Last Saturday night, I was privileged enough to have dinner in Seattle with this bunch...
From left to right, here we go: Terry Brooks, Greg Bear, Peter Orullian, Some Guy, Robin Hobb (Megan Lindholm?), Steven Erikson, and Brent Weeks.
This picture was taken about five seconds before I prostrated myself on the floor like a supplicant before the pharaohs of old.
For those of you who missed the backstory of this trip, I won a Worldbuilders charity auction a few months back. The proceeds of the auction went to fund Heifer International, so for the low, low price of "some money," I got to support a great cause and spend six hours with a bunch of the best authors writing today.
Totally worth it.
In the picture above, we're standing in the lobby of the EMP Museum in Seattle, about to head in to their section on the history of the fantasy genre. It was a surreal experience, standing in front of a Terry Brooks exhibit, talking to Terry Brooks, while above his head played a video interview with Terry Brooks.
I believe the appropriate term is "Brookception."
After the museum tour, we all went out to eat (on Peter Orullian's dime, I'll point out). The food was excellent, but honestly that's not why I was there. We could have eaten at Burger King and I would have enjoyed myself just as much.
The high point of the evening, to me, was the dinner conversation. Not only did they let me pick their brains on writing, marketing, and whatever else I wondered about, they were just...cool. You know, when I'm reading another masterpiece from Robin Hobb or Brent Weeks, I don't picture actual people, but rather towering titans of imagination and skill.
They're that as well, of course, but imagine my surprise when we spoke casually, like a bunch of regular human beings.
Steven Erikson told a story about wandering through a jungle for three days after escaping confinement, and that was somehow the least surprising story anyone told all evening. That's how I pictured Steve: like he stars in his own version of Indiana Jones.
After dinner, they each gave me a signed copy of one of their books. I spent the trip back to Florida with plenty to read.
My thanks to everyone on the trip, but especially to Peter Orullian, who organized the whole thing. I can only imagine the time and effort he contributed to putting it all together, and he did an amazing job.
All in all, if they ever do anything like this next year, I highly recommend you place a bid. It was more than worth the price.
But you should know that you'll be bidding against me.
I always need some time off when I finish a book, but now I'm back and ready to get back to work!
First on the agenda: some quality of life improvements to House of Blades. The first half of that book is pretty rough, so I'm going to add in some scenes, fix up some others, in generally edit the story to bring it up to the level of Crimson Vault and City of Light.
That should be complete in the next week or two. I should have the City of Light paperback and House of Blades audiobook online shortly after that.
In the meantime, I'll be starting on the next story!
I'm really excited about that: making the stories is the fun part for me. Bringing ideas together, coming up with names, making it all work. I've been enjoying it so much that I've started, like, three different stories while on vacation.
So where will I end up? I don't know. But we'll get there by this fall, I can tell you that!
Several things to cover today, but first: if you'd like to discuss heavily spoiler-related topics about City of Light, do so in these comments!
Honestly, if you're trying to avoid CoL spoilers, you should probably not be messing around in the comments sections of any recent blog posts. But I thought I'd give you a place to speak freely, anyway.
Second, an update on my status--I'm in Santander, Spain! And also sick in bed!
It turns out that pushing myself to release a book, and then immediately leaving for a convention in Boston, and then turning right around and flying to Spain...well, it wasn't the healthiest idea. The morning of my flight to Spain I woke up with a high fever. I choked down medicine and went anyway, because the tickets were non-refundable, but I've been bedridden and recovering for about 24 hours.
This is one of the reasons I haven't been responding to comments since CoL was released. Reason #1: I needed a break. Reason #2: I've been both incredibly busy and sick.
That's the bad news. The good news is that City of Light has already sold about 4,500 copies! It's selling hundreds of copies a day and staying pretty steady in the Amazon Top 200 Best-Sellers, which is mind-blowing. It even cracked the Top 100 for a while, rising as high as #86 on the Amazon Best-Seller Charts, and I can barely believe that. If you had told me last year that I'd be on the Amazon Top 100, I'd have said something like, "No, not in the next year. God willing, maybe in the next ten years."
But you guys came through. You're all my favorite. Personally and individually.
So anyway, the total novel sales have risen to roughly 76,000. I'm hoping to crack 100K by June 2nd, because then I could say I sold a hundred thousand books in my first year, which would just be fantastic. I don't think I'd be able to tell that to anyone without cackling like a mad emperor.
Anyway, I'll be putting up some more posts pretty soon regarding the future of the Traveler's Gate universe, my summer plans, the new series I'll be starting this fall, etc. Once I recover, hopefully.
In the meantime, discuss City of Light in free, spoiler-full terms!
Hello, ladies and gentlemen! I come before you this afternoon to address the most common question I am asked every day:
"When, sir, will you release City of Light unto us?" (It's usually phrased exactly like that)
The short answer is I don't know.
The useful answer is "PROBABLY between March 30th and April 10th," because on April 10th I'll be leaving for PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts.
And now that I've gotten those more helpful responses out of the way, hit the jump for a longer answer:
This Sunday, at 12PM Eastern (or 9AM Pacific, for the heathens), I'll be a guest on the Plucky and Woo-Woo radio show!
Their show airs on the Public Service Network, and they like to interview "plucky" people with cool success stories. They also apparently enjoy talking about sci-fi and fantasy novels, so I might have something to say after all.
The show begins at 12PM (my time), and they tell me I should be on the air by 12:20.
I don't know what we'll be talking about. They told me to say something about my books, and then just "join the conversation." So we'll likely end up talking about some random stuff. Feel free to stop by, listen to my words of dubious wisdom, and depart enlightened.
Here's a link! You may notice that the radio station starts playing as soon as you visit the page, so all you have to do is follow this link on Sunday at noon (again, Eastern Time) and turn on your ears.
So you guys have heard of the Worldbuilders charity drive, right? If you haven't, check it out over at Pat Rothfuss's blog.
Anyway, they did this Worldbuilders auction over on eBay, where people could bid for a dinner with Peter Orullian, Brent Weeks, Robin Hobb, Greg Bear, and (maybe) Steven Erickson.
So not only does the money go to a good cause, Heifer International, but now I get to fly to Seattle and get to meet some of my epic fantasy idols over dinner!
Assuming I don't have a heart attack from sheer nerves first.
Not much to say this week.
Sales are still going strong; we'll crack 35,000 in a couple of days. I'm hard at work on The Traveler's Gate Chronicles and the pre-work on City of Light. I expect to have the first draft of CoL before the end of the year.
The release date of the Chronicles almost entirely depends on whether Amazon will let me do it as a Serial. Also, how long the Serial takes to initially release...and if I can't do it as a Kindle Serial, I'll have to come up with another delivery mechanism.
In other news, I was recently killed and replaced by a sentient alligator who wears my skin like a rain jacket. Florida, am I right?
It's been a pretty chill week. I'm mostly just truck truck trucking along.
How's your week going?
An interview with me just went live over here, so apparently it went up at the same time as Crimson Vault.
This was not planned, but it worked out.
Check out the article for some largely fabricated answers and the worst picture of me in all existence!
Here's the story behind the picture: I had a horrible cold, but I couldn't find a picture of me that fit the magazine's requirements for the story. So I had to take a picture with my iPhone, even though my face is all red and puffy.
I swear I don't normally look like that.
...normally it's even worse.
Speaking of which, Crimson Vault has somehow sold almost a hundred copies. How did you do that, guys? How? Amazon still says it's not published.
So, apparently I'm the Fantasy Writer of the Day over on r/fantasy. I guess somebody signed me up a few weeks ago, and now I'm supposed to do an AMA today.
If you guys wanted to hop on over to Reddit and ask me questions, the link is here. I realize that you can and do ask me anything in the comments section of this blog, but if you wanted to drop on by and leave me a question or two, why, that would be stupendous.
If you're Reddit-ignorant, that's okay! A reddit.com account is free. Make one. Then go to this link and ask me questions. AMA stands for Ask Me Anything, so that's what you get to do.
Yeah, you thought I was going to say "That's okay! Ask me questions here instead of on Reddit!"
But no. Take that, expectations.
Hey, I'm back!
Also, while I was gone, we crossed the 8,000 sales threshold! Woo-hoo! At this rate, we'll hit 9,001 copies sold in less than a week, and then I can make an OVER NINE THOUSAND joke. My sickly heart craves outdated memes.
At this point, I estimate that I'm about 1/3 of the way done with The Crimson Vault, and I'm still working like a fiend trying to get it out for August 10th. I really want that to happen, because August 11th is my birthday, and then I can spend my birthday doing everyone's favorite post-book-launch birthday activity: sleeping. And, ideally, playing Cube World. Simultaneously.
Now that I have returned to the civilized world of Wi-Fi and 4G phone service, I will be investing my precious writing time into responding to your comments and emails. Look forward to my correspondence, friends and allies!
As always, thanks for your support! I channel your positive energy and feast upon it, swelling my writerly powers. Soon I will shed my mortal shell like a chrysalis, and ascend to a higher plane of existence.
No? Too weird? All right, I'll take it down a notch.
Here's a similar question to last week's: what was the most recent movie you've seen that was surprisingly good? I liked the Lone Ranger reboot (not counting the Tonto/Little Kid frame story, which needed to be edited out), which surprised me, because I expected it to suck.
Anyway, how about you?
"Bracing her foot on the body, Mercy pulled her arrow free."
A generous helping.
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