Witch Blood was my second novel. I was totally blocked on what to write after Cats Have No Lord, so I decided to write a simple sex-and-adventure sword-and-sorcery disposable novel. I figured whenever I didn't know what to write next, I could yell at Emma, "I'm stuck!" and she could yell, "What did you write last?" and if it was an adventure scene, I could yell, "Adventure," and she could yell, "Sex!"
Which worked fairly well when I started writing, but then the story started becoming more interesting than I had expected. So I made it a little more ambitious in the next drafts, and Terri Windling bought it. It got nice reviews:
"Shetterly is a genuinely witty writer." —West Coast Review of Books
"A funny, exciting adventure story that delighted me from beginning to end." —Orson Scott Card in Worlds of IfThe current draft of the short sales pitch goes like this: Rifkin Outcast, hunted by the assassins of Moon Isle, becomes trapped in a ruined castle where a tiny band of witches are besieged by an army that's ten times their size. His choices? Save them, betray them, or die with them.
And here's a lightly revised version of the original back cover sales copy:
When I was a boy in the western fishing village of Loh, I was chosen by the wandering priests of the Warrior Saint to master her Art. Though no one would think me a priest or a saint, I learned my lessons well. I've had half the assassins of Moon Isle on my trail, and still I survive.
After all these years, the art of war runs in my blood. And now—without warning—the art of magic as well...
In Kindle format at Amazon.com: Witch Blood
As an epub file at BARNES & NOBLE | Witch Blood
In multiple formats at Smashwords — Witch Blood
And it'll be showing up at other ebook sites soon.
People have been nagging me to do a sequel for ages. This may be the year that finally happens, if life doesn't throw any major surprises.