May Questions

This month I’m going to try to reply to dozens of questions at once.  The form of these questions is essentially as follows:  I really liked [name of book].  Won’t you please write more about [main character of book or more in the world of that book] ?

To date, I’ve published 61 novels,with four more scheduled over the next two years. Of those books, over the years, I’ve received at least one letter or email or blog comment asking that I write another book about the main character, or that “world,” in all but five of those books.   Given that I’ve written more than one book about a number of characters, as well as I can figure it out, that amounts to almost 30 theoretically “doable” books.  Although I do write fairly quickly, even if I can keep up writing more than two books a year, it would take me almost fifteen years just to answer all those requests… and that would be without writing about any truly new characters or worlds.  Does that I mean I won’t write any more Recluce books, for example?  Obviously not, since I’m doing that right now.  But it does mean that I won’t be able to write all the books that everyone has requested because I don’t intend to give up writing books in new settings or, occasionally, books with new characters in familiar settings.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate your interest and your love of particular characters;  it’s just a matter of my physical limitations.

How can we save the bookstores that are going out of business? I’ve been trying to frequent bookstores so they can stay in business, and I refuse to buy electronic gadgets that have books on them because I love to hold a book in my hands.

I understand the feel of holding a book, and I also like to look at them, but, frankly, I don’t know of any other way to keep bookstores in business except by patronizing them and encouraging friends and family to do so. The problem we face with bookstore closures is that each store location that closes makes patronizing bookstores harder because, for more and more people, getting to a bookstore gets more and more difficult and using an online bookstore becomes easier than searching out and traveling to a more distant bookstore — if there even is one in any convenient location.  I know.  The closest full-service new bookstore is over fifty miles from me, and the next closest after that one store is over 170 miles away.  So… for more and more people, the only feasible options are either e-books or on-line bookstores that mail books to them… and this makes it harder and harder for existing bookstores.

I wish I had a better answer, but I can’t think of one.

12 thoughts on “May Questions”

  1. Wine Guy says:

    Well, shoot.

    If you’re not going to live forever (or at least until <> die), who is going to keep on writing books like you?

    P.S. Perhaps it is finally time for a chapbook of the The Collected Works of “Leland Exton/Exton Land.” Are you white-haired yet?
    (ref: ibdof 5/2007)

  2. Wine Guy says:

    That’s supposed to be “I die”.

  3. I am mostly silver-gray…

  4. Jason says:

    Do you have any plans for a book(s) to explore the founding of Cyador?

    Thanks for all you do.

    1. I have no immediate plans for a book dealing with the founding of Cyador. There may be a story [not a book or novel] about someone involved in its founding.

  5. Anna B says:

    I wanted to add a comment about patronizing local bookstores. Like many, I recently purchased an e-reader and now I do most of my reading on it. While I love the feel of reading an actual book and never thought I would make the switch…In the end I felt that I had no choice. I have found that in addition to the mileage issue (>70 miles for me) a greater number of authors (and it seems to be growing exponentially) are now primarily publishing online. Many books are ONLY published online and if they are also published in “book” form it is usually done well over a year later (sometimes 2 or more years later). In addition to this, the cost of actual books seems to be ever increasing. I went to purchase a recent book of yours and it was close to $40 dollars whereas the cost of an e-book was $14 dollars (same book)… The math alone made the switch mandatory… In the end it came down to a choice/question: Do I want to support my favorite authors or the bookstore? I would rather support my authors in some fashion by purchasing their books online than the alternative of not buying their books because they are not available in print form or because it’s cost prohibitive. While I hate not supporting my local bookstore…the ultimate choice was between them or the authors I read, which is really sad because they should not be in opposition to one another.

  6. Rob W says:

    Which 5 books haven’t you received requests to continue writing about.

    1. That was an approximation, but the ones I don’t ever recall receiving any inquiries to write more about include Haze, Empress of Etermity,Archform: Beauty, The Green Progression, and Flash.

      1. David says:

        Let me be the first to suggest both Flash and Archform:Beauty. Just reread both of them over the last week. Great writing. They are part of my stable of books to reread when I don’t want to use my ereader. Parafaith War was my first Of your books way too many years ago. Love them.

  7. Scott D says:

    I finally finished the lady protector (I tend to retread the entire series if I find there’s a new one) and was wondering if there is going to be a third? The rest of the Corean Chronicles are different trilogies, and I was hopeful Mykella would get the same (I’m a bit OCD about my book collection). I mostly ask because it seems to have wrapped itself up with the ending, and from a glance you do not seem to be writing anything of yet,


    1. I have no plans for a third book about Mykella.

  8. william says:

    I am not a purist but I will only read books the bound kind. I was trying to get to bed and I told myself just one more chapter 1st. Then I took a snif of the book looked at the beautiful color maps, and sadly stayed up an 1 1/2 later. All most finished with Lady Protector. Another A+ sir.
    Thank you
    And God bless

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