Matt asked Michael J. Sullivan:

I have read in interviews that you wrote 10 novels before you started working on Riyria. I'm curious to know if you have any intentions to ever publish those works, or if they will remain unread by the public as you develop new worlds to work in? BTW, what happened to the 'stache? It changed your look from "scholarly and somewhat British" to more of a "guy next door" vibe. :)

Michael J. Sullivan Hey Matt,

Thanks for stopping by. It was actually 13 books...the book that finally made it to publication was The Crown Conspiracy, which was my fourteenth novel. Most of those were "for practice" and I had no intention of publishing them, but I'd say the last 5 were ones that I was writing with the intention of “getting them out there.”

I have recently "resurrected" one of those and that goes by the working title of "Antithesis." After finishing The Riyria Revelations, I dusted it off, stripped it down to the studs, and re-wrote it. When all was said and done I didn't like the way it turned out. After sharing it with a few others, I decided that even in its rewritten form it just wasn't clicking. It took me a while to figure out what all was wrong with it, and I do now know of some ways it could be fixed, but as that would be the third re-write of that book, I'm kinda putting it in the category of not throwing more time on something that I've already done twice and neither to my satisfaction. There are a few things I might do with it. Maybe release it as a free story for those that request...but as I said it's not my best work and I hate having anything out there that I'm not proud of.

Another project from the past is something I call A Burden to the Earth. Unlike Antithesis I really like this it is written, the story line, just about everything. The problem…it's literary fiction, and the main character isn’t very likeable (by design). As such, I think most people who already read (and like) my stuff will be disappointed. I’m not sure what I’ll do with that one. Again, I might release it for free to people with a big disclaimer about it being unlike my other work. Or I might think of publishing it under a pen name. The truth of the matter is it’s just sitting there because I have other projects that are exciting me more.

The other three books have what I would consider good premises, but like Antithesis would need to be stripped down and re-worked now that I’ve grown as an author and found my voice. I may do that someday but for now I have too many new projects that are filling my thoughts that I have no drive to go back to some of those earlier ones.

As to the ’stache. Here is the skinny on that. I’ve had one nearly all my life. In fact when my wife met me over 35 years ago I had it. One day I shaved it just to see what it would be like, and my entire family (children and wife) freaked out. They all insisted I grow it back…and as they see my mug and I don’t, I complied. Over the years the grey really started showing in it and it was making me look old, and also as if I was perpetually stuck in the 1970’s. So I shaved it. Suddenly people I met at the bar started pegging my age at mid 30’s, so that, combined with the fact that my wife likes it better (my children still want it back but they are outvoted by Robin) is keeping my upper lip clean for now.

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