Archive through February 01, 2009

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Arc 4: Sword of the Canon: Initiate's Trial: Initiate's Trial Status: Archive through February 01, 2009
   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, August 23, 2008 - 08:56 pm: Edit Post

Pops an eye up out of the writer's murk, after finishing the next major segment - too quiet in here by far!!!

Time to stir things up.


Stuff's in the pot, bubbling away in the have NO IDEA. :-)

   By Auna on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - 01:43 pm: Edit Post

Evil woman ;)

   By Julie on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - 06:13 pm: Edit Post

OK- so I am watching this space as I'm sure many others are!!!

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - 11:48 pm: Edit Post

And I, the habitual troublemaker, have been on vacation and (gasp!) without internet. Hope all have enjoyed the quiet, 'cuz it's over!!!


(OK, melodramatic, but you get the point!)

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 - 11:47 am: Edit Post

Yay for the prospect of a little noise! Tho it will be live and spectacular, in person, at DragonCon for the next bit...coming??

   By Zorana Lewis on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 - 11:55 am: Edit Post

Awww. I so wished I lived on your side of the Pond. Or that a con came to our side of the Pond. :D

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 - 06:40 pm: Edit Post

Alas, am caring for an ailing spouse, Janny, but the idea tugs at me....possibly next year, as we seem to be coming out of the woods....I wish you much success at your reading, though! Hoist a brew for me if so inclined...

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Friday, August 29, 2008 - 02:28 pm: Edit Post

I so wish I could come, but it's not anywhere near me. Will you tell us how it goes?

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, September 03, 2008 - 12:32 pm: Edit Post

Mark - hugs, and encouragement, on your late round of hardship - hope to see you next year!

We are back, whole - what a whirl!!! It was a fabulous time - and - as you folks who came to the Janny Wurts showcase know - your brains boiled!!!

I will be posting more indepth as we catch up to ourselves.

And more details are forthcoming on THIS, but here is what I was authorized to release at DragonCon:


WILL be available again in NORTH AMERICA, in April of 2009.

I will give out more on this - exciting - news, later - if you have tattered & torn copies - this would be a FANTASTIC time to replace them...!!! in a matching set. The covers will match the London editions. More later...

   By Blue on Wednesday, September 03, 2008 - 04:05 pm: Edit Post


You found a publisher, congratulations!!

:-O :-O :-O :-O :-O

   By Brittani on Wednesday, September 03, 2008 - 11:37 pm: Edit Post

***Jumps up and Down*** (landlord thinks I'm nuts)

Thats so exciting!!!

Go Janny!!!!

So when do we get to find out who the new publisher is?

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 09:16 am: Edit Post

Soon as the paperwork catches up to the agreement, and all the i's are dotted and t's crossed...then I'll put up the particulars. It's very exciting!

I was given leave to release the announcement at DragonCon.

   By squeak on Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 09:09 pm: Edit Post

That's wonderful Janny! My copies are getting rather worn :-)


   By Chayla on Thursday, September 11, 2008 - 10:05 pm: Edit Post

I had to register so I could post about this super news. I've desperately tried to get a copy of Stormed Fortress in Canada but to no avail. =(

I picked up the Curse of the Mistwraith at the local bookstore on the bargain shelves years and years ago, and it quickly swept me up into one of the most involved storylines I've ever read. I couldn't get the next books fast enough after that! After awhile though, I had a hard time finding new books, and only happened to stumble over a copy of Traitor's Knot a year after publication. I was afraid it would be another amazing series that fizzled off and disappeared (anyone waiting for the Captal's Tower after oh.. 10 years or so knows what I mean). But this is great news!! Now all I have to do is have the patience to wait until April. =(

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, September 12, 2008 - 01:10 am: Edit Post

Chayla - welcome here - gonna fizzle? NOT!!!!! I better hadn't say 'over my dead one' since that, unfortunately, has happened to a notable.

My PLAN is to finish this out as I've started - about a book every two years. The last ones are going under contract, NOW, which is about as good a guarantee as I can offer, they'll certainly get done, and to my own breed of inflexible, high standards. :-)

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, September 14, 2008 - 11:34 am: Edit Post

A chapter set will get finished today!!! Whooop! This LITTLE scene packs such a ton of TNT!!! I'd be chuckling through the smirk in my beard...IF I had one....since I don't the fun little gloat's in plain view.

This segment of draft will bust the bag...yet AGAIN....more details, set out in plain view! in prior volumes, just a-waiting to be discovered....ain't window dressing, a bit. :-)

Happy Author Dance...the lid's off the box....(or as Holmes said nicely, "The game's afoot...")

   By Clansman on Sunday, September 14, 2008 - 07:09 pm: Edit Post

I wonder if this means that we get to find out what that funny bit in the middle of Paravia is, that isn't attached to any of the five kingdoms...

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 08:04 pm: Edit Post

*Scratches noggin*

Blasted compressed Book Club hardback! Everything's smaller, including the map (still probably larger than mass market paperback, though....). Will have to dig out the older books, because on this one the region you refer to must have been written in lemon juice!

   By Lisa on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - 06:58 pm: Edit Post

You can see it on the interactivr map. The area clansman is refering to is in south Rathain.

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - 10:04 pm: Edit Post

Ah, now I see what you're looking at (I think!).

That's the river Arwent. It's wide near Daenfal because it flows into "...the great basin once drained by the south-flowing Severnir, until townsmen had dammed and diverted its course to empty into Eltair Bay."

Grand Conspiracy, p.345 (Just finished re-reading this)

The blasted thing falls right at the page divide in my Book Club copy of Stormed Fortress, making it difficult to recognize for what it is...

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 09:29 am: Edit Post

The area in question is actually just a bit south and east of Araethura, between Havish and Rathain. You can find it easily because the place name for the town, Backwater, is smack inside of it.

No More Tantalizing Hints, from this source....but if you were to sneak into my study, and look at the map on the wall there, you'd see the ancient Paravian name for the site! Map Spoilers were removed, for the volumes to date.....

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 02:49 pm: Edit Post

Haaaarrrr!!! Yell of glee.

A third of the way into the next chapter set. YES!!!

If you're wondering - this is a "shift gears, new scene" break.

Looks like thunderstorm outside. A bit early in the day for that....glance at clock. GAWP!!! Where did Lunch time go???

(Grumpy Stomach: GRRROOOOWL. Idiot dreamer - off world, again, playing with those Dastardly PESKY characters)

Ah - well - shrug - another day in the life of an author in action....

   By Laneth Sffarlenn on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 03:52 pm: Edit Post

One day Janny, when this series is done, would ye make available for purchase copies of the big map of Athera from your study wall, for all us die-hard fans?

We'd make it worth your whiii-le *tantalising voice*

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 08:55 pm: Edit Post

Hmmm, much more visible when clicking on Araethura, instead of fooling around with the territory to the South, trying to creep North as I was! I see it now, hmmm, central point to all the World Gates, Paravian re-emergence point, home of the first Araethuran McDonald's? All tantalizing possibilities.... :-)

Sorry to once again exhibit my customary density, Clanny and Lisa!

   By Trys on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 05:12 am: Edit Post

Have Mercy! Of all the desecrations that could be done to Atheran soil... a MickeyDs? I'm sending the sherriff out to arrest you Mark, so you may be put on trial for crimes against Ath. <big>

   By Clansman on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 08:15 am: Edit Post

I'm with Laneth. A big, poster-sized map, antiqued, maybe even a little distressed (y'know, like a treasure map from a Robert Louis Stevenson story. (I just bough Treasure Island and Kidnapped, ostensibly to read to my kids. Yeah, that's it!)), bigger than the fold out maps from the hardcover editions of Lord of the Rings.

This would be worth REAL COIN to the more slavering WoLaS fans!

*wipes drool from chin*

   By Brittani on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 10:09 am: Edit Post

I have one really big stretch of wall above my couch (incedently the spot where I do all of my reading) that would be a great spot for a nice big (possibly even huge) map of Athera. I know a guy at a framing shop; does great work on antique looking frames.

I'll just start saving up my money now!

   By Brian Uri! on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 10:19 am: Edit Post

Or how about a cloth map, like the Ultima computer games from the 80s?

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Friday, September 19, 2008 - 09:50 am: Edit Post

I'd rather have one that I could hang on the wall.

   By Clansman on Friday, September 19, 2008 - 10:40 am: Edit Post

Ahh, but a cloth map, properly done, can be hung on a wall, and look really, really good. Also, they are historically accurate, as cloth (usually canvas) was much more durable at sea than either paper (of course) or animal hide (which tended to rot in wet conditions). Canvas can mildew, but it does last a lot longer than other historical materials.

And during 500 years of a Mistwraith, where everything was rotting, wouldn't a canvas map make sense? With a driftwood frame? Like, driftwood from Merior?

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Friday, September 19, 2008 - 11:35 am: Edit Post

I would definately be all for that. :-)

   By Hunter on Friday, September 19, 2008 - 06:39 pm: Edit Post

There could be a whole line in WoLaS artifacts. What about:

- full size replica of Alithiel?
- the flask which holds (currently) Desh-thiere?
- full size replica of the Paravian statues on ground floor of Althain Tower?
- Elshian's lyranthe?
- genuine, unwashed, stained tunic from Dakar?
- your own Koriani spell crystal?
and so on..

   By Hunter on Friday, September 19, 2008 - 06:41 pm: Edit Post

I would like a map that looked like it has been drawn by Sethvir in white chalk on black background. He's forever scratching ciphers on whatever table top happens to be handy..

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Saturday, September 20, 2008 - 01:55 am: Edit Post

Heehee, Trys!

As if the greater mysteries would tolerate fast food! And can you picture the fun the iyats would have? Just wondering whether anyone was paying attention.... ;-)

   By Jo on Saturday, September 20, 2008 - 09:17 am: Edit Post

I wouldn't say no to a life size cut out of Arithon but I don't think my husband would appreciate that somehow, oh well nice thought though.

   By Dorothy on Saturday, September 20, 2008 - 11:45 am: Edit Post

Went back to lurking but had to post this :-) Does anyone know anything about the town in West Shand that is marked on the map as unconquered like Alestron? I think it is called Garde. And I was speculating that Backwater is very near to Crater Lake where the Fellowship landed (I might be wrong on this point).Maybe their spacecraft is hidden there with Paravians onboard. See what speculating does to the brain? lol. Maybe I'd better go back to lurking.

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 11:14 pm: Edit Post

Way too quiet in here....

*Checks to make sure the Gryphon is otherwise occupied, then knocks over some threads, strews a few postings across the floor, swings from the Discussion header whilst humming an old ELO song out of key....*

That must mean it's time for another snippet....maybe if I promise to clean up the mess? ;-)

*Begins sweeping up threads into bundle to be sorted....*

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, September 26, 2008 - 09:53 am: Edit Post

Hi Mark !! Quiet everywhere, it would seem. Which ELO, disturbing the peace? (yay for the noise!)

I've been WRITING, being within 2 pages of cracking the 400 page marker, and also, about the last scene in a main chapter...

And our weather got cooler! so the idea of riding in REASONABLE temperatures, after the singular sweat of keeping a horse in training all through the wet season...YES!...I will be outside today, after working over that scene.

snippet....hmmmm.....wheels turning.

   By Clansman on Friday, September 26, 2008 - 10:19 am: Edit Post

The most gorgeous weather of the year in Ontario right now. Balmy days, cool nights and fabulous, hard and crunchy fall apples (macs, cortlands, spyes, etc. I love fall apples).

Page 400, hmmm? And ELO?

"Wham-a-lamma-lamma-lamma Rock & Roll is King!"

If there is another burning teaser, perhaps Evil Woman would be more appropriate?

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Friday, September 26, 2008 - 11:34 am: Edit Post

That's so exciting that you're to page 400. Sounds to me like a snippet would be appropriate... :-)
Elaira would be interesting. She's a character that we haven't touched on in a while...

   By Julie on Friday, September 26, 2008 - 06:11 pm: Edit Post

Absolutely this is a good time for a snippet. We desparately need something to take us however briefly away from our depressing reality!

   By Blue on Saturday, September 27, 2008 - 07:35 am: Edit Post

Janny's going to get quite an obstacle course for her ride with all these hints being dropped! :-O

Allow me to add to the obstacle course for your nice horsie by dropping a hint myself!

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, September 27, 2008 - 10:00 am: Edit Post

What, spoiled? NO discussion/speculation unless I post a new tidbit????

Not even speculation over what said tidbit (maybe) might contain????????

(Author, still contemplating posting said preview in the Paravian....unfair, unethical! (hah!) since they don't have the complete dictionary) (Well, fox em anyway) (Meanie!!!) (Yea, but so what????) (Oh, just go back to finishing that CHAPTER, that kicked past the 400 page mark, did indeedy....get those characters past the hotwater flood stage....) (Naaaah, shove em in deeper...)
(Welcome to Saturday AM Author Live!!)

Well, if it's SO QUIET, everywhere - I'll just - sneak out - to - TAMPA tonight - for a concert, - Barra MacNeils, Live! (Check out their website if you like Cape Bretton celtic music) Pretty hot stuff!

   By Brittani on Saturday, September 27, 2008 - 10:11 am: Edit Post

So the 400 page marker huh?

Would you say this book is longer or shorter than SF? Just as a way of seeing some light at the end of the tunnel I mean. You know like when you are almost out of gas and the gas station is still 3 miles away and you start talking to the car telling it your almost there and to hang in there.

Hey I wouldn't mind a snippet in Paravian. We might not have the full dictionary but boy that would make speculations even more fun than they already are!

And if we are voting on which character we would like a preview about, I am all for Dakar!

   By Laneth Sffarlenn on Saturday, September 27, 2008 - 03:39 pm: Edit Post

Hey Brittani,

UK Edition Trade Paperback was 573 pages, not including Glossary or Preface.

I have three hopes:
1. That the 400 word marker means we're somewhere close to the first proof stage;
2. That Janny doesn't overwrite this one and we have to wait for her to split the volumes (read: Traitor's Knot / Stormed Fortress); &
3. Elaira / Dakar would be awesome glimpses, so my third hope is with that!

Janny, I was apprenticed to a builder for a short time in my teens and he used to have 3 person coversations out loud with himself - it was great to see his arguments!
Thusly, I quite enjoyed your inner monologue above :D

   By Trys on Sunday, September 28, 2008 - 09:59 am: Edit Post

FYI, MS (manuscript) page count does not equal finished book page count. For a better comparison try searching through the Stormed Fortress topic (Status for one) to see what the posted page counts were as Janny wrote it. :-)

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - 01:11 am: Edit Post

Evil Woman it was, indeed! And, in search of said snippet, we "....ain't got no place LEFT to go..oh...oH...OH OH!"

*Puts his twelve string away before someone calls "Duke" from Doonesbury to put a shotgun blast thru it! Doesn't quite live up to the lyranthe, anyway... ;)*

And, much as I want to get my hands on "Initiate's Trial", with only 3 books left I'm personally hoping for a tome that puts the US combined "Ships of Merior" to shame!

My snippet vote is for Davien....

   By Konran on Wednesday, October 01, 2008 - 06:06 pm: Edit Post

I for one would enjoy a snippet in Paravian. I like the challenge of trying to wrap my brain around the convolutions of the language (and trying to squeeze into the radically different mindset such convolutions require).

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, October 01, 2008 - 07:15 pm: Edit Post

This volume will NOT SPLIT. I am right about on schedule with ground covered/draft manuscript page length.

Gosh, 1 month, 2 days, and Stormed Fortress comes out in mass market overseas....!

   By Hunter on Thursday, October 02, 2008 - 08:17 am: Edit Post

HC Australia is showing 1st December for the paperback release for Stormed Fortress in Australia. of_the_Alliance_of_Light/index.aspx

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, October 02, 2008 - 11:42 am: Edit Post

Hunter - is this accurate?

There were mis-listings of this title, early on...why would they do it later than Britain, I thought those days were gone? (just mumphing)

(More Authorial Mumphing)
They'd BETTER be sure they read the ending of Stormed Fortress CAREFULLY and drew NO assumptions... :-) with pointy teeth.

   By Waliam on Thursday, October 02, 2008 - 03:45 pm: Edit Post

I cant remember the release date for SF but I have had the Australian release of SF for ages now.

   By Hunter on Thursday, October 02, 2008 - 05:45 pm: Edit Post

Hi Janny,

It's what is on Harper Collins website - I will ask today for confirmation.

Waliam - this is the smaller A format mass market paperback, the trade paperback first release came out November last year.


   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, October 04, 2008 - 09:53 am: Edit Post

Six, main, gets the blitz PROOF read, and off it goes for test...! This was a 38 pager, so manuscript count is now: 412

It is the WEEKEND and it can get all too quiet, hereabouts...prove you're not DEAD, eh? While I work away at ye book....drop in and make a racket.

   By Zorana Lewis on Saturday, October 04, 2008 - 09:57 am: Edit Post


Yackety Smackety.

*then settles down to make racket. Tennis racket that is*

And I'm not dead. Just staring at the five papers I landed myself with at uni this week and trying to think of where to start. How to start for that matter. I'm beginning to think I did something wrong to this university in a past life or something, as they seem to be getting their vengeance. :D

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Sunday, October 05, 2008 - 12:55 am: Edit Post

Glad to see that I was already complying!

*Sends Janny a package of frozen iyats labelled "Thaw when bored, but not in your writing studio!"*

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, October 07, 2008 - 02:51 pm: Edit Post

The iyats are always on the loose, here. That's how the place gets dusted...

(Grumph!!! This would make 3 days, getting rained off my horse...but....its an out to practice night, anyhow. Now that is Real NOISE!)

   By Brittani on Tuesday, October 07, 2008 - 05:16 pm: Edit Post

You know thats the one really cool thing about living in Arizona. I almost never get rained off my horse. However in the summer if I even want to get on my horse it has to be after dark and usually even then it has to be after mid-night cause it is so hot!!!

My horse likes riding in the rain. Probably because it doesn't happen very often. We like to share those special moments. **Remembers three years ago when it actually rained, what a blissful moment, should be another 3 years or so till it happens again**

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Wednesday, October 08, 2008 - 10:57 pm: Edit Post

Raining right now in Maryland, Brittani, but I'm guessing your horse wouldn't thank you to cross the county just to ride in the rain.... ;)

*Pictures iyats with feather dusters.....nah!*

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, October 09, 2008 - 09:17 am: Edit Post

Iyats who use dusters - wrong picture!!!

Iyats who mess with the stuff with the dust ON IT, hence, the dust gets sent packing like smoke, more in the nefarious line of my thinking...must be the doings going on in the second scene, next subchapter of set 6...a blowout writing day could finish this bit. :-)

Rained Out riding days are very rare...I could easily have ridden any one of them by changing my schedule about...something I am not doing because the day's work on the novel gets done FIRST. But if it continues to stay so quiet in here, I can hear the mice chewing in the corners, I WILL shift my schedule and move out the jump course.

Yipppiekayay! Was that a threat??? ;)

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, October 10, 2008 - 10:32 am: Edit Post

Today's burning question....what ELSE do you itch to know about IYATS?

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 12:17 am: Edit Post

Well, shoot, if that's not an invitation to demonstrate my ignorance...certainly won't be offended if you choose to just laugh at these instead:

1. Does freezing them alter their nature, other than to make them susceptible to Arithon's "suggestions"?

2. Are they separate beings spawned by the dreams of the Drakes, or continuing manifestations of those dreams? I suppose the answer here gives insight on whether they have separate lives, although I think there was a decent discourse in Traitor's Knot, too...

And (for now, since others are pushing to the front to ask their questions! ;) ), finally...

3. Can they be used by the mage-trained as gateways to access either the dragons themselves or their dreams?

Have to speculate somewhere; stock market certainly isn't the place for it yet!

   By Hunter on Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 06:37 am: Edit Post

Mostly I want to know just what an iyat in a major off-world origin spell crystal is likely to do ::grin::

Or who is likely to cause more mischief:
- iyat in said crystal - an iyat feeds off energy, a major spell crystal has lots of this..
- lots of mad women enslaved in said crystal
- consciousness of self-crystal

But, these are questions only likely to be answered in a published book..

Methuri are said to be "iyat-related" (according to the Glossary). How?

Methuri were hate wraiths. Desh-thiere could be viewed as "really hate" wraiths, but the wraiths comprising Desh-thiere were human created, not dragon created. One wonders whether Arithon, in learning to control wraiths may have a link back to control Desh-thiere - outside of his command of Alithiel now..

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 03:48 pm: Edit Post

I would love to see a drawing of an iyat. I know that they're not really visible but it would be really cool to see an event involving iyats so we could see them... :-)

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 06:22 pm: Edit Post

Do we really know that Desh-Thierre was human created? Yes, it (they?) came thru the World's End gate from Marak (IV or V, can't remember off the top of my head), but how do we know that they weren't created by the drakes and simply conquered Marak first? Am thinking I must have missed something...

   By Brittani on Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 11:20 pm: Edit Post

I wonder if iyats have individual personalities. Like if they can pick and choose which people they want to irritate?

That would be funny. Can you imagine all of the iyats chasing the Koriathain around like little rain clouds.

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Sunday, October 12, 2008 - 01:32 pm: Edit Post

If I remember correctly Desh-thierre is the souls of the inhabitants of the fellowships' homeworld. I thought that it was created by the advanced technology of the world, hence the reason the Fellowship won't allow technological advancement when the Duke of Alestron tries to create gunpowder. They believe it will lead to the same event.

Anyway, I could be remembering wrong since I haven't re-read the series in a while. Worth checking out.

Maybe Janny could correct us... if we are in fact supposed to know?

   By Trys on Sunday, October 12, 2008 - 03:32 pm: Edit Post

Marak, is the world through Southgate (though I'm not sure if we know if there's an interim world (like the Red Desert world before Dascen Elur through Westgate) or not. People who wanted to 'play' with technology left Athera through that gate.

We've not been told the Fellowship's homeworld. :-)


   By Hunter on Sunday, October 12, 2008 - 04:21 pm: Edit Post

The assumption is that each of the gates has an interim world, as a type of buffer but it's not been made clear - also it's not clear whether North or East Gates have ever been used, or what their purpose was.

Regarding the creation of the Mistwraith, Kharadmon explains this at the start of Warhost, or mid Ships for the single book version of Arc II - just after he returns with some free wraiths in tow. The Mistwraith was a weapon created by frightened men, if I remember the quote correctly. It slipped it's bonds and consumed all life on Marak.

Not being "of Athera" it isn't part of Sethvir's earthlink. Having said that, Arithon and Lysaer also aren't of Athera but seem to be in the earthlink ok. Anyways, the Fellowship's inability to understand the true nature has caused plenty of problems. Traithe most likely did comprehend it's true nature when it attacked through Southgate, although the pieces of Traithe that do remember are either now consumed in the Mistwraith, or self-excised by Traithe when he burnt tremendous power to avoid possession by the Mistwraith.

   By Lisa on Sunday, October 12, 2008 - 11:01 pm: Edit Post

Maybe Arithon and Lysaer are part of the earth link because of the royal traits that were imposed on their bloodlines.

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Monday, October 13, 2008 - 08:13 am: Edit Post

I thought it was because of two different things. One being the royal traits that are a part of their line, but also because Lysaer and Arithon are descendants of the highkings, who were of Athera.

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Monday, October 13, 2008 - 08:52 am: Edit Post

I looked up the reference on the mistwraithe in warhost of Vastmark. I stand completely corrected on my earlier statement. It does indeed say that the mistwraithe was created on Marak.
Sorry, Mark.
It also says on pg. 24 that, "A faction on Marak built on the laws of physical science, then meddled in theories that came to unbalance the axis of prime lifeforce. The intent was to interweave spirit with machine."

What I was speaking of before, about the fellowship's homeworld, was pulled from Asandir's conversation with the S'Brydion brothers in Ships of Merior. Asandir talks about how his homeworld was destroyed by technology and that the fellowship was forced to flee. Shortly after he talks about sending people to Marak and those people creating the mistwraithe.

That's where my confusion came from.
Sorry. :-)

   By Janny Wurts on Monday, October 13, 2008 - 09:08 am: Edit Post

I see that you all got yourselves squared around and straightened up - :-) - no need for word from here....there was also the very first statement in Curse of the Mistwraith, when Asandir was explaining: what was created by man must be unmade by man also...the second ref, at the time of the curse in Etarra - Sethvir's and Asandir's investigation; third, in Convocaton, in Ships, then also with the s'Brydion in Ships, and then the last in depth, the opening chapter of Warhost, when Kharadmon returns from Marak proper...those are the major scenes referenced, off the top of my head.

   By Hunter on Monday, October 13, 2008 - 09:34 am: Edit Post

Kirsten - I think you might also like to hold of a copy of Under Cover of Darkness and read Janny's short story called "Sundering Star".

It will probably raise far more questions than it answers.. does it answer questions about the origins of the Fellowship and their homeworld? Not exactly, but it does give some rather interesting background that is very, very relevant to the current story.

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 12:09 pm: Edit Post

Haaarrr! - yell of glee - finished the draft of the next subchapter - just a quick check over before I move on...took a bit to get the punch on the ending.

No surprise, since the first line (acknowledgment for 'Mad Prophet' voters) was:

'Dakar bit down on the hand that fed him hard enough to draw blood.'

   By Brittani on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 03:20 pm: Edit Post

Ohh that sounds like some room for speculations!!!

Okay, so is this someone speaking metaphorically or is he actually biting someone? Either way who is he biting and why?

Usually when someone says "the hand that feeds you" it means your being an idiot. (which we all know Dakar is prone to doing). Is there some heroic meaning behind it all and he has no choice or is he just being dumb again?

I think Dakar might be one of my very favorite characters.

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 04:46 am: Edit Post

No apologies, Mme. Wallace! Knew I missed thanks to you, Hunter and the Talespinner for sorting it out.

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 01:55 pm: Edit Post

Or is Dakar in some form of trouble? "Hand that fed him" could be completely literal. Especially since it's followed by "hard enough to draw blood."
I wonder who he's pissed off this time.

   By John Parsons on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 03:19 pm: Edit Post


Dakar bit down on the hand that fed him hard enough to draw blood.

Fantastic!!! I feared that the Dakar that we had grown to love and laugh at had been reformed out of character - obviously not!

Looking forward to reading more!


   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Saturday, October 18, 2008 - 07:33 pm: Edit Post

Actually, I kind of like the semi-responsible Dakar, too. Maybe he could vacillate between the two?

*There's no penalties for wishing schizophrenia on a fictional character, right?!!!*

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Sunday, October 19, 2008 - 02:33 pm: Edit Post

I agree. I like Dakar's recent character changes as well. It keeps him dynamic and a little unpredictable... rather than static.

I'd like to think that if he kept some of his old personality it really wouldn't be schizophrenia. I'd like to look at it as he's grown from a basis and therefore that basis will always be there. So maybe he can be mature and responsible but still a clutz and drunk?

   By Clansman on Monday, October 20, 2008 - 07:51 am: Edit Post

The old Dakar reminds me a lot of Falstaff, from Henry IV, Part 1 (that's Shakespeare, to the uninitiated), and despite his influence, Prince Hal (the wenching and drinking heir to the throne) develops into the Prince he was meant to be, but one that could relate to the common man (thus setting up the great play, Henry V, and the great "St. Crispin's Day" speech).

   By Julie on Monday, October 20, 2008 - 07:42 pm: Edit Post

Poor Dakar spent 500 years in the company of the F7 . The only possible peer we hear about is Verrain. While he was loyal to the compact he had such a hard time harnessing his talent that it drove him to drink. It is telling that he considered Lysaer his best friend. His deep friendship with Arithon has given Dakar the stability to mature into what we see now. That does not mean his essential personality and flaws have dissapeared.I think he is finally able to see his worth in the happenings of the world and has gained confidence in his abilities.

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Monday, October 20, 2008 - 10:18 pm: Edit Post

Uh oh, reaching the self-actualization level on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is never a good (read: lasting!) thing in the land of Wurts; must be time for Dakar to go on a serious bender....

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - 06:30 am: Edit Post

That was a splendid sum-up of Dakar's character, Julie. I'd have to agree with you and Mark.

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, October 24, 2008 - 02:48 pm: Edit Post

OMG - decisions, decisions....just how much do I wanna blow the lid big do I want to widen the scope, on this volume, and exactly how fast?

decisions, decisions, as I contemplate what must happen after the closeout of this chapter set....

Hear the fuses sizzle???

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Saturday, October 25, 2008 - 09:03 am: Edit Post

Nah, what you hear is just the araethurian sausages in the skillet, oh mighty Talespinner! You've plenty of electrical capacity, UPS-backed and dual feeds from the street to call upon where such decisions are concerned....

*dangles tidbit-provoking bait in front of the contemplating one :D*

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, October 26, 2008 - 11:29 pm: Edit Post

Status: manuscript page 450, marked and completed. Downhill, and accelerating momentum from here, I dare hope - at least, for book 1 of this arc.

   By Clansman on Monday, October 27, 2008 - 08:21 am: Edit Post

Quote: Janny said:
"Status: manuscript page 450, marked and completed. Downhill, and accelerating momentum from here, I dare hope - at least, for book 1 of this arc."

Janny, this has made me curious. When I read your books, there appears to be a distinct structure of the set-up part of the book, and the resolution part (a.k.a. the "when all hell breaks loose part"). They blend together very nicely, but they are nevertheless distinct, and I have read your comments on that structure before, so I am fairly confident in making that assertion.

When you are writing (perhaps I should have put this in the Author's Corner), do you find the first part, the set-up part, more difficult or challenging in terms of managing the plot and its logical resolution? From your comment, it appears that the next portion is easier ("Downhill, and accelerating momentum from here..."). Is it the case that as the hard work of laying the foundation has already been done, the structure of the rest follows that foundation? Or not?

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Monday, October 27, 2008 - 08:56 am: Edit Post

I'd be really interested in hearing the answer to Clansman's question. I have one to add to it.
Are you more intuitive with your writing or do you have the book mostly planned out at the outset?

I have to tell you that I actually just cringed at my own question. Being a composer and having a degree in composition you have no idea how many times I've heard that question and how many discussions have been started by it. yak.

Anyway, I would like to know.

Also, you're killing me with the updates. Everytime you tell us where you are in the manuscript I get antsy with anticipation.

   By Janny Wurts on Monday, October 27, 2008 - 10:47 pm: Edit Post

You who asked - I will be back to answer this - it's gotten late, and I've been very extremely hard at work on a SURPRISE all day - there will be an announcement....soon!

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 - 08:30 am: Edit Post

Yay :-) I love announcements.

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 - 10:51 pm: Edit Post

See? A few not-so-subtle hints and an Araethurian sausage or two, and we have an announcement to show for our "hard" labor!!!!

*Waits with poorly concealed impatience....*

   By Brittani on Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 06:13 pm: Edit Post

How is that surprise coming Janny? Our impatience is growing!!!

*Considers grabbing pitch fork from hay barn...nah*

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 06:44 pm: Edit Post

Well, it's about the fact I'll have a 2010 art calendar...buried in that deadline - more later!

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 11:29 pm: Edit Post

We love your art, you know we do, but....


we were hoping for a spoiler, we was, yes, gollum!

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Friday, October 31, 2008 - 08:23 am: Edit Post

On one hand... agree with Mark (pout...)

On the other hand, Woot! I want a calender with your art. :-)

   By Brittani on Friday, October 31, 2008 - 09:21 am: Edit Post

I don't know if that is a good idea Janny, Once we get our hands on a 2010 Calander we are gonna want one every year.

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, October 31, 2008 - 10:03 pm: Edit Post

Buy alot of em!

If they do well, the company opts for the next year.

I have one more day of crazy to get the last bits of text done, then back to the book, and questions get answered here.

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Saturday, November 01, 2008 - 09:41 am: Edit Post

Posting on All Hallows Eve...tsk tsk, oh Mighty Talespinner. Forsooth (*evil grin*), you should be scaring little imps and goblins on your threshold, or at least bedeviling them with was TRICK or treat, after all....

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, November 02, 2008 - 10:56 am: Edit Post

To Answer Clansman's question - yes the set up parts are slower and harder - getting the footing started means choosing EXACTLY which character's view point and which scene - since I could, theoretically choose many views....and ONE will consolidate the moment, show all the angles, set up for the future the neatest. It sometimes takes a few days for inspiration to shape it up.

Once the footing is there, it's a matter of carrying the dramatic action forward. Logistically, there are still difficulties - if you ever noticed, this story always progresses either simultaneously OR forward. Never do we go back "six months" to see what characters were doing last year. We see them NOW, moving on, perhaps recalling a past incident, but the story moment never loops over itself - THIS IS HARD. And not many epic authors can be particularly troublesome LOGISTICALLY when it may take a character x or y time to travel to a destination where dramatic action takes place, and meantime, OTHER dramatic action must be ordering which scenes, and making them connect sideways....erg! Changing scenes between chapters often takes TIME to work out to show the optimum moment.

SERIES BOOKS AS COMPLEX AS THIS ARE HARD THAT WAY. The writing is not ever straightforward, as in something in one locale like Hell's Chasm.

Once the story flows, certain segments spring fast - like in Stormed Fortress, that whole sequence around chapter 8, forward, where ONE crisis flows across chapter lines. It's the shifts in setting that can take mental treadmill murder to figure out.

Endings - can go fast, blinding fast, or turtle slow! The reader never sees - and I can never predict which books will run away or which POKE at this point which is always painful as one wants the draft DONE!

Hardest moment??? Just past finish, when I have to POLISH what's drafted....because at that point, just having done the glossary, ideas are POURING out for the next book, I'm in "draft mode" and - I have to stop to polish...draft mode goes whisk, I wind up in Destroy/demolish/edit mode, and by time I do all the art, the black and whites, and production, and start anew - draft mode and all those hot ideas - where are they???

I LOVE MY JOB - wouldn't trade, nope. Some bits are easier than others.

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, November 02, 2008 - 10:58 am: Edit Post

Mark - actually did that....was hacking faces into pumpkins, before I checked in here. :-) Then ate dinner with only candles and a jack and jill o'lantern....and BEER!

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Tuesday, November 04, 2008 - 12:58 am: Edit Post

Hope the beer was Young's Old Nick; would only be fitting! If not familiar with it, a quick web search should turn some up. Not half bad, either, although it wouldn't be my first choice normally. Perfect for Halloween, though...

And are you intimating that you're approaching the polishing stage with Initiate's Trial, hmmm? ;-)

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, November 04, 2008 - 10:45 am: Edit Post

Mark - not yet!

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 07:21 pm: Edit Post

Fond thoughts of Hellcat, (is she about, lurking?) as her favorite Atheran Sorcerer waits in the wings, soon to step onto the story stage.

   By Neil on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 09:22 am: Edit Post

That would be Traithe? Wasn't he potentially at risk from the alliance ?!? ;-) or perhaps :-(

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:31 pm: Edit Post

Oooh, I like the possibilities for Traithe too, at least the positive ones. Otherwise, I'm with Neil.....

   By Christopher Beckett on Sunday, November 23, 2008 - 11:47 am: Edit Post

Hi folks,

I can't wait for the next book, Janny you keep me entranced - it's rare that I'll read one book over a dozen times in one year, but I'm close to wearing out my copy of Stormed Fortress, and I keep re-reading whole pages that I appear to have missed before. How do you do that?

The possibilities are mind-boggling, the confrontations we are surely heading for are epic!

I can't wait...

Much love and impatience,

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, November 23, 2008 - 01:46 pm: Edit Post

Hi Christopher Beckett - welcome here!

Thanks for the enthusiastic note.

I can't wait, either!

On general note:

Traithe, yes it is.

Addionally: if anyone here wishes to help out:

I have noted by complaints inbound through e mail - there seems to be a misunderstanding floating about, and causing some needless reader dissatisfaction - they myth that Stormed Fortress "ended the series" - rather than ended the Arc, Alliance of Light - if anyone is about on forums, discussion groups, or sees a complaint - I'd appreciate the assistance setting the record straight. (In particular if anyone here happens to be a member of Goodreads.)

Alliance of Light is not ending the series entire, but will be followed up with Sword of the Canon/Initiate's Trial, then Destiny's Confict - and one last volume after that - to finish the War of Light and Shadow series, proper.

The epic confrontations and possibilities will not be left dangling - though some are yelling blue murder, thinking Stormed Fortress was all there is.

I'd appreciate any help from happy readers in keeping the word straight on other venues.

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Monday, November 24, 2008 - 11:39 pm: Edit Post

Well, not a member of Goodreads, but we've made sure (via the Initiate's Trial speculation thread started by Clanny) that there's no such misunderstanding on the Chronicles ( Clanny's even posted the re-release schedule at least twice ;) ).

*Sneaks away from and into Webster's site, then changes the definition of "Volume" to read "a collection of no less than 24 books containing at least 500 pages each"* ;).

There, that's sorted. That "one last volume" ought to last us at least another decade or two....!

   By Walt on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 09:50 am: Edit Post

AH HAH! Am I going senile and forgot such an important find, or did Janny just let slip the name of the next book after Initiate's Trial? "Destiny's Conflict?" My memory could be completly shot, but I don't recall our tale-spinner extraordinair revealing that choice tidbit before now? Yet one more thing to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving (US) week...

   By Trys on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 10:32 am: Edit Post


Janny announced the title of volume 1 of arc IV on February 7, 2008 and at that time indicated Destiny's Conflict was the tentative name for volume 2. On February 8th I added the placeholder to the list of topics on the opening page of the Chat. :-)


   By motley on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 05:30 am: Edit Post


Lovely to read the sneak previews, the writing is great as ever, and the undercurrents of communication between characters so wonderful to read. So nice to read fresh writing from a favourite author!

Am leaving SA to live in the UK in a week's time, have just sold/donated my very tatty, well-read copies of WoLaS, so I'm looking forward to shiny new copies and the next installment.


   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 10:50 am: Edit Post

Hi Roisin - safe move to you, and a happy landing in your new home.

The shiny new covers will all be waiting there for you. Raise a sweet bit of cane with the bookshop, if they're not!

Nice to hear from you!

   By motley on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 12:04 pm: Edit Post

Thanks, and I will raise hell. ;)

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, January 02, 2009 - 11:17 am: Edit Post

Whew! Holidays, glorious fun, but over! I haven't gained weight, that's for certain!! Too much running around for the best of reasons.

Yesterday - was Holiday's End - I cooked Don a New Year's breakfast, did my Best Years' Books descriptions for a blog at The Fantasy Book Critic (coming!) cleaned like crazy, made soup out of the Christmas Turkey, cleaned up like crazy, swiped a fast ride on the horse, went jogging with Don, then got the table ready for family and New Year's dinner, finished that, saw the family off, had a fire outside under the stars with just Don and the last of the wine, then, Packed and Zipped Up all the decorations and tree. Crash!!! Today I catch my breath.

Now - what you are really waiting for: STATUS on Initiate's Trial....I sat down today and worked up a manuscript page count - to discover, somewhere, in the holiday racing about, I'd cracked 500 pages without a peep....the current number of uncut draft stands at 512! What a way to begin a new year....with the current chapter bit in its windup scenes, at a somewhat tense moment....this one is really REALLY gonna surprise some folks.

So Much to Look Forward to!!!

Not just, I can't wait for the older readers to see this new volume, but - I can't wait for the first book to come back out in the USA/N. America, in May of 09! Fresh Meat, :-), New Readers - More Fun!

   By Jay_Jay on Friday, January 02, 2009 - 11:46 am: Edit Post

I, for one, can't wait to see those shiny new American covers!

[sudden exciting thought...]

Since the American covers are different from the U.K. covers, does this mean the books that were issued in the U.K. only will get NEW covers when they come out in the U.S. for the first time?

{Starts to drool in possible anticipation...)

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, January 02, 2009 - 03:27 pm: Edit Post

There won't be new covers - the books will have the same package/format as you've seen in London.

   By Julie on Friday, January 02, 2009 - 05:37 pm: Edit Post

So does this mean we can get a longer sneak preview sometime soon?

   By Kirsten Laurelle Wallace on Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 12:23 pm: Edit Post

Glad you had a great new years! Can't wait for the book. I will hold myself back and not ask for another sneak peak so soon. :-)

   By Brad Saenz on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 11:31 pm: Edit Post


Will the US release of Initiate's Trail be in hardback? Who is the publisher? Also, is there nay chance yet of a US hardback of the last volume?



   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 01:00 am: Edit Post

Yes, please tell us there will be a US hardback. Can't be ordering from that British Book Club/Amazon UK thru my connection every time you come out with a new book, Madam Talespinner!

Oh, and Happy New Year all!

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 10:27 am: Edit Post

I can't say, yet, if there will be a hardback opportunity. When HC/UK changed the bar on the "cut off point" for hardback - we missed the magic number by a deficit of ONLY A MERE 200 COPIES! I fought this, and fought this, with great anguish. To be SO CLOSE, and knowing, no US hardback would create overseas orders and EASILY make up that number - and then some, in spades, in potential of thousands - I howled and howled, and so did my editors, but we got no joy at the time.

But a fresh opportunity beckons, and the issue could be reexamined.

Now, with the US releases coming up - we can make a new opening for a reassessment...because the publisher will LOOK AGAIN at the book's performance with the series being reintroduced on this shore - one is only as good as the current release...if we outperform expectations when Mistwraith comes out in May, then keep momentum through Ships in June, Warhost in July, and wake things up further with Hell's Chasm in August....expectations will ramp for the fall releases...and everything could shift for the better.

If your copy is tattered, REPLACE IT. If you know any fence sitters, if you have a local book shop, if you can start a discussion, write a review, respond to an internet blog on books - now is the moment. Stormed Fortress is now out in mass market in Britain/Australia and New Zealand, if you live there, make noise, it will make a difference.

To have missed by such a narrow margin is painfully ridiculous, far beyond disappointing! I have never lost sight of the fact this can change. The books just have to find the right readers. Shouldn't be hard, the stories deliver, after all.

I will just write the best story I can, always.

Initiate's Trial will not just blow off your socks, it will unravel the thread and re-knit them. You have NO IDEA....:-)

   By Lisa Johnson on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 10:26 pm: Edit Post

Oh I love this series! On Monday I went into Galaxy Books in Sydney, and there was Stormed Fortress. Seriously, I started salivating!

And being a complete glutton, without having read SF yet, I am gagging to know when IT is coming out! Aghhh!!!

I cant wait - something that excites the author this much HAS to send us off the edge!

   By Neil on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 10:17 am: Edit Post

Janny i do not know whether this is private (apologies if so) but how many copies of stormed fortress were printed and/or sold?

Just curious.


   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 01:22 pm: Edit Post

Neil -

I will not be specific here - except to say that the first large format edition of Stormed Fortress built good momentum, then SOLD OUT at the was not reprinted, due to a warehouse crunch at the time (as I understand it, distributors and chains decided to change policy to cut cost - and stop warehousing any books, but only pass through their orders in bits, small quantities as they expected to sell - leaving the whole of the press run to be held by the publishers. At, of course, the publisher's increased expense....This made a mess - HC had only warehouse space for its press runs, and a small buffer, as it was accustomed to sending most of said runs on to distribution and chain warehouses the cascade of sudden cost cutting meant, NO SPACE for back titles, when they now had to hold most of the press run for distribution and sale. And of course, new titles off press cramming in each month...they hadn't the space, or leased any space for a shift of this magnitude - at that moment, after Stormed Fortress came out, ANY book not moving was canned....we were moving. We sold out our first run...but..the publisher had reservations about printing again - the cram meant that they felt they may not sell out again fast enough not to be canned (and so waste copies) so they decided not to move before the paperback release six months later...and momentum of course got lost. The numbers stayed static to the last book - (since press runs were based on that) so, no opportunity to grow numbers...the glass ceiling on what numbers could sell through on the shop shelves...stayed a glass ceiling, for this time.

Now as to hard numbers in sell through off the shops and distributors - that is unknown. Royalty statements, dogs that they are, go from December to June, and June to December, but for the YEAR really, I only have what occurred between Nov. 1st, and end December 07. The critical period from January to sell out date won't arrive in the paper work, here, until May or June.

The crotchety way the business is handled...this is factual, not to be read as complaint.

Said simply - the books HAVE TO PERFORM to withstand the bumps and rock and roll of what happens, day to day, amidst the bigger picture of rapid-shift corporate policy changes. Nobody is going to look back at Fortress's numbers and say, "oh, yeah, the warehouse crunch prevented a reprint..." Too much water over the dam, and the bean counters don't want to hear it. They listen for numbers, numbers, and hard numbers. Not excuses.

You readers are some the very best publicity I have, and I thank you for the unflagging interest. The best chance, always, is the new title coming - and we have NINE of them shortly to come in the USA/Canada...what an opportunity to grow past the marker. I've been more excited than ever, and happier about the prospects than I've been in years.

And of course, all the books are IN PRINT NOW at HC in London - if they MOVE, trust me, people will notice what is current in front of them.


I just saw :-( likely factual word that a new, well loved, well touted series (yet another, sigh) is about to suffer another delay....the readers will be furious...(I am, I was banking on reading the book anon) and of course, that mess may tend to taint the picture of all other delayed series books, or series that lag and do not deliver.

What a chance to have Stormed Fortress's smash finale to Arc III SHINE OUT against the field...hopefully our happy readers are spreading word of their enthusiasm - it could make quite a difference.

Me, I want everyone to succeed...if my series becomes a filler to scratch the itchy wait for several others - bang!

   By Zorana Lewis on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 02:18 pm: Edit Post

Well I'm doing my best to get people interested; I tend to lend out my old copies (I've bought the entire set in the brand new design which is pretty *g*), but the problem I have when people try and buy the books, is they're not on the shelf in the shops. Yes, if somebody has borrowed CotM from me, and like it enough to go out and buy the rest, then chances are, they'll either order instore, and order online.

But the problem lies in enticing people in who haven't had word of mouth reccommendations. I'm one of those odd people (well, I certainly get odd looks from staff when I spend hours in the SF-Fantasy section) who will just amble into a book store and pull books off the shelf that look interesting. Yes, at second glance, after reading the first chapter, they may not appeal, but if they do, chances are the book will follow me to the till. Karen Miller, Trudi Canavan, Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson and many others are authors I've discovered this way. Just because their books looked interesting.

(I'm not, but the way, saying yours don't Janny, they actually look awesome and very eyecatching.)

The problem, is that the shops in my area tend to have, if you're lucky, Stormed Fortress and Traitors Knot. So, imagine you're an oddball like myself, ambling down a shelf and spot Stormed Fortress, pick it up, find its looks rather good, and then realise to your annoyance there's quite a few books before it. Now, to order a book specially in, you obviously have to cough up the cash beforehand, so is somebody going to want to pay up for a book where they can't see a hardcopy, can't even see the blurb. Probably not. So they may go home and look it up online, and then buy it. Great. But not having the earlier books instore probably loses you a lot of new readers. I've been looking on Waterstones website and the instore availability of your books is deplorable. Grand Conspiracy, for example, there are only 10 stores in the whole of the UK stocking it, and each only have 1 copy. That's 10 copies.......the other books aren't much better, Stormed Fortress is available in about 30 stores, 1 book in each.

I know that book stores can't stock everything, but no matter how much I pester people to at least give CotM a try, if they books ain't on the shelf, people aren't going to buy them.

   By Konran on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 06:32 pm: Edit Post

We've been doing our part :-) I actually bought a second copy of Curse as a lend-out copy (no way am I trusting my precious to anybody else to get it damaged or lost!) and we've been giving it out to people to read and letting them know about the re-release later in the year :-) The husband just got it back from one of his coworkers who expressed interest in the rest of the series so here's hoping that we can make at least a little bit of difference in those sales numbers <3

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 08:01 pm: Edit Post

Thanks, all of you - everything you are doing matters!

I will approach the publisher about the early books not being on the shelf at shops in the UK - chances are, they'll say its the chain bookshops who are balking the pipeline. If the series gets ordered by customers enough, they will realize they are missing something; or if the numbers go up, the publisher can then convince them of the same. Word of mouth works - Amazon UK has DISCUSSIONS of books open on each title's book page - and general discussion groups with many fantasy the author, these are obviously not open to me (poor etiquette) readers, anyone else can post. PLEASE BE SURE if you post in an existing forum or thread anywhere, that you acquaint yourself with the atmosphere and etiquette of the discussions going on there, first - just flying in and posting - that can step on toes. If you were to start a thread on the book's pages - well, that's an open arena, you'd be setting the tone and etiquette, first, yourself.

Many sites let you rate the book, or comment on it - that stuff adds something to a browser, taking a look. (many sites, Stormed Fortress, anyway, is unrated, or uncommented, or unreviewed). A blank page says no interest, to the casual web surfer...or so I'd conclude, if I were the one taking a fly by look.

There is a chat on Facebook, existing, for Janny Wurts readers. There are other forums and blogs out there that specialise in fantasy or sf/ takes persistent voices to get the ball rolling - and many of the voices are touting newer stuff, because that is what is seen.

I deeply appreciate your efforts - any new reader probably has friends...the important thing is that the RIGHT readers come - and they will. The work will speak for itself, then.

Thank you, everyone, for helping out. The blackout period in the US definitely cut down on total visibility - that will soon be remedied - if people see mention of the books now, then, when they appear in May - it increases recognition. All that makes a difference.

This series does not sag and bag and grow predictable - just letting people know that simple bit lets it stand forward. Also, my rate of production is pretty steady - there are not long leaping lags where everyone is wondering whether Janny is writing.

Surely, surely I am - and counting on it, that the situation is turning around.

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 05:24 pm: Edit Post


How I hate chapters that require circular surgery...I must have been NUTS during the holidays...because after cutting and tautening, and cutting and tautening MORE, this subchapter stands at 32 pages...with more fatness waiting to pop! It does NOT want to wrap up neatly, no way, but threatens to burn down the roof...sigh....this is the sort of thing one can't plan for.

A (arg!) supposedly simple scene that layers up, moves the tension forward, and probably has to be split into another subchapter to do justice to the dramatic tension.

You know taxes are DONE and I'm sinking my teeth into hitting stride for a straight roll.

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Saturday, January 17, 2009 - 04:35 pm: Edit Post

*Wonders how the Talespinner can be finished with taxes when not all the 1099 forms have been sent yet....guess it depends on who you invest with....*

Don't let me derail your straight roll, Ma'am, but I was wondering what you do with the content you cut out. Do you save it up and hope it somehow transmogrifies into an offering like Child of Prophecy? Or are there heaps of "outtakes" stacked neatly in the closet of the Wurtsian Studio?

We wonders, yes my precious, we wonders....

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 12:17 pm: Edit Post

Content cut out:

mostly just excess wordage, or, a paragraph of stuff that just didn't help the scene. If you have ever watched the "cut scenes" from the features in DVD's of films, you have to agree, many of those fragments just weren't is very very rare for me to cut a significant bit - very rare - to change the on page action - in this chapter's case, there were two paragraphs in one place, and a page in another, that had a minor event - that really just tipped off one of the leads to the punchline. Wrecked the tension/chopped em out.
Had I not been writing through Holidays and Taxes at year end, I probably wouldn't have put that stuff in to start with.

Occasionally - very very rarely - I will take out a scene - save it as notes and re-use bits of it later, or have it in the "dead file" of Atheran info that was not used....this usually happened when a volume in progress in Arc III just got too long, and I had to split the book - and in the retool to start the next volume, some scenes' content had to be altered, or cut, or shifted in focus. That stack is very very small, too.

Also in that stack - fragmentary scenes of forthcoming bits, that were written over 20 years ago, long in advance of the books....or fragments of scenes showing significant shifts, but that may not be used, per se, since I might stage that action from another viewpoint.

Sometimes there are fragmentary historical scenes, dumped into the paper scrap notes/doodled on napkins file. Those sometimes blossom into shorter material - I have a lot of plans for those, in the future, if time permits.

Taxes: easy, since any income came in, got entered when the check arrived. Period. If the 1099's don't agree, I never got the check...or the 1099 was wrong. (happens) We figure all the taxes now. Wait for the 1099s, cross check for errors (usually none) and file the final form later. Investments/banks, etc - we phone the institution. They know the figure. We use that. Check it when the 1099s come.

We do this all early on to avoid overpaying our fourth quarter estimated, and also to get the run on how much we can set aside for retirement. Which reduces the tax figure owed for the year. Makes a nice clean start, and we don't have the hair tearing, when we are up and creating stuff, through the spring. Holidays have already hashed the schedule - makes sense to use the break in momentum to do the financial housekeeping, AND to put last years records away before the new year's ones start to accumulate.

NOW I get clear title to write, write, write! And paint, and ride, and play pipes, and enjoy the gorgeous outdoors.

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 03:56 pm: Edit Post

Ah, I had it in mind that you were saying you'd already filed the taxes. Yes, financial record upkeep early in the year definitely removes one stressor, at least. I like to think that someday I'll just be waiting for 1099 confirmation, too.... ;-)

Atheran "dead file" = small?

With Wars of Light and Shadow already past the 3300 page mark (not including indices, etc.), if this file is even 1% of the published pages, I respectfully submit that you're already bordering on a Chapter of Atheran Factoids, if nothing else!

The hint here is that we're at loose ends, waiting for Initiate's Trial, of course.....can you tell??!!!

   By Clansman on Monday, January 19, 2009 - 09:16 am: Edit Post


"...and also to get the run on how much we can set aside for retirement."

Ahem. Janny. You have a calling, not a job, so you aren't allowed to retire.

And you're not allowed to die either.

Just thought I'd point that out.

   By Janny Wurts on Monday, January 19, 2009 - 11:19 am: Edit Post

Clansman: I have NO intent to stop writing. Or Retire!!! If you want to see what I mean about that, google search the City of Sarasota Pipe Band, (the site is COSPB. something) and look at the picture taken SATURDAY in Orlando. Left side, front row, holding the set of pipes....yup. And yes, I also played the solos, all three events at the top grade of the amateurs.

The "retirement" fund means, $$ we can set aside BEFORE TAXES...if all goes as we wish, it will stay completely untapped, and not needed, and a nice sweet gift will be made to a charity. That's the plan!

   By Clansman on Monday, January 19, 2009 - 01:37 pm: Edit Post

Ach, I was just pullin' yer leg! Worked mighty well, too!:-)

   By Hunter on Monday, January 19, 2009 - 03:57 pm: Edit Post

They might have spelt your name right.. if your favourite search engine didn't find it..

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - 10:49 am: Edit Post

My it's quiet in here....sound of many pins dropping.

If you think it feels like a deathwatch - NOPE! - this body's been WRITING!!! And playing music, and laughing, and chasing cats who hate medicine.

Wurtsville is busy.

What about Out There?

Need inspiration? Want chat? Feeling Alone in a rough patch? Want a breath of fresh air and some laughter? Just want to goof off? (Want a sneak peek?) - Sign in and make some noise, the quiet is deafening, and Certain Characters - well - they're not gonna play along with Silence!

Yeah, it's the middlebits doldrums - when I know what is coming, when I can't possibly breathe a word, when I'm gearing up to zip all the threads into PLUNGE to high gear - so much work yet to go, and so much behind, that must be kept under wraps...the hardest part, keeping the lid on the secrecy tank. When so much is busting, about to bust totally LOOSE.

Expect that certain characters - are going to surprise you!!! because certain judgement calls may just fly straight up into your face!

How's that for a wake up?

   By Theresa on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - 03:26 pm: Edit Post

Ah, you just are such a tease! As always, I look very much forward to being surprised. ;) I despair the wait, but one endures.

Things here are just par for the course - a month of fighting the respiratory plague, freaky weather, insane cats, everything. I just spent three hours (with a half-hour break mixed in) clearing off four... five inches of layered ice, accumulated sleet and snow off my driveway, which is a nightmare in and of itself (severe incline), but hey. Now I can go safely to work tomorrow instead of risking life, limb, and six-month-old car to the hills (driveway and street) and the lunatics (in two days of icy nasty weather, I heard four accidents at the intersection 100 ft from my driveway... I expect there were more).

Otherwise, things are pretty much same old, same old. :-)

January is almost over - how did that happen!

~Theresa (still here... still lurking!)

   By Julie on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - 06:51 pm: Edit Post

I think so many of us were focused on the 20th that the rest of January sneaked by! I can't complain about the weather except to say we need more rain in California. Work in the hospital remains brutal physically and emotionally- sicker patients, less help- so Janny I appeal again as an exhausted nurse can we have another sneak peek?

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, January 29, 2009 - 10:09 am: Edit Post

Hi Theresa -please don't lurk, plunge in! Nice to see you here!

Julie - I'll see what I can find.

   By Julie on Thursday, January 29, 2009 - 06:10 pm: Edit Post

Janny- thank you in advance!

   By Dan Henby on Friday, January 30, 2009 - 06:03 am: Edit Post

Hi there. I'm new on this board, although I have been reading for several years now, looking for updates on the status of several books. :-)
Living in Australia means that we are blessed with the early UK dates.
I am beginning to feel like a stalker, as I jump on most days looking at my favourite author's webpages to see when their next book is coming out!
Anyway, I guess this makes me a long-time lurker surfacing for a few moments.
I'll go back to lurking. ;)

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, January 30, 2009 - 10:02 am: Edit Post

Hi Dan - welcome to delurk!
You'll find out more by making NOISE here! :-)

Here's me, off to tackle the next scene, meantime.

   By Zorana Lewis on Friday, January 30, 2009 - 03:37 pm: Edit Post

As per usual, university strikes, which is why I've gone into lurk mode. Waay too many essays to do, not to mention my dissertation and I'm beginning to realise that making it up as you go along is clearly not working so I'm actually going to have to work. :D Joking, joking. But yeah, work, work, glorious if I could only find some work that pays me as well, and I'd be sorted. :D

   By Micheal Alexander Trout on Friday, January 30, 2009 - 08:49 pm: Edit Post

Well, I will gladly follow the trend of new delurkers if it helps keep a certain talespinner happily writing... Not to mention the added bonus of getting "certain characters" to play. I have been trying to do my part in getting all of my co-workers hooked for awhile now though. I would also be very happy if you might give us a bit more of a tease...

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, January 31, 2009 - 05:30 pm: Edit Post

Ah, wow, what fun! Another DeCloaking! Welcome Micheal Alexander Trout!!

I shall see - let me flip through the heap of pages...after I finish the current scene...gads, it is very hard to find a bit that isn't a spoil of some bad do you want to get startled?

   By Konran on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 02:00 am: Edit Post

I blame my quietude on setting up a new art contest on Gaia (anybody here play? I'd be happy to have you drop in and chat...) and on slight computer issues... The art contest is now ready to go, however, and I should be free to hang around once more. I'd be more than happy to be startled though!

   By Lee Ball on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 09:48 am: Edit Post

Janny, I have been lurking as usual, but less so the last few days. I was introducing a new semester of high school kids to Visual Art. This semester I have a student teacher, a new level of sculpture to teach and have been a little pre-occupied with planning and fuguring out how to fit all the things I need to do into a day...two young kids to boot. I also show my own work at a co-op gallery. I will be trying to finish the last piece today - not looking so positive. Your words are welcome, pleasing diversion here and in book form:-)


   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 11:43 am: Edit Post

Well, Lee Ball (delurker) and Konran - longtime poster! - looks like the Paravia Board participants are all up to creative stuff, in a good way.

I can sympathize with the not looking so positive. Been there done that, with tough art deadlines. I take a walk, when that happens, or clean the floor in the kitchen, or dust or oil furniture. The Open Focus of the excercise usually cracks the wall, and I can see where the inspiration got locked up.

The worst case of this I EVER faced: the first time I did the British cover for one of my novels. Curse of the Mistwraith. I had to do a landscape, up against the very BEST landscape artists in the industry - and they were pros at it, no question. I'd never done a fantasy painting where the entire focus was the panorama - always for me, the panorama was the backdrop.

I had to turn in a sketch, first, so the publisher wasn't surprised...and I spent 30 DAYS turning out sketch after substandard mess. Knowing it was useless, about to give it in, cry uncle, and toss it to the art director's usual stable (for MY SERIES!!!) - I had one day left! And had fallen a month to six weeks behind, was completely frantic....y'know that blazing white slash across the middle of the picture??? Then the black black intersection of the shadow line against it? Don't ask!!!!

But it was the key to unifying all the elements and creating the tension - sometimes the very fury of the "mistakes" creates the opening to make the magic happen.

If you are busy overperfecting, put in something totally bold, reckless and raw and see what happens....

I also find that those white noise "High Focus" tapes that unify the two hemispheres of the brain work Very Well when stumped. They can really break up the log jams of tired, old "non invention" and get me flowing.

Good luck!

I'm off to tear back into a scene in progress. No hesitations here, today, thankfully.