I've done this before, haven't I? This post where I announce some major change? Well, I think you're going to like this one, because it's to your advantage.
I've let this story get too sprawling. It's taking up too much space in my head (and my schedule). I had all these side novels planned, things that would push out the writing of the main series for who-knows-how-many months and years, so I've had to simplify. Chop, chop.
Anyway, I'm keeping the Terian trilogy that I've added to the schedule, but everything else must go. I don't think too many of you are torn up about this, but in case you are, you're still going to get these stories, I just can't do them as full-length novels. So, for example, I was going to write an Aisling book later this year? It's going to be a short story/novella instead, released as part of a collection - Sanctuary Tales, Volume One. Here's the tentative lineup for Sanctuary Tales, Volume One:
Savages - (You've probably read this one)
A Familiar Face - (You've probably read this one, too)
The Greenest Fields - A Martaina story.
A Princess of Sovar - Erith Frostmoor's tale.
Thieving Ways - Originally a novel starring Aisling, now it's a novella.
Just as an aside, the final three stories in this volume will be at least as long as Savages, if not longer (much longer, in some cases, I suspect).
I'll have more description of these once they're closer to release, but this is about fifth on my lineup at the moment (after Thy Father's Shadow, Girl in the Box 8, and two Southern Watch books). For those of you who have already paid for Savages and A Familiar Face, I'm sorry. The problem I'm running into is that if I published all three stories individually and just let you buy them, they'd still be 99 cents each (or foreign equivalent) because Amazon and the other vendors have that as their minimum price. So I'll probably sell it for $2.99 out of the gate and give you a chance to buy it for the first month at that price. After that I'll put it up to $3.99 or $4.99 depending on how long it ends up being. That will hopefully assuage the pain for those of you who have paid full price for the previous short stories. For purely selfish reasons I'll mention too that if I price anything lower than $2.99 I get paid half as much by Amazon, et al. So I've been meaning to collect these into something bigger for a while so I can take the pitifully small sales I'm getting and at least make something off of them (short stories don't sell that well, maybe 1/4 as well as the main books, but these are some stories that I feel like HAVE to be told).
Anyway, this is good news, and here's why: by cutting down the length of these side stories and pushing them into ancillary volumes rather than novel-length works, I'll be able to write the main novels a little faster. Not THAT fast, because they're still going to be roughly Crusader-sized volumes, but faster. We'll take a break between 5 and 6 for me to push out the second book in the Terian trilogy, but then it's on to Volume 6. I'll do a Sanctuary Tales (Vol. 2) between 6 and 7, and that's it. I've got the third Terian book scheduled somewhere around Volume 8 of the main series, but I'm not sure whether it'll be before or after it. Either way, I've cut a lot of middle stuff down so I can get the main series out a little faster. Not much. As fast as I can, though. No promises on the when, but it'll probably mean I'll have volume eight out at least a year earlier than I otherwise would. And you'll get a little side material, too, to "fill in the corners" as it were, but not too much. I want to keep the focus as much as possible on the main series, though it's really hard for me because I have all these interesting characters I want to play with. And I will, I just have to do it in more controlled bursts, I guess.
Anyway, I hope overall this pleases you all. I would judge by the fact that most people don't read the side stories that it will. Trust me when I say that for dedicated fans, you're going to get a lot out of the side stories. There are going to be revelations in the Aisling one, especially, that will cause enormous ripples in Master: The Sanctuary Series, Volume Five. Yeah, you'll be able to go on without reading it, but I think you'll feel like you might have missed something.
Thoughts? Opinions? Yea? Nay? What do you think?