I finally received my physical copies of Mandate of Heaven over the weekend, and they look great!
I was also struck by the size difference between this book and my other, self-published works. Mandate of Heaven clocks in at about 73,000 words; standard fare for the action/adventure genre.
Now compare it to my longest work, Her Name Was Abby.
Her Name Was Abby ended up being about 160,000 words, well over twice as long as Mandate of Heaven. But that was a different, more niche genre, plus I stand by the size of my self-published works. They’re long stories but I wouldn’t have them be any shorter!
I’m a firm believer that stories should be just as long as they need to be. I won’t chop down or fluff up a work just to meet a certain word count. The story always dictates word count for me, not the other way around.