Welcome back everybody! I’m so excited to announce that we are T-minus 10 days away from the official launch of Chaos Looming, Book One in the Legion of Pneumos! First, I want to thank everyone who was so kind to reach out with thoughts and feedback from the sample chapters that I released a few weeks ago. I also want to thank everyone who pre-ordered online (copies still available at the link here!).
But for this week’s post, I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk a little bit about the inspiration behind Chaos Looming. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I wrote this book in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, when I and the rest of my medical school cohort were recalled back to Washington DC, yanked out of the hospitals, and left with no clue if or when we were going back. Along with just about everybody else in the world, this was a really difficult time for me, a period when I didn’t really know what was going to happen. There was an air of uncertainty, not just about my own life but about the fate of the world as a whole. Amid a global pandemic, here I was 50% of the way through medical school and still 100% useless. Any sense of purpose I had had about the path I was on seemed to vanish in an instant.
So looking back, I suppose it’s really not that surprising that I wrote a book about a girl dropped into a world that she didn’t understand, convinced that she had some higher purpose in it…but with absolutely no clue what it was. Then as the world crumbles around her, Keira has to figure out what it means to be a leader in times of uncertainly. What does it mean to pursue goodness, order, and justice when there is no clear path before you? Chaos Looming is about a lot of things. It’s about trust, the difference between right and wrong, as well as vulnerability. One of my favorite things about the character of Keira is that she is an incredibly flawed person. She didn’t have the best childhood and the circumstances she found herself in required a level of strength that many of us never have to find, especially that young. The way she channeled that was to rely firmly on herself. In many ways, this makes her a powerful character, very opinionated and confident. But at the same time, it creates a lot of flaws. Keira has a unwillingness to rely on other people and a conviction that she doesn’t need to. This self-reliance also makes it hard for her to let other people in. I think the relationship between here and Danny in particular is a wonderful commentary on the people that we choose to let into our lives, those we allow to see us as we truly are. That’s something that’s really hard for Keira and I think it very much betrays this underlying fear of vulnerability.
For me personally, the process of writing Chaos Looming absolutely an act of escapism with a side of coping mechanism. It allowed me to journey to a world with very different problems than ours, but still eerily familiar. The fight against chaos and the desire to make order out of the turmoil is one that I think we’ve all had to grapple with this year. How do you find some sense of normalcy when the world around you is completely flipped on its head? For that reason, I’d humbly suggest that Chaos Looming is an incredibly timely book, speaking into our current moment in a way that I think can be hard to find, particularly in the fantasy genre.
I should also say a little bit about the genre. I’ve classified it as historical fantasy as there are definite elements of the supernatural with this concept I’m playing with called Pneuma, capable of generating both chaos and order out of its surroundings. At the same time, the story is very much grounded in a world that seems very concrete, even as it is totally different from our own.
Anyway, I’m so excited for you all to get to read this book when it comes out next week, and I would love to hear from you about your reactions: the parts you loved, even the parts you hated. Because this is a growing period for all of us. And as I continue work on Book Two in this series, I’m excited to hear some feedback about what really resonates with readers.
What about you? Whether it be the characters, the setting, or the plot, was there anything that spoke to you or drove you to continue reading?