I’ve finished the (tidied and revised) version of the first draft of The Witchwood Crown. Currently it’s 1071 pages, about 311K words. Yes, I’ve written another not-small book. Surprise!
The writing process has been very fast, with the announcement of the highly-anticipated new series only being made in April of last year. The Witchwood Crown is expected to be published in Spring 2016, with subsequent volumes, tentatively titled Empire of Grass and The Navigator’s Children, published sometime thereafter. Negotiations for foreign-language translations have already been inked.
News of Williams’ return to Osten Ard has readers and critics alike excited, with Daniel Kaszor of The National Postwriting that “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” “redefined what traditional fantasy could be”, while Google calls the series “the trilogy that launched one of the most important fantasy writers of our time.”
Deborah Beale, wife and business partner of Tad Williams, has revealed a few new details on Twitter about Williams’ progress writing The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the sequel to Williams’ classic “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” series, “The Last King of Osten Ard”. The Witchwood Crown will be followed by Empire of Grass and The Navigator’s Children.
Beale tweeted several of Williams’ comments about the manuscript:
I’ve about 70pp to go to finish first draft which will then grow again in revision…
The finished thing will come in at about 1000 to 1100 pp. about 330 words per page
I’ll know much better what I’ve got when I sit down to read it before rewrite
I’ll probably release chapter titles in the next few weeks #TheWitchwoodCrown
During the writing of The Witchwood Crown, Williams has kept fans up to date regularly on page counts and some plot elements, including character lists and settings. The last update, in mid-December, mentioned that almost 800 pages had been written at that point, so about 200 to 300 pages have been written over the holidays. Williams is making rapid progress on the writing of the novel, which is expected to be published in Spring 2016.
On his official message board today, bestselling speculative fiction author Tad Williams (The Dragonbone Chair, Tailchaser’s Song) posted a progress update on his manuscript of The Witchwood Crown, volume one of his planned three-book return to Osten Ard, “The Last King of Osten Ard”, sequel to the classic “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” series.
Williams revealed that he will have completed 800 pages of the manuscript this weekend. “I’ll crest 800 pages this weekend, I think, God willing and the river don’t rise,” he wrote, after much flooding in the Bay Area. The page count likely refers to manuscript pages rather than published book pages.
Williams, one of the most respected names in speculative fiction and whose fans include Christopher Paolini and George R. R. Martin, also released a partial character list for the new series, 34 of which are new characters, and the remaining 18 are characters who originally appeared in “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”. Several of these 18 listed characters died in the original series, so they are likely only mentioned in passing in the new book, rather than zombie resurrections, although Williams has been known to resurrect characters who were long thought dead, as fans of his work well know.
Simon, Binabik and Miriamele will be returning in “The Witchwood Crown”, Book One of “The Last King of Osten Ard”.
Returning characters include fan favorites Simon, Miriamele, Binabik, Aditu and Jiriki. Also apparently returning, at least as mentions in the book, are Duke Isgrimnur, Prince Josua, Tiamak, Lady Vorzheva, Pasevalles, Akhenabi, Jeremias, Count Eolair, Prince Hakatri, Sisqinanamook, and of course everyone’s favorite 10,000-year-old ice queen Utuk’ku Seyt-Hamakha, who is believed to be a major antagonist in the new series.
Unmentioned in this announcement are Derra and Deornoth, the twins whose respective prophesies caused over 20 years of fan speculation while Williams wrote other novels. Williams has confirmed in previous announcements that Derra and Deornoth will appear in the new series.
Williams also wrote of his plans for the new book, including his intention that The Witchwood Crown will move a little faster than the beginning of The Dragonbone Chair, stating, “[T]his one moves a little faster and jumps into multi-person [point-of-view] pretty much immediately. The “moves faster” part may not be so obvious after I revise and put in some of the detail I skipped over in the heat of first-drafting, but I think it will probably still feel this way. (Thus, for returning readers, I will have to make sure it still feels pretty similar in terms of depth of character and background).”
Also returning are the Sa’onserei siblings, Jiriki and Aditu.
The Witchwood Crown, the highly-anticipated first book in the new Osten Ard sequel series, is tentatively scheduled for a Spring 2016 release by DAW Books, publisher in the United States, and Hodder and Stoughton, the publisher in the United Kingdom. This will give the publishers time to edit what promises to be a lengthy manuscript, promote the book in international markets, and commission appropriate cover art on both sides of the Atlantic. An official release date for the first volume has not yet been set.
I’ve just crested 700 pages after a REALLY difficult last few weeks. Remodel, everything in the house stashed in various rooms and therefore unfindable, HUGE flea attack (because of new cat) leading to sick cat in the hospital on life support (now apparently going to survive and be okay). Third major pet breakdown in a month or two leading to hospitalization and fear of pet-extinction. And about ninety other things, including birthdays, Smarchmoots (not everything bad, see?) and various other attention-distracters.
But the book continues! Y’all let me know if the fleas creep thematically into the finished product. I’m too close. And too itchy.
The Witchwood Crown is tentatively set to be published around Spring 2016. The first volume will be followed by Empire of Grass and finally The Navigator’s Children, all published by DAW Books.
Tad Williams has announced that he has written around 400 pages of The Witchwood Crown, Book One of his new epic fantasy series “The Last King of Osten Ard”:
I’ve had a lot of other things going on, so I’m only at about page 400 of the book, but I’m back into a stretch where I can work on it full-time again.
The first volume of the new Osten Ard series, a sequel to the classic “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” books, is expected to be published sometime late next year, but no concrete date has yet been set. Each new novel in the series is expected to be about the size of previous Osten Ard novels, which were between 750 and 1,600 pages each.