Addicted to WoLaS

Janny Wurts Chat Area: General Discussion: Addicted to WoLaS
   By Chana Rivka Schreiber on Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 05:40 pm: Edit Post

Hi Janny,
I just started WoLaS this year, and I've never read anything like it, Thank You!

p.s. You should know that I haven't slept in 3 days. I've been too busy thinking about your crazy plots! :-)

   By Hunter on Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 09:45 pm: Edit Post

Sounds like the books should come with a "Warning: reading this non-stop is potentially life threatening" type label!

I suspect I'll do something similar when IT is released.. :-)

   By Sandra Jacob on Friday, July 16, 2010 - 07:23 am: Edit Post

I just read the 8 existing books in May/June of this year and have started rereading them. It's definitely an addiction. I would say 'dangerous to your heart', lol.

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, July 16, 2010 - 09:25 am: Edit Post

Welcome to Chana Rivka Schreiber and Sandra Jacob! What a blast to hear from you both! I am very excited to see folks discover these works for the very first time.

Welcome to Paravia - Have at the chat area, and if you happen to be members of GoodReads, there is an indepth discussion (3 chapter sets per week) started this week, with Curse of the Mistwraith, and a series discussion, going by volume (They are doing Ships).

The groups you'd want to join are Beyond Reality (for the indepth) and Fantasy Book Club (doing Ships) and Fantasy Book Club Series (resuming with Warhost in August, but folders are up for all the books).

There are many old hands on this board; and new readers just getting going at GR.

Meantime, I am polishing the finished draft of the last chapter set of Initiate's Trial. Not long to wait for the new book.

   By Chana on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 11:50 am: Edit Post

In regard to unhealthy obsessions: I was recently at the Brooklyn Museum of Natural History. They had a giant amethyst quartz chrystal in the mineral display, which was very exciting to me. I could almost picture a senior circle of Koriathain gathered around.

They were selling small samples in the gift shop, and I had to buy one. I now have a quartz chrystal, although I haven't figured out how to use it yet :-)

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 12:10 pm: Edit Post

Will you do the un-Koriathain like thing, and clear it overnight in salt water? :-)

Minerals: entrancing for beauty, and no question. I cannot imagine why you succumbed!

   By Sleo on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 12:24 pm: Edit Post

LOL, I want to know when you're starting the NEXT book!

   By motley on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 02:59 pm: Edit Post

just over six weeks away for the next book... glad it's going well...

   By Chana on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 03:34 pm: Edit Post

Lol!! It was a splurge too, not inexpensive.
I can tell you for sure that this particular chrystal did not originate on Athera, unlike the focus that Elaira successfully cleared. Another deterrant was the lack of salt-water and iron buckets available for my use.

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 05:58 pm: Edit Post

Sleo - when do I start the next? THE DAY that I turn this one in, and finish up the artwork.

No moss grows on this stone, when it comes to writing.

   By Sleo on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 06:34 pm: Edit Post

Janny - Whew! Glad to hear it!

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 10:02 am: Edit Post

Actually, in fact, it's already in progress. I have a slew of file notes and some 40 pages of 'bit scenes' in a file called Destiny's Conflict.

Turn-in looks like THIS:
The chapter sets get dispatched to the publisher.

I sit down (with the help of one golden test reader) with a list of ALL the Paravian terms used in Initiate's Trial, based on the spell checker's list of unrecognized words.

All new terms get defined.
All terms that have appeared in other books get 'updates' -

While this glossary sweep is happening, usually the NEW book starts roaring in. I take notes, stuff the files thicker. Destiny's Conflict starts to swell.

Then I CLEAR THE DESK of all the notes from Initiate's Trial and give this office the Scour Clean from Hell.

Then out comes the fat folder called Destiny's Conflict, and all those pregnant notes.

Then I start the artwork, graphic, maps, cover, etc - while mulling over how to tinker Set 1, which is likely to take a month or more to get 'right.' Then I push into 2, 3, 4 - in various states of hair pulling to get all the balls in the air - 5 set usually sets the gas jets going (look at 5 sets - they are often eye openers). By 10 - 13 set, I am fighting what I call 'middle bits' - by now everything is dovetailing but maybe not FAST enough, or maybe I have MORE to work in before I hit the finale sets. So there could be a kick butt slowdown, here to be sure all is in place.

Then, ye finale. Draft Done.

Then I look at the "long winter' - no reading, not much fun, no new surprises - just grinding that language into final polish AND making sure all the teensy details match and measure...and that all the upcoming clues for what follows are IN LINE with the forward reach of the final books, coming.


The 'long winter' is nearly over, and am I READY for spring!!!

   By Sleo on Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 10:52 am: Edit Post

Wow! Watching the great story teller at work!

   By Neil on Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 08:42 am: Edit Post

what can I say? I am a fan.

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 04:56 pm: Edit Post

As I said elsewhere, what wouldn't one give to spend an hour going thru the discarded notes, particularly those that fell victim to "the scour clean from hell" ( assumption is that they'd been tucked away in nooks and crannies, which everyone knows are more interesting than the merely pedestrian stuff found at the bottom of the paper pile on the desk.... ;-) )

   By Chana on Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 05:37 pm: Edit Post

Would you consider auctioning off that 'golden test reader' position?

   By Janny Wurts on Monday, August 23, 2010 - 09:07 am: Edit Post

Well, Mark Stephen, that is an INTERESTING idea.

Problem is - most of the bits are just sentence fragments.

Only two bits actually got cut - one would have been nice but it didn't serve any function, except to slow the story down...and imply something ELSE that would have been more interesting by far. Can't talk about that one because it was laced into two other bits that would spoil.

But - there was one chunk cut that ran to about 2 pages - no action, it was more like a descriptive travelogue that told ME what changes had occurred to the town of Miralt got cut out to trim page count.

I could maybe post that as 'peek from the cutting room floor' - for fun.

The most got snipped elsewhere (and rarely) - a paragraph....I write the drafts tight for content, but the language might circle, be a tad out of order, or just need trimming.

I was very nasty with the red pencil, but truly there wasn't much to chop on this one, I'd written it EXTREMELY economically knowing I want a 2 vol. arc, and determined to have the ending I wanted where I wanted it.

   By Derek Coventry on Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 02:38 am: Edit Post

Janny, I think I'm sweating for you. Industrious does not begin to describe your pursuit of our happiness.

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 08:39 am: Edit Post

Derek - grin.

I know I've worked way too hard on this one.

:-) Soon it will be all shiny.

   By HJ on Sunday, August 29, 2010 - 12:07 pm: Edit Post

Hey Janny,

Other half Geoff has just read CotM. He did read it about 10 years ago but for some reason didn't get hooked in then and couldn't remember details, who knows why. He has devoured it this time! It's such a joy to be able to chat about it with him. I've been driving him mad asking "What's happening in Paravia?" and "How is Arithon today?" Now I want to go right back and read from the beginning yet again!

I don't know how much I may have influenced him with my enthusiasm over the years, but he says to me "I'm going to go and read some Arithon now." :-) He's also finding the same bits really special and moving that I did on first and subsequent readings. It's been really fascinating. I'm really jealous of him, so much fab new material to read in SoM and all the other books. Can't wait for him to get to Stormed Fortress, I'm having to watch what I say so I don't give away spoilers. I am living with a WoLaS virgin!!!

Keep up the good work O Masterbard!

x x H x x

   By Chana on Sunday, September 05, 2010 - 01:11 am: Edit Post

I'm in a place where books are banned, and suffering from withdrawal. HELP ME!!!!!

   By Lisa on Sunday, September 05, 2010 - 07:27 am: Edit Post

Where on earth are books banned???

   By Trys on Sunday, September 05, 2010 - 08:11 am: Edit Post

Lisa, unfortunately there are many places on earth where books are banned. Everwhere from specific titles to widescale if not complete banning. It's not only countries with repressive governments who engage in this act. Various 'western' governments do this. I recently heard of a book that is/was banned in Ireland (sorry I can't remember the title). I've also heard of instances of local school boards in the US banning books. It never ceases to amaze me that people are so afraid of 'other' ideas that they will attempt to prevent people from hearing them.

Chana, I too would be curious to know where you are located.


   By Chana on Sunday, September 05, 2010 - 10:23 am: Edit Post

A US boarding school.

And it's not so much fear of other ideas as an attempt to keep students sheltered from anything cultural. For example: i'm allowed supervised internet access, but no books, movies, or modern music.

Those who actually follow these rules lack creativity and vocabulary. It is amazing how much books affect one's character.

I need ideas on how best to cope.

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, September 05, 2010 - 10:21 pm: Edit Post

Chana - start writing the sort of story you want to read....what else to do?

   By Lisa on Monday, September 06, 2010 - 08:13 am: Edit Post

I am both suprised and saddened by this. It makes me appreciate all the more that i live in Australia and my parents were pretty much hippies. I grew up knowing that i could read, watch, think, feel and be whatever would make me happy.
Chana - Are you allowed a kindle or other ebook type thing? Or even laptop that you could load with ebooks?

   By Hunter on Monday, September 06, 2010 - 08:54 am: Edit Post

Trys - the world is full of people for whom their way is the only way. Independent thoughts disempower and threaten such people who resort to various means to retain power.

In our favourite imaginary world, there seems to be several prime (he he) candidates. In our "real" world well, instead of getting flamed, I will merely suggest the parallels to the imaginary world aren't difficult to make.

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Monday, September 06, 2010 - 09:36 am: Edit Post

That's horrible, Chana. I can't imagine having no access to the books I love. How long are you in the Boarding School?

I don't know why anyone would think it was a good idea to starve people of the world around them... which in my mind is what your school is doing. Without stimuli how are you expected to create anything? Books are a common and great source for ideas. They also help people cope with problems like depression and stress.

Hopefully, you'll be able to come up with a way around all of those rules. :-)

   By Chana on Monday, September 06, 2010 - 05:39 pm: Edit Post

If i get really desperate i can always sneak them at three in the morning.

As for writing my own, i've made several attempts but i've never been inspired. Whenever i sit down with a notebook and pen i start thinking about all the great books i've read and usually find myself daydreaming about Arithon a half hour later! I guess i can read them but can't write them ;)

I plan to spend the next two years here, and will spend a third year studying abroad in a place with similar restrictions. I'll probably get kicked out while reading IT!!

   By Clansman on Tuesday, September 07, 2010 - 08:33 am: Edit Post

Seems a strange kind of educational program that doesn't encourage independent reading. I mean, my kids' school barrages parents with "read to your kids" and "make sure your kids read independently", and "read, read, read, read, read!!!". Works for me, 'cause I love reading.

I take it that you have a reading list, Chana, so I suggest that you burn through the thing as fast as possible, and ask about extra reading assignments. After you finish the reading list, give them some ideas about letting you read other things. Just a thought.

As for starting your own writing, try some private fanfic if you can't come up with your own ideas (DO NOT POST IT ON-LINE! You violate copyright when you do that, but writing it for your own benefit is fine). As for original stuff, use your own experience, and twist it a little to add in the fantastic (I mean, your at a boarding school. Can you think of any other fantasy boarding schools? <cough>Hogwarts<cough>) I have the perfect title for a creepy short story, taken from this very thread:


It doesn't matter what you write. Just type something on your notepad or desktop, or your IPhone, etc. When you can't read, you may as well write! It will make you a better reader.

   By Annette on Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 03:57 am: Edit Post

I would say I am also obsessed with the WoLaS series. Although I read some of the other books over the years I had not read any in the WoLaS series till last month when I picked up Curse of the Mistwraith for a bargain price. Now I have read all 8 books, some several times and am busy hunting down the short stories. These days it is very rare for me to be obsessed with anything, so thanks Janny for getting the imagination into overdrive, I could just keep reading these ones over and over again till I wear them out.

And any school that limits reading is no school at all.

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 12:48 pm: Edit Post

Annette - thanks for dropping in! What a lovely note!

A school that limits reading - appalling, I have to agree.

   By max on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 03:37 am: Edit Post

I am also addicted WOLS and have been for several years now. I am, however no longer afraid if a main character dies!! I can just go back to the beginning and behold!! there they alive, hale and hearty. I can't tell you how much fun that was when I discovered that!! LOL. So here is to [grinning at ya]

   By Chana on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 07:44 am: Edit Post

Max - cool trick!! :-)

   By Kevin A Walters on Friday, December 10, 2010 - 02:24 pm: Edit Post

Hi Janny/Fellow Addicts,

Have just registered (1st timer here) & wanted to offer my appreciation (im in absolute awe) not just for the WOLAS (which is better than any fantasy ive ever read) but also for your other series, & stand alone's. I read the COF series in 1990 (Stormwarden was a gift from a Scot i worked with for a season) COTM came to me via a hairdresser in about 95/96 (maybe!), she gave me a holdall full of books & COTM was among them - hooked! After that i read every other book you'd written! The Empire series was a gem of a find - id struggled with REF's Magician & at the 3rd attempt finished it, which led me to Empire (which ive read & re-read) because i enjoyed the story/characters so much (i found the social system akin to the Japanese caste system). Ill stop gushing in a mo (grin). Your style is unique & i love the way the story of Arithon & Lysaer is written. S.R Donaldson (on the back of one your books) wrote, 'it ought to be illegal for one person to have so much talent' (big smile) I thank Ath that you ever put pen to paper. I returned from my honeymoon Oct 10 & flew straight into my local bookstore (there's really only 1 in Jersey, old jersey not new, we're an island state, part of the UK) for the next installment (Initiate's Trial) not out yet? This is not a criticism, im more than happy to wait. Thank you so much Janny.

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, December 10, 2010 - 07:03 pm: Edit Post

Hi Kevin - welcome here, and thanks profoundly for the lovely words of enthusiasm.

Initiate's Trial - the draft is fully written, eleven chapter sets are through proofing, and I am polishing the last ones (of 14) so it should be turned in shortly.

Do wake up any aspect of the discussion you care to; and catch up on the news - did you know that Audible UK did Cycle of Fire (all 3) in audio? Just out.

   By Dennis Jewell on Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 12:07 pm: Edit Post

Hello to avid readers. There have been very good and very bad reviews for this series. I just wanted to write why I like it. Lately the books I have been reading donít spend much time with getting to know the characters and spending time with them. They just blitz trough to the main story line and that makes the book seem empty to me. Janny writes with flavor and lets us chum around with the characters. That is so rewarding to me as a addicted reader. I like to escape when I read and what better way then to immerse yourself with fantasy characters you can relate to and join with in their hopes and dreams. On a side note for any that like that in books Robin Hobb does a great job of this with her book Fool's Errand (Tawny Man #1).

But I also wanted to add WoLaS is also hard to understand at times. I guess that is why I see so many people doing rereads. There is a lot in these books! Not to mention you need a dictionary half the time to understand the words. To sum up, I really like the books and the time invested to read them. I cant put them down and have never been bored with them, but thy are not everyones cup of tea.

As a last note to MRS Wurts if you read this I loved the Stormwarden (The Cycle of Fire, Book 1). The beginning of the book takes place in a town called Corlin. I loved that name so much (and book also) that I named my son Corlin. Everyone loves his name. He turns 20 next week.

Thanks for memorable moments in my life and keep writing!

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 01:34 pm: Edit Post

Hi Dennis Jewell,

Welcome here!
Thanks also for posting your lovely enthusiastic words.

And (amazing!) that you named your son after Corlin. May his 20th year be blessed!

There are currently TWO discussions of the series going on at (one IN DEPTH at a group called Beyond Reality and another of the full series in a group called Fantasy Book Club Series.) A great place for you 'addicts' if you want to join in and help out some new readers, or to pull up your favorite clues and scenes.

There IS a lot in these books - and truthfully - grin - a lot yet to be found that I have not seen discussed at this time. The layers go very deep.

And there are more surprises in store - Initiate's Trial will start to shed light on them.

Definitely, I plan to keep writing!

I counted 14 books (in addition to the series) that I want to FINISH OUT - ideas already to some degree set in motion.

As to the 'hard to read' style - well, you can't skim. This is purposeful. If you rush these books you MISS TOO MUCH. The layers of meaning would not work at all.

More re-reads will open more doors.

Thanks for joining in here and do feel free to open up any topic or question where you may have an interest.

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