Some of you have noticed some confusion about the release date for DARKDAWN in the last couple of weeks – Amazon says one thing, Goodreads says another, and so on.
Folks have asked me about this on twitter. I did notice, I promise. And apologies I haven’t made an announcement sooner, but I was tied up on the LIFEL1K3 release schedule and tour. Now that my post-apocalyptic baby is out in the world, I can turn attentions back to my more murderous child.
So, the bad news: The release date for DARKDAWN has been pushed to September 2019. Which, I know, is more than a year away. And I know a lot of you were really fucking looking forward to getting it this year and yes, this sucks. So, allow me to explain.
Writing the Nevernight Chronicles has been a slightly different experience to writing my other series, in the sense that I’ve been writing the next book after the previous book has hit shelves. I usually do my homework wayyyyy ahead of time – I handed in the second LIFEL1K3 book months ago, for example. We handed in GEMINA well before ILLUMINAE was published, same with OBSIDIO and GEMINA. But I was still writing GODSGRAVE when NEVERNIGHT came out. DARKDAWN was only about 17,000 words long when GODSGRAVE hit shelves (the final book will be about 180k). This has been cool, in the sense that some reactions from readers have influenced certain parts of the story, and made the book and Mia better. The tricky part of this kind of schedule is that after a book is written, there’s still a whole bunch of work that gets done behind the scenes before it’s published – editing, proofing, designing, marketing, shipping and so on.
So, my plan was to deliver the first draft of DARKDAWN to my publishers in April 2018. Those of you who follow me on instagram know I went to Venice for a month in February and smashed about 90,000 words. It was an amazing experience. Wandering those streets and walking alongside those canals and breathing that air, I discovered the book DARKDAWN would become. I’ll owe the people and city Venice a debt forever.
Thing is, DD is gonna be a 180-190k book. So at the end of Feb when I got back from Italy, I still had around 70-80k words to write. And I had a three week OBSIDIO tour in March (thanks to everyone who came out to see us, you were amazing!).
But yeah, April delivery? Not happening.
I wrote my editors and told them DD wouldn’t be ready til May. And even then, I’d be rushing it. And this is the real thing, the most important thing in all this – truth is, I didn’t want to rush this book.
I’ve never got reactions on any other series like the reactions I get to NEVERNIGHT. People like the ILLUMINAE books. They sold a lot of copies. That weird little bookthing paid for a shitload of bourbon. But the people who like NEVERNIGHT don’t just like it. They love it.
They get tattoos of it. They make amazing, brilliant art for it. They write me letters telling me that Mia has got them through divorces, devastating emotional trauma, assault, financial collapse, infidelity, deaths in the family, fucking CANCER. I get letters from teens telling me that Mia helped them recognize their own sexuality, that they’d never seen themselves in a book before they saw her. These books are IMPORTANT to a lot of people, in ways that even now I’m still coming to grips with. And it’s amazing and it’s humbling. And I’ll be eternally grateful for the way you folks have loved my stabby bitch of a daughter.
But here’s the thing – no matter how much you love NEVERNIGHT and GODSGRAVE, DARKDAWN is the book you’ll remember most. The note this series goes out on is the one that’s going to stick with you. And given what this series means to people, what this character means to people, I didn’t want to rush this final book and fuck it up.
As I write this, I still have about 20,000 words to write on DARKDAWN. Realistically, it’ll be mid June before I’m done. It’ll be the book you deserve by then. And handing over the book in mid June for a November release is just too hard for my publishers. There’s still months of work to do after you hand in your first draft. Realistically, it’d be December before we could publish it, even if we ruuuuuushed. And nobody publishes in December unless you’re publishing a christmas book.
Mia is a lot of things, gentlefriends. But she sure as fuck ain’t christmassy.
So, no problem Jay, you say. Just publish DARKDAWN in January. It’s only 3 months later than you promised.
Problem there is, I have another book coming out in March – the first in my new series with Amie, the book formerly known as THE ANDROMEDA CYCLE (the name has changed, more about that next month). And then I have the second LIFEL1K3 book coming out in May. Point is, dropping three books in five months is fucking insanity. The sales of one will cannibalize another, the schedule would be fruitloops. I’d literally get no writing done for the first half of 2019, and writing is my drug. My therapy. It’s what I do to stay sane. Five months of constant touring and promo would drive me batshit crazy.
So, Fall release it is. Spring in Oz. September, to be precise. This is an absolute deadline. I swear it on the Black Mother – Darkdawn will be in your hands in September 2019. This is not a Winds of Winter scenario, I’ll be finished writing it in June. And please note I am not knocking Lord GRRM in any way – mad props to George, I love that guy. I’m just pointing out this isn’t writing/content delay. It’s schedules for other books that are spannering the works, not the writing part. The writing part is great.
I know this sucks. I know how disappointed some of you will be. But the book will be better for it. If I’d rushed it, if I’d pushed before it was ready, it wouldn’t be the book it’s going to be. The ending came to me a few days ago. It’s the ending I’ve been looking for the last six months. The other endings I’d thought of were good. But this one is RIGHT. I know it in my bones, the way you know you’re in love. The book is writing itself now. It’s like fucking magic. Everything is falling into place and I’m loving every moment of these final chapters. I’m sitting here typing this blog post and cannot wait to dive back into what I’m writing (Chapter 35, you’ll know what I mean when you get there). God, I can’t wait for you to read this thing, seriously.
But you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer than you hoped.
So, I’m sorry. It’s a bummer. We’ll figure out something cool to make up for the delay. In the meantime, if you must MUST read more of my stuff, you have LIFEL1K3 on shelves this week if you’re in America (July in the UK). And you have have my new series with Amie (new title reveal very soon) coming out in March 2019, and LIFEL1K3 2 in May to tide you over.
And then, in September, daylight dies.
It’ll be worth the wait, I promise.
Cheers droogies. And thanks for understanding 🙂