I wanted to share a question about Redemption of the Sacred Land that I got from a fan today on Amazon.com. Others may be wondering the same thing. So, here is the question and my reply:
GJ says: So Book 3 that was just released is a complete book or is it an installment? You stated on Nov 20 that it would be the longest of the original 3 but it appears to be much shorter and higher priced. I have the original 2 books that were longer and want to get the right book. Thanks.
And My (way too long) reply:
Mark says: I'm kind of having to eat my words for book 3 being the longest of the three. Originally it was. There are two reasons why book 3, Redemption of the Sacred Land, is shorter.
Reason 1 is that I wanted book 3 to be the final book of the series, so I was trying to cram everything in and tie up all the story lines. But, as the deadline for the pre-order got closer and closer, the story (as planned and outlined a while ago) felt like I was springing plot elements out of no where just to get done. There were other plot elements I had decided to skip to get the series completed and I didn't like it. Originally, book 3 was about 35 chapters long and as I wrote it, it still felt cramped, the pacing was off, etc.
I want to stress that I didn't cut book 3 in half. What I did was start over and give it a beginning, middle, and end. The logical ending just happened to be at almost 60000 words. (A book is considered a novel at 40000 words plus) I basically scrapped the original book and started over (much to my editor's dismay) a few weeks before the deadline for the pre-order. I knew readers would not like it the way it was if I didn't like it! It had nothing to do with wanting another book or making more money. I was actually hoping to complete the series so I could start on my new project, which I have been dying to write! But, I owe it to all the fans of this series to do it right.
Reason 2- The deadline for the pre-order sneaked up on me. As I started the novel over, and I couldn't change the pre-order date without Amazon penalizing me, I knew I would run out of time because I started over, so I wanted to make the novel the best it could be in the time frame I had left. I actually ended up not cutting it short but instead writing a more complete novel, only shorter. (if that makes sense) I left the price at 3.99 because of the pre-orders. I didn't want to suddenly launch it at a different price and alienate the pre-orders who had to pay a higher price. Eventually, this novel will go to 2.99 just as the others have.
To be truthful, Redemption is only 20000 words shorter than Exiles. In my novels that's about 4 chapters.
So, what did I do with the rest of the pages I had written for book 3? I reworked them and started book 4 from scratch. Book 4 will end the series and , gulp, will probably be the longest. After you read Redemption, you will understand what I am talking about. The fourth book was needed to do the series justice.
Redemption is a little darker than than the others and it is a transitional novel taking us to the final scenes in book 4. It still ties up or answers a lot of questions posed in the first two books. I catch a lot of flak in the reviews for book 1 (Defenders) about Dorenn being a weaker main character. Well, in redemption you get to see where his character arc is going. He doesn't end up weak LOL!
So yes, Redemption of the Sacred Land is book 3 of the series, not an installment to be completed later. The next one in the series is book 4 Legacy of the Sacred Land and I am writing it pretty fast since I already had material written. Incidentally, the collector's edition for Redemption is the full book with comments. There was no need to split it in half so those who are buying the collector's editions, part 5 is the complete 3rd book with comments.
With that said, I cancelled any remaining pre-orders to concentrate on Book 4, Legacy of the Sacred Land exclusively. I will be working on this novel until I have the series completed. I am still working on Dawn of the Sacred Land (the new opener) but I will finish Legacy first.
Mark E Tyson