I’ve been receiving lots of questions about The Red Winter’s release date. This is understandable since an end page in The Maelstrom boldly proclaimed that it would be out in October 2013. Alas, October has come and gone and yet no Red Winter.
The truth is that I’m not yet finished with the book. While I have a sizable manuscript (it’s already bigger than The Maelstrom), there is still more to write. There are many reasons for the delay — a newborn baby, the challenge of wrapping up many plot threads, and plain old writer’s block (it does happen). I’d rather write a good story than a quick one and have been trying my best to ensure that The Tapestry’s final installment serves as a fitting capstone to the series.
Once the manuscript is finished, I’ll start working on the illustrations while my editor wrestles with the first draft. The book will probably go into copy editing (the final polish) sometime in spring. It is slated for release on September 23, 2014.
While readers are grudgingly sympathetic to an author’s creative process and delays, they are less understanding when it comes to publishers. Why on earth should the release date occur in September 2014 when the book will probably be finished by March?!? There are several reasons for this. The first is that a physical book must be created — that is printed, bound, shipped, stored, etc. That takes time. The second is that publishers — particularly large ones like Random House — launch many books in a given year. Each requires marketing and publicity support; each requires a degree of attention from many people across a slew of departments. Thus they slate their releases well in advance — often a full 12 months. A fitting analogy might be air traffic control directing planes onto a runway: each is ready to takeoff, but each must wait its turn.
So, that’s where we are at present. Rest assured that no one gets more frustrated with delays than I do. I am painfully conscious of deadlines and squirm when they pass. But, as I said, I’d much rather write a good book than a quick one. And I do believe The Red Winter is a good book — a fitting, moving finale to Max’s journey. Thank you for your patience. I truly appreciate it.