Book 5 Status

I regularly receive inquiries asking when the next–and final–installment of The Strongbow Saga will be coming out. It has been a while since I’ve given a detailed status update, so here it is.

My goal and plan has been to complete and publish the fifth and final book during 2016. That is still my hope and goal, but my progress is admittedly far behind where I’d thought to be at this point in time.

I suspect many readers wonder, “How can he take so damn long to write a book?” It’s a fair question, and one that deserves an answer. After all, many authors turn out, on average, a book per year, and some more than that. I have one author acquaintance who cranks out two or three books every year. They’re considerably shorter than my books, and they’re urban fantasy, written straight from her imagination, but she’s a talented author and they’re good books. Why can’t I do that? There are several reasons.

First of all, I live on a small farm. My wife, Jeanette, and I produce a large percentage of the food we consume each year. We have animals: a flock of chickens and a herd of sheep. All of that takes time–a lot of time–to tend to. Many times it’s not just time; we do quite hard physical labor. I’m not complaining–I love this life–but I’ll be 65 this year, plus I have Multiple Sclerosis, so often I simply don’t have the energy, after a long day’s labor, to write. The author I mentioned above just walks to her in-home office, sits down, and writes every day. She doesn’t have a farm to run.

Second, in addition to our farm, my wife and I run a small business–our publishing company that publishes my books–on the side. Every month I have to process our company’s royalty earnings, pay the company payroll, pay the state and federal taxes and prepare and submit the various reports required of a small business by the state and federal governments. All of that requires a considerable amount of time each and every month. And periodically there are other time consuming aspects of the business. In recent weeks, for example, a lot of my “writing” time has been taken up with preparing the German language edition of Dragons from the Sea for publication, in the various e-book and print formats it will be released in.

Last, book 5 is proving to be a hard one for me to write.There is a lot of research to do. Book 5 has two main locations: Russia and Ireland, and digging into what was happening in both of those, during the mid 9th century, takes a lot of work and time. Also, this book is the culmination of a long, continuing story that I have been working on for at least fifteen years. I want to get it right. I want the conclusion of Halfdan’s story to be a satisfying, moving finale to what has come before. I cannot rush it just to get something out there. To do so would dishonor myself, not respect Halfdan and his story, and be unfair to all who have been loyal fans of the Saga.

I am truly sorry for the delay. But the book will come when it comes. Until then, to steal a line from the Broadway musical Hamilton, I am afraid readers will just have to “Wait For It.”

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33 thoughts on “Book 5 Status

  1. I am thankful that I had the chance to read the strongbow saga series. We are of course eager to read the final installment of Halfdan’s story so thank you for taking some time to explain why its taken some time for the final book to arrive. I will not say that there are no complaints in regards to waiting, for that would be a lie, but in this case let me say that do take your time to give us the best ending you can give us readers. I pray that you can get pass your illness. Please take care and just like you said, looks like we’ll just have to wait for it.

  2. I truly loved reading all four books of the Strong bow Saga and am now both impatient and grateful to crave for your fifth book on one hand but, on the other hand, to be willing to wait for whatever time it will take you to complete your book. Thank you for sharing your exceptional gift!

  3. I’ve been reading the Strongbow Saga since book one released in my senior year of high school. They have stuck in my mind through the years from seventeen to twenty-eight now. I am excited for book 5 and know that you will deliver quality over quantity which is part of what makes me love the saga. I am excited to see how Halfdan’s story finishes. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. Glad to hear your still going to publish a fitting conclusion to this amazing story. I’ve enjoyed your writing very much and look forward to read how you finish this.