July 30, 2021
A few weeks ago we were fortunate enough to hear an interview with Reiner Knizia, which had a deep impact on our lives. He said, “You cannot make a living from writing novels. But there are some exceptions. If you start, don’t try to become one of these exceptions; do it because your heart is in it, because you love doing it, and if you do something you love, it may actually become very successful, and then you can make a living out of it. But starting by saying ‘I want to be a full time professional author’ is setting yourself up for lots of disappointments.”
It’s been nearly a year and a half since we first brought the Vaal’bara Historical Society into the public light. We thought that, optimistically, our series would be greeted with excitement, and might afford us the ability to press onward with our passion at a rapid pace. We couldn’t have been more thrilled. However, that same week, the Covid outbreak exploded, and things rapidly went downhill. Viktor lost both his grandfather and father in addition to contracting Covid himself, starting a chain reaction that nearly killed him and destroyed our finances. So too, our series struggled, gaining almost no attention, lost in a sea of countless other novels.
It’s been a difficult road to travel down, as we’ve found ourselves in a position far worse than when we started. Those who have read our books mostly enjoy them, and our Goodreads reviews largely reflect that. But we’ve reached a point where sales are non-existent, we can’t afford marketing, and Amazon will only allow us a handful of days each year to pass out free eBooks while remaining within the confines of their service. Continuing to watch the months tick by, only to result in little to no increase in readership, has been disheartening and humbling to say the least. But we’ve now realized we made an incredible mistake.
Asking potential readers to pay for a book by a pair of authors they’ve never heard of, only to net ourselves a tiny sale, is counterintuitive, if not completely useless, when all we really want is to find people who enjoy what we’ve written. We have no desire for fame and fortune, but we do honestly hope to entertain readers and spark their imaginations, which does require at least some level of success. It’s what we love to do, and we were prepared to do so on a poverty-level income. When we opened our doors with five completed novels, we thought they might make a big splash by showing our dedication; when they didn’t, our passion quickly turned into a desperate, drudging, miserable slog - something we began this journey specifically to avoid!
So, after a lengthy discussion, we have decided to re-release improved digital versions of our books for free on our website, in addition to maintaining that standard for our future novels as well. We will continue to create printed books for those who enjoy paper and ink, as we too love collecting physical novels for our own shelves, but they will never be a mandatory purchase. For the moment, however, our series has been removed from distribution while we retool. When we return, you can expect new artwork, new revelations, and new insights throughout each story!
Some choices we are forced to make are difficult, but in the end, it turns out this was not one of them. In our hearts, we simply want people to have access to our books, and this will be an excellent opportunity to provide that service to you, the reader. This decision feels good. As we continue forward, we are still committed to writing, and we have several new volumes in the process of being written. That being said, due to our circumstances, progress will be slower than before. Thank you to those who have supported us thus far. We’ve certainly learned a great deal throughout this process, that’s for sure, but we’re not giving up; too much of the story remains untold!
Kristen & Viktor
October 26, 2020
Today sees the release of Ten Years of Darkness - a tale recounting my own story on how I ended up as the Curator of this Society. It has taken most of the year and many sleepless nights staring through the Temploscope to complete, and I wish I could say I was relieved to publish it, but I am not.
As Covid numbers skyrocket, it appears not enough people are taking this threat as seriously as they should. Sadly, I feel I’m partially to blame. If everyone knew where its true origins lay, and what it really meant to contract it, or even prolong its existence, I feel it would have been destroyed by now.
Hopefully with this newest volume, I can finally correct my mistake, while bringing to light the story of Carmen and Aurie, and what they did for us all. Together we can make a difference for the future of the universe and all those within it who choose the side of Life.
Be kind to each other and help this world recover from its dark history. But trust not your eyes, for they have already deceived you.
July 4, 2020
It has been over two months since the Vaal’bara Historical Society published its book series, and the world has only fallen further into chaos. A global pandemic, riots in the streets, an entire continent burning… It’s hard not to give up hope altogether.
But there is hope hidden within this illness many of us have suffered, for it is by that very suffering that we know other unseen heroes fight for our cause. I take heart in the knowledge that we have not begun our transformation - that although dealing with a terrible tragedy, our race continues on unaltered by sinister powers thought unimaginable.
As we’ve diligently worked to complete the next Chronicle, I’ve gone over and over the events leading up to my time here at the Society, and it’s been difficult to reflect upon them. Carmen, it seems, was successful - at least as successful as she could be, given her limitations. I can’t help but allow my thoughts to linger on her. I miss her terribly. I wonder if that’s just residual Magic at work, or if she had that much of an effect on my life. Her willingness to sacrifice everything for the good of humanity was precisely the ideal we can never allow to slip from our grasp, but she also contained the very thing we should flee from if ever presented with its tainted power. Yet somehow she held both in play, kept herself in check long enough to give us a chance.
Where she is now, I cannot honestly say. Part of me refuses to accept that she may have met her end with this last disease; part of me knows there was no other way. Perhaps if I had reached out earlier, been forthcoming with my knowledge, chosen a different path, I could have corrected certain events. I’m sure my past will always haunt me. But that’s the funny thing with time: you really have no idea if you’ve corrected anything or simply aided in the destruction you’ve avoided until you’re standing in the aftermath of what you’ve forged.
But I know what I must do to honor her sacrifices and those of the others who have given their lives for our cause. I must tell the truth. We must tell the truth. We have to remind humanity of its true history, of its ties to Magic, of other worlds and civilizations, of its potential futures, because the only thing waiting for us if we refrain from rallying together is a fate worse than most can imagine.
It hasn’t been easy - it never will be - but here at the Society, we will continue to work tirelessly to get these volumes into the hands of everyone we possibly can. As we complete our translations of the seemingly endless scrolls and books we have recently gained access to, and document the visions we have witnessed through the Temploscope, please, share with all those around you what you have found. If we are to defeat this evil plague upon our world, we can’t let everything that has happened this year keep us from uniting as a single unified race, embracing our true Magical heritage.
Look forward to the future and let us become what we were meant to be, not what history tells us we will become.
April 20, 2020
The Vaal'bara Historical Society volumes 1-5 have officially entered distribution in paperback, hardcover, and ebook forms. As they are populated on various websites, it may take a while until everything appears as it should. If you do not see one of the volumes or options, please be patient; it will arrive in short order, with the hardcovers likely appearing last. During this time, the "procure here" links on the Books page may not be live.
April 22nd update - All volumes are now live, and links are working properly! The author page shows all available versions, and individual book pages are linked to each other.
Please keep in mind that these volumes are being printed "On demand," as we cannot yet stock inventory. Paperbacks will take a couple days to print, whereas the hardcovers may require a week.
March 31, 2020
I, Kristen Chambers - through an act far more intentional than fate - have taken over as Curator for the Vaal’bara Historical Society. I can honestly say it’s turning out to be tougher than I thought, given the strange happenings that occur on a near daily basis around here. Even so, everything has a beginning, and I’m looking forward to what we can achieve in the future.
While I have known Viktor for some time, I should say neither of us had any idea what hidden aspects lay within the others’ existence. After he chose to publish the Volumes he created with Laurence, I read them all, and only then realized the true meaning of many important events woven throughout my own travels.
I have continued to interact with Viktor during the brief times he resides within our realm, and have begun to outline the journey I myself have taken. It appears both of us have had some questionable interactions with a strange, dark man, and they weren’t by coincidence.
Viktor and I have taken the first steps toward utilizing the Temporal Locator Scope. Progress is slow, but it is indeed progress. Although its countless intricate parts appear alien and, in many cases, physically impossible, their arrangements and settings are all too familiar. That, too, I have learned, is not by coincidence.
You all will be able to read more of its repair, calibration, how we came to the conclusions we did, and what we witnessed after its activation in our next upcoming publication, which can be read before Volume I or after Volume V:
Ten Years of Darkness
A Vaal’bara Historical Society Chronicle