Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I've officially hit 300k words on A Memory of Light.  This is an important milestone, and it's probably time to pause and answer a few questions as frankly as I can.

Q1: Does it really feel like 300k is 75% of the book?

No.  Not at all.  I've said from the beginning that I'd write the book as long as it needed to be to tell the story the right way.  My progress bar has always been set at 400k words, which is roughly the length of the longest Wheel of Time books.  Very early in the process, I had thought that maybe I could bring it in at that length, but I realized the truth very quickly.  There's just too much going on in this novel to constrict it to any artificial length.  It will be as long as it needs to be.

How long will that be?  I still can't tell for certain.  For a while (since July)  I've been saying 600-700k.  That still feels right to me.  The point I've reached right now does feel vaguely halfway, perhaps just a tad less.  It's hard to tell because I've never done a book like this before.  I also don't know how much we'll be adding or editing out in revision even after I get the rough draft done.

Q2:  Will it be split into two books?

As I've always said, this isn't my call.  Harriet and Tom will decide this.  My gut instinct says yes, but I don't know how that process will proceed.  I think that the best thing I can do for the Wheel of Time readers is FINISH the book, no matter how long, with as much speed as I can manage while still maintaining the highest of quality.  That way, even if the novel gets split, readers can be reassured by the fact that the book IS done and that it is not going to continue on endlessly.

One of my biggest fears is that readers will assume I'm artificially inflating the length of the book in order to keep the Wheel of Time going and bring in more cash.  I promise you in all sincerity that this is NOT the case.  I'm writing a single book, following the outline where I can, filling in holes where I must.  We are not going to keep you juggling forever.  I will finish this book as quickly as I can, so that even if the first half is released on its own, you can know that the second half is done and coming soon. 

Remember.  Robert Jordan DID write the ending himself.  I just have to get us there.

Q3: Is writing on this book easier or harder than you expected?

I honestly didn't know what to expect, so I have trouble answering this question, though many people ask it of me at signings.  Let me tell you this: Writing this book is difficult.  It's the good kind of difficult, the kind that makes you stretch and improve in leaps and bounds, but it is TOUGH.  Keeping track of all of the side character and sub-plots is a real challenge, and trying to stay true to the soul of the Wheel of Time while adapting my own style to something appropriate for this book has been even more of one. 

I'm loving working on it.  There are many who think it might be easier to write this book than one of my own (since there is an outline and the worldbuilding is done.)  However, I think that it's much, much more difficult.  When it comes time to use a side character, I can't simply make up their personality and fit them into the plot--I have to research how they've thought, talked, and acted in the past, then incorporate that.  I have to be careful what I add as I can't contradict the plotting from books past.  And beyond that, there is a huge level of expectation and hope resting upon this novel.  My own, that of Harriet, and that of all of you readers who have been waiting for almost twenty years to read. 

This all makes the book tough to write.  But, as I said, it's the good kind of tough.  I started writing fantasy in the first place because I think it's one of the most challenging genres to write in, and the prospect of working on this book still excites me.

Q4: So...release date?

Sorry, but I really have no firm idea on this.  I'm still hoping to get to 400k by December 31st.  (Watch the website and see if I make it--it's going to be very close.  I could make it still, but it will take some hard core writing through December.)  At that point, I think it will be time to fly out and see Harriet again to go over the outline for the remaining portion of the book.  (What we talked about during my last visit in April will bring us right up to about the point where I'll be ending in December.)  At that point, we'll decide whether to press forward with the rough draft until the book is done or do some heaving revising on the first 400k to stabilize it before moving on.  We'll have to talk this through, as I can't really decide which would be better.  I'm of two minds on it. 

If I press forward, I could have the book finished by March or April.  If we revise, it will probably be until June or July.  But even that is probably an optimistic guess, since I have no idea how much time the book will need to spend in revision.

I keep saying that I'd like to have the book out by November next year, and that's not outside reason.  But we'll have to see.  The last thing we want to do is release a book that feels rushed and thrown together.  One thing I do know is that Tor is poised to get it through production at record speeds once we turn it in. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mistborn 2 Poster Results

With the insanity of my tour, the poster contest happened a lot later than I had planned.  But we finally got around to doing the drawing!  Sorry to take so long.

We had nearly 200 people share Mistborn with their friends (or read it for the first time themselves.)  This was a very successful experiment, and I hope to do more things like this in the future.  A big, hearty thanks to all of you for your enthusiasm and support of my books. 

Anyway, we here is a picture of Pemberly doing the 'drawing' last night for the six posters.   (Being nerds, we actually rolled some dice to choose the names--but don't worry, we had a good process to make sure it was properly randomized.  Yes, that is a D20, but we were using it as a D10, since we didn't have one of those.)


The winners of the six posters should have gotten an email from Pemberly asking if they want the poster personalized/signed or not.  We'll be sending them out here soon.  The names of the winners were:

Alexandra I.
Wess H.
Ann K.
Chelsea W.
Gordon D.
John (no last name given, but we have your email.)

I also felt I should include some things for those of you who aren't interested in the posters.  So, a short list of links for you:

First, two new Mistborn Two Annotations:  Part For Wrap Up and Chapter Forty-nine.
Second, a link to a little audio interview I did while on tour.

Remember, I'll be signing this Saturday in Provo!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holiday Book Signings

I promised that, following the main tour, I'd do another round of local signings for those in the Idaho and Utah area.  My lovely business manager (aka Pemberly) has been busily setting these up, and the first one is this weekend.  A full schedule follows.  Also, please remember my appearance at Dragon's Keep tonight to talk about writing and breaking into publishing 

Saturday, November 22nd: Provo
1:00-3:00 PM
The Shops at Riverwoods
4801 North University Avenue
Provo, UT 84604

Tuesday, November 25th: Idaho Falls 
6:30-8:30 PM
Barnes & Noble
Grand Teton Mall
2300 East 17th Street Suite #1101
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
(Note:  This is one of two signings in IF this week.  I ended up doing two because of a request by the bookstore for me to appear at two of their different events.)

Saturday, November 29th: Idaho Fallls
2:00-4:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
Grand Teton Mall
2300 East 17th Street Suite #1101
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
(Note:  This is one of two signings in IF.  I ended up doing two because of a request by the bookstore for me to appear at two of their different events.)

Tuesday, December 2nd: Logan, UT
5:00-7:00 PM
1050 North Main St.
Logan, UT 84321

Wednesday, December 3rd: Salt Lake City (University of Utah)
5:00-8:00 PM
University of Utah Bookstore
270 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Saturday, December 6th: Provo, UT
2:00-4:00 PM
1200 Town Centre Blvd
Provo, UT 84601                        

Saturday, December 13th: Salt Lake City (Murray)
1:00-3:00 PM
132 E. Winchester
Murray, UT 84107

Saturday, December 20th: Orem, UT
4:00-6:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
University Crossings Plaza
330 East 1300 South
Orem, UT 84058

Monday, November 17, 2008

NaNoWriMo Discussion

If you live in the Utah Area, you may be interested in hearing me come speak at Dragon's Keep tomorrow.  I'll be there at six talking to the local NaNo group about writing.  (NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  Check out their website for more info.)  Anyway, my presentation is open to the public, and Dragon's Keep is a great place, so come stop by and listen in, ask me questions about writing, that sort of thing.  It will be kind of like a mini lecture from one of my presentations at BYU with a large portion of time for a Q&A.

Dragon's Keep can be found at:
260 N University Ave
Provo, UT 84601
(801) 373-3482

I'll be there from 6-7:30 or so.

Anyway, yes, I'm back from tour!  Getting back into the groove of things now and throwing myself into A Memory of Light full time again.  Expect that progress bar to start shooting up.  My goal is to go double time and do 4% a week.  That'll get me VERY close to hitting my goal of 400k by December. 

Some little notes to add on:

Mistborn: The Hero of Ages is on Audible.  Read by the same person who does Wheel of Time, I am told.

There is a nice review from a librarian (who gets the joke) about Alcatraz Book Two.  (Out right now!)

Pixelfish has some pictures of one of my signings up.  Blurry, but fun.  Others have emailed me pictures; we'll have to see if I'm proactive enough to upload them. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Town So Nice....

Just one more reminder!  I'll be signing tonight in New York City for the first time.  Visiting the publisher today was awesome, and it was also nice to finally be able to stop by Scholastic and meet the folks there. 

Have I mentioned yet that Alcatraz Two is officially out?  I think I may have, but just another reminder.  Time to post some sample chapters!  Enjoy!  (And while these contain some spoilers for Book One, I think you will still enjoy reading them even if you haven't read the first volume.)

Alcatraz Two Prologue
Alcatraz Two Chapter One

Hope to see you New Yorkers tonight!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tour Notes

Just a few little updates.  Sorry the blog has been so infrequently updated lately.  This touring has me exhausted, and any free time I get I need to take to work on AMoL. 

First off, remember that I'm doing my first ever signing in New York City this Friday!  This is a pretty big deal, as it's hard to get a signing in NYC.  There are just too many important people wanting signings there, and it means that if you're a smaller author, you don't have much of a chance.  However, it looks like I'm beginning to get a tad of attention, as my publicist was able to get me a signing.  If you live in the area, please consider dropping by!

Barnes and Noble Greenwich Village
396 Avenue of the Americas
Friday, November 14th 7:30 PM

Also, many of you have asked if I'd gotten a response from Harriet on the pages I turned in.  I have, but it's not that exciting to hear about.  You see, I wanted to remained focused on finishing the book, and I know that if I start getting revision notes, it will draw my focus back to the parts I've already written.  I can't afford that distraction unless the parts I've written are so terrible that we need to rethink how I'm approaching this book.  So, I have asked to not get any revision notes until I've at least hit the 400k mark.  All I wanted to know was "Should I keep going, or are their big troubles?"  The response was an enthusiastic keep going. 

This book is going to take a LOT of revision.  I know ahead of time that there are going to be big swaths that will need to be rewritten.  But as long as what I'm turning in is pleasing enough to be workable, it's important to keep moving forward.  I'm like that in writing; I like to have a rough draft to work on, rather than turning my attention back to previous sections before finishing.  I need to keep momentum up.  So, honestly, you know as much as I do at this point.  She's pleased, but undoubtedly has large revision requests.

One note for those of you who are interested in getting a copy of the issue of Asimov's SF Magazine in which I had a novella.  It was in and out of stores before I realized it was there.  (I didn't realize how quickly ahead of their 'on sale' month magazines often leave newsstands.)  Fortunately, my friends at the Seattle University Bookstore rescued a few copies for me and had me sign them.  If you want to get a signed copy, call the University Bookstore and ask for the Children's Desk.  (It's the main help desk on the floor that also has SF.)  Ask them for one of the signed copies of the October/November issue of Asimov's.  If they're confused, then ask for Duane if he's there.  But they should know what you're talking about. 

University Books, Seattle, WA

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Revised Third Place Books address

I just heard that we (both me and Tor) had the wrong address on our files for Third Place Books, where I'm signing on Friday.  The correct address is:

Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA  98155
Phone : 206-366-3316 

The wrong address we had was for a different Third Place Books, and it's only a short distance away.  So if people end up at the wrong one, the staff will know to send them on to the right one.  Sorry about the mix-up! 

And, also, in other news I wanted to mention that though we dropped off the NYT list this week, we did manage to remain on last week at #30.  This is a big deal; it's hard to get on the list as an epic fantasy writer, and I managed to get on two weeks in a row.  Sales of HERO OF AGES have been through the roof, and I'm humbled by the attention.  Thank you all so much for reading.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Several Updates

Sorry for the long time between updates!  Touring always leaves me beat.  So this post is probably going to be kind of long as I cover all of the things that need to be posted here.

First off, ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE SCRIVENER'S BONES is now officially out!  It's a tad hard to find, as most bookstores only got one or two copies, but it's out there.  If you are a fan of fast paced, humorous adventure fiction, please consider picking up a copy!  Really, I think you'll find yourself surprised by how much you enjoy the Alcatraz books.  A lot of my epic fantasy readers are hesitant, but there's a lot more going on in these than the covers and/or genre may imply. 

Anyway, if you are thinking of getting a copy, might I suggest contacting the bookstore Mysterious Galaxy?  I know they have plenty of copies, and I believe they have some signed first editions they are selling for cover price.  They're a great store and will be happy to ship you copies of both Alcatraz books.t4_image  (I suggest calling before ordering to make sure you get a signed copy.)

Next, ELANTRIS is finally out on Audiobook!  You can find it at Audible, Amazon, or the publisher's website.  We've been waiting for a long time to get one of my epic fantasy books out on audio, and I know a lot of you have asked about it, so here you go!  (And the cover is pretty cool, I must say.)

Third, I'll be signing in the Seattle area the next three days.  If you live over in that direction, consider stopping by to see me!  We'll have books to sign and I should be doing a reading at several of the signings.  (I know I'll be doing one at the University Bookstore.)  Most of my readings have been from Mistborn: The Hero of Ages, though sometimes I dip into other projects.  (I can't read from AMoL, though--unless it's the first few lines of chapter one, which are always the same...)

And, speaking of AMoL, I've updated the book by another percentage point, and it looks like it's time to look at our comparison chart of lengths again. 

AMOL Relative Length Chart: 11/05/08

Alcatraz/Evil Librarians 60,400
New Spring 121,815
Elantris 202,765
The Final Empire 214,752
The Path of Daggers 226,687
Warbreaker 236,301
Winter's Heart 238,789
Hero of Ages 244,201
The Dragon Reborn 251,392
The Well of Ascension 252,739
The Great Hunt 267,078
Crossroads of Twilight 271,632
---A MEMORY OF LIGHT 272k So Far!---
A Crown of Swords 295,028
The Eye of the World 305,902
Knife of Dreams 315,163
The Fires of Heaven 354,109
Lord of Chaos 389,264
The Shadow Rising 393,823