State of the Writer, April 2013, and an apology

Posted in Books, DAW, Elantra, Essalieyan, Luna, writing.

So far, 2013 has been a more produc­tive year than the partial disaster of 2012. I have finished and submitted Cast in Sorrow, which, given the exis­tence of a cover and a publi­ca­tion schedule, is a good thing. It’s not — I know this will come as a great surprise to all of you — short.

I have finished, but not submitted, Touch, the book that broke my writing schedule for, in retro­spect, not very good reasons. I am in a state of perpetual revi­sion there, but I have committed to finishing and submit­ting it by the end of April. This April. I will reit­erate the one thing that I’ve been forcibly retaught: do not attempt to break your own process. Every­one’s process is indi­vidual; no two writers work the same way. Some­times, attempting to work in a way that is entirely unlike your normal process will produce results that … are entirely unlike your work, and not in a good way. Ahem.

I am working on War, sequel to Battle, and it is going well. In general, the West novels go well, but they’re always longer than I think they’ll be. In twenty years of writing, I haven’t figured out the ratio of length to story =/.

I owe you all an apology about the various Sun Sword ebooks. I have no idea how or why they were listed, because I am reli­ably informed they’re not publi­ca­tion ready. I also have no idea of when this will happen, and I am very, very sorry to be the bearer of continual bad news in this regard. I do appre­ciate — even if I don’t respond — that you point out to me the diffi­cul­ties and prob­lems; I pass them on imme­di­ately.

And last, on the leave the house to prove that I will not dissolve in sunlight front: I am plan­ning to attend Conflu­ence in Pitts­burgh in July of this year; I am plan­ning to attend Lonestar 3, which is the worldcon on Labor Day Weekend.

Tomorrow — or the day after — I hope to do a post about the various audio books avail­able, because all of the House War books to date are now up on audible​.com, and in the iTunes store, for down­load, as are the Elantra Cast novels.

The Cast novels, however, aren’t avail­able — that I can see — in the UK market. Luna buys the rights to distribute World English versions of the various books. But Harle­quin has inter­na­tional satel­lites in many coun­tries, and the indi­vidual publishing compa­nies choose which books they offer to their constituen­cies. If they pass on, say, the Cast novels, the Cast novels are then — in any format — absent from the markets they oversee. So while in theory Luna has the rights to sell these books in English anywhere, in prac­tice, the exer­cise of the rights comes down to the offices that in theory know their terri­to­ries.

I can’t actu­ally change that.

In the case of the West novels, I control the audio rights, and can there­fore ask audible to make their audio versions avail­able in the UK, which is why the West novels are avail­able there, even if there is no other version avail­able in the UK.

78 Responses to State of the Writer, April 2013, and an apology

  1. xandra says:

    I’m really excited for Cast in Sorrow. I’m 36 & I’ve been a fan of the Cast series for a few years now. My brother, who is 26, loves them as well. We intro­duced them to my Dad, who is 62, a few months ago. He’s in the midst of Cast in Chaos right now. Consid­ering that my Dad intro­duced us to the fantasy & scifi genres, it’s very cool to return the favor. I’m enjoying your series all over again talking to my Dad about it (regard­less of rereads I’ve done) And of course my brother & I refuse to give him any spoilers… hilar­ious being on the other side of you’ll just have to keep reading, I’m not giving anything away. So I just wanted to say Thank You. We are a family of readers & sharing books has always been a big part of our lives. My Mom doesn’t read much fantasy, but earlier tonite my Dad was giving her this whole expla­na­tion of Kaylin & the different races of Elantra, and how hilar­ious he thinks some of the inter­ac­tions between her & the dragons or the Barrani etc. are. It was great to just hear them chat­ting about it. Again, thank you. Your words have brought a lot of laughter into our family & I just thought you should know that your hard work is appre­ci­ated. Best, xx

  2. michelle says:

    Thank you :). I think Terry Pratchett occu­pies that space in my extended house­hold, and yes, it is a lot of fun to have that in common with the rest of my family. So, yes, it’s nice to know that I’m part of that, indi­rectly, for other fami­lies.

  3. michelle says:

    At the moment, we’re plan­ning to attend — but because it’s London this year, which is gener­ally more expen­sive, it’s not a hundred percent. You?

  4. David Woodhouse says:

    I’m in the UK, currently enjoying my down­loaded copy of Battle after failing to legit­i­mately buy the ebook anywhere (even with US-regis­tered credit card using a US address). I’d *love* to pay you for it. I’ve certainly paid you for every other book of yours I’ve read — some­times (for the Sun Sword series) by buying paper­backs to go straight on the shelf, after reading a down­loaded copy.

    Please let me know how I can pay. Do you accept paypal?

    By the way, when you say above that you can’t change the situ­a­tion, I sympa­thise. But I *hope* you actu­ally mean that you can’t change it until your contracts are next up for rene­go­ti­a­tion? I’m aware that authors enter into contracts for a number of books in advance, and the existing contracts may have been agreed in the 20th century with weird terri­to­rial restric­tions as a legacy from the days when books were only published on paper. But surely in the future there’s a little more hope for sanity to prevail?

  5. Kathy Scappace says:

    You’re alive! Whew. Had me worried there for a bit.

    Not to mini­mize the impor­tance of the fact that you are indeed alive but I was wondering if the tiny dragon is in Cast in Sorrow? Not asking for a spoiler here. I’m just wondering because I didn’t see it on the book cover and I person­ally love Mr. Small and Squawky and would love one of my own except that I already have two grand­chil­dren under the age of two and I don’t really need another crea­ture with the ability to take years off my life in less time than it takes to pull a bowl off a counter.

    So please, is Mr. Small and Squawky in Cast in Sorrow?

  6. Tyronne Hodgins says:

    Ah Michelle.…no apology is neces­sary. Really. Your fans, just love your stories. As for not being able to write ‘ratio to length’ stories, my only comment is Thank God for that! While I do sympa­thize with you completely, your stories immerse the reader into the worlds you’ve created and iden­tify with the various char­ac­ters. You write from the heart and it’s readily apparent. Don’t stop. Please. The wait for one of your books has always been worth it. ALWAYS! As for the Sun Sword series, I look forward to the day when I can add that series to my Kobo! Take care and all the best in your endeav­ours!!!

  7. Aaliya says:

    I think I’m pretty relieved to hear Cast in Sorrow is long. Not because it takes so long for you to write but that I’m hoping iI’ll be able to really sink into the book. The last Cast book really really pulled me in deep and I just wanted to go on and keep reading. I’ve been twitchy ever since wondering what new evolu­tion of the story will occur. This is primarily because you’ve put the story in such a place where we have some clue of what Kaylin is next going to face because of who she is with and where she is but I’m just so eager to discover how her journey goes now that she’s finally arrived.

    Anyway, I’ll stop rambling and just say I’m grateful your some­what back on track with your schedule — I cant imagine how you manage it all and I’m just in awe of your work. Your words are truly powerful and your stories are magic — Unfor­tu­nately I’m a solo reader in my family so I dont have the ‘sharing’ factor avail­able to me and I’m not one for online networking because some­times I think people like to give in to nega­tivity and I’m just not inter­ested in listening.

    So yay for your work, fingers crossed that the rest of the year remains as produc­tive as it has been so far and good luck with all your releases this year (not that you’ll need it — you should be in the top ten of NYTimes).

  8. Hilda says:

    I love my Sagara and West books loooong, so I’m happy that they are still coming that way. I think maybe this is because I reread them so much, and I seem to discover some­thing new every time. They are long term enjoy­ment. They keep me busy reading and re-reading. My Sorrow has been in order with next day delivery for so long. I know the review process has many steps (you explained it one time), but I think August is too late if you have already submitted the final (I also imagine the publishers must have other authors). Do they ever shorten the publishing date? Is Battle expected to be published in December or earlier?
    I’m very glad every­thing seems well with you and yours. Take some­time to enjoy the summer, maybe a beach for just 2 weeks. After all the events of past winter, it will be well desrved.

  9. Pat says:

    Will Cast in Sorrow be avail­able by e‑Book? I have down­loaded all the books to my Nook. Love them and reread them. I could crawl inside these books and live! Thank you Michelle!

  10. Laura says:

    Thanks for the info on the Sun Sword ebooks. Absolutely love this series and really want to down­load them on my Nook, so eagerly awaiting their avail­ability. Already down­loaded the Hunter books.

  11. Debi says:

    Do you know yet whether you will be at Conflu­ence-Pitts­burgh every day or just one of the days? Are you are a panel or what? I’ve never been to anything like that, but my parents live in Pitts­burgh so I thought I’d have a new expe­ri­ence while fitting in a family visit at the same time! Thanks.

  12. Tchula says:

    Michelle, congrats on finishing Touch! You must feel like a great weight has been lifted. Now you can get a bit of a breather and only work on one book at a time for a little bit, haha. I look forward to Sorrow this fall, and hope War goes well for you with minimal stress and hair pulling. ;-)

  13. Chris says:

    Perhaps you could plan on each West novel being 1100 pages? If it’s less then you’ll be pleas­antly surprised, and if it’s more, we’ll be pleas­antly surprised. :)

    In any event, much thanks for the update.

  14. michelle says:

    The tiny dragon is, in fact, a feature of Cast in Sorrow. I don’t think he was on the cover of Peril, although I guess the egg was >.>.

  15. I figured you either had your nose to the grind­stone or were banging your head against your keyboard. :) I am very much looking forward to Cast in Sorrow. I tend to shove all my other books off my bed when one of the Cast novels comes out…

    And I’m also looking forward to Touch. I loved Silence.

    I’m woefully behind in catching up with the West books. Pesky dead­lines and such.

    I’ll be at Conflu­ence, as usual, so I’ll see you there!

  16. michelle says:

    It is possible that the way the company handles its World English market will change in the future – but the only control I have at the moment is whether or not to sell them the rights to publish the Cast novels at all; if I choose to continue to write them for Luna, I’m granting them the rights. I can’t force them to exer­cise them.

    It’s been suggested else­where that I self-publish, but here’s the thing: less than half of the sales – closer to a quarter – are ebook sales. I could do a print on demand version of the book – but it wouldn’t get the distri­b­u­tion that the Cast novels currently enjoy. It’s almost impos­sible to get Barnes & Noble to carry self-published books. I would be essen­tially walking away from most of my print readers if I went that route, and while it’s true that I want to make a living writing, I also want to reach the widest number of my readers as I possibly can.

    However: the lack of UK ebooks for the House War series is entirely on me. The Sun Sword ebook rights are DAW’s. The House War rights are mine. I haven’t done them because of an extreme time shortage — brought on by my strug­gles with Touch, in theory the shortest book I will publish in the calendar year it finally comes out.

    I need to find a cover designer, I need to have them create UK covers, and I need to kind of under­stand the UK cover market a bit better, because of course I can’t actu­ally use the DAW covers for those books. I admit that I haven’t pursued this because I have no pres­ence in the UK market; I’ve never sold UK rights. I’ve possibly erro­neously assumed my UK audi­ence would there­fore be quite small – which is kind of an expla­na­tion, but not an excuse.

    So: I am now committed to producing at least an ebook of WAR for the rest of the world by the time WAR comes out in North America.

    People frequently say that publishers offer no added value in this growing direct-market age. But…for me, perhaps because I started before the 90’s, they do. It’s not just in the editing, printing and distri­b­u­tion — although those, to me, are the obvious ones — but also the covers, the sales & marketing to the various book­stores. Some people feel that the time taken to do all of these things is trivial.

    Perhaps if I were writing less, it would be; at the moment, it’s not; the time it takes to do it comes directly out of the writing time =/. (The time to constantly rewrite, or throw out 50k words and write new ones, also comes out of the produc­tive writing time, sadly).

  17. michelle says:

    I was a solo reader, growing up, although my brother did like horror (which I don’t read very much of). My extended house­hold has readers in it, though :).

    As for managing things: clearly, this year, I didn’t .

  18. michelle says:

    In order to get a book into book­stores, publishers need a long window. It’s actu­ally gotten longer in recent times. B&N and Amazon want the infor­ma­tion at increas­ingly earlier inter­vals. This means the book has to have a cover, and general marketing infor­ma­tion, six months or more before the book is actu­ally printed.

    The book itself is a different beast. It needs to go to the editor and copy-editor, and from there, into produc­tion. Publishers can produce the book itself with a lead-time of three to four months. But in order to have orders for it, they need to have the infor­ma­tion much earlier, and it’s better — when possible — to have the book in hand. Mine is on the tail end of very late.

  19. michelle says:

    As for not being able to write ‘ratio to length’ stories, my only comment is Thank God for that!

    Thank you :). I under­stand that the length of the books isn’t an issue for my readers (thank god!), but — the length causes the usual internal strug­gles for me. I write to the end of the story.

    I angst a lot when I’m heading toward the end stretch, though. Every single time. Because the book is either too long, which means I need to figure out how to cut, or the book is Too Damn Long and is not, in fact, a single book anymore.

    When I start, I start with bound­less opti­mism: this book is going to be short. And then I hit midpoint and realize it’s prob­ably not going to be as short as I thought it was. And then I hit the begin­ning of the end stretch and realize it is going to be way too long.

    And then I feel guilty >.>.

  20. michelle says:

    I (usually, traffic permit­ting) arrive at around 6:00 p.m. on the Friday evening (which is the first day of the conven­tion). I’ll be there for all of Saturday, and will leave mid-after­noon on Sunday (the last day).

    I will be on panels there, but at this point, having just sent in the ques­tion­naire, I’m not sure what those panels will be — I will post more infor­ma­tion when I have it, though :).

  21. michelle says:

    When I have finished revising the book, I will feel like a great weight has been lifted. At the moment, it’s hard for me to see the book through the various stresses of writing it — never a good thing.

    This happened to me with Sea of Sorrows, too. I could not read that book for four years because I was so certain it was terrible — that people would read it and say “OMG, I waited two years for this?” When I could read it, having forgotten the actual act of writing, I was hugely relieved — but I honestly couldn’t approach it as if I hadn’t written it, and hadn’t thrown out the attempt to make it the final book of the series (which, well, for obvious reasons would not have worked).

  22. Tchula says:

    Well, let me just say that I adored Sea of Sorrows, mostly because we learned so much about the history of Man and the Cities and even the gods. It’s one of my favorite books in the series. I’m glad you’ve recov­ered from the trauma of writing it, and hope­fully Touch will feel like that for you in a few years, too. (Aren’t we fortu­nate to have mortal memory?) ;-)

  23. Aaliya says:

    I dont think any of us can condemn you for not being on top of things because of set backs. We’re your fans not just because your work is amazing but because you’ve got such a commit­ment to your work that it clearly comes through your books.
    I honestly do hope you’ve sched­uled some breathing room in for your­self — you more than deserve it!
    As for extended family reading — nope — the boys are too young and their dad is a gamer. So its just me who gets to visit Elantra!

  24. lucid says:

    Thank you for the update … from A new reader who is anxiously awaiting the Sun Sword ebooks for Nook!

    Is it better to read Sun Sword series before the Hunter novels? I tried googling for recom­men­da­tions but couldn’t find much :)

    Maybe I will start with Cast in Shadow …

  25. David Y says:

    The Hunter’s novels take place before the Sun Sword series — Hunter’s Death covers much the same as House Name but more on the Hunters. And there is the 14 (?) year gap in the time.

  26. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard says:

    I have News!!!

    The Broken Crown and The Shining Court are now avail­able at Kobo­Books and for the Kindle.

    I just purchased them from Kobo­Books!

    [Very Very Big Grin]

  27. Hilda says:

    I don’t under­stand why some of us seem to get different results from Amazon and Nook. Not that these compa­nies are very helpful. I have gone as far as buying new books from the Sun Sword series even when, based on the comments here, they are not avail­able. Within this past year, I have gone to Amazon and ordered second copies of some books from the Sun sword series where the orig­inal is almost to pieces. Also a few months ago, I ordered for my NOOK the RIVEN SHIELD (even though I have a paper copy tied with rubber bands), (I’m just looking at my NOOK copy now), and all the short stories. I have also had Cast In Peril in my NOOK, for several months now.
    Lucid, you may benefit a lot if you go into Michelle’s website and read the comments she wrote just as her books were published. She gives a lot of infor­ma­tion on her books. At one of them, she also wrote an exten­sive tran­si­tion between the Sun Sword series and the House War series. It’s very helpful. Good luck.

  28. Pat says:

    Any idea if Cast in Sorrow will go elec­tronic? I want to pre-order it ASAP. I love the series, and Ms. Sagara has joined the ranks of my favorite authors — Kim Harrison, Char­laine Harris, and Patricia Briggs. Awesome!

  29. Joey says:

    WFC is in Brighton this year. Next year’s Worldcon is in London. I’m plan­ning to attend both. Prob­ably Lonestar, so hope to see you!

  30. Halyna says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I just wanted to let you know that you and the Cast books have helped me keep my sanity! I have spent the last 4 months taking care of my 90 year old dad who passed away 2 weeks ago of colon cancer and the one thing I truly looked forward to on those long vigils sitting by his beside was being able to go back and re-read my favourite Cast books. I am excited that Cast in Sorrow will be avail­able soon — I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Thanks again for the many, many wonderful hours you’ve given me to get lost in your magical stories. Cheers.

  31. AKkat says:

    Y’know it’s strange — every time you write one of your updates you just solidify your spot as Favorite Author. I’ve been taking my time listening to Battle on audio (waiting for paper­back to buy it in book form), and once done with that I’m going to buy up all the rest of the audio­books and start from the begin­ning! Buahaha.

    I appre­ciate all your hard work, and I am grateful you are willing to go through creative brainspasms to bring us your imag­i­na­tion. Your books speak to my book­worm soul! And darn it, I’m not usually into YA stuff, but I think I am going to have to buy those new ones. Your writing is just too gosh darn good not to.

  32. shadowkindrd says:

    To add another voice: Sea of Sorrows is my favorite book from you. The inten­sity of the rela­tion­ship between Diora and Margaret, between the far past and the present, that whole thing is fire to read. Beau­ti­fully written.

    BTW, I can now get books one, three, and five of the Sun Sword on my Nook. Still waiting for the even numbered ones.

  33. pharvey says:

    B&N now has Case in Sorrow in ebook — so it has been ordered. Anxious awaiting shall ensue.

  34. scorbet says:

    I think you are misun­der­standing — for most people there is a differ­ence between books being avail­able in paper and being avail­able in ebook.

    Right now, the Sun Sword books (with the excep­tion of the Riven Shield) are avail­able in paper format ONLY. Anyone saying that they are not avail­able is talking about the ebook edition, which is true. Yes, we know that we can buy a paper copy, but some of us want the ebook, for what­ever reason, often to accom­pany our already bought paper copies.

    The Riven Shield is not avail­able in paper, but is avail­able as an ebook.

    The rest are avail­able as both paper and ebook, at least in the US.

  35. scorbet says:

    Oops, make that some of the books from the Sun Sword are unavail­able for ebook :-) Haven’t checked myself in a while and just read the comments below.

  36. mandi says:

    That is one of my favorite state­ments: “It’s not short.” :) ;)

    So looking forward to Cast in Sorrow. I’ve already pre-ordered it in hard copy and ebook! So excited! {Happy dance} Can’t wait for more info on what happens in the West March to Kaylin,Mr.Small & Squaky, Teela, Sevren, and Night­shade!

  37. lucid says:

    I see that books 1. 3 and 5 of Sun Sword are now avail­able as ebooks. Why not the evens? Here’s hoping they are coming soon.

  38. Amanda says:

    I am so glad to hear that Cast in Sorrow is not short. I adore there books and the world you have created within them; the more time that I, as a reader, get to stay in them the better.

  39. Debi says:

    Thanks for the info … I look forward to going to my first one of these conven­tions!
    I love your Cast series, but as a high school teacher, I also loved SILENCE because your “teenage voice” is so real­istic. Emma and crew could easily be a number of my students. :)

  40. Danita says:

    How horrible is it that when I saw the book was “not short”, my greedy for more Cast self said, aha, then a Chapter a month starting May 1, shouldn’t be any problem right? Much anxious waiting. Glad to share it with fellow Cast lovers though! Danita

  41. virginia Russell says:

    Hi Life gets in the way of plans but it seems to me that you get a shocking lot of writing done. I and my adult daugh­ters (3) all discov­ered your work through the cast novels. LOVE THEM! Ive now read every­thing I could get my hands on or catch in the nook. Its so wonderful to discover an accom­plished author with an existing body of work. i get to catch up on the older stuff while craving the new.(War for me). God bless You and Yours however you envi­sion God on a good day. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and hard work.

  42. Abby says:

    I absolutely love the Chron­i­cles of Elantra. I picked them up after reading another Luna book and saw the cover as an adver­tise­ment in the back. Once I began reading I fell in love with all the char­ac­ters. I began mentally also step­ping on Kaylin’s foot when she opened her mouth to speak to Sana­balis, excuse me, Lord Sana­balis. I would find myself asking, “When did she last eat? Sleep?”

    Your ability to draw the reader in, to paint these perfectly unique and encom­passing worlds filled with thought, intel­li­gence and wonder is nothing short of spec­tac­ular.

    I cannot wait until the next book, and dare I say it, I do hope that Night­shade and Kaylin end up together. There is so much to them that I find inter­esting and the reasoning of why he cares and why she does- is worth puzzling out. That and I’m always for pair­ings that aren’t “supposed” to be. Severn is Kaylin’s every­thing in so many ways, she relies on him almost completely- but can he be her future?

    Thanks for reading my ramblings, and thank you for gracing us with this series!

    Abby

  43. I don’t know what her rates are, but Julie Dillon who is nomi­nated for the Hugo this year and already has won two Chesley Awards has done covers for wholly self-published Andrea K. Höst (whose work I totally recom­mend to you).

    So I sort of hope her rates are reason­able for a self-publishing venture. Her art is certainly beau­tiful
    http://​www​.juliedil​lonart​.com/

    Here’s the art she did for Andrea
    http://​www​.goodreads​.com/​b​o​o​k​/​s​h​o​w​/​9832204​-​c​h​a​m​p​i​o​n​-​o​f​-​t​h​e​-​r​ose
    http://​www​.goodreads​.com/​b​o​o​k​/​s​h​o​w​/​10134027​-​s​t​a​i​n​e​d​-​g​l​a​s​s​-​m​o​n​s​t​ers

  44. You saved my equi­lib­rium this year once more with my yearly reread of the Elantra books. My work life may not have evened out yet, but you really saved me from blowing up via disap­pearing into Elantra.

    So thank you.

  45. Christina says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for the update. I’m really looking forward to Touch. I was just wondering if the release date for Touch has been pushed back to a later date or if it is still being released in May?????? Thank you

  46. Chris says:

    Can hardly wait for “War.” Just finished reading “Battle” for the third time. Have completed all the Sun sword books, House War, and Hunt brothers at least three times — even going through them in chrono­log­ical order. Excel­lent story lines and well written.

  47. silentmum says:

    I must offi­cally be an ultra- geek, not only do I have all the Sun Sword and Elantra books in papaer­back but am now slowly collecting them as ebooks too.…so when they first come out, I can have the plea­sure of the liter­ally truning the page and then when I evetully I get the ebook I can re-read again and again — teh first Elantra book is held togther by sticky tape and love I read it so much.…..even Peril is looking dog-eared.…

  48. Jaime Lester says:

    I am very much looking forward to Touch! I am sad that its release date was moved up to January of next year, but I will be ready when­ever it hits stores. I am sorry you had such trouble with writing it, but I have no doubt that the end result will be unbe­liev­ably amazing! Silence blew me away, and so will Touch!

  49. Mom says:

    I have been a fan of Terry Pratchett for years also. Just discov­ered the Elantra series and was delighted with them. Now in the process of reading them to my husband, who is really getting into them also. After reading what I could get my hands on for the third time I recom­mended them to Kerry Green­wood and she said she would keep her eyes out for them as well.

  50. Mike says:

    Book 4 of the sun sword is now on kindle, fo those who have been waiting as anxiously as me. Now just need books 2 and 6

  51. lucid says:

    Awesome — Sun Sword e‑Books 1,3,4, and 5 are avail­able on Kobo and Amazon. Now just waiting for books 2 and 6!!

  52. lucid says:

    Also — Can anyone recom­mend a reading order for someone who has not read any of the series yet? Is Hunters » Sun Sword » House War the recom­mended progres­sion? thanks!

  53. Chris G. says:

    Hunters » Sun Sword » House War does work, though there are actu­ally several possi­bil­i­ties. Awhile back the author suggested that the first three House War books are her recom­mended place to begin. And then I would think Hunters » Sun Sword » and the last House War books after.

    Imo West improves as an author as the years pass, so by starting with the Hunter’s duology you begin with what some might say is her “worst” mate­rial and see the progres­sion as she goes along. I’ve seen some people who enjoy the Hunter’s books and happily continue on, but others haven’t liked them as much, and so for those people the House books would prob­ably be a better place to begin. Of course people won’t know their reac­tion until after they try them. And there are advan­tages to both approaches.

    If you think that there’s a good chance that you’ll like the books then I would recom­mend Hunters » Sun Sword » House War.

  54. lucid says:

    Chris — thank you for the response! I am pretty sure I will like these novels, so I think I am going to start with the Hunter duology. I’d prefer reading them in as close to chrono­log­ical order as possible — as well as pub date.

    Thanks again!

  55. David Y says:

    lucid:
    the Hunters books happen at the same time as the House Name series; Hunter’s Death dupli­cates much of House Name BUT there is some impor­tant infor­ma­tion in Hunter’s Death that isn’t in House Name — about some rings. I just noticed this the last time I re-read them.

  56. Chris G. says:

    You’re welcome lucid,

    Though I’ll mention that chrono­log­ical order can get rather tricky. The way I suggested is defi­nitely the pub. order, but while I don’t want to give away spoilers, the chron. order is impos­sible to get exactly right because of how West wrote these.

    If chron. order is the most impor­tant thing then you can’t get it perfect but I’d recom­mend House War #1, Hunter’s #1, House War #2, Hunter’s #2, House War #3. Then Sun Sword then House War #4 and up. For several reasons I don’t think that that’s the best way to go, but you could try it.

    Once you read them all you’ll under­stand that there’s no one way. West is one of my favorite authors but no one is perfect and this area can be a flaw. Though there are good and artistic reasons why these books happened this way and it can be nice to have a series which is not a straight­for­ward Book 1, 2 etc.

  57. Chris G. says:

    David Y,

    Imho I think it would be best to avoid spoilers for lucid if we can help it, but since you brought it up then different people do have different thoughts on “dupli­ca­tion” between books. Afaic there are lots of conver­sa­tions, povs, and such that differ between Hunter’s Death and City of Night/House Name. I think the perspec­tive on this depends on the indi­vidual reader.

  58. looking forward to cast in sorrow, already ordered. might make it up last week of august[fingers are crossed].if i do, will defi­nitely stop and see you.

  59. lucid says:

    Thanks for replying, Chris. I think I am going to stick with the first sugges­tion of Hunter/Sun/War.

    I’m just waiting for the remaining Sun books to be placed on Kobo before I begin .…. :)

  60. Chris H. says:

    The best chrono­log­ical order I could use was Hunter’s Oath, Hidden City, City of Night, Hunter’s Death and House Name (these two tell some of the same story but from different perspec­tives, thus occur­ring at the same time), the I went into the SunSword Series followed by Skir­mish and Battle. That is the best chronology I could find. Have read all these several times and now when I reread them that is the order I read them in.

  61. Z says:

    Rereading Cast in Peril again for the third time. Really looking forward to Cast in Sorrow even more now that it won’t be short :)

  62. Benjamin Williams says:

    I love your work. Your Sun Sword and House Wars books are my favorite. I am not sure if you are aware, but I cannot purchase the second Sun Sword book on Amazon, though I can purchase copies of others in the series there. I still have my print copies, but in an effort to save space, I am trying to tran­si­tion to all digital. You are prob­ably aware of this issue, but I just wanted to make sure you knew. Keep up the good work! I tell all my friends about how great your novels are.

  63. Benjamin Williams says:

    Sun Sword 2 is now avail­able on Amazon in e book form, but book 6 isn’t avail­able yet. I am awaiting its avail­ability with great antic­i­pa­tion.

  64. Dan Pierson says:

    Sun Sword 2 is enough! 1 – 5 are now on my Kindle at long, long last. I’m willing to hope that 6 will be avail­able not to long after I finish the rest.

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