Hi everyone! Petrik and Eon from Novel Notions here.
We’re honored to once again welcome Michael Miller to our blog. When Michael was last here, it was for the cover reveal of his Dragon’s Blade Trilogy. This time around it’s for the cover reveal of Unbound, the sequel to his best selling Ascendant. If you are unfamiliar with this series, The Songs of Chaos is a dragon rider epic that takes inspiration from such celebrated works as Eragon and Pern. In Michael’s own words “It’s about a serving boy who defies society to save a blind dragon from death and rises to become a dragon rider. A bit of cultivation/progression magic is sprinkled into this one.” Sounds bloody awesome if you ask us!
Right, no more tarrying, behold the cover!
Cover art by Randy Vargas
- Hi, Michael! Welcome back to Novel Notions! This will be the second time I’m hosting a cover reveal for you. Can you tell us a bit about the cover art of Unbound? Does it match your vision?
Hi Petrik! Thanks for having me back. Unbound’s cover was tricky to consider being a sequel. You want it to be obvious at a glance to anyone who read Ascendant that this book is in the same series and offer just enough new elements to invite intrigue about what’s going on in the follow up. I think the Unbound art does that perfectly – Ash (the blind dragon) dominates the space again. It’s in Holt’s design that we see some hints towards what might be happening to them on their journey and hopefully it will whet people’s appetite to dive into reading it!
An added complication was that the artist for Book 1’s updated cover – Yigit Koroglu – was unavailable for hire having joined a major art team elsewhere. Randy Vargas picked up the mantle for book 2 and did a stellar job in maintain the right look of the characters from Yigit’s work while adding his own style. You can find his website here https://vargasni.com/about
As far as my vision for the art, I think Unbound is pretty much as I envisioned. I’ve stopped trying to imagine my cover art in too much detail. The artist will never generate your exact vision but 99 times out of 100 the artist has superior instincts when it comes to composition. I do supply a lot of strong reference material. A solid brief with a lot of inspiration to draw on helps both you and the artist stay on the same page.
- What can you tell us about the Songs of Chaos series? How many books are planned in this series?
The length of Songs of Chaos is an open-ended question right now. I’ve always liked the idea of clean trilogies, however, Songs of Chaos has become much larger in scope than I anticipated. With so much to get through I want to do it justice so there will be at least four books and very possibly five. More than five might be excessive.
Ascendant was 165K words and Unbound is looking to be 230K words. Not Stormlight levels of big but they are still big books. I naturally like to keep up a good pace throughout my stories which became challenging while writing Unbound to keep with my gut feel for pace while also giving everything in the story time to breathe.
So in short, at least 4, most likely 5, but it’s evolving. I’ll write as many as I need to do get it right but not so much that it bloats. That’s my aim anyway.
- Ascendant, the first book, seems to be gaining a wonderful reception everywhere. Would you say that this is your most successful book so far in both reception and sales?
Ascendant’s reception has really blown me away. By the time Unbound releases, Ascendant should have crossed over 1,000 reviews on Amazon.com which is a staggering achievement for any book never mind an indie book. It’s really been humbling to receive messages from readers about how it’s revived their love for the dragon rider story.
I was especially honored to receive the award for best Fantasy in the National Indie Excellence Awards 2021 (link https://www.indieexcellence.com/15th-annual-winners)
In terms of single titles, it’s my bestselling book. However, my Dragon’s Blade Trilogy boxset edition still outsells and out earns Ascendant by a considerable margin given how successful that bundle has been on Audible. Songs of Chaos is on track to far surpass Dragon’s Blade when all is said and done, but that will be a couple of years yet until there are 3 or more books out.
- When can we expect Unbound to release?
Currently my schedule should have me ready for an October 1st release in ebook and paperback! Peter Kenny will start recording the audiobook on October 11th. Given the time it takes to record, edit, polish and then go through processing on Audible my audio listeners shouldn’t expect it to release until late November and possibly early December but I’ll keep them up to date every step of the way.
Thank you for visiting Novel Notions again, Michael Miller!
We want to give my special thanks to Michael Miller for allowing Novel Notions the honor and pleasure of hosting the cover reveal for Unbound. As fantasy enthusiasts and self-proclaimed connoisseurs (😁) of book cover art, it means a lot to us here at Novel Notions to be given this opportunity and we are more than excited to start reading this series as soon as possible!
Lastly, thank you to everyone for taking the time to read this post!
Unbound has a planned release date of October 1st, 2021.
Pre-orders should be available soon.