Story Time: After 3 Long Years, I Completed My “Troika” Trilogy!

Back in September, I finally finished my third novel, Forsaken of Silence, that I had been working on for more than 15 months. This was the first of the three books that I had published with custom artwork, and since it had been more than a year since I had published the first two novels, I figured it would be best to give them each an edit-through and a new book cover. As of yesterday, November 12, 2019, all three books have been published (and re-published) with the new look of the beautifully custom-drawn illustrations so they look and read more consistently.

This is the greatest accomplishment of mine so far, and I daresay I have put more time into my trilogy than I did into my Bachelor’s Degree. A great deal of my free time for the past three years has gone into this: brainstorming, plotting, writing, editing, reading, re-writing, re-editing, finding artists for the artwork, maps, and book covers, etc. It’s quite a process, especially considering that I am self-published and work as my own editor and publisher. Despite most of my blog posts being for my individual poems, most of which I am proud of, I am much more proud of my Troika Trilogy.

It all started in December of 2016 right after I graduated college and was back home for Christmas. The girl I was dating at the time, who I refer to as “Hanna” whenever I write about her, inspires me so much to this day. She was a big reader, and even kept her own “library” as a kid of all of her books. One time she told me that she didn’t like adventure books as much because there weren’t enough female characters, which was something that I took to heart. That quick comment she made inspired the creation of Lilly Laventhorp, and who Hanna is as a person heavily inspired Phoenix Burch. But, I digress. In 2016 I was sitting beneath my lit up Christmas tree one night in late December and was writing with a pen in a journal while listening to Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”. I hand-wrote a few paragraphs of a story and I had even titled it, right there on the page, Begotten By Bay.

It was initially going to be a story based in my own home, Cape Cod, but in an effort to not to bound by the constrictions of accuracy, I decided to take the novel out of reality and into my own world, which came to be Troika. I even drew a little sketch of what the map of the small island town looked like, which I eventually drew larger and more neatly, then colored it in, then hired an artist to make a graphic design version of it that went through three iterations, one for each book.

The original sketch of the Troika map in my notebook
The final version after I drew it larger-scale and added color
The three digital iterations as they appear in the books

I finished the first version of Begotten By Bay in September of 2017, about 9 months after I started it. That Christmas I printed it out on sheets of computer paper and put it in a binder with an image I had created as the cover, so it felt like a completed book. A few months later, in January of 2019 I published it through Amazon and got my first real copy in the mail shortly thereafter. Six months later I was able to finish the second novel, Arisen From Bygones, and began working on the third over the summer of 2018. With hopes of finishing it by the end of 2018, I didn’t publish Forsake of Silence until September of 2019, having taken my time to make sure it was as good as I could possibly make it. Plus, it was much longer. Now, in November of 2019, I have re-published the first two so the style is consistent with the recently released third book, and the Troika Trilogy of Begotten by Bay, Arisen from Bygones, and Forsaken of Silence is completed (and yes, when I re-published the first two I made the “B” in “by” and the “F” in “from” lowercase).

These are the three illustrations that I commissioned for the book covers. Lilly Laventhorp is featured on the cover of “Begotten by Bay” (left), both of my main characters are featured on the cover of “Arisen from Bygones” (middle), and Phoenix Burch is featured on the cover of “Forsaken of Silence” (right). They perfectly capture the essence of Troika and its heroines.

If you have followed my blog previously, you probably notice that in an effort to brand myself as author with the completion of my Troika Trilogy, I changed my blog name from “weatherscopeblog.wordpress” to “aaronmichaellynn.wordpress”, most recently to “aaronmichaellynn.com”. I figured upgrading my site with a custom domain would be the perfect way to take the next step. I added a “Bookstore” page onto my website so you can easily find all of my books, which are available on Amazon, together in one place. Unfortunately, through Amazon’s self-publishing there is no option to sell a box-set or book bundle, so the three novels must be purchased separately; however, they are priced as cheaply as Amazon allows me price them! I am much less interesting in the monetary revenue of people buying them, and more interesting in the intellectual revenue of people reading them. For that reason, I am going to try my best to make them available as eBooks on Kindle as soon as I possibly can – it will just either take a bit of time learning how to do it myself or a bit of money hiring someone to do it for me.

I have also published two books of poetry so far, “The Gardens That Were” and “Cheap Beer and Pancakes”. A third one will be coming out soon called, “A Chaplet of Flowers”, which will be compiled of work written over the course of the past year.

This is a picture of me a few months ago at my cousin’s wedding

To anyone who reads my poetry, follows my blog, reads my books, or to anyone who is newly viewing my blog, thank you! My poetry is very emotional and personal and real, while my novels are very fantastical and beautiful and wholesome. Together they really define who I am. Writing gets me through the best of times, the worst of times, and helps in between to pass the time. As I say on my homepage, “Writing is my home, it takes me back and keeps me going”. This derives from a poem I wrote and it is how I feel. With peaceful music blocking out the sounds of reality, it is in the pages I write where I feel most at home. So, welcome my friends, to my home!

I know this is a bit different than my short blog posts for my individual poems, but it felt necessary. I will continue writing poetry nearly everyday, and in a few months after a brief break to get some reading done finally, I will delve into my next fiction project, which I anticipate being a years-long large-scale fantasy project that should keep me busy and alive for awhile. I hope you enjoy anything you read from me, that perhaps it provokes thought or emotion for you, and that you continue to read as I grow as a writer. Now, as they say in my Troika, “Cheers and good fortune!”

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