I’m happy to announce that I’ve just turned in the final version of Contrarian, the third book in “The Grand Illusion,” my newest series.

For those who haven’t been following closely, the first book in the series is Isolate, which will be released this coming October 19th.

The second book, Councilor, is scheduled for release in August of 2022.

While marketing pitches call the series “Gaslamp” fantasy, I’d describe it as high-tech coal-power, because in the world of Guldor — the Empire of Gold — electricity is not technically possible, and thus illumination is by gas lamps, kerosene lanterns, or candles, but industry is coal-powered. The first three books focus on politics at the heart of Guldor, which is a constitutional Imperium, where power largely, but not exclusively, rests in the Council of Sixty-Six at a time of social, economic, and technological change. And… oh, yes, there are empaths who can read and project emotions, and isolates, who cannot be emotionally read or influenced by empaths.

11 thoughts on “”

  1. Grey says:

    That must be a great feeling to have an entire trilogy in the can before the first book is even on the shelves.

    Was this pace intended or did it just happen organically? If the former, what was your workflow like – did you write all 3 books at once and then fine tune as the separate books flowed through editing? Would you do it again?

    1. Part of it was just organic, and as a result of the change in the publishing industry. I’ve historically written at least two books a year for the past thirty years. When I became a full-time writer thirty years ago, the time between when I turned in a book and when it was published (at least for me at Tor) was 9-14 months. Today, as a result of the chains and Amazon demanding to know the publication dates of major releases at least a year in advance and the fact that it takes several months to assemble the pre-publication package and then integrate it with the schedule of all books being published in a “season,” there’s a lag of from 18 to 24 months for most authors, although I tend to be on the shorter end of that lag. When I’m writing a series, if it’s like the first three books of “The Grand Illusion,” I have a general idea of where the plot will go, but I write them one at a time simply because the details of the first book can change subsequent books considerably. In that sense, it’s like forecasting life. What we think should happen often doesn’t work out that way.

      1. Sid Dembowski says:

        I enjoy your books I read them over and over to fill the space between publications. I am ready for your new series. Good luck

      2. I note that the first book has now been delayed until November 16th according to Amazon.

  2. Grey says:

    Interesting, thank you for the response. Joe Abercrombie wrote his recent “age of madness” trilogy first draft in one go, and then brought each book to publication in sequence. He had hopes of a much faster completion cycle for the three books but it sounds like the tasks expanded to fill the time as it created new problems, like as you observed, having to rework things that no longer made sense after the preceding books were complete. It still ultimately took about five years from start to finish.[1]

    1. https://joeabercrombie.com/progress-report-february-21/

  3. Jan Vermeulen says:

    Can we expect a new Recluce book in the near future?

    1. Since I’ve been working on the first three books of “The Grand Illusion,” I haven’t had time for anything else. Contrarian will likely be published in mid to late 2023. While I’ve just started work on another Recluce book, even if I finish it by the end of this year, it would be unlikely to see print before late in 2023, at least given Tor’s current publishing schedule.

      1. Matt says:

        Did this comment sneak by us fans? “Started work on another Recluce book…”.

  4. Julia Riding says:

    Looking forward to the new series! And the icing on the cake? A new Recluce!! Thank you for all your wrting – any thoughts on a follow-up to the “Ghosts”? Yes, I know, greedy, greedy, greedy!

  5. William Cramblet says:

    Will you be writing anything more from Quantum Shadows story line? I enjoyed it and the possibilities for the story to expand seems great!!

    1. At this point, I’m committed to other novels for the next year or so. After that, we’ll see.

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