Okay, this is a post I have been not wanting to write. But my online silence has started to get noticed, and in light of the sweet emails and messages from various Imps making certain I'm alive, I've realized I really do need to give all of you an update and offer an explanation for why all has been quiet in Goldstone Wood this last many weeks.
So here goes: Due to some business-related happenings that I am not going to go into in detail, I have come to a bit of a mini-crisis point in my career that necessitates setting aside Poison Crown for the time being.
I know I mentioned something about this in a June post, so this won't come as a complete surprise to those of you who have been following along. At the time of that post, I was still thinking I would be finishing Poison Crown in the near future and publishing it by next year. However, things have changed since then, and that 2016 projection is no longer looking remotely feasible. In fact, I don't know when Poison Crown will be releasing now. I would like to think 2017, but there are factors beyond my control at play.
Here are a couple of points for you to satisfy curiosity:
1. No, this does not have anything to do with whether or not I am allowed to publish more Goldstone Wood books. Golden Daughter, Goddess Tithe, and Draven's Light are all perfectly legal and permissible. This setback is related to a different side of this business, pertaining to income, not legality.
2. Poison Crown--volumes 1 and 2--WILL BE published eventually. They are the next books in the Goldstone Wood series. Before any more Goldstone Wood books release, Poison Crown will release.
I had mentioned quite a while back that Poison Crown would be the last book in the series for a little while as I take a break. This is still true. It's just the timing that has changed. At this point, I am anticipating (hoping!) that Poison Crown will come out right in the middle of that "break" period. So maybe it'll end up being a good thing . . . You readers won't have as big of a gap between Goldstone Wood novels this way . . .
Needless to say, none of this was my preference. After five years of at least one Goldstone Wood novel coming out each year, I cannot tell you how strange it is to look ahead and not know when the next one is releasing. The closest thing I can compare it to is a bad breakup. You know . . . after you've spent months or years dating one person, planning your life with that person in mind, spending all your time with that person . . . and then suddenly, that person is out of your life. And you're left to pick up the pieces, trying to figure out what you have left.
Not that I'm breaking up with Goldstone Wood. We'll get back together someday! (Oh, dear. Does that sound like the desperate, dumped girlfriend? "Goldstone Wood doesn't DESERVE me! Goldstone Wood was just intimidated by me! Just watch, Goldstone Wood, I'm going to find a series that APPRECIATES me!")
But in all seriousness, this has been tough. It's been a difficult adjustment period, first coming to the realization that this is how it has to be then actually following through. I absolutely hate leaving a project half-finished--both the series and the current manuscript itself. For a while I was determined to complete the writing on Poison Crown before moving on. This I cannot do, however. This isn't my hobby . . . this is my job, and I have to make smart decisions for my writing. I cannot afford to finish Poison Crown at this point and time.
So there it sits in my computer. Waiting. Along with all those characters whom I love so much: Eanrin, Rose Red, Lionheart, Imraldera, Daylily, Foxbrush, Una, Vahe, Felix, Bebo, Iubdan, Hri Sora, Lumé and Hymlumé, Mouse, Sunan, Munny, Leta, Akilun, Etanun, Alistair, the Chronicler, Draven, Itala, Sairu . . . not to mention the characters in Poison Crown, whom you've not had a chance to get to know . . . Raulf, Tacita, Rogan, Megaren, Dian, Ileria . . . All of these characters mean so much to me and have been such vivid parts of my life for so long. Many and most of them haven't finished telling their stories. Setting them aside for an indeterminate period of time is nothing short of heartbreaking.
Thus my silence over the last several weeks.
However, I am currently pouring myself into a new project. And once I get over the bizarre feelings of guilt over Goldstone Wood (how can I be unfaithful to my true love???), I find I am rather excited about working on something a little different for the time being. I won't say too much about this new project just now, but I'm pretty confident that it's going to turn into something fantastic. After the last few weeks of world-building, character exploration, and outlining, I sat down to write chapter 1 just yesterday, uncertain how it would turn out . . . and ended up writing over 7,000 words. Which is an awesome day of writing for me. My goal is to finish the rough draft of the first book in this project in maybe a little over two weeks. Which is ambitious, yes, but I need a distraction right now anyway.
Besides . . . FLEXIBILITY IS THE KEY TO STRATEGIC AIR POWER!
So I'm being flexible.
Wish me luck as I pursue this new venture. I definitely covet your prayers right now . . .
Wow, thank you for your transparency. What a hard place to be emotionally but completely understandable. Saying a prayer this morning that as you practice flexibility and braveness that God gives you all kinds of words and provision for this year!
So sorry to hear of your struggles but appreciate your willingness to share that with us. I pray the Lord grants you peace and wisdom to walk in His will. You have our support and remember, just like the prince of farthestshore our Prince is always with you.
1. Thank you for sharing this part of your writing journey, paving the way for things newer writers may have to face one day. (I can just see one of us in a similarly heartbreaking situation and reminding ourselves "it's okay -- AES had to do this once.")
2. I have often admired the way you wordsmith your posts, and this one was no different. You shared tears as well as pointing us toward good things ahead. And this is why I follow your blog.
3. I will be praying for you, for the Lord to guide your endeavors and for Him to make provision for the things He has called you to do.
I can only imagine how difficult that must be. Praying a blessing over you and your career! (I was just telling my sister yesterday that I would read anything you wrote--which means that even though it's sad to hear about the Goldstone Wood break, I'm also happy to hear about progress on the new project.) May you have wisdom and peace during this time, and may everything you put your hand to prosper. Blessings, Mrs. Stengl! As Charity Tinnin said, thank you for your transparency.
Thank you for your openness and honesty with your readers - you're right, sometimes the 'career' aspect has to come first. May God bless you in whatever you write!
Even though I am sad we won't see any Goldstone Woods for awhile I am super excited about your new writing project! I'll be praying for you :)
Dear Anne Elisabeth,
I am sure this must have been quite a difficult decision, and also hard to share, but thank you for sharing so honestly with your readers about this - I as a young writer have once before put down a close-to-my-heart project which I felt unable to work on at that time, and it required a deal of courage. Painful as it is, your sharing so closely about your journey with your books and with such a decision, touches me deeply. I have to say I am so sad we won't be seeing any new Goldstone Wood novels for a while. . . and I am still very much looking forward to reading "Poison Crown". But at the same time, I understand how there are times and seasons in one's life, and definitely it seems like you're in a transitional and new stage of your writing at the moment, and I can only imagine it to be both scary, sad and exciting at the same time!
I will definitely be praying for you, Anne Elisabeth, that the Lord would grant you His wisdom, peace and joy in your work and writing and that He would inspire you to write in a powerful and strengthening way what He wants you to write at this time. I am sure He has a wonderful plan for you!
I just wanted to mention that you're a great inspiration to me as an author, your novels have influenced and encouraged me through more than one struggle in my life, especially when I first read "Dragonwitch" "Moonblood" and "Shadow Hand" those themes resonated so strongly and challenged me to have faith in God and still praise Him in the dark! May He give you His strength and encouragement at this time likewise :D.
And I am so very excited to see what your new writing project will be and what God has in store for you - I really think I would read anything you write, Anne Elisabeth!
Much love and prayers,
You are always in my prayers, Mrs. Anne Elisabeth. I'm glad to have an update as I, too, was concerned but didn't want to bother you. I know how busy you are. It's always so difficult when there's a major change of any kind. I'm the type that resists change with ferocious zeal, but, as God has so often had to remind me, (gently and perhaps not-so-gently), He'll carry me through it. Remember that He collects all our tears and is working all things out for good to them that love Him and are called according to his purpose, (Romans 8:28). Thank you for your candor and willingness to share this post. I know it had to be extremely difficult.
You always inspire me, and your characters have become imprinted on my heart never to leave. I cannot tell you how often I revisit them, how they make me laugh, cry and gasp in sheer wonder. The Lord has blessed you with a marvelous gift, and I know His plans for you are nothing short of marvelous. I will look forward to your new writing and eagerly await more Goldstone Wood adventures. These characters demand to have their stories told. Yet I'm sure they need rest, too. When they emerge again, they will be more vibrant than ever, and I will devour their adventures like hot fudge sundaes in ecstatic delight. God bless you and my profuse thanks for everything.
I understand the pain of setting aside a series. I had to set one aside last year and, while I had no where near as much time into it as you have in Goldstone Wood, it still hurt. Hope everything goes well with your new project.
Oh, dearest Anne Elisabeth!
While so sad and heart-broken for you, I must declare my deep curiosity and excitement for this new and unknown story. Your skill in words and your depth of feeling creates stories like no other, and I shall eagerly await this new adventure!
Remember, if there's *anything* us Imps can do to help you, let us know! :D
Dear Anne Elisabeth,
I have been a silent fan of your Tales of Goldstone series, but I feel that it's time to say thank you for all your work and dedication to produce such beautiful and inspiring work. It has been a long journey of reading and enjoying your books, books that make you shed tears and laugh your heart out. Not only that, but stories that speak to the heart, that tells the cold truth of the human condition--- our human nature. You write from the Truth and I greatly appreciate and respect that. While I am sad that there must be a hiatus for now, I am questionably excited about your new project. Prayers shall be directed your way for strength, wisdom, and patience in your career.
I will definitely wish you luck. God bless.
Definitely praying!! And While I will desperately miss Goldstone Wood, I am very much looking forward to this secret project!
Anne Elisabeth, I am sad to hear about all the complications. I will be praying for the Lord's peace over you! That being said, I (and I'm sure most of my fellow imps are as well) am very excited and curious about this new project!!! May the Lord bless it!
Aww, I'm sorry! Like the others have said, thank you for sharing this with us.
I agree with all those who are looking forward to this secret project of yours :). And I know what it feels like to put a story down, I've had to do it, too. Praying for you! ~Savannah P.
Anne Elisabeth, if I could hug you right now, I would. I'm so sorry that you've been having to go through such a tough time and my heart goes out to you. Your characters and stories from Goldtone wood are a part of you and I can only imagine how hard it must have been to make this decision to set aside the series. But you're absolutely right that writing is a business and you have to do what's best for your career even when it's hard.
Your writings, both books and blog, have been a blessing and inspiration to me as I discovered them over the course of this past year. They got me through the last and hardest of my college courses, they've been a source of comfort and escapism in times of stress, they've taught be about and helped me improve my own writing, and finally, and possibly the thing I'm most grateful for: they've both taught me and reminded me of some great spiritual Truths right when I really needed the lesson or reminder. All of that is to say, thank you so much for doing what you do. As much as I am a fan and official Imp of Goldstone Wood, I am also a fan of YOU as well. If you write it, I'll read it, whatever it is, and I look forward to your future projects with excitement and anticipation.
Please know that I have been and always will continue praying for you. I pray that the Lord will guide your steps and give you peace and confidence as you follow the Path he has given you, even when it's hard to see where that Path is leading. I pray that he will bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you in both your career and your life in general. Always remember that you are God's beloved child, Anne Elisabeth. He holds the whole world in his hands and he's going to take care of you. :)
Love and blessings,
Dearest Anne Elisabeth,
Despite the cliche, indeed it is true that to matter what happens, it happens for a reason. It's sad that you've been "forced" into this in a way, but thank you for not giving up on your writing or your Imps. We will always be your Imps, whether we're Imping out over Goldstone Wood or your new, mysterious project. No matter what you put out, we'll gobble it up greedily! I hope you come to love your new project just as much as Goldstone Wood! Lots of love and big bear hugs, Beka
I'm so sorry to hear you've had such a setback. It must be quite disheartening at times with this prospect. But just know that you are
in my thoughts and prayers at this time.
Sharing a burden can help lessen the impact - so thank you for sharing!
Wow, terribly sorry to hear you're having a hard time right now. Truthfully, I will be using the extra time to catch up on the last few books, namely Golden Daughter and Draven's Light. And, I have a feeling this new project will be splendid. I can't wait to hear a bit more about THAT!
Take all the time you need. Goldstone will wait, and so will we... After all, what is time in the Woods?
I stand loyally behind any decision you make, Anne Elisabeth! I can't wait to see what new book you will write. We Imps will wait patiently until the time is right for you to continue Goldstone Wood. *hugs*
I agree with all the other Imps
and I will be praying for you
It is now 2017 will you be releasing Poison Crown soon?
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