Greetings from Casa De Constant Crisis, home of me, Deb, and the two Younger Things, as well as several overstimulated dogs and (in their tiny minds, anyway) underappreciated cats.
As some of you have gathered, it has been a very roller-coastery ride this year at our place for a whole number of reasons. We came into it very high because I was finishing the first draft of ‘The Witchwood Crown’, the first volume in ‘The Last King Of Osten Ard’. It felt good to be back in Osten Ard and I think the bones of the novel are strong.
Then, as we were taking our first vacation in a goodly while, doing family things in Italy and England, we got some unexpected (and unwanted) news. Because of complications arising from the merger of American giants Penguin and Random House, ‘The Witchwood Crown’ had been bumped back a year to March 2017.
We know the disappointment many of you felt, because we heard from you. As for Casa Williams-Beale, we were in freak-out mode. When you’re a full-time writing household, a delay like that is also a delay in income. Many of you gave us cheers and loving support whilst we spent two months finessing a self-publishing program. But at the last moment, just before we put everything in motion, my publishers DAW Books (yes, they had been somewhat distracted…) said they wanted to publish the two short Osten Ard novels that came out of the venture themselves, instead of us going the indie route. Which has solved the income problem for now. Huzzah! And again, Huzzah!
SO, where we currently stand, books- and publication-wise, is:
‘The Heart of Regret’ (or possibly ‘The Heart of What Was Lost’) — a short novel (about seventy thousand words) will be published by DAW Books and Hodder & Stoughton sometime before The Witchwood Crown — I hope for Winter, 2016. The title may change (my wife and editors don’t like the original as much as I do) but the book is in rewrite and essentially complete. It takes place in the months after the Storm King’s fall, between the end of ‘To Green Angel Tower’ proper and the Afterword or epilogue or whatever I called it. The main human characters are Duke Isgrimnur, Sludig, and a young knight for hire named Porto, who decades later will become deeply embedded in the events of the new books. We will also meet some Norns up close, and learn a lot more about their culture.
The story follows Isgrimnur as he leads an army against the Storm King’s defeated warriors, who are looting and killing as they fall back to Nakkiga, their mountain home in the far north. Every step of this journey leads to more strategy, more deadly battles, and it ends with the siege of Nakkiga (and more than a few surprises).
The Witchwood Crown (volume one of ‘The Last King of Osten Ard’) — scheduled for Spring, 2017, and I’m rewriting the first draft now. It’s running about a thousand pages in manuscript form, so, a typical long Tad epic fantasy volume! In it we will rejoin many of the characters from MS&T some thirty-plus years later and meet many old friends (and enemies) again, as well as a host of new characters, including the newest generations of castle-folk at the Hayholt. Also, as with ‘Heart of Regret’, we will see a lot more of the Norns and the Sithi and their age-old troubles with each other and with mortals. And of course we will revisit some parts of Osten Ard, but also see others for the first time. And, as many have wondered, we will get some answers about the children of Josua and Vorzheva, the twins that prompted Aditu’s memorable and puzzling prophecy.
The other two volumes of new series will be titled Empire of Grass and The Navigator’s Children. We are waiting for publication dates on these and hope to have them soon, not least because they will map out the next few years’ writing for me.
The second short Osten Ard novel, currently unnamed:
I would guess that the second short novel will come out between The Witchwood Crown and Empire of Grass, but that’s a guess until we work out the schedule with publishers. The story at this stage is one of a number of possibilities, so I think I’ll talk about it next newsletter, or perhaps when actually I’m writing it and it’s jumping like the tree frogs around here whenever we get some rain. All the possibilities are pretty interesting, I have to say.
And finally, lots of you ask about film and television adaptations. Well, things are definitely happening, but they happen slowly. I’ve been waiting to tell you of one happy event, but I can’t break silence yet. Other good things are cooking; wait and see. And don’t forget the Otherland game – it’s on Steam in its early access form:
Thanks for your attention, interest, and purchases of Tad-stuff. We know it’s fierce competition out there for your money and time and we just want to assure you that we’re very deserving. If you hear any clinking or rustling in the background, it’s not money but probably just the dogs going through the garbage. Or it might be the cats trying fiddling with the telephone to order more catnip. That’s the problem with modern phones — you don’t need thumbs to operate them.
Love and madness from our home to yours,
Tad (and Deborah)
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