State of the Author, Thanksgiving edition & a question about Forums

Posted in Books, Business, DAW, ebooks, Elantra, Essalieyan, Luna, self-publishing, writing.

It’s Cana­dian Thanks­giving today — Amer­ican Thanks­giving is in November. But, as I’m Cana­dian, we cele­brate in October in these parts :)

In between my last report and this one, I finished the page proofs for TOUCH, which is sched­uled for January, 2014, in hard­cover. I will have a cover to post very shortly, and will change the book on the front page at that time.

I am now over half way through Cast in Flame, although I’m now wondering about the title, given the compli­ca­tions that have arisen from the events at the end of Cast in Sorrow.

I am now over halfway (with luck!) through Oracle, which is the new title for the second last book in the House War series.

So writing has actu­ally been going well – but there’s a bit of the usual dead­line panic, which makes things more fraught. A word of advice: If you seri­ously blow a dead­line for one book, it eats months and months of time out of every other book, so plan for that. Not that we ever plan to blow a dead­line, and not certainly that we plan to throw out three large chunks of writing to start books all over again.

So — the writing part of this update is fairly simple: Working on Cast in Flame, working on Oracle. Neither are quite finished yet.

I now have covers & text for the UK ebooks for House War, because I promised I would release War, which is now Oracle and War, at the same time in the UK as it is released in the US. I need to format and upload — and for me, this is actu­ally time consuming. Even the short stories were time-consuming, which is most of the reason the rest of them linger in limbo; the novels are…longer. But the first three books should go live within the month, followed by the fourth and fifth. Book six isn’t finished yet.

The last thing I wanted to talk about a bit is the forums.

In another thread (on the web-site), a reader said:

I don’t know if it’s my imag­i­na­tion, but I feel readers used to write much more when they could do it on these pages following the books releases than in the Forum. I have to say that for me Forum is more compli­cated but I’m learning to navi­gate it better.

I know Sorrow is a more complex book and I expected the many readers that are normally on these comments sections, even without spoilers. In any event, Part of the joy of reading these amazing books, is also sharing details with other readers. I’ll wait for the next book with Jewel and see what other readers like best. Comment here or in Forum.

I said, when I opened the forums, that I’m gener­ally agnostic when it comes to the methods by which people have discus­sions. This is true. I person­ally find – for longer discus­sions – that forums are easier to use — but the key word is person­ally. In as much as I post on the web-site, I’m active here in all posts except the spoiler posts.

I had hoped to be more active in the forums – but I am behind enough that I haven’t been able to do that – and in any case, the discus­sions about books I’ve written are not discus­sions I join, because it can often be all kinds of awkward.

I am, if people find it easier, or in any way more welcoming, perfectly happy to continue with Spoiler posts on the main web-site. So, let me know what you think here.

31 Responses to State of the Author, Thanksgiving edition & a question about Forums

  1. DebbieH says:

    Happy Thanks­giving. I am very excited that you are working on the next Cast book. Really looking forward to seeing what comes next.
    THANKS!!

  2. Hugh Myers says:

    While I can’t speak for others (of course I can, but it’s rude :) ) I’ve tried to follow along with one rule in mind. And that is to take as little time away from your writing as I can. That said I’ve always enjoyed conver­sa­tions with you when­ever and wher­ever they occur so I’m of two minds over my own approach! Do you suppose you could quickly clone your­self? One could be busy writing and the other busy inter­acting with readers? They could trade off as need be in order to rest :) Of course if you can manage this trick, then you could create the neces­sary troops to handle the writing load. Speaking of writing, is there a betting pool as to when Oracle will be split in twain? You are one of the few writers that (bad metaphor alert) given a piece of wood to split for the fire stack, upon doing so is left with two larger pieces than at the start. The good news for fans and readers is that there is more to read — a “failing” to which I applaud at the same time know the frus­tra­tion it brings you and the polite horror it repre­sents to your editors. So seri­ously what would I recom­mend? Do as much of what you enjoy as you can and have a happy thanks­giving :)

  3. Zia says:

    Happy Thanks­giving!

    I’m glad things are going better for you on the writing front. Looking forward to all the new books and have already started bugging the Barnes N Nobles in the area about Touch.

    In regards to your question…I’m open to what­ever is easiest for you. I will have to say on the subject of the forums though that some­times it takes a while to get them going — people like to lurk for a long time and/or they may not be used to posting on a forum and be slightly self-conscious. The first forum I was a member of I didn’t post anything for over a year and then I wasn’t ‘active’ for another two…by that time though I had ended up getting roped into running a different one so I was used to responding.

    The forum is great for breaking things up into topics/different books and I love it for that. It’s slightly more user friendly to post on imo because you can sepa­rate things up easier. At the same time though some people find forums absolutely daunting so that always takes time.

    Also the layout on this forum is different from any I am familiar with so it is taking some time to figure it out.

    I’ve also noticed around the fall through the holi­days people get busy adjusting to the end of summer (and then preparing for the holi­days) so they get a little quieter.

    However if you wanted to bring back spoilers to the main website that would work for me too :)

  4. Lesa Thomas says:

    I’m like Hugh. If doing the forum takes away time for writing, DO THE WRITING. By the way Happy Thanks­giving! I’m enjoying this day off because it’s Columbus Day. Keep writing!!! I’m looking forward to the next Cast book. :)

  5. Rita LM says:

    Happy Thanks­giving! I agree, do the writing. And, I like complex and looong stories, if they are good, and yours are very good!

  6. Karen L Durst says:

    It’s amazing! Your name pops up in my email and my heart starts racing! Having that said, I perfer the posts on the website. Looking forward to all the upcoming books, and Happy Thanks­giving. (Wondering now what are the tradi­tional foods for a Cana­dian Thanks­giving)!!

  7. Madame Hardy says:

    Happy Thanks­giving, and I wish you well. Given your marathon writing pace — for which I’m very grateful! — partic­i­pate in the way that’s easiest for you. If it’s the comment page, that’s cool.

  8. michelle says:

    I think the foods are pretty similar — Turkey, stuffing (some­times called dressing); pumpkin pie (I can’t eat any of the squash family without breaking out into large hives, so I watch that from a distance), although also other pies (apple, etc.). I don’t know if there are any vegeta­bles that are consid­ered specif­i­cally Thanks­giving fare, though.

  9. Deirdre Roeser says:

    Happy Thanks­giving for sure, and thank you for all your hard writing work. I am thor­oughly enjoying your Cast series and while I tech­ni­cally under­stand your invest­ment in other books, I self­ishly wish you would concen­trate on Cast. I can’t wait to find out — hope­fully a couple of books later — how it all comes out.

  10. Dawna says:

    Hope your Thanks­giving holiday is/was lovely. I am thankful for the great books that you continue to write.

  11. Stephen P says:

    You can add in green beans and mashed pota­toes to that menu. And often large family gath­er­ings although inti­mate, nuclear family dinners are more accept­able than in the U.S.

    P.S. Loving Sorrow right now

  12. merieroberts says:

    The Cast series are wonderful. House are as exciting. Two deferent writ­tings . House War series is like being on a wave . While Cast seems to be hurried. Do continue with the wonderful writ­tings. I have reread each serie at lease four times. The Sun series were about the best writing I have ever read. Please keep it up. Thank you for such plea­sure Merie Roberts

  13. Vickie Remo says:

    Happy Thanks­giving! Thanks for the updates on the status of the upcoming books. Looking forward to reading all of them. Person­ally I find forums a little more trouble, but can deal- so what­ever works for you and takes away the least from the impor­tant stuff.

  14. Cheryl Bradley says:

    I am eagerly awaiting Oracle and War, as well as Flame(?) — I actu­ally have been reading your stories since the Oath duology and very much enjoy the contin­u­a­tion of story threads here and there. I enjoy the char­ac­ters of Sanabelis and Illara­phaniel very much. I am eagerly waiting for the Sleepers to awaken.

  15. christine says:

    So I rarely find a series that I can read more than once. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to have found the Elantra series. There is nothing better than getting a chance to stretch out after a long day and check in with your favorite char­ac­ters. Thank you so much for the oppor­tu­nity to do so!

    cs

  16. Sere says:

    I’m so glad to hear that you are making progress on “Cast in Flame”! I was terri­fied after reading “Cast in Sorrow” that it was going to be the last book, what with the comment that the “End of her journey is only the begin­ning”. I look forward to that series more than any other book series that I have ever followed. In fact, I only was on your website today to double check that “Cast in Sorrow” wasn’t going to be the last book in the series or that there would be a follow up series to it. Happy Thanks­giving and Thanks so Much!

  17. Rymunin says:

    As most have said I also am very very very glad you are making progress on flame, really enjoying your books, I now have them in both paper and elec­tronic form (apart from silence which for some reason doesn’t want to be sold in uk amazon :( .. ) I have read and reread the cast series many times and eagerly look forward to the next one. All I want to say is thank you for all your hard work so far :D

  18. Teresa says:

    I enjoy your Cast series, glad to see another one coming soon. Am on pins and needles hoping that Severn and Kaylin resolve their issues. Love learning about all the other races, too! By all means, do not let other stuff distract you from writing your books! Keep up the great work! ;-)

  19. HILDA says:

    Michelle, thanks for the infor­ma­tion and comments on the Forum; I can see I wasn’t the only one wondering how to use it. I’m becoming more familiar with it, but prefer this one. Since you said you will not visit that partic­ular Forum, you may not know that fans are wondering about the forth­coming books. The next in the House or War series is Oracle. A year ago Battle came out around December ( I think???). I know that Touch is in the middle, and there were those unex­pected delays. But, should we expect a Christmas present? Do you have any tenta­tive day for Oracle, or at least when we will be able to order it?
    I’m also looking forward to Flames. I love this column! Soon we will say Happy Amer­ican Thanks­giving!

  20. Hilda says:

    You do remember that when the Sleepers awaken it’s supposed to be prac­ti­cally the end of the world? We need many more books on the War/House series. Let Sleepers sleep.

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