That's really good news, because my editor has already returned the first 20 chapters to me, so after the briefest of vacations I can begin the rewrite. It will be extensive but not exhaustive. When she returns from vacation she'll finish the rest so . . . barring any more abductions or other felonies, it's safe to say that you'll see Magelord on Kindle before the end of August, and probably before.
But here's the thing: when you write, and especially if your fiction isn't your full-time job, you do so when you can. Between all of my pseudonyms and my day job I churn out about a million words every year. The Spellmonger stuff is usually about 10% of that, and while it is one of my favorite parts, it is far from the only thing on my schedule. As much as I'd like to make it more than that, the reality is that if I ignore the fan bases my pseudonyms have generated over the years, it's unfair to them. Hell, I'm getting fan mail from pseudonyms I abandoned years ago, begging me to do more.
So here's my new policy: I won't give an exact release date for something until I'm sure, and I'm not going to announce any more rough estimates without so heavily qualifying them as to make them pointless. I write as much as I can, and while some authors prefer to spend their time validating their egos by interacting with their fans on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, my present situation doesn't allow for that. In fact, the more you see here on the blog, the less fiction I'm writing. When given a choice between working on my craft and gratifying my ego . . . well, I think we can all agree my craft needs work.
But the Magelord rough is done. The rewrite should only take a few weeks. I'm pretty happy with it, and for those who keep track of such things, you'll be happy to hear that I DO NOT split the narrative into two timelines this time. One big ugly timeline. It is, unlike the Talry story, told in First Person, from Minalan's POV. It is thick, fifty chapters thick, and likely to grow in girth if not in organization. There are several places where I need to flesh out a character or a setting, or I need to elaborate some obscure point -- that's what rewrites are for. And to give you a hint of the plot . . . let's just say that Minalan gets medieval.
After that, I have Super Secret Project #1 on the front burner, but that should only take another week or two to finish up at this point. (SSP #2 was completed and went live to healthy sales, thanks for asking - and no, you can't know what it is if you don't already.) After that I fully intend to devote my time to finishing Trask's Odyssey, which I've got more than 100 pages written on so far. Then there will be the next Spellmonger book, Knights Magi, which will be out sometime next year. It will be a rollicking medieval adventure story, real swords-and-sorcery, featuring Tyndal and Rondal, Minalan's two apprentices. Yes, we'll get back to Min and Co. eventually.
In the meantime, likely just before Magelord's release, I'll be publishing the third interstitial short story, the one about Minalan's and Alya's wedding. I've been saving it for last as a reward to myself for finishing Magelord. I'll probably release it a week or two before the book, just to help drum up interest. I'm opportunistic that way.
Thank you all again for keeping track and making this a worthwhile endeavor. I know it sounds like I ignore you sometimes, but the truth is I read everything. I would just rather crank out some fiction than discuss the stuff I plan on writing someday. It's more professional. And to be honest, the one who is most interested in seeing how the story turns out is . . . me.