Protos: Become a Beta Reader!

Sometimes you must light a lamp to understand the darkness.

Only then, Corentine knows, can you see what you are missing – what the darkness stole from you. What it was hiding. For many years, she and her partner Kalyani have been that lamp; the light shone into the dark to reveal its depth. The light that banishes it with its leaping flame.

For they are Liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Wakemen, and they have sworn to protect the British Empire from those shadows, no matter the cost. The war with Napoleon is over. He is defeated, and the Empire is heaving its sigh of relief, triumphant and exhausted.

But there’s always another war. And this time, it’s coming from somewhere far, far more dangerous: Secundus, home of the Fae. Beautiful and magical and deadly, for many years they have remained separate, fighting battles within their own plane for land and power. This time, they are coming for Corentine’s home – and she must do whatever it takes to stop them.

Even if the cost is everything she knows.

On the 1st March, the first half of Protos will be released to Daydreaming Darling Patrons for beta reading!

Let me say that again.

From the beginning of March, Daydreaming Darling Patrons get to read the entire first half of Protos!

This is about 25 chapters and is currently 95% complete – I just have two partial chapters to polish off and then it is all yours. This is the second major draft of Protos – there have been some smaller iterations – and to get it the rest of the way to done, I’d love your help.

All you need to do to sign up is pledge $10 a month or more on my Patreon.

This doesn’t just get you access to the beta, but to all of my bonus content on Patreon. From previous drafts of works to playlists to previews to Q&As and additional personal blogs, in the past few months my Patrons have received exclusive content every Thursday.

Got questions? I’ve got answers!

What’s Protos About?

Protos is set immediately post the Napoleonic wars, in a world that both is and is not our own. Primus, the first plane of existence, is the world you are familiar with. The others – Secundus, Tertius, and so on – are magical planes of existence that for centuries upon centuries have lived mostly in harmony with Primus and with one another.

So whilst Protos is technically low fantasy/magical realism, it’s got a very high fantasy feel. The main characters are Corentine, a Seer; Kalyani, a noble heiress; Yijun, a Fae Archmage. Together they are called upon to investigate a potential new threat, not just to the Empire but to all of Primus.

And it doesn’t go well.

Why Patrons Only?

I’ve always intended to do a beta read for Protos, because my beta readers for Mundane Magic were hugely responsible for the final product. Without them, Henry’s point of view wouldn’t exist, nor would the book have begun with it. Numerous plotholes wouldn’t have been fixed, Isobel’s hair would have changed colour three times over the course of the book, and it generally wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good.

But there’s a difference between my life then and my life now – this is now my job. I very strongly believe that artists should not work for free, which kind of flies in the face of blogging, seeing as you don’t have to pay to read this. Finding the balance between that free content and paid content is hard.

After a lot of reflection, this is the way I feel is best for me. I’m sorry to those that will be unable to join the beta as a result.

What Format?

The preview will be a digital one, so you will need some way of reading it. However, I will make it available in as many digital formats as possible – ePub, Mobi, PDF and so forth. If when the beta is released your format is not there, you can just request the one you need and I’ll make that available too.

Is Feedback Required?

Not at all. If you’re at the right Patreon tier, you’ll get the beta copy regardless of whether or not you’re intending to give feedback.

But of course, this is an exercise we’re going through so I can get feedback. After the beta has been out for a month I will put a survey up so that you can let me know what you thought. The survey will also allow you to be anonymous if you so desire.

Any Other Questions?

Want to know something that hasn’t been answered here? Just get in touch and I’ll do my best to answer your question(s).

I’m so excited to show you this and to share this story with you. It has been growing in my mind and heart for several years, and I can’t wait for it to become yours as well.

I really, really hope you like it.

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