A Herculean Effort

We last left off with my attempts to write a full-length novel that was worthy (in my very picky, very critical opinion) for publication. 

There was a lot of change going on around this time (about 2013). Life changes meant my grant-funded job was going away at the same time my husband earned a promotion.

This both forced me (in the former case) and allowed me (in the latter) to quit my day job. Digital and social changes also meant self-publishing was slowly becoming more accepted as a viable way for creative entrepreneurs to build a career.

Mythology? History? I’m Drooling!!

The Trials of Hercules began as a stand alone novel. I’ve always had a love for mythology (seriously, I probably watched the original Clash of the Titans about 100 times one summer when I was a kid) and for history, especially the history of Ancient Rome.

One evening while watching a documentary about the origin of the myth of Hercules, my two interests slammed together and the idea for a novel overwhelmed me.

book, trials of hercules, osteria chronicles
The first cover!

Once I wrote The Trials of Hercules (after a couple false starts, one of which had Herc doing his thing in modern times), I knew I had something publishable. I also realized it could work into a series. I published the book and set about to writing the next…which is when I discovered I really should have planned the series before starting that second book, but every mistake is a chance to learn, right?.

Eventually, I did learn how to plan out my series!

When the reviews started coming in for Hercules, I was nervous. Would people like it? Would they “get” it? Was it stupid and silly? Turns out the reviews were amazing. And they were from people I didn’t even know! No bribery or anything.

My confidence soared and I continued to cobble away at the second book, The Voyage of Heroes, which re-imagines the legend of Jason and the Argonauts with plenty of pesky influences from the gods and the titans. It was in this book that I truly felt the world of Osteria come to life. The gods took on more personality and began having their own strifes.

the voyage book cover, tammie painter
The Voyage’s original look.

A Hitch in My Giddy-Up…and Nearly Giving Up

By the time book three rolled around, I should have been feeling on top of things, but I hit a snag….namely, I had no idea where the series was going. I got frustrated. I got annoyed. Sales weren’t coming in. I made writing a low priority thing and almost a non-existent thing. 

Until some kind words came my way.

Wise words

Someone who had read the first two books told me how much they enjoyed them, how they loved the characters and the world, and how they couldn’t wait to read book three.

Which of course meant I had better get cracking on book three.

This cover was only out for a couple months.

I took a step back, re-outlined the entire rest of the series (why WHY did I not do this sooner?) and plunged back into writing both books three (The Maze of Minos) and four (The Bonds of Osteria)…at the same time. The many story lines in these two books are closely related, so it only made sense to write both books at once and then divvy up which parts would go in which book.

As ever, Finn was very “helpful.”

Sometime between the release of The Maze and Bonds, I realized I wanted the series to have a cohesive look that better reflected the genre. I relaunched all the books with new covers. Again, I’m learning as I go along and make-your-series-recognizable-as-a-series was a lesson I learned the hard way.

Looking into the Future

There is a rough draft of part five (working title: The Journey of Odysseus) and an outline for part six (working title: The War of Ares). I’m currently working on another (non-Osterian) series, but I do have time carved into my calendar to work on these two final books of The Osteria Chronicles. I hope to have them released in 2020.

The next time I visit your inbox will be in about a week when you’ll learn a bit about how a historical novel got turned into another series set in Osteria.

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The Trials of Hercules: Book One of the Osteria Chronicles

In a world where mortals contend with the gods’ vengeful jealousy, one man must ask himself if he will risk his life to defend the goddess who has done everything to destroy him.

The Voyage of Heroes: Book Two of the Osteria Chronicles

In a dangerous game that pits god against god, and family against one another, trust is the deadliest weapon.

The Maze of Minos: Book Three of the Osteria Chronicles

With the gods as your allies, your life, your world, and your sanity have never been in more danger.

The Bonds of Osteria: Book Four of the Osteria Chronicles

In a fierce clash for power, titans rise, heroes fall, and the gods find themselves on the brink of destruction.