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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.
Tickle

War (formally Book 6 of The House War) To Be Split Into 2! Now called Oracle!

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Tickle    1

ATTENTION, ATTENTION!!! All who love this world and characters should be glad to know that Michelle's style of writing still holds sway. This wonderful story is too big to be put into just one book! Yay!!! I knew it couldn't be done, there is just too much going on. Jewel's storyline, as it is now, is one book in itself; Walking the path of the Oracle w/o getting killed, finding Carver & Ellerson, gathering the rest of her army, getting back to House Terafin to finish building her city, lolol. Lots to do, not to mention the bigger picture.

 

Then we have the war and the other storylines that go with it. Kiriel, Aurelius, the Voyani and their cities, Stephen of Maubreche and his Huntsister, Isladar, Aiden, the boy who will wield Moorales (sp?) sword (who Margaret of Arkosa saw in her vision), Evayne, etc. and how they all contribute to the upcoming war. So much and so excited to see where it all goes.

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Tchula    16

Hi, Tickle.  I, too, can't wait for the next book, Oracle, to come out.  This is my favorite series of Michelle's.  I just love all the characters, but I especially adore Jewel, Isladar, and Meralonne.  Hopefully, the next two books will finish up the House War drama, and then we can get onto the Black Gauntlet plotline.

 

Also, fyi, while it's fine to separate each book into it's own topic, it's okay to discuss them all under one post, too.  The works are so interwoven, that it's hard to avoid discussing the broader themes and plots without bringing in bits and pieces from all of the various novels.  ;-)

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Tickle    1

Hi, Tickle.  I, too, can't wait for the next book, Oracle, to come out.  This is my favorite series of Michelle's.  I just love all the characters, but I especially adore Jewel, Isladar, and Meralonne.  Hopefully, the next two books will finish up the House War drama, and then we can get onto the Black Gauntlet plotline.

 

Also, fyi, while it's fine to separate each book into it's own topic, it's okay to discuss them all under one post, too.  The works are so interwoven, that it's hard to avoid discussing the broader themes and plots without bringing in bits and pieces from all of the various novels.  ;-)

 

Hi Tchula,

 

This is one of my favorites series as well.

 

I thought about just doing one post to discuss all the books, but realized that when I start a new series and there is a forum, I focus only the the posts about the book I currently read. I don't jump ahead because I don't want to be spoiled. If I would have made just one post, then any newbies that come to Michelle and this wonderful series will get spoiled and probably wayyyy confused, lolol. I also realized that although I love the entire overall storyline, I have my favorite books within it and tend to read them multiple times thus absorbing more of the details, which I can discuss w/like minded individuals.

 

I see you are the moderator and I hope I didn't step on your toes, so to speak, I just wanted to help out people like me who are obsessed with this world and want to discuss each book in detail.

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Tchula    16

Hi Tchula,

 

This is one of my favorites series as well.

 

I thought about just doing one post to discuss all the books, but realized that when I start a new series and there is a forum, I focus only the the posts about the book I currently read. I don't jump ahead because I don't want to be spoiled. If I would have made just one post, then any newbies that come to Michelle and this wonderful series will get spoiled and probably wayyyy confused, lolol. I also realized that although I love the entire overall storyline, I have my favorite books within it and tend to read them multiple times thus absorbing more of the details, which I can discuss w/like minded individuals.

 

I see you are the moderator and I hope I didn't step on your toes, so to speak, I just wanted to help out people like me who are obsessed with this world and want to discuss each book in detail.

No worries, TIckle.  Like I said, it's fine to separate the book posts initially, but I imagine in reality it will be difficult to keep them separated within the flow of normal conversation about the series.  I've helped moderate a yahoo list for years about Michelle's books, so I know how easily one can be talking about Broken Crown one minute, then Sunsword or Hidden City, the next.  Both the West and Sagara book topics should be considered spoiler-rife zones to new readers, and I would recommend avoiding them altogether if one really hates being spoiled.  :-) 

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ATerafin    8

hi when is oracle due to come out.

 

I'm 99% certain Michelle said on the blog, maybe in the comments, mid-2014.  Touch took some time, which may or may not have delayed it.  

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sevenjet777    0

I am having a really hard time being patient waiting for Oracle to come out. Michelle West is definitely one of my top five all time favorite writers and I've read and reread all her books. Does anyone have any suggestions for similar books or authors? I'm always on the lookout for something new to read and would appreciate any helpful hints. Thanks!

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Tchula    16

Me, too, Sevenjet!  The Essaylien novels are far and away my favorite all-time series, and I am really looking forward to Oracle.  Looks like it may be end of 2014 though.  T_T

 

In the meantime, although I can't really say these are totally similar, because Michelle's writing style is one-of-a-kind, you could try Janny Wurts's Mistwraith series (ongoing), Kate Elliot's Crown of Stars series (complete), or C.S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy (complete).  I'm entertaining myself with Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy atm, which has smart characters and an interesting magic system (Allomancy).  You should also check out the Books By Other Authors topic on this forum, which has more member recommendations.

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Salty    15

If you are looking for something to keep you occupied for a looonnnngggg time, I'd recommend the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, 14 big books long. It's epic fantasy, and more plot driven than character driven but I think Jordan neatly balances (for the most part) level of detail and world building with exciting plot lines.

Another author you might want to explore is Robin Hobb. Her several series are more character driven than Jordan's WoT. I especially found her Rain Wilds series vastly entertaining, tho you might want to read the LIve Ship Traders series first for some background.

Like Tchula I like Kate Elliott but I much preferred her Spirit Walker serries to her Crown of Stars series. Both are complete.

I'm a big fan of Anne Bishop, she's not as deeply immersive as our Michelle is, but she's a fun read and has great characters. I think of her as more of a "paper TV" writer, but it's really good 'paper TV.'

I could go on and on but it would help if we knew what else you liked besides Michelle West.

 

Salty

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lizamama    0

I am having a really hard time being patient waiting for Oracle to come out. Michelle West is definitely one of my top five all time favorite writers and I've read and reread all her books. Does anyone have any suggestions for similar books or authors? I'm always on the lookout for something new to read and would appreciate any helpful hints. Thanks!

hei sevenjet. some authors I like r guy gavriel kay (he has some stand alone novels n the fionavar tapestry) katherine kurtz (not her sci-fi tho - try her deryni series) tad williams (memory, sorrow and thorn series) and I agree that janny wurts is good I especially like her empire series written in collaboration with raymond e feist and of course g r r martin even though his work I find a bit too dark sometimes.

 

the reason I love michelle is her use of language I love authors that draw me in and these authors (it is only my opinion) are just as great in their use of words in world and character building. a bit of advice tho, some people find janny wurts too confusing in the way she phrases her sentences but I just love it.

 

like I "tickle" I reread these authors over and over again.

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RTJ    6

Two of the most disappointing series for me have been the Wheel of Time by Jordan and Stephen Donaldson's books. Couldn't stand to finish either of them. Both authors, in my humble opinion, got lost and wandered in the desert, for years! I think they suffered from sunstroke. Deux ex machina abounds, particularly in Donaldson's last book from what I understand.

 

To me, it is one thing that set's Michelle's work apart from ANY other author's work that has extended to this many books: she has NEVER gotten lost and wandered in the desert.

 

Take one example: Angel. He's been around since the beginning. Never been a major character, he's been there, part of the den; but, never at the forefront. Now, in Battle, he comes blazing back! Michelle has never lost track of any of the character she has introduced, or their stories, or where they fit into the overarching scheme of things. I LOVE it!! :)

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HILDA    6

Is anyone still following these topics. Many of them are interesting, but we seem to be giving up on the Forums, if not on Michelle's books. We all want then "NOW".  I have spent a few hours here today looking for kindred spirits. None. Left a few messages and I'm back. In fact I have gone to a few topics and find them very old. I can't even find a message I posted a very few months ago. Maybe in November where they were asking for recommendations of other writers besides Michelle. My contribution, with several suggestions, doesn't seems to be here.Today, I looked for it and couldn't find it. Since I know there is still some time to come before Michelle's next book, I think that many other readers are giving up on posting in these Forums. Michelle needs to send us an update message, although, while she writes we will never give up on her.The publication of Oracle was postponed. I know I ordered the book the first time it was posted in B&N who did it first. Then, I ordered it in Amazon. Those orders disappeared. I went back in December and reordered the hardback book in Amazon and the one for the NOOK in B&N. I want to have it the minute it comes out and can start reading as soon as B&N download it Io my NOOK. I can also read at night with the bedroom light turned off. Yes, I do fall asleep, but it will be a pleasure. I'll go to bed early just for it. I'm re-reading for the 3rd time The Hidden City. How is possible to still discover new things. I go back to the long talk between Rath and Sigurne, 3/4 into the book, many pages starting about 490 in the paperback. Their discussion about demons: what, how, where, when, which they are. It's about 30 pages long. All new again. Will re-read again tonight because I have to.  Now, when all these other books have been read, this discussion makes much more sense. In fact, if I read the next books soon, they will make more sense. I think this is Michelle's best gift in her books, they remain new and challenging.

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Tchula    16

Hilda, I also enjoy a re-read of Michelle's works because I always find something I either a) forgot about, or B) didn't even realize the first time I read it.  I think the forum will become more active again once Oracle comes out in May (assuming the May 5th date Amazon has is correct).  I have been spending my last couple of months reading Orson Scott Card's Ender Quintet, which is quite excellent if you enjoy sci-fi.  It's heavily character-driven, and I really love those types of novels because I am always interested in people and why they do the things they do.  After I finish it, I think I'll change things up and read a nonfiction title like Down, Dark, Deep (about the Chilean miners who got trapped in the mine) because I'm interested in the psychology of how different people respond to the thought of imminent death.  I think that will keep me plenty busy until May--at least I hope so!  :-)

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RTJ    6

I think we need to start a petition: to whit, publish the Sigurne section that had to be cut from Oracle as either a short story as has been done for others i.e. Avandar, Kallandras. Or, just publish it as is as a sort of film on the floor edit cut like what might be found on a Blue-Ray disk under Deleted Scenes.

 

That's just my two cents!

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drza44    2

I think we need to start a petition: to whit, publish the Sigurne section that had to be cut from Oracle as either a short story as has been done for others i.e. Avandar, Kallandras. Or, just publish it as is as a sort of film on the floor edit cut like what might be found on a Blue-Ray disk under Deleted Scenes.

 

That's just my two cents!

 

About 10 years ago Michelle had a similar cut scene with Meralonne and Anduvin from Sea of Sorrows, and she ended up e-mailing it to people who asked her for it. I think I saw that she was going to get the Sigurne scene out to people who wanted it in some fashion as well. That's why she's so cool.  B)

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RTJ    6

About 10 years ago Michelle had a similar cut scene with Meralonne and Anduvin from Sea of Sorrows, and she ended up e-mailing it to people who asked her for it. I think I saw that she was going to get the Sigurne scene out to people who wanted it in some fashion as well. That's why she's so cool.  B)

 

I vaguely remember that from the Yahoo group days but I never got to see it!! I need to send her an email and request it!  :ph34r:

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drza44    2

I vaguely remember that from the Yahoo group days but I never got to see it!! I need to send her an email and request it!  :ph34r:

 

I've still got it. I can post and/or e-mail it to you, assuming that it's kosher. I mean, it's been 10 years so I'm assuming it's ok with Michelle? Will Tchula or someone rule on whether it's cool for me to post the passage on here?

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Tchula    16

I have asked for input from a higher power, aka Michelle, to make this call.  I'm sure we'll hear something soon.  ;-) 

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terrydavis    3

This is a good example about the problems with forums. Just posted a comment and it was there and then it left and can't be found. I'm going to try it again.

Tchula or Drza44 did you ever post the short story or give out the URL for the one from Sea of Sorrows?

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Tchula    16

Yes, Michelle said it's okay to post the URL, so go ahead, drza44.  Can you make a separate topic and call it Meralonne/Anduvin cut scene or something like that so people can find it?  Much appreciated.

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BR60103    12

Michelle has just posted that War will now be 2 books -- Firstborn and War -- to come out in 2019.

Explanation: the book was too big for a single volume, so they let (made?) Michelle add something to it so that it can be 2 single volumes.

 

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