House Name sample chapter

Volume 03 of House War: House Name

Aaron asked me earlier – while I was in bunker mode – if I’d put up a sample or teaser chapter for House Name, as it’s due out very soon.

Because I’ve been late and things have been hectic, I’ve only just now managed to do this – but in compensation (yes, sadly, I’ve been needing to use that word a lot recently), I’ve put up the prologue and the first chapter of the book.

It’s on the House War page in the sidebar/bibiliography link up top. It’s only .pdf, at the moment; let me know if that’s a problem for anyone.

State of the Writing, December 2010

Mikaela wrote:

If you have some free-ish time would you mind updating the news section? Or actually, updating anywhere with info on Cast in Ruin?? Or anything really. You haven’t posted on the site for a while. :( That, and I can’t wait for Cast in Ruin! I’m soo excited! Happy Holidays Michelle!

I admit that when I don’t have anything new to report, I start to feel a tiny bit self-conscious posting, because the actual content, stripped of words, boils down to: Still writing.

While my oldest son considers writer-angst and doubt a spectator sport–at a safe distance, of course–it’s not inherently that interesting as an activity when viewed externally. (He’s also gotten used to the middle of book stretch in which I despair, although he gently chides me for my total lack of objectivity about my own work.)

So it’s not that I don’t care about my readers — I do! — but that I’m desperately afraid of boring them. We all live in fear, in this very heavily marketing-driven New World, of being somehow uninteresting in and of ourselves.

However, I have been working. About two weeks of that work was not on-line work, and I did lose a week of writing to the stress of moving a retail bookstore into a space that while, in theory, was supposed to be ready for a retail store, had, oh, no lights, among other things. I had a bunch of things I desperately wanted to read, and I had no brain, no energy and no time for them. Never mind actual, decent words.

So all of my on-line life came to a halt; I stopped the LJ posts about my son’s early life, and I admit that I also once again played email evasion while I tried to catch up.

The store is still not quite finished, but with any luck, we can move the last of the stock into the new location on Monday or Tuesday (coming up), and my life will completely go back to what passes for normal around here.

Which was — surprise! — a digression. I am sorry for being neglectful, though, and in hopeful compensation for that, I have Actual News.

During the move, I was also in discussions with agent and publisher about a book that I wrote on spec almost three years ago. I read a chapter of it at Confluence some time ago. It’s been on the backburner, because I have books to write for which I have signed contracts in hand.

For those not familiar with the term on spec, a brief (I promise!) digression.
It means I wrote the book because I wanted to write it, with the hopes that it would find a home at a later date. I wasn’t certain it would sell, because there’s no complete certainty. Most of what I write isn’t written on spec – it’s written when the book has, unfinished, been sold to a publisher. If I say “I’ve sold three more books to Luna”, for instance, this doesn’t actually mean I’ve written and sold them three books – it means that they’ve paid me to write three books.

SILENCE was a story I particularly wanted to tell. Without a contract in hand for the book, I wrote it; it’s not a partial. It’s finished. I made room in my admittedly kind of packed writing schedule for it.

I can now say that the book has found a home, with DAW. I don’t have a pub date for it; I have a tentative title, SILENCE, and the news that it’s one of three. It is, for me, quite short. Let me emphasize that: for me. It’s a Sagara novel, not a West novel, and will be the first truly contemporary fantasy novel I’ve ever written.

So, at last, on to the topic of the actual post’s title: The State of the Writing, December 2010 edition.

House War: Skirmish: In progress. 195k words, and counting, but I hope to have it finished (in submission draft, before editorial revision requests) by the end of March 2011.

Cast in Ruin: Finished. Waiting on editorial reaction. I have a suspicion that people who like the Dragons will like this one. I don’t have a firm or fixed pub date for this, for which I apologize; Luna plans to publish both Cast in Silence and Cast in Fury in mass market a month before Cast in Ruin comes out, and the date’s been moving around on the schedule. It will be late summer/early fall, but, umm. I promise as soon as I have an entirely fixed date, I’ll post it – but it’s definitely coming out in 2011.

Cast in Danger: In progress; I’m about a quarter of the way through this one, and I’m not sure if I mentioned this elsewhere, but I have, I think, finally found a way to write a Shadow Wolf book. Which is this one. It’s also more heavily Barrani.

Silence: Finished. Waiting on editorial revision requests and comments.

Touch: second of The Dead trilogy (no, no Vampires, and yes, that’s an entirely provisional title because, well). In progress; I am dusting off what I had ready after I’d finished writing Silence.

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