Starry Night Sky with Bow

Works in Progress

We, the Renshaw team, decided to get hold of Jonathan for the latest news on his current works that we’ve all been dying to hear about. If you want to get in on the Q&A action, feel free to add your questions below and we will see if we can twist the answers out of him – provided you aren’t looking for spoilers, of course 🙂


The Wakening, book 2

Q: The question on everybody’s lips, Jonathan, is: When will book 2 be released? The correct answer is tomorrow, preferably before 7am. 8am is less ideal, but still acceptable.

A: [Resigned laughter] Honestly, if I could work a few thousand hours tonight to make the 7am deadline, I would. I’m cautious to give a release date until I’m very close to finished. What I can say is that the first book took around two years to write, if I include the beta stages, and the sequel is turning out to be a longer book. Self-publishing is a colossal job, as I discovered (and a very expensive one). Following the launch, I had to do what was really a team job. This year, I started the process of setting up the Renshaw team. After putting the team in place, it now spends its time putting me in my place – behind the computer, finishing books. I’m aiming to have book 2 out around the end of 2017 and will provide a definite release date when the final revisions are close to finished.

Q: Many independent authors release every few months. Why not you?
A: The first reason is length. Dawn of Wonder is 2-3 times as long as many indie books when comparing word count (not page count, because the number of words per page varies enormously from book to book). The longer books are usually the traditionally published ones, and the gap between instalments in a series is often in the region of three years.
The second reason is that, like most authors I’ve learned from, I need to do several rewrites in order to produce my best work. The first draft is really just capturing the idea. In the revisions, I work on getting the places, characters and relationships to seem more real, more textured – and that takes mountains worth of research and rumination. Creative word use is something else I prioritise, and it’s something with a high time cost.
A crucial part of the process that’s often disregarded is getting away from the book for a while and then coming back with a fresh perspective. Often what I encounter after a break (mostly spent writing something else) just doesn’t make me feel what it was meant to, and doesn’t allow me to immerse myself in the scenes. So I analyse and then let it simmer; I consider my own experiences in life, questioning them, comparing them to what I’ve written. Usually this gives me the insight I need to alter and recombine story elements until they begin to stir emotions and draw me into the events.
Many great authors have commented on the vast improvement imparted by several stages of rewriting. It often makes the difference between a story someone can read, and a story someone can be a part of.

Q: Is that the cover for the next book?
A: Nope, just a little glimpse at one of the places in the sequel. This one was already hinted at in the first book. I wonder if you can remember the passage I’m referring to.

Q: Let’s leave that for the readers. Can you tell us anything about the places, characters or mysteries?
A: Book 2, as you would know from book 1, is going to spend a lot of time on foreign waters and foreign soil. The places are quite different to those seen in the first book – colder, harsher, more hostile. We’ll be reunited with many of the important characters from the first book, now well-advanced in their skills and ready for the most intimidating challenge of their lives. The new characters were some of my favourite to write. I’m itching to introduce you to them. As to the mysteries … I’m for allowing them to remain just that. Mysteries need to be discovered, not explained.

Q: How will book 2 differ from book 1?
A: Where the first book had much to do with preparation, this is far more about putting skills to use. It’s time for the friends to learn if their training will keep them alive in a place that would very much prefer it if they were all quite dead. There’s still a good deal of the mischief that characterized the apprentices’ interactions, but where the first book was primarily a coming of age tale, this is much more an adventure.

Q: What kind of Aedan can we expect?
A: Aedan is more mature and has a far deeper sense of purpose. There are also some very interesting changes to him that have a strong bearing on things. Of these, I am going to stubbornly refuse to say more.

Q: Does he find you know who?!
A: [laughing] Didn’t you say something about no spoilers earlier?

Q: Okay, let’s move on to something entirely different then. Not so long ago you mentioned going to Israel for Krav Maga training and to find some writing inspiration. Do you have any more adventures/experiences planned to help with the writing of the second book?
A: I’ve been looking into crewing on a longship. I did a bit of sailing a few years ago and had some interesting experiences that involved oil tankers, sharks, and a skipper with a death wish. But all that sailing was done on more modern craft. I’d love to get a feel for what ocean life was like on traditional tall ships, especially the old square riggers, but right now I’m trying to put in as much writing as I can, so I haven’t booked anything. When I feel the need for a break approaching, a sea voyage is going to be at the top of the list of options.


The Wakening, book 3

Q: How much of the story do you already know?
A: I have a rough plot-map in mind and few scenes imagined, but it’s only when I write the first draft that I put on the bramble-scarred boots and start clearing a path with the machete. The first draft for me is about exploring and discovering, so I try not to think too much into the details until I’m ready to set out. I have written a few chapters, but only because the ideas were spilling out and I had to do something with them. I’ll dive into the third book when book 2 is with the beta readers.

Q: You’ve spoken about the possibility of epic battles in this one. Are you planning on doing any hands-on research?
A: Oh yes. Oh absolutely yes! You get these medieval clubs in which combatants strap on traditional armour and engage in bouts with blunted weapons. The bouts range between polite tapping and enthusiastic pounding.

Q: I’m sure we’d all love to see this! Will you show us the video?
A: Depends on whether I manage to keep all my teeth or not.

Q: The one in which you lose your teeth would have great PR value.
A: Silence.

Q: Will the series end at the third book or will there be more?
A: This remains to be seen … A fourth is possible, but not certain.


A Cloud in Her Eye

cloud-in-her-eye

Q: Is it fantasy?
A: No. It’s a real-life story set in Ireland.

Q: Aren’t you a fantasy author? Why are you writing this?
A: I love the fantasy genre, but there are many other genres I enjoy. The books in which I found my love for writing were mostly classics. The Wakening series was actually inspired by classics that weren’t fantasy. I just thought a fantasy world would better suit the kind of tale I wanted to tell. I will always write fantasy, but there are other kinds of books I’ve been planning to write for years. This is one of them.

Q: And this is the book you’re writing for your English masters thesis?
A: Yes.

Q: From the progress bars, it looks as if you have begun rewriting before finishing preceding stages. Why?
A: That’s to do with the structure of the course. It’s a different and not entirely comfortable approach for me, but I’m actually finding it a good one for this book. Developing the characters and the narrative flavour before completing the 1st draft is leading to better ideas for plot trajectory.

Q: Apart from the fact that it’s a different genre, how else will it differ from what we’ve seen of your writing?
A: Epic fantasy is a genre in which an overly casual tone spoils the feeling of vastness. There are acres of space for creativity, but also the need for some restraint. With A Cloud in Her Eye, I’m able to throw off the restraints and mess with words and ideas a lot more. It’s like ignoring the canvas and painting on the walls. It won’t be wild and crazy prose that reads like a confused dream, but there will be a some reaching into aspects of style that epic fantasy hasn’t really allowed me. It’s exactly what I needed. Growing means stretching, and this is giving me the room to stretch and develop as an author while being guided by my supervisor. Because it’s so different to the wakening, every time I work on it, it feels like having a holiday, one in which I’m learning as I rest.

Q: Can you give us a sample?
A: Sure. Here’s are two clips. They will probably still be rewritten a few times, but this should give an idea of the kind of book it will be.


Clip 1

The nearest diesel engine ceases its titanic humming. I’ve been deaf to the sound for the past hour, but now that its voice has gone, my head is full of it. Showing admirable pluck, it attempts to revive and limp on, but then it coughs a few times and shudders its last. The decking of the ferry rattles under my feet and falls still.

I glance down at my grey tommies. My feet are numb. I wiggle my toes, trying to expel the curious buzzing memory trapped inside them. One of my toes is starting to poke through making me feel like a thirteen-year-old tomboy. I take a deep breath and let it out over Dublin Harbour. Not caring about how I look is so liberating. Not having to pretend I don’t care would be even better.

Propped against the rail of the open-air roof deck, I cast my eyes over the water, but it’s my nose that’s drawing my thoughts. How do harbours end up smelling more like the ocean than the ocean itself? I answer my own question as I pick out seaweed, spume, and a kind of slippery black moustache growing on anything regularly acquainted with the water. I also spy a few shiny objects on one of those concrete ramps running down from the wharf – the vapours of a hundred oceans are released by one dead fish.

I’m more thoughtful than I had expected to be on this holiday, and not without reason. I step back through recent memories to the way our parents hugged us at the airport. Long hugs, really long. My mother wiping her eyes. For a two-week holiday? Maybe I’m over-thinking and churning up worries from nothing. My sister finds only sunshine in this trip – metaphorically, that is, because the sky is a coffee spill.

I glance back and see Alina weaving her way over to me with slow, lazy strides, and realise why she chose those denim shorts for a day like this. I know what she’s about.

She takes a longer route than necessary, looping around a trendy young couple. The young man’s pleading brows and earnest tones make me wonder what he did. His girlfriend – all plats and beads and tie-dyed wraps – flinches as his attention darts to my sister.

Alina rolls her eyes and joins me at the rail. “Men are all the same,” she says with a shake of her head and a swish of auburn tresses. She half stands, half leans, with one foot pivoting on the toe, just enough movement to catch attention – the bobbing lure of an angler fish. We don’t need to turn around to know he’s still risking glances. For Alina, it’s another little victory, another epaulette to pin to her ego.

I gaze out to sea, wishing I had an epaulette or two. I shake my head and a lifeless, sticky wad slaps across my neck. No silkiness for me, though that might have less to do with genetics than shampoo. I’m low maintenance.

“This is boring,” Alina says. “There’s nothing to see up here.”

“You mean apart from the ships and tugs and fishing boats and quays and dockyards all full of activity?”

She frowns at me. “All boring. And I don’t want to be last in the queue. Come on Rae, let’s go.”

“Alright,” I sigh as we move alongside dozens of other passengers migrating to the stairway.

Alina is three years older, and twenty pounds prettier. Okay, maybe twenty-five.

I never had the discipline to diet, so when I decided to lose weight I opted for the other approach – growling over the toilet bowl, finger pointed down my throat, summoning dinner to reappear and be condemned to the ceramic gullet. I was never going to keep that up for long. I tried eating healthy. I muscled my way through a few years of tastelessness. It was the brussel sprouts that finally defeated my resolution, and opened my mind to the fact that some things were just not meant to be eaten. Two years later I’m still trying to wash away that taste with sweet things.

They spy me out from three city blocks and call me by name. Especially the pastries. As we walk past the cafeteria I can hear éclairs and strudels lifting their sweet voices. “Rae!” they cry. “Don’t pass us by, don’t …”

“Rae!” my sister calls, tearing me away from the menu boards. We hurry down the stairway, shoes padding on the deep carpet. There are mirrors against the wall at the landing, so naturally I bump into Alina’s back.

“You are so vain,” I mumble, rubbing my nose and pushing her along. I’m not really sure where we’re meant to be going, but we’re part of a migrating herd. I wonder if the person at the front is sweating blood at the knowledge that everyone is following his lead. Reaching the first deck, we take our place near the tail of an impossibly long queue. I don’t particularly mind. It’s an opportunity do something I like – watch people, guess their stories, and the motives that drive them.

Behind me is a tall Indian woman who looks without seeing, her thoughts held captive by whatever is marching into her skull through the white earphone wires. A freckled boy behind her looks as if he’s holding a coin between his knees. His mother is telling him that they are not going to lose their place in the queue and he will just have to pinch. Watching the crisis is too stressful. I look away. There’s a man not far ahead of me, mid-fifties I’d guess, with dark stringy hair and an Italian ferocity to the lines of his nose and chin. He’s checking his watch for the third time in a single minute. I have a feeling that if the watch wasn’t made of gold he’d stamp on it. The brunette beside him with the subdued eyes looks decidedly stamped on. Shiny metal, it seems, gets more respect from this man than his wife. The way they stand together speaks of familiarity that has sunk into an easy disregard. A Guy-Fawkes marriage, I’ll bet. Short-lived explosive beginnings without any real plans for tomorrow.

I look around for their opposite and spot them at a distance. A silver-old pair, talking. She has to lean in towards his hearing aid at times, but does so without annoyance. That’s the barbeque marriage. Small, controlled flames, maintained, cooking up something to be shared.

No, I don’t have any experience with marriage or relationships, but from what I can see, experience isn’t always the best teacher. Sometimes the person with the commanding perspective on the battle is standing on the hill, not buried in the fray. I’ve become rather adept at my hilltop assessments – reading people from small clues.

Gold-watch in front of me turns to his wife and asks her something. She looks at him as if for the first time in her life and says, “No speak English.”

I shall ignore this.

I’m doing a masters in sociology. My head is full of entitivity paradigms, semiotic consistencies across variegated social constructs, political debiasing of hierarchical language forms, and one horrible fear – sharp as a squirt of lemon in the eye – that I shall reach the end of my days unkissed.

I’ve often wondered how a developed and disciplined mind can be persecuted by thoughts so infantile, jejune and … embarrassing. If I conceptualise it, I know that the longing for companionship is one of the most foundational needs of any communal being, that it is justifiable across a range of perspectives from evolutionary to spiritual. But it still makes me feel like a pimply teenager tripping over her stupid emotions, blushing when Handsome Henry looks her way, and falling to pieces when he turns aside. It makes me feel like a pawn, and that … that … I can’t stand!

Academia empowers me, enables me to stand over emotion, stand aloof from the touch of longing. Mostly. There was that time when my austere self-command got all chewed up in lawnmower blades. I’d never thought Ben Erikson had even noticed me, but apparently I was wrong. While celebrating his culture-studies pass, he saw my name at the top of the exam results and gave me a hug. For the rest of that day the surprise grew to wonder, and then to hope. By the next morning, I was slightly queasy – too little sleep, too much emotion. I was in my own little heaven.

I could push him in front of a train. Or shove him down those interminable black iron stairs outside the upper lecture rooms.

Because two days later he asked Melanie Britton out.

I draw myself back once again from that awful nightmare. The skies today may not be sunny, but this is the beginning of something new. New is always good. It brings hope. If hope brings disappointment, there’s always sugar.

“What do you think she’s going to be like?” I ask.

“Huh?” Alina replies, frowning slightly. I’m distracting my sister from her performance.

“Aunt Trudy. What do think she’s going to be like?”

“How would I know? Last time I saw her I was seven.”

Twelve. I don’t say it aloud. She steps a little farther out, giving me more space than is necessary, providing a better view for the benefit of those behind. She spins her head, glances back. When she turns to me, the smirk hasn’t quite been wiped off.

It’s a game to her, but I worry for my sister. We don’t know the ropes here and I want to tell her to be more reserved, more cautious.

“I’m sorry. What did you say?” she asks.

“Nothing,” I mumble. “Just trying to picture her.” But I’m doing more than that.

I didn’t want to probe the matter when it first emerged as a pulsing question mark in my thoughts, didn’t want to find something wrong with this perfect holiday and endanger it. I would have ignored a high-court subpoena in order to get on that plane. But there’s a little niggle, a pebble in my shoe.

Aunt Trudy was never a popular name in our house, and after that time my father woke us all with his yelling over the phone, we were actually forbidden to mention her for a time.

But this fact seemed to vanish from existence when my mother proposed this Irish holiday a few weeks back. I ignored this contradiction and jumped at the plan like a starving animal. I’ve always wanted to explore the Irish side of my ancestry and I began planning immediately – travel blogs, maps, guides, encyclopaedias … Alina didn’t exactly oppose it, but she made us feel that she was doing us the favour when finally consenting to go along. Since we left, she’s grown more enthusiastic (though she tries not to let on) and I’ve grown … I’m not sure what, but I can’t seem to shake that pebble out.

“Surely you also noticed,” I say, “Mum and Dad sending us to Aunt Trudy like this doesn’t exactly add up to a full dozen?”

“Nothing about our parents ever adds up as far as I’m concerned.”

“Be serious.”

“Why? We’re on holiday. And you need to stop thinking things to death. I warned you that all that reading was going to fill your mind with weird ideas.”

“Well at least I fill it.” The words are out before I can catch them. They were funny in my thoughts. They sound unkind in my ears.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing.” I looked away, annoyed, mostly with myself. Then a tall, athletic-looking deckhand jogs past, flashing a smile at me – no, just to the right of me. Now I’m annoyed at him.

Eventually the queue squeezes its way out through the doors, over the gangplank – a portable bridge, really – and into the baggage claim hall where I find my little blue satchel. Then I have to help Alina with her oversized case made of expensive-looking leather – probably belonging to an endangered species – and weighing half a mammoth. If it didn’t have wheels, one of these simpering lads would offer to carry it for her, even if it meant throwing away his own bags and sacrificing the cartilage in his knees.

We join another queue at the coach stop. Morton’s double-decker bus, green as a lettuce, whooshes around the bend, comes in too fast, and somehow manages to stop at the precise mark. If the driver is trying to impress us, he has succeeded. We have a deep impression of boyish idiocy. People begin squeezing in, oversized bags getting jammed in the door or the narrow passage between the stairs and the overfull baggage rack. Alina’s is one of these, but, of course, three or four pairs of strong hands come to the rescue. A pretty girl in distress is something that cannot be born.

We zoom down the road, and within seconds, the ships and quays are replaced by warehouses and then office blocks as we race into the centre of Dublin and lurch to a stop near the Liffey, a river that looks to be made of Guinness stout. Or could it be that Guinness is made from Liffey water? The problem doesn’t hold my attention long. I tasted Guinness once – that was enough – and I’ve no plans to taste Liffey.

We are carried along by the torrent of people spilling out, their eyes darting up the line of city busses docking and departing along O’Connel Street.

I did my homework. I know the street names here. We need to catch the bus that takes us to Glasnevin. Someone said it wasn’t the best area, but it looked pretty on Google earth. Lots of green. Nice park nearby. How bad can it be?


Clip 2

Alina’s instincts lead us to the Iliac shopping centre. Mine take over once we are inside, and deposit us at Starbucks. We can’t afford a meal, so we share a scone, sort of. Alina only has a small bite, then sips coffee poisoned with sweetener while staring out the window. There aren’t many people I can do this with – sit comfortably in a vacant silence. I used to think it indicated the quality of the relationship, but it’s not that. Our interests are just so different that silence meets our expectations.

“Been thinking about work,” Alina says. This is a big move for her with last night’s argument still roaring in our memories. I don’t want to shut her down again, so I work my cup into the saucer that’s now gravelly with spilled sugar grains. I want her to see I’m listening. It’s as close to an apology as I’m prepared to go. She carries on, not making eye contact, watching the cross-currents of people outside our window. “Gonna try for a modelling agency, but it could mean moving far off.” She glances at me and away again. She’s testing the idea, waiting for the reaction. But then her meaning sinks in. The game dissolves and my words explode from me.

“What? No, Alina! You can’t. Would I leave you after what’s happened?”

She bites her lip, then begins chewing on that ropey clump of hair pulled from behind her ear – she never does this in public. Not since the time she got lost as a five year old in a museum and we found her tucked into a corner, shivering, chewing.

“Alina?” I say, suddenly aware that something else is happening here. “What is it? What’s wrong?”

“I …” she looks at me, eyes wide. A shadow moves within those dark pools. Alina is not timid; she’s as fearless as she is careless, but that shadow causes every hair along my arms and neck to stand to attention.

“Alina, is something frightening you? Is it that boy with the chains?”

She jolts, knocking her cup over and spilling dark coffee all over the table and onto the floor, but hardly notices. “What do you mean?” Her voice is too loud. “Have you spoken to him?” She’s not quite shrieking, but people have turned to look. The elderly couple alongside us are not being discrete about it. I think they like this channel. Their attention is held by Alina’s shaking hands. Even I’m looking. This is not my sister.

“No,” I say, drawing the word out to let her know I’m still asking the questions here, “I’ve never even greeted him, but who is he?”

She hovers a moment longer before glancing away again. “Nobody. Just stay away from him.” Then her manner changes as suddenly as the weather has been doing all week. She turns back, takes my hands, and looks at me with those intent eyes. I don’t think she’s ever done this before. “Promise me, Rae … Promise me you’ll keep away from him.”

“Sure,” I say trying to hide my discomfort. It feels like I’m losing control of her, of the situation. “That’s not going to be difficult. But please tell me who –”

She raises a palm, silencing me. “Let’s go,” she says.

At the counter, Alina insists on paying. I stand to the side. I don’t think I’m supposed to hear as she asks a few questions about the nearest Backpacker’s. My face drops with my heart. She’s not just wondering about possibilities; she’s making plans. I don’t understand. Why would she need to ask about a Backpacker’s if she wanted to be a travelling model? Was the modelling thing just a front just to see how I would react to the idea of her leaving? But why would she want to leave? All the opportunities are here. I had thought we were bound to a common post, but I see that she can slip the cord anytime she chooses.

At the bus stop, she turns to me. “Rae … If … if anything …” That’s as far as she gets. This time I ask, I prod, I try to drag her into the harbour of our confidences, but her anchor is down and nothing I can do will lure her towards me.

The buss arrives and its doors hiss open. We find seats on the lower level and after a few more attempts, I fall silent under the crushing weight of all I want to say and haven’t any idea how to voice.

We arrive home.

It doesn’t take long. Trudy’s questions are put in a tone that could not have been better calculated to set off the bomb. It’s not just Alina. I was right about Trudy’s hidden temper. By the time the two of them are done with their shouting, the grey walls are running with the shameful things that have been said.

Alina packs her bags in a few minutes. She ignores our aunt, but hugs me at the door and tells me not to follow. It’s a long hug, too long. I remember the airport, my parents. I don’t want to let go. She lets me hold on for a while longer and then steps away, gently.

She walks up the path and stops at the road. She turns around, looks into my eyes, and her face softens. It’s a little smile, but it’s warm and it’s all heart. It’s a smile I always wanted to see but now I don’t want to know any of the things that smile is saying. I’ve never been lost for words, but they fail me completely. After two weeks of emotional exhaustion, I have no reserves left and I stare, a mute spectator. I step forward but Alina shakes her head. My aunt grips my arm at the same time. I stop and watch as Alina walks away, pulling that mammoth I so hated and that now seems to me like family. They move past the graveyard and down the dank alley until the bend hides them.

I try again to follow but my aunt holds me back, more firmly this time. I should fight her and rush out, but I let myself be pulled back. As she closes the door, I have a sickening feeling that I will never see my sister again.

34 thoughts on “Works in Progress

  1. Joel Dancel

    Loved Dawn of Wonder and I can’t wait for the next book. Thanks for keeping us updated so thoroughly. I found the book on audible and would like to read it. I noticed kindle copy of Dawn of Wonder are you planning on an iBook version? Also, are you planning on a book tour with the release of book two?

    Reply
    1. Renshaw Team

      Hi Joel. Unfortunately, kindle is the only reader supported by Amazon and so it is the only one available at the moment. A book tour may be something which Jonathan will consider in the future, though it is unlikely to coincide with the launch of Book 2.

  2. Chris Robinson

    I’ve found myself checking the progress of this book more often than I do most of the series I’ve followed for years. Just finished Robin Hobbs epic finale, assassin’s fate, and looking forward to Oathbringer from Brandon Sanderson, The Core from Peter Brett, the next Miles Cameron novel etc but of all of them I think I’m most anticipating reading the next book in this series. Such an amazing story and world. No questions here just felt the need to comment on how much I like your first novel and how much excitement I have for the next.

    Reply
    1. Colin

      I am looking forward to the book as well. Nothing else has compared so far to this story. I am getting antsy.

  3. Adam Galardo

    Jonathan Renshaw

    I would openly like to thank you for opening my eyes to reading once again. Before I thought of it as tedious and a waste of time. But after one day, laying around I figured I’d give it a chance since my wife decided to start reading her Harry Potter books again. When came across your book The Wakening, I was instantly entranced in the pages – it was hard to put it down! You opened my mind again to reading and for that I thank you. I’ve been reading fantasy books nonstop ever since! I’m super excited to get the chance to read your second book. I’m eager to follow Aedan on his adventure!

    Reply
  4. Mark A Crouse

    Jon, I hope you don’t mind me calling you that, but the man who wrote Dawn of Wonder feels more like an old friend than a distant author. The deep feelings that you stirred were hidden behind years of cobwebs and memory. I found your book on Audible and was simply amazed at the narrator, you really do need to make sure you get him for book 2. Speaking of book two, I didn’t know the first one was the only one done when I started the series. So while I’ll be patient, I’ll be patient with an asterisk! Thank you for your writing. Keep at it, you are amazing.

    Reply
    1. Josh Emahiser

      I am an avid Audible listener as well and I must agree – Tim Gerard Reynolds (if I spelled it correctly) was absolutely marvellous narrating this spectacular story.

  5. Djaye

    I loved your first story. I’m a huge Sanderson/Sullivan/Brett/Martin fan and am impatiently waiting on their books. That’s how I came to read Dawn of Wonder. The description and cover art intrigued me, so I took a chance. So glad I did. I am not anxiously awaiting the next instalment. Please don’t pull a Martin on me 🙂 )


    spoiler alert!
    Anywho, my question is will Murn make an appearance in the next book? I love his interaction with Aedan and the potential for a great matchup. Aedan will certainly need a clever and brave horse sooner than later and I was curious whether we might see him in action. Also, might we see any characters from the Mistyvales again? Any resolution with Aedan’s father and mother, and could a giant moth do away with Harriet? I would not be opposed to that :
    Reply
  6. Joanna Longtine

    Mr. Renshaw,

    First of all, I loved your book, “Dawn of Wonder”. It was one of the better books which I have had the pleasure to enjoy. The plot was very deep and unpredictable, extremely well-written, and there were many valuable lessons taught within it. These are things I can say about very few books:)

    Secondly, I would like to ask, if I may, who is your editor? With all due respect, there are some minute spelling and punctuation errors which I would like to bring to his attention.

    Again, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your work.

    Reply
    1. Renshaw Team

      Hi Joanna. So glad you liked the book.

      Funny that you should assume the editor to be male. Please would you pop through an email here with the errors you picked up. We always appreciate the extra eyes to snap up anything we may have missed!

  7. Joshua Baker

    Hi Jonathan,

    Just thought you should know, I’ve never been much of a reader, therefore I’ve never had to worry about waiting for a book to come out. I caught your book on audible for a long drive I had and got hooked. Now the anitipation makes me constantly check on book two. Congratulations and thank you, you have opened my eyes to why people enjoy books as they do and it has made me slowly start to read more. My question is, when you heard your book on audible, which I assume you have, did you catch things even you didn’t pick up on when you were writing it, or did you see another side to your story that you did not intentionally put there?

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Renshaw

      Hi Joshua. I did learn a lot from hearing the book read, and some of that happened before Tim narrated it. I spent quite a bit of time recording sections of the story and listening back. There’s a lot to be learned from the exercise. It had quite an impact on last revision. Tim, however is an infinitely better narrator than me, so hearing how he brought the characters to life was like seeing something you planted begin to grow.

  8. Holger

    2nd half of 2017 – check
    (although i’m not giving up on tomorrow 7 a.m.
    I just found this gem (book 1) by mere accident and rushed through it within a few couple of days. It’s on par with Cycle of Arawn and quickly became a favorite, as the level of detail and clear writing style is simply fantastic.

    Cannot wait for part two!

    Reply
    1. Renshaw Team

      Hi Lance. Unfortunately, that isn’t info we are privy to. The estimated time frame is the second half of this year, but that may change. We want to give you only the best. Hang in there! And in the meantime, check the progress bars on the website for updates.

  9. Randall

    Can’t wait until your next book….I love your book. I am probably going to reread your first one in May after I graduate from seminary. But please, please, get this second book out as soon as possible. I really can’t wait to read it.

    Reply
  10. Jackalope

    I would like to pre order the audiobook whenever it is available. I subscribed to the mailing list. Please keep me informed.

    Reply
  11. Blaise

    Mr. Renshaw,

    I just wanted to say I loved the first book in The Wakening. Your work in Dawn of Wonder has me checking weekly for updates on the next installment. I love the characters and where the story is going. Your series, Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, and Patrick Rothfuss’ KingKiller Chronicle are the three series I am “patiently” waiting on in what I consider to be the same genre. Not many authors I have read do a good job with a coming of age story while writing at an adult level. I think yours was excellent, for whatever my opinion is worth. Thank you for sharing your gift with the rest of us. Keep up the good work.

    Also, I travel a lot for work and listen to a ton of books on Audible. Mr. Reynolds did a fabulous job. I hope you can rope him in for round two.

    Reply
    1. Sam

      Wow, LOVE every series you mentioned. Might I also recommend Michael j. Sullivan’s Age of Myth (of which I’ve only read the 1st book). These series/writers, including Mr Renshaw, certainly are of similarly excellent quality and leave me with the same hopeful and energized feeling. It seems to me there’s too much heavy-handed sarcasm and melancholy in modern fantasy.

    2. Tyler

      I’m currently reading The Way of Kings and loving it. You should check out The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington, it’s an amazing book, but you will be in the same predicament, waiting for the next books in the series to release.

  12. Ronald Achan

    I loved Book 1, however murder flashed in my mind when I realized there was going to be a book 2 and it was not ready yet. Damn cliff hangers , well buddy you got me hanging on. Damn Good work, you should be proud, I feel privileged to have had the chance to read it.

    Reply
  13. Bryce Davis

    I grew up reading fantasy, and I can’t remember anticipating a book more than The Wakening book 2. I know there are no spoilers, but will book 2 tell us more about the characters’ pasts?


    spoiler alert!
    For example: Peashot, Fergal, or Nulty. I want so badly to know how Fergal’s arrangement as the secret chancellor happened or how Nulty ended up in Mistyvales.
    Reply
    1. Renshaw Team

      Hi Bryce. Thanks for your question! We are consulting with Jonathan about whether this is information he can reveal now or whether we have to wait for the other books.

  14. Justin

    Happy to hear you have a bit of help now. I have been checking almost weekly to see the progress. 🙂 I know it takes time for all the editing. You probably have most of the story atmosphere laid down fairly well, just one thing I have noticed with some sequels is that they being too much gloom and despair. It becomes predictable when we see a “Grand” rescue and all that. Just a thought. Hope we get to see more about Aedan’s horse. Probably the part I can most easily relate to. Thank you again. Justin

    Reply
  15. Stephanie

    Will Dawn of Wonder Book 2 be released on Audible around the same time as the book is published? And will you have the same narrator? (please! Tim Gerard Reynolds was awesome!)

    Reply
    1. Renshaw Team

      Hey Stephanie! That depends on the audiobook publisher and the availability of the narrator. A simultaneous release would be ideal, but we can’t promise that yet. Keeping one narrator is definitely the plan. We agree. Tim is brilliant!

  16. Aaron Dalton

    If you want to take a “traditional” sea experience, might I recommend Hurricane Island Outward Bound Sailing for adults. It’s about as rustic as you can get and gives you a good idea of what life is like on a small rickety sailboat and it only lasts one week so you won’t have to take a lot of time off from your day job. 🙂 Though I’m pretty sure you could find something I bit more upscale, I’m not sure you can find anything that’s closer to the wilderness.

    FYI, I’m not a paid shill, just a happy alumni.

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Renshaw

      That does look really good as far as the smaller vessels go. My particular leaning is more in the direction of a bigger traditional ship where there’s enough space to do some clambering aloft and belowdecks.

    2. Valerie Whalen

      I would suggest the Mayflower II but sadly it’s being restored right now. Honestly though, that thing is small too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *