the Author

State of the Author, August 2017 edition

Posted in Books, Cast, DAW, Elantra, Essalieyan, writing.

I had really hoped to be able to write this yesterday, because I could then tell myself it was still July.

But, it’s not July, it’s the begin­ning of August.

When I went to Australia, War was at 340k words. I thought it would be 30k words to the end. Where in this case, thought prob­ably means “prayed”. This is not, as you know from the last blog post, what happened.

Today, I have typed the figu­ra­tive “THE END” on War. It is, as it currently stands, 430k words. This is too long. Not neces­sarily for readers, but my poor, poor editor. And publisher. So while I have typed “THE END”, my part in that book is not yet over. I have to revise, fix the eight million typos, and find things that can be cut without harming what the book is. But: for better or worse, what I’m doing now is pruning and reshaping. The book itself exists. It is done.

And this means that I am now starting the next CAST novel and the Severn short story. Finally. When my head is caught up in the end of a book, the book and the story struc­ture and the little things about bringing the end home effec­tively eat up my writing brain.

But in this case, since “end of book” was about 90k words, it means that’s all of the writing I’ve been doing for all of July and the last half of June. So: my brain — or what is left of it — is now once again open to other stories.

That’s the first bit of news.

Second: I know that not many people use the forums here, but some still do, and … we have migrated to different forum soft­ware, which was inter­esting and which is not entirely perfect yet. I exper­i­mented with a short post about Valerian, the movie. In part this was because the old version was not supported, and we require the spam filters, which are actu­ally good.

And third: I have sold two more CAST novels to HLQ/HCP. They don’t have titles, so I can’t actu­ally tell you anything else about them yet, beyond the fact that the first of the two starts where Cast in Decep­tion leaves off.


(Edited to add: I managed to delete this post the first time I posted it because my brains have mostly drib­bled out my ears due to heat and book’s end. So, I apol­o­gize if you get two emails, and the first one takes you to 404, page not found >.<)

61 Responses to State of the Author, August 2017 edition

  1. I look forward to War. I have loved this series from the very begin­ning, and in some ways I don’t want it to end, but all things end. And that is as it should be.

    Will we see War this year, or next?

    90k, 6 weeks. That’s some serious effort!

    Yes, fix the typos. Leave all the words. :)


  2. Joey says:

    Hello blog post “1865 – 2” possibly aka “state-of-the-writer-august-2017-edition”! I think I’m replying to the former.

    Congrat­u­la­tions on the comple­tion of WAR!

    Yay for two more oppor­tu­ni­ties for a CAST IN NETS!

    Miscel­la­neously, I’m inter­ested in your “Valerian …” post. I plan to see it.

    Happy August!

  3. michelle says:

    @Joey: what I said on twitter was: It’s a GREAT movie, but unfor­tu­nately, it’s not (neces­sarily) a good one.

    It is objec­tively better than Jupiter Ascending, which I also enjoyed, to the chagrin of some. But very different, to me.

  4. merie says:

    Thank you for keeping us all in the loop. It is very appri­ci­ated. I hate to ask you this but, you say War is finish which means It will be in stores when? Not trying to push you but so anxious to get it. You also say that you sold two more Cast books, are they already written or they are on your to-do list? What is HLQ/HCP. Not too inform in the author ‘s language. So happy to hear you are in a written mood but, take a rest now and again. Thank you again fot the plesure you bring to our lives. I still re-read Sun Sword series. One of the best written by anyone.

  5. michelle says:

    @merie: I can’t answer the first ques­tion, because I don’t know. I still have some work to do on the book, and… it’s very very long =/. Neither of the CAST novels are written yet. Usually, with an ongoing series, we sell a book (or two or three) with the under­standing that we will write it in future. (We don’t get paid all of the money upfront; we get paid on signing the contract, on delivery of proposal, on accep­tance of the finished novel.) HLQ=Harlequin and HCP=HarperCollins Publishing.

  6. Hurrah for more Cast books! I have a gazil­lion ques­tions about the society. I’m glad you had a good time in Australia.

  7. Debbie H says:

    Wonderful, 2 more Cast novels. Congrat­u­la­tions! Remind your editor that we, your faithful readers do not consider any book too long. Good luck with the pruning. Really looking forward to the completed book and Cast in Decep­tion. Thank you for all your wonderful work.

  8. Dorthy Redmond says:

    I love all the Cast books. Can you give a hint about what to expect the Cast in Decep­tion will be about. Will Severin and Kaylan ever get together.

  9. Susan M Ivey says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m sooo excited!!! Keep as many words as you can, please, please.And more Cast …YEA!!

  10. Michelle, I can see in email that comments have been posted, but none of them are here, including the comment I posted very shortly after your orig­inal post.

    Do you moderate comments before they are visible? I thought I saw comments here earlier!


  11. michelle says:

    @Jake: All of the comments are here on my screen; none have disappeared >.>

    There’s no moder­a­tion unless the comment goes into the spam filter, which tends to trigger on things like web-links.

  12. Now they are there! It’s prob­ably just me. 

  13. Joey says:

    Dear The Author: I went back to both the “1865 – 2” and “state-of-the-writer-august-2017-edition” versions of the August 1 blog post page and see no comments. When I went to your blog page via your main page using another browser, I don’t even see the August 1 blog.

    Might you be viewing things from an admin or super-user view? Or some­thing like that?

  14. Joey says:

    Inter­esting. After I posted the above, the redis­played page shows all the comments.

  15. Verna ortgiese says:

    Can’t wait for both books to be avail­able. Keep up the good work.

  16. controuble says:

    Dupli­cate entry?

  17. controuble says:

    OK, that was weird. I got 2 emails about 2 blog entries and I commented on the first one and it never came up. I opened the second and all I see from me is the dupli­cate entry comment because the second entry was the same as the first, but now it has comments from others and now it has also changed its name to the first entry.

    Anyway — YAY for more Cast books and so glad you finally came up for air from War.

  18. Zia says:

    And this update is showing up so…differently on all my devices. Is anyone else having a problem? Some­times it shows up on the main site in the Archives for August, but most of the time I can only get here through the link my email sent out. 

    And, under “recent posts” it’s listed as 1865. It also says there are 5 comments (one of which I believe I wrote, in theory) But I am not seeing any of them actu­ally posted or listed here once I get on the page?

  19. Zia says:

    Ah! Now the comments are showing, and the one I wrote earlier is MIA (darn it!). So now I possibly get to sound like a bigger idiot. Anyways…

    Congrat­u­la­tions on finishing War! I’m sorry it reached the length where cutting is required, but hope­fully that goes smoothly for you. I honestly cannot wait, and I am thrilled about the whole 430k word part, even if that’s not the end result. 

    Yay for two more CAST novels after Cast in Decep­tion! That is terrific news. I hope the writing of the next CAST novel and the Severn short (shortish?) story go smoothly. 

    I hope things have been going well for you overall! I cannot believe it is August already. My boss and I were commenting about it this weekend because she see it as August=Almost Winter, which means snow and neither of us are really ready for the commit­ment winter requires yet. 

    Thank you, as always for writing, and then for taking the time out of your day to post here to let us know how things are. 

    Also, the new forum soft­ware update looks neat, and I’m glad now of the orig­inal posts poofed with the update!

  20. Dorthy Redmond says:

    Comments no showing

  21. Zia says:

    And the comments are gone again even though I get emails saying other people have posted >.< 

    This is so odd. Even finding this post again takes time. I either need the link from the orig­inal email I got, or I have to go to Archives, July 2017, to get August 2017 to show up, and then I can find this post, but the comments are MIA. I believe, based on the last email I got regarding this post, that I am not alone in having trouble seeing things? 

    Last time I posted comments appeared when the page refreshed, so maybe it will happen again?

  22. Lesa says:

    I am so glad that you are writing more Cast books! Take a break and then keep writing. Love your books!!!

  23. Hanneke says:

    Thank you for all the good news. It’s very good to hear that you have finished writing War. I admire very much your ability to keep all the story-threads going and to tie them all off neatly at the end, for such enor­mously complex and long story-arcs, with always satis­fying endings that ring emotion­ally and psycho­log­i­cally true.
    That writing for months at a time at this highest of grand-master levels leaves you no brain-space for anything else is eminently under­stand­able, and so is the relief of finally finishing up such a grand project as this series.

    Making head-room and publishing contracts for more Cast books and stories is good too!
    It’s a fine assur­ance of future reading plea­sure for us (and prob­ably a welcome bit of finan­cial surety for you), to know you can continue to explore in that fasci­nating world and get the books published, at least for the next couple of years.

    And better spam filters for the forum are a must in the present state of the Internet, to save your brains for the more impor­tant work of writing and living instead of whacking spam-moles!

    Congrat­u­la­tions on all three!

  24. HI Michelle,

    Thank you for being the author you are.

    War, done. Yay. I have enjoyed this series and the cross-over with the “Sun Sword” series. I hope the overall series continues.

    War at 430K words. YES! I know it is hard on everyone who reviews your books, but one aspect I love about them is their length allows me to feel involved with the char­ac­ters, instead of feeling like I had a Sunday after­noon breeze-by. 

    Two more Cast books. YES! I look forward to reading new Cast books for years to come.

    As far as “Valerian” is concerned, I enjoyed the movie. I found it to be visu­ally compelling with enough story to move along the visual beauty. Then again, I also enjoyed “Jupiter Ascending”, also, to the conster­na­tion of my friends.

  25. Carol Duffy says:

    Hurray! For all of it! May I echo what was said; fix the typos, keep the words :) In all seri­ous­ness, much looking forward to what­ever words you choose to send our way.

  26. Joyce Ronquillo says:

    I am very glad you finally got War to it’s conclu­sion. Hope the edits are not too painful. I have a friend who sold her first book and the edits have been torture for her.

    Please assure your publishers that you have not jumped the shark on the Cast series and we faithful will continue to buy them so they should too. I do have a ques­tion though. Can I read Decep­tion without grit­ting my teeth at the end? I don’t mind re-reading the previous book but I hate being left clinging to a cliff for a year or more.

  27. michelle says:

    @everyone: Can you let me know if the comments are still disap­pearing? I thought it might be server confu­sion because I was not very smart (deleting post by acci­dent, redoing it, and changing the title to the SAME THING), so I asked the web person to delete the server cache, hoping that would clear up the confusion.

  28. Zia says:

    On my end, via the computer, if I click “respond” to the comment through my email link then every­thing shows up, but if I just follow the link to your post/go here to the site directly to search for it, the post is diffi­cult to find and then some of the comments are missing. 

    On my phone, it’s still even sketchier. But, it is getting better. 

    Could it, by chance, be a bad plugin or some­thing along that line?

  29. michelle says:

    There is a natural end for the CAST novels, and it has always been my inten­tion to write all the books that I want to write in that universe before writing that natural end. The one that is still giving me grief — by being elusive — is the Dragon Court book, because I have wanted to write once since, hmmmm, Cast in Silence. But the shape of a story just won’t cohere. 

    @Jake, Robert, Carol: The problem with length is entirely phys­ical, though — it’s the binding, and the cost of the binding. And the cost of the paper, and the cost of the proof-reading and copy-editing. If I were Robert Jordan, people would grit their teeth and bear it — but I’ve never managed to reach as wide an audi­ence. (This is not meant as a complaint; there are things he does that I don’t do, and these books are both mine and what they are).

    To be honest: I will finish the final arc set in this universe. But if I do have to self-publish it, I am…looking forward to the total lack of stress about things like book length. Because there isn’t a novel, with the excep­tion of The Queen of the Dead series, that hasn’t, at the end, caused me ulcers because the book is too long.

  30. Melissa says:

    Sweet, sweet music to my ears! Ready to begin the Severn story and 2 addi­tional CAST novels… WOO-HOO!
    … and Congrats on “finishing” War. It must feel incred­ible to finish such a huge saga.

  31. Dan says:

    I don’t know whether it’s an error or not but there is a live link on Amazon to pre-order Cast in Decep­tion with an avail­ability date of February 23 2018. It doesn’t have a cover yet which leads me to believe the link has gone live early. I couldn’t help myself and had to pre-order the book

  32. Dan says:

    Sorry meant Jan 23. Tried to publish the link but it’s not letting me

  33. @Dan: I *think* the cover will go up there soon, but: thank you!

  34. Zia says:

    @Dan: Amazon normally places the books up fairly early for preorder, most of the time before they have a cover. I preordered my copies (Kindle and the actual book) back in May I believe. …I’m pretty sure it was a month that started with “M” >.<

    @Michelle: The site now seems to be loading comments correctly on my end at this time :)

  35. @Zia: It was my fault — it was a problem with the cache. Once I asked to have the site cache cleared, it removed the memory of the acci­den­tally deleted post with the same name as this one. But I’m glad that it works again!

  36. Tickle says:

    Yay! I’m so excited to know that you’ve finished War (and I truly hope that’s not the end of the entire saga as I hope to see some of my favs back from the Sun Sword series). I’m also happy that we can expect 2 more Cast books. I so wish HBO, Netflix, and/or Amazon would option one of your series (prefer­ably the Sun Sword series) to make a TV version. Your worlds are so rich and the char­ac­ters so compelling. Has anyone approached you about that and would you be willing to let them? Anyway, keep up the great work. I concur w/others, to let your editor/publisher know that we don’t care how long the book is, we will still buy it.

  37. Denise says:

    Congrat­u­la­tions on selling more of the Cast in Series!!!! I am looking forward to the next book.

  38. Diana Itschner says:

    Wonder­full, at least 3 more books. Great.

  39. DeDe says:

    War is done! Very glad to hear. Had to laugh. I hope you don’t have to self-publish the end of the arc, but if you do — I’m picturing some­thing like my old-fash­ioned unabridged dictionary.

  40. All good news! For me as bystander of course, not for your case of … exas­per­a­tion? at your­self. War finished bar the pruning and two new Ellantra books under contract, wohoo!

    In my wishful fantasy I am hoping you get to be like C.J. Cherryh with the Foreigner series there, she’s on book 16 by now. I’d love some slice-of-life books mixed in with all the main plot­line upheaval, maybe focussing on Kaylin’s expe­ri­ences with various of her side characters.

    But what­ever you feel like writing, I’ll buy ^^.

  41. @Estara: My attempt to write a slice-of-life book was Cast in Flame. Which would have been much smaller if not for the incon­ve­nience of the ending of Sorrow.

  42. Andrea Smith says:

    Congrat­u­la­tions! on finishing War and selling 2 more Cast books. I’m excited to read them all. I was wondering when you were going to post, Cast in Decep­tion cover? For me, seeing the completed cover makes the real. I know in the past covers have popped up on Amazon first. But often color is off and doesn’t do the artwork justice. You seem blessed in the cover department.

    As we’re moving into fall, am I the only one starting to do a read through of Chron­i­cles of Electra? I’m ready for more adven­turers and enjoy recon­necting with old friends.(Thanks Michelle)

  43. Melanie says:

    Awe, face­book, emails, and here are my go to.… did not get an email.. but longed on here, so Thanks a Million for the old ways.…

    I hate endings… yet with an ending, comes a different path, hopefully!
    I have been lucky enough to have and read all your books which I love. So glad there are more cast books to look forward to… Also will be delighted to read war, yet kinda sad with the end
    Yet happy for your peace of mind, get some rest, enjoy your family, take care always, thanks for writing

  44. Penny Beard says:

    Michelle, I am so grateful that you share with us these two wonderful worlds. I am not ready to let go of Jewel and den, but yes, things must end. I’m looking forward to the next arc in this world. There are so very many char­ac­ters that you can write about. Your world is endless, and honestly, I feel as though only a very small handful are “side kicks.” Each is to me so inte­gral. I strongly feel that for good or ill, we meet people in life for a reason. I wish you and your family well and look forward to more Elantra as well.

  45. Nevada says:

    It’s exciting that War is complete, but you don’t really have to cut that 430K words, just do another series exten­sion. It’s so bitter­sweet to think about the end of a world I’ve been reading the last 20 years. Congrat­u­la­tions, and thank you for writing them.

    Tickle, above, was asking about TV shows. I always thought Kristin Kreuk would have been a good Diora, but oh well.

    On a different topic: Where are some fave places to discuss these books? I have so many ques­tions and Goodreads is strangely quiet on these series.

  46. Kick says:

    In my wishful fantasy I am hoping you get to be like C.J. Cherryh with the Foreigner series there, she’s on book 16 by now”

    We are greedy, I tell you greedy. Michelle has written us some­thing like 12 Cast books, the Queen of the Dead trilogy and 14 books between Hunt/Sun Sword/House. I think we forget how much she has written for us given our afore­men­tioned greed. I am dying for War and … what’s it going to be called? … the Black Gauntlet ? series as well but when I am feeling grumpy about waiting I try to remember just how much she has written! 

    Then I recog­nize my greed but sadly go imme­di­ately back to being impa­tient because I am an imper­fect soul.

  47. Wui2 Lee says:

    I await War with bated breath and in antic­i­pa­tion is re reading the series. In the re read, can I ask if you would ever write about Amarais and her journey to become Head of Teraffin? I think the rela­tion­ships she has with her family, her brother and her future desti­na­tion will be an inter­esting.… nope make that riveting read.

  48. Kerry Baker says:

    Is War the final in the series? If so will you branch out with short (laughing wildly) novellas in the universe with familiar char­ac­ters wandering in and out?

  49. Zia says:

    Cast in Decep­tion’s covers has been posted on Amazon! Daily checking of the book link for cover has finally paid off! (yes…super sad person here) I had to share. I’d post the direct link here but Word­Press doesn’t always let links through due to believing it may be spam!

  50. Zia says:

    …I am so confused. I swear when I posted this morning there were 49 comments, now there are 47 and mine is MIA

    Sooo, Amazon has a cover for Cast in Decep­tion. It’s beau­tiful, though there is no back to it on display yet. I’ve been checking Amazon for their cover daily so I was delighted to find it this am. 

    Word­Press is not a fan of links, but if you check out the forums, I posted the link/cover image there. Or you can just run a search on Amazon to see it.

  51. I have not seen the final cover yet, or I’d post here as I usually do.

  52. Zia says:

    And now both my previous comments show up >.<. Sorry about that. I was just super excited to see a cover posted on Amazon this morning when I check on the book, so I thought I’d share. For some strange reason, comments weren’t showing up for me again here (starting with Kerry’s ques­tion about War and then both of mine), hence the double comment post by me, so my apolo­gies again for the double post.

  53. Melissa says:

    Wait just a minute… Don’t you have to approve the cover? How can it be posted already without your approval? Naughty publishers. Its very cool… but what if YOU hate it? That doesn’t seem right.

  54. @Melissa: Sorry, I should have been clearer (I was just leaving for the dentist). I’ve seen the prelim­i­nary cover — I haven’t been sent the link to the finished cover yet, and that’s what I usually post here (among other things, it has the back cover as well).

  55. Niles Grey says:

    Michelle, this is my first time posting a comment here though I do faith­fully follow and check in here looking for updates. I read my first book written by you about 15 years ago when I was in the US mili­tary, just after becoming injured. From day one I was hooked, and within 2 months I’d devoured every written word you had published about The Sun Sword, and Jewel. I thor­oughly enjoyed them, but as was the case with me at the time once read they were set aside until about 5 years later I happened to catch wind that you had completed the series.

    I revis­ited the novels and reread every­thing completing books in 3 days time, virtu­ally every minute I wasn’t working, or sleeping, I was reading your books from The Sun Sword series. The story resonated with me and the world fasci­nated me I’ve only reread 3 series in my life, The Lord of The Rings, The Sun Sword, and House War. I have attempted to read Robert Jordan but after just 10 chap­ters of the first book I set it down and have never returned. I have read A song of Ice and Fire but found much of the story felt predictable, enjoy­able yes, but predictable.

    Only two authors in my life have captured my atten­tion enough to cause me to stay up late and wake early with antic­i­pa­tion for the next words in the novel, you and J.R.R. Tolkien. I often tell people your the improved Tolkien, providing all the context, enjoy­ment, and excite­ment without the long lulls in the story for explaining your world. You allow the reader to capture the world through the eyes of the cast of char­ac­ters. While yes the thick­ness of the books may appear daunting at first glance, the pages fly by and leave you crying out for more.

    I felt oblig­ated, in light of the comment you made about not reaching the wider audi­ences of Robert Jordan, to share my own expe­ri­ences and opinion. Your stories are more capti­vating and entrancing than the sirens song, and have kept me eagerly antic­i­pating the next install­ment for years. Now that I know the next book is close, about a year away if I esti­mate correctly, I’ll be restarting the entire series soon to refresh it in my mind. Thank you for for years of past, present, and enjoy­ment. While sad to see the series conclude, I hope that you will revisit this world on occa­sion from either new or returning char­acter perspec­tives in full maker born fashion.

    An avid fan,
    Niles Grey

  56. Liza Ismail says:

    Hi michelle, its good to know that you have finished War but i think many will agree with me — we want, we need the 430K words. All your effort and brain melting and hair pulling. maybe you could wheedle the publisher to add another book. maybe call it War Part 1 and 2. i would buy it (in fact i have bought all your books in paper­back as well as ebook). or you could publish an extended authors edition as an ebook (you know like in the movies, they release an extended direc­tor’s cut). 

    On a serious side, this is my opinion only, i think the flow of this story requires the length and breadth of the written word. the conver­sa­tions and descrip­tions are what builds the world and the words pull me in. i get lost in it, involved in it and the char­ac­ters are real to me. 

    In the end, i am grateful and thankful that i found your books and i will read and reread them until i am old and decrepit and then have someone read it to me or i will buy the audio­book (although that might cause another problem, as i have visions? on how the char­ac­ters should sound like and i might get disap­pointed with the reader).

    Till War (part 1 & 2 heh heh)

  57. Andrea Smith says:

    The cover is beau­tiful. I’m disap­pointed the back cover is unavail­able, I’m curious to see what this book is about. However, some­times the cover/title is deceiving. Am I the only one wondering why Hope hasn’t made the front cover yet? I’m enjoying him as a char­acter though.

  58. Madame Hardy says:

    It’s inter­esting that you mention Jupiter Rising. When my husband and I got home from Valerian, I said to my daughter, “This is your dad’s Jupiter Rising.” Same sort of flawed execu­tion but still mean­ingful somehow.

  59. Tarun Elankath says:

    Woo hoo! Its *great* to know that “War” is done. When­ever it releases, I would prob­ably take a day or two off from work just to immerse myself into Jewel’s world once more!

    I was a WOT reader myself. Jordan and you have very different styles, but in some aspects you do write like him. Jordan’s earlier books were lyrical and he had the talent to inter­sperse song and poetry into his writing. Unfor­tu­nately, his later books got lost deep into polit­ical minu­tiae, Aes Sedai logjams, repeated sniffing and braid pulling. However, with some patience, I managed to finish reading WOT fully, including the ending books by Sanderson. 

    As imag­i­na­tive as Sanderson is in crafting worlds, in making logical magic systems and consis­tent history, his style is not lyrical like Jordans. He writes in an simple and effi­cient manner that appeals to most, but I find some­what lacking. However, all due credit to him for finishing a Memory of Light and wrap­ping WOT. Finishing another author’s work is a tremen­dous achievement.

    Like Jordan, you do write action and battles really well. And your writing has a lyrical, at times, almost spir­i­tual feel to it. Your char­ac­ters are gener­ally very deep and driven by strong moti­va­tions. Unlike Jordan, you flash­back rather often in memo­ries and thoughts — at times a bit too much! But when I delve into your books, I am so completely engrossed that the real world completely falls away. (I only get back to it when I see the missed calls and notifications). 

    This happens to me only for a few authors. Despite the great length of your books, I find myself hooked like a fish being reeled in, unable to get away, the humdrum activ­i­ties of life fully suspended till I can turn the last page. 

    Perhaps you could give self-publishing a try when you choose to begin new stories. You would still need an editor for typos, grammar and basic disci­pline, but you would be unfettered!

  60. @Niles: thank you. I’m sorry I’m taking so long to reply – I’ve been revising CAST IN DECEPTION, which meant putting revi­sions of WAR on hold until it was done. 

    But there is one final arc, END OF DAYS (which is prob­ably going to be called THE BLACK GAUNTLET), before this is done. And that series will go back to the Hunters and Kiriel. So yes, I’ll be revis­iting the world :).

    @Liza: thank you, as well. The last book in a series always go long, for me. I tend, when I start a novel, to think “this will be short”, not as a decla­ra­tion, but more as a fear. This is never true for final novels in a series. But split­ting a book is trickier than just “cut this in two”, because if the story isn’t struc­tured for it, it would be like ripping a book in half and giving the reader the first part of it. There’s no reso­lu­tion, no struc­tural arc; it’s not even a cliff-hanger. It just… stops.

    @Andrea: I will defi­nitely post the cover when I have the whole thing in hand!

    @Madame Hardy: my inner teen adored Jupiter Rising. Was it objec­tively good? Ummm, no. But it had *heart*, and I know that if JA had been released in ’77 – the year of the first Star Wars movie – I would have parked myself in a theatre for weeks. Star Wars, to me, was the better movie in terms of story and visual struc­ture, and the first SW movie also had heart — but I would have loved JA as much. And I really wanted a sequel, which won’t happen, because I really wanted to see Sean Bean with wings :D

    @Tarun: I may go that route (self-publishing) with End of Days. BUT, the problem for me with that approach is the phys­ical books. There won’t be a mass market paper­back, obvi­ously, and that’s fine. But even the large format self-publishing paper­backs would be ruinously expen­sive to sell. When self-publishing, the cost — to readers, to me — of self-published paper­backs is based entirely on *page count*. When looking at Ingram and Lulu (create space might be different), it was 32.00 US dollars — or more. For a paperback.

    Ebooks wouldn’t have that phys­ical cost, of course. 

    Publishing through a publisher like DAW (or any large print publisher) means that the print readers have the option to buy a novel at a rela­tively normal price. And it also means that the print version would have some reason­able distri­b­u­tion method to bookstores. 

    When I self-published the short stories, I made money off the ebooks. But the print version has not quite paid for itself yet, because the print version (at the time) required a type­setter, among other things. I did not mind, let me hasten to add, but … Memory of Stone was a short book, compar­a­tively speaking. Not a single one of the West books, except Hunter’s Oath, would be consid­ered short. SUN SWORD would cost a minimum of 75.00, because I’d have to break it into two books. And the type­set­ting costs would be much higher because it’s per page.

  61. Jo-Ann says:

    I’m so very thrilled to hear the news! I ‘discov­ered’ you some years ago at the since disap­peared local second hand book­store, where there were about 7 books of the Chron­i­cles of Elantra series. I imme­di­ately scooped these up, knowing nothing about you or your talent, because, well, as a dedi­cated fantasy fiction reader I’m Always on the lookout for series that I haven’t read that are published. Loathe the lag time between books and the stress of Wanting a book but not being able to afford hard­cover except for the best of the best. Which you became for me in those first books. Ordered every­thing I could of yours through the library inter-region loans. Your first series The Sundered, and the first 4 I think, books of the House series firmly cemented my love for every­thing you write. Since then I have No Stress in deciding to buy your books as soon as they appear and in hard­cover when they’re in that format. I bought the Queen of the Dead series with no qualms, even if it was in the YA section which I usually suffer from thinking is ‘too juve­nile’ for me. It was wonderful too by the way. So, I agree with every superla­tive your other fans write above, and would like to add my own. 

    I love your char­ac­ters. To me they are fully real­ized, compli­cated, and tangible. I can see and hear and under­stand them as well as be shocked and surprised by them, thrilled or worried for them. I love your writing style which has in my mind such depth and caring and sensi­bility and humour and well, Layers. I felt I fully appre­ci­ated each book when I read it but was aston­ished to find that re-reading was even more rewarding — a thing which for me is usually not so. I do love each of your stories and sub-stories and scenes, and you are seam­lessly skilled at describing every­thing and enough to bring me into the action and making every­thing Neces­sary (which I imagine is really the hard part), but truly, what I find remark­able is the sense I have of every­thing being about so much more than is, strictly speaking, on the page. I’m strug­gling here because I worry about seeming wacky, but i trea­sure this feeling I get from your every word and combi­na­tion of words. Is that ‘subtext’? Is that ‘metaphor’? I’m not really asking (unless you or other of your readers would like to comment) because you know, eyeroll a bit. English teachers/professors waxing on about such and each example they would point out would seem to me to be Laboured or boring (a word which I now hesi­tate to say as my 17 yr old has ruined it for me) or perhaps just their story just seemed to suffer for the cost of that ‘depth’. Your stories are wonder-full to me on both levels — just a great story peopled with inter­esting real char­ac­ters and rela­tion­ships AND on a deeper level that is rich with insight, obser­va­tion, commen­tary and thought about life and the world, what we do and what we strive for, who we are and who we can be to each other. But it’s not just that both these levels exist for me — it is that I can ‘hear’ them simul­ta­ne­ously in a way that I find incred­ibly rich and rewarding to read. I thing you are a great, Great writer. 

    I’m not sure it matters whether you intend these mean­ings or not — perhaps it just means your work is really reso­nant with me. I’d like to thank you for that — the effort, work, stress and sheer dogged­ness that is required. 

    What I find perplexing, and irksome to be honest, is why you are not more read, more lauded, More Appre­ci­ated. I recom­mend you of course to anyone who will listen, and I’ve actu­ally got non-fantasy readers to read and really Like you… but just yesterday I found myself on the website for Kirkus reviews (not sure why because I’m usually tootling around on Goodreads) and they only have one review for you. That shocked me. I mean.…What?!? Perhaps you would not care to, (cause you know, working) or perhaps it is just not said or done because of the poli­tics of the publishing world, but how can your publisher not get you reviewed glow­ingly everywhere?
    I honestly think, and from near every comment I’ve read here so do others, that your writing EASILY matches and very often surpasses the ‘big names’ currently and in the past. Is it gushing to say ‘you are my favorite writer!’? Perhaps. Is it fannish to say ‘my desert island pick would be Sagara/West’ (and certainly Not Jordan, or Martin, or fill­inthe­blank. Yes. But it’s true never­the­less. I read and enjoyed those books (more or less), and those writers. As well as many more. But if fire or flood should threaten I’d grab Your books and not the Hobb, Williams, Jemison, Berg, Roth­fuss, Britain, oh you get it. Good reads all, but I’d Save yours if put to the question.

    Apolo­gies if I’ve blath­ered on, or been piggish about commenting space, but I’ve not commented before for anyone for anything. Not much of a ‘fan’ sort, and rather fearful of step­ping-in-it which I usually manage to do somehow without real­izing before­hand. But I’m just so very Grateful that you write, Are writing, have finished Another (yayyayyay), and have plans for More that felt finally that I should express to you how much your writing means to me. Thank you.

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