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 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: (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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