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Comments 17

Wandering in with a Starbuck’s Cup

Hey, what’s up?

So…it’s been uh *checks the calendar* three years.

Wow, it really has been three years. Okay…so I guess I haven’t been updating, have I? All right, let’s do this. What’s been going on in my life?

The obvious answer, as it has been the obvious answer for everything, is “living in the age of active pandemic.” Which has been heartbreaking on many levels, not least of which because it turns out that ‘I told you so’ stops being a lot of fun when millions of people have died.

On a personal level? I finished a five-book epic fantasy series for Tor Books. Yeah, that’s right. That baby is DONE. The last book in the series, The Discord of Gods, comes out on April 26th (which means you have not missed your chance to pre-order!) It’s a tremendous accomplishment and a strange feeling of loss all the same time. Because it’s not just that I’ve written four books in the last three years (each over 200,000 words), but I have been involved with various characters, concepts and bits of world-building that would become A Chorus of Dragons for slightly longer than that.

Say, thirty-five years. And now it’s done.

If you’ve ever wondered why authors go back to a world that they’ve written a series in, believe me when I say it’s not just for another paycheck. It’s because you start to miss it. The characters, the places, the concepts. I’m too new off the high of finishing to be there yet, but I can already see the writing on that wall.

Naturally, I have started on my next book. New world, new characters, new setting. It’s wonderful to be able to really stretch my world-building legs and make something new. I really can’t wait to introduce you to this world. It’s a lot of fun. By which I mean incredibly dangerous and full of stuff that would love to kill my main character. As is tradition.

I hope you’ll join me. And in the meantime, I’m going to try to keep updating this site (Note the “try” here) and keep telling stories. That said, what do you want me to talk about? I’m officially taking requests (leave a comment).

Love you all. Stay safe out there.

17 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting! Congratulations (and thanks) for finishing this astounding achievement! Completing a million word fantasy epic in this amount of time is mind-boggling to me — I’m in awe. So, in terms of requests, I will say, I’m a sucker for all the behind the scenes, sausage-making stuff that goes into building something like this. What does a single book treatment look like? Or a multi-volume character/plot arc sketch? What were the key things you always knew you wanted to do, and kept, vs the things you’d never thought of and/or changed organically as you wrote? Finally, who do you think was the better poet: Enheduanna or Sin-Leqi-Unninni, and why?

    • *writes all this down* All excellent suggestions…
      Enheduanna vs. Sin-Leqi-Unninni? Hahahahaha. Oh, that will be a discussion! (And an excellent opportunity to talk about the fluctuating and regional nature of myth and religion, as well as why archeology is, by definition, the most unreliable narrator of all.)
      Hmm, I bet I can fit some Ea-nasir in there as well…

  2. Hi, speaking of the Chorus of Dragons series … wow. I just finished and I am floored by the way you manage to make a series that is above everything else just fun to read. I could get lost for days in the world and characters you have built and I am amazed at your unparalleled talent at character chemistry and interactions. This truly is a unique series that left it’s mark. The thing I really marvel at is the fact that every character we meet in this series is likeable and interesting enough to be a main character! “Side characters” like Galen, Sheloran, Qown, Talea, Xivan, freaking Thurvishar & Senera!!! I really will read any book you write at this point because if there’s one thing I can count on your books for, it’s to put a smile on my face the entire time I am reading.

    • Thank you so much! It really is wonderful to hear this kind of feedback. And I do hope you like my next book as much.

  3. sanni spring says

    Ah! I’m so happy you are back to posting here! I thought this might be an abandoned operation! I wanted to let you know I have totally fallen in love with your writing and this book series. It has been ages since I have read anything even close to as captivating. You have a very unique style of writing that is at the same time so fresh and humorous yet very deep and emotionally moving. I can not wait for whatever comes out of your pen next!!!

    And I do relate to the feeling of sadness and loss when finishing a story that has been with you for a long time. I had been holding Robin Hobbs characters in my life for a long time and felt such dread when I finished reading the last book in Fitz and the Fool trilogy. With the same feelings I dive into Discord of the Gods. Exited to see the end and dreading that there is no more Teraeth, Kihrin and Janel after this. Lucky we can always come back to the story 🙂

    • Not abandoned, just uh…well, I’m going to try harder this time. (And I do hope you like what I’m working on next. I’m very excited about it!)

      • Aaron Turner says

        I’ve just finished The Ruin of Kings and I have to say I enjoyed the world and the interpersonal relationships between the main cast. You really have a flair for throwing gut wrenching twists time after time and I’ll have to thank you for my new anxiety prescription! Anyway, I’m off to continue the journey in the second novel as I’m sure it will be even better. As for what I’d like to see from this blog, hmm…maybe other plot-line ideas, or possibly IF routes for the side cast if you decide to stay within this ‘universe’? It would also be interesting to see how you would tackle the concept of transmigration!

      • I’m so glad you liked it (and I’m sorry I took so long to respond to this.)

        Interesting suggestions! Thank you very much for making them.

  4. Kenadee Beck says

    I’m a pretty picky reader. I enjoy basically every book I read, but rarely ever do I find a book I love. This series is one of them! It was really hard for me to read the first one, as it was very complex for my high school mind, but as I read it the second time, I understood everything and was sucked in. I haven’t stopped reading it. I just got the Discord of Gods, and I am so excited. Thank you for writing my favorite book series!! Everyone I know knows a little about these books because it’s become a part of who I am and I get so excited to share it whenever someone will listen. I’m taking a few English classes and I’m doing Ruin of Kings for all of the projects because it just captures my heart. There are so many characters and sides and depth to each person that I have no choice but to love them all. I love these books and I’m so grateful that you wrote and finished them!! Great job!

  5. Kyle says

    I have so appreciated the way you wrote queer characters and stories in such a unique way. I have only read The Ruin of Kings (but I have two copies… and I own hardcovers of every book in the series… oh, and Audible versions as well), but I seriously loved the escape and validation of my queer identities in your first book so much that I went all-in. I personally loved the body swapping and shapeshifting un the first book so much because it spoke to my secret wish that I could do the same! (Hoping there’s more of that in the books to come) You write about the desire to escape and revise one’s identity so well. In a world where I’ve always felt misaligned with my physical identity, it has been so refreshing to read books that maturely and fantastically tackle the subject.

    I hope you jump on Substack someday for a more frequent newsletter—I’d read anything you write, and I would love to hear your musings on identity (or whatever!) more often.

    • I’m going to try the substack thing soon, I think. And thank you for writing and letting me know you’ve found my books entertaining. It really means a lot to me.

  6. Amun says

    I want to take this as an opportunity to thank you for one of the most outstanding book series of my life. I loved Discord of Gods so much, all characters from the books are so well written I feel like they are old friends. I really feel your books deserve the same attention as LOTR or HP, and I can’t wait to see what other book you might bless us with in the future. I look forward to the new world but I also miss the so well-known world of Quuros Empire and Manol. The ending was so satisfying and epic but still, I wonder what the future holds for Xivan, Sheloran, Tyentso and Grizzst and many others. Thank you for giving us this brilliant series!

    • It’s been my sincerest pleasure. And yes, I do hope to one day share more from this world. I’ve worked on it for most of my life. I very much doubt I can let it go forever now.

      • Amun says

        I’m glad! I would love to see more of this wonderful world one day. 35 years of work are astonishing, you painted this world in so vivid colours it feels real. If this is an appropriate place to ask, there is one question that keeps nagging me after finishing the series. Maybe it was explained in the series and I missed it, but I was wondering if you could share the reason why Taja, Tya, Caless, and other powerful female characters didn’t try to at least slightly change the position of women in the Quuros society. The only person who somehow created an equal environment around herself was ironically Thaena. Were others just busy with more pressing matters and didn’t have time to do this change? I felt like especially Caless had a reason since she had Sheloran and she obviously very cared for her in terms of education etc. If there is a different place to discuss the books I apologize 🙂

      • No, it’s fine! (it’s just a bit spoilery)

        This is a complicated issue, and not very flattering to the women involved honestly. Without getting into any of the events of the books themselves, I’ll just underline that at the start of the Ruin of Kings, all the gods were at least *pretending* to be following the Celestial Concords, which was the bargain struck between the Zaibur God-Kings and the Eight Immortals to play nice with each other in exchange for both parties keeping their hands off humans and promising to never directly interfere with mortal business again. Think of it as a divine version of the Prime Directive.

        That cuts a lot of wind out of one’s sails, since virtually every person you named was bound by the Concord. Any disregarding of the Concords had to be done very low-key, and the Eight Immortals, in particular, had agreed not to do anything that would jeopardize the political stability of the empire (which they thought they needed).

        By the second book (spoiler!) the Concord is officially out the window, and from that point on it’s open season.

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