the Author

State of the Author, August 2023 edition

Posted in Cast, Elantra, Essalieyan, Jody Lee, life.

As those of you who follow my Patreon know, at the begin­ning of July, I had a drive-by argu­ment with a chair in the living room, and lost. I managed to break not one, but two, toes. I have been off work at the book­store, but in theory will return on the 10th of August, the day on which I can take off the boot on my foot.

Previous toe breakage did not require a boot. But I could stand on the foot in both prior cases. By the end of the day of the 2‑toe breakage, I was reduced to crawling because I couldn’t actu­ally put any weight on the foot at all. Which meant, when we went to the hospital, I went in bare feet; I couldn’t put even a sandal on.

I will spare you the rest of the details, but suffice it to say that I’m looking forward to being in the book­store again >.<.


Shards of Glass is done now in all its stages. All copy­edits, all proof­reading and proof­reader queries, etc. I am now writing Cast in Atone­ment (yes, I have a title now!) and the second West novel (for which I thought I had a title, but appar­ently don’t). The Cast novel, as usual, is going well; the West novel is at chapter one version four. This always happens with West novels. I think, because CAST novels are essen­tially Kaylin point of view, there’s less searching for the right begin­ning. The only time I’ve had to take multiple run-ups to a cast novel was Cast in Sorrow, and that’s because I’d been asked for a story-so-far begin­ning, and I hate those T_T.

(It wasn’t until I had a shower that I real­ized exactly how that could work and fit Kaylin and the book – a resentful rant!)

The current pub date for Cast in Atone­ment is August 2024Shards of Glass is November of 2023.

As for Hunter’s Redoubt: it took the copy­ed­itor longer than she thought it would to copy­edit 300k words, but she was also building a series long concor­dance and rereading and checking all prior West novels to develop it prop­erly. I thought we were finished; she has a few more queries incoming, but says they should be minor. I have chosen to believe her.

I’ve sent the copy­edited and reviewed book, minus those changes, to the audio narrator; she always does a full read of a book before she starts recording, takes notes, phones me about pronun­ci­a­tion of new names, etc. And it’s not a a short book >.>.

When the copy­ed­itor sends her last queries and her concor­dance, the book will then go to the proofreader.

Also: the artist is now working on the painting. Yes, that would be Jody Lee.

It is not ready yet, but I can now see an end in sight.


25 Responses to State of the Author, August 2023 edition

  1. Rebecca says:

    Always happy to read your updates, very much looking forward to the new Shards and the new Cast books .

  2. Marie says:

    Ouch. Oh that really hurts. Take care. Never augue with a chair, can’t win.

  3. Faye says:

    I really enjoy your books and am looking forward to the new releases. Thank you.

  4. michelle says:

    @Rebecca: I often feel self-conscious about posting Too Much if I don’t have any tangible news. It’s why this blog func­tions as a newsletter; my actual mailing list is “Book is avail­able now”, and nothing else. But many years ago, I hadn’t posted for months (many months), and one of my readers said “We just want to know if you’re still alive”. He was worried. So now I try to post once a month, but some­times, when there’s nothing new to offer beyond “still writing”, I just hide under my rock because surely that’s not what people are looking for, right? 

    So thank you :)

  5. Cheryl Norman says:

    Glad your disagree­ment with the chair didn’t result in perma­nent impair­ment. So happy to read about the new releases. I’ll mark my calendar!!

  6. Mary Allen says:

    Having you post as I age it is comforting, to know you are writing and I have a new book to look forward to. I hope your toes have healed and every­thing else is going well. You may have answered this before but will Hunter’s Redoubt be avail­able as a Hard back, Trade or Mass market paper­back? And is there a tenta­tive release date?

  7. Melanie says:

    Yep broken bones in foot are not comfort­able; still have foot; but I like to skip a 3rd broken foot if possible
    Heal up young lady

  8. michelle says:

    I have healed consid­er­ably since I broke the toes, but not completely, so I am being as mindful as I can. Over-focused people some­times have unfor­tu­nate things — like, say, the color of traffic lights T_T — fall out of their brain when their very deep in thought.

  9. michelle says:

    @Mary Allen: At this point, it’s an 850 page trade paper­back. I looked at hard­cover options, but there were none I could afford while also paying editors, artists and designers.

  10. michelle says:

    @Cheryl: Thank you <3

  11. Sara says:

    While the broken toe news isn’t spec­tac­ular, the rest is the good sort of news I was hoping for when i opened your email. I would have happily purchased a digital copy, but I am beyond thrilled that Hunter’s Redoubt will be avail­able as a phys­ical copy! Looking forward to rear­ranging my Sagara/West shelves!

  12. Janet Kordell says:

    Is there going to be a 3rd book in the Wolves of Elantra series and when?

  13. Joyce says:

    We always want to know how your life progresses within the bounds of not being creepy. If you are well and happy and writing then we get books quicker. If you are not for reasons of misfor­tune or ill health then we can at least curb any resent­ment at the absence of books. That said, I cele­brate the glad tidings that your life is returning to an even keel. 

    I am resisting marking pages in my calendar for Shards. It will appear on my Kindle when it will. I am so happy that Kaylin will arrive in less than 2 years from her last visit. May all the life and writing gods smile on you and smooth your path. Take care of yourself.

  14. Sara says:

    In my excite­ment about the phys­ical Hunter’s Redoubt book, I forgot to ask if it will be avail­able through Indigo? Or will it be different because this hasn’t been your usual process?

  15. michelle says:

    @Sara: I am self-publishing Hunter’s Redoubt, which means the print version will be Print-On-Demand. Print on demand book costs are based entirely on the number of pages — in this case 850+. To get the page count lower, I’d have to reduce the type size so it would be prac­ti­cally unreadable. 

    Book­stores like Indigo order from publishers well in advance of a book’s publi­ca­tion date, through sales reps or cata­logues. I won’t have that, so I honestly don’t expect the book to be avail­able through Indigo except by special order (I think Indigo does do special orders through Ingram).

    ETA: I have just discov­ered that PoD services won’t print a book that is longer than 828 pages T_T. So, exam­ining options now.

  16. Aquilegia says:

    @Michelle: Most if not all of us have had friends or loved ones get sick, or badly hurt, or die suddenly. You have had a real posi­tive impact on our lives and we care about you and will worry if you drop out of commu­ni­ca­tion for several months. That is one of the hazards of anxiety and related mental illnesses. We auto­mat­i­cally assume the worst in any situ­a­tion (and then try to figure out how it’s our fault). 

    We appre­ciate you taking pity on our neurosis and letting us know that every­thing is okay

  17. Gail Halsted says:

    Happy to hear you are almost healed.
    Not been the happiest of years on my home front so great to hear about the upcoming books. Thanks for your hard work.

  18. Sara says:

    I know this is an inel­e­gant solu­tion: but without hesi­ta­tion I would buy this text if split at a random chapter around the 420nd page point, printed as two books and sold as a bundle. Of course this creates the slight issue of having an extra back and front cover…so some prob­lems of it’s own. But it would save ALL the words :) And it gives us some­thing phys­ical to “look what I get to read”-wave, in our friends faces ;P

  19. michelle says:

    @Sara: I’m currently exper­i­menting with different fonts. I found extra room in that back, non-novel pages. I was at 848 pages, so using a different font cut that down. The problem with 2 volume bundles is: they’re still more expen­sive than a single volume — and at the moment, it looks like the single 828 volume is going to be 29.00. Two volumes would prob­ably be 40.00. And these would be paper­backs. So: no — I’m not cutting actual words, or looking to cut actual words — but this is the longest first volume of a series I’ve ever written T_T

  20. Therese says:

    Good luck with reducing the page count! Is there any leeway if you adjust line spacing or kerning?

  21. michelle says:

    @Therese: I’ve reduced both by a small amount — but I don’t want the print version to require a magni­fying glass to read, so mostly I’ve been switching actual fonts to see how much of a differ­ence the font choice itself makes.

    One that seemed small to me was 30 extra pages, for instance.

    If the book was 1,000 pages long, I’d split it. I wouldn’t have much choice, unless I wanted to cut 30% of the book (when you cut, it also requires new words to smooth the gaping holes).

  22. Christina G. says:

    I am SO excited about Hunter’s Redoubt. I am glad that there is a light at the end of the tunnel there for you, and when published, I will happily buy. Thank you for your words and your worlds.

  23. Jan says:

    Please I would rather have the story version you envi­sioned to share with us with smaller font rather than lose any words you chose to weave this adven­ture and to tell this story.…

  24. michelle says:

    @Jan: I’m not cutting words at this point, but… I don’t want people to have to read with a magni­fying glass, because one of those people would be me =/

  25. Lee says:

    Woah whaaaa… Two broken toes walking into a chair?! ‑Okay that was my first response and then I remem­bered I dropped a large bottle of water I was fighting to open on my own foot a week or two ago, and that was high drama. I thought I’d broken a toe as well — thank­fully not, but I was freaked out at the thought of having to seek medical help when I could barely hobble to a seat. So I totally feel the horror of that situ­a­tion. Hope you had wittier replies than I did to the enquiries about my almost broken toe 🙈

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