The book is currently scheduled for worldwide English language launch the week of February 11, 2013 (Monday the 11th in the UK, Tuesday the 12th in the US*). The German translation will likely be the first to follow (probably a month or two later), with others dropping later in the year.
I will be touring the US, UK, Germany, Australia, and possibly some other places in the coming year. More on that later. I will also be doing a panel and some signings next month at NY ComicCon Oct. 11-14, 2012. Come say hi!
*Please note this is an update over the previously stated US launch date of Feb. 4, 2013. This shift means I will be 40 when the book releases, rather than 39. I’ll talk about that another time.
There will still be copyediting, proofreading and cover design that I will need to be involved in and approve before the book comes out, but creatively, the project is finished on my end.
It’s been a long time.
Looking back over my word count spreadsheets and manuscript backups (yes, it is OCD, but I need a way to track progress) I see that there was a file titled “Daylight War” as early as May, 2008, but it looks like I didn’t begin work on the project in earnest until around October 2009, which makes sense since I’d just turned in the final version of Desert Spear that September.
When you work on a single project for three years, though massive ups and downs in your personal life and equally massive ups and downs creatively, it is a strange feeling to be done. There were times I never thought the day would come, hurdles in the story I never thought I would surpass.
And then there was you, dear reader. One of the many advantages to writing in this day and age is that through my website, email, contests, signings and social media, I have had the chance to meet and interact with thousands of readers. It has been an immense honor and joy, not to mention a huge bedrock of support I was not ashamed to lean on at times, but it has brought a degree of pressure as well. I tend to obsess about my work in general, but having more than ten thousand people looking over my shoulder and asking when I will be done has added a new level to it.
With every contest entry and blog hit, every twitter follower and google circle, every facebook friend and author page like, and most of all, every person who takes the time out of their life to come and meet me in person when I visit near (and sometimes even not-so-near) their home, I feel an added weight of responsibility. A pressure to deliver a book that is worthy of the faith you’ve shown in me. To give you my very best work, because you deserve nothing less.
And I think I have.
Is The Daylight War better than The Warded Man or The Desert Spear? That is not for me to decide. It is very different in spirit and intent than those other books, intentionally so. I have grown as a writer and changed as a person over the last few years, and the book reflects that. When I start writing the same book over and over, then it’s time to worry.
But if I cannot say it’s better, I can say that it is the best book I could make it. I cut no corners, skipped no hurdles and took no shortcuts. This is clear in some ways from the sheer size of the book: 254,000 words (5% longer than Desert Spear, and close to 3x the size of your average genre book).
But it’s more clear in the content. Daylight War explores the characters of the Demon Cycle in a new light, adding depth to the world and weight to their actions. If Warded Man was a book about fear and Desert Spear was about opposing cultures struggling to find common ground, Daylight War is, as my editor put it, “a book about relationships”.
And some of them, I think, will surprise you.
I basically locked myself in my office for the last few days, speaking to no one and working 16 hour days to meet the deadline. Yesterday, after submitting the manuscript, I took a couple of hours and went to the park, walking 6 miles while listening to the Dominion novella by CS Friedman on audiobook (note: it is awesome) and trying to find my elusive zen.
I found it hard to unclench.
Increasingly over the last year I have denied myself a lot of little pleasures: video games, movies, TV and most of all my beloved reading time, out of a sense of determination to “Finish the damn book”. Now that I have, I feel an immense relief, but also a little empty. It’s going to take a little time to learn to relax a bit and allow myself to recharge by catching up on all the books and movies and other things I have been shoving aside. To absorb the creativity of others for a time while my own well refills.
I’ll be keeping busy in the coming months, most likely working on my upcoming 4-issue run on Red Sonja, picking up where I left off in Red Sonja: Blue, and finishing the Mudboy novella for Subterranean Press.
The next book in the Demon Cycle series is tentatively titled The Skull Throne. There has been a working file for that book for over a year, with the stepsheet currently at 84 pages, spelling out in great detail the 21 key chapters of the book’s story arc. Doubtless more will be added, but I already have a clear skeleton to start from.
Here’s hoping I can do this one a little… I want to say “faster”, but I don’t think “fast” will ever be a word used to describe me and my writing. How about “less slowly”?
Thank you all for your patience and support over the last few years. It has meant the world to me. I hope to meet a lot of you in person over the coming year.