I’ve been getting more and more emails from people asking when the next book is coming out (from as far away as Norway), and they’ve been coming with greater frequency, so I figured it’s time I responded publicly rather than one by one.
Unfortunately, the answer to “When will the fourth book be out?” is “Never.” The series is dead.
I had originally planned for four books and submitted a proposal for four books to my publisher, but I was offered a three book contract, which is the standard when it comes to a new fantasy series. I was fine with that, hoping that the first books sold well enough that I could negotiate a big fat advance for the fourth.
And things looked good at first. The Amber Wizard sold very well right out of the gate, landing at number seven on the Borders/Waldenbooks (hey, remember those places?) paperback bestseller list. I was thrilled. It seemed my writing career was off to a good start.
But I couldn’t get any of the larger review sites or publications to review the book, which meant I got little visibility. I did receive a lot of feedback from readers through email or on Facebook, but it seemed like the readers who liked it contacted me directly, while those who hated it were the ones who posted reviews on places like Amazon and Goodreads. And I’m perfectly fine with people not liking what I write–there’s no such thing as a universally loved book. But for whatever reason, the people who did like it didn’t post online reviews.
The Words of Making sold in okay numbers, but not nearly as well as The Amber Wizard had. For whatever reason, the series wasn’t gaining any traction. The Commanding Stone came out right after the big crash of 2009 and disappeared without a trace. The sales were just terrible. No one was interested in the series anymore, which was a shame, because I thought the books got better as they went along. Certainly there are more things I would go back and change in the first one than the other two.
The original ending of The Commanding Stone was this crazy cliffhanger, but my editor made it clear I had to change it since a fourth book wasn’t guaranteed. It took a lot of rewriting to make it work, and one of the storylines–concerning the rise of the Adversary–wasn’t resolved, and now never will be. I’m sorry about that.
The dragon storyline wasn’t supposed to be resolved in book three. I had planned to carry that over to The Path of Ashes (that was the tentative title for book four, which I had also at one time called The Fell King). I think I wrapped things up as best as I could given the circumstances.
At some point I’ll post the original ending to The Commanding Stone to give readers an idea of how much I had to change, and what my initial plans were.
So that’s where things stand with the Saga. Again, I’m sorry I won’t be able to finish the story, but sales simply weren’t there to justify another book.