Not entirely sure why I've been so quiet on the LJ front recently, but I'm guessing it's because life's just been rather quiet of late. Good time at Fantasycon marred by a hotel room that was unfit for purpose (and the Royal Albion's attitude being one of "fuck you nerd, we don't need to offer good service to keep making money") and then a trip up to Dundee, which seems to have resulted in us buying a car, as you do….
But anyways: all subject to contract of course (but given my day job is negotiating contracts I'm pretty sure I can make sure it happens in spite of making a demanding pain of myself in the process) but I think I can now reveal that Gollancz have signed me up for a couple more books! Specifically, two new novels and a collection of Twilight Reign short stories, which is nice as I've had most those for a long time and never really known whether they would see the light of day in any significant format.
Now publishing plans are vague at the moment, but I believe it's intended for the short stories to come out not long after the finale of the Twilight Reign – currently scheduled for July 2012. They're not a vital part of the series, that's something I do want to make clear – the whole thing will be tied up and ended in Dusk Watchman and that will most likely be the last Twilight Reign novel I ever write, unless I can be persuaded on a story that doesn't feel inconsequential in comparison to the world-changing events of the main series. So the short stories are a bonus feature to the series, many of them focused on Emin's secret war with Azaer that started years before Stormcaller and following one such thread as it touches on various lives – a thread that's alluded to in several of the novels, but probably only made any sense to me at the time!
Onto the new novels and what you can expect there. Well the provisional titles are Moon's Artifice and Old Man's Ghosts – OMG (heh, not intentional that…) following on fairly soon after the events of MA and focused on the same set of characters. I'm thinking of them as fantasy action thrillers currently – my publisher might have a better way to describe them to the trade but that's my starting point. Not the same scale as the Twilight Reign, they'll be set in one city only – the capital of a vast empire that's creaking at the seams, as innovation and progress are stifled by a rigid and oppressive structure of castes and noble houses. The main character is part of the emperor's own police force and he stumbles across a conspiracy with far-reaching implications for the rest of the empire; kick starting a whole load of mayhem as everyone's dangerous secrets start to emerge into the light of day.
Provisional delivery date is Jan 2013 I believe, so not long after Dusk Watchman is published really. I'll be trying to make the books just a bit shorter, but me being me they're not going to be 50k word volumes with only subtle, hinted-at violence… But at the same time, I'm aiming for shorter than Stormcaller, which was 175k, rather than looking to match Dusk Watchman which, pre-edit, is 235k! We'll see how it all works out, but I'm certainly aiming for a shorter book that's a little less dark than the Twilight Reign.
So, in summary – Woohoo! I get to continue to buy food over the next year or two!