Song of the Mysteries Status Updates

I have been reviewing the notes and the scraps of jotted scenes and putting them into chronological order/setting up the time line spread sheet and generally ordering the layout of the scenes.

This involves the tricky bit of starting to ORDER the play of the suspense, and it requires NO backsteps in time, which demands a lot of logistical work and what goes before what kind of decisions. The main structure of the book - I know where it is going - it's the actual laying the pieces into place, like masonry - the bricks have to go in the right order.

Officially, I began the first page of the draft. Tinkering with the opening scenes.

Note: this office is also being cleared for a DRASTICALLY needed renovation, and my whole universe is in here, so the dismantling, re-do, and rebuild will be happening around my work day craziness. Don and I have talked about this for years, (Lord knows, we ought have done it at the same time we built the studio, but - priorities prevailed and my work space was in such heavy use, finishing Empire, the window was lost) I'm happy we are getting to it at Last, and it will have to be finished off Quickly as Possible due to the upheaval factor - I can't put my life on hold. Read: I have the jitters. And the cats will be furious at having all their sleeping nooks moved.

The website is also slated for an overhaul.

So here we go/but bear with the construction.

1 Like

originally posted by Clansman

Allow me to be the first to post in this, the ultimate status thread for the Wars of Light and Shadow.

Janny, it's been a wonderful journey so far, and thanks for sharing your stories with us. I look forward to seeing where it ends up! Though, it won't really end, will it?

The Road Goes Ever On, after all.


originally posted by Auna

Wow, a lot going on there. Just take it one day at a time. And maybe practice breathing exercises to manage all the stress. Perhaps some catnip to appease the irate felines is also in order!

A friend of mine inspired me to write after I helped him edit his first book and I've come to appreciate just how crazy it can be to construct a standalone novel. I feel like I'm the story board editor, scriptwriter, camera director, editor, and producer dealing with recalcitrant actors all in one. I don't even want to think about writing something as intertwined as this series is. But that is what makes it super special.

So excited to see this threat starting after looking at its locked up status for so long. Woot!

I desperately want to read the end but it won't really be the end unless the entire world gets destroyed because the survivors will continue on with their own stories to tell. The real question is will I hurl my Kindle across the room or melt into a weepy/sappy puddle of goo! Or maybe a bit of both… hmm…

originally posted by Melanie Trumbull

It is inspiring to read that the work with Athera continues regardless of Hurricane Irma. Somebody must be watching out for our Talespinner.

originally posted by Annette

After all the excitement of Destiny's Conflict, any chance of an update Janny?

Today: having just completed a cross check (and having received word from my most trusted test reader) that my memory was exact, (it was) regarding the mentions of Davien's black and silver mantle/cloak - where and when it changed hands in the direct text, and where I left the last clue to its whereabouts - I am proceeding to connect the dots and open a scene where I NEED TO KNOW precisely where each and every character and faction is/what they are now doing/how they have spent the interval between the closing scenes of Destiny's Conflict and precisely where they are and what they are doing (all of them) since the OPENING scenes (several) of Song of the Mysteries, which are written/still being adjusted for careful progression and characterization so the reader will see stuff they haven't, before.

And about which I can say :X at the risk of spoiling not one, but two books.

I am also listening to narrators; and starting to write character descriptions/story overviews/listening to narrators/setting up to record pronunciation guides - since there's to be an audio edition of Destiny's Conflict, and so far, only that book - so SOMEHOW I have to create material for the narrator so that they won't be at a loss about what they'll be dramatizing.

And lastly: I need to winnow through reviews and find the BEST ONES that give overviews of the entire series (without spoilers) to assist the sales dept. to know what they are selling.

If anybody has a favorite review that encapsulates what this story IS, and wants to drop me a link, that would be just fantastic and helpful. Getting the marketing correctly targeted can make a very big difference.

originally posted by Annette

Thanks Janny for the update. Now you know, I hoping for a book as big as Peril's Gate. :smiley:

They are sure they are doing an audio book this time? I remember for Initiate's Trial at first it looked like we might get one, if you look on the back of the hardback and trade paperback, audio book is shown, along with the ebook, yet nothing ever came of it.

You'll be wondering where I am, surely.

I've got the opening scenes pretty well nailed down; refining them for subtle points and particularly characterization.

I've had to break off the next scene and put it into its own sub-chapter due to more involved details on page, and decisions, more decisions, more decisions, concerning STUFF set in place in former volumes - do I pick them up here, or later, or ?

The choices here are impacting the subchapter AND the opening of the main chapter following - timing, timing again/due to NOT backtracking over storyline, it means: do I bring in the next plot line AFTER the scene in question; or do I revise EVERYTHING, and place it AHEAD of the scenes written; which would, of course, adjust them all over again.

It's a chinese number puzzle, always, - move this bit and it changes the rest, or do I have to deal with this and this and that bit to keep timeline, before THIS bit can slide into play.

I have been working in combo: some drafting on the computer, more tinkering on a print out to buffer the interruptions (Phone duty, Don's at Illuxcon, and my elderly mom returns from her summer digs this weekend).

Like Destiny's conflict, the pieces have to dovetail without any slop in the weave; unlike the past volume, though, this one is predominantly action, given the material that staged the mysteries is set in place.

The audio book for Destiny's Conflict (no other title in play at the moment): seems solid. They are expecting me to record a pronunciation file and produce material to orient the narrator; I've sent in casting suggestions/(after listening and listening with an ear for whose voice would best suit) and word back was, the production timeline was for a Feb release. We'll see…I will keep you all informed as things move ahead.

originally posted by Annette

Thanks for the update Janny. I was expecting you to be busy plotting away over there, brewing up a storm to blow us away.

Nice to see we will be actually getting the audio book this time, I was disappointed the Initiate's Trial audio book never appeared.

Main chapter one and the first subchapter went for test; they are solid, after what felt like a ghastly amount of necessary tinkering. (I hate getting big, big (hell, even small) books underway - first chapters are always ugly business.

Today's drafting into the subchapter that will close the chapter set brings the draft page count to fifty.

Before you wail - it's been a huge year…turn in for Destiny's Conflict meant ALL of the production followed; cover art, interior art, copy edit, page proofs - immensely time consuming. AND I squeezed in three short stories. And FOUR conventions (which required making and framing up paintings to SELL, (bottom line damage control, cost of living is nuts, again, with the 'hike' caused by Harvey's gas prices blip), and packing and shipping of multiple crates - not so 'easy peasy' as it sounds). A trip to NYC to do biz/meet my Harper 360 team. Top to bottom renovation of the writing office (long, long overdue), a major hurricane (we got walloped/had a construction crew here for a week long mess of repairs) and stringing cable and new phone lines for the switch over to fiber optic. And my Mom is now 93…AND - a whole week or more doing the PREP for the NARRATOR of the AUDIO for Destiny's Conflict - who is - whey hey!!!- started the recording production YESTERDAY. Note there is a PRE ORDER LINK UP! at Amazon USA's audible site NOW…I have happy hopes there will be enough support to entice HC to start up the whole series…fingers crossed hard! for that.

Looking into next year, the schedule looks tame, once we survive holidays and tax return time.

So set your counter at 50, that feels like Everast, from my vantage, last June. The best bit may be - MAY BE - there could be a preview out of this bit, written today…it does not spoil Destiny's Conflict OR do much more than open a wee bit of the answer to a dangling question that dropped in the opening of Arc IV.

So maybe a holiday zing may drop for your patience after all this time.

originally posted by Gill

Never bought an audio book before but you have wet my appetite for buying the series - that is if it is produced. Are they just normal DVDs or would a special device be needed to listen to them?

originally posted by Annette

Thanks for the update Janny, some WoLaS flavoured holiday zing would be something to look forward to.

originally posted by Auna

I love the idea of holiday zing!

I always play the audio books on my computer with the Windows player since it's a digital file that you could download to any playing device.

First chapter set is fully drafted; page count is 58. I expect a little tweaking, then it's out for test.

Onward to II main.

originally posted by Auna

WOOT!! Well done and keep the pace!

originally posted by Xepheus Shazar

Congrats Janny on doing all you are doing! What an amazing Christmas/holiday gift to we, your readers. I must confess I hate waiting for the next book, but this time I am ambivalent because it means the end of the series. Thank you and Merry Christmas and a brilliant 2018 from us to you! I can't wait for the preview! I am so looking forward to the next book and I am definitely looking forward to the next series!

P.S. Remember to take a decent relax time out for yourself over the festive season! Again - Merry Christmas!!

I have the draft for II main, touching up detail stage.

And The Gallant/novella draft (Athera, Verrain's backstory) is complete/touching up detail and debating a suitable home for it.

originally posted by Mustela

Coming to terms with the fact there is only one book left and the series ends wasn't easy for me (and most probably others too). It's not the next book we wait for, but the last book. While I don't want this long ride to end, I also know the end was there since the beginning. Part of me is eager to read it, another part is quite fine with waiting. Although checking here from time to time and seeing there is progress is essential for this mindset. So, thanks for keeping us updated.
On a side note, knowing it's way premature: are you planning something celebratory when the draft is finished?

As for the novella. Is there a chance that The Gallant might find its way to the Web Store here? Reasons for it: a, that's probably the fastest way we can get our hands on it (all nice things said on waiting forgotten by now, this one is almost finished!), b, all the money we pay for it goes to you. But probably for the sake of publicity, and also for roping in new readers an anthology must be better.

Also a question of pure curiosity: is the standalone maritime fantasy novel, mentioned in the Cycle of Fire discussion still the next on schedule after Song of the Mysteries?

Mustela - I have no idea how I will celebrate when the series' last volume turns in. May turn on whether I have a bank account past the red. :0

The Gallant will make the webstore, just not sure when. The home I am looking at for it is more or less part of an outreach 'bundle' to bring in new readership.

Yes, the maritime fantasy is high on the list - mostly because it is well started! I also have another fragmentary back story that has been in the works for years. It related to a story point brought up in Destiny's Conflict, but I'd only mess with it when idling over ideas for the bigger work. I have another unrelated story deadline I must do before May, that comes first.

And I've got the start of the next subchapter to work on today, got the firm direction on it this morning. (It's not that I don't know WHAT has to happen - its choosing which viewpoint, how to intro that and then how to best play the suspense - not to mention, what order to show it in.) So lots and lots of decisions, particularly in the earliest chapters along. They always take the most thought.

One of the hurdles to getting these books up to speed from ch I - I have CONSTANTLY pause to figure out what characters WERE DOING with each passing month/season. What were they doing between last volume and THIS MOMENT…how have OTHER EVENTS ongoing impacted them - and that leads to, what were OTHER FACTIONS doing between last volume and this scene, projected - so so so many questions have to be worked out in depth to JUST OPEN ONE SCENE.

I may know where all the major players are/what they are doing, but for the other characters playing into their time stream, or joining their activities - I have to know all the things.

Or it gets messy really really quick! The re-writes or risk of pitching out wholesale is vastly reduced if I have all the bits in place at the get go.

What gets distilled down into an opening scene for a new chapter is the tip of the creative iceberg. Augh.

I will be happy to be writing that simpler nautical fantasy after this grand finale is done!

But ah, what you have in store…rubs hands together.