the Author

State of the Writer, February 2015

Posted in Mira, Essalieyan, grovelling apology, writing.

I did say that I would try to post more often. Or be on-line more often.

I have, of course, been less on-line.

And Grave is not done.

What, you say? Grave was almost done the last time you updated!

And I did say that. And it is still almost done. But. I had to more heavily revise Oracle than I’ve had to revise any of the House War books. There was a long section of flash­back that I wasn’t certain worked*. It worked for me, but I’m strange like that. It didn’t work in its context/placement (this will make sense when you read the book, but I will not spoil anything). And in the way of Michelle books, excising the section was painful. It wasn’t the only change. But that took All The Writing Time.

Real life inter­vened for about a week — for me — such that writing at all wasn’t possible. (We are all fine.)

Since then, All The Writing Time has been devoted to finishing Cast in Honor. I have another 3 weeks — esti­mated — to go before it’s done. It’s late. 

Page Proofs for Oracle arrived yesterday. It is 675 pages. I may have whined about proof-reading before, but I try to sound like a profes­sional, reason­able adult on-line. Which is possibly another reason to stay off-line.

Except for book­store links, the UK City of Night and House Name are ready to go. I promised someone here that Oracle would be avail­able in the UK as an ebook at the same time it was avail­able in North America, so I am trying to get them all ready. (I thought, of course, that they would be finished and avail­able by now, because my opti­mism knows no bounds.)


*The long section was Sigurne at sixteen. Sigurne and the kialli. I don’t think it stands alone.

53 Responses to State of the Writer, February 2015

  1. Hang in there! We know it is going to be great!!! Thank you for letting us know you are okay, that is the most impor­tant thing!

  2. Zia says:

    Thank you for posting an update! I’m sorry to hear the books are all giving you trouble though :( 

    It is extremely nice to hear from you and I appre­ciate you taking the time to let us know what is up. 

    Crossing my fingers the proof-reading goes fast — and I am looking forward to Oracle to it’s nice to have an update on where it is in the whole process. 

    I’m, of course, more excited about Cast in Honor, but having two books out this year by you is just fantastic. 

    Thank you again for posting an update!

  3. Agustin posted on the November thread, and I received email of that comment, and real­ized that it’s been a couple of months. Months that kind of slipped through my fingers like water through cupped hands >.<. So I wanted to say some­thing, because: I’ve been very, very absent every­where on-line.

  4. Carol Duffy says:

    Sigurne and the kialli would be *wonderful*; please consider publishing it somewhere :)

  5. Susan says:

    I just can’t wait.…but I am. After all it’s less than 5 yrs.…I’m really sorry you had to excise Sigurne’s section. I would have loved to read it. Good luck on the proofing and every­thing else.

  6. Netter says:

    Really looking forward to Cash In Honor, cant wait till it comes out!

    Im starving for a good read, and I am up to date with all my favorite authors. I really need to pace myself more, recently a book I had been waiting for came out and I finished it in one day, and was right back to wanting more to read :(

  7. The problem is: I’m not sure it stands alone. But yes, I hope — in my copious spare time  — to put it up on the web-site as an excerpt or extra or cut scene.

  8. Can you give me 3 books/authors that you love? I might be able to make a couple of sugges­tions (this is Michelle wearing her book­store hat).

  9. Zia says:

    Time is noto­rious for doing that. It’s one of the reasons I consider it such a win when I manage to follow the new year with the proper number. Normally for a month or two after I am stuck using the previous year — or, in the case of one year, magi­cally reverting ten years back­wards and not even I can figure out how that happened. I was teased relent­lessly about it for a good month though. 

    Hope­fully things will calm down (or give the illu­sion of breathing space) soon :)

  10. Netter says:

    Im not at home, so I cant go through my book­shelf, but these are some off the top of my head.

    You :P, Martha Wells and her Raksura books, Naomi Novik and her Temeraire series, Lorna Free­man’s Border­lands (unfor­tu­nately she seems to have disap­peared from the internet), Jane Lind­skold, Mercedes Lackey, and C J Cherryh with a bunch of her SciFi books.

    I basi­cally like fantasy that veers away from the Tolkienesque human/elf/dwarf epic fantasy tropes (though I do like LoTR), and space opera SciFi with lots of races inter­acting that isnt just space marines go to war against the evil aliens.

  11. Kel says:

    Glad to hear that all are okay. Sorry that proofs are ugh and that writing has been hard.

    I’m looking forward to Cast in Honor, but as always, would rather wait for a book you’re happy with. :)

  12. Have you read Tanya Huff or Sharon Lee & Steve Miller? Huff’s Valor books are defi­nitely space marines — but there’s a lot more going on than just that, and they’re very, very alien-race diverse. Also, Rachel Neumeier (anything, but if you don’t read contemporary/urban fantasy, you might want to skip the latest book). I think the Neumeier books would work for you.

  13. Netter says:

    Thanks for the refer­ences, these look inter­esting! This is one of the few times refer­ences have been to authors and books I havent already read :)

    I do read contemporary/urban fantasy, its just that nothing stood out in my mind for a short list of favorites.

    I will give Tanya Huff another try with the Valor books, they sound good. I had started reading Huff, but I started with The Enchant­ment Empo­rium, and I stopped because I disliked all the main characters.

  14. Cyndi Parker says:

    Ah Lady your doing alright!! Whine a little more often…it clears the nasal passages!

  15. Michele Harling says:

    If you need help, my daughter and I have done our own version of “Grave” plot dreaming. It’s one of the few series we agree on… keep writing!

  16. Donna says:

    Thanks for the update. Looking forward to reading these books soon.

  17. HILDA says:

    I went back to check and… yes: it was today that you posted your long awaited, needed, desired State of the Writer, and is already with lots of comments, including now mine. Very happy to hear from you with your update. So glad you are doing ok. Hope­fully this disgusting winter is better in Canada than the one close to D.C. Some­thing is wrong with Mother Nature. It’s time for Her to move on. So glad your wonderful books “are moving on” as you desire. Can’t wait for Honor, but in the mean­time I decided it was time for re-reading all the Houses books again. So, I down­loaded them in my Nook for night reading in bed. This would be the 3rd time I read them, and they are always a plea­sure. If there is a problem with Oracle, round it to 700 pages, and it may work better. As to the portion you needed to extract from Oracle, about Sigurne, can’t you make it into a short story. I like Sigurne a lot, and we know very little about her. We learned the most with her inter­ac­tion with Rath; but she is genuinely a very major char­acter that needs more space, like The Terafin. The Terafin got it in the books; and, unless Sigurne is due for a major role with Jewel in a future book, she may be able to shine in a short story of her own. Thank you for the update.

  18. Anne says:

    Thank you for the update. Keep up the great work, it’s always worth the wait.

  19. Susan says:

    Defi­nitely try Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. They are just fabulous!

  20. David Youngs says:

    Can you make the Sigurne excerpt into 3 books? or 9?
    There’s a lot about her we don’t know yet/

  21. Karen L Durst says:

    Try not to fret so much about being behind, we have all been there at one time or another. I just love your writing so much! I am eager to read more, but willing to wait. Please take care of yourself.

  22. Michael says:

    Bril­liant idea! I heartily approve. I’m glad things are well (though not that they are stressful). Still, the forty-one inches (1.04 meters) of dedi­cated shelf-space your books take up speaks to your ability to pull through. I am eagerly awaiting all three. I have also – somehow – managed to learn patience. Go figure.

  23. I did not learn patience until I had chil­dren, and even so, wouldn’t consider myself exactly expert at it…

  24. Breaking a lance for Andrea Höst, an indie-published author, who has been liked by Sher­wood Smith, Rachel Neumeier (who actu­ally did a whole AH week on her personal blog), the Booksmug­glers and me :D — and whom I’m hoping Michelle will try at some point, too. She has fantasy and science fiction avail­able. The start to her new series will come out February 28th, so I’m on tenterhooks.

  25. Great to hear you’re doing fine. As long as you and yours are doing fine there will even­tu­ally be book, so that’s all I need to know. 

    I was so jealous when Ana told me that Thea and her had met you in Toronto. Why didn’t they smuggle me in their handbags?
    Size, prob­ably ;-). Give my best to your husband whom I’ll always fondly remember for his patience and kind interest in a total stranger telling him her work woes.

  26. I met them when they were in Toronto for one of the book fairs (a new one). They were terrific. (Thea had the best comment of the evening). Long long long before I was a (published) writer, I loved to read book reviews. And actu­ally, I loved to read them even when the books being reviewed were not books in which I had much interest.

    I also loved to have long and windy book discussions.

    I have quietly lurked at a number of review sites, theirs being one, so it was great to actu­ally meet them. 

    and I will give my best to Thomas :). He’s genuinely inter­ested when people talk about their work or what they do — it’s not purely a matter of manners. We’re kind of defined, in many ways, but what we do.

  27. salty says:

    Glad to hear from you! Sorry about Sigurne, but your idea of an ‘extra’ or cut scene is great. Sorta like a musi­cian’s outtake. Frankly I’d avidly read ANYTHING by you…even your grocery lists. About whining: EVERY writer whines about proof­reading. Just as every photog­ra­pher whines about the pp work, musi­cians whine about prac­ticing and produc­tion editing, It’s that part of the creative process that is NOT FUN, so it’s OK to whine about it. Besides as someone said above it cleans out the sinuses. Whine all you want. We’ll pat you on the back and say “There there. Fell better now?”
    Looking forward to “Honor” “Grave” and espe­cially “Oracle”. Get them to us when you can, we will love you for them. In the mean­time, stay warm, keep family close and don’t forget to whine every once in a while.

  28. Oh, I defi­nitely never got a feeling of strained polite­ness from him in our conver­sa­tion. Just an open­ness to someone who was a fan of yours and got from gushing about you into other areas of conver­sa­tion — I do blame him for making me feel so comfort­able I started unloading my trou­bles, heh ^^. And talked to him for a good … half hour to hour ? As long as you were talking to/signing for kaffeeklatsch people anyway.

    I would have loved to have had a book discus­sion with just you, but (totally deserved) there were so many others feeling the same way, and you already took extra time for your fans in between panels and every­thing: I have a greedy nature when I’m enthu­si­astic, so… in all honesty I think you prob­ably have a more restrained impres­sion of me now, than if I had been able to have as much time with you as I wanted (stalking your program­ming and all):D

    That’s just fine with me ^^. If I ever get to Toronto I can still start serious stalking… although it would prob­ably be more puppy-dog like in enthu­siasm than lurking in the shadows… one more reason why I’m a reader, not a writer — messy metaphors.

    I met Ana and Thea at Loncon, too, and they are as great as on their book blog! You all were so great, Li from Bookaze, Madeleine Robins and Andrea Höst and just… ALL the ladies :D.

  29. Book­daze *sigh* oh, for an edit function

  30. I am going to do some­thing with the almost two chap­ters that had to be cut — even if it’s just to put them on-line here :).

  31. ElizabethN says:

    Looking forward to Cast in Honor when­ever it’s avail­able, always worth the wait. Hope­fully you’ve got some you time and family time in your schedule.

  32. I Hyland says:

    While I wait for your new book (already on order) I have been reading my book­shelf authors Mercedes Lackey, Tanya Huff and Lois McMaster Bujold. This has been a long coo-oo-old winter here.
    Roll on March 31st.

  33. When City of Night was published, I asked how many books will be in the House War series, and you mentioned four.

    It is now six years later, and Oracle is the sixth book, and at least one more book in the series.

    Who would have thought that at the end of the Sun Sword sequence that Jewel Markess and her friends would be involved in at least a seven book series?

    I think George Martin said in an inter­view: “The tale gets longer in the telling.”

    House War series is a good example of the tale getting longer in the telling.

  34. Penny says:

    I have given up on the House and Queen of the dead series, since none are avail­able on the kindle here in the UK, which is real shame because I love your stories. On a brighter note I *am* looking forward to the new Kaylin book on the Kindle :-)

  35. sivi says:

    Agree with the above, as I guilty-ly admit to still having pp work on photos which I took over 4 years ago now as other projects over­took me. I’m really glad that you and you’re family are well and look forward to your books coming out even if they ate taking longer then toy would like, as the hard work and atten­tion to detail that you put in to each and everyone makes them a plea­sure to read for us…now I’d best start to think of getting some of the pp work done myself…!!

  36. sivi says:

    Darn typos and auto­cor­rec­tons. ..I’m sure you can figure out the correct words should have been ‘are’ not ate; and ‘you’ not toy! :)

  37. Salty says:

    I think it’s that way with all good fantasy epics. Wheel of Time was orig­i­nally expected to be 6 books, it finished with 14. Mart­in’s Song of Ice and Fire was supposed to be a trilogy. It’s now 5 and counting. I’m willing to bet that Roth­fuss’ King Killer Chron­i­cles will come in around 6 eventho everyone is thinking trilogy or maybe quartet. Your George Martin quote is spot on.

  38. may I also suggest Lois Mc Master Bujold?

  39. It’s hard for us Because we are greedy for more of your stories…but of course if you just cranked them out we wouldn’t want them anymore. Your writing is always worth the wait.

  40. Karen L Durst says:

    Oh! Well said Tracy! Was looking for a like button for that. Comment.

  41. Terrie-Anne says:

    Thank you very much for the update. It’s always good to know what is happening in your world. (I’m greedy for news…)
    Please don’t forget your Australian Readers regarding the E‑Book editions…We’ve been waiting for sooooo long.…

  42. Wait — the books aren’t avail­able in Australia? o.O

  43. Oh, no, wait — you mean the West novels. They will also be avail­able in Australia :)

  44. susan emans says:

    I will wait for your books however long it takes. It seems readers have devel­oped an instant grat­i­fi­ca­tion problem that puts undue pres­sure on their beloved authors :)

  45. Agustin says:

    Michelle, it’s nice to hear an update from you and to know that you’re doing alright. =D

    I’m looking forward to Oracle and Cast in Honor; do take your time to rest and sleep, we’ll patiently wait for your books as we want you to be well as well. =)

    Have a great day! =)


  46. Caroline says:

    I will wait as long as it takes for Cast in Honour as have loved all the Cast books, but I espe­cially love them when they have more of Lord Night­shade so I am really excited for the next book. Keep doing what your doing it obvi­ously works

  47. Alan says:

    You should write a short story for Sigurne, you even have the appro­pri­ately west name:


    After all, if you name Sigurne’s short story that, it is certain to only exceed it’s target page count by several hundred pages, right?

    Looking forward to Oracle, best of luck with Grave.

  48. Chris says:

    Oracle cover is up on the DAW website.

  49. Agustin says:

    Awesome cover! OMG, i can’t wait to get the book! <>

  50. HILDA says:

    rdhendersonetc..I know that we all enjoy Michelle’s books, the more the better; but I think you could be mistaken in a small detail. You said “Oracle is the sixth book, and at least one more book in the series”. These comments sections have grown so large in the telling, but I feel very sure that after Oracle is not just one more book, I think is another series. If I remember correctly is the battle series. Of course, we have been reading not just the books, but also all these comments section, and I can’t tell you where. It was, at least, one year ago that there was a discus­sion about it. If I’m not mistaken Michelle even has a name for that addi­tional collec­tion of books. Hope­fully, if I don’t get Alza­imehr (I never know where to put the H) and don’t die in a few years, my brain will still enjoy another collec­tion of books from Michelle. I think you can find those comments in some section in this website. I believe the tale will get longer and much longer in the telling.

  51. Greg says:

    I second Bujold, love the VorKosigan saga

  52. earle says:

    Wish that you had written the part of the story where Jewel takes the house seat. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall in that chamber on the day she was voted Terafin. Wish you had time to do a small story and post it for us. Thanks for all the great stories

  53. dieirdra says:

    Just wanted to thank you for the books, pat you on the back, and join the chorus for the Sigurne chap­ters. I am not a fan of you making your books shorter. They are too short as it is really! I would also second the vote for a descrip­tion of the Terafin vote as a sepa­rate short story. Finally, I under­stand proof­reading being nasty for you. I do a tiny bit of photog­raphy, and yes, the selec­tion and general editing process is not fun. If you ever need a volun­teer proof­reader I’d be delighted to help though.

Leave a Reply