When will the next book be out?

I am very fortunate to have such enthusiastic and devoted readers. Believe me, I appreciate every one of you. I may not answer every email, but I do read them all. A kind and positive note from a reader is like a perfect truffle, and who can eat just one of those?

Since Queen of Swords has been out there’s been a big bump in the amount of email, and pretty much all of it ends with the same question: when will the next book be out? So I’m going to try to answer that clearly.

The Wilderness books are generally between 250,000 and 300,000 words in length. If the average manuscript page is 250 words, that means I’ve got about a thousand pages to write. Another way to approach this: I can write between 100,000 and 150,000 words a year.

I’ve just started Six (as I’m calling the next Wilderness book for the moment), so that means that with luck, I’ll finish it late summer 2008. At that point it goes to Bantam and the editing and production process starts. That requires at least six months.

So realistically, you should see Six sometime in 2009.

I realize that’s a long way off. For me it’s a long time too, dragging myself up the mountain. Difficult, but worthwhile in the end. In the meantime, I’ll suggest books to read that I have liked, and then if I may be so bold: there’s Tied to the Tracks out there waiting to be read, and Pajama Jones coming your way next year, probably in June or so.

Novels that come out in hard cover usually show up in softcover editions about a year after first release. So that means Tied to the Tracks will be out in June in paperback, and Queen of Swords in October.

Final note: you can find all the in-print editions of my books grouped together here (a link that is also on the top navigation bar under ‘writ by my own hand’). I am not suggesting you need to use that link to purchase anything; it’s just a convenient way to keep the information readily available. If you click through you’ll see that there are other categories: not writ by my own hand (books I’d recommend) and movies/television (some of my favorites). I don’t make a lot of money from this setup (I think last year the total payout was eleven bucks) but what does come through I donate to Doctors without Borders.