Yes, I Am Still Writing A Pattern of Shadow and Light Book Five | Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Yes, I Am Still Writing Book Five

 

Dearest readers: I have emerged from the singularity called Alorin to discover that six months have passed since I last updated you on the progress of book five (a fact which more than many of you have recently pointed out). I guess it’s time for an update.

First, let me assure you that I am actually writing book five. I am not therefore using my writing time to produce television shows, run charities promulgated by my vast popularity or develop board games—not that I am suggesting these would not be admirable and legitimate ways for an author to spend his or her workdays.

In the intervening months since the last thunderous clamoring for an update dragged my head out of…wherever it had been to answer up to a charge of negligence, I have added another hundred and fifty pages to the completed pile for book five, bringing the grand total to somewhere in the range of 400-ish pages. For many authors, this would be a completed manuscript. For me it equates to barely half a book.

I’m not updating the little chart that I included in my November post because it would only dishearten you, and I’d have at least half of you asking what the hell those 150 completed pages actually represented, because barely anything seems to have changed on the chart.

Mainly that 150 pages represents the first half of the book with Trell, Tannour and Loukas. Adding to the other chapters already finished, I’ve completed the first half with Ean, Tanis, Pelas, Darshan, Isabel, Björn, Trell, Tannour, Loukas, Alshiba and some new characters like Baelfeir, who crosses paths with other characters I won’t specify to avoid spoiling my own story.

That still leaves a lot of work to be done writing Carian, Franco, Vaile, Alyneri, Fynn, Gydryn, Sebastian and Queen Errodan. My fear is that by the time I finish writing those story threads, we’ll have another half a book sitting there, and then that’s it for book five. Which doesn’t really work, see. I’ve got to continue a lot of the first set of storylines through the second half of the book also. Not to mention somehow clue you in on what’s happening with Marius, Phaedor, Felix, Nadia and Valentina. And Shail, Dore, Niko and collaborators.

So there are some vexing issues to be solved yet with this book. Like how I’m going to fit in everyone’s story thread and still have a cohesive story that falls somewhere on the shorter side of War and Peace.

So far, none of you have complained about the length of my books. So, that’s a plus. But it starts getting difficult to hold a book in your hands when it weighs ten pounds (speaking to those of us who still read the printed word on actual paper). While this is something I ponder (read: have nightmares about), it obviously isn’t the deciding factor on how long the book will be. The story itself dictates that.

Which brings me to the real holdup on getting this book finished: it’s really damned complicated. I don’t know what I was thinking, imagining I could finish this story with only one more book. I can’t even get everyone into only one more book.

I’m in the process of trying to figure out what storylines to include in this book and which ones will have to wait for book six. GRRM and RJ both hit this point. I remember being exceptionally irritated with Jordan after he left Mat buried under a wall at the end of book seven and then not even taking us back to find out what happened to Mat until book nine (we’re talking Wheel of Time here, in case any of you have somehow not read Jordan’s series). But that was three or four years or something that I (and everyone else) spent wondering if Mat had even survived.

So while I don’t want to do that to all of you, it is getting increasingly difficult to cram everyone’s story threads into a single book. I’m very interested in your feedback and thoughts on this, actually.

For example, I’m sure all of you would rather read about Trell than Dore Madden, but there wouldn’t be much conflict, tension (or frustration) in the story without Dore. Not that we’ll be spending inordinate amounts of time with Mr. Madden, because even I can only handle him in small doses. But my point is, I have to follow the character threads that most drive the plot forward, and sometimes fan favorites have to take a sideline to forward progress. (Don’t worry, there’s plenty of Trell in this book).

Hopefully you see my point, though. Whose storyline can wait and whose can’t? This question hounds me constantly as I’m conceiving of plot ideas and writing each character’s thread. I’m also asking myself which conflicts I can finish off in this book, as in resolve, because that’s part of the issue: there are just too many wars going on (or about to break out). There isn’t time to deal with all of them in one book.

It’s presenting something of a challenge. (To be honest, I feel like the book is the Hulk slamming me around like Loki in The Avengers. Challenge doesn’t really begin to describe it.)

But in the bag are some very fun chapters. Ean is going to do some fantastically cool things in this book. Likewise Tanis. And of course, Trell is Trell. I’m excited for you to read about their adventures, and for you to meet the new characters. I’ll be looking forward to your feedback on the Lord of All Warlocks, especially. But then, I have something of a soft spot for my immortals, no matter their ethical inclinations.

So that’s where things stand: not finished yet but making progress.

As a note for those of you who haven’t read much about my writing process, when I finish a chapter, I consider it completed. Maybe I’ll do some minor edits as I head into the final editing process once all chapters are written, but I don’t do rewrites or  “first draft, second draft,” etc. I have to get everything right the first time through or I simply can’t continue with the story. So once I finish writing a chapter…it’s basically final. When I then say I have 400 pages done, that’s essentially 400 pages of a finished story. 

Let me know your thoughts on my question about pushing some story threads to book six if you have an opinion one way or another.

And thank you, as always, for the gentle reminders that, yeah, you’re waiting ever-so-patiently for the next book in my series, too.


to “Yes, I Am Still Writing Book Five”

  1. Tom Bohinc says:

    The Story has been great so far. I for one am in no hurry to see it end 5 of 6 more books would be great. Keep up the good work and thanks for all the hard work you put into the books.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Tom. I’ll be content to let the story take me where it will then. Thank you for reading!

  2. Jacqui Lesiak says:

    As Wheel of Time was my favorite series until I read yours, I say the more books the better. 🙂

  3. Chris Boxshall says:

    Loving the books so far – some of the best written in the genre! That in itself is the balance and key. The number of books, the speed of delivery and the inclusion of limited plotlines are all forgivable necessities which people are happy to live with as you deliver so well on the style and content.
    I would rather wait for the conclusion (Wot took a looping time!) than to have compromises in that which sets your books apart.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much for this, Chris. I am honestly quite relieved by what you say. Of course, you’re right – I would feel the same way about another series I was reading and enjoying. More plot lines? Bring it on, right? But as the author…sometimes I get a little nervous because there is SO much going on. I don’t want to lose people.

      No compromises, you can depend upon that. 🙂

  4. Heidi Kemp says:

    My feedback is: go, go, go and damn the logistical limitations. Clearly the story has a life of its own and it must be told in its fullness. The less time you spend worrying about how long the story is, the more time you have to tell it. As a dedicated fan, I welcome the idea of another book! I hope others will back me in this. It is in fact a relief because I already know there is NO WAY I am going to be ready to leave Alorin after just one more book. So here’s to inspiration and resolutions, to unexpected plot twists and character conundrums… bring it! As quickly as possible, please! (Not that we’d ever rush you. 🙂

  5. Ben Barlow says:

    Melissa,
    First off thank you so much for the update. I have recently started listening to the books again as a means of appeasing my need for the story. I have been one of the many wondering how things were going. If it takes six or even seven books to finish, I am Okay with that. As for which threads to put in which book? I don’t know, the threads are coming together in so many ways that to leave someone out would leave out others. My friend and I are very interested to see the Valorian brothers along with Tannis and his entourage of potent mentors to make an appearance that is for sure.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you for this feedback, Ben. It’s actually valuable and important to me to know who my readers are hoping to spend time with. I think Tanis and the val Lorian brothers are a given, but everyone has their favorite.

  6. Peter says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Love your books, please let the story unfold as it needs to, if that means 1,2 or even more books to complete the journey then so be it. I for one am happy to wait for each of the characters to complete their journey as necessary however long that might take.
    Good luck knitting it all together.

    Peter

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Peter. Yours is the sentiment I’ve adopted – letting the story unfold as it needs to, as I have always done. Trying it the other way (“must finish in one book!”) was stifling and restrictive. I get much more forward progress when I just let the story lead me, as it were.

  7. Ken Davis says:

    I think Heidi Kemp nailed it Melissa!
    It’s not your story anymore, Alorin now has taken a life of its own; you are now the scribe for it. Not only for your readers (super-fans?) are you entrusted with this task, but the Sormatage (sp?) is also now awaiting your record of the reawakening of Adepts and Alorin. Rock on! Oops, I mean ‘Write On’ !

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thanks, Ken. I am always so grateful for your thoughts and feedback – and continuing support! <3

  8. loukas says:

    i second what Heidi says (and what everyone says for that matter). Whatever choices you make about the storylines to push vs include in book 5 will be right and we will be lucky and happy readers, as always. I’m happy there will be two more books partly because I want to stay a part of the universe, but also because a game and storyline as epic in scale as you have created deserves a proper resolution. Not a rushed one.

  9. Deon says:

    My thoughts are take as many books as you like to write the books. As you mention lots of authors leave you hanging for characters whilst ploughing on with the story, I’d reckon that the waiting is a lot sweeter if you reintroduce them later on as you’ll be like seeing a friend who’ve you’ve not seen in a while. So it works for me. I’d rather you stayed true to the story than force everything in! Thanks for the update.

  10. AJ Giacalone says:

    You do what you feel is best. You are an amazing writer and I am anxiously waiting for the next book.

  11. Dave Geneski says:

    I switched over to jeff wheeler while you are writing your next books, yes plural, I didn’t think you could end this epic story in one more book. My opinion is that your writing is excellent because you do go into the details, and those details make your book. I cant wait for your next book, but I would rather wait for a excellent book than a hurried good one. and yes I agree with others here that I could read more books on these story lines, it doesn’t have to end in 5 or 6 books, if that is not how the story should end.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Well, you were quite right that I couldn’t finish the series in just one book, Dave. 😉 It definitely makes it easier to be thinking with “however many books it takes” versus needing to “solve the story in one or two books.” You wouldn’t think that would make such a difference, but it’s very freeing.

  12. Gregg says:

    Thanks so much for the update. Take your time I remember thinking that it’s be impossible to complete this story in only one book. I’m totally down with pushing some characters to the 6th book. Sometimes that just has to happen. I’m
    Planning on doing a reread of your books once I finish Malazan Book of the Fallen. I can’t wait for the new book! Thanks again so much for updateing us! I push your books in every group I’m in constantly. Plus I’m my opinion the longer the book is the better!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much for your support and encouragement, Gregg. I really appreciate the word of mouth to others. Likewise your happiness to have more books in the series, since that’s definitely where the story is heading.

  13. Hunter says:

    There are many authors that simply refuse to do any kind of real updates (Glares in Rothfuss direction), so this is all actually very nice to hear.

    Personally I love a good long epic, if this series has to go for ten books I’ll be fine with that. Though, I am sure you want to move on to other things.

    Whether you choose to write smaller or shared POV sections to fit everyone in, or you set some of the ancillary characters off to the side for a while until they get around to doing something relevant, either is fine so long as you don’t drop my homeboys Pelas and Tannis, since this is honestly their story as much or more than the others I don’t think we have to worry about that too much, but I would be super frustrated if they pulled a Matt and disappeared for the majority of or a couple books.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      LOL, Hunter. No worries there. We definitely will be spending time with Tanis and Pelas.

      I really appreciate knowing how happy everyone would be to have several more books in the series. You’d think that would be an assumed, but it’s not. Good news for me. Thank you for reading!

  14. Susan Davi says:

    I too am in no hurry to see your complete your captivating tale in 5 or 6 books. Please write all details- I would be glad for your characters to entertain me for years on end!

  15. Justin says:

    I’d like to offer my services as a beta reader
    Also, wayyy

  16. Djaye says:

    I was wondering about book 5 during my morning commute this week, so yay for the update. I for one am okay with expanding to an additional book or books as needed. Just knowing you are actually working on the continuation of the series and not creating other works or living in con world or sculpting or whatever is reassuring. I adore this series and it holds up well, for my tastes, to Jordan and Sanderson. So, Sally forth! Thanks for the update.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I know what you mean – it’s nice to know the author is actually, you know, authoring. 😉

  17. James Hinman says:

    Thanks for the update. Yes, you have created a complex world. The reading of it is addicting, pleasantly so. Does this have to be the last book? Seems like you may be hinting at a continuation. Thanks again

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      James, there will definitely be more books. It isn’t possible to finish the story in this book. 🙂

  18. Leslie says:

    I wouldn’t mind more books!!! Can’t wait for book 5. Thank you for what you do

  19. Leslie says:

    I wouldn’t mind more books!!! Please write as many as you need to give a proper closure to these wonderful characters. …. Your word is amazing. Can’t wait for book 5. Thank you for what you do

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Leslie. It’s great to know you’ll be with me to the end (whenever that may be). 🙂

  20. Slick says:

    Your doing amazing! I can’t even comprehend how you keep all these characters and plotlines rolling at once, take your time and do it right and when it’s done we’ll still be here =)

    Thanks for all your hard work!!

    If anybody is looking for great fantasy books to fill that empty void in your heart where A Pattern of Shadow & Light Series is here’s a few suggestions (Which some if not all of you might have read):

    Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
    Night Angel Trilogy & The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks
    Mistborn & The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson
    Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
    Kings Dark Tidings by Kel Kade
    PowderMage Trilogy by Brian McClellan
    Daniel Faust by Craig Schaefer
    Drenai by David Gemmell
    The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson
    Raven’s Shadow by Anthony Ryan
    The Book of The Black Earth by Jon Sprunk
    Chronicles of the Black Gate by Phil Tucker
    Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne by Brian Staveley

  21. Patrick Wallen says:

    I love the series. I’m currently reading 3 book series, yours, Sanderson’s Storm light, and the Night Blade. All are writing the next book. I discovered your books from a Facebook add and love your books, keep up the awesome work, you have me hooked.

  22. David Cook says:

    Melissa, no story every truly finishes, all we get is an ending not the ending (see what I did there considering your references to WoT 🙂 ?). If it takes 2 books then that is great, if it takes 5 then even better, just the fact that you are writing is a vast relief compared to some authors. The series so far has been captivating, exciting and more and more detailed and intricate as both the story and your writing style grows and develops, I for one greet the news of more books to come with joy and anticipation.

  23. Andy Southam says:

    This is one of my favourite series. More books you say? That’s a win for me. All the characters are brilliant, their stories captivating, and I’m awed and inspired by how you weave and intertwine them. Can’t wait for the next however many there are.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much, Andy. I’m honored by your kind words. I am really looking forward to some of the storylines in this book. “Looking forward” because I have scenes that I’ve envisioned but because I write sequentially by character thread, I can’t write the scene until I get to it in the storyline. Sometimes those scenes act as incentive to keep going, I suppose.

  24. Matt Isherwood says:

    As others may have said, please don’t rush! I for one would much rather wait another year rather than miss reading about Ean smack Dore in his slimy face, or Tanis innocently flirting with Nadia!

    Also, we’re all good if you need to double your original five to ten; the strands work in multiples right?

    So please take it easy maybe have a holiday and come back to it?

    Looking forward to your next post in november, a book title spoiler would not hurt by the way. 😉

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Hmm…a title spoiler…I’ll think about that, Matt. I’m often not entirely sure about the title until the themes emerge, usually at about the halfway point. I’ll keep it in mind – it’s a great idea.

  25. Kevin says:

    Keep it up! The respect you show your readers will keep us coming back. It’s your world and your story and I’m so happy you choose to share it with us. At the same time you respect the fact we choose to invest in it! Wish all writers understood that back and forth! Can’t wait and will continue to suggest the books to others!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      It’s definitely a mutual investment, Kevin. Thank you for sharing my work with others. <3

  26. Matthew Fry says:

    Book 6!! Book 6!!! *Does a happy dance!!*

  27. Chris Burton says:

    I just don’t want you to feel rushed with the series, so let it go where it will for however many books it takes. Even if a lot of time passes between novels I’m not averse to re-reading a series to refresh an amazing story. I have probably re-read the king killer chronicles books 6 times now waiting for book 3 to come out. All that matters is a book you are proud to publish. Also more frequent updates would still be a boon though. That’s just my two cents 🙂 #agreewithHeidiKemp 🙂

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Very good points all, Chris. I will try to do more frequent updates also. Thank you for your patience and support, and thank you for reading.

  28. Louis Melendez says:

    I am currently on the Paths of Alir on my promised second time through the series. I must say I am enjoying them even more. I realized how much was put into the first couple of books this reading. I was not versed enough in your style to understand but I see it now. Will probably finish this weekend and just have to wait for the next book. As to your question I say take your time and as many books as necessary. I loved the WoT and hated the fact RJ passed away before completion. I enjoyed BS’s work to finish but felt it could have been another few books to really get it done right. I can’t say who my favorite is but leaning to Phaedor, Tanis, and Pelas. I am always willing to lend feedback if you want more. A true follower of your work and I am totally captivated again. Thanks for the story. Can’t wait for the next one but I will.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I’m so glad to hear you’re finding more things to appreciate on your reread, Louis. That’s always rewarding to hear. I remember having a similar experience reading Jordan’s work and trying to emulate that for my readers.

      I’m definitely always interested in feedback. Send it my way! You can easily contact me via my website or the facebook page.

      Thank you for being so devoted to my series!

      • Louis Melendez says:

        I still couldn’t figure out who killed Asmodean (sp) even though RJ said hints were in earlier portions of the book. I have found a couple of characters like Demetrio Consueve I can’t remember what happened to them or where they are in the story arc. So yes I am keeping a look out for that. I am currently on Tanis’ trip with Phaedor to and Marius.

        • Melissa McPhail says:

          We saw Consueve only once in Kingdom Blades, as a sounding board for Niko’s angst, but we’ll see his nasty head again in more detail in book five.

          I know exactly what you mean about Asmodean. I’ve never totally forgiven RJ for that.

          How fun that you’re aboard ship with the zanthyr and Marius. I love those scenes. 🙂

  29. Nicholas Wright says:

    Yep – VERY happy for there to be a book 6. Don’t rush, don’t take short cuts.
    I listen to your books on the way to work, during lunch, and on the way home from work. In fact, I’m on repetition 3 atm.
    Then lengths of your books have never been an issue for me – although admittedly I’ve only listened, never read 😉
    I’m desperate for the next book, but that’s for me to deal with – not you 😉

    Don’t panic. Don’t rush. Take your time. Continue to do what you’ve done so amazingly well for 4 books, and apply to books 5/6/x.
    We have utter faith in you.
    Please don’t have nightmares. Have fun, and sleep well =)

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Nicholas. No nightmares for me with so many staunch supporters in my readers (or listeners, as it were). I’m so amazed you’re on journey number three. You’ll know the story better than I do! 😉

  30. Michael Hallatt says:

    I will never complain about the length of these books. When I finish one I wish it was another 300 pages longer!

  31. Kevin S says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Take your time. perfection may be unobtainable but with time you can get pretty darn close. I love your stories and look forward to your creations.

    Kevin

  32. Robert Demyen says:

    Melissa,
    You have become one of my favorite authors and as much as I am impatient waiting for your next installment, it is tempered with the knowledge that good things come to those who wait. Cliché, I know. All I ask is that you finish all the books before the last segment airs on HBO (wink wink).

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you, Robert. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying my series. I will endeavor to meet your deadline. 😉

  33. Cyndee Luna says:

    I love your story and your characters so you won’t hear or read any complaints from me about having several more books. Can’t wait to see where the story takes us next!

  34. Mike says:

    Sorry if somebody already wrote this (I have time to read your books but not everyone’s comments lol), but is there a problem with doing part 1 and part 2 of book 5 w both parts having their own arcs? I know that’s oversimplifyin, but i think that would be cool.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      There’s absolutely no problem with that, Mike, and I’m definitely keeping it on the table as an option. Thanks for the idea!

  35. Ross says:

    I’m so happy you aren’t neglecting the series to work on alternate projects. I know you didn’t mention names but Rothfuss has seriously turned me off from any of his future works.

    I think you should write as much as you need to feel content with the story. No one should care if it takes 2 or 5 more books. As long as the author is forthcoming and honest with fans about goals and expectations I think any amount of time or additional books can be accepted.

    P.S. Please give us some type of closure in book 5 with ean and isabel! It’s killing me!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Very good point, Ross. I will try to keep you all updated as best I can while I’m getting this book finished.

      You’ll definitely have closure on Ean and Isabel in book five, one way or another. 😉

  36. Kurt says:

    I am thrilled to read you are going to be doing a book six. This is what happens when you have so many characters in your storylines. RJ did leave us hanging, so please bring some of these storylines to some kind of conclusions in book five. Keep writing your wonderful books, your public will wait.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much, Kurt. I am doing my best to start wrapping up outstanding threads so I don’t leave any strays by the time the story ends. Thank you for your encouragement, and thank you for reading.

  37. Felicia says:

    I am eagerly awaiting the new adventures in book 5 (and book 6, 7, 8, 9, 10…..25) I have read countless long fantasy series and find myself grieving -literally grieving- for the characters when the series finally comes to an end. I find myself missing them, as I would a friend or family member, and I’ll admit to crying more than once as I put down the last book, not because the book ended sadly, but because my journey with my new friends has ended. With that said, I could read about the Val Lorian’s, the Malorinathgul (Pelas….OMG! ~swoons~), the Vestal’s, and everyone in between, until my eyes are too old to read the pages. The character’s that you have created feel like my family, truly, so why take my family away, or cram their story into a 10-pound book? Could your life story be crammed into 4 or 5 books? I bet not, or, at least, I hope not :p

    If I were you, I would sit back, take my time, and let the words flow out as they will. Maybe write a couple novellas to expand upon a storyline (not sure how that works, but it sounded good in my head). I honestly believe that your truest fans could read about Björn van Gelderan’s Kingdom Blades and their friends, and foes until the end of time. I know I could!

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      I love the way you think, Felicia. We’re kindred spirits in this regard. I hadn’t thought of things this way in regards to how others might feel about my characters, but of course, that makes perfect sense!

      I will definitely let the story be in charge from now on. Trying it another way just brought my creativity to a screaming halt.

      I truly appreciate your kind words about my series, and your encouragement and support. Thank you!

  38. Dusty says:

    I want to start by saying how much I enjoy this series. I know there are a out of great writers out there in the genre but now after finishing the fourth book, I think you are pushing the envelope and creating a story authors for years to come with be compared against.
    My life does not afford me much time to sit and read so I must indulge my passion for fantasy through audio books. I choose a new book or series usually based on two things, how long is it (the longer the better) and who’s preforming it. Your story paired with Nicholas Podehl has made for for listening bliss.
    Over the years I’ve found too often that authors in an attempt to expand their universes keep adding story lines and characters that have the opposite effect. They only seem to draw out the length of a tale and give it little else. I am so impressed that with your cast you have not only created a world that pleasing to the senses to envision, but are literally creating universes that draw me in wanting more.
    Before I started on this epic journey I didn’t realize that the for volumes were not a completed works, as I said before they met my criteria for a listen. As 4 drew to a close today you left me with a longing inside. I am pretty sure I will listen through again to savor your unique adventure as I wait for more.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words about my series, Dusty. I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my story on Audible.

      It is definitely a challenge when you keep expanding storylines. One of my purposes is to make every character’s thread interesting enough that you never turn to the next chapter and sigh, wishing it wasn’t “this guy” again. I really try only to introduce viewpoint characters who will help tell the story from an important perspective. In any case, I’m so happy you’re enjoying all of them.

      Thank you for listening.

  39. Gareth says:

    It is a fantastic story! Complex but well told, you never feel dissatisfied after finishing a book as you spoil us readers with the breadth of the characters stories and the intertwining of their paths. Very similar to RJ and TWOT. My feelings are the same for your series, I will happily read as many pages and as many books as you can print!

  40. Richard says:

    If you will permit me a “fanboy” gush… your work is freaking amazing!! I consider myself to be a rabid consumer of all things fantasy and your work stands among the greats as far as I am concerned. It is clearly evident that Alorin is a passion. The effort you have taken to create this amazing universe for us to experience is bar none. I will simply add my voice to the myriad of others and say, please take your time. The depth of your characters and the texture of the story are what make this epic so extraordinary, so keep up the good work and how ever many books it takes, is how many it takes. Also, the connection you maintain with your readers and the openness with which you express yourself to us is wonderfully refreshing. Thank you for that and carry on, because, in a way I cannot explain, this also adds to enjoyment of the story.

    The conflict I hope to see resolved soonest is the one between Ean/Arian and Isabel. I hope that Ean gets out of his head, embraces the wholeness of who he is and moves on from the “Arian was a better man than me” angst he experiences. In that process, I hope also that he comes to realize that Isabel quite possibly saved the realm by teaching Pelas how to sublimate Darshan’s compulsion. It was an impossible decision, but Isabel made the right one and continuing to punish her for it is beneath him. Book four is moving him in that direction, but I would like to see a complete resolution there. I will confess, also, that I am hoping that Dore Madden and Viernan hal’Jaitar meet with ends commensurate with their level of vileness…

    One last thing… I love Carian vran Lea. He makes me laugh… out loud… often. I think a pub crawl with him and Fynnlar would truly be a night to remember. I rather imagine that Carian is what Captain Jack Sparrow aspires to be when he grows up. Thank you for this most wonderful adventure. I am so looking forward to the next installment.

  41. shelli says:

    I am anxious to hear all the stories your characters. If it is 400 pages per character so be it. Ten books or six, you write I will read them. I am engulf in the characters, their stories and the weave of the tapestry. I have read the series five times so far finding new connections in each reading. You write. I will wait. 🙂

  42. Dianna says:

    Melissa. After having spent 30 years teaching teenagers to read and criticially analyze texts of all genres, I must say I WISH I had had your books to bring to my classroom. I was a reading specialist and language arts department head in a massive school district in a Houston, Texas. As you can imagine I have read so many books that I have developed a sort of snobbish view of authors and their style, imagery, character development, etc. You, my dear, have hit the highest mark I could give. Your love of philosophy is ever so apparent and I find myself stopping, rereading, soaking in the ideas and wishing I was not retired so that I could share some of your brilliant quotes with my kids. I would ask you to teach others how you do it, but if you are like me, you love to write, are good at it, but can’t exlplain how or why. It just comes and I put it down. Most kids grow up dreaming of becoming a great actor, singer, dancer, etc. But if there is no inherent talent there you won’t amount to much. Well, the same with writing. Only so much can be taught. I have dreamed of becoming a world famous author but am too chicken to share. I have the technical skills but not the imagination that you have. So I say I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. Just keep that brilliance coming. I’m waiting!

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