making books: film man bites world progress publishing the auntie mame files the twisted path Twenty Palaces
by Harry Connolly
Thanks to a comment I received yesterday, I realized that I’ve been putting people off for months now about the status of the books, the trailer, everything. And that’s not fair. So here is a quick rundown of where things stand on the projects I’ve been promising. And since this is long, I’m going to put in a
Circle of Enemies: As most people know, the original release date was going to be 7/26, but when Jim Butcher’s latest was pushed back to that same day, I got bumped to 8/30. I know folks have been waiting a long time for this book but it couldn’t be helped. A sample chapter will go online in the next few weeks.
I think this is the best book yet (although I wish I’d been able to go through it again and polish it one more time). It was certainly the most complex.
Twenty Palaces: The prequel, which as I’ve said is already written. Here’s the deal: My agent has it, she likes it, she thinks it’s ready to send to Del Rey, but she’s not going to put it on my editor’s desk until after Circle of Enemies comes out. Why? Because if she gave her the book now the answer would be “no.”
There was a big sophmore slump for Game of Cages and sadly Child of Fire wasn’t the raging success it could have been. So the series hasn’t been doing as well as we’d like and is on the bubble. The good news is that this spring saw a startling number of new sales for both books, and that gives everyone hope, but while that surge in new readers was great, it wasn’t great enough to guarantee more books.
However, if Circle of Enemies shows an upsurge in sales in the first month or two of publication, there will be more books through Del Rey. Me, I would really like that. If sales are soft again, that’ll be it for the series (probably) and I would self-publish the prequel.
So you’re going to get Twenty Palaces, but the question is how. And I hope it’s clear the reason I can’t give a straight answer is that I don’t know myself.
The Twisted Path: This is the next Twenty Palaces book. My editor has already told me not to wait too long to work on it, and I will be doing just that (on spec).
A Key, An Egg, An Unfortunate Remark: I have no clue what’s going to happen with this book. I’m going to revise it and send it to my agent in a couple of weeks to see what she thinks. I think it’s solid, but can she sell a stand-alone UF with a 65yo woman in the lead? Who’s a pacifist? Did I mention it’s a stand alone? It may be the first book released under my new pen name, it may be self-published, it may be anything. We’ll see.
The Twenty Palaces book trailer: I’ve been promising this a while, haven’t I? Here’s the deal: The original plan was for the full trailer to be available at the Del Rey booth during San Diego Comic-Con. People who were super curious could swing by there and check it out, then tell my editor how great it is. (That’s how I imagined it going, anyway).
Unfortunately, the full trailer has to be delayed. The guys at Wyrd have been doing a shit-ton of work on this sucker and it looks great; however, it’s also heavy with effects, and that stuff takes time when you have a small effects shop (in this case, one guy.) So, the full trailer will be ready to show before Circle of Enemies comes out, but not at SDCC. But! Did you notice how I keep talking about the “full” trailer? That’s right, there’s actually a shorter teaser trailer that the guys have put together for next week.
So the teaser trailer will premiere next week, to coincide with a marketing effort that Del Rey is giving to Child of Fire and Game of Cages. Yeah, I know, trailers are no good for promotion, but what the hell, right? What Del Rey has planned is going to be pretty awesome–and no I can’t talk about it–but I want to contribute in whatever way I can.
Anyway, I’ll be posting a bit more about the teaser trailer when it comes out, including a comparison of the scene I wrote for the trailer script and what how they expanded it (with my express blessing). I should also mention that while I did put out a sizable chunk of change for the trailer, the work the guys at Wyrd are doing goes way, way, WAY beyond that. This stuff looks amazing, and I’m happy to give them extra time to create something they’re happy with rather than something rushed.
Short fiction: I have five or six stories ready to go up for the Kindle, et al, once I have covers in place. My wife (and son) are working on them. With luck, they’ll be live when Del Rey does its marketing push and I post the teaser trailer.
Jesus, I think that’s everything. So, in the future, you should know that if there’s something I don’t tell you, the likely reason is that I just don’t know myself. I’ve been hoping for a contract offer to write more Twenty Palaces novels ever since I turned in Circle of Enemies, but that’s not going to happen until after sales numbers for book 3 come in, if it’s going to happen at all.
So you guys know most everything I do right now. Sorry for leaving this up in the air.