Publication arrangements for The Successor are well underway and on schedule for release this year.
It is like climbing a mountain. There is initial excitement. Hands and feet are cold starting out. The pace is uneven at first but soon settles into something sustainable (one hopes). Clothing is adjusted as the expenditure of energy produces heat. The down jacket comes off. Perhaps a brimmed hat replaces a wool one. Other things are removed or exchanged as progress is made upward. The route becomes obscured, maybe even lost--but never entirely because one knows by map and compass (and these days perhaps GPS) where, high above, the objective awaits. False excitement is supressed (if one has experience in this ridiculous activity) as each false summit is mounted and passed over. On and on. The whole thing becomes a slog--especially the difficult mountains, the ones with long approaches and high summits--but one goes on. Weather threatens. One tries to pick up the pace but exhaustion denies this effort. The air thins. Now the universe is the next step and the next and the next. And then the summit.
Are you hearing the metaphor in all this? Six years Naomi Lea Sawyer and I have been on this mountain. The altimeter says we are close to the summit, but we will believe only when we are standing on it and there is nothing higher in the near distance. We will share it all with you when we arrive. Soon. We will arrive soon.
Every author wishes to be read. But that, dear reader, is not the only, or perhaps even the primary, joy. As those who have climbed many mountains (and wish to climb others) will tell you, the summit is merely a check mark. I have few recollections of summits; I have many of the efforts, including the suffering, to achieve them. From the summit one sees the ridge connecting to the next summit, and feels a new excitement. If one is subject to mission creep (as I am), that ridge can prove dangerously alluring. Yes, the weather is closing in, but we have come this far, we are so close (almost always an illusion), we can make it, we have headlamps... The insanity advances from there.
We have completed The Successor, and nearly completed its sequal, The Culling. But there are more books to come in the Chronicles of the Two Worlds.
We can make it; we have headlamps.
On and on it goes.