My goal this year was to release two books: A Season of Rendings and another, “Alex-ey” type book with a TBD title. I’ve spent the year to date working hard on Season, but it turns out the idea of writing a novel of that length and complexity in six months had absolutely no basis in reality. Given that its predecessor, Children of a Broken Sky, took about 10 years to write, I suppose this information shouldn’t surprise me.
Put simply, there is no way I’m going to finish Season this year. That leaves me with two options.
1) Plow forward on Season and release it when it’s ready, probably late next year.
2) Take a break to finish the other book, already nearing the 10% mark.
I’ve decided to go ahead with option 2. The book is tentatively titled Todd.
If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve heard me complain about this already, but Season is really complex and difficult to write. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy doing it – I do. I love the setting and the characters and I am really psyched to share the events of the second book. But it goes slowly, because it is the second book in a 6-part series and it’s fantasy. You might think fantasy would be easier to write because you can just make up the world as you go along, but that’s not the case. Every few paragraphs I have to stop to double-check some bit of minutiae and make sure I’m not making a mistake. Can I use the word “ounce?” Am I spelling this First Tongue word correctly? Am I referring to events from the last book correctly? Is this a good place to foreshadow something that happens two books from now? Do I want to foreshadow that event? Have I decided for sure that’s how things are going down?
Contrast this with Todd, which involves two main characters in a story told in the real world from a first-person POV. The themes are established and straight-forward; I know the beginning, middle, and end. Opposite Season, writing Todd is downright free-wheeling.
There is a phrase many authors are familiar with, regardless of their stripe: “Publish or die.” I quit a day job nearly two years ago to spend more time writing books. I refuse to let a year go by without publishing a novel.
I want to re-emphasize that Season is not going away. I will spend more time working on it next year, and I’m still in the process of getting the cover done as we speak. I’m not leaving the The Redemption Chronicle; I’ve put too much effort into it and loved the place for too long to abandon it. But I do need to be realistic about how much time it takes to write. My electrician once asked me if TRC would be my Dark Tower. Maybe the answer is yes, in more ways than one. Dark Tower came out more-or-less piecemeal over a number of decades. I don’t plan to let TRC run out that long, but if I were to focus on it exclusively, my output would probably drop to one book every couple years. That’s just too slow. And the truth is, I would be disappointing a number of my fans who started reading with Alex and don’t really read fantasy. The better solution, I think, is to keep writing the “Alex-ey” books (I have six or seven write-able ideas) and work on TRC between them. That way, I can try to keep everyone as happy as possible, including myself.
So that’s the plan. I’ll keep you posted on Season’s progress and expected release date. In the interim, I can promise you that Todd will be available by the end of the year.