Harvest Moon

Devon, in the previous post, asked Where, in your eyes, does Cast in Moonlight fit into the grand scheme of things?

It seemed like the right time to answer.

Harvest Moon is a collection of three stories, one by Mercedes Lacky set in her 500 Kingdoms universe, one by new author Cameron Haley which is, I believe, a prequel to the just released Mob Rules, and one by me.  The publication date is, in theory, the first of October, 2010.

My contribution is “Cast in Moonlight”, a novella of 39,000 words.

Cast in Moonlight fits in at the beginning, sort of.  Kaylin is thirteen years old when she first meets the Hawklord, and the story starts just after that first meeting and continues from there, as Kaylin meets the Hawks:  Marcus, Teela, Tain, Clint and the Hawklord himself, with one surprise appearance by a Dragon whom Kaylin doesn’t recognize as a Dragon because she’s not familiar with them.

It features her very first case as a not-quite-old-enough-to-be-Hawk.

There is, however, no Nightshade and no Severn.  Sorry…

Answering the How Many Books question

Sarah Brewer
 Aug 10, 2010 @ 15:56:24 asked: Do you know how many books will be in this series?

I get asked this question a lot–or at least I’ve been asked it a lot with the recent publication of Cast in Chaos, so I’m going to try to answer it here:

I don’t know.

Okay, that’s too glib, although it is true.

I started this series in the hopes that it would be like a mystery series or a continuing television show in terms of structure. I’m not always good at that, but that’s what I’ve been trying to do. Do I have a definitive end in mind? Yes. Is it possible that will change as I approach it? Yes. Some of the things that have happened so far cough Cast in Silence cough weren’t things I mapped out when I first started Cast in Shadow.

I like the causality of the unexpected, and the way it changes the world; for me it’s what gives the events weight and substance.  I didn’t expect for Tiamaris to do what he did, and what he did do changes the shape of the fiefs in ways that suggest future changes, in a ripple-down, across the fiefs.

One of the things that occurs at the end of Cast in Ruin has ramifications for the future that I’m still assessing. I started writing a book that would deal with two things: the refugees in Tiamaris, and the Etiquette lessons. And while these two things are addressed, it’s not actually what the book is about, in the end. This is me trying very, very hard not to drop spoilers. I will only say that I didn’t expect there to be so much about Dragons when I first set these two simple goals.

Which is a digression, I know.

While there are still books I want to write in this universe–and there are several (The Dragon Court book, the Shadow Wolf book, the Aerian book–you can sort of see where this is going)–and while there are still people interested in reading them, I’m going to keep writing. When there are no more stories that I desperately want to tell, I’ll wind things up.

I know that some readers have been disappointed because things aren’t now clearer, and I apologize for that; I’m not trying to drag things out just for the sake of extending them. I honestly didn’t intend for the series to be structured as an -ology, with beginning, middle and end; I wanted it to be a world in which multiple stories and arcs could occur. The fact that some people are disappointed at the lack of answers probably means I failed to do that clearly enough.

I will try harder, I promise.

A guest blog by yours truly about the CAST novels

Mark Timmony, a reader with whom I’ve corresponded for a number of years, is also the current manager of Galaxy Books in Sydney. He asked me if I’d like to contribute a guest blog post for the Galaxy Bookshop site, and I said yes.

I meant to write something more serious, I honestly did–but I was thinking about the genesis of the CAST novels. You can head on over and read the post at Galaxy now. I’ll answer questions, either there or here, if you have any.

Cast in Chaos has hit the streets

Cast in Chaos is now available for order at (some) on-line bookstores; it’s also made its way into at least one Borders. This probably means it will arrive in the bookstores that will carry it very soon.

The release or publication date was 1st August 2010, but that date is the date at which the book should be available in all of the various stores that are going to sell it (i.e. that preordered it). It has to ship before then in order to achieve this, and the result is that many places will have the book available before its projected date. Amazon and B&N used to have to wait to ship, but for the last two books (Silence and Chaos), it’s shipped earlier.

The funny thing about the book is that while it’s undeniably the latest or newest in the series, in my internal universe, the ‘most recent’ is the almost finished Cast in Ruin. If, for some reason, I’m discussing the latest novel and I say something that makes no sense in relation to Cast in Chaos, this is why. I once took a chapter of a Cast book for a reading–and only when I arrived a the convention did I realize that it was the wrong first chapter; it was two books ahead, instead of one, because the book I’d finished hadn’t yet been published.

I’ll be leaving early Friday morning to head to Confluence in Pittsburgh, so hopefully I’ll see some of you there!

Updates to the Library: New chapters

I know it’s been a while, but I’ve taken tonight off–in a manner of speaking–in order to update the site a bit. I’m not a web-wizard; worse I have the image handling acumen of a shaved, armless baboon. Yes, sadly, this is an excuse.

But to make my excuses more palatable I’ve finally updated the series pages for The Chronicles of Elantra and House War, with the first chapters of the new books in either series. (I appear to have had to upload Cast in Chaos chapter several times because I’m not capable of cutting and pasting without cleaving off parts of the chapter in question. Yes, it’s been that kind of night…)

I’m as usual a tiny bit behind, but this is the current writing news:

House Name has already been turned in, and as of now, has a publication date of January 2011. Skirmish, the next book, leaps ahead to the year 427 in the Empire–and starts the day Jewel ATerafin returns home. That’s the book I’m currently writing, and it’s going very well; at the moment, it is all joy to write. It’s not, of course, in the home stretch, and I’m going to no doubt have days in which I pull out all my hair and bang my head against figurative plot and structure walls, but I’m enjoying it immensely while I can.

On the Elantra front, I’m pretty sure Cast in Ruin is in the home stretch. I’m also pretty sure that Kaylin will be going to the West March sometime very soon, but not in Ruin.

It’s spring. Except for the snow.

I’m sorry I’ve been so absent, because so many of you have left me messages on the blog, and they’ve been so encouraging and so supportive, I’m beginning to feel as if I don’t deserve them if I can’t even find the time to answer them. Please accept both my gratitude for the time you’ve taken to tell me how you feel about my books, and please, please, please don’t think that my on-line absence means I truly don’t care.

March break in Ontario came and went, but during the break, I had to review the copy-edited manuscript of Cast in Chaos and finish a novella, “Cast in Moonlight”, for the upcoming Harvest Moon anthology. I believe it’s an October title; Chaos is scheduled for August of 2010.

I’ve also been doing final revisions on House Name, because they were very necessary and I was just too close to the book by its end to be able to do them well. I set it aside and began work on the tentatively titled Skirmish, which is the first of the House War books that take place in the current time-line, but I’ve got enough distance now to see what is, and what isn’t, necessary. It’s longer than City of Night, and it closes the section of the den’s past.

If anyone wants to ask me a question here, at the end of this post, I’ll do my best to catch it an answer it :).

State of the Writer

I wanted to thank the people who’ve taken the time to visit and comment here in the last couple of weeks. I have had one younger child birthday party, one twentieth wedding anniversary gathering (mine), and older child exams (which, to be fair, are mostly my long-suffering husband’s task), so I’ve been absent from almost anything but writing.

I have, however, been writing.

I’m halfway through Cast in Chaos. A small change seems to have been made to the cover of Cast in Silence on Amazon.com.

I sent the entire manuscript for City of Night to my editor at DAW about five minutes ago. I tried to send it six minutes ago, and realized that it’s very helpful to actually attach the file.

I know I said I was splitting the book, so in theory, the first half was finished. But because I could split the book, I could add an epilogue. And a few necessary Duster scenes. And a couple of other scenes which, on reread, seemed necessary as well. I ended up adding about fifteen thousand words.

Now, I’m starting House Name, and it seems to be missing something that could qualify as Chapter One. It has many chapters, although it’s not actually finished yet, but the chapters that currently exist in the position of Chapter One are actually good middle-of-book chapters and bad Chapter Ones.

My record of pages written before finding the correct Chapter One is about two hundred, on the other hand.

I’ve been renovating

I hope you like it.  I’ve broken out the series in the bibliography so they now each have their own page, but have left the text in the plain list alone.  I’ve added cover images to the sub-pages.  More important, I’ve also added .pdfs and .html of the first chapters (or prologues) of all of the DAW and Luna novels that have been published.  I will, hopefully closer to the publication date, also add the first chapter for Cast in Silence.  

I haven’t added links for the first chapters of the Sundered series, because unfortunately, I have no electronic copies of those; they were written in the days when floppies seemed like a good back-up medium, and the floppies with the files didn’t survive the passage of time all that well.  (BenBella worked from the printed pages of the original mass market editions, rather than an actual text copy, because I didn’t have any electronic text versions to send them).  As time permits, I’ll try to type them in.

The one thing I would like to do is start to put a few short stories up on the site for download, and I’m taking votes or suggestions at this point; if there’s an out-of-print story in particular that you want to see but haven’t been able to track down, please leave me a message in the comments to this post.

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