Reply to the inevitable question


Over on Facebook, after I apologized for forgetting her birthday, my friend Libbey asked,  “… and how is the book coming?

I said:

It’s an adventure.

I don’t just mean that the story I’m writing is an adventure story— I mean that the process of writing it is an adventure all its own.

There are heroes (me and my friends!), villains, goals and obstacles (plenty of those); shining moments of revelation; some dark despair, just enough; hacking through tangled forests of confusion, while being pursued by SomeThingElse; encounters with dragons; taming of dragons; riding on dragons; falling off of dragons in mid-air; deserts that must be crossed (very large ones); spaceships viewed in the far distance, inaccessible; moments of courage; moments of no courage whatsoever; and moments where everyone sits around and drinks a great deal of tea.

Unlike the book itself, I don’t get to edit out the boring bits.

18 Responses to “Reply to the inevitable question”

  • Teellbee Says:

    Hey, I was so pleased to see your blog! I check the web every few months for rumors of the book I’ve happily anticipated. Usually, all I find are queries posted to assorted forums by other readers asking, “has anyone heard ~anything~ about the next book coming out?”

    Even though there’s no mention of goals or anticipated dates for news of the next Steerswoman’s story, it’s great just to know you’re still out there.

    Good luck with the writing and various other dragon-related adventures and challenges.

    Best regards, Teellbee

  • Rosemary Says:

    Teellbee —

    Thanks! I am indeed still out here and still working on it. At some point reasonably soon, I’ll post a description of the current state and standing of Book Five of the series.

    Meanwhile, it absolutely does help to know that people out there are interested. So, thanks.

  • Melissa Says:

    Thank you for keeping us up to date – isn’t the new age of technology wonderful? Writers and readers can talk to each other.

    I love your books and anxiously await the next. Patiently and anxiously. Hopefully you aren’t on the receiving end of fan hostility like Patrick Rothfuss has been receiving.

    Best and all that. Keep after it (all of it, not just the book.)

    Melissa, just one of your avid fans.

  • Rosemary Says:

    Mellisa —

    Thanks for the good words!

    I hadn’t heard about Patrick Rothfuss and hostile fans, but I did read some of the things directed at George R.R.Martin. Yikes. But I believe my readers are far more sensible and considerate than that. Not to mention intelligent, perceptive, etc.

    At least, that’s how I imagine the reader is, when I’m writing! So far, the ones I’ve met or corresponded with seem to fit the general description.

    Of course, now that I have a blog, who knows who’ll stop by….

  • Spencer Says:

    I’ll voice my thanks for the update as well (without trying to put undue pressure on you to finish). I read the series so far after reading Jo Walton’s review over at Tor. Then, I heard noises that something new was in the works but coming from a bunch of people that weren’t you. Had to keep the skepticism healthy when information was coming 2nd or 3rd hand. So, thank you, I’ll consider that rumor confirmed.

  • Rosemary Says:

    Spencer —

    Stuff is indeed in the works, and I do have to thank Jo Walton for that review. It seems that I hear a lot more about people being interested in the series ever since the review appeared on the Tor blog. I’ll be seeing her soon, so I’ll have the chance to say thanks again.

    I like Jo’s reviews, and her insights — and for that matter, her books — a lot.

  • Kate Nepveu Says:

    In fact, it was Jo’s mentioning that you have a blog now that brought me here.

    Best wishes with the adventure and hope to see you at Boskone. (Come by the Tiptree/Brandon bakesale, Saturday 11-4 outside the con suite!)

  • Rosemary Says:

    Kate —

    I’ll be there, you bet! With money and an appetite for Tiptree/Brandon sweet stuff…

  • parmeeta Says:

    Thank you for writing such a fantastic series and take the trouble write it so well. Not only the plot or the characters but the actual prose itself is such a pleasure to read.

    Not many writers are able to do that these days, even the better ones.
    I am amazed that the books are so unknown. I came across them through Piaw’s blog, and I am grateful to him I disagree with his reviews about the series.

    I just wonder why they are not well-known. Even sites such as best fantasy series do not have them, even as also-rans, when much more predictable and stereotyped writing makes it.
    My other favourite recent discovery, Dianne Wynne-Jones, children’s fantasy writer, is another case in point.

    Please do keep writing, despite that well-known monster SomeThingElse, because there are a lot of us waiting for the books. In fact, it took me sometime to track down Book 4, as my usual site – bookdepository- did not have any left, and I eventually found an ex-library copy through Better World Books.

    • Rosemary Says:

      Parmeeta —


      I’m surprised you had trouble finding The Language of Power. I checked, and Amazon is still carrying it — and at a pretty good price, although I don’t know what they’d charge for shipping. Barnes and Noble charge a bit more. They’ve both got the rest of the series, as well.

      It would be nice if the books were also in actual physical bookstores, but turnover on bookstore shelves is pretty quick. They need to move things out to make room for the new releases, something online sellers don’t have to worry about. If it weren’t for online sellers, people would have to do special orders to get my books at all, since none of them are recently published (as in, within the last 6 months).

      So, I’m very happy that the Internet exists…

  • Kristina Says:

    Awaiting your next book with huge eagerness! Your series is probably one of three or four that I reread every few years. It’s right up there with Sheri Tepper, Kate Elliot, and Suzy Charnas. I check Amazon every once in a while to see if you’ve published book 5 and came across your website address. Just want to say what a pleasure it is to read your prose. I LOVE your world and enjoy trying to tease out what is what.

    Your series is a gem. Keep it up!

    • Rosemary Says:

      Kristina —

      Wow, thanks! You’ve placed me in great company, with Tepper, Elliot and Charnas.

      Another reason I’m glad I started this blog: it’s so good to hear that people are interested in my work, and what comes next.

      Book 5 is underway, and I’ll post news about it here. I also have some plans for podcasts and some other material (I’m thinking of a couple of scenes excised from books 2 and 3)…

  • Nitzan Says:

    I, too, would like to add my support.

    It’s good to see that there’s another installment on the way.

    Hope we get another update soon,
    Nitzan (Yet another one of your avid fans).

    • Rosemary Says:

      Thanks, Nitzan!

      I’m slogging along… and as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, holding down a day-job does slow me down, in the writing department.

      Although, it seems to help greatly in the food-clothing-shelter-health-insurance department.

      Plus: just got a nice bonus ($$)!

  • Finn Says:

    Hey Rosemary,

    This comment isn’t exactly related to this post. Didn’t see a general feedback form.

    I just got all of your books from Amazon. I noticed you don’t have any affiliate links setup on your ‘books’ page. You should totally do that — I prefer to buy things from the original author’s links if possible so they get the kickback, just for the warm fuzzy feeling. I think (I’m not sure) it even applies to used copied from Amazon. You should totally set that up!

    • Rosemary Says:

      Finn —

      Thanks! I plan to get that going Real Soon Now, as the saying goes.

      Also: interesting point about there being no general feedback form. I’ll need to look into that, and see how WordPress handles it.

      Plus: Thanks for buying the books! I hope they don’t disappoint.


    Hello! I’m glad to see you have a blog. Someone recently gave me their extra copy of “The Outskirter’s Secret” And I’ve hunted out the other books and read them all. I enjoyed them so much! I’m looking forward to the next ones.

    I’m also a fan of Connie Willis, so am very used to waiting for excellent fiction to progress from the author.

    Regarding fans who feel entitled to the next book on their schedule, Neil Gaiman had an excellent post on his Journal about this. I think it makes compelling points that every impolitely impatient reader could benefit from thinking about. (scroll down).

    • Rosemary Says:

      Ultragotha —

      Yeah, I’ve seen that post by Gaiman (I’m a devoted follower of his blog)! Fortunately, none of my fans have been as unkind in their complaints as the fans of George R.R. Martin seem to be (whose rudeness inspired Gaiman to speak out).

      I’ve been sort of holding Gaiman’s post in reserve, in case anyone should become abusive or insulting when complaining about the time lag, in which case I’d simply direct them to Gaimain’s blog (I especially like the line, “George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.”)

      However, I’ve had no need to do that. All of you have been civilized and kind and encouraging. Hm… I suppose I must attract a better quality of reader than Martin does!

      Nah. He just has So Freaking Many readers that a few noisy bozos are bound to be included, by sheer probabilistic law.