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.

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leah
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 03:15:13

    OMG, I am so excited for your new trilogy! Will we see Silence in 2011? Contemporary fantasy that does not have vampires but something to do with death. Any other hints?

    The Cast series is one of my favorite fantasy series and I wait anxiously for each book to come out. In fact, I am so crazy about them that I won’t even loan them out. I can’t part with them. I make everyone go buy them. Even my own Mother. Will we see more of Nightshade in Cast in Ruin? I love all the characters but he is a favorite. He was only in Cast in Chaos briefly and well, he seems to be getting impatient. Will he stay on the back burner? Cast in Danger sounds awesome. Ugh. The wait is killer. :)

    Btw, I was really enjoying your LJ posts about your son. We are exploring the possibility that my son has ADHD right now. There have been some challenging times recently. I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. It has bolstered my courage to deal with whatever lies ahead.


  2. Jacob
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 07:02:07

    Since you are saying that cast in ruin is finished does that mean that we may soon be getting a chapter preview of it?


  3. Mikaela
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 10:32:13

    Wow. I was hoping for a little bit of news. That was, well, HUGE! And amazing!!! I wouldn’t worry about boring anyone! :D EXCITED!!!!!!! Thank you very much!


  4. Estara
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 21:37:21

    More books YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  5. DeDe
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 01:59:27

    I love the dragons, so the tidbit on Ruin has me bouncing in my chair (which is old – and really doesn’t take the strain very well :-) and new books?! New series?! Woohoo!!!! And I saw the first chapter of the upcoming House was out (Who knew that Christmas would come on the 13th of the month this year?) Thanks Michelle!


  6. hjbau
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 06:48:29

    A new series. That’s exciting. Congratulations.


  7. Kat
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 21:26:17

    You’re never boring. Even the way you digress is interesting. I think I just like the way you put words to paper.

    In any case, some exciting news afoot! I look forward to all these new books. :) I’m currently rereading the Cast novels, will be doing a Sun Sword series reread after that. Exciting.


  8. Genna Warner
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 20:07:23

    Its going to be an exciting 2011 for books. I can’t wait to gobble them all up. Thank you for the updates. :)


  9. DG
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 22:10:03

    Cast in Ruin:
    “I have a suspicion that people who like the Dragons will like this one.”

    *Does Happy Dance*

    Cast in Danger:
    “It’s also more heavily Barrani.”

    *Does Extreme Happy Dance with Loop-de-Loops*

    Merry Christmas and it’s definitely going to be a happy new year! :)

    Self-Proclaimed President of Team Nightshade


  10. Aaron
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 13:32:53

    I don’t mean to offend anyone, but the title ‘Cast in Danger’ seems a bit pedestrian to me. I know it’s technically just a working title, but why not ‘Cast in Peril’ or ‘Cast in Crisis’ instead? That seems a bit more in keeping with the tone/diction of the Elantran books, no?

    Or was the word ‘Danger’ chosen to appeal to Luna’s broader base?


  11. Yve
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 23:57:23

    I’m extremely excited for the Shadow Wolf book. I wonder if there will be more Severn in the books coming up… If there’s a president for Team Nightshade, then I’m definitely the president of Team Severn. And what I want to know is how in the world you have the patience to write a 195k+ long book! I’ve tried to write like a fourth of that and failed! Thank you for making them so long because then I won’t be depressed until a little later when I finish them… I get sad when I’m done with a good book, because I want it to go on :).

    (P.S. Sorry that was such a jumpy comment)


  12. shauntel
    Dec 28, 2010 @ 16:54:03

    I am very happy that the house name is coming out, 7 days and praying for an early release. I think it’s wonderful that you answer our posts. You are never boring so please keep it up.

    Thank you and Happy New Years:)


  13. shauntel
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 20:19:23

    I’ve wondered about Duster in the house wars series. I know that she died, but is she the reborn soul of the dark gods daughter, the way the timeline goes she was born just about the time that Duster died. Jewel is getting the same feelings from her that she had from Duster.

    If it is a spoiler don’t worry about answering, sometimes when i reread a series I try to find links it’s interesting to see if there is any.

    I can’t wait for the 3rd book!!!


  14. Patricia Murphy
    Jan 02, 2011 @ 16:19:46

    I’m reading House Name right now. B&N had it early, thank goodness and I ordered it on Christmas Day. I’m 2/5ths of the way through it and it is a delight. My only problem is that as soon as I get one of your books, I start thinking “when is the next one coming out?”

    I’ve tried to get the Hunter’s books and the Sun Sword books for my Nook, but Daw hasn’t put them in ebook format yet (I already have them in paperback but would like to have them in ebook as well). Is there anything you can do to suggest to DAW that they put them in ebook format?


  15. Sam
    Jan 12, 2011 @ 08:34:29

    I’m really looking forward to reading Cast in Ruin (woot, dragons!!!) and afterwards Cast in Danger (will be nice to learn more on how the shadow wolves operate).
    I have to say the Elantra series will always be among my favourite books! (Love Kaylin’s character! the good and the not so good parts! ^_^ )

    So I have a few quick questions, if the answers aren’t major spoilers I’d love to know!!
    -do you think that in the future there might be an Elantra book focusing on the Arcanists?
    I’ve recently re-read the series (again, lol) and I have to say the little hints we get here and there intrigue me. How did this organisation start? what is the relation with the Emperor? why are they allowed as a more or less “free” organisation? are they really all evil?????

    -Do we see the egg again in Cast in Ruin? Do we find out what’s in it?

    -In Cast in Chaos,when everyone is gathered in the garden at the end the water touches them all except Kaylin, is there a reason for that?

    Ok I’ll stop here otherwise this post will never end! Love your books, and I hope we’ll see many many more Elantran books in the future ^_^


  16. Genna Warner
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 01:15:03

    Michelle do you have cover art for Cast in Ruin yet? *hope hope hope* :)


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