State of the Writer, April 2012

Posted in DAW, Queen of the Dead, writing.

Writing was severely trun­cated for about ten days while I and a strep bug had a heated battle over who was in charge of my throat and ears. I won. I fell behind in, oh, every­thing, while I was sick.

I have an on-sale date for Cast in Peril, as the sell sheets arrived at the store while I was sick. The date is September 25, 2012. I’m waiting copy-edits and line-edits, but for the moment, the book is out of my hands.

Touch, the sequel to Silence, is possibly the most diffi­cult book I’ve ever attempted to write, which, given Silence was one of the easiest, is respon­sible for the loss of great clods of hair. Some­times books surprise me.

My new web-site is almost ready to launch. I’ll post here when it’s good to go.

And…the real reason I’m posting tonight: at 178k words, I have finally thrown in the towel: War is not going to be a single book. My long-suffering editor was, well, long-suffering. The book that is sched­uled for January is there­fore titled Battle, and it is not yet done. I almost did what I frequently do — write while the words pile up and hope and hope and hope that I will be finished it any word now. But I did that with City of Night and House Name, and had to split the book anyway, which meant there was a much longer gap between publi­ca­tion of City of Night than there had to be =/.

So this time, I tried to look at things real­is­ti­cally. I expect Battle to be at least as long as Skir­mish.

I am going to try to get through the page proofs for the print-on-demand version of the Essalieyan short stories this weekend, because I have let that get completely away from me, and someone in email reminded me of it. I am also going to be working at the Bakka-Phoenix table at Ad Astra on Friday and Sunday this weekend (I’ll be in the store on the regular Saturday hours).

40 Responses to State of the Writer, April 2012

  1. I’ve been away for a while and am now confused by book titles and story lines. Touch and Silence are part of which series? And does Battle and then War follow Skir­mish? There is some­thing to be said for book titles that all begin with the same phrase — ‘Cast in…’ comes to mind :)

  2. Chris says:

    Silence is a brand new series, set in a new world. So, 1. Silence (due in less than a month), and 2. Touch.

    Mean­while, Battle and War do indeed follow Skir­mish. So, these would be House War volumes 5 (Battle) and 6 (War).

  3. Thanks for the clar­i­fi­ca­tion Chris! Michelle, though your editor may suffer, as an addicted fan I can only rejoice! That said don’t over do things, stay healthy!!

  4. Chris says:

    Very sorry to hear that you were ill, but very thankful for the update. Btw, I did see (weeks later) that you had responded to me last time I posted. Thank you very much and I’m quite sorry that I didn’t see the response earlier in order to reply. Absolutely no offense intended, I need to remember to click on the little “Notify me of new posts via email” option in the future.

    Mean­while, I’m quite amazed and thankful that you write as much as you do. On a completely selfish level then the more books the merrier. But I hope that you consider just how much you *do* give us. GRRM, Roth­fuss, etc. take years (and no judge­ments there from me) but *every* year you give us one Cast book, and often a House War book, and some­times a short story or even a new book like SIlence? It just seems stag­gering that you are so prolific (espe­cially when it’s coupled with such quality and depth), and I hope that you can keep that in mind and take some peace from that. I’m sure that your desire to share these amazing words and worlds with us is at least part of how you are able to keep to such a super­hu­manly produc­tive schedule, but it really is a blessing for we readers. I’m sure that we can be patient if a book or story has to take extra time, espe­cially when your health is concerned.

  5. Michael says:

    If this *didn’t* happen, you wouldn’t be you.
    As your reader, though, I must say I am pleased by this news.
    As someone who values his life (and your well-being), I’m sorry things didn’t go as planned.
    Again.
    (Or ever…)

  6. hjbau says:

    New books sound wonderful. Even if it is going to be awhile to get Battle. I wish you good health though and happy writing.

  7. sascha says:

    I love the suprised sound you have with every book: “OMG this book was SO much longer than I thought it would be!” It’s lovely.

  8. Auraya says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve been sick.

    If you’re expecting us to regret War being split you’re in for a surprise. Sure, it’ll pospone “The End of Days” a bit, but more is always better. And it feels fitting that House War will end up being six books, same as Sun Sword. :)

  9. Deege says:

    Hello Michelle: Add my hearty agree­ment to all things said by my fellow commenter/readers above! I often have mixed feel­ings about Jewel’s behavior, but as a series it has been utterly engrossing,( which explaines my slavish devo­tion!).

    Any word when your publishers will actu­ally publish The Riven Shield in ebook form? After SoS, I skipped Sun Sword and went on to read Skir­mish bec I just couldn’t wait for RS any longer. I had to stay in Jewel’s world as long as I could! My compro­mise was to skip prob­able spoilers for SS, which was kind of hard to do.

    But I know you have no control, so pls don’t sweat it. Maybe if you forward the queries of your readers about the ebooks, they might realize there are people out here wait­iing with bated breath to buy their prod­ucts!

  10. Liza Ismail says:

    Hope you stay well. Hydrate etc etc and another addi­tonal book, no worries, the more the merrier and FYI Silence at 10.99 is pretty expen­sive on iTunes ie if the no of pages is correct at 256 pages we pay almost 2 – 3 bucks extra for a book thats less than half of most of your other books. Only saying tho still am gonna get it.

    R u not offering ur books on Smash­words I’d rather pay that much n make sure u get most of it.

    Take care.

  11. ralphw2548 says:

    MIchelle,
    Please stay aware of your health. We love your books and YOU! Stay healthy. Rest. Take some time for your­self. I believe Chris’s comments echo all of ours. We are truly blessed to have found an author like you.
    Also, I second every comment about another book. Hoo-ray!!! Nothing pleases me, and I suspect the rest of your loyal fans, more than more books.

  12. Samntha says:

    YEAH!!! Is it the 25th of September? I can’t wait to read it… I have read the others several dozen times since I acci­dently discov­ered the series in Iraq. Your a great author, keep writing (or I might cray :) ).

  13. jlwylie says:

    Hope you are feeling better soon! Can’t wait for your new releases! :) I’m also very much looking forward to hope­fully seeing you at the WFC this Nov, I saw your name on the list :) ~squee~

  14. Emily says:

    I’ve never found myself disap­pointed when your books turn into two books during the writing process, even if I have to wait a little longer. :) And as other commenters have noted — keep your­self healthy before you worry about the books (we’ll still love you), and I look forward to reading any and all of your new books! I’ve found that I enjoy your writing in any of the different…tones? intended audi­ences? Haven’t met one of your books I haven’t loved. You have your own shelf in my library. ;)

  15. Leia says:

    Yea! I began reading your books when The Sun Sword was published back in the 90’s. I loved it so much I located the Hunter duology books and read them while waiting for The Uncrowned King. That world is my favorite of all your works.

    I enjoy the Cast books and Silence has been pre-ordered, but I cannot lie. I am so happy to hear that the last book in the House War series is now going to be the 5th of 6 book series. More to love. The only down­side is having to wait a little longer for End of Days series as Auraya stated, but I am okay with that. I think you should start out and say that End of Days will prob­ably be a six books series as well, get it over with : )

  16. Hilda says:

    I’m sorry you were so sick, I know by my own expe­ri­ence how bad that was. But then, I had to laugh with your update. Didn’t you tell us the same thing in the February update with the West March Cast book? Couldn’t make it one book!!! And your poor suffering editor had to give up. And I’m begin­ning to think, with what you wrote here, that the “compli­cated” Touch will go the same way. But for us readers, the more, the longer : THE BETTER. Now War is breaking into Battle, to end House War series. Ques­tions here: will both of them still deal with the Terafin selec­tion and the fight for power? All three books have “fight” names (I used to think War was the fight against Allasakar), then comes the End of Days series. Can you tell us the differ­ence between Battle and War? Unless it’s a spoiler. Since you prob­ably have War already cover, will we have War published in less than a year from Battle? I really, really hope so, I’ll have the plea­sure of reading The End of Days complete before the end of my days.

  17. Laura Chrzanowski says:

    So sorry to hear that you were ill. Strep is a nasty little bug. Happy that you are better! Yes, hydrate, hydrate hydrate! Why are 6 books bad? Its just a double trilogy! I love the depth and complexity of your novels. I have been catching up with the Sun Sword series, in order to read Skir­mish, and it has been an absolute delight! I am on Sun Sword and thrilled that I have another book to read. Thank you for sharing all of your amazing worlds!

  18. Alecia says:

    I am happy to hear that you won the war against strep. HAPPY to get the date for Peril!. Like all your fellow readers have said it’s okay to add another book to our library. Cast… intro­duced me to you, and I read all of them the same day I get them. The praises that the other readers are giving your other master­pieces has made me decide to get them (there goes my deci­sion not to start another series..they are hell on my book budget). Fellow fans, any sugges­tion on which series I should start first?

  19. eilidhdawn says:

    STREP STINKS
    glad to hear you are feeling better
    more books more words YEAH feed me
    can’t wait

  20. Amanda says:

    Agree with EVERYONE that I’m excited for an extra House book, even if it means the wait for the conclu­sion is that much longer — I, too, have been completely hooked on this universe since the Sun Sword. Hope the rest of your spring is healthy and produc­tive!

  21. @Chris: I frequently fall off the internet, and expect people will do like­wise, so never worry about replying to a reply :)

    I’ve had longer gaps between the West novels than the theo­ret­ical ideal because the books are a) longer and b) more compli­cated. In theory the Cast novels are less compli­cated.

    Silence was in part a proof-of-concept book for me; I wanted to see if I could work on two different books simul­ta­ne­ously. The answer was yes, and I found that very slow writing days were extremely book depen­dent, some­thing I’d never known before, when I worked through on one. I might take 6 hours for 400 West words, and then write 1k Sagara words in an hour (which is enor­mously fast for me) — and it depended entirely on where I was in each novel, and on the emotional context for each scene.

  22. I have sent email, and am waiting an answer. When I posted that RIVEN SHIELD would be avail­able within a few weeks, it was because that’s what I was told, and I confirmed it. Since then, though, I haven’t had any further word explaining the delays. I am *really* sorry =/

  23. I will defi­nitely be at WFC this year — it’s just outside of my home town (Toronto). I’ll prob­ably be working in the deal­er’s room for a large part of the conven­tion, though. This means I’ll be easy to find :).

  24. jlwylie says:

    That is fantastic news! I’ll hope­fully be in the Dealers room too, haven’t heard back from them yet if we’ve been approved for a table. ~crosses fingers~ I have a new bk coming out from Hadley Rille that will be ‘debuted’ there. My home­town (Kingston) is not too far away. I’m so excited to have the chance to meet so many great authors. :)

  25. Mikaela says:

    Can’t wait for Cast in Peril…but it would be good to see Cast in Ruin first! It’s still not avail­able in UK…is that going to change at some point in the near future?

  26. ed baker says:

    hello
    as a new fan i think you should take some time off to recover
    i can wait for your next book
    im selfish you see
    the healthier you the more books
    ed

  27. Carol Duffy says:

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better; sorry you were sick at all. Not at all surprised that Jewel and her den are taking more than one addi­tional work to get to the end of the House War ; I think this falls under the hugely admiring and fond “Michelle being Michelle” cate­gory… For me person­ally, it’s a “Hurray! More books!” moment. I hope it was the same kind of moment for you as an author…

    Carol

  28. Aaron M. says:

    It is, but other than the dubious distinc­tion of being a Japanese-Cana­dian, I don’t think you’re quite famous enough to require regular policing. In any case, I take it as a personal point of pride that I’m doing some­thing to promote your work and keep you at the top of the google ranks. So…tongue firmly in cheek.

  29. Aaron M. says:

    Also, I mentioned this on the yahoo groups, but anyone who’s read Skir­mish shouldn’t be at all surprised by this news. One book wouldn’t have done Jewel justice in resolving what took you four books to set up. I hope this gives you some much needed breathing room.

  30. Deege says:

    But remember guys: Cast in Peril was split in two bec of too many bytes. So what you REALLY want is to know publish date of book 2 (Cast in Power?) of the split. Then if you ait, reading the two together will be like PB&J, PB & choco­late, oreos and milk… it’s time for dessert! I digress- it’ll be all the Elv- I mean, Barrani/Nightshade intrigue you can stand for like, 700+ pages, straight. I can wait for the second pub date to expe­ri­ence such a wondrousl event!

  31. Chris says:

    Thanks for the reply. It’s espe­cially inter­esting to hear about your autho­rial process. I’m not a writer myself, but I still find the process fasci­nating. Perhaps, once your new site is up, then you’ll have a section that discusses this a bit and/or allow us to ask some ques­tions?

    Anyway, it’s good to hear that your simul­ta­neous exper­i­ment worked well, as it sounds like it will allow you to be even more produc­tive. :)

  32. Hilda says:

    Deege, I agree, and same situ­a­tion goes for Battle and War. It would be the best ever to be able to read part 2 of Peril (Power?) and Part 2 of Battle (War), close to their first part, within a year, instead than a year apart. However, Michelle is so produc­tive (and Human?) that we need to give her space to breath, get sick, get well, and enjoy family :) . But we can always wish… I discov­ered her less than 3 years ago. When I first saw her incred­ible series of books, publishing 2 or 3 times a year, I joked that she has a magic room in her house where time runs at double speed. She is just amazing. And she does keep us busy reading. (sigh!!!). And she still makes time to keep in touch with us, her fans. Fans that have been with her forever, must be used to the printing sched­ules (they prob­ably have no nails).

  33. ralphw2548 says:

    We, over at the MichelleWest­Ya­hooGroup, have had this discus­sion many times. Here is the answer I would recom­mend:
    If you have all of the books, I’d prob­ably do it one of two ways:
    #1: Hunter duology, Hidden City, City of Night, House Name, Sun Sword
    series, then Skir­mish, or…
    #2: Hidden City, City of Night, House Name, Hunter duology, Sun Sword
    series, and Skir­mish.

    These make the most sense in terms of the time­line, IMO. I hope you
    enjoy your reread! I always do! :-)

    Tchula

    Tchula is our listMom and tries to keep us in line. Come join us, we enjoy comments and contro­ver­sies. And, we behave (mostly) :).

  34. Paloma Doveny says:

    I totally agree with ralphw on the reading order. Back when Michele was saying she wondered why she wrote the books back­wards I didnt get it. Read Sun Sword series and was so lost, then hunter duology then the House series. Now that i’ve got my 86 year old mother reading them (I started her on Hidden City) I am racing to reread every­thing ahead of her (great for ques­tions) and real­ized Sun Sword of course must preced Skir­mish for conti­nuity and it makes it SO SO much better. Happy reading!

    and… every­time I read that Michele is making two books out of one because they are so long, I whoop for joy. I think it’s time Michele, to just accept your own genius and realize everyone is thrilled with the depth and char­ac­ter­i­za­tions.

    I am going to print out my smash­works orders to keep with the books. Those details are price­less! I suppose it is unfair to ask but is it possible there will be any romance and part­ner­ships for Teller or Finch or Arann or Devon or Serra Theresa? Or really Jewel? Obvi­ously we all want to know what happens to Serra Diora and Valadan as well.

    As for strep..“Andrographis” supple­ment by Medi-Herb (distrib­uted by Stan­dard Process) along with Medi Herb’s phar­ma­ceu­tical grade “Echi­nacea Premium” works wonders (9 a day each) and to keep it away Sambuccas Elder­berry syrup when­ever your immune system is fading.

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