learn a bunch about ships and navigation during the age of sail. Both of these subjects were new to me, but learning about sailing ships has been extremely challenging.
You can be honest with us—who is your favorite character in this project?
Prince Trevn is my favorite! He is the youngest prince of Armania. His title is The Curious and he strives to enjoy life, explore, go on adventures, and draw maps of all the places he has been. He grew up in a neighboring kingdom, but his father has called him home to study to be a priest. Though Trevn thrives on learning, his heart is not in the priesthood. He would much rather live up to his reputation as the “Firebrand” of Everton Castle, making his servants chase him over rooftops and ride on top of carriages. But deep down, Trevn wants justice for his people. And when he gets drawn into a conspiracy, he will do everything he can to make sure his realm survives.
This article was originally published in the April issue of FamiyFiction Edge. Read the entire issue here!