Tim Frankovich

Writer's Blog & Home of Warpsteel Press

How do you pronounce Ixchel?

Out of all the names of characters and places in my books, this is the one people ask me about the most. Ixchel is a great character to write, and I’m looking forward to seeing how her story continues. But how do you say her name?

The answer is… not as easy as it seems.

You can literally google “how do you pronounce ixchel” and you’ll get multiple answers.

This video, for example, pronounces it the way it’s spelled in English:

But this video pronounces it more like “ee-shell”:

Ixchel is a Mayan name. The culture of her land and people in my books is loosely based on the ancient Maya. So logically, the best guide to it would be an explanation of how the Mayans pronounced it, right?

Here’s one:

http://www.native-languages.org/maya_guide.htm

If you read that, you’ll find that “ee-shell” is close, but… it actually ends up something more like “eesh-chail” including the “ch” sound and pronouncing the “e” as a long “a.”

So which one is right?

It’s a fantasy novel, with names and cultures that I created. I’m sort of the final arbiter here. Except… it may come to a huge surprise to readers that I don’t always pronounce the names in my head while writing them. And since I was raised on American phonics, when I do pronounce names from other languages, I often do it completely wrong.

I like “ee-shell.” And “eesh-chail” is a bit too cumbersome for my tongue. But you know what? You can pronounce it however you choose. I won’t mind. 

But I’d better start getting it right myself. She scares me.

Slow Times

I apologize for not updating the blog in a while. Between everything going on in the world the last few weeks and my own slow sales, I haven’t felt motivated to do much writing.

One of my struggles has been the opening chapters of the next book. Yesterday, I finally got a solid outline for them and I believe I can move on now.

I’m also talking with some other writers about accountability and motivation with each other. We’ll see how that goes.

RELEASE DAY – Until All Bonds Are Broken

It’s so much more than just a dream now. My second novel, Until All Bonds Are Broken, releases today! If you enjoyed the first book, Until All Curses Are Lifted, you have to get this one! If you haven’t read the first book, what are you waiting for? Buy both!

Available in ebook from Amazon, paperback from Barnes & Noble or Amazon, or even better – support a local bookstore and have them order it for you!

Read Chapter Three Now!

Chapter three of Until All Bonds Are Broken is now available here.

Ever wonder what the villain’s thinking? Let’s check in on Volraag…

Mailing list subscribers will get chapter four in a couple of days. If you want to read that one, join the mailing list! It’s where all the best people are.

The book releases in only THREE DAYS. Jump on the hype train!

Read Chapter Two Now!

Chapter two of Until All Bonds Are Broken is now available here.

This is a pretty crucial scene that kicks off so much…

Chapter three will be released next week, but if you want to read it even earlier, join the mailing list! They get all the cool stuff first. You like cool stuff, don’t you?

Counting down the days to April 30…

Cover Reveal – Until All Bonds Are Broken

Seri got the first cover, so it’s only fair that Marshal gets the second, right? Without further comment, here it is:

Read Chapter One Now!

Lots of news this morning.

First, I now have a release date for Until All Bonds Are Broken, my newest book. Look for it on April 30!

Second, the cover reveal will take place this Friday, April 17! Be sure to come back then to see the gorgeous new artwork.

Third, as the headline says, you can read the first chapter of the book right now, right here.

If you bought the paperback version of Until All Curses Are Lifted, you might have already read this as a preview, and you’re wanting more. Don’t fret. Chapter two will be posted next Monday! But if you’re a member of the mailing list, you’ll see it several days early! So join the mailing list already!

So what’s this book about? Here’s the back cover blurb:

“When one curse is lifted, we will be on a path to the lifting of all curses.”

Though his life has been dramatically altered, Marshal can find no way to advance his new cause. His half-brother Volraag begins a war that could have ramifications for two worlds. Caught up in the fighting, Marshal finds nothing but despair. His best friend, bonded to Marshal since childhood, may be the only one who can save him… from the war and from himself.

Seri searches for Marshal, but suffers a devastating loss almost immediately. Then she meets a mysterious magic-user who wields power unlike any she’s seen before. Who is he and what does his coming mean for the six lands of Antises?

Together, Seri and Marshal may be able to stand against Volraag’s growing power. But they will need much more help if they are to fight against a plot that spans ages, a plot instigated by mysterious dwellers of the Starlit Realm.

The epic story begun in Until All Curses Are Lifted continues…

The Cover has Changed – What?

If you buy a new copy of Until All Curses Are Lifted now, you might notice that the cover is slightly different. What? Why?

After discussion with my beta readers and some friends, I have decided to give these books a series title. I didn’t think it was necessary with the first book, but everyone seems to agree now that it is. Therefore, Until All Curses Are Lifted is officially the first book in the Heart of Fire series.

Revised cover

One of the advantages of independent publishing is that I can make changes to the cover or the interior of the book any time I want. In this case, I added the series title at the bottom and added a couple of review comments on the front and back.

What does this mean to you? Well, if you’re a completist, you should run to Amazon and buy a new copy. I won’t discourage you. But what about all those copies with the original cover? Who knows? Maybe they’ll be worth something someday. Set them aside. Carefully.

Of course, this means the cover of Until All Bonds Are Broken will have that same series title. Which also means: it’s getting close. Very close. Stay tuned.

As always, if you want special previews and advance knowledge, join the mailing list!

The Quarantined Writer

Like most people, I’m sitting at home. Unlike most people, I’m used to it. I’ve been working from home (freelance) for ten years. Unfortunately, the virus has impacted the industries from which I get my work, so… like many people, I have more time on my (carefully washed) hands.

You’d think this would mean I’m getting more writing done. And I am making significant progress. When I’m not doing yard work, playing games with the kids, or any other of a myriad of things that just keep popping up.

At the moment, I have two scenes left to consider and re-write. And then… I think this book (Until All Bonds Are Broken) might be done. I still have to decide what else I’m including in this book – afterword, preview, etc. And I am hoping to hear from two other beta readers (I need to email them!). But, barring any other setbacks, this book should be ready to publish by the beginning of Summer. I think. Could be sooner. Could be later.

I’m working on another book. Brainstorming a couple more. Dreaming a few more.

If you’re bored right now, I suggest… reading a book. Just an idea.

Brief Update

There are many things I’d like to share right now regarding my writing, but I can’t.

The cover is looking fantastic and is almost ready, but I can’t share it yet.

I got some great feedback from my primary beta readers, and I’m making a few minor changes to the manuscript. But of course, I can’t share what they said, either.

Spoilers are hard.

As many of you are stuck at home right now, might I humbly recommend buying books? It’s a great time to catch up on all that reading you’ve been meaning to do for so long.

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