I just wanted to offer my thanks yet again for this fantastic piece of literature. I'm reading it again for perhaps the sixth time, and whilst I know what is going to happen, I STILL cannot put it down.
CJ - thanks for the truly lovely note - at JUST the right moment - the smile you gave back was very welcome!
What's funny is that TRHC has become something of a introduction to your writing. In a different forum we have been using it to give others a taste for what they can expect if they commit to WoLaS. It's been great to hear the great results.
I don't imagine that when you wrote it, you envisioned this particular application. It's a great book.
Well, actually - that is exactly what I did envision. That this book would allow new readers to try something that didn't involve them in a gigantic series. I set out to write a trademark story, that had all of the good stuff in works I like, but condensed to a tiny geography, a small cast of characters, and a single thrust plot line.
It got away from me...but not by much! The single thrust plot line turned into a braid...the characters came on stage and filled the outline out with terrific force and thrust. It was a blast and a half to write.
That is why it is such a joy to see the result passed along to a happy reader!
I'd have more like this, if the series itself wasn't such a constant challenge - and if I could generate enough excitement to allow the publisher to agree to fit them in.
I've said many times, I never intended at the outset to write the series books end to end. But I had to wrangle for years to fit this little book in. Enjoy writing the simplicity of it, I did, you betcha! That puts a smile on my face, if it works to draw new readers.
I've seen too too many complaints about, that series writers "lose it" and can't bring their big massive works to a sharp, strong conclusion...midstream, readers yowled and howled about this lost faith, that I would follow suit. It made me angry, that they thought I'd get that slackly self indulgent, to foist a huge work out there with no point to it, and no resounding finale.
I did Hell's Chasm to demonstrate, exactly, that I do know where I am going with stuff!!! I look on it as a matured amalgamation of Sorcerer's Legacy and Master of Whitestorm, rolled into one. I do wish those books were still available - as I think the pair of them also could access readers of a different stripe, at a less complex level. Provide different degrees of action based story line and straight up adventure, as an entry point.
Oddly - it's been observed to me by recent readers that the Cycle of Fire was ahead of its time, having a bit of SF in its weave...that today, that sort of "shift" would be taken in stride, where when it came out, it shocked an audience expecting "fantasy" to have "purity" - hah! as if that concept holds water...but I've always yawned at the "village destroyed, young man (now sometimes woman) has to accept destiny and Save the World. If I did anything even close to that theme, I had to bend it cross-eyed and lead it to cracking surprises, somehow!
When my wife and I try to introduce people to your work, we usually start them with Sorcerer's Legacy, as it is less "complex" in the writing style, and doesn't require as much re-reading to fully understand what was just read.
We then follow up with either the Cycle of Fire or To Ride Hell's Chasm. The Cycle because it is a fantastic series, easy to read and shows that you can follow a series out without losing the momentum, and Hell's Chasm because it is more complex to read. Those three well and truly prepare our friends for Wars Which by that time they are usually happy to go and buy.
Izzy - that's a thought, isn't it? I've argued this, that the earlier books provide a more direct entry point, particularly for younger readers.
I really hope those earlier titles will go back to press again!
Agree, agree, agree. I read Sorcerer's Legacy earlier this year for the first time. It took me an afternoon. It was fun, quick, but filled with intrigue. And nothing was solved with ease or deux et machina, which is characteristic of your writing.
John and I have used TRHC on Fanlit.net, and Mark and Greebo and I use it on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Chronicles, as an intro to your writing, because it is more recent and reflects your current style a little better than the earlier stuff, but I wouldn't hand TRHC to a 12 or 13 year-old. Sorcerer's Legacy or Master of Whitestorm I would, and then TRHC. Your current level of literacy might be a barrier to the younger readers, so we need to train 'em up proper first (shallow end, then deep end!)
I like Master of Whitestorm because it feels like a series of short stories, easy to read in nice little chunks.
I'm due for a re-read of Cycle of Fire, as I haven't read it in about 15 years. I always liked the fantasy-SF blend in that story, as it was a great way to explain the basis for fantasy. And you carried it into The Wars of Light and Shadow with even more subtlety and smoothness.
Sometimes, even for more mature readers, a "quick entry" book is a safer bet - show the style of story, get them through one read with satisfaction, then, when they trust the author's ability, throw them into deeper waters....its honestly tough for some people, with busy lives, to slow down enough to wade into new stuff.
I liked having the range of choice, from the nearly "instant gratification" plunges of Legacy and Whitestorm, to the slower build of the later works.
Anyone who attended DragonCon's reading knows - I have other ideas on the burner - but the series is SO consuming to design...and I don't want to spend all day, veging in a desk chair, it's not good for longevity! For awhile there, I did that, just worked single-focus - but - it didn't seem to make a difference, period. The rate of production didn't climb, the ideas didn't germinate any faster....and with the fall off of the US, it got terribly hard to keep on in the face of those long years of paralyzed setback, waiting for rights to revert. I have kept on, you betcha!
But I am riding my horse, rather than watch her loaf, getting old.
Arc IV is going to be JUST as explosive...not random, not rootless, not jinked here or there just to push a new thrill, but, as always, the thrill will spring logically out of the existing, well-set material.
How, after Mistwraith, could I describe the contours of Ships/Warhost, and tell me?? what could I have SAID after that pair, about the content unfolded in Alliance of Light??? The leap from here, to Sword of the Canon - how to describe it without unveiling too much???
Whitestorm is a grand read just because it has so much imaginative variation, stuffed into an episodic story. Any one of those sectional chapters in Korendir's adventures - by backdrop and concept alone - could have founded the ideas for an entire novel, a whole cast of characters.
I expect that, and more, of my books. Won't set the sights lower...
I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't read and don't have Whitestorm. I'll have to hunt.
Whitestorm and the Empire series are actually the two I use to initiate new readers.
Whitestorm was the first that I read, chanced across it, some 10+ years ago as a library sale. Can't now remember whether I'd recognised it as Janny's work, but I'd been prevaricating about committing to another large and unfinished series, but as a standalone it was much more welcoming. It's still one of my all-time favourite novels.
I haven't even read half of the book and I find it enjoyable.
Some of the words are a bit hard for me to understand because I'm not native, but I have an Oxford dictionary, so it really doesn't matter that much (for example I had never seen "maudlin" before).
I believe my favorite part of the whole book is the "we get along because we have to, not because we want to" relationship between Taskin and Mykkael. XD
Beldarius - welcome here!
What language is native for you, and where do you live? (I'm very curious!)
Oh - at halfway - well, get ready to hang on to your socks...!
I come from Finland so I speak Finnish. We also have to learn Swedish, but I'm sort of bad at it.
*Hangs onto socks, eyeing them suspiciously, then attempts to look up to see why, but gets a crick in his neck and collapses, scowling*
Talespinner is a title you've earned many times over, Madame, so I suppose Yarnspinner isn't a terrible reach, but why would you want lead my socks, leming-like, away...? Especially my socks? ;-)