I never like posting to my blog when I haven’t really got much news, but since so many of you are asking for an update, I guess it’s time to provide some sort of reassurance about book six in A Pattern of Shadow and Light.
As I mentioned in my last update, I’m writing book six and seven concurrently. These books will conclude the series. This also means that I have to finish the story before I can publish book six. This is because there are so many story threads (40+ viewpoint characters) that until they’re all more or less written, I can’t know how to tell you the rest of the story.
For example, let’s say I start in on Franco, Carian and Gwynnleth. This means developing the conflict in Illume Belliel, catching you up on Alshiba’s whereabouts, learning about at least one new realm, tapping into the Council’s activities along with Seth and Aldaeon, as well as the Nodefinder Rebellion, Cassius, Alyneri and Fynn. That’s half a book in itself. Felix, Phaedor, Marius and the Danes is another quarter taken up right there. And while I promise these chapters will be entertaining, how mad would you be if book six only covered them and we never got back to Tanis, Trell, Sebastian and the others?
There has to be logic to the sequencing of the chapters and a flow to the way the story is told. I can’t just bounce through 15 different storylines, one after the other, before returning to the first one sixteen chapters later. And I can’t know what storylines need to go in which book until I have my head around all of them.
There is also a very important aspect of delivering information to you in an exact sequence. There are lots of questions to be answered in these books. I obviously have to answer them with hints and allusions, insinuations and the occasional explicit “it happened like this.” But who answers those questions is as important as how and when. I have to determine if you need this information on Tanis’s thread or if it’s better if you get it on Ean’s, Bjorn’s or someone else’s.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know I write in story threads. Each character has their own thread. In previous books, some characters have been off on their own and I could write most of their thread without their storyline crossing anyone else’s. But the series has become so complex and the threads so intertwined that writing one character all the way through has become all but impossible. Either their storyline crosses another character’s in an integral way, or, if their storyline doesn’t cross another character’s integrally, something another character does is going to affect their storyline integrally.
Why is this a problem? Well, it’s making writing these two books rather tricky. Because I’m not a plotter; I’m a pantser, or the term I prefer is organic writer. That’s where you have a sort of vague idea where things need to go and you just jump in the character’s head and see how he/she decides to get there. After writing approximately 1.5 million printed words in this fashion, it’s all but impossible to suddenly become a plotter. But those reasons I mentioned above about characters crossing make this style of writing very hard to do.
Here’s an example of how this has been going: we know Trell needs to get to Tal’Shira, but how he does that is completely undecided. I wrote 5 chapters with him starting in one place and then got completely bugged. The story just would not progress. I could not get him beyond this point, no matter how hard I tried. No ideas were forthcoming. The normally active creative waters fell into a dead calm.
I moved to Alyneri and got one chapter done then bogged down. I tried Fynn and couldn’t even get through one chapter, despite knowing that the only thing needed to finish it was a fight scene. Next I went to Tanis, got three chapters in and started a fourth and thud. I hit a wall. I couldn’t get him to move forward. Nothing fit. No other ideas were forthcoming.
I moved to Ean. Wrote and rewrote his second chapter several times. Got bugged again. Moved to Shail. Half a dozen or more threads connect through him. I got a few of his chapters sorted along with some new ideas. Moved back to Baelfeir and made a few changes accordingly. Got another Vleydis chapter finished (after months languishing midway through). Managed to get a Bjorn chapter written after this. Moved back to Tanis. Corrected some bits and pieces in the earlier chapters to reflect changes from other characters’ threads, then got one more chapter on his thread before he bogged down again. Went back and entirely rewrote all of Trell’s chapters, starting him in a different location…
Sigh. I feel like I’m feeling my way in the dark here. I hit a wall and have to move around it, but sometimes it means majorly backtracking until I can find a new path forward.
Here’s the thing: I’ve always felt that I’m more channeling this story from another dimension than creating it myself (of course I know I’m creating it, but it really does feel this way). There are just so many storylines now and the channel from the Muse is so crowded with wavelengths that half the time all I hear is white-noise. However, each time I’ve hit a wall and backtracked or gone elsewhere, something very important has happened on the new character’s thread which changes some aspect of the thread I’d been writing before. I’ll finish one chapter and a different character will suddenly open up. I’ll know where to take them now. At least for two or three steps forward.
Which brings me to the clincher of my difficulties: too many characters depend on other characters for their actions. Sebastian’s thread is dependent on Morwyk’s, which is somewhat dependent on Dore’s, which is woven through Shail’s…you see how this goes. I can’t write one until three others are written, but sometimes those others just aren’t ready to be written. Their channel is still blocked for whatever reason. The Muse wills as She wills.
So there’s the look in on my daily path, just plodding along in the dark, running into walls, backing up, finding a new path, running into walls, backing up… It’s been super fun.
What does this mean for publication of book six? (This is really the question you’re interested in, I know). I’m sure you can guess that I really have no clue. I was hoping for this year (2021) but things will have to start moving faster for me to make that target. I’m sure there will be a tipping point where enough has been written and resolved and beyond which everything tumbles towards the finale. Lend me your positive energy that we get really rolling over here.
I want to profusely thank all of you who’ve been writing to me, commenting on my blog and keeping active in the fan group. Your conversations and speculations have been the light in this dark maze. You’ve kept me going through many a long unknown path. So thank you – all of you – for your staunch support and encouragement. Most of all, thank you for being part of Alorin with me.
Keep your head up Melissa, you’ll get there and hopefully I get the first copy! Lol. Thanks for the update, any slithers of information that we can get are well appreciated, I cannot wait to read book 6 but if 6 & 7 are interwoven does that mean book 7 will come fast? Lol.
You’ve created a world to rival Tolkien, Lewis, Sanderson and Jordan, you should be so proud of what you have achieved.
From your biggest fan from Belfast
Thank you so much, Stephen. I truly appreciate your support and encouragment and knowing you’ll stick with me through the dark maze of “what the heck do I write next?” 😀
And yes, writing both at the same time means book seven will be released close on the heels of book six.
I love your books I have them all on audio books and so far have listened to them 4 times. I am currently listening for the 5th and am looking forward to 6and7 thank you for being such a talented woman
Thank you for listening, Virgil. I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my series on Audible. Nick is quite a talent!
I am not the only one who thinks you may need to remove the constraints you’ve placed on yourself of only 2 more books.
We love what you’ve done with this dark world. Please feel free to continue into 10 books, if that’s what it will take to fully develop the tale you’ve so expertly spun and weaved.
This tapestry is quite fine and will be admired by millions for your elevating use of language and brilliant imagination.
I just love this series and as I’ve consumed hundreds of titles and forgotten most, this will not be one of those.
Oh but heavens, please, please, please, end Dore in a way where we all feel like he/she is satisfactorily tortured… perhaps a living death as one stripped of his power, and as such, helplessly trapped in his own mind under the ultimate compulsion spell of his own making, and placed in service to a home for elderly women… yessss…bed pan duty. He should be slave to that house’s very corpulent and pungent mistress, who adores skinny men and forces him to her bed daily. He must be aware of who he was, but have no access to his power… perhaps a pattern he himself created to try and enslave Shail in some insane power grab, that backfires and works better than expected on himself. He should perhaps lose everything by his own hand.
Make his fate something Sebastian would be pleased with!!
Thank you so much for your kind words. I definitely intend to give Dore a satisfying end, WT. No worries there. 🙂
I loved your update! Wow – the tapestry you are weaving will be fantastic! Can’t wait. Only on 3rd time through, but it just gets better each re-read!
I have faith Melissa! You are incredibly talented and I am sure that the process of running into walls is just going to make the story epic in the end. Keep your head up!
Thank you, Krista!
Thank you for the update and for sharing what the process is like for you. I look forward to read the next book whenever you sense you are ready with it. Each book has been filled with insight and adventure and your care in unfolding it all shows. Wish you all the best. May you keep finding what you seek and need to aid you. 🙂
That’s lovely of you to say, Kay. Thank you for your kind support and encouragement.
By your description it sounds like YOU are the one weaving the pattern of light and dark! Keep up the good work!
Haha, there is definitely some truth in that, Stephen. 😉
I just spend 2 weeks reading all 5 of these books. I usually don’t read books with multiple people, but you had me on the edge of my seat with how the threads were going. These are some of the best books I have read In a long time and i cant wait to read the next 2 books! I loved reading your thought process and i think that it is why you write so well, i cant wait to start reading some of your other books now as well
I’m thrilled to know you’re enjoying my series, Cheryl. It’s very reward to hear when I’ve captured a reader who might not normally read epic fantasy. Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for reading!
I absolutely love this story. If your interested is trans dimensional story telling via inspiration and channeling it I would love to see if I could help clear the clutter and white noise. Try narrowing down the scope of what you are looking at (plot points, conversation, fight scene, romantic encounter, etc…) and then shift your perspective around that problem with the Intent of seeing is from a slightly altered perspective, similar to changing the tint on a pane of glass. Taking a few deep diaphragm breaths and pick a question or two to focus on. Then when it feels like the changes syncing up it will have a sense of correct-ness that comes with it. Calming your mind first helps.
I know this may sound farfetched but it won’t hurt to give it a shot. Modify the process to suit your needs. If you are interested in talking further after trying it or before to clarify anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out. No judgment nor requirement from me. I would love to see if I can assist you with anything related.
Thank you, Michael. I’ll have to try this!
You don’t HAVE to finish the series. If you still enjoy writing you can string off other series… such as the Enderverse. Orson Scott Card amazes me what he did with the Enders Game Series (Google enderverse book map). One of his books was the exact same story just from a different character’s point of view. I was surprised how much I really enjoyed it.
I dearly hope you are taking your time. I don’t like when series are ended in haste so I am patiently waiting and looking forward to the next update.
Thank you so much for the update! It sounds like you’re really in the thick of it. Thank you for making sure the story turns out to be what it needs to be instead of rushing it out.
Nothing good is every easy, and landing the plane is a thousand times more difficult than keeping it in the air.
You’ve done a wonderful job weaving religion, history, and philosophy (the core properties of culture) into your books. This is what brings me back, and will bring me back again when the story ends.
If there’s anything we as fans can do for you, you have but to ask. Until then, our tray tables and seats are in the upright position, and we send you our hopes and prayers that we hit the ground safely.
You’re quite right, as usual, Jay. We will definitely land safely – when is open to interpretation. 😉
If Bjorn can call back five drachwyr from the future, callling a pair of books from the future should be easy for a rowed author.
Touche, Jay. LOL
Hi Melissa…it’s been awhile!
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating; it will take you as long as it takes you. You’re not an assembly line in a factory, you’re an artist putting in the hard work of creating literature from a blank computer screen (That doesn’t have quite the ring to it as “blank piece of paper”, does it? Ah well, progress. 😉 ).
When the work’s ready I’ll devour it in gleeful gulps like I did the first five, and then after my mind-belly (Yes, shamelessly borrowed from an author we mutually enjoy) is hungry for it once more I’ll devour it all again. With gusto.
Good art is like good food, and you do good art. I’ll be here waiting, in patient anticipation. As Heinlein so aptly wrote in Stranger…’waiting is’.
Melissa, thank you for the update. I am in awe of you – totally! When I re-read the first 5 – often – I’m struck by the complexity, the stories, the flow of each of them. Astounding is a word I would use here – and they are. And even more so, given all chapters and threads are organic and you don’t have a (hidden) plot outline you can call upon. I must confess that for me, there are certain chapter I somewhat skim through, in my hurry to get to those I enjoy, I savor these, often re-reading them several times, out loud even, and to the Furries sitting at my feet. They ( your books not the Furries) are incredible, you are incredible, and you and your POSL are now integral parts of my life.
I’m honored, Ken. Thank you.
Melissa, you got this. This will take as long as it takes. No rushing. No shortcuts. I am happily rereading the series so your fine. Enjoy your life. Enjoy the process. Time takes time.
I have the utmost admiration for you! In my world, what you’re doing in these books is nearly unprecedented. Positive vibes your way and don’t even entertain the thoughts of sacrificing quality for appeasement of the masses. Keep on keeping on 🙂
Hello Melissa. Your email was a like Alyneri’s healing touch to Trell’s injured body. I am very excited about the news and will wait patiently letting the game pay itself out while you imagine, create, and write a wonderful series of books. Truly you are a gift.
Thank for the update. Stay safe.
I’m impressed you have the fortitude and vision to continue to spearhead this journey. I am not a creative person so cannot imagine the path forward. But you are and you will. Thank you so much for bringing me along.
No worries Melissa! You got this books 1 through 5 have been amazing I can see that it takes time to right these books like you do which Is ok because the books are amazing you get through that block! Thank you for this amazing world you have created looking to see more of it and then the ending!
Take all the time you need! This has been an incredible story so far and I’m perfectly happy to wait for the quality and magic that comes along with the release of a book with Melissa McPhail on the cover.
Hey no worries, I’m already a huge fan and I can be as patient as needed. I believe there is a saying that implies that all good things in life are worth waiting for (maybe i just made that up) but you have done an extraordinary job so far and I know you can properly finish this story. If I had to guess you will finish books six and seven because you will hold yourself accountable to your own high standards. If it takes a little longer – so be it. Your story is worth the wait! Peace out, your fans will be here for you
Thank you so much, Sean. I definitely hold myself to what I think is a high standard, even more so since these are the last books.
Hi Melissa, thanks for the update, and no doubt that your books will be worth the wait. I am super anticipating the books but sad to hear that book 7 will finish the series – I was hoping for a never-ending cycle haha. Take care, stay safe in these rough times and continue your amazing work!
Thank you, May. It is truly heartening having so many supportive readers.
“Walls” are the Universe’s way of organizing the pantsers (I would never get anything written if I had to lay it out ahead of time – pants all the way). When your “outline” would have had you move to another character, your wall will do that for you. When you hit the wall, you just have to wait and see what opens up next as the place to go. Then as each character is ready to move forward, they will whisper to you, possibly shout, or do something outrageous, (Felix, is that you?) and lead you to the next part of the story. For example, you’ll be writing about Tanis, and Vleydis will start waving his hand at you saying that he has something to tell you. About that time, Tanis will clam up and sit down while he tries to work something out, and tell you to just go on. You’ll go to see what Vleydis has going and be recording his thoughts and adventures and you’ll hear a rumble coming from the seam. Maybe Vleydis and his cohorts will want to go with you to see what’s happening at the seam, or just tell you to go on, saying “we’ll catch you later.” You arrive at the seam and there’s Viernan, Dore, and Nicko, plotting nefarious deeds and wondering were the hell Leyd has gotten to now. As this progression continues and you write each piece of the story, something will happen or someone will say or do something that will trigger something else so that you have to go back and amend the prior text to make it work with what’s happening now. Then suddenly everything will go quiet and you’ll be looking at a wall wondering where everyone has gone. What’s happening now? That’s when your mind is casting for the thread of the story that will bring the next adventure to you. It’s there, and you will unquestionably find it. Slowly, but surely, it will all come together and everyone will tell their story. Pantsing may take longer, feel messy, and be frustrating at times, but the result is always more creative and wonderful than anything that’s been pre-planned. I’m certainly willing to wait for the wonders that will be Books 6 & 7. It’s going to be so much fun!!! Sending love and positive energy!
MaryGaye, you have summarized it exactly! I only feel like I’m casting that line too long sometimes…like it’s floating halfway to the Galapagos before snaring anything, but as you said, if that’s what it takes… 😉
Thank you so much for the update Melissa. I have said this before, but I will say it again, take as long as you need to get this done in the way that makes you feel that it is right, I am sure that whatever the outcome it will be awesome! Waiting a few months. years or whatever, longer will only make the final books all the more precious to us. We all want to get to the end of the series, yet we also don’t want it to end, and that shows how much we have enjoyed reading your work.
I put your work alongside that of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, and from me you get no higher praise than that.
I hope that, once the current series is done and dusted, you take some time off to recharge your batteries, then of course the selfish part of me wants more, whether it be in Alorin, or some other reality, I will happily read whatever you write.
Thank you for being such an amazing writer, we as the reader(s) are the ones who benefit from your talent, so you do whatever you need to get us to the “end”
I appreciate that very much, David. Thank you.
Hi Melissa, I’m with the rest of your fans, take your time, keep the faith, sleep soundly knowing we’re all behind you.
The journey you are taking us on is as rich as it is diverse, totally addictive and unique. I read a blog from one of my other favourite author stating he was having difficulty knitting about half a dozen POV together, what you doing is crazy & utter madness and probably breaks every writing rule going!
I look forward to the next book whenever it arrives.
Take care Peter
Haha, Peter. Unique is one way of describing it writing 40 VPCs. I can think of other less generous words. 😉 Thank you for your encouragement and support. I really do appreciate it.
Hey, it’s a long drive and us kids in the back seat will just have to be patient and keep our seatbelts on. It’s amazing how you stay on the road and keep the car running so well.
Thanks for the insights and the peek into your process. Know you are loved by your readers and we are all patiently cheering you on.
I appreciate that very much, Tony. Thank you.
As a blind fan, I completely understand roaming around in the dark, getting lost, bouncing off walls and then finding your way back again. We both get there when we get there. The differences, you walk a beautiful story while I just walk into walls. Haha. Keep up the good work and the amazing story. Thank you for letting us find our way through it with you.
Oh my goodness, Jared. That’s quite a picture you convey. Thank you for joining me in Alorin!
Hi Melissa! Thanks for the update. I wanted to let you know how much I love these books and the time and effort you put into them really shows. This is, without a doubt, my favorite fantasy series I’ve ever read. I find myself wondering about Alyneri when I’m driving to work and for some reason Marius and Tanis pop into my head randomly from week to week lol.
I love these characters you’ve introduced us to and I hope you take as much time as you want to get things right. I believe most, if not all of your fans, will understand and be happy with the result.
I was honestly surprised (pleasantly) you were shooting for this year. I believe in you. Looking forward to reading the next book, whenever that may be.
Thank you so much, Anthony. I really appreciate your encouragement and words of support. I’m honored and thrilled to know that my series has achieved such a place in your esteem.
Just so you know, I often think about Alyneri when I’m driving, too. 😉
I lived down the street from an old farmer when I was growing up. He had retired from the farm and he and his wife moved to town. One time I was in college and trying to get through this class and that, I sat down and told him all about it. He had an 8th grade education (maybe) and had no idea what I was really talking about but he understood dealing with problems. His advice has stuck with me for a long time (like 30 years if I am honest). He said, “there ain’t no way out but through.” You know you can’t quit, so all you can do is keep going. You can absolutely do this, keep working and the muse will grant you her vision soon enough. Plus along the way you will get to know your characters even better and the story will be even more rich for the effort.
I have long believed the same, Brian. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, thank you for your words of encouragement and support, and thank you for reading.
do you know if and when your Books are being translated into German and published in Germany? And please excuse my bad english. 🙂
Hi Daniel, I’m sorry I don’t currently have a plan for German translation but if you know a good translator let me know!
Personally i would suggest Tim Straetmann who translated most of Steven Erikson’s Books to German and did an exceptional job at it.
I would love to see your books translated+published here in Germany and i’m sure i’m not the only one. 🙂
It sounds as if you are shouting into a crowded room within your own mind, and your story threads are ignoring you. Kill off the most stubborn character (you can bring them back) and let the rest of the threads work through the dilemma in order to achieve their own ends. Just a thought. I cannot help myself, I am a fixer so feel free to disregard my suggestions.
Thanks for the advice, Kevin. Everything helps. 🙂
It all comes from love. Nobody knows that better than you.
When I get stuck, I chop vegetables or dig in the garden or paint a room. Turn off the left side for a few minutes. What happens next is not always what you expected, but it’s nearly always important.
You’re great at this. Still have a huge crush on you…when I’m not pining after Isabel.
Hahaha, Chris. I usually play piano when I get stuck. Or take a walk or a drive. I’ve just been doing a lot more driving than typing recently. LOL
Will the so audio books come out at the same time as 6 and 7? I buy the hardcovers and audio books since my job is driving eight hours a day, and listen and read together. Since you’re writing them together will you release them together? Or a couple of months apart?
I love the series and reread and listen several times per year. It is one of the best impulse buys Amazon has ever provided. I can’t wait to see where it ends!!!
Will you ever do a back story for Bjorn and his sister?
I’m thrilled you found you way into Alorin, too. 🙂 Backstory on Bjorn and Isabel…it’s possible. I’ve definitely looked at doing prequels, and I imagine more of their story would be included in that for sure.
I absolutely love your books. I have been listening to them on Audible. They have been a wonderful escape during this pandemic. As with anything good, if your path is lead by your heart and not your head it will be right! Keep writing with your heart and the pages/paths will appear!
Thank you so much, Lorraine. I appreciate your care and well wishes. Thank you for listening. 🙂
Melissa, you once said that you have 15 galleons to tow through the darkness to finish book six. I think you undercounted!
Great stories and their characters have a life of their own. You are fortunate to be the one chosen by the Book Gods to tell, what I firmly believe, will be seen to be one of the the great fantasy sagas. The characters want their story to be told as much as you want it to be told.
Take your time; take care of yourself and the story will be told. Those who appreciate your craft will happily (or at least understandingly) wait for you to finish.
Wishing you the writers equivalent of Mjölnir to get through the darkness with your galleons in tow…
Haha, I’ll take it. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I’m writing as fast as I can!
Your series was recommended to me by a friend. I have to say that it is one of the best series I’ve ever read. When I first started reading, I thought it was a complete series. I found out that there were more books coming out while I was in book three. I was both sad and happy about this. Sad, because I would have to wait to find out how it ends. Happy, because there are more books coming out so this amazing series will continue. I can’t wait for the next book. I have read a lot of fantasy books, and yours are some of the best, if not the best.
Thank you for your kind words, Lisa. I completely understand your state of mind – I’ve certainly been there myself many times. I’m working on books six/seven as fast as I can. I know everyone is eager to continue the story.
Favourite series without a doubt. One thing I love most is the reunions, Ean, Trell, Sebastian and Gydryn, so many reunions! Something about them feels so nice. I can’t wait for Errodan to finally see her lost sons, hoping for a very touching moment.
Also, Nick Podehl’s performance on the audiobook is incredible, not sure if you had a hand in that but if you did, great choice, I started on the audiobook and now I own the books, can’t praise your books high enough.
I’m honored by your praise, Rohan. Thank you. I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my series. I agree, Nick is a treasure and an uncommon talent. I feel blessed to have him as the voice of my series. Thank you for listening.
I have to say.. I am so glad that i saw an ad for your books a few years ago and gave them a chance. You are truly talented and i am in love with the world you have created. It is also nice to see how engaged you are with your fans! You will get through these bad times and break though the walls!
P.S. The authors note you left in book 5 was magnificent and i wish more authors did that! I have a not so great memory and listen to all my books on audible so sometimes i get my books mixed up, your recap was just what i needed to jump right back in to Alorin!
I appreciate your kind words of support, Christopher. I’m glad you found the author’s note helpful.
It’s always fascinating to me to read your personal experiences with creativity, especially the sense that you are not really creating the story but simply unveilling it (prefer that word to channeling as that has occult overtones :).
I can relate. When I write songs, I usually write the whole song at once, when it is flowing. But I can’t force it. It really feels like the song already existed and I discovered it.
I also like to write very strict, formal poetry. The more formal and strict the format, the more challenging I find it. But the very inflexibility of the format and the constraints of the rhyme and meter scheme ends up taking each poem in unexpected directions. Much like your character story threads. To be organically consistent with each character as a real person constrains the responses and choices they each would believably make, and that in turn ends up taking the story in unpredictable (but sometimes very pleasantly surprising) directions.
Keep pressing on and thank you for persevering with us to finish the storylines!
Robert, you definitely seem to be on the same creative wavelength. These are much the same experiences I have had. Thank you for your words of encouragement.
Just reading your thought process made my head hurt; I can’t imagine actually having to plot this monster. For what it’s worth, I think you’re doing a brilliant job and can’t wait for the conclusion. Keep up the fantastic work, Melissa!
Thank you so much, Ben. I definitely appreciate the encouragement and moral support. 😉
Dear Melissa, thank you for the update, I am patient and will be happy when they are released. You have my respect for making sure your fans will quality and satisfaction with your books. Too many time, I have seen authors begin a great series and as the money start rolling in, they tend to spend more time touring and writing new series. Instead of actually finishing their first series that their fan base fell in love with. Take your time and be proud of your accomplishment, I am still a fan , I truly enjoy your books. I have listen to every book at least four times and can still laugh at that crazy pirate and his antics, root for Tanis and enjoy each character all over and over again. Except for Ean he seems a bit whiny at times haha.
LOL, Ron. I understand about Ean. He has had his challenges, growing up in the game. 🙂 I appreciate your kind words. It is my every intention to do justice to these characters in their final denouement.
Thank you for the detailed update. I have loved your story from the very beginning and, of course, I eagerly await the next installment. I understand your process and I encourage you to take the time to get it right by your standard as that is what compels the next page turn.
Sending you all the positive energy!
Thank you, Ash. I’ll take all the positive energy I can get.
Melissa, you are a great Author. I know you will do the story right and get all the the threads in the pattern to where they need to go. I can’t imagine how hard it has to be to this. You are so talented. Take your time, and keep your head up. All of us can wait as long as you need us to. We know it will be worth it. I recommend your books all the time to friends, family, on message boards and Reddit. Thank you so much for creating this world for us to visit.
Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement and support. It is a great help knowing my readers are supportive of this endeavor and understand the challenges of these final two books. Thank you for reading.
Melissa, I just wanted to say thank you for such an amazing series you have created thus far! This is without a doubt my favorite series I have ever read (twice)! You have done an outstanding job with weaving the tapestry of this story, I don’t think even Cephrael himself could match it! I wish you the best and very much look forward to your work on the last two books of the series! Best Wishes from one of your biggest fans! – Will
Thank you so much, Will. I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my series. I appreciate your vote of confidence about the next two books – I’ll take all the help I can get!
I love that you claimed you are channeling this from another realm because reading it That’s how it feels. I hope the crystal ball will clear up soon. I love your stories so much. <3
Here’s to rapid channeling too, without quite as much bouncing around! LOL
Best Fantasy series of the last 10 yeas, and that is saying a LOT, considering the vast number of excellent stories out there. Bottom line, don’t rush it! Example. At first read, I felt book 5 felt “rushed”, but upon second reading/listening via the magnificent Nick Poedehl narration, I realized how wrong my initial thought was; it’s brilliant. Do the same with books 6 and 7 and this will be a series for the AGES!. Cheers.
I appreciate that very much, Andy. I am definitely trying to make books 6/7 live up to expectations!
I have been on book 5, the sixth strand for what seems like years I love these series I just don’t get time at home to read so it’s my holiday thing while my wife sun bathes I read so I’ve only just finished the book but I loved it just as I did the other. I find the story line so good and easy to follow even when I hadn’t read it for a year. I picked it up and got straight back into it.
Can’t wait for book 6
Thanks again for this fantastic series
I’m so glad you made it easily through book five, Michael. It’s certainly my goal to make this complicated story seem easy to follow! LOL
You know, GRRM did just that with his books 4 and 5. They happened concurrently, with some of the viewpoints being covered in book 4 and others in 5. Considering how upset people are that book 6 probably will never happen, I’d say they were all pretty okay with the way books 4 and 5 went.
Obviously, you should do what works best for you. But in terms of the readers, I think we’ll pretty much be okay with whatever.
Thanks, Daniel. Even before GRRM, Tad Williams split To Green Angel Tower into Part 1 and 2, so I know I’m on solid ground. I appreciate knowing you’d be fine with that strategy. I just don’t see any other way to do it, frankly. 🙂
It’s incredibly hard to wait but that’s just because you’ve created a fantastic work of art with this series. Thank you for your hard work and immense talent. But thank you most for being willing to share your talent with us! If be lying if I said I’m “happy” to wait but I can assure you that I’m very willing to wait as long as is needed in order to get my next Alorin fix
I totally understand. I’m writing as fast as I can – you have my word on that.
Thanks for the update and keep the good work! I can’t imagine how hard it is to manage all those characters converging stories.
your books are simply great!
Can’t you just do what the late Robert Jordan wanted to do with A Memory of Light, publish it all in one book, invent a new book binding technique to make it possible and gave everyone a complimentary library cart to haul it out of the store with? XD
Please don’t rush for our sakes, I don’t mind a wait so long as I know it’s going to be a good read and that I know it’s coming at some point.
Haha Brent. Everyone would need a mac truck! LOL
Hello Melissa, I absolutely can.not.wait. to hear the rest of the series. It’s been more than captivating, you’ve done such an incredible job depicting a magic world. It’s been such a wonderful listen (for me) and I’d just like to say that there is absolutely no rush in finishing the last 2 books. The finale will be just as incredible as the last few, I’m sure of it. Don’t pressure yourself, just take your time and really enjoy the creative process. Doing so is what makes these stories so immersive, because the story exists through you and your beautiful imagination. God Bless and happy writing ❤️
Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement, Mason. I truly appreciate it.
I am sure that the finale to this series will be well worth the wait. Your work has been not only highly entertaining, but inspirational as well. Take your time, your fans will wait. <3
Thank you so much Laurie. I so appreciate your continued encouragement.
I’m still totally bummed that we are married to different people. After spending a few years reading what you have written, I could have sworn I was having a conversation with myself.
Even if this obsession is fleeting and most assuredly one-sided, I’m grateful you not only put these characters into motion, but that you gave them breadth and life.
Thanks for that. Even if it’s unrequited, my feelings will be set aside once again until you resolve our dilemma. It is, however, still a pleasure awaiting your solution to all of this genius.
Tell your husband he’s a lucky man. Beauty and a direct connection to the “source”. (Heavy sigh)
This stuff is brilliant, as is its creator.
I’m honored by such praise, Chris. Thank you.
Well Melissa, as all your fans have stated time and again, YOU truly are a visionary genius. Like them, I can draw parallels between Jordan, Sanderson etc in how clearly your characters and worlds are written, with such beautiful and wonderfully believable complexity. In so many cases, the HOW and WHY is very far down the priority list, with fast pace action taking the forefront. Alorin, the 5 strands, the races ALWAYS make sense. The 5 strands and HOW they work, the many races, and why every thing is NEEDED to make your wonderful universe actually WORK. To see Pelas and Darshan’s development from blatant “evil” Chaos and whose goal are simply to unmake the universe to where they are now.. Tanis’ growth etc. THANK YOU..I have never met your equal and I’m truly honored to have found this saga and to be deeply affected by the amount of philosophy and introspection it has given me. May I meet you some day.. and raise a glass in your honor.
I’m deeply touched by your kind words, Curtis. I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my series. Certainly I’ve made every effort to bring these characters to life and structure the world and the magic in a real and believable way, and to weave a philosophical thread throughout it all. Thank you for noticing. 😉
I am so happy my friend recommended this series to me. I have just finished book 5 and looked up to see when book 6 would be coming out. I completely understand taking your time on a series that involves so many characters. There has been parts of these books that have brought tears to my eyes like no author has managed. Especially the reunions of characters that thought one gone to the world. Thank you so much for the work and thought you put into these books. I am very curious to see what will come of Tanis after this latest book, but will just be patient and have something to look forward to when the time comes and my path leads me to the ability to read it.
Greetings! I just finished the 5th book, and I’m somewhat astonished that you’re not so famous as yet that you are still able to respond to comments personally. I truly love the books! Your narrative voice has an almost musical quality to it that creates such gorgeous concepts, characters and feelings. I am sending all my good wishes as you continue your work! Thanks for the many hours of joy – and for expanding my vocabulary! My new favorite word is “specious.” 🙂
Haha, Alyssa! I guess I’m to blame. I never want to get that famous. 😉
I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my series, and thank you for your kind words. A long time ago I decided I was going to write to a literate public and/or to a public who was willing to look up new words. LOL To this day I still pick up Dickens and have to look up words again. I love being able to learn from what I’m reading.
Thank you for your kind words, Brandon. I appreciate that very much. I’m so happy your friend recommended my series also! 🙂
Hi, new fan here. I tore through your books, loved them, and am left in somewhat of a cold shower of having to come back to reality while craving more. I googled info on the next book and came across this blog. I totally get what you wrote. Continue as you have (since you have done so well so far) and trust yourself to make it happen. If two more books become three, no worries. The journey is as important as the destination.
Love your works so far and look forward to more. 5 star ratings on Goodreads and I try to spread the word, suggesting your series for people looking for something new.
Thanks for your creations!
PS- I say “tore through” but we know it wasn’t fast as I savored the experience.
Thank you so much, Andy. I’m so happy you’re enjoying my series and that you’ve found my blog so you can stay updated on the next books. I’m working as fast as I can, but as you read, it’s quite an undertaking to get two of these books written at the same time. I appreciate your kind words. Thank you for reading!
Just wanna say I started the series during the pandemic and have now read it twice and would not at all be upset if you needed to stretch to books 8,9 and 10!
Hahaha, Keith. Duly noted. Thank you. 😉
Hey Melissa, it’s been awhile since the last update. Any news on what’s going on? I am sure you hate getting these kind of questions. But I’ve read all the books out so far 3 times and the fact there was no end of the cliffhanger in book 5 I’m going a little crazy lol. As always love you works and can’t wait to read the next one!
I meant cliffhanger of book 4.
I have the equivalent of book six finished but I still need to get book seven worked out Tim. All I can say is you have to trust the path. 😉
Strange connections we make. Melissa, I was watching Adele & Oprah concert/interview yesterday and Adele said…paraphrasing here_ “I channel my lyrics and singing from somewhere beyond me…. I don’t know from where”. and thought of you.
Nothing else, I hope things are going well for you.
It’s funny how true that is for many artists, Bill. Thanks for thinking of me and sharing your thoughts. 🙂
Just passing by to thank you for the great book series! You are an amazing author, and I’ll read/listen to the next books whenever they are ready!
As an Author wannabe, I have no idea how do you manage to keep together that many story lines, I can barely work with one 😀
Congratulations again and we’ll be here to read the books when they are done, take the time you need to write them, because most people wouldn’t be able to do it as good as you do!
thanks again for the great story
Haha, thank you for your kind words, Rodrigo. I certainly don’t recommend this many storylines. It’s becoming quite a challenge! lol
Keep up the great work, Melissa, I have taken a full (2) weeks off here for the holidays at the end of the month, with plans to go back and start over with book one in the series. I know with many books that each time you read them you pick up on something new.
I’m excited to do that as I like many of your other fans wait for the magic to happen called Book 6 and 7?
Anyways hope you have a great holiday.
Thank you, Kevin and to you also!
Just finished the second from the last ep of Wheel of Time and it reminded me to check in on my currect favorite series. I can’t believe it’s almost been 2 years since Sixth Strand! My how time flies. I guess that’s just lucky because it’s moved me that much closer to being able to get the next book in PoS&L.
I know you said you have no intention for any screen adapatation unless someone came along and really blew you away with a screenwrite to do it justice or something, but it had me thinking about the WOT adaptation and just how many of the book fans were really made a direct plot to plot transition to screen didn’t happen. There’s just a lot in those books I felt could best be left unsaid and just do fine, lol. Which got me thinking again just how every moment in PoS&L was exciting and always had me hooked. No story line or point of view had me feeling ‘can we get through this already.’
This is all to say, can’t wait for 6 and then 7 and being able to see the story come to an end. I know it will be amazing like every single chapter since book 1 has been. All in due time, and when it’s ready. No rush. 🙂
Thank you so much, Andre. It is definitely my intention to give a sense of purposeful motion to every scene. I appreciate your words of encouragement.
There are so many consequential questions that need answering in the final books, but I keep finding myself obsessed wondering: what is Rinohk’s full name? Will we ever find out?
It’s been said a couple of times in the books, Okimoyo, and is also listed in the Dramatis Personae at the end of the books: Rinohkalpeshumar.
I reread all five books again. I cannot tell you how many details I’ve missed the first time. It also made rereading the books differently. Knowing each character beforehand and deeply understanding them made me 10 folds understand and made the scenes more vivid the second time. I was so excited and mind-blowing that my bestie decided to start reading the series. She finished the first book and kept asking for clarification as she read. It was rather difficult helping because I wasn’t sure what information was given in the first book… she saw how excited I was and allowed me to paint the picture clearer for her. She’s on her way to start book 2 this weekend. I absolutely cannot wait to start the next book. It’s nerve-wracking not knowing… Thank you for writing an awesome series. This one makes my number 1 spot.
I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my series even more the second time through. It’s written with that intent, actually. There is so much information given in the first book that it’s impossible to know what’s important and what isn’t. The second time you know what’s important, so you notice all the little clues that you missed on a first read. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I love knowing that you’re still enjoying my world.
Take all the time you need, Melissa. You’ve crafted a wonderful story and it deserves an equally wonderful end. Can’t wait to read it when you’re finished.
I am seriously ok if this takes me than two books to resolve!! I just finished my third reread and WOW!!! I see things so much clearer now than I did the first two times through. I totally understand the conundrum your in with the walls your hitting as your developing a characters story line. That’s why I’ve said all along. If you need to create 4 books to really finish the story properly, than by all means do so. I’m sure if I start another reread, I will glean more from the story again. But I felt this last one I had a good idea of where the story line was going to go. But what I think and you think are two different things. Your the writer and I trust you to tell me the story that has so grabbed my attention!! Relax, have a cup of tea! Enjoy the process. Us fans will find ways to keep ourselves busy until the glorious release occurs!!
Please take as much time as you need these works of art deserve it. Even if you pull a pathrick rothfuss i wouldnt be mad cause of such a superiort product and you already given us 5 master pieces.
The only thing that makes me truly truly sad is that book 7 will conclude the series, i wouldnt have minded a Robert Jordan type of series it would work here (unlike with wheel of time) since the world is so rich and detailed ( more so than any other fantasy book i know, and i have read a lot ) and so many rich living characters. But i would not presume to question the author just expressing sadness over a such a wonderful series that meant a lot to me coming to an end! These books and even rereading them helped me battle some difficult times for which i will forever be greatful! But all good things and all that 🙂
Hopefully you wont give up on the world or being a fantasy author.
I absolutely love your books so far!!! I listen to them through Audible and think that the narrator is phenomenal! I can NOT wait for the 6th & 7th books. I am also attempting to write my own series. You and Terry Mancour (“Spell Monger” series) are two of my most loved Authors.
Hi, can you please please please give up a small update on how you are doing? your work is amazing and I am just about to re-listen to your audiobook for the 4th time!
Love you always Melissa. You have given us so much x
You will always be one of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading your words again and again. But not yet, its too soon. But someday I will and will think of you and how you interacted so wonderfully with your fans. My sincerest condolences to your family.
Rest in peace Melissa 🙁