Come into the Split Worlds
So the dust is settling and my little corner of the internet is returning to normality following the announcement that the Split Worlds series is now in the gentle care of our favourite Robot Overlords. I thought it would be a good time to promise to send you a free short story set in the Split Worlds every week for a year and a day, if you want me to that is, and explain why I’m offering to do so.
As I mentioned on the lovely Adam Christopher’s blog, the Split Worlds series started life as a self-publishing project and up until very recently I was gearing up to launch the first book of the series Between Two Thorns. Part of that process involved releasing a short story every week set in the Split Worlds for a year and a day, a total of 54 short stories, plus a bonus one if people signed up to receive the stories by email.
It’s quite a daunting thing to commit to, but something I don’t regret at all. Here’s why:
I’m a great big geek.
For me, the Split Worlds project has never just been about writing lots of stories and several novels. At the risk of sounding a bit silly and pretentious what I want to create is something immersive, something that incorporates elements from my favourite hobby: roleplaying.
I’ve been playing and GMing for years. I missed out on early experiences of D&D, my schooling was in White Wolf’s World of Darkness games such as Vampire: The Masquerade. At university I was in the Roleplaying Games Society and student life was a glorious few years of regular tabletop and live action games ranging from high fantasy to gritty cyber-punk, occasionally interrupted by lectures and essays and exams. It played a big part in spawning my love of dressmaking and it’s where I caught the world-building bug too.
As a player, one of the things I love most about a really good game is the total immersion. I want to see it all in my head, I want to experience things outside the scope of my normal life. I love little details and the depth that long-term campaigns can create between characters. As a GM I revel in the creation of other worlds and characters within them, of tensions and alliances between factions and snaring my players in twisty plots.
Since those heady days I’ve knuckled down to novel and short story writing and my aim with the Split Worlds is to bring all of the things I love most together into one project. I want to create an opportunity for people who love characters and fantastical worlds to really be able to climb inside, to notice little details and make connections, to find hints and clues to things that will spill out into the real world (more about that another time). The stories are the first part of this, not only do I want them to introduce you to the Split Worlds, I also want to give you that moment of quiet satisfaction when you read a passing reference to an event in Between Two Thorns and you know what really happened.
Does this mean someone has to read all those stories to enjoy the books?
No, not at all. I really want to emphasise that. The Split Worlds novels are written to be enjoyed without any of the stories and those in turn could be read alone as nothing more than little glimpses into the Split Worlds. But if you do want to read the stories, I hope they deepen your enjoyment of the novels and make some of the future events I have planned a richer experience.
Each of the stories is short enough to be read in the time it takes to have a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. All you need to do to sign up is complete the form below (or over at www.enewman.co.uk/free-stories) and look out for the activation email you need to act upon to confirm you signed up and not an evil spammer or particularly clever cat walking across your keyboard.
Once that’s done you’ll get a story straight away and then one every seven days until the very last one. That’s just over a year of weekly tea-break reading. You have to bring your own tea though.