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Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire, #1)
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Michael J. Sullivan > AoM: Ask the Author (Spoilers Likely)

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message 1: by Michael (last edited Jul 01, 2016 03:49AM) (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Hey all, thanks for reading Age of Myth! It's so exciting to have the book out (I started writing it in February 2013). I'm going to stay away from the "other" threads so you can post in peace. So don't ask me questions there. But if you want to chat with me, ask questions, or just tell me what you think about the book - this is the place!


message 2: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Thank you for doing this. I'm sure you're pretty busy right now with the big release.

So I'll preface my question by saying I have a terrible memory for names.

On your blog you talked vaguely (no names) about how the secondary characters 'staged a coup'.

I'm only about 13 chapters in, and so far I've only really recognized Nephron. It's certainly possible I missed some other names I should remember though.

Were you originally going to write the book about him and his followers, and instead ended up telling the story from the perspective of Raithe, Suri and Persephone? Or have I not gotten to these characters yet?

I must say I love all 3 of them, especially Suri.


message 3: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Hmm, as I'm rereading your blog post, I'm guessing I haven't gotten to that part yet.

"What if the fate of mankind did not depend on the bravery of a muscular man with a broadsword and a gritty past. What if everyone owed their future to a cripple, an emotional shut-in, a self-centered bitch, and a little girl who likes stories a bit too much? Wouldn’t that be way more interesting? How could such a thing happen?"

Or I'm just starting to get there now, because I might have met the "emotional shut-in" during my commute this morning.


message 4: by Kat (new) - added it

Kat | 1177 comments Rob wrote: "because I might have met the "emotional shut-in" during my commute this morning."

....I didn't see you on my train, you should have said hello.


message 5: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
LOL Kat.


Scott  Hitchcock (lostinthewarrenofchaos) | 24 comments In one of the Riyeria books where Arista is having flashbacks as seen by a young Ezra Hardin he talks to Trilos who I don't believe ever gave his true name in that series. I could have sworn Trilos warns him he won't help and that he wasn't sure he could defeat Gryndal even if he was to help. I obviously had that wrong given the ending of this book. Who was Trilos in fact referencing or am I completely remembering this wrong?

I loved the twist with Nephron and Malcolm at the end leading into the next book. I think having many characters who fall into the gray and not pure black and white make it more interesting.


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Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Rob wrote: "On your blog you talked vaguely (no names) about how the secondary characters 'staged a coup'."

Can't really talk about this without spoiling the book. But I will say that there are characters who you've either not met, or have only had cameo roles which will be far more important as the story goes along...I want to say something else regarding the "mains" but that would be going to far.

Rob wrote: "I must say I love all 3 of them, especially Suri.

Glad to hear it. There are a lot of characters that I love in this story.


message 8: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Rob wrote: "Or I'm just starting to get there now, because I might have met the "emotional shut-in" during my commute this morning."

It's definitely possible ;-)


message 9: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Scott wrote: "In one of the Riyeria books where Arista is having flashbacks as seen by a young Ezra Hardin he talks to Trilos who I don't believe ever gave his true name in that series. I could have sworn Trilos warns him he won't help and that he wasn't sure he could defeat Gryndal even if he was to help. I obviously had that wrong given the ending of this book. Who was Trilos in fact referencing or am I completely remembering this wrong? ."

I'm sorry to say you are remembering things wrong. There is no mention of either Trilos or Gryndal in any of the Riyria novels."

Scott wrote: "I loved the twist with Nephron and Malcolm at the end leading into the next book. I think having many characters who fall into the gray and not pure black and white make it more interesting."

Yeah I thought people might find that final conversation interesting ;-). I know Robin did. And yes she had to wait for the next book as well as I hadn't finished it at the time she read book #1.


Scott  Hitchcock (lostinthewarrenofchaos) | 24 comments Michael wrote: "I'm sorry to say you are remembering things wrong. There is no mention of either Trilos or Gryndal in any of the Riyria novels.."

Thanks can you reference who it was the Ezra had that conversation with? Or will that come forth later in this series.

In regards to Trilos perhaps I've made a bad assumption. The character who helps Thrace and Emilia whose name escapes me. At the end he walks away and the way I remember it was he was making up for his waiting for the outcome as an experiment. The scenes with Trilos at the door seem similar and I made the assumption this was Trilos.

I did these on audio so I can't search for the specifics easily.


Scott  Hitchcock (lostinthewarrenofchaos) | 24 comments I thought of it. Nimbus. I assumed Nimbus was Trilos.


Scott  Hitchcock (lostinthewarrenofchaos) | 24 comments So to be completely clear I thought the person Ezra was speaking to in the visions was Nimbus and that Nimbus was in fact Trilos revealed in Age of Myth. I also thought the powerful wizard Ezra was warned about Arista's vision was Gryndal. The talk about wanting to see how things played out by both characters led me to believe they would be the same person. Couple this with Trilos giving the Art to the elfs and he could easily outlive everybody.

Apparently I got this all wrong.


Scott (thekeeblertree) | 1049 comments I'm really glad that we're getting the full story of the first empire that was sort of hinted at through the Riyria books. What made you want to revisit this moment in history? Had this been planned for a while?


message 14: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
So I've finished the book, and I don't mind spoilers. We have a warning in the title. I'd be curious for some more insights about your tertiary characters staging a coup. Or do you mean spoilers for later books?

So far they still seem fairly tertiary to me.

Also, I think I read in one of your author question answers that this series is now going to be 6 books instead of 5. Do I have that correct?

Feel free to disregard these questions if I'm prying too much..but my memory was you were under contract for 3 books to DAW. Is that correct?

However I think you did the audiobook deal separately, right?

If for some reason DAW doesn't pick up the rest of the series and you have to self publish, will all the books still be coming out in audio?

You seem to have managed that with The Death of Dulgath at least.

Thanks again for doing this, and for such a great book. I can't wait for the next one.


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Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Scott wrote: "Thanks can you reference who it was the Ezra had that conversation with? Or will that come forth later in this series."

Yolric is probably the person you are speaking about, but in the conversation there is no mention of another person (such as Gryndal)

Scott wrote: "In regards to Trilos perhaps I've made a bad assumption. The character who helps Thrace and Emilia whose name escapes me.

That character's name is Nimbus, who is more than one would expect up until the last pages of the book.

Scott wrote: "At the end he walks away and the way I remember it was he was making up for his waiting for the outcome as an experiment. The scenes with Trilos at the door seem similar and I made the assumption this was Trilos.

Yes, there was an experiment, but again that goes back to Yolric (not Nimbus). Yolric is a character that is somewhat under the radar in Revelations. I won't say anymore than that.


message 16: by Michael (last edited Jul 04, 2016 03:48AM) (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Scott wrote: "Apparently I got this all wrong."

You're sniffing around in the right places. There are just a few threads that were not tied at the end of Revelations - and you're right for thinking that there may be some connection to Legends.


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Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Scott wrote: "What made you want to revisit this moment in history? Had this been planned for a while? "

I have a lot of "plans" what will actually come to paper is another matter. For instance I would like to write a book (or a series - won't know how long it will be until I write it). About the Fall of Percepliquis where I could give Esrahadon's, Yolric's, Jerish's, and Nevrik's background. I even have a "plan" for something post Riyria but quite a bit in the future.

I could even go back further than Legends and tell Fenelyus's story about the first war with the King of the dwarves.

When I wrote Riyria I had about 8,000 years of history in the world (some before and some after those books). I always wanted to tell the whole arc and writing "The Legends books" fills in a pretty important time period in that arc.

So lots of important story lines to explore. Will they all get written? Will any of them? Time will tell. Bottom line is I have more stories in my head then I'll be able to get out on paper before I kick the bucket. I would like to write those other books (series) but until I actually do they are just in the "planning" stages.


message 18: by Michael (last edited Jul 04, 2016 05:02AM) (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Rob wrote: "I'd be curious for some more insights about your tertiary characters staging a coup. Or do you mean spoilers for later books?"

(view spoiler)

Rob wrote: "Also, I think I read in one of your author question answers that this series is now going to be 6 books instead of 5. Do I have that correct?

Yep. When Robin (my wife and alpha reader) read the series she proclaimed the first there books in really good shape. But the last two were rushed and there were some creative choices I took that she disagreed with. As such, there was quite a bit of restructuring after book #3. When writing book #4, I thought I should end at a particular point, but since it is kinda "cliff-hangerish" to end there I wrote on and found a new ending...although it really wasn't the best place to do so.

Anyway...so when I did the rewriting, I went back and ended book #4 where it should have been which meant that much of what had been book #4 moved into book #5. That made it a really long book, but I though it was doable. Well when I got to about the middle of book #5, again the natural ending as staring me in the face and I bit the bullet and ended it there, pushing about half of book #5 in to a book #6. Because of changes in book #4 and #5, book #6 needed a lot of new stuff, and when I was done adding that it had grown to a full-length novel size so when all was said and done I expanded the series, yet again to six books. The story has changed some since the first draft but what really happened is I made the novel breaks where they naturally wanted to fall as opposed to trying to squeeze what was clearly there books into two.

Rob wrote: "Feel free to disregard these questions if I'm prying too much..but my memory was you were under contract for 3 books to DAW. Is that correct?

No question (other than one that will be spoiler and ruin the series) is off the table. In general, Del Rey like 3 book contracts (many publishers do). I think there was some confusion during the contract because when they saw the series it was 5 books but I think they thought it was four so they offered 4 books. I didn't like having just one book hanging, and I wanted the ability to advance other story lines between books of The Legends of the First Empire (be it "The Fall of Percepliquis" or Riyria), so we did some creative contract work.

The first part of that was to allow a Riyria book to come out in 2015. The last one had released in 2013 and I didn't want to hold off another one until 2020 (if it turned out that the 4 books they signed came out yearly). So that got a Riyria out.

Then we decided to change the contract from 4 "First Empire books" to 3 "First Empire books" and one "other Elan book" that wasn't yet determined. That way it could be a Riyria book, A Fall of Percepliquis book, or any other storyline.

Now that the series is 6 books long, what I suspect will happen is we'll change the first contract such that it's three books, and then sign another one for the last three books. But in-between those there needs to be some "Non Legend" books to keep multiple series progressing at a reasonable pace. It may also be that the books come out more quickly than once a year. Of course, Del Rey needs to see all six books (and they've not even seen book #2 yet), so all this is speculation an will depend on what they think once they see the whole scope but that's where are now.

Rob wrote: "However I think you did the audiobook deal separately, right?"

Yep. For my first contract with Orbit, I wanted to keep back audio rights but that was a "deal breaker" for them (which it really shouldn't have been because at the time they sold those rights for like $2,000 a book). Anyway, when the second contract was signed, the audio books were making some serious money and I didn't want to split that cash 50/50 with Orbit (for doing little more than signing a piece of paper). So, once again I tried to hold back that right, and once again the answer was no. I needed up signing that contract, but based on wha the audio rights have subsequently made (and how much of that money went elsewhere), it was a bad decision on my part. So, when I was writing the Legends books, I knew the result would probably be the same UNLESS I sold the audio rights first (such that they would be off the table). So that's what I did. It's a gamble. For some publishers it may mean they aren't interested anymore, but given the value of the audio rights, it doesn't matter too much to me if they aren't. It wasn't a problem for Del Rey (and the other publishers who offered on The Legends books. But it could be.

Rob wrote: "If for some reason DAW doesn't pick up the rest of the series and you have to self publish, will all the books still be coming out in audio?

Oh yeah, without a doubt. The first four books were signed before they were written, and when the series grew to 5 books it was also signed. I haven't gone back now that it is six because I was to finish the edits up (should be another few weeks at most) and be 100% sure that I don't somehow collapse the books back into 5 (something I doubt, but until Robin reads the re-writes I won't know for sure). And if it does appear like there will be six, then we'll sign it up as well.

Rob wrote: "You seem to have managed that with The Death of Dulgath at least.

Getting an audiobook contract is NOT a problem. I have three publishers who are always vying for my books. I sell really well in audio. For instance, currently I have 6 books in the top 100 bestselling epic fantasy (Age of Myth #3, Professional Integrity #19, Theft of Swords #24 | The Jester #28 | Rise of Empire #33 | The Death of Dulgath #75) and it's not unusual to find all 8 of my books in that grouping. But even if I didn't have publishers interested in producing them, I'd go the ACX route and hire TGR directly and pay for the studio time. So, no worries about the audio books and self-publishing, plenty of options there.

Rob wrote: "Thanks again for doing this, and for such a great book. I can't wait for the next one.

It's my pleasure. I'm glad your group has picked it.


message 19: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Rob wrote: "I'd be curious for some more insights about your tertiary characters staging a coup. Or do you mean spoilers for later books?"

[spoilers removed]"


Thanks. I enjoyed those characters and will be curious to see what they do as the series goes on.


message 20: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments I'm pretty excited for people to see where the character go.


Scott  Hitchcock (lostinthewarrenofchaos) | 24 comments Michael wrote: "Scott wrote: "Apparently I got this all wrong."

You're sniffing around in the right places. There are just a few threads that were not tied at the end of Revelations - and you're right for thinki..."


Thanks for all of your replies. That clears a lot up. I do remember Yolric now. I love TGR but the one thing I love about Kindle is being able to search a book when you can't quite remember the gist of things.


message 22: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Yeah search capability is definitely a big help. But as you said, TGR is just too good to pass up. For the books I self-publish, I offer free ebooks to anyone who has a print or audio version. I can't do that with books owned by the publishers, but trying to get something set up.


message 23: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (last edited Jul 04, 2016 06:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
I missed your edit to your previous post, thanks for all the detail on the contract stuff. Whenever I recommend your books I always suggest the audio. It doesnt surprise me that you do so well there.

In fact the only books of yours I own that aren't in audio are for short stories (which you've generously given away free in audio), Hollow World, and The Death of Dulgath, which I've actually never read because I bought the audiobook version as well.

I mostly backed the kickstarter so I'd be sure to get the audio version, plus I really liked the tshirt and the poster. I had it framed and hung it in my dining room.

picture


message 24: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Nice! The posters are so cool - can't beat the artwork of Marc Simonetti. Thanks for the KS support. I can't do much with KS with regards to audio stuff, maybe some day Robin will figure a way to do so.


message 25: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Yeah, I knew that going in. It's nice to have a least one of your books sitting on my shelves too, even if it's gone unread.


Scott (thekeeblertree) | 1049 comments Thanks so much for the answers Michael! Always great to see your thought process behind your work that we all love so much. Those ideas you had sound pretty amazing, can't wait to get my hands on whatever you end up doing.

I think I've asked you this before, but I can't remember the answer. (view spoiler) I went ahead and marked it in spoiler tag since it deals with the end of the Riyria Revelations.

Thanks again!


message 27: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Hey Scott,
I have a bunch of short story ideas to consider for future anthologies. The problem with the one you are suggesting, is it's audience is limited to those who have finished Heir of Novron...if anyone else were to pick it up, they'd spoiled the series and that would be a bad thing indeed. In general, I have to keep the shorts to be somewhat "generic" so that anyone can pick them up. But maybe do something like that as a free giveaway to people who have already completed the book. We'll see.


Scott (thekeeblertree) | 1049 comments Oh yeah, I never even thought of that. Just selfishly want a story like that haha

Thanks!


message 29: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 157 comments Haha - nothing wrong with wanting a particular tale. Just a problem to "put it out there" without knowing what people have (and have not read) in the past.


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