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    • michelle

      Living Room Etiquette   07/25/17

      Welcome to my living room on the internet.   Let me talk a little bit about the history of my home on the internet. I started out blogging on LiveJournal, which is a blogging community. And I talked about publishing and process, but in a fairly general way.   And that worked for a number of years.   What I almost never talked about was my books. But over time, people found my LJ, and they wanted to talk about my books, and I felt a little self-conscious talking about my books on LiveJournal, where the community was more general and more social, and talking about my books felt a little conspicuously like shouting: Me Me Me!   So: I started my author web-site. I posted sample chapters. I talked--when I had any news--about my books. I didn't post often, because I didn't want to drive people who came to the web-site purely for news or information away.   And that seemed to work.   But a funny thing happened. I'm not, and have never been, Robert Jordan, George Martin or Patrick Rothfuss in terms of my reach. I don't have the kind of buzz they generate, and I'm fine with that. I'm not Misty Lackey or Melanie Rawn, either.   I write my books. I try not to say too much about them, because some people hate spoilers. I try not to complain too much about the process, because every job anywhere is difficult sometimes. But… I can't really talk about my books as if I were a reader, because I can't ever approach them as a reader would for the first time. Or even the twentieth.   And sometimes people want to talk about the experience of reading my books. But given my general invisibility on fantasy reader radars, they haven't found many places in which they can do that.   A few years ago, my readers began to talk to each other - on my web-site, because they found people who were also interested in talking about my books there. On a release-day post about the latest novel. This made some readers unhappy because of course discussing the books meant spoilers. I then made a separate SPOILER thread, which people could easily avoid.   That worked, and I made a spoiler thread for almost every subsequent book.   So readers who wanted to discuss the book with other readers spoke to each other on the spoiler threads. I stay out of the spoiler threads. I stay out of the discussions about my books. And I've been able to do that because, while people don't always agree, they don't descend into acrimony and flames.   But the spoiler thread for Cast in Peril was 369 comments long. And that's a lot of comments, and possibly a long load time.   And I thought: maybe it's time to try forums.   I wouldn't have considered forums at all if the spoiler threads had descended into invective and angry ranting; they never have. The people who post and discuss on them have been helpful and reasonable, even when they don't agree with each other.   And what I want out of forums is for that to continue. I don't expect my forums to be crowded; I don't expect that they'll need to be moderated or policed, because of the history of the readers who have posted on my web-site.   But forums in general have rules and policies, and it's best to be clear about those up front, in case of future need. So.   The Living Room rules:   1. Since it's my Living Room, there's a strong possibility that children and grandmothers will stroll past or stop in, since both frequent my house. So I'd ask you to keep that in mind when it comes to profanity. Swear as much as I do.   2. Door to door salesmen frequently interrupt social gatherings, and they're not there to join the discussion. So: don't be that person. This isn't a tupperware party, and I don't want anyone to attempt to sell things to my visitors. If you notice that someone is advertising cheap watches or winning lottery numbers or any variant thereof, report it - and ignore it. It'll be cleaned up and swept out the door.   3. No flaming. Which is to say: no personal attacks or insults. I don't expect this will be a problem because it hasn't been - and I'd really like that to continue. Also, and this is a personal thing: don't accuse someone of trolling just because they disagree with you. Sometimes people disagree; they're not doing it to enrage or derail.   4. Things NOT to discuss on these forums: Real-world religions (any). Real-world politics (any). Explicit sexuality (because: children & grandmothers. And, to be fair, me). There are many other places to discuss any of these things - and I ask that you discuss them there. Here is not the place. This is possibly the only thing I'll be draconian about.   If, in the opinion of the management, you break these rules, we'll probably ask you to sit out the topic. If you break these rules more than once, we may ask you to sit out the week. If you can't communicate without breaking these rules, this is not the forum for you; there are lots of forums on the internet that will be more to your liking.   Also: I believe that readers should be able to discuss what they want to discuss, even if what they want to discuss is how a particular book I've written didn't work for them. For obvious reasons, I would like to personally avoid those discussions because I don't want to be a damper, and because it's not possible for me to be consistently objective about my own work. It's not entirely possible to avoid these discussions on the web-site; on the forums it will be. I've asked Tchula Ripton to moderate, as she's been the list-mom on the Yahoo West list for a number of years.   So on those parts of the forum where the discussions are about my works, she wears the big hat where necessary, because I'm not there.   As for the forums: any member can create topics, and any member can read any forum and reply there. If, for instance, you want to get people's opinions on ebook readers, you can start a post in the “Random†category, and ask.


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  1. Michelle posted them on an old website a long time ago. I have a paper copy that I printed off at the time, but no way to scan it. There is no special mailing list. Michelle has given permission for us to post a copy, so if anyone has an e-copy and wants to upload it here, I would really appreciate it. :-)
  2. Long time reader, first time poster

    Hi, Nevada. I second reading The Sacred Hunt Duology. There's a big trade paperback version that has both novels in one. The second novel, Hunter's Death, explains in detail the Compact involving Mystery, Breodan, Allasakar, and the other gods. I don't know if you've read any of the short stories from that universe, but there's also a trade paperback short story collection called Memory of Stone that has 6 stories well worth reading. The compilation is 286 pages, as each of the stories are quite lengthy. Some are set in the distant past (the stories about Veralaan, Avandar, Kallandras, and Gilafas) while the other two are set more recently and even give hints as to future events (Duarte & Alexis's story, and the Huntbrother story). I would definitely read the Hunter duology before reading the Huntbrother story, since the events tie in directly to that part of the world and it's characters. Happy reading!
  3. I can't remember exactly, but I want to say Kaylin is 20 in the first novel. Severn is about 5 years older than she is, if I recall correctly. I don't believe the exact ages of the Barrani or the Dragons are stated at any point, except to say that they are old--and Ancient, in the case of the Arkon and Makkuron the Black. Did you have a specific question about another character?
  4. Yahoo group

    Yes, the Yahoo group still exists, it's just been very, very quiet. I think many members have moved to this forum. Feel free to bring up a topic on Michelle's works anytime over there. Someone will reply, I'm sure! ;-)
  5. Cast in Deception supposedly has a cover

    Wow, I like it! Kaylin looks ready for serious business. The buildings in the background always look so cool.
  6. Ah, I adored Fifth Element! I hadn't heard much about Valerian, but this really makes makes me want to watch it! Besson's pacing is superb imo.
  7. I have found you

    Hi, Ralph! Good to hear from you again. The yahoo group still exists, but to be honest, I've been so busy with other stuff I haven't posted in quite awhile there. Some other folks from that group are in here, so yay! Looking forward to some good discussion when War comes out. ;-)
  8. Missing chapter - cast in flight

    In my trade paperback, Chapter 2 runs from page 21 up to and including page 39. Hope this helps!
  9. future nook?

    There will definitely be another Cast novel. According to Michelle's post on this site, the working title (which may be subject to change) is Cast in Treachery. It will probably come out next fall. ;-)
  10. Just started...

    I really enjoyed the Sundered series. It's been years since I read them, and it's set in a different universe, but one can easily see the precursor to the Kialli in the pages. Enjoy!
  11. Bakka

    When I went there a few years ago, she worked on Friday mornings, but I don't know what their schedule is like over the holidays. She's so nice, I hope you get a chance to meet her!

    Yep, you are right, Caisha and Shadoes. I found the place in Peril where Teela commented on Nightshade and made me think she was older, but then in Sorrow, it is explicitely stated that Teela was "almost as old as Nightshade" at one point. I had forgotten, but he is definitely the elder. It occurs to me as I'm re-reading, that Nightshade may also, like Kaylin, be trying to build "family". The Leontine statue that spoke to Kaylin in Cast in Flame got me thinking about it. Nightshade planned for centuries to retrieve his brother, and apparently he's collected other beings who had no family and who chose to stay with him in his Castle. He has Andellen, who is liege but also friend, or as much of one as Barrani allow themselves. Kaylin is the Erenne, whatever that means. Also, I'm wondering if Nightshade's Castle is only a castle in form because of his meeting with Kaylin in his past. Because its normal form is clearly a Tower, not a castle. He changed the shape for her, as far as I can tell. Although, time travel hurts my head, and these are just random musings. Another thought I had was that Nightshade made clear to Kaylin that he was not present at the heart of the green when his brother was originally brought to hear the regalia. He was enraged when he found out about it later, in fact. It makes me wonder if his being made outcaste had to do with killing the family member that had a hand in convincing the previous High Lord to allow the children at the regalia. Teela's father clearly played a strong role in persuading the High Lord, but we don't know how much the other Barrani parents were involved. Since they wanted to take the risk, I'm sure they must have had a fair amount of sway. But it could also be that whichever (or both?) of Annarion's parent(s) who sponsored him were killed by the children in Alsanis if they chose to be present during the recitation and subsequent change. An elder brother to Nightshade and Annarion is alluded to in Sorrow, but never mentioned by name. It's not explicitely stated that he's dead, but since Nightshade tells Annarion the family seat is "held by your cousins" I would assume that he is. I'm wondering if this brother was the intended wielder of Meliannos, and Nightshade--knowing he would wield the sword from Kaylin traveling to the past--killed him for it. This could possibly be a reason for the High Lord to name him outcaste--the killing of the head of the family line--although it seems like Barrani kill their parents frequently, so that might not be it after all. I don't really understand all of the politics behind declaring someone outcaste, especially since Nightshade still seems to find favor from some of the Court, namely the Consort. Anyway, just some thoughts to while away the time. Poor Michelle...we've already started the Clock of Impatience ticking for the next installment. Hahahahaha! ;-P

    Tbh, that upset me a bit, too. I wondered if Annarion was going to punch his brother in the face when he saw him next time. I would also like Nightshade to feel bad about blistering her cheek. The reason I think it might "get a pass" as you say, is the intent. Nightshade thought she was about to sacrifice herself to save the day. He wanted to prevent that at all costs, because he didn't want her to die. He could hardly believe she was worried about his and Annarion's relationship when she's on the edge of possible death and destruction. When Kaylin asked him to either help her or leave her alone, he was shocked and didn't even really know what to say, because why would he want to help her kill herself? That's my take on it anyway. Maybe others have a different opinion.

    Also, I wanted to point out that I believe Teela is older than Nightshade. At some point, in one of the books (maybe Peril?) she refers to him as "a feckless pup" or some such, which I took to mean that he was younger than she. I'm in the midst of a re-read of the series, so if I find the passage, I'll post it. It seems strange that Teela could be older, especially since Annarion and Mandoran are her friends, but since we don't really know the age spread between Nightshade and Annarion, and amongst any of the Barrani "children", it's entirely possible, I suppose. But yes, I feel there is much more to Nightshade than the arrogance we see. He has the loyalty and friendship (which is rare for Barrani) of Andellen, and he made friends with Gilbert--and Tiamaris, too, for that matter. I believe he must be a man worthy of this kind of feeling, although it may not be apparent to Kaylin, who is young and fairly inexperienced in judging people's characters imo. I really want to see more of him, and even better, I would like to see him interact more with Kaylin when she is at home amongst her friends (Teela and Tain, especially--I'd love to see that!) ;-)

    I know what you mean and I agree! at any rate, I need about 50000000000% more Nightshade in every book.I could rant about Nightshade/Kaylin all day, sorry. They're my favorite characters LOL