the Author

State of the Author, March 2017 edition

Posted in DAW, Elantra, Essalieyan, writing.

March was eventful for me, since I usually stay at home and hide under large rocks.

I partic­i­pated in the pixel­pro­ject fundraiser. As of this morning, I have mailed or hand-deliv­ered two of the three books that donors chose in that auction (the third is not finished, not published, and promised to the third donor when both of those things occur); I have had the absolute plea­sure of speaking with the readers who chose the 30 minute hangouts.

During the month, however, I continued my normal writing schedule, with a brief break of two days to attend a convention. 

So, this is where the writing currently stands. Cast in Decep­tion, as it is currently called, is due in April; it is most of the way there, although it will prob­ably be mid-April before I can type “the end”, figu­ra­tively speaking.

When I am finished the due-in-April novel, I will imme­di­ately begin work on the Severn short story. 

War is now on its final internal arc. I have… more words to go to finish it than I do to finish the Cast novel. I do not know how many more words, but I do know that this is the start of the home stretch.

As of this writing, I’m uncer­tain that I will be attending conven­tions this year; the only excep­tion is a conven­tion in Ottawa. Travel across the US border has become increas­ingly fraught. But I remain hopeful.

35 Responses to State of the Author, March 2017 edition

  1. Joyce Ronquillo says:

    Loud cheers for Cast in Decep­tion. Hoorah!!! I’m sorry I had to get that out first. I am so sorry my country is being stupid right now. Believe me when I say it is just as fraught from this end. I have vowed not to leave the country without a nota­rized set of vital docu­ments going back at least 200 years for me and my son. Back to the point…a Severn short story? Oh, goody, I love Severn. 

    How far from the end is Elantra? I am ambiva­lent about that. I love the people and the world and don’t want them to go way and yet I want to know the end and leave them in a good place. Also, could you say some­thing about the time­line for this series? I’ve been reading it for a very long time and yet I am aware that far less time has passed for Kaylin. It gets a bit confusing sometimes.

    Thank you, Michelle. and take care of your­self, you’re valued and appreciated.

  2. @Joyce: I am uncer­tain. Cast in Decep­tion is followed by a second book (sort of like Cast in Peril/Cast in Sorrow, but actu­ally the books are better self-contained). I have two more things I would like to do in Elantra, and then there’s an ending – and the ending itself will prob­ably be the only not-really-stand­alone set of books.

    But basi­cally, as long as there are stories I actu­ally want to tell in Elantra, I’ll write them, and when there aren’t any left, I’ll write the ending; i never want to get to a point where I’m writing books that I don’t actu­ally want to write, if that makes sense?

  3. To expand on that a bit: When I started Cast in Peril, one of the things I knew was that Kaylin would need a new place to live. And I kind of liked the idea of Kaylin trudging from door to door being inter­viewed by land­lords, because in some fashion, it’s some­thing we’ve all had to do.

    So: I had the idea that I would write a novella about Kaylin finding a new place to live.

    And then I wrote Cast in Peril, which lead into Cast in Sorrow, which lead into Mandoran and Annarion coming back to Elantra with Kaylin.

    So my tiny novella about normal life for Kaylin became…not very tiny, and kind of an emer­gency. The book “Kaylin finds a new home” doesn’t sound all that inter­esting in a single sentence, and in fact, it wasn’t supposed to be a whole novel… but having the two in Elantra had consequences.

    I have ideas of what I would like to write. But… the various char­ac­ters and inter­ac­tions from past books change the flow of Kaylin’s life, and it alters the stories that I want to tell. I did get to write about the new home bit, but.

  4. Zia says:

    Best of luck with Cast in Decep­tion (I like the name btw) and War going smoothly for you! I’m looking forward to both novels, while hoping not to indi­rectly be adding to your stress level. Thanks for taking the time to keep us posted!

  5. merie says:

    Thankyou for keeping us posted. Really looking forward to WAR. Severn is my least favorite charecter. But, since its you writing it I will read it.Cast series are doing very well​.it must get compli­cated after a time. And you do it so well. Best of luck. Take care of your­self. Spring is here that should help

  6. hsmyers says:

    While the answer to my ques­tion is no doubt “Of course!”, have you given thought to back-fill (crude, but you get the idea) for Essalieyan? I can think of at least one (more now that I do…) char­ac­ters that I’d love to see expanded on! Spec­u­late without fear of commit­ment here!!

  7. @hsmyers: it’s mostly forward-fill, for want of a better word. I am thinking of all of the things that happen in the world after the end of War.

    And one hunter story.

  8. Jacqueline says:

    Hi Michelle, just wanted to say that I have been riveted by your writing since I started reading the first book in the Sun Sword series. I have revis­ited the series as well as the arc story of Jewel & co many times, and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to hearing what happens next in the story.
    Thank you for bringing so much reading plea­sure to me. I am awaiting War with bated breath.

  9. Fyreink says:

    I loved your hour long webcast you did with the pixel project, and really liked the begin­ning of Cast in Decep­tion that you read. I didn’t have a chance to say it before, but I really enjoyed reading Cast in Flight, as we got to see more of the Hawk­lord, and the Aerians, though I missed Sana­balis. He wasn’t looking too good at the end of Cast in Honor. I can’t wait until Decep­tion comes out!

  10. Nancy Pezel says:

    Hi Michelle! Just wanted to say how much I enjoy the Elantra series. I am retired and read about 200 books a year and admit that I read the Elantra books at least once a year. I am a fan of Severn. I don’t want the series to end but I guess there has to be an ending. It would be nice to see how things turn out.

  11. @Jacqueline: Thank you! Although there are still a lot of words to write, I feel like I’ve hit ending. It’s just… a long, long ending.

    @Fyreink: Yes, Sana­balis has been absent of late. 

    @Nancy: Thank you :). As I said: I intend to write all the stories I want to write before I write an ending, but I do have one in mind.

  12. Laura Lima says:

    I just want to acknowl­edge your warrior status…look what you’ve accom­plished! You’ve made it through the “black days” and that’s no small thing…

  13. Tchula says:

    Love the title Cast in Decep­tion! And I am, of course, eagerly awaiting War and the start of the home stretch for the Essalieyan series. Spring is well on the way! ;-)

  14. DebbieH says:

    Just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful words and worlds. Is it like taking a vaca­tion to go from one series to another? Really looking forward to Cast in Decep­tion, it was like a tease to hear the begin­ning. 10 minutes is too short. Hope you take time to enjoy your family, we really will wait was long as it takes you.

  15. @DebbieH: I work on both. On some days, one book is easier, and other more diffi­cult – on some, both are easy, and on some, I want to throw myself off the nearest cliff (which is really not that near). So, on the days where I’ve strug­gled to get a minimum number of words on one book, I can easily pick up the other, without the stress.

    This taught me that some­times, it’s not me — it’s the book, or the specific scene, or etc. And it’s change­able; it’s not that one universe is always easy and the other always difficult.

    When I reach the end of a book – either one – I work only on the one book until it’s done; endings tend to eat my brain.

  16. @Laura: Thank you :). I think, because Grave was so diffi­cult to write, I mostly shut down; when writing is not going well, I tend to grad­u­ally with­draw from, oh, every­thing. And then after it was done, because it was so late, there was the back­ground anxiety about recep­tion. And then: people did not hate it – or rather, the people who commented here and the people who sent email did not hate it; I haven’t looked anywhere else. Because: coward.

    But yes. Dark days have been receding, which is prob­ably why I’m around more.

  17. kitiara aerin rhionne young-green says:

    hey michelle what is the name of the conven­tion in ottawa canada you might be at? ever since i discov­ered elantra ive dreamed of having you sign my books youve been a hero and inspi­ra­tion to me as a new hopeful fantasy writer for a long time. i love all your books and you truly inspire me. but i have never been to a conven­tion and dont know how to find out which one and such. can you list the name of it?

  18. @kitiara: http://​can​-con​.org/​cc/ (can-con 2017)

    BUT: I am not certain that I will be on program­ming. My editor/publisher is the editor GoH, so I will be there regard­less, but, ummm, I just applied for actual program­ming now because your ques­tion reminded me. (I have been focused on bad typos, writing, and fundraisers, not always in that order).

  19. kitiara aerin rhionne young-green says:

    @michelle thanks! im glad you were reminded then XD. i always have bad typos when i write or messed up grammar. im still working on that part of my writing.

  20. Very excited about the Severn short story. What a great choice. Thanks you again for the hangout chat, was absolutely amazing. Great cause and what a wonderful oppor­tu­nity. I started rereading the essaliyen books after we spoke trying to read the stories in the time­line order they happened rather than when published. I’ve been paying partic­ular atten­tion to areas we spoke about and it has brought new meaning to what I am reading. Thanks again and look forward to War and Cast in Deception.

  21. Mich Li says:

    I like a lot of the new char­ac­ters intro­duce into Elantra namely Mandoran and Bellusdeo. Would love to read more about them

  22. Cy says:

    Thank you for the hours of plea­sure your creative writing has provided. 

    Not to stress you out or anything like that, but when is cast in decep­tion coming out? So I can preorder the ebook and take the day off. Who needs sleep? Then I’ll listen to the audible version. I rush through the ebook and savor the story as I listen. ????

  23. koetsu says:


    That is exciting news about War working its way toward an ending, I can not imagine the skill neces­sary to complete so many char­acter arcs. While I do like the exploits of Jewel and her band of flawed ancients, are there expec­ta­tions of revis­iting the arcs of the Sun Sword or even the Sacred Hunt? That was my intro­duc­tion to your works and I find the char­ac­ters fascinating. :-)

  24. @koetsu: Yes. The last arc returns to the Hunters – and to Kiriel. Among others. But, yes.

    @Cy: I’m not entirely certain =/. I lost about 2 months of produc­tive writing; November and December of the past year. So: the book is late. And the produc­tion schedule is now different, with full inte­gra­tion into HCP. As soon as I do know, I’ll post here, though.

    @Tracy: thank you :D

  25. koetsu says:

    @michelle: That is super exciting! Kiriel and her rela­tion­ship with Isladar and his grand game is extremely enter­taining. I am not ashamed to say that I have read the Sun Sword series at least 5 times and always find connec­tions or nuances that amaze me. You create remark­able worlds.

  26. Giusy says:

    Dear Michelle,

    I love your books.

    Let me be a fangirl for a moment and say that I was going crazy looking for news on the new book, huntil now I was totally unable to find the new book name, it’s blurb or the relase date.. if you can get us more info I would be grateful.
    I also didn’t knew of Severn’s story.. is there a place where to find all those infor­ma­tions or I’m not the only one missing?

    Also I read Fyreink comment on “your hour long webcast you did with the pixel project, and really liked the begin­ning of Cast in Decep­tion”.. can we have a link, please?

    Thank you for all, for now, the past, the fucture.
    Love from Italy

  27. Zia says:

    @Giusy: Hope you don’t mind if I post a link to the webcast instead.

    Read For Pixels 2017 (IWD Edition): Michelle Sagara Reading+Q&A Session 

    This would be where I first heard Cast in Decep­tion’s name, as well as a short read from the book. Since it’s still a work in progress, it doesn’t yet have a release date or a blurb. I’m super excited just to have a name.

    As for Severn’s short story…that was a pixel project perk someone purchased. A little more infor­ma­tion about it would be under her previous blog post Upcoming appear­ances and pixel­pro­ject fundraisers

  28. @Giusy: I try to post on this blog when I have new things to share. So I’ll post if I’ve sold books to a publisher, and I’ll post when the books are published. 

    The Severn short story came about because of the pixelproject’s fundraising drive — and I also did post about that here. The one hour webcast with pixel­pro­ject is:

    I also *try* to post once a month to tell people what I’ve been working on. 

    But… I’m a bit of a dinosaur, so I forget things like Face­book some­times =/. I try to post a link (at least) from the Facebok page to here when I post here.

  29. Giusy says:

    Thank you zia, you have been most gracious!

    Thank you Michelle,
    I know we can be a little demanding, but it’s because we love you and your work.

    Thank you

  30. @giusy: It’s not demanding to ask :). I have on-line and off-line periods. When the writing is not going well, I am mostly off-line. I will still post here when I have news, though.

  31. Thank you so much for this tanta­lising update, Cast in Decep­tion and a Severn story too would liter­ally light up our whole literary year here in Cambridge UK, and another House War volume too? Lovely.
    Jewel and her world are amazing but we can under­stand a war needing to even­tu­ally end. Hope­fully, we can always return to her world one day.
    Please please do allow your­self, if more ideas come, to just keep writing stories of Kaylin and her world for a long time, there is so much more to explore and like Agatha Christie novels, detec­tive stories really don’t need to end… We enjoy them all and one day, so will our grand­chil­dren, even more if there are at least fifty to discover and read. Surely, when Kaylin finally becomes a corporal, she will have more to do and deci­pher? Your books are our absolute favourites of all time, and each new one allows a reread of all the volumes to date (and recom­men­da­tions to friends).
    Very best, Marie Claire

  32. Savannah says:

    I’m so excited another (at least 1) Elantra book! You are a fantastic writer, and your worlds are extremely enjoy­able. I’m curious though, does anyone else enjoy Night­shade? I have been curious about him and always tried to find clues about his past in your books.
    Thank you for sharing your worlds. Sorry for fangirling.

  33. merie says:

    I also love Night­shade, always looking for the parts that are dedi­cated to him. He always seems so unhappy. Hoping He will be blessed with what He has been waiting for a centery. Thankyou again Michelle

  34. Brandi Kerley says:

    I was given the first three books of the Elantra series nearly a decade ago and reread them a few weeks ago. I remem­bered how much I enjoyed them the first time and they were just as I remem­bered. Since then I requested the next seven from the library and read them this week! I couldn’t put them down!! I have ordered the next three in the series and cannot wait for Cast in Decep­tion. I admire and enjoy your writing.
    Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

  35. David Kay says:

    PLEASE NEVER STOP WRITING ABOUT KAYLIN!!! She and Kate Daniels are a signif­i­cant part of my life satis­fac­tion — I am currently rereading your series for at least the 10th time.

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