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  • J.K. Hogan

News From the Lost Year

2020 was a mess, right? It kind of feels like the world’s record skipped—whenever I say “last year” these days, I’m still referring to 2019. For those who don’t know, I have two sons currently aged 5 and 8. I’ve spent the last year and a half trying to make sure they were safe and healthy, and also getting an education. Yay virtual school! (NOT.) My youngest has finished his virtual pre-k year and my oldest finishes up this week. Whew. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m happy for summer (even though we’re still pretty much isolating due to the kids not being old enough for the vaccine).

My first bit of news for those who didn’t hear, my new adult romance The Perfect Shine has returned home to me after two years with NineStar Press. I gave it a makeover and have re-released it under my imprint. *No content has changed at this point* although I may put it through a re-edit later on in my downtime (ha!) but if this happens, I will make it clear there is new content. But, behold the new cover. I love it so.

Okay, but what about new stuff? Like writing.


Right, so, I definitely was in a bit of a quarantine funk for a lot of 2020. I stopped doing art because I was so stressed out and constantly worried about my kids (and about myself tbh because I get everything that goes around) that I couldn't get in that peaceful headspace. I played a looooot of videogames, read a ton of books, knitted all the things, and binged SO MUCH tv. But believe it or not, I was also still writing.


For the last year and a half, I’ve been working on an epic fantasy series (with a romance story arc) featuring so many queer characters—so basically I’m trying to write fantasy the way I wish fantasy was: inclusive. Think Game of Thrones, The Witcher, Lord of the Rings, but queer. I’m certainly not comparing myself to masters like Tolkien, Sapkowski, and Martin, but their books have a similar vibe to what I’m working on...just way less queer.


BUT I didn’t want to release the first books, then pull a GRRM and never finish the series, so I decided not to release anything until I had the main story arc wrapped up—which in this case happens in 3 books. The future installments of the series will feature secondary characters getting their own stories.


So when will they be released?


I’m currently a third of the way done with the third book and going strong. This project is huge, like maps and glossaries big, but since I’ve committed to GRL this year, my goal is to at least get the first book out in time for that. Hopefully this summer! Until then, please enjoy these illustrations of the main characters, Kasimir and Senne. (Click on the images for a closer look.)



Aren’t they lovely boys?


That’s all the information I can give at this point, because I’m still hashing out worldbuilding stuff across the whole series (once I make details public, they're locked in!), but I’ll leave you with one last piece of info, the series title. It will be called The Black Blade Chronicles.


Keep checking here or on my facebook page for upcoming release news!

With all that said, I have been incredibly lucky that I, my husband, and my sons have all managed to avoid covid, and my extended family members who contracted it all survived. The most amazing triumph is that my 92 year old grandmother made it through this pandemic and has finally gotten her vaccine. My hope is that everyone continues to stay safe. I am back to doing my art, trying to balance that with writing, parenting, and wife-ing. It's good to be alive! Stay strong, friends, and keep reading!



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