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C.L. Clark Books In Order

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Publication Order of Magic of the Lost Books

Publication Order of Anthologies

Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World That Wouldn’t Die(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
We’re Here: The Best Queer Speculative Fiction 2020(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding, Volume 2(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Flame Called Indiana(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

C.L. Clark
Author Cherae Clark is originally from Kansas City and graduated from Indiana University’s creative writing MFA. She has been an English teacher, a personal trainer, and an editor, and is some combo while traveling the world.

When not working or writing, she is doing some P90 something or other, learning languages, reading about war and post-colonial history.

Her work has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, PodCastle, Uncanny, and FIYAH. She’s also one of the co-editors at PodCastle. At PodCastle, she helps to make the final choices on stories, find some narrators, and some other behind-the-scenes things. Sometimes, she even is able to narrate and host, which she likes.

She was recruited by Jen and Khaalidah right at the end of 2018. she was reading for Clarkesworld during this time and they just published Cherae’s story “Burning Season” earlier that same year. It was funny timing since she was just leaving one country and job and attempting to find her next step, so a friend had her do some soul-searching. She told her that she would be fine just as long she was working in and with the fantasy genre.

As an editor, she’d like to see more queer swordshumans. However she generally wants more second world stories that take some old guard fantasy and do something new on it. They get a bunch of fairies and mermaids, which they aren’t against, however these stories will need to be fiercely unique.

Since she is a new editor, she feels like all of the stories she has gotten to have a hand in are these little treasures she has found and got to add into the hoard. One story she is really proud of is the full-cast recording they did of “Yo, Rapunzel” by Kyle Kirrin.

Cherae looks for sharp dialogue that uses rhetorical techniques well and an interesting narrative voice. Arresting imagery and story that’s easy to follow while listening (maybe even a little mildly distracted) is just as important.

She developed a writing professional callous. Everybody always says that rejections aren’t personal however it is hard to truly understand this until you’re behind the table. She has rejected friends, colleagues, and idols before moving on to the next coffee date, the next story. Cherae finds the best way to handle it all is just to always be courteous through it all.

Cherae has taught writing in the community from third graders up to the high school level, and has taught at summer camps. She also teaches creative writing to the undergraduate students at IU. She is an associate director of the IU Writing Conference, learning the Arts Administration side of the business.

Through teaching writing, she goes back to “The Traitor Baru Cormorant” by Seth Dickinson and finds she is drawn back to repeatedly because she wants to keep on learning from it. It’s also an exquisite construction of heartbreak. “Best Served Cold” by Joe Abercrombie, too.

Cherae has lived in London, Paris, Taiwan, Morocco, and different places in the US, and always looks for a new adventure, one that includes sword lessons.

The first story that made her fall in love with speculative fiction was probably “Sword in the Stone”. The one that made her jump into writing, though, was a two part illustrated version of “The Eye of the World” in paperback that was in her Scholastic book fair thing. It was the start of her end. She joined a few RPG writing sites (like SilkLantern) and found the “Lord of the Rings”, the adult fantasy section of the library, and it was all downhill from here.

Since she was an underrepped writer, she read a lot and wrote a lot. She began with a goal of writing a short story every quarter of the year and printing out a bunch of stories online to study. She failed at both goals, but got as much as feedback on her stories as she could, joining places like Online Writing Workshop and making some other writer friends that she could swap critiques with. Then she began submitting, took these rejections on the chin and kept on it.

Clark’s debut novel, called “The Unbroken”, was released in the year 2021. His work is from the political fantasy genre.

“The Unbroken” is the first novel in the “Magic of the Lost” series and was released in the year 2021. This is an epic tale of espionage, military might, and rebellion on the farther outreaches of one crumbling desert empire. It is about two women’s lives that are going to become changed irrevocably, one is a dethroned princess that saves a soldier haunted by her past. And it is set in a crumbling kingdom that was inspired by the deserts of North Africa.

Touraine’s a soldier. Stolen as a kid and raised to die and kill for the empire, her one loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. However, her company’s now been shipped back to her homeland in order to stop a rebellion, and the links of blood might just be stronger than she believed.

Luca needs a turncoat. Somebody that is desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between orders and treason. Somebody that will sway the rebels toward peace, as Luca focuses on what truly matters.

Through massacres and assassinations, in war rooms and bedrooms, Luca and Touraine are going to haggle over the cost of a nation. However some things just are not for sale.

Readers found this to be a thrilling read that is filled with queer and diverse characters. Fans loved the whole entire world-building element of this novel, which is multilayered and exquisite, the power dynamics are incredibly nuanced. It was skillfully and vividly constructed. The novel gets more intense as it goes on with the stakes getting higher and higher. Touraine is a fantastic protagonist, as she is badass, complicated, and brave.

Clark’s precise and thorough world building allows this incredible novel to do a deep dive into the intricate workings of colonialism, exposing how power structures are maintained through social conditioning and exploring the emotional toll of political conflict.

Book Series In Order » Authors » C.L. Clark

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