the Author

State of the Writer, December 2012 — and Battle preview

Posted in DAW, Elantra, Queen of the Dead, writing.

It’s been over two months since I last posted. My brain is still mired in October, the month in which I had to scrap Touch for a third time and start it from the begin­ning. Again. In a week, it’ll be Christmas. Did I mention I’m still mentally stuck in October, the month of doom?

So: an expla­na­tion for my absence. It’s unlikely to be short.

I am on-line in various places because I write. And because I want to be acces­sible to people who read what I write. I am known to tweet, to post occa­sion­ally on Face­book, to blog. I reason­ably feel that people who other­wise don’t know me seek me out because they like my writing, and this makes me happy.

But. (You knew there was a but, right?) 

Writing is not an exact science. I’m from the butt-in-chair school of writing because that’s what works for me. Except when it doesn’t, and I write pages of book that don’t actu­ally work; they almost work. I have written more words on Touch than I have on any Cast novel, and in the end, it’s been one circular train that has delayed every other word I need to write. This is not meant to be a plea for sympathy; it’s honestly meant to be an expla­na­tion. Writing is some­times extremely diffi­cult — but any job is some­times extremely difficult. 

When the writing has been disas­trous from a subjec­tive point of view (being mine), I feel incom­pe­tent. Since no book is ever entirely smooth, and since writers can be famously angsty while actu­ally writing those books, a certain amount of despair and gloom is pretty much a daily occur­rence. So, too, are the highs when a book comes together and every­thing sings. 

When it’s been gloom and a sense of certain failure for a longer period, though, I begin to feel like a pretender. I don’t feel like a real writer. I am certain that I’m failing my book, and by exten­sion, I’m failing my readers. I go back to the book. I revise. I rewrite. I give myself an ulcer trying to make it work. Three times in my writing career, I’ve nuked a book to ground zero and rebuilt it from page one. I’ve never done that more than once for any other book – before now. (My oldest son claims I’m not entirely objec­tive about my own work, go figure.)

I don’t want this to be the doom-and-gloom corner of the universe, though. It’s just that I reach a point where I feel like I’m failing so badly I don’t really feel like I am the writer that people are coming to connect with. I don’t have news, or at any rate good news, to share. I start to avoid the on-line world – because no one wants to be a disap­point­ment! – until I have beaten either myself or my book into shape. 

So, apolo­gies. I am still writing. I am still here.

And: I don’t have a cover for Battle that I can actu­ally post here. I have a small picture, but not the larger one I usually post; this is in part because I have been hiding in my cave and pulling all my hair out and pretending it’s still October. Don’t ask about Christmas shop­ping; I’ll only cry. I hope to remedy the lack of cover soon, because yes, the book is due out any minute.

I do, however, have a sample chapter. Or in this case, a prologue and the first chapter.

55 Responses to State of the Writer, December 2012 — and Battle preview

  1. Jen Wylie says:

    Hi Michelle!
    So sorry to hear Touch is giving you trou­bles. :( I know you’ll be able to kick it’s butt. The words will come when they are ready, The final product will be phenom­enal. Your books always are, and I don’t say this to pres­sure you, but to make you smile and know your readers love your work. The worlds and char­ac­ters you create are inspi­ra­tional. Your books are impos­sible to put down and are on the Read Many Many Times Shelf.
    Deep breaths! Think happy thoughts!
    If you need a smile, remember me from WFC, you neighbor and uber fan. I still squee when I tell people I met you. :) Hope­fully I will have the plea­sure to do so again one day, and won’t blush as much.
    Hugs and rainbows!

  2. I’m glad you’re still there and still writing. :)

    I have missed seeing you about, but I figured you were wrestling with words. Some­times they are very slip­pery and hard things, indeed.

    I’ll still be here and a fan once you’ve conquered them.

  3. FyreInk says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I’m sure that anything you write will always be great. I’ve loved reading all your Cast novels and I can never put any of them down until I’ve read through them completely. That said, have you finished writing aka conquering Touch?

  4. Hilda says:

    I’m here watching The Voice last show and decided to open my mail. I was so surprised, but it was like a Xmas gift, An e=mail from you on Battle. I’m so looking forward to it. Can’t go to sleep until I read that first chapter. It’s so bad you are so rushed and at this time of the year when there is never enough time for all we need to do. You write such unique and wonderful books, we tend to forget that for the writer it’s work that needs time and lots of effort. Take care of your­self; have a great and restful Holi­days. Thanks for the Chapter and for those marvelous books.

  5. Joey says:

    Happy October, Dear Author!

  6. ELF says:

    I think you are your own worst enemy. Your writing is always fantastic and we appre­ciate the care that you take to hone your creations BUT we do want you around to continue writing, so giving your­self ulcers is not accept­able! Happy holi­days to you and your family and give your­self the gift of a break from perfec­tionism for a few days and take time to enjoy the season (0:

  7. AKKat says:

    At this point, you’re my idol and more than that, you’re an inspi­ra­tion. If you were perfect, I wouldn’t look up to you. If you didn’t struggle, you’d be inhuman. It’s because you’re so passionate and so dedi­cated to your craft that I, for one, am a huge fan. 

    Do what you gotta do.

    I’ll be here, babbling to anyone who asks that you’re my favorite author because yadda yadda yadda.

    Keep being awesome (and you are awesome, even when you’re in gloomland).

  8. Asara Wexler says:

    You poor dear…It will be O.K. We, your public and Fans, CAN under­stand your feeling of failing. Don’t worry, that too will past.
    You have given us the enjoy­ment of your creative soul, which is a gift only you can bestow, and we are thankful. If need be, pretend for a while it is still October, have a glass of wine and eat Halloween Candy, and start again. We will wait on you…

  9. Anne says:

    Just found you this week and read all cast in books this
    Don’t beat your self up! You do great work. Spend some time with the kids. Start fresh in January. October has truly been a long month.

  10. jamie coady says:

    I would not worry too much. the book is ready when it is ready. do you know if the audio of cast in peril will be coming out in the uk soon? as far as i have found out it is not yet been released in the uk. good luck!

  11. I’m just happy to get to read anything from you, so take all the time you need and no worries.

    And I am unbe­liev­ably excited to get Battle, let me tell you.

    (Notice how I didn’t pun on ‘Touch’? That means we deserve more of Battle, right?)

  12. Tchula says:

    Thank you so much, Michelle, for working so hard to give us great books! Don’t let Touch get you down; I’m sure it will turn out fine in the end. I hope you get to take a few days to enjoy the holi­days with your family without stressing over the various books you’re writing. (Can I say that I think it’s absolutely amazing that you write THREE series concur­rently?) Give your­self a break, your fans will be here when the books are ready, regard­less. And we’ll love them because YOU wrote them, and we love your work! :-)

  13. Rasmusb says:

    Thank you for the sample chapter! And please believe that we are patient — for books as good, detailed & lengthy [longer is better!] — I will gladly pine for them until you feel they are ready to be read. :D

  14. Hilda says:

    I will not give “spoilers” here, but I would like to tell you that, as always, you have not diss­a­pointed me, nor will you diss­a­point any of your readers. Battle is going to be one more awsome book. Can hardly wait for New Year’s Eve, at 8:00 p.m. when it will be deliv­ered. As first chap­ters go, this one is magnif­i­cent, absolutely not expected; and leaves me thirsting for more =. I have read all your books, and I am “amazed”.
    Relax and enjoy the Holi­days. You can’t give us a book we won’t like. Thanks a lot for this chapter, those books that demand so much of you, and your caring.

  15. michelle says:

    @fyreink: No, sadly, I have not finished writing TOUCH yet. But I under­stand why all previous attempts were an issue, now.

    I’m an invet­erate pantser. I know this about myself and my writing. I know what the ending I’m writing toward is, but I trust the book to get there, often in ways that totally take me by surprise but make sense when I’m actu­ally writing it.

    With TOUCH, though, I was so proud of myself because I finally had a story that worked as a three-act play. I knew what the second book had to be. And I spent three iter­a­tions trying to write that book.

    Ahem. It wasn’t until I reminded myself that that’s not the way my process works that the book came together. I have a blog post about TOUCH and its iter­a­tions, but I can’t really write it until the book has been out in the wild for a while, because it’s all spoilers.

  16. Agustine says:

    Dear Michelle,

    Sorry to hear that you got your­self ulcer; that was too much stress indeed. I learned from my own expe­ri­ence as well that some­times we ourselves are our greatest enemy, and perfec­tions are some­times not equal with excellence.

    Keep striving but make sure to get enough rest and sleep; be rest assured that we, your most faithful and loyal readers, are ready to crave what­ever novels you wrote, and that we love you as writers and in person. As much as we care about your novels, we care much more about your well beings. So we’ll be patient if that what it takes to have either you and your novels in good shape.

    You’re awesome and you are my most favorite author by far. Take care and jia you!! (‘Jia you’ is a Chinese term equals to ‘keep the fight’ or ‘hang on and keep on trying’). =)


  17. Tina Moran says:

    As much as we love to read your books and can’t wait for the next one. None of us are so desperate that we don’t want you to enjoy the holi­days with your family.
    Take a breather, refresh, recharge and smell the roses or in this case a poin­setta or amaryllis.
    Don’t get too stressed out with the last minute shop­ping, we are such a dispos­able society that we want more than we need, unless it’s a good book or course.
    Your sample chapter had me so riveted that I tuned out a movie to concen­trate on the text.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year to you and your under­standing family.


  18. FyreInk says:

    I’m glad that the book is coming along more smoothly now. On a side note, I forgot to add that Mathia Arkoniel put up some amazing artwork of Cast in Peril.

  19. Alan says:

    In a hole in the ground.…(Image of an uncer­tain writer goes here)

    Some works flow out of you like falling. As easy to write as the rush of the wind in a storm, as hard to edit as granite. Other works are torn, piece by objec­tion­able piece, from the mire of our imag­i­na­tion. Still others are found, each piece by candle­light exam­ined and placed, glued together with late night coffee and the help of cats.

    If TOUCH had been easy for you to write, you would only be dreading the editing. Take heart, there is a story there to be read, even if writing it gener­ated as many bits of scat­tered packing mate­rial as it took to enter­tain the cats, and you are dreading cleaning the room.

    Your fans online under­stand that the book process consumes you. We reas­sured ourselves it was dead­line time, and that Touch was being quar­rel­some. Hope­fully you’ll feel happy enough with it to enjoy the holiday with your family. You are loved by a very great number of people, most of whom you will never meet. Be well, read/write/live good books, and drink far too much that is tasty and warm.

  20. NicoleL says:

    Wow, Alan, what a beau­tiful comment.

  21. NicoleL says:

    Michelle, is it wrong to take comfort in your post about strug­gling with writing? Not that I am glad that you are suffering, but to be reminded that even successful, beloved authors with many books on their shelves go through this, helps me. I haven’t written for a month because I do not know how to fix the book I am working on (and the holi­days, and family, and work, and winter, and etc.), but clearly I have not tried every­thing. I have not nuked the book, I have not tried a lot of things that I could try. So hope­fully, next week, when I try to creep up on my ms, I can think about you and other writers and at least not hate the words I’m writing and find some­thing to try.

  22. Ralph Walker says:

    I second your opinion!! Michelle, please listen to Alan. I think he has been talking with the cats!


    Happy Holi­days to All

  23. Mark Galpin says:

    Good to hear from you Michelle. I am in a very different line of work, but I totally feel your pain. I’m so glad you got past it, and not just (if admit­tedly mostly) because that means that your produc­tion rates are going back up. Just remember we all wait for what you write, but that doesn’t mean that we’re unwilling to wait while you work through your process!

    Okay. Now, on to the dilemmas… this commu­nity had a fairly long discus­sion a while back about how to best inte­grate the House War series with the Sun Sword series … but I am always curious on how best to inte­grate the Hunter series with it. Since I try to read every book in a universe every time a new one comes out, this is an issue that has trou­bled me for some years now. Tradi­tion­ally I read the Hunter series first, and then start the House War series, with, of course, diver­sions for Sun Sword in the middle of House War, as per your recom­men­da­tion. I’m curious, though, if other people think a variant approach should be taken. While I am a huge chronology freak, I also have to admit that there’s a limit to how much it makes sense to break up a story just to get the chronolo­gies perfect.….

  24. Tasia says:

    I’ve always loved books that let me forget my life for a while and jump in to someone else’s. It’s my guilty plea­sure to escape from reality for a while! I love your books they always capti­vate me, I always get a feeling of antic­i­pa­tion like I’m about to open a present when I open one of your books. I know you’ll figure out Touch and it will be just as enthralling as all the others! Don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the holidays :)

  25. sivi sivanesan says:

    Dear Michelle,

    I discov­ered your books with the Cast series and have never looked back. You’re books along with about four other authours are ones that I’ll always buy in a book format, as reading them in a proper book is always a perfect way to become immersed in a different world. 

    A world that you’ve created and given us the priv­i­lege of visiting. 

    Thank you for taking the time and care in creating wonderful worlds for us to enjoy, your readers appre­ciate all of your hard work and you. 

    So take a break and enjoy the world that your in now with your family (life really is too short other­wise), and we’ll all be here when you’ve created the next step­ping stone in your story arc.

    Seasons great­ings and I hope you and your family have a very happy 2013 filled with joy and laughter.

  26. Belkis Lamar says:

    Hi Michelle,
    I have been reading all your series for years. I am sorry to have been so hard on your­self but and yes there is always a ‘but’! We your fans appre­ciate all your hard work. We have been here for years and will continue to be here.
    When you start to doubt your­self again , take a look at all your successful books lined up in front of you! Your words are wort waiting for!

  27. Suzy says:

    I recom­mend skip­ping Nov & most of Dec, jumping straight to Christmas, they weren’t that good of months anyway. :) 

    I trust you as a writer, I am partic­u­larly appre­cia­tive of your writing style. I once tried to explain to my mother why your books are so different than most others out there & it basi­cally boils down to your writing style. You don’t force the story into a partic­ular shape, you don’t make things that are unbe­lie­ve­able happen just because you want them to. Your char­ac­ters are fantastic because you let them be who they are & react how they would actu­ally react. Your books have very few, if any, contra­dic­tions & that is extremely satis­fying to read. Even though it sounds like it is frus­trating at times, I am extremely appre­cia­tive of your method as well as your effort. I am perfectly content to wait however long I need to for your books because I know it will be worth it. 

    For what it’s worth, you aren’t alone this year. There’s prob­ably about an 80% chance we’ll be cele­brating Christmas on the 27th, maybe the 28th this year as I am woefully behind. :) Take a few days off to recu­perate & enjoy time with your family. :)

  28. Klara Lammers says:

    Thank you for posting the prologue and the first chapter. It makes it a bit easier waiting until 31/12/12. I have been reading the books written as Michelle West for almost 20 years now, starting with the “Sacred Hunt” books. Even though there are some­times years between books, they are so well written and they span so many stories of so many people that I am always curious about the next book and about what happens next. I do not mind waiting because I know that the books are always inter­esting to read. I would rather wait a bit longer and read a good book than getting a book every year which I would not like a bit. I was quite surprised when the first book of “The House War“appeared, because I thought you had finished with this world, but once again you write an great story. It amazes me that at the same time as the “House War”-books, the “Cast”-books are written which I also enjoy reading. I even got a colleague addicted to the “Cast”-series.

  29. michelle says:

    Michelle, is it wrong to take comfort in your post about strug­gling with writing?

    No, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! 

    I used to think — before my first novel was published — that it would be easier once I knew what I was doing.

    What I discov­ered — what so many of my writer friends have discov­ered — is it doesn’t get easier. In some ways, the more you know, the more you see the flaws, and in some ways, when you start to stretch to chal­lenge your­self, you’re walking on new ground again.

    Some books are easy — but it’s never predictable. Some books are truly diffi­cult, but again, not in a predictable way. And the sad thing about writing is that the expe­ri­ence isn’t trans­fer­able. The way I write, and the way someone like Tanya Huff or Kate Elliott write, are totally different points of a triangle. None of us are doing it wrong; we’ve figured out how we write our own books. But trying to apply tech­nical know-how to someone else’s book doesn’t work.

    Knowing that we’re strug­gling with the same issues — even if our solu­tions are radi­cally different — has always been helpful :).

  30. Hilda says:

    Amazon shipped my Battle; it cost me close to $8.00 but it’s worth it. I’m having company and dinner for the end of the year; let’s hope I don’t tell them to go home when I find it. Best of the New Year to all !!!

  31. shauntel says:

    Okay, I just want to say, that I think you are a GREAT Writer. I’m not just saying this. You are the only Author I actu­ally post onto your website. 

    I will gener­ally go to different authors sites, to look at past and upcoming books., but your siite i interact with the other readers, and if you knew me. (let me tell you my family would be shocked) I don’t like to write e‑mails. I get so into your books I want to see what other people think, and if you have any comments about the group discussions.

    I read, read, and read all the time, and your books are the only one’s I have both the hard­copy and the kindle, instead on one or the other (Just incase my kindle goes down, and i have to wait for repairs) 

    So I’m sad your feeling frus­trated, but to me, that means you are an excel­lent writer and you worry about the end product your fans will read, which is awsome.. 

    Your fans will suffer with you, because we really want more of your writing, so please, please don’t stop and I appre­ciate all the comments you make and the hard work,and I want to read more .

    Thank you!:)))))

  32. Chris says:

    I just finished reading Battle after getting it on Saturday from the B&M B&N. Some­thing of a change in the writing style imho, it felt more like a Sun Sword book to me and took me longer to read. I’ll be inter­ested in hearing people’s thoughts if/when a spoiler thread gets put up. I will say that I think that overall the book ended in a good place, and set up War very well, but there is one piece of info that I desper­ately do want to know. 

    As far as being able to buy it early: I went Sat. to make sure that they *were* getting it but the first of two stores in my area isn’t carrying it (. The second store had trouble finding it in their system, but did, and confirmed that they were getting three. Since I was in the store I looked around and saw that they had already put out a different book that I wanted to buy with a release day of today. I then asked if it was possible to buy Battle early too? They looked up the publish­er’s instruc­tions, said it was okay, then looked to see if they had already gotten it in, which they had, and then looked for it in store. It took 30 minutes to find them, but even­tu­ally they did and after paying I was off. Of course I couldn’t imme­di­ately read it, because my schedule was busy Sat. and Sun. in order to clear free time for today. But I can’t complain about that *too* much. Best of luck to everyone else in getting it in a timely manner today.

  33. Chris says:

    To Michelle,

    Imo you’re one of the absolute best writers out there, and that’s while being extremely produc­tive. If you took 5 years between books then I’m sure that each one could be a *bit* better (though I don’t see how they could be too much better). 

    But perhaps some of the prob­lems with Touch comes from the fact that it’s a different sort of book then you usually write? I would assume that not all writers will be as adept in writing some styles or genres as they are in others, plus you have more expe­ri­ence in epic fantasy than you do in the more UF that Touch is set in. So maybe there’s just more of a learning curve for this type of book then you thought?

  34. Alan says:

    Battle is both lovely and too short.

    (I know)

    Both Amazon and the iTunes store had their act together for this release, which was a relief. Hope­fully the book does as well as it deserves, your holiday was refreshing, and Touch stops fighting you.

    Good luck!

  35. JCeleste says:

    Thanks so much for your message, Michelle! Take heart, we readers who are also writers know your pain and we love you anyway. We espe­cially are grateful that you’ll push through that insis­tence that you ought to just put down your pen and seek another profes­sion, and that you are willing to nuke a book three times over to make sure that it’s the story you want to tell.

    If it’s any conso­la­tion, I’ve had to nuke a trilogy four times over and I still haven’t gotten it right, and it’s taken me a decade off and on — so you are not alone in your extreme frus­tra­tion. We all hope it doesn’t take a decade, but no matter what it takes we’ll stand by you. We know you are not a fake, and if this partic­ular story is driving you up the wall, you’ll still have Brownie Points with us fans to the end of time, because you’ve consis­tently given us so many stories that are just totally awesome. 

    So, while as a writer I know this is impos­sible, don’t take us fans as pres­sure. We are your support group. Any real fan would not abandon you if you came out with a story that was less than Super Fantastic Awesome, and I person­ally would not be upset if you had to extend the dead­line. It’s more impor­tant that you have a story you are happy with, than anything else, because they’re the words on the page that will haunt you if you throw some­thing out the door to meet a dead­line or to please an audi­ence (I’ve been there). 

    We’ll be here, no matter what. So when that little voice says you’ll ruin every­thing if you don’t get this stupid $#$%% book right, hope­fully you’ll remember the comments and the love from these various comments and you’ll know it isn’t true. As long as you keep writing, we will keep reading.

    Sending a hug, and wishes for a great 2013!

  36. JCeleste says:

    Hear, hear!! I don’t know of anyone else who can pull off three series simultaneously!

  37. JCeleste says:

    I third the comment. Lots of yummi­ness and warmth and happy times!

  38. JCeleste says:

    Thank you so much, Michelle! This is comforting to me, as I struggle with my own novel. I appre­ciate your generosity of spirit!

  39. Anon says:

    Battle was fantastic. I am sorry to hear that you feel down. I have to say that having read Battle you have absolutely nothing to casti­gate your­self for. Rather the reverse in my opinion.

  40. Hilda says:

    Michelle, I hope it’s a very Happy New Year for you and you are feeling better and ready to move on. I started on Battle but I’m behind because my son and I ended up in the hospital before the book arrived (NEW YEAR’s Eve). Horrible bad type of cold. It was by my kitchen door when we returned from the hospital.
    I’ m 1/3 through Battle now, but I haven’t found yet where do we write comments which may be spoilers. I haven’t check e‑mails; maybe I should have. I went directly to your website. Is there a spoiler section foe Battle ?

    What a great, great book; can’t put it down.

  41. You go do what you need to do and I’ll wait for the result when­ever you’re happy. I waited 10 to 15 year for a new novel in a favourite series before (of course I was younger then :P). I hope the New Year is healthy and happy for you and yours (for some reason I only saw this post now) and Battle is winding its way to me via Amazon​.de as we speak (they sent it off and it should be here at the end of the week).

  42. katherine says:

    after i read harvest moon, i found the rest of the chron­i­cles of elantra and read then all. then i bought a kindle fire and began reading them all over again. i’m on ruin right now and a bit sad that after i reread peril, that will be it for now. so…any plans to return to elantra?

  43. shauntel says:

    I thought it was a great contin­u­a­tion of Skir­mish. I felt it was bringing jewel into her own by devel­oping her powers and making her become polit­i­cally strong in dealing with the 10 and the kings.

    THIS May be a SPOILER, they keep saying that Morellos has to ride again to kill Allaskar, does anyone know who could possibly be the rein­car­nated Morellos??

    I have a thought (ADAM)

    We finally found out who pipe Smoking Mage is!! that was great I don’t think I like how Avandar is becoming very weak(power wise) in my mind. I wonder if not using his power is turning him human. (one part stated during parade that if he used his powers it would drain his humanity. )

    Hmm just thinking.

  44. kitty says:

    Stephen, the son of the Hunter god we see at the end of the Hunter’s Death? We are still going to get The Black Gauntlet, right?

    Just a guess.

  45. Hilda says:

    Katherine, I also discov­ered Michelle with the Elantra series; you have an incred­ible world of book series ahead of you. They will keep you busy reading and rereading for the next 2 years. The Cast books come about one a year, usually around August. Michelle is now writing 3 different series, so book from series may take a little bit longe in betweenr. She is very respon­sible to her publishers dead­lines., At some point she will give us a heads up.

  46. David Y says:

    I managed to get Battle today. Had to ask a cashier to find it — their one copy was still in reception.I’m taking a small overnight break.

    Problem in the comments: nothing says its older than one day (23 hours ago).

  47. Sasha says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I’m glad things are starting to go smoothly now. I’m not surprised you have a tough time with ‘The Critic’ — you have such high stan­dards for your­self and your writing! My sugges­tion — tell ‘The Critic’, ‘The Worry Wort’, ‘Eeyore’ and any other internal voices giving you grief you are listening and will take what they say under advise­ment. They all have some­thing valu­able to tell you — but don’t buy the whole package — none of them have the Big Picture that you do.

    I’m looking forward to Skir­mish and Battle. The ending of the last Cast book makes me worried about what is going to happen next.

    Hope­fully writing and working in the Year of the Snake will be a good year of you.

    All the best

  48. Sarah says:

    Although I am prob­ably saying this due to a love of other people’s misery, it is incred­ibly comforting to know that estab­lished, respected, and loved authors also have moments of failure spirals.

    On the other hand, it’s less comforting to know that my own failure spirals will not magi­cally disap­pear if I ever gain some measure of publish­able prominence.

    And — since I’ve run out of hands — on the other kneecap, I hope that spiral of re-writer-hood ends soon, because I happen to love reading your books, and any delay in them makes me feel as though I’ve not been allowed to have choco­late for a month. (Tamora Pierce is also putting me through what, as a fan, I consider to be lengthy and unnec­es­sary delays — despite the fact that I completely under­stand the whole process of writing that does not conform to the desire of the author.)

    However, with the new release of “Battle,” my Sagara-story craving will be eased, and in time, Touch will come along, and all will once again be right with my reading schedule and your writing schedule.

    After all, 2013 is barely out of the plastic! It’s not going to break this soon, right?

  49. Jess says:

    Right off, you are a great author. I’m and avid book worm and I have read hundreds of fantasy books. And you are one of the few authors I wait avidly for.I am sure you’ll bounce back. Take some time to reju­ve­nate and work up your writing juices. You are one of my favorite word­smiths. I love your Cast novels, espe­cially how you seem to show the magic and power of words, both spoken and written. From what I’ve read I believe you can do it, just keep at it!

  50. Chris says:

    I have a very strong suspi­cion that Moorelas = Aiden.

  51. shauntel says:

    It could possibly be on the hunters, I forgot about them. Also in battle when I re read the book again, there was a para­graph were they stated some­thing like this “not morrelas, but a human shall ride along with the sleepers” I don’t have the book on me now to look it up, but does anyone else remember that section.

    I think in the last book, there are going to be a lot of players besides jewel. Did anyone notice that when adam was being Mauled there was a scream that was heard, from some­where?? I think his sister watched that fight with the warden of dreams. Adam I think is going to have a big role, he can do what is needed (kill), because it has to be done unlike jewel and his sister. Remember when the lost city was raised and the visions visited showed, adam as the leader of that city, and showed the hunters son with a girl oath brother/sister.

    talk again later

  52. Hilda says:

    NOT HERE: This is not a spoiler comment. I’ll wait for the SPOILER column.
    I’m dying to comment; there’s so much to discuss, to bounce back with other readers.
    The book is that good, and I don’t know anyone who reads the series.
    I would clarify some­thing I wrote before. Some weeks ago, when I first saw the cover of BATTLE in Amazon, I wrote “Beau­tiful Lord Celle­riant”; someone else said “Meralonne”. I yield: Beau­tiful “ILLARAPHANIEL” with his more elder, expe­ri­enced face. He clearly deserves the cover.

  53. Erin says:

    Dear Michelle…Battle is extra­or­di­nary. I had been feeling a longing to read the Sun Sword series again and was looking for it on Kindle when I saw Battle was to be released within a week. I was happy that I had not known for too long so as not to drive myself to distrac­tion waiting. Of course I submerged myself in it and did not come up for air until I was finished. I really loved it and will read it again after a breather. There is some­thing about how the story comes together in a way in antic­i­pa­tion of the final book that I espe­cially loved. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us. And it’s quite expected I think — in response to your comments about being away for a time — for each of us to fall off our perch from time to time if for no other reason than to again feel the ground. I teach kinder­garten and fall regularly…

    Any chance of Sun Sword coming to Kindle? I live in Thai­land. Kindle saves me.

    Be well

  54. Sabrina Irwin says:


    I don’t comment much as I hate being a pest. Hang in there. Your writing is very well done. I would be willing to wait in antic­i­pa­tion for any stories you write as I believe that they are master­fully told. Take your time, I’ll still be here. Besides it gives me time to reread every­thing and try to guess at where the story and char­ac­ters are headed to next. I love Sana­balis by the way. Makes me chuckle every time. If you like choco­late, have a truffle or two. A little bit of deca­dence goes a long way in easing the frus­tra­tions of the day. Take care and keep safe out there. 

    Sabrina : )

  55. Sorry to hear it’s been so discour­aging for you — you’ll hit the right words at some point — you always do :-) Make sure to take time and just rest — ulcers are not good for creativity!

    Take care :-)

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