State of the Author, March 2019 edition

Posted in Books, Cast, DAW, Elantra, Essalieyan, chapters, Mira.

I am, for the moment, done with the Writing Process posts, in part because they were an attempt to answer a ques­tion which has cropped up in different ways over the last few years. They were an enor­mous amount of fun for me.

I do have one more post — about the evolu­tion of process — but it’s half-finished, and it has been set aside in favour of taxes. Which is about as much fun as it sounds. Taxes are being done early this year because the annual writing retreat has been moved forward to the end of April. Which would mean I’d be in a different country at about the time Tax Panic sets in. So: early tax filing for me.

Writing news: First, the next Cast novel has a title: Cast in Wisdom. Second, I believe I’ll be finished it in May (of this year), which is why the annual writing retreat has been moved.

When this is done, I will write the other half of the Severn book — which does not, in fact, have a title. I’m calling it “The Severn Book” until a title suggests itself, mugs me, or more likely is neces­sary on the publisher side of things.

I have been rereading West novels; I’ve written a reason­able chunk of what will be the first post-WAR book, but have set it aside while I read and mentally recharge. I should have news about that in a more concrete form next month. Or the month after.

And I have changed the front page, to add WAR to the House War bibli­og­raphy. For people who have asked, and who might see this but who are not subscribed to the blog list: The publi­ca­tion date is June 18th, 2019.

24 Responses to State of the Author, March 2019 edition

  1. Vulcronos says:

    Excited for the next Cast book and curious about the fallout from the High Halls. Dragons and Barrani have always been allies of neces­sity and one link in that chain has been removed.

  2. Shannon in Texas says:

    I hope your year is as fun as mine will be, with so many wonderful WORDS from you!

    (I’m sorry, I can’t help myself… We’ve been waiting a while for the story of what Severn was doing while waiting for Kaylin. So, Cast In Waiting?)

  3. Kim Warren says:

    Cannot wait for the New Cast in book. I too am re-reading the West novels as well as now I am in the Sun Sword arc, to get back to the House War timeline…I am crazy like that! Have a great month!

  4. Steve Faught says:

    Ques­tion / Idea… The Kaylin novels are all ‘Cast’ , how about the Severn novels all being ‘Hunt’ as he is a Wolf…Brothers of the Hunt.. Or maybe Cast in Sheep­skin 😏..

  5. michelle says:

    Well, I am doing taxes. Which is why I’m reading comments, of course…

    @Steve: I was thinking Hunt as a second word: Wolf Hunt, Shadow Hunt, etc. But…

    I am so very very very tired of trying to come up with titles in a kind of pattern cage T_T.

  6. Peter J. Moore says:

    Is “End of Days” going to be the series title of the post “War” story arc? Do you have any idea of how long the series will be? And yes I under­stand that that can be a fraught ques­tion. Like Tchula, I am greatly looking forward to mid June. Best of luck on your taxes.

  7. michelle says:

    @Peter: the tenta­tive title for the series is The Burning Crown. I have tried to be real­istic about length, and it is not going back­ward at all, so: I feel that it will be a minimum of 4 books and a maximum of 6 — Sun Sword length, but not longer.

    I have consid­ered winnowing plot lines – I said, for instance, if we assume that all of Adam’s section happens off-screen, it would be shorter (because Adam’s section involves the Voyani Matri­archs and the city that has not risen yet, which makes things very web-like almost instantly). This partic­ular sugges­tion was not greeted with enthu­siasm.

    But all of the plot lines are heading towards their endings in this world: Evayne, Kallan­dras, Kiriel (which includes Isladar), Adam and the Hunters (the next gener­a­tion) and a couple of others as well.

  8. I re-discov­ered you from the short story anthology “Cast in Moon­light” around February 25th-ish this year and decided to dive in with “Cast in Shadow”.

    It’s March 29th and I just finished “Cast in Oblivion” and am still reeling from its ending.

    Thank you for writing. Seri­ously. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve marathoned a book series with as much fervor and inten­sity and have laughed, cried, and swore about an eighth as much as Kaylin herself does while reading.

    From the ever-shifting world to these amazing char­ac­ters you’ve created to the depths and angles of trauma, diffi­cult deci­sions, and healing in all its varying forms, it’s been a wild ride and I am not ready to hop off. Thank you, again, for writing and for contin­uing to do so.

    I’m SUPER stoked for the Severn book)s to come out as well; I want to know more about him and have for a while! Titles are always the hardest, but maybe he doesn’t see the need to follow the title trend that Kaylin has? Alluding to him as a “Shadow” might be kind of fun too– espe­cially in rela­tion to he and Kaylin’s bond and history to one another. Or Guardian. Or “Silent/Ghost” because he’s a sneaky one even when he doesn’t really intend to be.

    Thank you a third time for all the work you do– and writing *is* work, and hello from a new fan!

    Be well,

    Kira

  9. Peter Moore says:

    Michelle: Thanks for the answer. I hope we see at least some of Adam’s work on screen so to speak, I dearly want to see his path to adult­hood. He is an awesome char­acter, in fact my favorite male char­acter except maybe for Kallan­dras. Right now they are tied for top spot. I also hope to see a bit of Teresa di’Marano’s adven­tures at Senniel. She was a key player throughout Sun Sword series, and I person­ally think she deserves a bit of closure. Besides I love reading about her.
    It is soooo good to know that I have years of reading bliss ahead of me.

  10. michelle says:

    @Kira: Thank you :).

    @Peter: Adam will be on the page. In the world, things happen off-page or on-page — but off-page things remain some­what fixed. So — it’s more about trying to real­is­ti­cally approx­i­mate length.

    I thought The Sun Sword series would be two books; I knew how the first would end and how the second would end. And those endings were in the books, but … not where I thought they would be.

    And I real­ized when I sat down that the elements are: the Hunter & hunt­brother, Adam and the Voyani, Kiriel, Auralis, Kallan­dras, Evayne, the last two of Myrddion’s rings–

    So: war, bigger in scope, and geograph­i­cally more broken than The House War. And given it’s been 30 books since Broken Crown’s total mises­ti­ma­tion of length, I have hope that I have become more real­istic about length.

    I will frown heavily if bets are taken, though -.-

  11. Peter Moore says:

    @Michelle: I’d forgotten about the last two Myrd­dion rings, and you’ve already hinted that the Morelas sword bearer is Breo­dani, or at least from that story arc. I’m 70, but just today I’m feeling about 6 and antic­i­pating Christmas morning. As far as betting is concerned, I’ll be like Jay’s den and be sure not to incur your wrath. ;) Besides, I don’t think anyone would take any bet I’d be willing to wager.

  12. Ahb says:

    For severn novel naming pattern — Rule(d) by/in/of

    Severn has always been about learning the rules perfectly, it’s one of the few defining traits he’s told us about on the page.

    Just a free obser­va­tion, feel free to use or ignore!

    I’m glad you’re going to have writing retreat, and I’m jealous. Enjoy it!

  13. Tyronne Hodgins says:

    War — June — so close — so far. Christmas morning, Thanks­giving, Birth­days, Annual Algo­nquin Park Kayaking trips — all rolled into one!

    Severn Book — How about ‘From the Shadows’ or “Shadow’s Light”? Maybe “Shadow Wolf”?

    As for ‘The Burning Crown’ — as long as you keep writing, I will keep buying, reading, and recom­mending to all. Thank you so very much!!!

  14. Carol Duffy says:

    I would bet — with my own money- that your proposed length for almost anything you are writing is, perhaps, a touch under-esti­mated. Under-esti­mated to my delight, as more Michelle is only a good thing, but under- esti­mated nonethe­less. Just sayin’.

    I have just re-read the entire Cast series and it was a treat to see, in retro­spect, all the bread crumbs you scat­tered along the way. I loved it even more the second time through.

    And while I know you may well have had enough of the Barrani for the moment, have you given any thought to, at some point, giving us Nightshade’s back­story as well?

    In any and all events, thank you soo much for all of your wonderful work.

    Carol
    (Who person­ally thinks the current Consort might have been the one to warn Night­shade to get out of Dodge back in the day ).

  15. michelle says:

    @Carol: I think this is the most real­istic esti­mate of length that I’ve made, though. Instead of the usual this will be short because I know the ending — it’s a mistake I always make — I’ve tried to step back a bit and objec­tively look at what “short” means.

    I admit that the non-Kaylin books that are currently upper­most in mind are Severn’s. And a bit of Sedarias — but that’s not anywhere near future, if it happens at all. The cohort are a bit of a pain T_T.

  16. Carol Duffy says:

    I will happily read what­ever you choose to write when­ever you choose to write it :) I have loved it all from the Sundered series onward.

    Sorry the cohort are proving prob­lem­atic; they are, imho, a wonderful addi­tion to Elantra.

    What prompted my ques­tion about Night­shade was the re-read I just did, and noticing (1) Kaylin staying on more than one occa­sion that Night­shade and the Consort had history; (2) Night­shade stating iirc that Kaylin didn’t know all of his; and (3) Gilbert describing what Night­shade had spoken about during his alter­nate time­line.

    Which lead me to wonder whether or not you had such a history in mind when you started, or whether your char­ac­ters grow more organ­i­cally in the process of writing the series.

    In any and all events, I look forward to what­ever comes, and thank you for your reply.

    Carol (off to read First­born)

  17. Hilda D. Rodriguez says:

    Hi, Michelle; I happen to come to you in a very strange and unex­pected way; although I’m very happy I did because I found your comments again. Amazon and the computer brought me here. I placed an order there for books and puzzles (my other part time interest; when you are old and live in a retire­ment commu­nity). And Amazon told me (without me asking) that the release date of the next “House War” order from my favorite author is esti­mated for June 18. It was telling me the dates for all my newly placed orders, and auto­mat­i­cally brought me here. I had just discov­ered that an old favorite author (who I thought had disap­peared forever) was about to issue a new book. Erick Von Daniken. Not sure I spelled it right. I had read all his books about 30 plus years ago, and had not seen or read anymore of his books in years and years; and suddenly there he was sitting in Amazon. If you don’t know about him, he became famous by writing the books on beings from outer space coming to Earth and living here eons ago; and showing us the evidence he had found to prove it, one by one. He was in fact excel­lent in his work. So, I will soon read again the new reasons he has had to prove it to the world; it seems there is still much more newly discov­ered evidence that they did come here. What I had never heard are the reason for them leaving our planet. Appar­ently they were not our ances­tors nor did they care about us. I’ll wait and hope­fully will see in his new book the newly discov­ered evidence of these ancient humans. So, between you 2, and puzzles, I will have a very busy Summer and Autumn. I don’t need to tell you that I’m hoping yours will arrive first. Make sure to enjoy this Spring and Summer between writing and writing. Thanks again for your great books; they are wonderful for my life.

  18. michelle says:

    @Hilda: Hello! Welcome back :)

    @Carol: it’s a bit of both. I have back­grounds in mind, but they are subject to change when actu­ally writing; I have sketchy things, like mental bullet points, but as those expand, they tend to trans­form.

  19. Kamrin says:

    Omg, I’m so new to the blog, but not to your books. Severn is getting a book?! So excited!! Or is he getting his own set of books? Super stoked!

  20. Sandy says:

    I have really enjoyed reading all of your books. I am sad to know that the story to Jewel is finished. I guess in my mind the ending to the whole series would involve Jewel, Kiriel, Adam, and the rest of the Voyani along with Isladar. Can’t wait to read your next books

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