Genre: High fantasy
Length: 379 pages
Release Date: June 17th, 2022
Calligraphy Guild is my passion project. From the characters, to their relationships, to the world, to just… all the little details, I love this story. The concept originated from my own idealized “what if?” scenario: What if writing was consistently a group activity? What if there was a physical place for a group of writers to come together to support each other and build relationships with one another and write together and learn the craft as a group? Combine that with a dream about magic ink and… boom! Calligraphy Guild was born.
I started working on Calligraphy Guild in about August of 2019, and I worked consistently for nearly three years until it was complete! It went through six rounds of edits before I sent it to sensitivity readers, followed by beta-readers, and a professional line editor. It’s been amazing to see Calligraphy Guild come together more and more with each progressive draft, and it is wild to have a completed novel after so many years of work. The impact that Calligraphy Guild has had on readers thus far has blown me away, and I’m so excited to see it reach even more people!
Dragon ink gives calligraphers the power to set history in stone—or to change it.
Lai Duyên’s dreams are realized when she’s admitted into the ranks of the calligraphers, authors considered trustworthy enough to defend time from those who would change it. She’s thrilled at the opportunity to record her country’s history, and to work with the other calligraphers in her village.
But when Duyên’s guild is set upon by ancient dragons demanding a time-changer be destroyed, her world is flipped upside down. Her guildmates turn on each other, suspicion coloring their every move. To make matters worse, she’s begun hearing the dragons in her head and finds them impossible to block out: a condition that rendered her grandmother insane.
With the calligraphy guild in turmoil and Duyên’s ever-present fear of madness clouding her vision, will the group be able to discover which of their guildmates has altered time before the dragons pass judgment on them all?
I love the characters of Calligraphy Guild, and I’m so excited to share them with readers! Here are some brief snapshots of the eight calligraphy guild members. (All images found on Pinterest.)
Lai Duyên – Primary protagonist
Enneagram type: 9
Youngest member of the guild, at 17. Adores her job and the people she gets to work with.
Lôi Tora – Additional protagonist
Enneagram type: 8
One of the guild’s favorite members. Struggles with chronic illness.
Sairsha Kincaid – Additional protagonist
Enneagram type: 2
A painter as well as a calligrapher. Native Sacharan.
Manh Zen – Mentor
Enneagram type: 3
Guildmaster. Treats his guild members like family.
Tăng Ryuu – Love interest (to Duyên)
Enneagram type: 7
Great sense of humor. Second-youngest guild member (19).
Masaki Chaska – Supporting character
Enneagram type: 1
Mother of two young boys. Puts her family first over anything.
Li Mika – Minor antagonist/Supporting character
Enneagram type: 4
Single mother. New to the guild and slow to open up.
Hou Raiden – Supporting character
Enneagram type: 3
Wants to be one of the Emperor’s calligraphers someday. Attentive to detail.
Duyên stepped onto the porch as a peal of thunder rolled in the distance. She looked up at the dark clouds gathering over the jungle and frowned. The sunset was coming faster than usual.
With a quick glance, Duyên spotted Ryuu looking up at the sky before stepping down from the porch. She hurried over to him and set a hand on his arm. “Do you want some company? I could walk you home.”
Ryuu smiled a little and offered her his elbow, but his eyes didn’t hold the sparkle they usually did. “Shouldn’t I be the one walking you home?”
Duyên hooked her arm through his and tried to give a reassuring smile, but she doubted it was effective.
The two of them walked in silence, the thunder growing louder as the storm approached. Duyên set her head against Ryuu’s arm, wishing she could do something more to make him feel better.
Just as the Lai house came into view, raindrops started to hit Duyên’s skin. She raised her head and looked up at Ryuu. “Race you to the door?”
Ryuu chuckled and unhooked his arm from hers. The two of them took off, racing the rain, but the rain turned to a downpour a few feet from the house and they were soaked by the time they stepped onto the porch.
Duyên turned back to Ryuu. “Do you want to borrow an umbrella?”
Ryuu shrugged. “I’ll be all right. Thanks, though.”
Duyên frowned. “Are you sure?”
Ryuu nodded and leaned down to kiss her forehead. “Have a good evening, Duyên.”
If you’d like to read the full first chapter (as it currently stands), you can sign up to my newsletter for the password and check it out here! (The image below will link you to my newsletter sign-up page.)
For all of the written lore and information I currently have on Virilia, check out my World Anvil!
Also, check out this beautiful ambient track of Hairen village that my best friend made. ^-^
All of the blog posts I can find that refer to Calligraphy Guild or Virilia: