First let me get to some quick updates. I've put up a few WARBREAKER annotations: two on chapter five and one on chapter six. Two new podcast episodes of Writing Excuses have also gone up, recorded live at Dragons & Fairy Tales bookstore. In the first one Dan, Howard, and I offer constructive criticism on several listeners' submitted first paragraphs. In the second episode, we discuss what to do with old material that you've set aside.
Now to the main announcement, which appeared on my Twitter/Facebook feeds last week: TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, book 13 of the Wheel of Time, is finished. All of the drafts are done, the final revisions made, the book turned in. (And for those who don't watch Twitter/Facebook, we're hoping to eventually post a weekly "best of" or something here on the website for you to read through.)
Getting the book done on time (or, well, close to it) took a lot out of me. I was basically worthless Wednesday and Thursday of last week recuperating. And I'm not a guy who often needs to do things like that. However, I feel that the book turned out very well. The publication date is set for November 2nd, and at this point, there's basically no chance we'll miss that. So go ahead and preorder and make your plans to come see me on one of my upcoming tours. Things look good.
Now that it's done, I can sit back and look at the book as a whole. As I said, I'm very pleased with it. For months I've been telling people that I feel that in many ways, it's even more true to the Wheel of Time than THE GATHERING STORM was. I hope to maintain the pacing that made people enjoy TGS, but at the same time TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT has a much expanded scope than the previous novel, showing a larger picture and getting back to many characters who were ignored or had reduced parts in TGS. Though we are jumping back in time for a few viewpoints to catch them up, it does also continue Rand/Egwene and other characters who had a large focus in TGS.
I hope that you enjoy it. There are some scenes in it we've been waiting to read for a long, long time. Scenes that made my heart break to write, and others that bring a smile to my face every time I look through them again.
Now that it's done, it is time for me to take a break. I've been going full steam on the Wheel of Time and the Stormlight Archive now for about three years. These last eighteen months were particularly demanding, filled with seventy-hour weeks. I don't regret it, and I'm certainly not complaining. I agree to deadlines when I make contracts, and I love my job. I will gladly work twelve- and fourteen-hour days six days a week at something I love if it means I don't have to work eight hours a day five days a week at something I hate. (Which would be pretty much anything other than writing.)
But I have to take care not to burn myself out either. And so, as I did last summer, I'm going to take some time off and work on side projects. These are very relaxing to me—books that have no deadline and that no editor is waiting for or expecting to see. I'll probably only have time to write one, and I'm not sure what it will be yet, but it won't be an epic fantasy. (They take far too long for the time I'm giving myself.) Probably a YA novel or maybe even something wild, such as an urban fantasy or the like. Perhaps some short stories.
I'll post about what I'm doing, when I'm doing it. I'll also be taking some time to read, play some video games, and build Magic decks. I do want to give a special thank you to those who sent me cards during the last few weeks. I tried to thank everyone, and there are still a few I intend to post about, but some of the items that arrived from my wishlist didn't include a name telling me who originally bought them for me.
I'm intending to bring these cards specifically to Dragon*Con and do some fun things with them. I'll post later in the week about it, but if you like Magic and are going to Dragon*Con, we should be able to find some time to play. (I'm thinking of bringing an Archenemy deck and trying to take on multiple fans at once in epic, large-scale games.)
Anyway, be sure to check back during this week, as I intend to make up for missed blog posts (sorry about the lack of those these last few months) by posting frequently this week. I'll probably do a few posts about THE WAY OF KINGS, which is only about a week away now, and maybe talk about the projects I've got planned for the free months.
Right now, my plan is to start on A MEMORY OF LIGHT on January first.
Thank you all for being awesome.
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