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Writer Q & A (Archived) > Q and A with author Michael J. Sullivan: July 15th-17th

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message 1: by A.F. (last edited Jul 15, 2011 05:55AM) (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1777 comments Mod
Please welcome the acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan to our Q and A discussions. He was born in 1961 in Detroit, Michigan. After building a successful advertising agency, he sold the business in 2004 to write full time. While he has written 16 full length novels, the books in his Riyria Revelations series are his first published works. The first three novels have been released to wild acclaim and the series is on many of the fantasy's "most anticipated" lists.
He has won several awards, including, 2010 Fantasy Book Critic's Top 25, 2010 Fantasy Book Critic Top Independent Novels and Iceberg Ink Review's Best Fantasy Novel.

His Goodreads Profile:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2063919.Michael_J_Sullivan



The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan Wintertide (The Riyria Revelations, #5) by Michael J. Sullivan The Emerald Storm (The Riyria Revelations, #4) by Michael J. Sullivan Nyphron Rising (The Riyria Revelations, #3) by Michael J. Sullivan Avempartha (The Riyria Revelations, #2) by Michael J. Sullivan Rise of Empire (Omnibus Riyria Revelations, #2) by Michael J. Sullivan Theft of Swords (Omnibus Riyria Revelations, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan Heir of Novron (Omnibus Riyria Revelations, #3) by Michael J. Sullivan


message 2: by Lexi (new)

Lexi Revellian (lexirevellian) | 43 comments Hi Michael,

In your blog you say you used the same font for your self-published books as was used in the Harry Potter books - which one is it, if you don't mind saying?

I'm curious, as I put a lot of trial and error into which font to go with for my paperbacks, printing out pages actual size in various fonts and spacing before deciding on Adobe Caslon. I didn't think of looking at Harry Potter...

Lexi


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Lexi wrote: "Hi Michael,

In your blog you say you used the same font for your self-published books as was used in the Harry Potter books - which one is it, if you don't mind saying?

I'm curious, as I put a l..."


The font is 12 point Garamond. If you have a hardcover copy of any of Rowlings books and look at the last page it is actually listed. I remember reading them and thinking they were attractive and easy to read. Yet in addition, and this is something I did not put in my blog, Garamond is a tight font, so it takes less space, creates less pages, and makes the book cheaper.


message 4: by Angela (new)

Angela Smith (dandilyonfluff) | 86 comments Hey Michael, Thanks so much for joining us and letting us pick your brain! My question is (as always) about marketing.

What have you found to be the most successful, and what was your least successful promotional efforts? Any tips for those of us just hitting the market?

Thanks again for your time, and to A.F Stewart for hosting these great chats ^.^


message 5: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 46 comments Michael,

Again, thank you for being here.

With the recognition that has come with the Orion deal, what has changed for you? Is your typical day of writing different now than it was when you were first penning (ok, typing) "Crown Conspiracy"?

Splitter


message 6: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments In one of my books I actually dedicated the book to both bloggers and GoodReads. In the beginning my wife had to plead with bloggers to take a look at the book but as more reviews (and thank God positive ones) came out then people started coming to me asking for copies. GoodReads is such a great place to connect writers and readers. I was selected for a number of fantatsy/science fiction group reads and those were exceptional opportunities.


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments A. F. wrote: "Please welcome the acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan to our Q and A discussions. He was born in 1961 in Detroit, Michigan. After building a successful advertising agency, he sold the business i..."

Thanks A.F. for inviting me here - I'm very excited to participate. One small correction I'd like to make...the first 5 books are actually released at this time. Although they will start to disappear soon because as we draw closer to the Orbit release in November the "old versions" have to disapper. The print books go away first - Only a few more weeks (they will be off the market by August 1) and the ebooks by August 31. But then it won't be long until the Orbit versions are available.


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments C.S. Splitter wrote: "Michael,

Again, thank you for being here.

With the recognition that has come with the Orion deal, what has changed for you? Is your typical day of writing different now than it was when you were..."


Actually, remarkably little has changed so far. Maybe it will when the books are actually released ... from "Orbit" (but I can see where the confussion comes from). One really cool thing was signing Advanced Reading Copies (ARC) in New York during Book Expo (BEA). It's a huge publishing industry event and there were people from all over the world gathered for it. It was very sureal to be sitting in a resturant with my agent and overhearing a conversation at the next table about an author talking to their agent about a book they were shopping around. It made me feel like an "insider" in a secret society.


message 9: by D.B. (new)

D.B. Smyth (dbsmyth) So with all your success as a self-pupped author, what convinced you to publish with Orbit?


message 10: by D.B. (new)

D.B. Smyth (dbsmyth) P.S. Thanks for being so open with your experiences!


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments D.B. wrote: "So with all your success as a self-pupped author, what convinced you to publish with Orbit?"

When I received the offer from Orbit I wasn't all that successful. I was selling about 1000 books a month over five titles. Now that's not bad, but it pales when compared to the 10,000 a month I would be selling in the coming months. So while I was doing okay, I wasn't doing great.

My wife Robin, who handles my marketing, felt she had done all she could to boost me in the public conscience. The last thing to try was traditional publishing. I figured it was not going to happen, and if it did, it would take years, so I told Robin, sure go ahead. And we had the offer in like a month. I was stunned.

The greater question perhaps is why did I accept the offer.

I expected I might sell 50 books if I was lucky. I hoped to make $2000 dollars off the series, but figured that was dreaming. This year I made enough so that my wife could retire from her day job, and the two of us to live off my writing. So I made much more off my books than I ever expected to. If I don't make another dime off them, I'll be happy and then some. But once the money is taken off the table as a factor, what's left is exposer, and credibility.

Orbit will (and has already) helped open new markets for worldwide publication. Being published through a major house makes life so much easier for my agent to sell abroad. Also, domestically, I will reach audiences that simply do not buy books online, or discover books electronically, or will read books that are not traditionally published.

If I wanted to make as much money as I can by reader sales, I would stay self-published, but like all authors, I have this ego that makes me want to see people all over the world with my books on trains, or attend the movie premier, or hear someone somewhere curse, "By Mar!"

It also just makes good business sense to diversify. Publishing is in great flux at the moment, and having a foot in both doors feels much more comfortable. It gives me lots more options going ahead.


message 12: by D.B. (new)

D.B. Smyth (dbsmyth) Great insight! Thanks Michael. I hadn't thought about the diversificaiton aspect.


message 13: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Paul wrote: "Hello, Michael. It very good of you to put yourself into the bull ring like this. And thank you to AFS for hosting the event. I have written all my stuff in Garamond 11 so I'm probably going to hav..."

You didn't specify which covers. The old covers, those pictured to the left at the top of this thread, I created myself. In fact, I did all the art and layout work for all my books prior to the three on the right, which were done by artist, Larry Ronsant, and Orbit.

When I was first published through the small press AMI, they had total control over the cover, but were considerate enough to send me a sketch. I hated it, and painted my own, offering it to them for free. They took it.

With Orbit, again, they have total control, but are considerate in asking my opinion. I had some issues, some of which were resolved.

The reality is covers are marketing and most writers have no skill or experience in this area. So it is best left to those that do. It just so happens that I have decades of experience in illustration, design and marketing. That said, I didn't interfere much in the covers because Orbit is a competent company, and while I might not agree with all aspects, I can see that their covers will represent my books well and if they were on the shelf beside my original covers, I would most likely pick up theirs first.

To answer your question, publishers are never obligated to accept any input from the author on covers. Smaller publishers are more flexible, but I think that is usually because they aren't as confident in their abilities. Orbit, being a good organization, struggled to accommodate me as much as they could. And having been on that side of the fence, having been a designer, I know how that is, and I appreciated their efforts.

If you are really concerned about this aspect, look for a publisher who you think does good covers.


message 14: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 97 comments Michael wrote: "Lexi wrote: "Hi Michael,

In your blog you say you used the same font for your self-published books as was used in the Harry Potter books - which one is it, if you don't mind saying?

I'm curious,..."
Cool, and thanks. I think I'll try that with my next Lulu book. Cheaper is a huge bonus when you're paying by the page.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey Michael! Just wondering if you've had any experience with Smashwords as an indie author and if you've found it a good avenue for finding new readers. Thanks for the Q&A!


message 16: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Libby wrote: "Hey Michael! Just wondering if you've had any experience with Smashwords as an indie author and if you've found it a good avenue for finding new readers. Thanks for the Q&A!"

Ridan (the publishing company I'm through now - run by my wife) uses Smashwords to get books onto iBookstore, Kobo, Diesel, and a few others. For kindle and Nook they are submitted directly to those sites.

I think one of the great things about Smashwords is they are always looking at 'the next platform' and negotiating the business relationships with them on behalf of their authors. When the ipad was announced Robin was pretty sure that Smashwords would have support for them - and sure enough they did.

I'm not sure how much sales comes directly from Smashwords site itself - but their ability to aggregate to multiple platforms is great.

For those that don't know Smashwords take a word document and puts it through a program they call the meat grinder and it produces just about every ebook format imaginable: .epub, .lrf, .mobi, etc etc. The downside is you don't have a lot of control over formatting. Even if you follow their directions the meat grinder can do some strange things to the file (I've had some complaints about fonts getting larger then smaller). As my books are going to be pulled from the market soon because of the Orbit deal it's not worth fixing for the few days they'll still be available. For those who are going to use it I suggest you make your file as "simple" as possible from a layout standpoint and follow the Smashwords guidelines closely.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Michael! That was a great answer.


message 18: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments At the time I wrote Riyria, I had this crazy habit of uploading the entire novel I was writing in my brain. I would write the whole thing in my head. This is great because re-writing is a breeze. I could do this because I had nothing else distracting me. I wrote about 15-16 hours a day, basically stopping only to eat and sleep. So I lived and breathed the story.

I've gotten away from that now, and so I do more outlines and jot down notes, but I've never done a character background or character study. That doesn't mean I think that's a bad idea, I just tend to work more fluidly. My outlines are pretty thin too, just putting notes in order really.

And yes, I always have a very good idea of who my characters are, what they look like, their facial expressions and gestures, how they sound and what they will do in any given situation.

I began writing novels in high school and I based my first few characters on my friends. Imagine how easy that is. You don't have to write a character study to imagine how your brother, or your wife, or your best friend would act, you just know. It is still pretty much that way with me.


message 19: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (bookwormblues) Michael,

Thanks for doing the Q&A! I notice that most of the previous questions are more about publishing than anything else so I sincerely hope I'm not off base when I ask you what I'm going to ask.

I'm almost afraid to ask my question(s) because I know they are probably on the list of "cliche' questions to never ask an author" but oh well!

I love reading fantasy and science fiction for a number of reasons, but one of the primary ones is because I always find myself fascinated by everything the author has to create in these genres. Usually in speculative fiction the author needs to create a world and fill it with unique cultures and natural laws and everything else that those come with. It's quite a mind-boggling task, in my eyes. Not only that, but from book to book it all has to remain fluid and cohesive.

It seems like every author has a different way to go about creating on this massive scale. How did you go about creating your world? Were you one of the lucky ones where it just happened, or did you have to spend months and months with a pen and paper making sure it all fit together nicely? Did you use "real world" influences to help you when you were creating the world for your series?

Thanks for taking time to read/answer this!


message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Ken wrote: "Good afternoon Michael. Hope you are well. Thanks for your time here at "Q & A." I would like to ask you the following two questions:

1] In your opinion, how would you define hope?"

2] Ofte..."


1) I suppose I would define "hope" the same way the dictionary does:

–noun
1.
the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.
2.
a particular instance of this feeling: the hope of winning.
3.
grounds for this feeling in a particular instance: There is little or no hope of his recovery.
EXPAND
–verb (used with object)
6.
to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
7.
to believe, desire, or trust: I hope that my work will be satisfactory.
–verb (used without object)
8.
to feel that something desired may happen: We hope for an early spring.

Perhaps more context might help me understand what you're looking for.

2) Yes, all my books changed in the process of writing them. Wintertide for example was intended to be a straight out heist sort of story, an Oceans 11 sort of thing, only that's not where the story wanted to go. In Avempartha, the fight with the Gilarabrywn was supposed to go a completely different way. Over the course of the series some characters that I intended to be good turned evil and vice versa. I've always found that a writer should never force a story to go where it doesn't want to. The characters always know best. You're just writing down their story, they have to live it.


message 21: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 46 comments A fan question :)

Nothing in your books goes beyond PG-13 at a time when a lot of authors in the genre are getting "gritty". I have read that you made the stories family friendly on purpose, but was that a moral decision or a marketing decision? (or neither)

Along those same lines, your characters and story are unique to the genre, did you think that was a risk when you decided to go that way?

Splitter


message 22: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1777 comments Mod
Your fantasy series might be considered in the "epic fantasy" category. Have you ever written in any other vein of fantasy, such as urban fantasy or do you prefer writing the more traditional "sword and sorcerers" type?


message 23: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Sarah wrote: "Michael,

Thanks for doing the Q&A! I notice that most of the previous questions are more about publishing than anything else so I sincerely hope I'm not off base when I ask you what I'm going to ..."


You're question is a fine one.

When I was in 6th grade my favorite assignment was when my homeroom teacher gave us a blank paper and asked us to draw the map of an island, then create a history for it and the people living there.

When I graduated high school I didn't have money for college. I had a small scholarship to an art school which ran out in a year, so instead I went to used bookstores and began reading the classics and would buy history text books. It was while reading the history of western civilization that I created Elan.

I would stumble upon surprising things that happened like Star Chambers and the Inquisition and think, these would be great in a fantasy story. I sort of cherry picked all the things I liked even if they were from different times or regions, which is why you have knights jousting, but also sailing ships and powdered wigs.

So just for fun, not to write a book, just like I did in grade school, I created a map and populated it with peoples and created 8000 years of history. I never used it. Then two decades later when I was starting to write Riyria, I dug that world out of my files and it became the basis of Elan. I had to change a lot, but quite a bit remained the same.

Generally speaking however, Elan is loosely based on Europe a thousand years after the fall of the great empire (Rome) and Glenmorgan was based on Charlemagne. There's a lot of other things in there, too.

It's funny because I wrote in the Invented World Fantasy genre in order to make things easy on myself thinking I wouldn't have to do any research, or fact check. But I'm finding that now, with the Internet, writing contemporary real world based fiction is so much easier. All the work is done for you, and you don't have to explain the simplest of things.


message 24: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments C.S. Splitter wrote: "A fan question :)

Nothing in your books goes beyond PG-13 at a time when a lot of authors in the genre are getting "gritty". I have read that you made the stories family friendly on purpose, but ..."


You don't understand how I wrote these books. At this point it is easy to think I did this or that, for a purpose, for marketing, or to make a statement, but you have to realize I never intended to publish these books.

I tried to get published for a decade, and having failed, I gave up that dream. I knew I wasn't good enough. I wrote Riyria for the fun of it, and to help interest my daughter in reading, and to see if I could.

When you realize that I never had the slightest hope of publishing, you can see how the idea of intentionally doing anything for the purpose of marketing, morality, or going against the trend with unique characters, just doesn't enter into it.

I write in PG-13 because that's what I like to read. I've never seen the point of explicit sex, or graphic violence in a fantasy story, that has never been part of this genre until recently (recently being the last thirty years.) I write about heroes who are good and decent people, and who usually win, because that's the kind of story that I enjoy. I've never written a single word for an audience.


message 25: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments A. F. wrote: "Your fantasy series might be considered in the "epic fantasy" category. Have you ever written in any other vein of fantasy, such as urban fantasy or do you prefer writing the more traditional "swo..."

I wrote a series of three novels in the sword and sorcery/epic fantasy when I was between 13 and 16. I never wrote one again until Riyria. Everything else I wrote was in different genres.

I've written science fiction, mysteries, thrillers, horror, literary fiction, and a few other non-sword & sorcery fantasies. I only came back to elves, dwarves and knights because it had been so long since I did that and because I knew I wasn't going to publish these. Go figure.


message 26: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Garrett wrote: "Hello Michael
with Percepliquis coming in january and all the Ridan going out of print in august, will I still be able to get a single copy of the book, our will I have to get the heir of novron t..."


Yes, Orbit will be publishing a limited run of both printed and eBook version of Percepliquis for those people who have the other five so they can complete their sets. If you go to my website and click on the "News" tab, you will find a link that will send an email to put you on the list to be notified when the book is available. Or just go here: http://riyria.blogspot.com/p/news.html

You can also see the cover art I created for the final book on the blog.

Yes I am writing other books. Right now I am in the middle of a contemporary fantasy novel called "Antitheses." After that, if Riyria does well in trilogy form I might consider doing more in that world.

I have plenty of ideas, and I won't live long enough to do them all.


message 27: by C.S. Splitter (last edited Jul 16, 2011 07:09AM) (new)

C.S. Splitter | 46 comments "I've never written a single word for an audience."

That probably explains why the books are so good. Everyone I know who does something really well does it for the love of doing it.

Thanks!

Splitter


message 28: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Hayden (melhay) | 2 comments Hi Michael!

Looks like a lot of great questions and information here.

I'm really looking forward to reading the last installment of the series here. I'm looking forward to getting more of the Elves and the Horn.

I know the series is coming to a close for us, but you have an all new adventure just starting as well with Orbit. How are you feeling about the close to one chapter and the start of another? Congrats to you and Robin for going this far. Amazing team work.

Are there any new teasers you can torment us with from the final book?


message 29: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Risley (ElizabethRisley) | 8 comments Michael, I'm a HUGE fan of your series and dying for the last book. I've re-read them several times and I think I see little clues here and there and I'm dying to see what I'm right about...and what I'm wrong about as you always provide great twists.

What I'm DYING to know....at the end of Wintertide you left one of the main characters at a turning point. I'm very frightened to know whether he'll turn evil or be able to recover from the tragedy - can you at least let us know which way he goes?


message 30: by Baxter (new)

Baxter Trautman Fun posts everyone. Michael, thanks for taking the time to be with us this weekend. Being snoopy, I always look forward to the writer Q and As!


message 31: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Melissa wrote: "Hi Michael!

Looks like a lot of great questions and information here.

I'm really looking forward to reading the last installment of the series here. I'm looking forward to getting more of th..."


I started writing the series in 2004 and it was on April 23rd 2008 that I finished writing Percepliquis. I thought I was done with them then. Then Crown was published through AMI the following Fall and the series seemed to start over again for me. Now it is starting over again with Orbit. I've lived with Royce and Hadrian for seven years, so I'm pretty much ready to move on. The one thing I haven't been able to see is the reaction to Percepliquis. I've been looking forward to the day when everyone knows the whole story, and it isn't easy to continue to wait.

Percepliquis is the big book, and I mean that in more than size, but just in pages it is about twice that of Crown. Percepliquis is the book I wanted to write, the others were merely laying the foundation. The best part of Percepliquis for me was that, as the last book, I was free to do anything. All of the secrets could finally be revealed, I could kill major characters--everything was fair game. And I knew writing it, that the reader would be on the edge of their seat knowing this, so I just decided to keep them there for the whole thing. That is to say, the book starts with a bang, and doesn't really let up. It can't because I had so much to put into it. Every chapter, from start to end, is filled with stunning revelations, exciting action, tear-jerking tragedies, or tear-jerking happiness.

This book practically wrote itself, and I never experienced a moment of needing to force myself to write. Sometimes when I am writing a not so interesting scene, I can be less enthusiastic about pushing through it. That never happened in Percepliquis because every scene was riveting.

You see, I always felt that a good series should get better with each book, and I actually planned my series accordingly. The first book started out fun and fast, but simple. The second got deeper and the bigger plot began to show. By the third you could really see the clouds forming and the stakes became higher. By the fourth the excitement level was really rising and the stakes were higher still. By the fifth you finally came to see how some of the larger story arcs came together and that made for a really fun ride, but all that just set the stage for the final book. Percepliquis is the climax of the story, and I was so concerned that the climax would not be big enough, that I kept adding to it.

I don't like my stories to fizzle. I like people to finish them, and then drop the book because they are exhausted. So the end of Percepliquis, also being the end of the series, had to be something special and when I wrote the last words three years ago, I knew it was. Maybe not everyone will agree with me, but I was dancing when I finished it. It was like the feeling of hitting a ball with a bat just right, you know even before you see it that this is going to be something special.

That might sound arrogant, but that's how I felt. Of course, at the time I wrote it, I never thought anyone--even my wife--would ever read it which was pretty depressing. At that time my agent was no longer representing me, Robin was struggling with her career as a product manager, and no one, not even my close friends had the time, or interest, to read them. So I did my happy dance alone in a quiet house, then put the book away for what I thought was forever.

And now here we are and I feel like I am sitting on a giant crate of fireworks waiting to light the fuse. It's going to be fun, I think.

How's that for a teaser?


message 32: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Michael, I'm a HUGE fan of your series and dying for the last book. I've re-read them several times and I think I see little clues here and there and I'm dying to see what I'm right about...and wh..."

Of course I can tell you, only it is a really long story...about 167,000 words.

Given that what you want to know forms much of the main plot line of Percepliquis, I think it might be best if you waited and read the book. Otherwise that would be just a really terrible spoiler.

On the other hand, I'm glad you like the books, and once you have read the last one, you'll probably want to re-read them one last time as you will view everything differently then and be able to spot the Easter eggs I peppered throughout.


message 33: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Hayden (melhay) | 2 comments Michael wrote: "Melissa wrote: "Hi Michael!

Looks like a lot of great questions and information here.

I'm really looking forward to reading the last installment of the series here. I'm looking forward to gettin..."


Well, now I'm excited for Percepliquis even more than I was! I have to say each book has been better than the last. Filled more and more with the details. And I loved that with them. The way each book built on the previous one, two, three, and so on. The stakes are raised each time. And to hear Percepliquis is larger. Oooo, can't wait!

And so much to happen and learn! :) Thanks!


message 34: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 46 comments Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! I am really looking forward to the final book in the series and your future books. It was great hearing from someone who has "been there and done it.'

Splitter


message 35: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Simon (joshuapsimon) Michael

In the case of the Riyria Revelations I know you wrote all of the books at once first before going back and editing them. I know this is a huge benefit as it allowed you to tweak the first few books to better foreshadow later events.

If you ever write another long series, would you follow this same route or would you feel more comfortable about publishing book 1 before book 2 was completed?

Thanks


message 36: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Joshua wrote: "Michael

In the case of the Riyria Revelations I know you wrote all of the books at once first before going back and editing them. I know this is a huge benefit as it allowed you to tweak the fi..."


There is the thought of writing a trilogy or two rattling around in my brain, and that very thought haunts me. Now that I am published there is pressure to produce, and yet the idea of publishing before a story is complete is risky.

I see a series as one long story, and it would be like publishing individual chapters, which would be a nightmare if I didn't have a completed draft. What if the end is crap? I don't want to sell a product that failed.

So yeah, if I do another, it will likely take a while as I will write the whole things as one story.


message 37: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Risley (ElizabethRisley) | 8 comments Well I didn't really expect and answer - but you can't blame a girl for trying...I remain forever on pins and needles - at least until January.


message 38: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Risley (ElizabethRisley) | 8 comments Oh one more thing....I know the Q&A period is over but maybe you'll answer anyway. Are the Orbit versions much different than the originals?


message 39: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Oh one more thing....I know the Q&A period is over but maybe you'll answer anyway. Are the Orbit versions much different than the originals?"

Not dramatically no.

Devi, my editor over at Orbit, had commented on how "clean" the books were, in that they did not need any structural work. However, over the years I have heard many comments from readers and I took this opportunity to tweak the books based on those and a few suggestions from Devi, particularly when they agreed with each other.

One of those is the beginning. Readers have always been put off by how Crown starts with Archibald. They think the story is about this loathsome character and are instantly turned off. As a result I wrote a new beginning, adding a new segment before the present start of the books where you can first meet Royce and Hadrian. This is the single biggest change.

There are a handful of other smaller ones, where one character no longer kills another character. As huge as that sounds, it isn't, and might even be overlooked by veteran readers.

The rest tend to be logic errors that were cleaned up, such as what happened to the horses when the party reaches the Laughing Gnome.

The majority of differences come in the from of copy edits, the cleaning up of the commas, the split-infinitives, the dangling participles, some repeated words, a few misspellings, that sort of thing.

But as far as the story goes, it's the same.


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