Jackie asked, "When are we going to see a teaser/hook/pitch/tidbit of Star Swans?"
I'm going to share a couple of quotes from Star Swans' most recent critique--the first because it made me happy and the second because it's causing me stress.
"I am absolutely in love with what this book could be. You have so many golden moments in here, so much that made me smile--and the story! You have so much of it! Furthermore, it's just classic enough to feel familiar when we slip into it, but it very much has its own flavor, which makes it fun and new. I really don't think I've ever read a book with a style like yours."
"I really think this needs to be more than one book. You have so much story, so much great story that I don't think you want to cram it into 90k words. This overarching story could and should take 300k words or more, spread out in (I think) three books. Yes, I just said three hundred thousand words. Don't freak out--you have an advantage in that you have written a rough draft of much of the series. That will help you."
So, now I'm deciding what to do with Q's advice, most of which was spot on. Star Swans has serious pacing issues that this would almost completely solve, but (much as I love this story) I didn't mean to spend the next five years of my life on it. I've known that I needed to write a prequel and a sequel since the second draft, but my CP wasn't referring to those. For fun, I wrote a teaser for each book that Star Swans would become if I split it into three.
The Star Swan: When Jaavan's mother becomes fatally ill, his best friend, Lani, suggests they seek healing from the Immortal Emperor's Star Swan, but even as they befriend the Star Swan, Jaavan learns how its master bound ghosts to become who he is and how the ancestors of the most important people in his life fought him.
The Mountain Shadows: Jaavan travels to Feoras where the Immortal Emperor holds Lani, but first, his mother and he have to cure the illness that the Immortal Emperor infected his mother's family with hundreds of years previously and find his father among the Mountain Shadows.
The Sarki: In Feoras, Jaavan is betrayed to and protected from the Immortal Emperor by his sarki, and his hope that their master will take him and let Lani go are dashed from the beginning, but as Jaavan gets to know their master and his concerns, the Immortal Emperor's refusal to release Lani becomes the only major contention between them.
They're all a bit rough still, but it's not like I'm querying at the moment. I'll get to the rest of your questions over the next couple of weeks. Thanks for asking them!