December Updates

Hello everyone,

It’s about time for some status updates on my books, so let’s get to it.

Diamantine, the second Weapons and Wielders book, remains my next planned book release. My plan was to try to get it out by the end of the year, but this is looking less and less likely for a number of reasons.

The first reason is purely mundane; I pulled my neck badly a few weeks ago, and the pain has made working more difficult. I’m recovering, but that injury slowed my progress for some time.

The second reason is the scope of some of the changes needed to finish the project. Most of my beta readers were generally very positive about the book, but one reader in particular had some significant criticisms that I feel were valid. The summary is that I introduced a ton of new characters in this book, as well as reintroduced some old ones – and the sheer number of them means that each individual character has less impact and screen time.

In part, this was deliberate, because I was setting up these characters for being relevant in the third book (or later books) – but doing that with several different characters in the same book makes it hard to invest in these new characters, and to some degree that does them a disservice.

In order to fix this, I may be deleting some characters from this book entirely, as well as adding some additional scenes to make some of the characters that should feel important be more relevant. This should, I hope, help make the book feel better as a stand alone work rather than just building into the third book.

Regardless of how much time I spend on adding content, this book is still designed to be part 1 of the tournament arc of the story, and I know not everyone will enjoy that style. This is something I’m going to highlight as clearly as possible in the book itself, but I know that some readers prefer books that wrap everything up neatly. That isn’t my style, and never has been. I think execution is important here. Much like Sufficiently Advanced Magic didn’t cover an entire school year, I don’t think covering the entirety of the tournament in one book is necessary as long as the ending itself feels satisfying – and I think this one does. I know not all readers will agree with me, though.

(I have, of course, seen the reactions to Cradle’s latest book. My hope is that being transparent about this – and having a different style of ending – will make this book a little bit less divisive, but we’ll see.)

Once I make these large-scale changes, the book still needs another editing pass. That generally takes about a month, plus time for me to review the changes. I might be able to get this done faster, but I’m not certain.

Finally, the cover art isn’t quite done yet. The current draft of it is looking beautiful, but I’ve asked my artist for a few adjustments to one of the characters, and I’m not sure how long it’ll be before those changes are completed. Without finished cover art, I can’t get the graphic design/typography for the book started, and without a finished cover I can’t ship a book.

So, what’s all this mean?

A December release for Diamantine is no longer likely to happen. I won’t rule it out entirely – I’m pushing hard to get my edits done as quickly as possible – but even if I get my own changes and the final editing pass done in time (unlikely), there’s a moderate chance the cover art won’t be ready.

I am revising my estimates to a mid-January release. I’ve also considered delaying it longer deliberately so I can release it closer to back-to-back with Weapons and Wielders book 3, but I don’t think I’m going to wait that long. I’d rather focus on Arcane Ascension 3 rather than trying to race to get Weapons and Wielders 3 done, since I know that the vast majority of my fans are waiting eagerly for AA3.

Speaking of the other books, I’ve made progress on them as well, but it’s been slow due to my focus on editing Diamantine (and my injury).

Arcane Ascension 3 is roughly 17% written at this point. I expect that once Diamantine is out, I’ll start making progress on this much more quickly. My current aim is for a mid-2020 release.

Weapons and Wielders 3 is about the same, although a good part of that is content that was removed from Diamantine. I do not intend to finish this until after Arcane Ascension 3, although I’ll probably bounce back and forth between them, since that helps me stay productive. Having multiple books to work on is a good way to keep myself from getting blocked on writing for any significant period of time. My current goal is a late 2020 release on this one.

I have some other side projects, like Carefully Worded Wishes (a more Cultiviation-style novel set on the continent of Artinia), but they’re largely on hold for the time being.

That’s my update for now. Thanks for your patience, everyone!

25 thoughts on “December Updates

  1. Well as long as it doesnt pull a s.a.o. and wait 5 years than im good and happy meanwhile im rereading six sacred swords and the kings dark tidings series

    1. Unfortunately, beta readers slow my progress down on actually releasing the book significantly, so adding more makes things difficult.

      I’ve considered doing something more like a web serial for one of my stories in the future – a Patreon style thing for that would make a lot of sense, but I probably won’t do that for my current series.

      1. You know, you can just ignore beta readers that you don’t like. I actually love to read works-in-progress as they are being polished, and serialized books usually don’t work this way.

  2. This is the first time I’ve ever put something on an author’s response, but I feel its warranted to be said and I hope I speak for us all when I say I hope you feel better and dont push yourself too hard. I’m sure everything will be great 🙂

  3. Super excited for diamantine and AA3. Was just wondering if there was an update on the audio book for Defying Destiny would love to here Nick Podehl read it. Keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks for the update. Cant wait for w&w to come out, but I can definitely wait for you to do more editing. A month isnt much time at all and I can appreciate the reasoning behind it. One person’s opinion may not always be right, but I think being open to constructive criticism is always helpful for turning out the best material and it speaks volumes about you as an author.

    I hope you have a speedy recovery, and a wonderful holiday season.

  5. I’m sad I won’t be reading the book this year but that’s ok. I will say the problem with uncrowneds ending was it ended between the two expected climaxes, if after lindon lost the book wound it would have been fine. Much like how SAM climaxed at the tower and added no new information afterwards so it felt complete despite it being only half the school year. I don’t think half way through a tournament is an inherently bad place to stop as long as it feels like an ending.

  6. Wow you sound busy! Im really excited about AA3, I haven’t been reading your books long but I just bought defining destiny and so far it’s great! Keep up the good work, and thanks for the updates. 🙂

  7. I just found your books as audiobooks on audible. Started with the arcane ascension books and now reading your others. Love the world you created and the characters that live in them. Have you thought of written a companion book to them about the world in general? I would love to even see maps of the continents. Geopolitical features in your world would be fascinating considering their different beliefs and magical systems.

    I would love to be a beta reader if possible. I have been an RPG and a Fantasy book lover since a was in middle and found The Sword of Shannara in my library. Once I am done reading your books would love to ask some follow up questions if I am not a bother.

    1. Hiya,

      Yes, I definitely plan to have companion books of some sort.. I have a lot of that sort of thing already written, but I need to get it cleaned up into a publishable format and updated with the most recent information. It’ll likely come in the form of a RPG Campaign Setting book (or series of books) of some kind.

      Also, for quick reference, there’s a map of the continent of Kaldwyn in the beginning of On the Shoulders of Titans and Six Sacred Swords. You can also see it here:

      I’m not looking for more beta readers right now, but thanks for the offer! I appreciate it.

  8. Hey! It’s great to get to know about your progress! I do hope your neck gets better soon, though… I’m really looking forward for the release of Diamantine and for AA3. Love both series and I am dying to know what will happen to Corin, and somehow holding out hopes of the extremely unlikely event that he’ll find the Spider Spire (or an entrance to the unclaimed one) and become chronomancer! hahaha. However I did want to ask, are there any plans for an audiobook release of Defying Destiny? Audiobooks are my favourite format, and have been saving up an audible credit for months (which feels like ages when I’m in suspense) in waiting that release! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for the support and the interest in my books!

      An audio book for Defying Destiny is planned, but the audio book is taking longer than I’d originally hoped. The narrator is extremely popular and has a very tight schedule. I don’t have a launch date for the audio book yet, but it’s looking like it might be around April.

  9. I know Uncrowned got mixed reviews but I feel it was the bravest of the books even braver than Skysworn. I trust Will and I trust you in your storytelling. I’m just along for the ride.

  10. I love the transparency, and the fairly rapid release schedule you keep. Not all authors are that up front and dedicated to actually finishing series. That isn’t a fair statement in all cases, as things get distracting, but not having to wait years for the next entry in a series you pick up unfinished is welcoming. *cough Rothfuss cough*

    That said I will have to do my best to pace myself with the next entries, as i read through your collected works in a week when I started Arcane Ascension, and Defying Destiny took less than a day ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I am hooked, keep it up!

      1. Just wanted to add my appreciation for the fact that you keep us up to date. It’s also kind of amusing how apologetic you are over a delay until the end of January, since a traditionally published author would be apologizing that the book they planned for October 2020 is going to be delayed until June 2021…

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