As the shrewd super-sleuths among you may have deduced, this Thursday (September 17th) we have an announcement coming up!
Today, I come to you with an announcement for that announcement. This sentence is me announcing my announcement of that announcement.
Be good, or next time I'll announce my announcing of the announcement for an announcement, and frankly that will hurt me even more than it hurts you.
Our countdown to this announcement has been interpreted by some as being a countdown to the release of the book, which I assure you is not the case.
We would never surprise you with a book without warning you first, because that wouldn't be sporting. It's like shooting your dueling opponent before the ten-second countdown is finished.
Oh sorry, I meant to say "It's like that time I shot that guy in that duel before the countdown was finished."
Here is a measure of the full wisdom you will receive on Thursday:
1.) A final release date for Wintersteel. (Includes dates for the ebook, audio, paperback, and aerosol inhalant editions.)
2.) Pre-order date. (Our pre-orders are short, don't worry. None of them have ever been longer than it takes Sagittarius to orbit the third moon cluster.)
3.) A small preview of the book. (A teeny-tiny taste. Just a lick. We will wave the book in your direction and let you smell a whiff of its freshly printed pages.)
4.) The cover (Oh wait, we already did this. What do we do? Quick, think of something...) I mean my ukelele covers of classic Dave Matthews hits.
After that, as part of the Wintersteel release process, I will be revealing some behind-the-scenes content from every Cradle book so far (except Uncrowned, for [REDACTED] reasons).
This includes deleted scenes, notes, scrapped content, and photographs of old comrades that we had to shove into bottomless pits because they were slowing us down.
Some books have more than others, but you know what book had a lot? Blackflame.
Quite frankly, it was hard to sort through all the chapters upon chapters that I cut from Blackflame in order to settle on just one excerpt. I tried to print out all the extra content, and after the first six days of printing, I had to climb over a mountain of paper with emergency ink supplies strapped to my back in order to continue.
I kid, of course. That's an exaggeration. It actually took seven days before the state of Florida officially recognized it as a mountain.
Just to give you an example of what I'm talking about, here are some behind-the-scenes facts about Cradle that you may not have known:
--Orthos' original name was Oerthon. I changed it because then every single major character's name would end in an N. Lindon, Yerin, Eithan, Oerthon, and Melusine. Which isn't an N, but it's an N-sound.
--Oh, you don't know Melusine? Yeah, because that was originally planned to be the name that Little Blue took for herself later on.
I would have changed it up, of course--spelled it differently, most likely--because Melusine is a mythological fairy of fresh water.
--In the earliest drafts of the story that I would eventually draw on to make Cradle, one of Melusine's powers was to turn into a spear. You want to know why I had to scrap that one, huh? You want to know?
Because a certain WAY MORE FAMOUS fantasy author wrote a VERY FAMOUS series in which the main character has a fairy companion who can turn into a spear.
Thanks so much, MYSTERY MAN.
--On the topic of things I had to scrap because famous people did them first, I had come up with some names for future books in the Cradle series that I eventually had to give up on.
This was all the way back in 2015, mind you. Keep that in mind.
The book in which Lindon returned to Sacred Valley was originally going to be called Homecoming, and the final book in the series was to be called Endgame.
On the day Marvel announced the name for Avengers IV, I put my forehead down on a desk and gave a heavy sigh.
Back when I had a forehead.
This book has been out forever at this point.
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