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. :)

    Jake

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Susan M Ivey says:

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

  9. 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!

    Jake

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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!

  15. 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?

  16. Lesa says:

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

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. Dan says:

    Michelle,
    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

  26. 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 :)

  27. @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!

  28. 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.

  29. Denise says:

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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 ^^.

  32. @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.

  33. 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)

  34. 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

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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?

  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. @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).

  45. 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

  46. 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)

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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!

  50. @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.

  51. 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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