Okay, I’m starting to feel the quarterly pressure. The questions are pouring in, asking in polite, dulcet tones, “Oh please, madam, might you tell us where stands the progress of booketh number five?”
Progress is being made, people. Daily. Hourly. Minute by minute by sentence finished with a period to prove its completion. Lots of those are in the done pile. Pages of them, in fact. Miracle of miracles.
You know what else is done? CHAPTERS. Many of them. You can count them on fingers and toes, but you’d need more than just your two hands and feet. You’d need your neighbor’s hands, too. And his feet. That’s not chump digits.
You know what’s not done? The book. Yeah. Terribly sorry about that. To quote the immortal words of Lazar from that thrilling cinematic masterpiece, Your Highness: These are the harsh realities of the outside world.
That’s the thing about this writing gig. It takes a mind-boggling lot of words, sentences, pages and chapters to make a book. Like if you were baking cakes. Seventy-plus cakes. But you’re not able to bake them all in one huge batch. You have to make each cake individually with your own two hands, measuring the batter, beating the eggs, waiting for the damned thing to bake and then cool before you can frost it…over and over and over again. Except, baking seventy-plus cakes is considerably faster than writing seventy-plus chapters in this story.
The stress is enormous, people.
To give you some perspective on where we stand in baking those chapters, let’s refer to that handy little progress chart from last year. It now looks like this:
Part 1 Part 2
Ean √ √
Tanis √ √
Pelas √ √
Isabel √ √
Valentina √ √
Nadia √ √
Felix √ √
Trell √ √
Viernan √ √
You should not let this hearten you. I much prefer that all of you are wallowing in misery so I can swoop in suddenly to surprise you with, “Hey, what do you know? The book is done!” But also because there’s really still a lot to write.
The first half is probably more like the first thirty-eight percent. Loukas n’Abraxis would have a non-terminating decimal to describe the fraction.
I don’t think there will end up being an actual first and second part to this book; pacing-wise, it’s likely to be more of overlapping thirds. I’m still not sure if I’ll have to publish the print editions in a part one and part two (which would be released together), or if it will all fit in one book.
This kind of stuff never troubles ebook or Audible listeners, who are happy as larks with their forty-plus hours and eight million kindle pages. But it’s something I have to think with for the .001% of people (like myself) who still read books made out of paper occasionally and need to be able to hold them without a bible stand.
Currently I’m agonizing over the plot threads of Gydryn, Errodan and Morwyk, with a little Dore thrown in to embitter the dish.
I have a vague, general idea of Darshan’s next chapter but no idea what he’ll be doing after that.
I know where Carian and Fynn are heading but can’t figure out how to give Alyneri more agency.
Franco is usually compliant once I find the time to give him my attention.
Sebastian is breaking my balls right now.
So, you know…that cake baking isn’t always super smooth. Sometimes you run out of vanilla and the stores are all closed. Sometimes the oven mysteriously turns itself off with a cake still inside it. Sometimes you find weevils in the flour, or discover that the gallon of butter you just bought is salted. Sometimes the Swiss meringue buttercream won’t achieve the right consistency no matter how long you whip it, and you have to toss it and start the whole thing over.
But eventually every cake is done to perfection. That’s all we’re aiming for here, people. Perfection. Nothing too difficult in the grand scheme of eternity.
With all that preamble, I can say my hope (intention? expectation?) is a mid 2019 release. I’ll know more by Christmas time (conveniently aligned to the current quarterly update model, where the pressure builds and builds for about three months and then I get a deluge of Where the hell is this book already? in those kind, sweet, grandmotherly tones that I mentioned above. You know, an all out clamor, but a really nice one).
So, look for more from me round about December. Until then, I’ll just be continuing with my obscenely large baking project…and doing a lot of praying to the oven gods. Feel free to send your prayers my way. I’ll pass them along with my daily sacrifices.
And if I haven’t said it clearly before, please don’t stop asking where the book stands. It means the world to me to know you’re all so excited for the next installment of this story.
Been waiting for this book it seems like a lifetime.love your work looking forward to listening to the book. We have all your books. Thank you so much for your talent.
Thank you so much for listening!
Thank you so much for the update! Although I’m dying to continue this awesome adventure, going back and rereading the novels always has a kernel or nugget I missed on previous reads.
Thanks again for sharing your story with us! I can’t wait to find out where we go next
Thank you so much, Peter. I’m just as eager for everyone’s feedback, believe me! 🙂
Glad to hear that you are chipping away at this mammoth project. Love seeing updates from you. Although I’m eager for the next instalment, I’m enjoying my fourth re-read!
Remember, the cooks perk is to finish the remainder of the sherry in the bottle and enjoy the icing on the cake before anyone else gets a taste. Keep enjoying Alorin and don’t stress about expectations from your readers. Your infectious passion is why so many of us fell in love with your books! Happy to wait (though secretly hoping it won’t be too long).
Wow, Jo! A 4th re-read is amazing!
I love your perspective. I’m definitely enjoying the icing with each chapter finished. I never fail to say my blessings for the fact that I have this world and these characters in my head.
Melissa, it’s refreshing to hear from an author that they are happy to answer questions on progress, rather than either ignoring or getting grumpy when asked such. Mid-2019, end of 2019, into 2020, doesn’t matter how long it takes, we all know it will be done when it is, and that you are working your hardest to get it finished. If this is the last book in the series, then so-be-it, but if it is not, then even better :-). One thing I am sure of, it will be a fantastic book and I will love reading it!
Thank you so very much, David. I sincerely appreciate your kind words. It will definitely be a 2019 release and definitely not be the last book in the series. That’s about all I can say for certain at this point. Thank you for reading!
Take your time, get it right in your mind. We’ll wait…….and bug you all the time about progress! LMAO
Yes, please don’t stop bugging me, Don. I greatly appreciate the nudging.
Take your time. I can’t wait to find out what happens but I’d rather it be a complete story for book five. I feel like when Brent Weeks expanded The Lightbringer series into 5 books instead of four, the fourth book felt like he pushed it out just for fans who rushed him. His story in that one book didn’t feel complete to me, more like stalling until the fifth book comes out. Still love that series but I’d have been happier waiting for a complete story. I love APOSAL so please take your time. I’ll be here the day book 5 comes out with a happy grin.
Very good point, Gregg. I’m definitely trying to keep the integrity of the story. I want book five to be as entertaining as all the books before it, which is a continuing challenge. 😉
I want cake now, almost as much as book five. Thanks. Also, thanks for the update.
I’m going to buy a cake.
LOL, Justin. You get that cake. I’ll keep baking away.
Keep going Melissa, it’ll be ready when it’s ready and I’m sure it will be baked to perfection, we appreciate you taking the time out for an update, now back to the baking with you!
Thanks for the encouragement, Peter!
Thank you for the update! It’s exciting to see the progress thoug have made.
I’ll share a story with you. One of my most memorable moments came while reading book 4. I sat in a new restaurant and while I waited I had a nice amber ale and read a recent chapter on Darshan. I always enjoy his chapters and must be exciting to write first person perspective of a deity. Needless to say the chapter was amazing. Even better yet the Rib Eye I had for dinner was one of the most amazing I ever had.
I think back on that night every once in while how exciting that chapter was and how I had a top 5 meal in my lifetime. What a nice combo. XD
That’s amazing, Victor. I’m so glad I could contribute to one of your most memorable evenings. I love it when factors and events combine into those special moments. Thank you for sharing that with me.
I always enjoy the Darshan chapters too, even back in book two when he was sooooo creepy. 😉
I CANT WAIT!!! I didn’t mean to fall for your story. I’m not sure how it even happened!! I guess I’ll just have to listen to the finished books all over again (and again) until you’re ready. Drat.
LOL, Julie. Well, secretly, I was enchanting you, so it’s really not your fault if you ended up liking the story. I’m SO glad my spell worked! 😉
This post itself is gold. Love when someone can take a stressful/less than ideal situation and still find time to make people happy. Thanks for the update, and the laugh!
That’s very kind of you to say, Dave. Thank you for reading!
Been a long, long time, thanks for th update. I always love how open an honest you are about the process and the challenges of writing. I hope you are doing well and am confident the story you share will be well worth the wait.
Thank you so much, Bill. I think you’ll love where Ean especially is heading in this next installment.
That’s good to hear.
He has 2 lifetimes full of misguided choices resulting in failure and suffering caused to make up for.!
Kill em. Just kidding, he’s still my guy.
I love love love your series! It is so well developed. Ah, and the lore! The laws and patterning and the names. I listen on audible and I’m so glad Nick does the reading. He’s one of my favorites and he really brings it to life. I feel like I know the characters now. I am re-listening to the 3rd book because I am so enthralled with it. It’s so amazing that you’ve released the books in such a short period considering how in depth they are. So no complaints waiting on the next books. I think the lore rivals all the great fantasy/Sci fi series. It never seems like you are filling in the lore to make up for the characters action or intent. So many series…even beloved series…seem to have holes that need to be filled in and more lore is added. It’s seems like lore is the entire series and the characters themselves delvelop within it. Like you’re the Fifth Vestal, yourself, unfolding the game. I still feel like the series is a well kept secret that I’m honored to have found before the big boom of popularity. Not to say that it’s not popular, I just can’t believe everyone doesn’t know of it yet considering the popularity of fantasy series today and the quality of writing. I can’t wait to have an Alorin map on my wall and graphics of the Laws and the Esoterics one day. Thanks for your hard work and dedication in writing!
Reen, I’m honored by your kind words about my series. I’m very glad to hear that you’re finding the lore interesting. Since I write organically, I don’t have everything figured out ahead of time. My understanding of Alorin’s magic deepens with each book, along with my readers.’
I am definitely working to help more readers find my series. That’s one of the challenges of being an independent publisher. I think it’s been a well kept secret long enough, myself. 😉
Thank you for listening.
Checked your page for updates on a whim. Absolutely love your writing style, even in the updates.
I’m not worried about how long it takes. Your books have been so amazing you have my complete trust. Take as long as you need to spin your tale. I’ll be here waiting to purchase on the release date.
Out of curiosity, Jordan said he always new the ending of his story. Can we assume you know how your story will end?
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement.
I definitely have an idea in mind for some of the characters. I wouldn’t say I have everything figured out by any means. 🙂
Thank you for your hard work! My wife bought me your first book in this series and its become one of my favorite! I am one of those reader that only reads print books, and I’m a little weird about it with those books having to be hardcover as well. I can not imagine weaving all those story arc bac together! I’ll probably fit in a re-read or two.
I’m so glad you’re enjoying my series, Alexander. Thank you for reading.
I love having hardbacks also. I used to buy the trade paperback and if I liked the book I would buy it in hardback. Now more often I’m buying kindle and then hardbacks and paying far more than I used to be, but que sera sera. 😉
You can’t rush perfection! Once you publish a book, it stands through time so you might as well make sure it’s done right! Even someone like Brandon Sanderson who sneezes and a book comes out, took 3 years before putting out his most recent installation of The Stormlight Archives (and it was worth it). As this is my favorite series ive ever read (in my 3rd re-read currently), I know I appreciate the time you’re taking!
Thank you so much, Joel. It always makes me so happy to hear that my series in on a reader’s list of favorites, especially at #1. I’m thrilled you’re enjoying it again and again. Thank you for your support, and thank you for reading!
So. Freaking. Excited.
This has quickly become one of my favorite series. The world you’ve created is so unique and engages the imagination. I’m about to start my 3rd read-through in preparation for the 5th book!
I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my series, Jesse. Three times through it – wow! I’m honored. Thank you for reading.
Take your time 🙂
I’m happy waiting and i’m sure it will be well worth it 🙂
As always, thank you so much for your encouragement and support, Slick. 🙂
Melissa, thank you so much for the update. I am very excited for the next book. I appreciate all your hard work and i am more than happy to wait for the cake to bake to perfection!
Thank you so much, Don. I greatly appreciate your support and encouragement.
Yes. We don’t want another dark tower. My impression is that each of your books could easily have been twice as long but all extraneous content was removed, every word judged for its necessity. Thanks for the update. I think you need a crack PR and marketing team for merchandise. Comic books. Role playing game. T-shirts. Check out the merch at criticalrole.com and they play D&D online.
I’m so glad to know you feel that way, Ed. It’s definitely an intention of mine to give a sense of purposeful motion to every page. My husband has been saying the same thing about RPG and merchandise for a long time now. You two would get along. 😉
Thanks for the merchandising tip! They have really cool stuff there. Definitely something to aspire to.
Melissa, I am usually content to merely read these updates and wait quietly, but I felt compelled to comment this time. I absolutely love your writing. I am currently about a third of the way through my third time listening to these books, and have ordered all four (two have arrived). I generally despair when I get to the last book in an ongoing series, but when I finished Kingdom Blades and (several weeks later) began listening again, I found that I was actually, dare I say it, glad that the next installment has not come out yet. I have been able to re-read/listen and am learning more with each successive time through. So, while I am eagerly awaiting the next book(s?), I am thankful for this gap as I have come to appreciate the story more than I would have if the next installment had already been released. Your work is inspiring and insightful. And I must say, I certainly loved the baking metaphor for this update. Thanks for sharing with us such an amazing world, story, and series.
Thank you so much for leaving a comment, Robbie. It’s so nice to hear from my listeners/readers and get their feedback and thoughts on my series. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the story with each retelling. It’s one of the deepest and most meaningful complements you could offer me, so thank you.
It’s so interesting to get your perspective on rereading/listening to the story and getting more out of it by doing so. I think that’s probably true for a lot of books of similar detail. There’s just so much that you necessarily miss, because in the beginning, you don’t know what’s important to remember and what is just thrown in to flesh out the world. That’s one of the things I loved about rereading Jordan’s books in the early part of WoT – that I would find these references and clues he left in early books which didn’t get touched on or answered until much later in the series. I tried to emulate that at least a little bit in my series.
Thank you again for deciding to share your thoughts. I always appreciate knowing when someone is enjoying my work. And thank you for listening (again and again)!
Time to start reading from the beginning to keep it fresh in my mind
Sounds like a solid plan, Brandon. 😉
I just finished listening to book four and love the series so far, as does my husband, who has both read and listened to all four books. We eagerly await the next one, but please, do take your time. After all, no one likes a chocolate cake made from wheat flour (I know this from personal experience)!
LOL, Bethany. A chocolate-wheat cake sound a little sketchy to me, too. Very well, only the best quality cake flour shall be used here. So happy to know you and your husband are both enjoying my series. Happy holidays!
Like your book collection, Melissa. Definitely some inspiration in the collection. I have listened to all your books on Audio. They are fantastic, well narrated and among my favourites. You definitely do something different. I absolutely love them. Good things come to those who wait and the next book is worth waiting for. All the best and wishes of much inspiration, GY
Thank you so much, Gary. I’m so happy to know you’re enjoying my series on Audible. Nick Podehl does an incredible job. I’m so lucky to have him as the voice of my series. Thank you sharing your words of encouragement and support, and thank you for listening.
I’m sure it will be worth the wait. Your books are genius. It’s been a very long time since I loved a book. You’ve rekindled my have to know what happens fire. You have created a world that sucks a reader in, I’m in awe. Thank you for all you’ve done so far and what you are planning for the future.
I’m honored to have been able to rekindle your love for a good book, Cara. It’s the greatest reward to be able to share my world with others, and to know that they’re enjoying being there as much as I do. Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for reading.
Hey im just about to finish Kingdom Blades and I must say that I was hooked right away when I listened to the sample of your first book on Audible, many times I have been struck by how real the world appears to be in my mind almost as if I was there witnessing the events taking place. I thought that this world could have potential as a roleplaying game. I WANT TO BE THERE! But as I have been listening to the books and predicting the outcome to major events I wonder where the series is heading because it seems that Darjan eventually will start his new founded Love Order and become a figure like Jesus, and that Tannis will roam the 1000 realms of light with his Immortal Crew and Co. Really I am just curious if you have a rough idea already of where you want to take the series or do you just focus on one book at a time? Will the one and only Nick Podehl read the 5th book when it is released? How much wine does Fynnlar really drink each day? I love Carian Vran Lea and Fynnlar together, so cavalier about everything. 😀
Anyway, thank you for taking the time to write this series and I look very much forward to the new book. It was nice getting back into the fantasy genre after finishing the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind some time ago.
I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my series on Audible and appreciate your feedback and comments. I think you’re in good company in enjoying Fynn and Carian’s adventures together.
I write organically, so while I have a very general sense of where the story needs to go (there’s a mountain in the distance and we’re making our way towards it), I don’t really know what we’ll encounter along the way until we get close to it. I can’t even say I focus on an entire book at once. It’s more like, “let’s see where the first half takes us and then I’ll think about the second half.” Mind, my books are close to two books in length, so…
My publisher is definitely planning to continue to use Nick Podehl as the voice of the story for as long as he’s willing and available.
I’ll definitely be interested to hear where you foresee some character threads heading after book five. 😉 Thank you for listening.
I’ve re-listened (does that count as reading?) each book… six times now? I find something new each time. You’re a wonderful author, a brilliant wordsmith, and above all the dedication you show to both your craft and your fans is awe inspiring. I can’t describe how much I love your works. Any hint on whether there might follow a prequel of the “before”, when Bjorn braved the welds and Balefear had 50 virgins girded to his loins?!?!?
Thank you so much for your kind words, Michael. I’m honored to know you’re enjoying my series so much. It’s one of my greatest joys, being able to share this world and these characters with others.
I am definitely looking into prequels. It seems like such would certainly need to begin prior to the original tear in the world’s fabric. It could be a lot of fun to discover what Alorin was really like when Warlocks freely roamed the Realms of Light, don’t you think?
You’re my favorite warlock. I really appreciate the world you’ve made right out of the aether. Have you tried weaving a bit of the third? Anyway, all jokes aside, I’ve really enjoyed your writing style and world building technique. If takes time to make it right, then it’s only right that it should take some time. I’m curious about one thing though. Is a Volga made from Antonia juice?
LOL, James. I’ve never been called a Warlock before, but I’m honored by the comparison. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my series. I appreciate your warm encouragement and support.
In my mind (even though it’s never said in the book) a Volga would almost magically shift to suit the palate of the person drinking it. Which could be why Balaji and Ramu are so enchanted with the idea of making the “perfect” Volga. 😉
Quote Your Highness, enough said. Thank you for that
LOL, Donald. You’re welcome. 😉
I commented on an earlier blog post regarding Book 5 with a plea that you please give us some closure on the issues with Ean and Isabel. You commented that it would be wrapped up (one way or the other) in Book 5 and I was ecstatic! I figure things change as you progress further into writing and mapping out the book so I was just curious if you’d still feel confident with that assessment at this point in your writing.
I love the series but the uncertainty is killing me! (With a sixth book in the wings)
Be assured, Ross. We have to move on from the events of book three and so do Ean and Isabel. We’ll wrap up that story thread early in book five. 🙂
Thank you so much! Can’t wait!
Hey thank you for the reply, i’ll definitely come back to ruin the experience for others by forseeing where the series is going after book five. 😉
I have noticed that what is happening early on in the books might be relevant later on so basically I pay attention, it is so satisfying to guess what will transpire because the story is just as intervowen as Alorin’s law of patterning.
But I wonder where you have drawn inspiration from? A quick google search said you are interested in philosophy, just as I am. I see the returning as the hindu and buddhist concept of reincarnation, Malorin’athgul as the embodiment of nihilism, fate as determinism vs free will and so on. I am from Sweden and I wonder if you have drawn any inspiration from norse mythology as well?
I definitely have elements of Norse mythology woven into other mythos that I’ve created for the series. When we get to the Danes, in book six, we’ll explore strictly Norse ideas more. All of the earth pantheons have their similarities. You can find thunder gods all over the place if you look. 😉
Anyone can put words on a page and call it a “story”. With training and education, you might be able to turn that “story” into something someone else would want to read. But it takes a true master to create an entire world that has the depth, texture, and defined sense or reality you have achieved with your Alorin. Please forgive the “fan-boy” gushery, but your work is amazing and this is one of my favorite series, ever… No apologies needed for the time it takes, the quality of the product makes the wait more than worth it. Hell, I haven’t given up on Book 3 of the The Kingkiller Chronicles, so in comparison to that, you’re WAY ahead of the game!!
Richard, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m thrilled and honored to know my series has achieve such a treasured place in your esteem. I appreciate your support and encouragement very much. I am working as fast as I can to wrap up book five. It’s truly almost there.
And thanks for pointing out that I’m way ahead of Rothfuss. I intend to keep it that way! 😉
I think you added a pinch of sarcasm and a cup of passive aggressiveness too much into this little cupcake of a post. Can’t wait!
I think you may have interpreted a wry fatalism as passive-aggressive, Jessie. The latter I am never. 😉
Have just found your blog. I am sorry that I am one of your Audible listeners who doesn’t have to worry about the weight of your books but have the pleasure of Nick Podehl’s narration. All I can say is never mind about cakes but love your books and can’t wait for book 5
Thank you so much, Pat. I don’t think you can go wrong with the Audible editions. Nick’s narration is fantastic. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my series. Thank you for listening.
Love this series and can’t wait for book 5! Thank you for taking such effort to make sure everything is just right and that you’ve gotten everything you want into this book. I know it will be worth the wait!
Thank you, Megan. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my series! Thank you for reading.
Soooo, how’s it goin? Hoping for an update, since Christmas is just around the corner.
Most anticipated book on my list.
Don’t rush so it can be as magnificent as the other 4.
Also praying to the oven gods^^, but take your time and bring us an Amazing book as all the others. I have listened to them all on Audible, 3 times each thru all 4, and will probably go thru them all once more before Book 5, haha!
You’re my favourite author, very original and I read and listen to alotttt of fantasy, but you stand above them all in my world! Also love your choice of Nick Podehl as the narrator, don’t think you could have made a better pick!
His voice and your wondrous storytelling really and truly sucks you into to this magical world of your creation=)! The more books this series turns into to complete your work the better, is what i think at least, like so many others, so Please, feel no pressure in finishing it fast;)!
Godspeed to you and Thank you for being and awesome author!!
Thank you so much, Patrick. The book is finished now and into the editing stages. I look forward to your feedback once it releases on Audible at the end of this year. Thank you for listening!