the Author

State of the Author: February 2023 edition

Posted in Cast, Elantra, Essalieyan, writing, Mira.

Very early February, granted.

I have finished Shards of Glass and have submitted it to my editor at Mira, which means it’s not tech­ni­cally finished until revi­sions have been requested and completed. This gives me a needed mental break from a book that was almost two weeks late, so I can return to it with a less panicked and more objec­tive frame of mind.

When I say “more objec­tive” this is on the scale of writer neurosis, so keep that in mind :).

While I wait on edito­rial input for two books, I have started the ramp up to writing two books; I have more of a head start on the West novel, but will take at least a week to reread all of Sun Sword and make notes.

I tend, in real life, to forget small details. Sadly, I do this with novels as well. I remember the char­ac­ters, their core, their moti­va­tions. I forget things like: eye color (again), and also the signif­i­cance of small details: like, say, the sun ascen­dent versus the sun rising. It’s clothing, right? T_T

I have a minor allergy to reading while making notes, but I of course need to do this; I need to sink back into the mindset of the culture in the Dominion.

On the Cast side of the fence, the CAST books are the easiest books to start, for me. I think I’ve had two false starts in the entire series.

But while I can work on West book 2 (which as of yet has no title), and put it aside when revi­sions come in for Hunter’s Redoubt, I can do it because the entire series is, in some ways, all of one thing for me. It doesn’t take me out of the book to have to set the new words aside for the older words.

I have more of a problem with the CAST book because Shards of Glass is, while adja­cent, different in tone and feel. So I will think about and plan (which is only useful 33% of the time) the next novel, but prob­ably won’t start writing it until after I’ve finished revi­sions on the new book.

Other than that, while I still sound congested when I speak, I am mostly over the cold that derailed writing for four days. Everyone here is healthy.

I hope your new year so far is, if not delightful, not disastrous :)

39 Responses to State of the Author: February 2023 edition

  1. hsmyers says:

    When I say “more objec­tive” this is on the scale of writer neurosis, so keep that in mind :).

    Hmm, that’s like when your math teacher mentions ‘log’ scales and you look around wondering why no said to bring a hatchet to class…

  2. Merie Roberts says:

    The Sun Sword series was the best that you have written. I read many authors, but, I re-read that series. It is a master­piece. I thank you again for that wonderful writing.

  3. michelle says:

    @hsmyers: LOL! Yes, a bit like that.

  4. Paula Lieberman says:

    Shards of Glass? “Cast adjacent”???

  5. Peter Sutton says:

    @Merie Roberts … fyi we are close to getting “Hunter’s Redoubt”, the first of the next set of novels in Sun Sword / House Wars series — The End of Days arc. The series was not carried by a publisher, so is being supported on Patreon under Michelle West.

  6. Aquilegia says:

    As always, please remember that we want a healthy and sane author more than we want the books right now. I mean, of course we want them right now. But not at the expense of your health, mental or phys­ical. Take care of your­self and your family first, we will under­stand and endeavor to be patient. 

    I find that it is easier to take notes when reading a digital book. Much easier to find things I only halfway remember too. Search func­tion for the win. Everyone is different, of course. And my system will not work for everyone. But it might be some­thing to try if you think it will help. (This has almost certainly occurred to you, but not everyone knows that you can add a note whoever you high­light text. So, just in case…)

  7. Christina Grykuliak says:

    Thank you very much for the update, and I’m very much looking forward to Hunter’s Redoubt when finished!

  8. Susan Cook says:

    Hi Michelle,
    I am glad you’re feeling better and I know what you mean about reading and taking notes at the same time. I am an ARC and Beta reader and need to do it all the time. I get involved in the story and unless there is a glaring error forget to not grammar or spelling mistakes.
    I have recently read Cast in Eter­nity and I am wondering when Lord Night­shade is going to pop up again, he has been missing from the last 2 books. 

    I have also been enjoying the wolves’ stories featuring Severn, it’s good that he gets to feature a bit more. 

    Susan Cook

  9. Theresa French says:

    Christmas and my birthday all in one! Thank you for contin­uing the Sun Sword series — I am in awe of your writing. I do enjoy all your books — that’s why I am a Patreon!

  10. michelle says:

    @Paula: It’s a book that takes place at the Acad­emia, and it centers around Robin and his friend.

  11. Joyce says:

    So glad to see you out of the writer’s tunnel and able to decom­press. I’m really looking forward to Shards of Glass, which is already up for pre-order on Amazon in a rather basic listing of an arrival date at the end of November. I will put in an order so I can help enforce the belief that we love you. Does this mean it will be another year before we see another Cast book? I’m another of those aging readers who want to know how it ends. : (

  12. michelle says:

    @Joyce: I shouldn’t be another year after — but it will depend. This book took me longer than usual to write =/. The Sagara book I start next is the next CAST novel.

  13. Mary Allen says:

    I too appre­ciate the updates. You are one of only two authors I buy multiple copies of their books. I have three copies of Hidden City and have it on my nook. I have all the Cast books in paper­back and on my nook I have multiple copies of the Sun sword series and have actu­ally worn copies of the first book in the series out. I bought all the House books in hard­back and am disap­pointed I won’t be able to have Hunter’s Redoubt in hard­back too. I pray for you and your fami­ly’s continued health in order for you to keep writing. Your books really helped me get through 2020.

  14. hsmyers says:

    This book took me longer than usual to write
    Please define “usual”… Seems to me that the key factor is length and we all know that you are ever so good at control­ling that!

  15. Joyce says:

    Michelle, I truly under­stand and will quite happily read Elantra centric books when­ever they appear. Thank you.

  16. michelle says:

    @hsmyers: I strug­gled — as I do — with the begin­ning of the book, and made several different attempts at what I assumed was the correct event. And then moved that. And then moved to an entirely different view­point. Which finally worked. So this wasn’t about length, this time :)

  17. hsmyers says:

    Well actu­ally my last comment waas a thinly disguised plea for longer :)

  18. michelle says:

    @hsmyers: LOL!

  19. Melanie A Allen says:

    Awe I have all your books and am awaiting your next several ones. I wait patiently, I love your stories. I finally get to an end of a series, shelve it and to reread at a further date. Take care of yourself

  20. Cheryl Norman says:

    Love the Elantra series. What’s next after Cast in Eter­nity? When can I expect the next book in the series?

  21. br60103 says:

    Michelle: the front page of the blog still says that Cast in Eter­nity has been delayed.
    You might want some­thing more up to date.

  22. Cheryl Norman says:

    I’m almost finished reading Cast in Eter­nity and can’t wait for the next book. Any hints on when the next book may be available?

  23. michelle says:

    @Cheryl: I have only barely started the next CAST novel – the next Sagara book will be Cast-adja­cent, but not a Cast novel (that one’s finished). This far out, I don’t have useful infor­ma­tion about when the book will be published, in large part because it’s not finished yet =/

  24. Cheryl Norman says:

    Just over anxious I guess!

  25. Aquilegia says:

    @Cherly Everyone here is anxious, and excited, and impa­tient, and the list of synonyms goes on. I completely under­stand your feel­ings. But I am also doing my best to remember that Michelle is a person with all the normal frail­ties that come with it, and she has a life outside of appeasing our ravenous hunger for more content. No matter how hard that can be at times. The greedy little book wyrm in my soul cries out for more trea­sures to add to its hoard. And I keep gently reminding it to be patient

    I would help to speed up the process if I could. I have offered to do research. I am not sure how much help it would be, no amount of notes will help until the right writing prompt comes along. There is no way for any of us to help with that. And, I under­stand why the answer must be ‘no’. It would require a level of trust and connec­tion that we simply don’t have and can’t develop through forums or blog comments

  26. CHERYL NORMAN says:

    I under­stand completely. I’ll just re-read past editions and get my “fix” that way.

  27. Joyce says:

    Just a heads up. Shards of Glass has a cover! It’s open for pre-orders but won’t be out until November. 🥺 November is going to be a great month though because there will also be new Doctor Who (for those who celebrate).

  28. Kerry Baker says:

    I for one would absolutely love the back story of Teela and Tain.

  29. Kathleen Ramsey says:

    I have greatly enjoyed the cast series. It is an all time favorite along with Ann McCaf­frey’s Dragon riders of Pern. There will be no more thru her, she died in 2011. Her son Todd has all of the rights to the series if he were to continue it.
    I haven’t read the Sun Sword yet. But am inter­ested. Just have to get some first in order to read them.

  30. L S says:

    Idea for the future note­taking, mind maps. Lots of connec­tions, including those pesky details. If you create a char­acter or add a detail, you can add that to the ongoing map. I find it useful for projects some­times. Good luck.

  31. Mary Allen says:

    Michelle, I thought you might find this inter­esting. Today I received an e‑mail from Barnes and Nobel saying since I purchased Skir­mish I might want Battle and then there were pictures of four of your other books. City of Niight, Dark­lands and Sun Sword and when I high­lighted the Sun Sword it offered it as an e‑book. I didn’t know that the Sun Sword books were avail­able as ebooks. Is the whole series avail­able as ebooks ?

  32. Tammy Butler says:

    I am rereading The Sun Sword series for the 4th time. I have so many ques­tions, like what is the 5th City of Man? Will you be writing about the rise of the Cities? What happened to Kiriel in the Court of the Tor Leonne? I am so excited to hear that you are expanding on the West books.

  33. Aquilegia says:

    Just hoping that you are doing well and that the winter blues haven’t getting to you too much. It has been a hard winter for a lot of us with some bitterly cold spells that just make every­thing seem bleak. But spring and sunshine are just around the corner. Flowers are begin­ning to pop up. 

    There is no real point to this comment other than to try and spread a bit of posi­tivity around. Maybe cause a smile or two. The world needs more joy. Thank you for creating some happi­ness for me

  34. michelle says:

    @Aquilegia: As you have perhaps guessed, the winter has been diffi­cult here. Possibly it’s because it’s All Revi­sion all the time, and revi­sions make me feel inad­e­quate at best. I don’t need to revise things I got right the first time, and my frus­tra­tion at getting things wrong tends to loom larger when things are already some­what grey. 

    But this is also writer-as-usual for me, so I persist :)

  35. Aquilegia says:

    @Michelle: We have a lot of mental health issues in my house. Some autism, some crip­pling anxiety, and a whole lot of ADHD. As I keep trying to remind my sweet chil­dren, nothing is perfect, and no one can be perfect all of the time. We all have brief flashes of it, when we manage to say or do exactly the right thing at exactly the right moment. The flip side of that, of course, is the brief flashes of absolute failure. You are not just this moment. You are not just these last several months. Or years in my oldest child’s case.

    We have been to a _lot_ of therapy. You can tell we have been to a lot of therapy. I occa­sion­ally find myself sounding like a ther­a­pist, even though I am not one. And I know that you already know all of this. Heavens knows I have heard it thou­sands of times when my brain has just decided not to coop­erate today. Some­times it helps to hear it from some­body who isn’t emotion­ally invested. Here is a long distance hug if you need it, and an apology if I have stuck my nose into where it wasn’t wanted. 

    This too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.

  36. DeathOfFantasy says:

    Perhaps we as fans could/should start a wiki page about the books and its char­ac­ters, where Michelle could try to get to refresh her memory. I do know of at least one author with a very exten­sive universe who does frequently use such a database.

    I am really looking forward to all books in the world of Elantra. But please stay healthy to provide us readers with more content.

  37. Aquilegia says:

    There are two wiki pages that I have found. Both in absolutely deplorable condi­tion. I have been inde­ci­sive about which one to edit, or if I should start another one. Thus, para­lyzed by uncer­tainty, I have done nothing. 

    chron­i­cles-of-elantra (dot) fandom (dot) com
    empire­o­falaon (dot) fandom (dot) com

  38. Mary Allen says:

    I didn’t realize Shards of Glass was avail­able for pre-order. I ordered my e‑book copy today and will order a hard copy closer to release date as I don’t always know where I will be Alabama or Florida.

  39. DeathOfFantasy says:

    @Aquilegia I finally checked them out and I think it would be less effort to try to salvage the first one you mentioned. I think starting another one would be inad­vis­able. I would love to help, but someone has to help me with the book pages for my refer­ences, since I’ve only got most books as ebooks. They are easier to come by for me. If you have discord and are inter­ested we could try to coor­di­nate there.

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