Every time I look at my Goodreads page (and I look at it far more often than is good for my mental health), I wince at the answer to a question posed 3 years ago:
Ouch. It’s now two years later than that promised release date.
In Episode 4 of Picard (“Absolute Candor”), a promise is referred to as a “prison,” which is a perfect reflection of the guilt and obligation I feel every time I see that question and my oh-so-confident answer. After all, the book was already written at that time (and previously published as A Wizard’s Lot); I only had to do the same condensing sort of rewrite I’d already accomplished when I turned Blade of Amber into A Wizard’s Forge. That task took only about four months, so I could get Sacrifice revamped within a year, right?
Wrong. The rewrite turned out to be a far bigger task than I anticipated. First, there were the usual mental obstacles of imposter syndrome and “nobody cares” nihilism. Then there was the sheer complexity of turning a jungle of weedy sentences, unlikely coincidences, and plot conveniences into a tidy but complex garden maze of compelling prose and plausibly interlocking narratives.
Now, three years after I made the promise, and a year after beta readers and my editor returned comments on a first and second draft, respectively, the book is back with the editor, who will return it by mid March. Then I’ll know if I can deliver on the latest promise I’ve been plastering all over Twitter:
As we all await that verdict, you can sign up for my newsletter and receive a copy of the prequel short story, “Kill Squad,” available through Bookfunnel.
“Kill Squad” is set about 1000 years before A Wizard’s Forge, when 12 powerful wizards from across the world formed a Council and decided that for the safety of ordinary people, every other person with magical abilities should be killed. They recruited other, less powerful wizards to carry out their genocidal campaign, and “Kill Squad” revolves around one of these Enforcers and her encounter with a pair of fugitive wizards and their unique familiars.
You can download it here.