TSC Production Journal #5: An Editor's Perspective
We’re only a week away from the release of The Seventh Cadence by Jim Wilbourne. This is the first book in The Continua Chronicles and the beginning of a whole new world for you to explore, adventures to thrill you, and characters for you to fall in love with.
The last note before we launch the book is very special to us. It’s from one of The Seventh Cadence’s editors, Spencer Hamilton.
Spencer is basically part of the family here at Emergent Realms. We’ve worked alongside him in various ways both within Emergent Realms and in projects prior to our small story studio. We have a lot of love and respect for him and his storytelling skill (which you should totally check out here).
We couldn’t be happier that he had a chance to touch this project.
Spencer Hamilton on The Seventh Cadence
When Jim Wilbourne asked me to come aboard the crew of The Seventh Cadence as developmental editor, I was excited—of course I was excited, it’s epic fantasy!—but I had no way of knowing just how special a project I was joining.
My first inkling of this was when he shared the Google Drive with me. I opened it to find a treasure trove of world-building, of meticulous outlines, of maps, of character arcs, of timelines, of questions for the editor (I opened that one first) . . . It was immediately clear to me that this was an author who did not take his storytelling lightly. Indeed, he was going to great lengths to examine his world of Continua and its cast of characters from every angle imaginable, plus a few angles he discovered on his own.
My second glimpse into the future—into just how special The Seventh Cadence would become—was our first video chat for the developmental editing process. As developmental editor, it is my job to take an author’s manuscript and break it into storytelling components: first act inciting incident, hero’s journey, midway point, climax; theme, arc, denouement; foreshadowing, plot, etc. Often, I’m given the raw materials hewn straight from the rock.
But again, Jim was different. Where usually when I ask what the book’s theme is, what the author is trying to say in a broad-picture sense, what follows is a long discussion / interview to suss it out. But with Jim—well, he knew immediately.
“My characters,” Jim said to me with no hesitation, “are on a journey thematically driven by violence and identity.”
It can be quite difficult, whether you’re a student in a literature class or the author themself, to analyze the text for its possible themes, for what the characters learn along the way or what the readers take from the reading. Multiply that by a thousand when we’re talking about a book the rough size and weight of a cinder block. But here Jim was, with this massive work of epic fantasy, with a crystalline idea of the big picture. That may not sound so special to casual readers, but in my line of work and as a writer myself, I was blown away.
That’s more or less how the rest of the process went. With every chapter I read, my belief that I was a part of something special only grew. Jim has more than a talent for this: he has the drive, ambition, and analytical mind to deliver. A love for the medium and respect for the genre mixed with the desire to create something new.
As you join these characters on their different yet intrinsically tied quests—Gabriel, Tele and Navid, and Amie, three journeys on one map—I believe you will come to agree with me. You will fall in love with these intrepid heroes and with Continua at large.
From me and everyone at Emergent Realms . . . grab your sword, choose your family, and welcome to Continua.
We know you’re going to love this book. It represents years of hard work from Jim Wilbourne, the Emergent Realms team, a few fantastic editors, alpha and beta readers, and the beautiful work of a few phenomenal visual artists.
This book is beautiful and our best work to date.
Jim Wilbourne’s debut epic fantasy novel, THE SEVENTH CADENCE, releases October 8, 2021.
But you can order it right now, right here.