Orc Sworn FAQ

Have questions about Orc Sworn? Here are some answers to some common questions I’ve heard, some as part of of Romantically Inclined Reviews’ awesome article here.

If you have more questions, I’d love to hear from you! And for more a more general FAQ with me, click here.

What’s coming next in the Orc Sworn series?

Right now, I’m working on Orc Sworn #8, The Beauty and the Orcs, and it will finally tell the tale of our Grisk disaster boys Varinn and Thrain! These two DEFINITELY need some help from a patient woman, hehe.

Other full-length stories I’d love to tell in the near-ish future include another Ka-esh tale, a Skai MMF tale with Killik and Ulfarr (SOOO many plans), and a return to the Bautul with Kalfr (who has been waiting a long time, I know!). And, I’d love to return to the Orc Forged series too (with a Olarr/Aulis Gerrard story, perhaps?).

I also recently started a Patreon, and I’m hoping to share a few extra stories there as well. My holiday novella Yuled by the Orcs is currently on there, and I have quite a few other little tales/backstories sketched out that I’d love to write properly!

If you have other thoughts on what you’d like to see next, I’d love to hear them on my Discord server or Facebook group!

Are the rest of the Orc Sworn books coming to audio?

Yes! Our incredible narrator Shane East has been confirmed for the full Orc Sworn series to date, AND the Orc Forged series as well. The Midwife and the Orc is set for April 2023, and the rest should be coming throughout 2023. I’m so thrilled to keep working with Shane, and our fabulous team at Podium Audio!

Do you have a discreet paperback option?

I’m currently working on discreet hardcovers for The Lady and the Orc, The Heiress and the Orc, and The Librarian and the Orc. More news coming soon!

How can I learn more about the Orc Sworn world?

To start, I hope you’ll find your own clan through the Orc Sworn Clan Quiz! You can also check out our Orc Sworn Artwork, Glossary, Map, and Character List.

To meet up with other Orc Sworn fans, I highly recommend my Discord server, Facebook group, or Patreon! We hold in-depth book release discussions on all three channels, and Patreon and Discord both include LOTS of delicious official artwork. On Patreon, you can also get extra bonus content, exclusive art, and Orc Sworn swag, while Discord has a huge fanworks archive full of Orc Sworn fics and fanart (and we’d welcome your contributions too!).

Finally, to get the latest Orc Sworn news and updates (and all my bonus epilogues), please sign up to my newsletter here! I only email about once a month or so, and I do my best to make sure they’re full of fun info and artwork for you.

Why do you write about orcs?

For me, books have always been about escaping into another world… ideally one that doesn’t include any glaring reminders of one’s all-too-human ex, ha! I love that orcs are so removed from our own reality, while also giving us so many opportunities to explore perennial themes like acceptance, desire, forgiveness, and growth. Also, huge, scarred, scary monsters are just really hot, right?! 

What are your orcs based on?

A lot of my Orc Sworn world originally spun out from Grimarr, the hero from The Lady and the Orc. I really wanted to write about a big, burly, rough-and-tumble, and very messy (heh) monster hero… but I also wanted him to be a real, well-developed character, with a distinctive culture, religion, history, and code of ethics.

So as I worked through sketches for The Lady and the Orc (which I spent almost a year writing), I ended up taking a lot of inspiration from Old Norse legends and culture… those wild old Vikings from the sagas were often VERY orc-like, right? I’m also a huge language geek, and tried to give many of my orcs’ speech a strong Germanic/Old English flavour. And as I’ve written these books, I’ve been continually inspired by so many incredible visual artists who have so generously shared their orc interpretations with the world.

That said, of course you can’t talk about orcs without talking about Tolkien. And while I personally still love Lord of the Rings, and can’t deny its huge influence in our cultural imagination (and therefore also my books) — I absolutely recognize the equally huge issues with how Tolkien described and depicted his orcs. I truly want my stories to be part of our larger reclamation of orcs, and a deeper exploration of the other side of the tale.

I hated Grimarr! Why did you write him to be so [cruel, devious, awful, etc]?

This is a comment I get a LOT, so I thought I’d add it here. I definitely realize that Grimarr is a contentious character, but I truly wrote him in what I felt was a realistic way. I personally find stories far more compelling when the characters have significant, complicated conflicts — of upbringing, culture, values, goals, priorities — and while I LOVE romance for its escapism, I sometimes struggle to believe in a story’s happy ending when these kinds of conflicts get swept away too easily.

So. In writing Grimarr and Jule’s story, I truly felt that Grimarr was a deeply conflicted — but consistent — character who’d backed himself into an impossible corner, and as a result, he chose to deceive both Jule and himself. When he promises Jule he’ll do better, make it work for 40 days, etc., my intention in writing it was that he DID believe that as truth at the time. In my alternate Grimarr POV (I often sketch these out as I go along), Grimarr rarely tells what he believes are lies to Jule’s face, but instead chooses to lie by omission. Not ideal, obviously, but we also see that Jule isn’t honest with him on multiple occasions as well, which in turn gives him mental justification to do what he feels is the same.

Also (trigger warning) I get a lot of comments that Grimarr is abusive. But having (unfortunately) spent a fair amount of time up close and personal with truly abusive people, I honestly don’t feel that this is the case. Throughout the book, Grimarr makes a genuine effort to listen to Jule, and learn, and change for the better. The kinds of choices he makes at the start of their relationship are NOT consistently made throughout. In my experience, abusive people often make plenty of claims about change (which, to be fair, Grimarr does)… but they do not change. They repeat the same kinds of actions and patterns again and again, and often escalate them, rather than learning or growing, or seeking to make true amends for their wrongs.

How do you pronounce “ach”?

My orcs DO love to say “ach”, haha. And while I’m definitely happy for you to use whatever pronunciation feels best for you, in my own brain (in keeping with my Old English/Germanic-inspired orc dialect) I hear them saying it the German way. If it helps, you can hear samples here, or watch a video here

For more Orc Sworn pronunciations, check out my glossary here!

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