He thinks again…

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Progress Report

Chris and I have been working on the novelization of the Lords of Midnight for some time now, infact it was back in June 2016 I started on the project. With Chris’ help on the lore I have made excellent progress on the novel and I’m getting closer to a good solid first draft. We’re currently at 97,088 words. It happens to be the Autumn Equinox today, as good a time as ever to give an update.

However, I’m afraid we have a delay. To cut a long story short, with Chris’ and my publisher’s blessing I have taken the decision to postpone the publication date.

As you know, I wanted to have the book available on the 21st of Dec 2017, to mark the Winter Solstice as per the starting point of the game narrative. Due to a number of factors progress has been delayed during the writing. I might be able to push it across the line in time, but I’d start to compromise on quality and content – Chris and I simply won’t do that. Mike Singleton’s legacy deserves the best we can produce – it means we need more time to get it right.

So how much of a delay? A revised timeline has the book being published at the end of March 2018, around a 3 month delay overall. I think this is realistic based on current workload and my publisher concurs.

I completely understand this isn’t the best of news, and it will be frustrating to those who are eagerly awaiting the story, particularly in time for Christmas. I hope that by letting you know as soon as I can and with a commitment to finish according to a revised plan you’ll understand the situation.

The detail on the delays? As you know, I was working on my previous novel, the official Elite Dangerous book : Premonition. This featured a few …er… ‘novel’ scenarios, not least having to take part in and organize some in-game activity which would impact the end of the book. I underestimated the time required for this quite badly. My contingency time was eaten up and I still hadn’t finished with Elite Dangerous. The editing demands of that story were also considerably higher than expected. I also underestimated the emotional and physical drain involved in putting all that content together, and coping with some of the unexpected and undesirable aspects of the outcome. This was combined with a stressful period in my day job where we were under threat of redundancy throughout this entire period. In short, I got rather burnt out. It took a toll on both me and my family.

Thus it took me a little time to regain equilibrium and get back on track with writing Lords of Midnight. The work situation has improved since and a summer break recharged the synapses. I’ve been trying, but I’ve been unable to catch back up to where I was hoping to be.

Progress is still good overall. I have no concerns with the eventual delivery of the book. It’s definitely coming! Chris and I are confident you’re going to enjoy it. I simply can’t deliver what I want to deliver against the original timescales. I am not working on anything else until Lords of Midnight is complete. Unfortunately this will have a knock on impact to Shadeward 3 as well – so apologies to fans of that series too – I will get on to that as soon as I can after Lords of Midnight is finished.

I hope you understand this was a tough call. But I set my stall out as a writer who won’t compromise on quality and wanted to communicate the moment I had a revised timescale I’m confident I can meet.  We get one shot at doing this right, so it has to be as good as it can be. That’s my ultimate aim.

I’m very sorry about this, but we will get there!

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    8 Comments

  1. It’s been 33 years since I first imagined the full story, another couple of months won’t hurt and I’m sure you’ve come up with something better than I ever could! Good luck getting it finished, looking forward to it!

    • Thanks Matt, yes. We’re still utterly invigorated!

  2. If you look at GoT series 7 , you can see that even though the plot was very strong and the scenes breathtaking, rushing it out meant that it lost something compared with earlier series. A lot of the subtleties and narrative was lost. Take as long as you wish, I lost 3 months of my life in 84/85 because of these games.

    • Compromising on quality was never an option. And it’s been 30 years waiting for this book, a little daily won’t hurt too badly.

  3. Delay it 3 months or 3 years. Good things take their time, and setting an arbitrary deadline like the winter solstice is just some fun fact that few will remember years after this book is published.

    • It would have tied up nicely, however the Spring Equinox isn’t bad either. 🙂

  4. Hey do Mike justice take your time and get it right. You cannot put a time frame on a masterpiece. Happy writing.

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