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C.A. and Franklin. Which one does the writing, we may never know.

ABOUT  C.A. BRYERS

C.A. Bryers is the author of the Odyssium series, which began with THE 13th PARAGON duology comprised of SCRAPPER and FROM ASHES OF EMPIRES. When not writing, C.A. Bryers enjoys sculpting, spending time with his family, and experimenting to find the magical number of minutes chocolate chip cookie bits should sit in applesauce before they are appropriately mushy and ready for consumption. He currently resides in frostbitten Minnesota—the exact opposite of the tropical paradise that is his ideal (at least part-time) place to park his flip-flops. Until then, he is moderately content writing about such locales.

FAQ

This page is where you will find answers to questions that have been asked in the ASK THE AUTHOR blogs, social media, or in person enough times to warrant an entry. If you still haven't found the answer you're looking for at the end of this, feel free to drop me a line on the CONTACT page, or at any of my social media links at the bottom of the page.

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READING ORDER

Q: With the stories that jump around in the timeline in the Odyssium Collection, is there a particular order in which the books should be read?

A: At the moment, I still recommend reading the books in order of release. The only exception to that rule would perhaps be to sneak in the upcoming novella release, ORPHAN SEA, before SCRAPPER. ORPHAN SEA takes place prior to those events and features an epilogue that leads directly into SCRAPPER.

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CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

Q: What order do the stories take place chronologically?

A: Chronologically speaking, the order is different from the order of release, thanks largely to the Odyssium Collections. As-yet unreleased material listed is subject to change when it comes to titles and release dates. Here's the list in case anyone feels an itch to go strictly according to the timeline:

TBA  (short story, 2022)

THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE (novella, 2018)

TBA AGENTS OF ODYSSIUM #1 (novella, 2022)

THE HOLLOW-HEARTED (novella, 2016)

ORPHAN SEA (novella, 2022)

THE 13th PARAGON Part I: SCRAPPER (novel, 2014, 2019)

THE 13th PARAGON Part II: FROM ASHES OF EMPIRES (novel, 2015, 2019)

THE SERRUS (novella, 2022)

SQUIRM (novella, 2018)

HOUSE OF FALLING RAIN (novel, 2017)

A SONG OF SILENCE (novella, 2018)

TBA STRANGE DAYS OF ODYSSIUM #2 (novella, 2022)

ISLE OF THE SLEEPING GODS (novel, 2019)

THE GIRL WHO STOLE THE SUN (novel, 2021)

MY NAME WAS SOLORINE (short story, 2018)

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STARTING WITH LATER ODYSSIUM BOOKS

Q: Do I have to read the older books to read, say, THE GIRL WHO STOLE THE SUN?

A: Not necessarily, but it certainly doesn't hurt. I did write HOUSE OF FALLING RAIN as a new access point for people to jump into the series, and I think each Eyes of Odyssium book can act as a stand-alone. The important things to know are covered in each successive book, but my hope is you'll want to go back to the early books if you jump in later in the series. The good news is, the old books aren't going back into some Disney-like vault or anything, so you can check them out anytime. The upcoming Tides of Odyssium series will act as a great starting point for new readers as well.

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COVER ART

Q: Who does your cover art? What's the process like?

A: I was lucky early on to be pointed in the direction of a phenomenal artist, Dennis Willman of Iron Dead Studio. He's done every cover for the Odyssium series to date.

As for the process, I come up with a concept and then figure out a way to get that across to Dennis. I started out with Photoshop mock-ups, but found it easier to just draw really quick, really garbage sketches and let his awesomeness do its thing. I used to be able to draw fairly decently, but as you'll be able to see when I post one of my cover sketches from time to time, it's not like riding a bike. The wheels have done fallen off.

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NAMES AND SUCH

Q: Where do you come up with names in your books?

A: I think every author gets this one. I've collected names since I started writing decades ago, so whenever I come across a new one, it goes into a master list I have. They usually come from three different sources: baby-naming books, people or places with interesting names that've grabbed my attention, or ones I've whipped up in my head.

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THE CLIFFHANGER QUESTION

Q: Do your books have cliffhangers?

A: Believe it or not, this is a common one and is definitely important to some people. The answer is for the most part, no. SCRAPPER has less of a cliffhanger than it has a segue into FROM ASHES OF EMPIRES. ORPHAN SEA, on the other hand, has a deliberate cliffhanger in the epilogue that ties directly into events from the book that chronologically follows: SCRAPPER. Oh, and I'll get into MY NAME WAS SOLORINE later in the FAQ. That one's a bit of a doozy.

Otherwise, I've concentrated on stand-alones. The Eyes of Odyssium series in particular can all be read separately for the cliffhanger-haters out there, though there is a running storyline in the background that keeps moving with each progressing book. I can't promise my general "minimal cliffhangers" policy will always remain in effect, though. The sub-series that follows Eyes of Odyssium will likely be several books strung more closely together rather than the more separate adventures that Salla's undertaking at the moment. So when that hits, be on the lookout for falling cliffhangers.

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WHY REVISE?

Q: Why did you revise SCRAPPER? Are you revising any of your other books?

A: The answer to this is in the Behind the Scenes section of SCRAPPER, but since I've been asked a good few times I figured I'd post it here. The core reasoning behind the revision is that while I liked the original version of SCRAPPER, I simply felt it could be better. I've learned a lot since its release, and when the time came to adapt these into audiobooks, it forced a decision out of me. Because of the high cost of producing an audiobook, I wanted to make sure I was 100% happy with it.

To look at it from another angle, another reason to do it, I didn't want anyone to put down the series because they felt SCRAPPER might be weak due to it being my first published book. SCRAPPER is the prime entry point for the Odyssium series. It's the beginning of Salla's story and to date, Salla's the guy we're following for the most part. The quality of the first version of SCRAPPER might be open for debate (and don't get me wrong, I do like it!), but for me, I had too many reasons to revise it, and not enough to leave it be.

As for whether I'll be revising any other books, I don't have any plans on touching anything outside the 13th PARAGON titles. While a similar amount has been cut from FROM ASHES OF EMPIRES, the changes aren't quite as drastic (i.e. no completely rewritten chapters). What's been done is mostly whittling things down to create better pacing and flow, altering dialogue, as well as fleshing out relationships, etc. just a wee bit further.

Q: Follow-up question #1: Are you making audiobooks of the series?

A: Production had been slated tentatively to begin in 2020, but with the way 2020 unfolded and one big financial inconvenience, those plans had to go sit on the back-burner for the time being. One day, I hope, but it probably won't be until sales justify the expense.

Q: Follow-up question #2: You said "outside the 13th PARAGON books." Since THE HOLLOW-HEARTED is included in that, does that mean you'll be revising that one too?

A: If I do, it'll be during the lead-up to producing an audiobook for IN DARKNESS AND LIGHT. I honestly haven't read HOLLOW-HEARTED in a long time, so I'll have to see how I feel about it at that point.

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WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH MY NAME WAS SOLORINE?

Q: There were a lot of unanswered questions in MY NAME WAS SOLORINE. When are you planning on writing the next part in that story?

A: SOLORINE is a bit of an oddball in the Odyssium lineup, I'll give you that. Oh, and get ready for another oddity in the second Odyssium Collection. As for when we'll wrap up all of SOLORINE's loose ends, that's an answer I don't have. There's a LOT that happens chronologically before I can write it. Right now, I don't even have it on the to-do list in the next ten years of annual releases.

Q: Follow-up question: WHY would you make us wait that long to wrap her story up?

A: Ehhh...no good answer for that, really. I suppose because, as far as what I have in mind for that particular arc and what I'm aware of outside my little bubble, it adds up to something I've never seen anybody do before. I hope to get to it before I croak, but even if I never do, I think SOLORINE holds up as an interesting story on its own with mysteries for which the reader can dream up their own conclusions. So either way, no regrets on releasing it when I did.

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COMING SOON

Q: When is the next book coming?

A: This is kind of the perpetual question, so I'll try to keep the FAQ updated and current. In a nutshell, I (typically) do annual releases, so if you haven't seen a new book from me in a year, chances are there's another coming down the pike soon. The best ways to know as soon as possible is to subscribe to my newsletter and/or follow my various social media pages. I'm a bit chaotic with my release schedule and have NO marketing savvy to speak of, so actual release dates are pretty ephemeral.

Most recently, 2020 saw the release of the revised edition of FROM ASHES OF EMPIRES, and thanks to COVID, the final book in the Eyes of Odyssium series, THE GIRL WHO STOLE THE SUN, will drop in 2021 instead of 2020. By the looks of things, the as-yet untitled Odyssium Collection Volume 2 will release early 2022.

On the positive side, the delay of THE GIRL WHO STOLE THE SUN has given me a bit of breathing room in my schedule. I'm around 90% of the way through the first draft of Tides of Odyssium's launch book, which will release in 2023 at the latest.

Beyond that, my overall release schedule for Odyssium runs well into the 2030s. No rest for the wicked, kids.