the Author

State of the Author, March 2022 — Cast in Eternity delayed

Posted in Cast, Elantra, grovelling apology.

Well, I had hoped to have good news — and may have good news in the not too distant future — but.

I mentioned that a miscom­mu­ni­ca­tion meant that my dead­line had been short­ened, and spent all of February pushing to write more words than I normally write. Towards the end of February, my brain … ran out of good words, and so I had garbage words and had to go back and uproot and revise while looking at looming dead­line approaching like – as I mentioned – a train, while I was on the tracks.

It’s why I can’t gener­ally write faster. I can do it for desperate, emer­gen­cies, but I can’t continue at that pace because I run out of good words, and I have to then take time away from writing for that well to refill — so on balance, I… don’t actu­ally write as many new words overall.

I mentioned, to my new editor, that I was really pushing toward the dead­line, and also the reason why I was … almost late, and in such a frenzy.

And she walked over to the marketing and sales and … just asked if it was possible to push that dead­line back so that I could, at the last minute, have more time. I wasn’t expecting this at all.

But… after the initial shock, I thought about it care­fully, and I said: god, yes, please.


This will also give me time to actu­ally write the proposals for future Elantra/Cast books, because Cast in Eter­nity is the final book I have under contract, and given the shake-up in edito­rial staff, things that might have been in progress were heavily slowed down.

I couldn’t actu­ally afford to take the time to write those neces­sary proposals, because it was those — which are totally neces­sary — or finishing the book. But I’d already lost time because I had to uproot one and a half chap­ters and revise, and was sort of writer-hyperventilating.

So… I accepted that offer with over­whelming grat­i­tude. The book has gone from a late September publi­ca­tion date to a late November publi­ca­tion date, and one of my readers posted here to ask if every­thing was okay. And I real­ized that any of you who’ve preordered the book on Amazon or B&N (and thank you so much for that!) will now be getting noti­fi­ca­tions that the book has been delayed.

I’m really, really sorry T_T.

I’m about 15k words off the end of the book — it’s almost finished. But if I have a bit more time, I can finish it with far less terror than I felt in February, when March was looming and the book wasn’t finished, and and and.

So: I am actu­ally not working on the new Cast words today. I am writing a blog post, and I am writing the brief synopses for future novels so that they can be proposed to the edito­rial board at Mira. (For the record, the synopses are short. But it’s like writing back cover copy; a few hundred words can take me all day — or two — to write >.<).


As for the West novels, writing slowed in February because, well, emer­gency. But I am now able to work at my usual writing cadence going forward, which is also a relief.

(Also: I missed my week after publi­ca­tion spoiler thread for Sword and Shadow, so that will go up tomorrow, sorry >.<).

29 Responses to State of the Author, March 2022 — Cast in Eternity delayed

  1. Kathleen says:

    Good to hear you’re OK

  2. michelle says:

    @Kathleen: Yes — it of course didn’t occur to me, because I am a bear of very little brain given last month =/ — but someone asked on the previous thread and I thought: oh no. People will worry >.. So I rushed off to make this post so that people would know what had happened, and that the book itself is almost finished, but… more breathing room for me to get things right. 

  3. Nina Meyer says:

    Sounds like you have a good editor. Your books are so detailed and involved. Thank you for all you hard work.

  4. Pam says:

    You are the reason we are here. Your words are your resource and how you mine them is your talent and joy!
    Do what you gotta, and glad you have a good team!!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I’m glad to hear you are devel­oping a good working rela­tion­ship with this editor!

  6. Zia says:

    Thank you for the update! I’m glad you’re okay. I admit I was a bit worried when I got the email about my preorders, but since it was just moved a couple of months back I was hopeful it meant you were okay and either there was a sched­uling conflict or simply a bit more time was needed.

  7. Hugs. 🫂

    And thanks for being you.

  8. Elaine says:

    So glad you’re ok! Your books are always “worth the wait,” so take care of your­self please.

  9. Jazzlet says:

    Glad you are ok, I’m encour­aged that your editor is looking after you and thus the quality of your work; this boes well for the future.

  10. Julianne Single says:

    Don’t be sorry. Never apol­o­gize for being you. I’d rather have a late Cast in Eter­nity if it means possible future books in the series, as you’ve said there’s more in the world you want to explore and Eter­nity isn’t the end. Though I admit I was super excited about the cover flap, because I’ve always wondered if the marks could allow Kaylin to see the passed on. I believe in ghosts you see. My mother had a ghost that would walk thru her bedroom at night and go upstairs to rock in her chair. She said she was never afraid of the woman, she just was. And I’ve had a time or two when I’ve felt Mom as surely as if she was in the room. It’s a comfort that we continue to exist, in some fashion.

    But I’m sure there is some weird magic going on in Kaylin’s case. Of course there is. Nothing could ever be so simple as a generic haunting. :)

    I hope the new dead­line takes a lot of that stress off. Be well.

  11. michelle says:

    @Julianne: There’s a lot of weird­ness in this book, yes >.>

    And yes: I feel a lot less stressed and panicked :)

  12. michelle says:

    @Jazzlet: My previous editor was also looking out for me — but covid and lock­down and closing of schools *really* put a dent in her working day, because the office was also closed, and ideal condi­tions for working from home … weren’t.

    But I admit I made a LOT of noise when Emily’s email arrived.

  13. michelle says:

    @Elaine: I am okay — I was panicked and there­fore very over-focused on only one thing, and now I have the band­width to do far more :)

  14. michelle says:

    @Marcia & Mike: <3. Thank you.

  15. michelle says:

    @Zia: I admit that it didn’t occur to me that people would be worried, until, well, a reader expressed worry. So I did rush to the blog, because I thought it most likely that if people got that “book delayed” email, they’d come here to check on possible news.

  16. michelle says:

    @Elizabeth & Nina: I have always liked this editor as a person — but she’s an interim editor for me because she doesn’t actu­ally read fantasy. So she’s my in-house contact & shep­herd while they try to find an editor to replace the one that left. But… I really could kiss her, which might be taken the wrong way.

  17. michelle says:

    @Pam: I think for me it’s the fact that people *are* here for the words that makes me feel guilty — like, if I’m not actu­ally producing those words, I’m somehow a fraud. I realize this is NOT how readers feel, but, well. Writer-brain strikes again.

  18. Elissa Carroll says:

    So glad you are okay Michelle! Also…I don’t think you need to apol­o­gize for the speed at which your creativity flows. You apol­o­gize for how you natu­rally write in almost every one of these updates and I just want to tell you that you don’t need to. From the bottom of my heart, you do not need to apol­o­gize for how your creativity works. We all appre­ciate you and your books and when­ever they happen to get here. Thank you for all of the content you have provided for me :)

  19. michelle says:

    @Elissa: my long-suffering husband says: “Of course you need to apol­o­gize — you’re Canadian.”

  20. Aquilegia says:

    Better for some­thing to take a little longer and be done right, than rushed and wrong. I had a teacher say arriving quickly at the wrong answer is worse than taking your time. Because that time is wasted when you have to start over from the beginning. 

    A good editor is vital for good writing. After I have read and revised some­thing a dozen times, I cannot see the mistakes anymore. They are invis­ible. I need an outside perspec­tive to root the little monsters out.

  21. Nicki E Himmel says:

    You’ve been working very hard a if you need a few more weeks I can wait. I have the new Sword and Shadow book I’m reading right now. Enjoying it

  22. Doris says:

    Thank you for taking the extra time , you will be better for it and “we” your readers will receive the gift of a better book. Take the time you need, I have enjoyed your books very much!!!!!

  23. Hever says:

    I am glad you are ok. And getting the time you need to write what needs to be written.
    Your books have been intro­duced to my mum and husband and they enjoy them as much as I do.
    Please take your time.

    Side note:
    I have sword and shadow, but am holding off reading it. [That is on me. I enjoy your books so much I have to take a day of vaca­tion time to read it because I am no good to anyone, family included, once I start the book it must finish it. And that means no sleep…opening your
    Elantra books is like coming home to a place where anything can happen and that is wonderful. So I will open the book and read and read and then it is 4am on Sunday night (really Monday morning) and be sad that the book has ended. Then tell myself, “it is ok. There will be more.” but then look at the clock and curse myself for not putting the wonderful story down since sleep is impor­tant or that is what I am told.]
    Thank you for being the writer that I can enjoy and look forward to all your books.

  24. Diana says:

    I’m so glad your editor took care of you! Your books have kept me going these past few years. I turn to them when the world is too much (so, often) and they get better every time.

  25. Joyce says:

    Michelle, I would so much rather have Cast in Eter­nity: the good words version, even dismay­ingly later, than the word soup I keep coming across these days. I’ve been with you since the begin­ning and are the only series currently running that I haven’t given up on. Stay well and remember to breathe.

  26. BETH WILLIAMS says:



  27. Kari says:

    We are here for you, and we will not die a dreadful death if you need extra time. We are human too! Relax, peace, have some brownies…

  28. marinamoon says:

    Hi, Thank you for the update Michelle. I have not per-ordered yet but was plan­ning it since it’s my b‑day month. =0p I feel blessed I am getting 2 books from you in one year. You used to only publish one per year. No need to rush. Take your time. I will wait patiently. Loved the new Severn book!!! Just finished it and i am still in fantasy land. =0p So Fighting!

  29. Karen L. Durst says:

    Looking forward to Cast in Eter­nity when­ever it comes out. You take care of you, we love your books, and you, we will wait. Finished Sword and Shadow. Excel­lent read, hard to take time to sleep! Will there be a third Seven book? Seems like there is some of his story yet to tell. Thanks! 😍

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