Author Update: Talking Magic, Capitalism, and Accessibility with Casey, Patrick Rothfuss, K Arsenault Rivera, Martha Wells, and more!

Hey everyone! Life continues to be quite chaotic and I’ve been bad at keeping you all in the loop on some goings-on, but I wanted to quickly drop a note that I’ll be streaming on Twitch with a few of the panels this week as part of the Worldbuilders Something to Look Forward To fundraiser! Worldbuilders is an incredible organisation that has raised money year after year for charities such as Heifer International, and I am so honoured to be able to participate.

This week, we’ll be bringing you several days of panels, writer roundtables, writing advice, game streams, and more! Check out the full schedule here.

I’ll be contributing to the following events (all times in US Central time):


Tuesday Dec. 8th

@ 11am CT Creativity, Capitalism, & Connecting

Featuring: Jennifer Kretchmer, Casey Lucas-Quaid, Malka Older PH.D.


Tuesday Dec. 8th

@ 3-4pm CT Magic Systems and How To Create Them

Featuring: Patrick Rothfuss, K Arsenault Rivera, Casey Lucas-Quaid


Friday Dec. 11th 

@ 11am CT Inclusive & Accessible Worldbuilding in Different Media

Featuring: Martha Wells, Casey Lucas-Quaid, Jenn Lyons, Mike Selinker, S.B. Divya.


Being able to kick back and talk shop with such an incredible crew of writers, professionals, and people is the bees knees, and getting to do it all for charity is even better! I hope you’ll come pay us a visit!

I know times are hard for everyone right now, but if you enjoy any of this content, please consider a donation to Worldbuilders. Every donation gets you in the draw to win kickass prizes, too!

Author Update – I won the thing! And a software update borked the website, but it’s fixed now

(Edited as of 10th Aug, 11pm – it’s all working again! Hooray!)

Hi all,

My life is a neverending torrent of stress, be it good and bad, at the moment, so I will keep this brief:

Thank you SO much to everyone who voted for me and Into the Mire at this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards! I am thrilled to announce that we took home the Best Short Story win. I was more than happy to lose the Best Collected Work nod to Marie Hodgkinson’s excellent anthologies, so I don’t consider that a loss in any way. 🙂

Now that we’re award winners… well, nothing much is going to change around here, honestly.

In addition to the happy news, I have been alerted by a reader that the recent WordPress update has broken the site’s hyperlink structure. This is not great. This is in addition to the fact that WordPress somehow altered my group rewrite privileges on my own install directories, which means it’s been impossible to make major changes to the website without accessing the FTP manually, which is a time consuming process compared to WP’s quickie editor. This is why parts of the website look garbage and bad. Unfortunately, been work and WorldCon and some post-WorldCon publicity efforts I’ve been wrapped up in, I haven’t even had a chance to sit down and look at it.

I have implemented a fix for the permalink on the Table of Contents Page for the time being and will manually be fixing hyperlinks on chapters shortly. (Ed note – as above, this is fixed now, leaving the post up for posterity.)

This is all stuff I know how to fix, it’s just that I’ve had approximately 45 minutes of alone time per day since maybe July, and my health hasn’t been great, so I tend to spend any second I’m not working just collapsed in an unconscious pile.

On the bright side, I’ve successfully moved up to the north island of New Zealand, although uh, none of my belongings have arrived yet, which is a little alarming considering the movers said “first week of August.” I am assuming my furniture will return from the war someday.

As an apology for the continual slowness of updates on the Patreon, I’ve put together something really cool, it’s just that the website breaking means I haven’t been able to upload it yet. Typical.

Those who know me have said in the past that my life is basically what would happen if a D&D player rolled a 1 or a 20 on every single roll for every minor event in their lives. I’m in a weird headspace about it but honestly that seems accurate given the current state of affairs.

Because of the way life is, Wednesdays are no longer a good update day for me. I’m going to shift things to the weekend, when hopefully I have a chance to catch up on some sleep and edit with a clear brain before posting. I have a huge backlog of the serial written already, it’s just that I feel uncomfortable posting chapters that haven’t been fully, comprehensibly edited by me at my most awake.

I’m sorry if I sound terse or frustrated–I am stressed out, but trust that I am very happy, and I am still very committed to this work, even if life seems determined to shove me off a series of increasingly taller cliffs.

Thank you for your votes and for your reading and for spending your hard-earned leisure time on, of all things, my web fiction. It means so much that so many of you have been here leaving comments and reading along for multiple years now!

Please be well, please be safe, and pet your cats and dogs for me. (And birds if they’re okay with it, probably not fish.)

Author Update: Nominated for the Sir Julius Vogel awards! Rad new art!

Hi everyone! It’s been a very long time since I wrote an author update, so I figured I’d say hi and explain what’s been going on in my corner of the world.

For starters, I have some extremely cool newsInto the Mire has been nominated for the Sir Julius Vogel award, New Zealand’s top literary prize in science fiction and fantasy. I posted about it in the comments section yesterday, but for those who might not have seen, I’ll drop a brief rundown: I’ve had it confirmed by the committee that I’m on the longlist for Best Collected Work (Mire) and Best Short Story this year. That was for my short A Shriek Across the Sky, a tale about a father-son fishing trip that turns malevolently, eldritchly bad. You can read it free online in SPONGE magazine! And there’s even an audio edition if you’re into that sort of thing. 🙂

Making the shortlist of the Vogels comes down to a popular vote, and because my life has been extremely chaotic lately, I didn’t get around until posting the link until now. To which I say: whoops, my bad. But also, life has been really, really chaotic. 

Anyway, I’ve written a little guide on how to fill out the voting form as well as a link to the form itself. If you had two minutes to spare and you’ve enjoyed Mire at all over the years, I’d really appreciate it if you filled this out for me.

Again, joke’s on me for waiting so long, because voting closes in… uh, 30 hours. Whoops.

All the support I’ve had from readers over the years–the lovely comments, the fanart, the votes on TopWebFiction–has helped get Mire to this point, so really, truly thank you for helping my little side project grow this much. 🙂

And in completely unrelated news, I finally get to show off some absolutely jaw-dropping art! These are courtesy of an incredible artist named Floaty. He isn’t currently taking commissions but you can find him on twitter here.

Can I just… WOW, the hair! The details on the face!
Aaaah he looks so haunted. There’s something really creepy about this one in the best way.
THE ATTITUDE. The head tilt! Seriously I can’t stop staring at these.

I am just… completely floored. Floaty captured their personalities so perfectly. 😭 It’s always so thrilling to see artists bring my characters to life. Thank you to everyone who’s posted doodles on the Discord server, too! We have a gallery up there with all the art pinned if you haven’t stopped by and want to check it out. I keep meaning to set up a gallery page on the website but things are a little messed up in Caseyville at the moment.

(What follows is a long ramble about my personal life, please don’t feel obligated to read it unless you’re curious why I wasn’t able to update for a while, heh.)

As some of you know, I travelled to the US in Feb as I had a death in the family. After being knocked down for a few weeks in the USA with a mysterious respiratory illness, I managed to sneak back to New Zealand just as the pandemic was really spreading and things were starting to shut down. Unfortunately, I was supposed to be moving house from NZ’s south island to the North Island. I had everything all packed up and ready to go, even signed a lease on a new place, got the utilities connected…

… And then our country went into complete lockdown for 4 weeks. I was able to get a flight, but my husband was not. Rather than go a month without my partner and my cat, I made the difficult choice to abandon the new flat and move back south so I wouldn’t be alone, especially as I’m still recovering from my illness. We got the family together in the nick of time.

This means of course having to re-unpack my shit for the SECOND time (after the big trip to the US) and working out how to fully work from home. Then my partner lost his job and I had to take on some extra hours at one of my job to ensure everything stays all right financially… as we’re now paying two sets of bills and rent on the house which I’m not able to live in until quarantine is over.

In short, life’s been pretty flippin’ wild. But things are a little more stable now and I’ve got a desk to work from and very gratefully both my jobs are in industries that should be stable for the next… however long. I’m looking forward to getting back into writing and escaping back into Riss and co’s world again, because it’s always been very cathartic for me.

Times are a little weird right now. I apologise if this comes off as kind of emotionally distant or spacey, I’ve been exhausted and brain-dead for a while now and it’s tough to find the words for things. Times are weird and anxious all over the world and it feels silly to focus on things like book awards, but on the other hand I guess it’s a very human thing to do, seeking out little pockets of normalcy when everything’s all topsy-turvy.

Anyway, if you’ve made it to the end of this–thanks for reading! I’m sorry for disappearing. I’m very lucky to have a home, a job, and a family to look out for right now. And I hope that by updating regularly again I’ll be able to provide a little distraction when folks might need it.

Take care, and feel free to stop by the Discord and say hi if you wanna shoot the shit a bit.

Author Update – New Discord server, upcoming prequel serial, and some fantastic art

Hi, guys! A couple people have commented asking if I’d be keen to start a Discord server. That’s a thing that never occurred to me before, but why not? You can now join the Into the Mire Discord here.

As promised in the one year anniversary post, I’ve got a lot of neat stuff lined up for the coming months. I’m especially excited to announce that Patreon subscribers on any level will soon have access to early drafts of a prequel serial featuring Gaz and Calay’s adventures in Vasile. This will roll out in May, so if you aren’t subscribed now and want to be, you’ve got plenty of time.

I’m very passionate about not locking content behind a paywall forever though, so if money is tight, don’t worry–everything posted on the Patreon will be public eventually. I just want to reward my supporters by letting them read my terrible early drafts. Seems more like a punishment than a reward, doesn’t it?

Lastly, I want to show off this amazing fanart done by cynthpop over on tumblr! I am blown away by her interpretations of Gaz and Calay, and since I’m already talking about their prequel book, it seemed like an appropriate time to show these off. 😀


Thanks so much for the fanart, wonderful comments, emails, and just being a reader for all this time. Every morning I wake up and find these things in my inbox it brings a smile to my face. I hope you all stick around after Book 1 wraps up and we start to swing into the real crazy shit next adventure!

Author Update – Into the Mire is one year old today!

Adal & Riss by the wonderful @rabdoidal (check him out on twitter and tumblr!)

Raise a glass, swamp fiends. Today, Into the Mire turns 1! Thanks for sticking with me, whether you’ve been reading for a year or a week.

This week I’ll be dropping a bonus update and some additional bits and pieces to celebrate. I can’t thank you enough for reading and supporting this project of mine. It’s gotten me through some pretty rough times in the last 52 weeks and I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to share these characters with you all.

With the end of Book 1 rapidly approaching, I’m excited to open up the wider Continental world to you all. Just a couple days ago, I penned the final words on the outline of Book 5. There’s a lot more in store for our heroes and I hope you stay along for the ride.

Author Update – Calay variant cover & Patreon launch

Hi swamp friends, I’m finally getting around to posting an update. I got knocked down pretty hard over the holidays by acquiring whooping cough (yes, in 2019), but I’ve managed to maintain my update schedule and I’m pretty pleased for that.

A few people have asked in the comment section if/when I’d be starting a Patreon, and I can finally say that day is today! I don’t expect it to set the world on fire, but I am extremely flattered that people want to support my work, and I may as well give them the opportunity to do so.

If you’d like to check it out, the Patreon can be found here.

You’ll see on that Patreon header a handsome alternate cover art that I’ve been saving for just such an opportune moment. Thanks again to George Cotronis for his phenomenal work.

And a close-up, because ugh, it’s just so good.

If you can’t tell by the header images on the Patreon page, there is more art in the works, and I am dying to show it all off! I have the most talented friends/family/readers alive and there are currently three artists putting their collective noggins together to bring these characters to life.

Thank you as always for reading. And I’d like to note here that just because I now have a Patreon doesn’t mean I’m going to start locking things up behind a paywall. This is a project I started for fun, and while it would be cool to earn some money so I can spend more time on it, I appreciate the spirit of the internet of old, where content was free and easily accessible. Everything posted on the Patreon will eventually be published on the site, Patrons just get to see it a little sooner.

I’m looking forward to carrying this story into 2019 and wrapping up Volume 1! The next volume is fully outlined and ready to go and I can’t wait to share with you the continued adventures of the Swamp Squad.

Author Update – Q&A this week

Hi everyone! I’ve noticed a few people have left lore- and story-related questions on some recent chapters, so I figured it seemed like a fine time to do an author Q&A.

I’ve set up a curiouscat account and will be taking questions this week, then posting an update with answers next weekend. I’ve rounded up questions from the last few blog comments and will be answering those too.

If you’ve ever wanted to know any specifics about who I am, other things I write, where I get my ideas, or world-specific questions that haven’t been answered in the text of the story, this is the place!

Please note some answers may be spoilery, but I’ll warn you if that’s the case.

Thanks for your interest in my work and I hope you’re all enjoying Vol 1 as it heads into its final act.

Author Update – A minor formatting change and bonus update

Hi all! This is an incredibly short blog post just to note that I’ve changed the formatting slightly in all dream sequences and flashback chapters. This is more for backend purposes so it will be easier to give them custom formatting when Vol 1 is finished and I compile the ebooks, but I wanted to warn you. If you use a screen reader or other accessibility software and it interrupts your reading process, please let me know because there are options I can tweak and it’s no big deal to tweak them.

And since I’m talking flashbacks, I couldn’t help but post a bonus update.

Thank you so much for your comments on chapters and for your continued support. Writing this serial and getting to post updates has become a favourite part of my week.

I hope you continue to enjoy the story!

Author Update – Cover art has arrived and bonus chapter coming tomorrow!

Hi everyone!

I don’t write on the blog here terribly often as I let the story speak for itself, but I wanted to say hello to the recent spike in new readers. It’s great to see the story gaining traction and I enjoy reading all your comments. Since Mire is a labour of love, it’s encouraging and motivating to see such nice feedback.

I’d also like to reveal an INCREDIBLY BITCHIN’ ‘cover’ art done by George of Cotronis and Sons Illustration. There’s a Riss and a Calay variant, and they are so cool my heart basically stops every time I look at them.

I’ll be re-tooling the website some to incorporate the new art over the next few days, so don’t be alarmed if you notice any sudden changes.

I wanted to share a little bit about my upcoming plans for the series, since I’ve had some free time to do a lot of juicy outlining lately. I do intend for Mire to be ongoing after Adventure #1 continues. As well as the continued adventures of Riss & Co. as their mercenary reputation grows and their clients grow stranger, there are also volumes planned for party backstories.

I’ve completed outlines thus far for the following books:

1. The story of Gaspard Marcinen’s journey from death row to the Inland Army, and how he grew to become one of its most notorious figureheads.

2. Calay’s rise to power in the Vasa underworld, culminating in the betrayal that led to his arrest and eventual outing as a sorcerer.

3. The formation of the mercenary company as told through a series of letters between Adalgis as he recuperated from his war wounds and Riss while she was still serving on the southern front.

4. The actual Adventure #2, which involves a legendary outlaw being chased across the continent by a murderous postal worker, and how they both attempt to enlist the help of our favourite mercenaries to take the other out.

I’m so thrilled with the response this story has generated online. Thank you sincerely to each and every one of you who has read, commented, voted on TopWebFiction, left a review, or just shared the link with friends and family. It’s great to see people are enjoying reading this story as much as I’m enjoying writing it.

To celebrate how jazzed I am about the cover art, I’ll be releasing an extra bonus chapter tomorrow. 🙂

Author Update – So what’s all this, then? A brief introduction

I told myself I wasn’t going to start a blog for this site. I’ve started blogs before and I usually end updating them twice and never looking at them again. But enough people have asked me about this project that I figured I’d put together an introduction post at least to explain a little about why I chose this medium and why I’m publishing Into the Mire the way I am.

So why a web serial? Why publish Into the Mire as web fiction rather than writing it and publishing it all in one go on say Amazon? Or why not publish it on a site like Wattpad with an inbuilt audience and rating system?

The characters and world behind Into the Mire have been kicking around in my head a long time. Riss as a character sprung from a short story idea I was working on a few years ago, but I decided that the background I was writing in my head took up more space than a short story had to offer.

I’m no stranger to longer works, having professionally ghostwritten a number of novels now. I’ve also completed NaNoWriMo twice and completed two unpublished novels that I keep telling myself I’ll edit and shop around one day. So when my scattered story ideas started coalescing into something that more closely resembled a novel, I wasn’t ever worried about whether I’d be able to finish it.

I was more worried about when I’d ever start it.

The problem with being a professional writer in any capacity is that client work tends to take precedence over passion projects. I can’t speak for everyone, but on a personal level, I tend to feel guilty working on personal projects when I have paying work waiting to be completed. Plus there’s that whole thing where I like being able to buy groceries and pay the electric bill.

While outlining the book that would eventually become Into the Mire, I kept telling myself I’d start working on it when I could. “Could” was nebulous and ill-defined. Sometimes it meant when my arthritis wasn’t acting up. Sometimes it meant when I didn’t have a bunch of client work on the backburner. Sometimes it meant when I was feeling a little less overworked.

When working on a ghostwriting project, I’m capable of sitting down and churning out a book in about a month or less. My first NaNoWriMo project clocked in at 88,000 words and was written before the deadline expired. My most recent ghostwritten novel clocked in at 74,000 words written in about 30 days. So when I envisioned myself writing Into the Mire I envisioned myself taking a month off from all other work and then just sitting down and writing the thing in one month-long orgiastic Scrivener spasm.

But that month kept not happening. Unexpected expenses came up. My health intervened. I got invited onto new volunteer projects that ate up free time. I just kept not having a spare month to sit down and write a book.

So then a completely unheard-of idea occurred to me. I could… write the book gradually. A chapter or so at a time. While working on other stuff.

AMAZING, right? Why didn’t anyone else ever think of that!

Sarcasm, aside, slowly working on projects over lengthy spans of time is not normally how I write. My history in journalism and ghostwriting has led to a tendency to set tight deadlines and keep them.

So I decided to publish Into the Mire as a web novel specifically because that was a completely different approach to my usual.

I liked the idea of setting a weekly deadline. Nothing too crazy, just a chapter a week so that I’d for-sure stick with it. A chapter a week meant I could happily work on client projects and wouldn’t have to stress if I had a bad health week, and all that has been true so far.

As for publishing it on my own site rather than Wattpad or Webnovel or Radish or any of those other sites, well, it all kind of boils down to impatience and a vague sense of art. Not that I think stuff published on those platforms can’t be art. Not that I think stuff you pay for can’t be art. Those are silly notions and I wish more artists would disabuse themselves of that school of thought.

I guess it’s more artistic control. Having never written on Wattpad or Webnovel or Radish, my explorations of their sites just didn’t quite look like what I wanted my reading platform to look like. Sort of like a printed book, I wanted this project to have a particular feel. As close to a textural element as you can get on a mobile-responsive WordPress site. Short of actually throwing in illustrations and animations (the former of which I’m actually looking into, as funds allow), I wanted it to have a visual theme element.

The colours, the typography, the little rotating spoopy swamp header images – I’m a firm believer that all those little visual touches add up to the atmosphere, even in a small way. Chalk it up to playing a lot of video games and reading a lot of graphic novels as a kid. I think little bits and pieces like that can clue one into the atmosphere of a story. I like having control over them. I do plan on compiling Into the Mire into ebooks as volumes are completed, and rest assured they will be lushly-formatted little things. (I know a professional formatter; she’s amazing.)

There’s also an element of impatience. If I just sit down and put it all together myself, I can put it together when I want to, daddy, damn it, not later. Self-publishing on my own site means I can indulge my inner Violet Beauregarde and satisfy my visual control freak tendencies at the same time.

I hope this has explained a little behind my motivations. I think web fiction is a fantastic medium, and while it may not be as lucrative as other options and this platform may not draw a large readerbase like promoting on Wattpad might, I’m all right with that.

Thanks very much for reading either way. I hope you enjoy the story. If you’ve read all the way through to Chapter 11, you’re in for a real mess* as things progress.

*The fun kind of mess.

If you’d like to get in touch with me for any reason, I’m easily accessible on Twitter as @CaseyLucasQuaid.

Happy reading,