“So when’s the next book out, Weeks?”
When I was on my book tour a few months ago, I expressed my hope that the next book in The Lightbringer Series might, might be out in a year. (I was careful not to promise: I’ve learned from others’ mistakes!) So now, of course, with fans having patiently waited for five whole months (!) I’m getting more emails asking, “Hey, when can I further fund your lavish lavish lifestyle, O Master Weeks?”* (*actual quotes may bear no relation to reality)
Neil Gaiman might tell you that you haven’t any right to ask. I gave you a good story, o book buyer, so shut up.** (**Not an accurate paraphrase) But as I made the mistake of publicly disagreeing with an SFF icon, it seems to me I should put up or shut up. So here’s the word in brief: No New Lightbringer Book from Weeks in 2013.
For those of you who want to know a bit of the why, continue reading.
You epic fantasy fans may be familiar with Tolkien’s quote that “the story grew in the telling.” So it’s been with The Lightbringer Series. I’d planned for book 3 to be a bit shorter. (By which I mean 600+ pages, about the length of The Way of Shadows and Shadow’s Edge–not short books.) I’m a fairly consistent daily producer of pages, and if I’d made this book as long as I’d planned it to be, it would indeed have been published late this year. But… it’s longer. It’s longer than The Way of Shadows. It’s longer than Shadow’s Edge. It’s now longer than Beyond the Shadows. It will likely be longer than The Black Prism.
The work? It’s going well. I’m really pleased with the progress of this one. Where I was proud of The Blinding Knife because the story flew–high tension to high tension to surprise, with the world expanding and characters deepening all over the place–in this next book I’ve chosen to deepen the resonance while keeping a breakneck pace and not adding any fluff. (Title still to be determined. I’ve been calling it The Blood Mirror just to call it something, but that works better as a title for book 4, and my editor hasn’t liked any alternative titles I’ve proposed yet. Nor, to be honest, have I.)
It’s been my philosophy to write the best books I can, as fast as I can. To be honest, where I am in my career, I could make the most money by cranking out books faster.
But I’m making a living writing–that is my wildest dream, and you fans have given that to me. I have no interest in “cranking out books” to put as much of your money in my pocket as possible. I believe I owe my fans and myself the best stories I have it in me to tell. In this case, that means some more waiting for all of us. I’ve had long talks with my agent and editor about this, and they are both successful enough and wise enough that they’ve told me to get it right, to have fun with it, and to make it the best book it can be.
The writing is going brilliantly. I haven’t been stuck once. (Well, not for more than a day or so.) Yesterday, I finished a scene I think will stick with you, maybe forever. There are loose ends to be tied. There are hints to add about the series resolution. There’s a finale to write. I’m productive, having fun, and writing as well or better than I’ve ever written in my life.
I understand if that isn’t happening fast enough for you. I simply hope that when I give you the final product, it will more than make up for the wait.
You can expect another longish update on or before September 2013.