Progress report

So much to write, so little time

A lot of people have asked when the next Linesman book is coming, and what it will be about.

Here are our writing plans at present. Everything is subject to change, and, also, to contracts, because if we don’t get contracts for the books then we can’t sell them.

We’ll definitely write them, though.

More Ean Lambert

We have another trilogy planned with Ean Lambert as the main character.  These books follow on from Confluence.

I don’t want to give away spoilers, but … The New Alliance is settling into the changes that resulted from the end of that book.  Captain Terrigal is ship captain, trying to believe that his mentor, Admiral Katida, hasn’t betrayed him, while struggling with the knowledge that his ship doesn’t automatically do what he says first.

The lines ships are starting to get personalities.

There’s a new ship being integrated into the Eleven fleet, because Abram wants the new ship, and the Wendell, to go alien hunting.

But before they can do that, the aliens bring their war to human territory.  Along with their ideas on how the lines should be treated.

And those ideas don’t necessarily match with those of Ean’s; or of the ships under his line twelve custodianship.

We haven’t started writing this series at all.

This is about as much of we know of any story plot before we start writing. More than most, because we have backstory we don’t normally have.  What we need now is a better idea of the aliens.  They’re still unformed.

Stars Uncharted

Edit: March 2020. This post was written after we had finished the Linesman books, and while we were writing Stars Uncharted. We’ve kept the post entire, rather than edit it and what we say about the Linesman books are still valid, but both the Stars Uncharted books are published now. 

This is the book we are contracted* to write next.

It is not a Linesman book.

It’s actually the book we started writing while Linesman was doing the rounds. Back when we thought Linesman wasn’t going to sell and we’d have to start something completely fresh.  We stopped about a quarter of the way in, to rewrite Linesman.  But it was the first story we went back to when we were done with Confluence.

We love it. We’re enjoying it.  It’s a space opera adventure with a bit of fun, characters we both love, and lots of things happening.  (Less politics, for those of you who found there was too much politics in the Linesman books.)

It’s set in a totally different universe.

*Normally we wouldn’t even say we have the contract yet, but it has been announced in Publisher’s Lunch and in Locus, and we’ve been told we can mention it.  Even so, we feel a bit superstitious about even saying this until we get the paper in our hand.  Contracts take a long time, and can fall through.  We’ll give you more details once we have that paper.

Fact, for all the writers out there. We got our contract to sign for the Linesman books around the same time we submitted the finished Linesman to our editor.

Other books in the Linesman universe

While our agent was first trying to sell Linesman, and before we began Stars Uncharted, we wrote two other stories in the Linesman series. Back then, we weren’t planning to write three books about Ean Lambert.  We planned books set in the same universe, but with different protagonists. The first of these was Acquard’s War.  (Readers of this blog who remember us talking about Acquard, we’ve recently added the ‘War’, because we now we want to do a second book, Acquard’s Revenge as well.)

This is the story of a retired Balian covert ops team who get tangled up with space pirates, which drags them into the war between the New Alliance and Gate Union/Redmond.  It’s set at the end of Linesman, just after the New Alliance is created, but before they move to permanent headquarters on Haladea III.

We don’t know if there’s a market for non-Ean Lambert stories.  It’s one of three ideas we offered to Caitlin, our agent, when she asked what we were writing next.  She liked Stars Uncharted better, so that’s the one we worked on.

We love the ideas in this story.  We adore the characters.  And therein lies the problem.

People soup.

Both our agent and our editor (and also some of our readers) think we include too many characters in our stories.  (And they’re right.) .  The first thing both of them ask us to do in any edit is to reduce the number of characters.

Most times we can.  But we’re struggling with Acquard’s crew. She has a crew of seven, and there’s a lot happening in the rest of the book as well.  If we don’t fix it, this story has to become a trunk novel.

We’re going to fix it.

When we get the time.

28 replies on “So much to write, so little time”

I just finished confluence and I really enjoyed it. i hope you get another contract for a new linesman novel because I really want to know what happens next. And I loved every linesman book so far.
But I will be happy when your other series comes out as well because I really like your writing. Thank you for writing so exiting stories. Merry Christmas and a happy new year

I happened upson your second book, bought it and loved it. I love when authors use things like the Lines, giving them personalities and include them in much of the story, rather than a thing that’s just mentioned.

After reading it, I had to look for the FIRST book. Usually, if I find I’m reading a second or third book in a series, I’ll stop and try to find the other books before reading on, but I enjoyed the second book too much to stop, so I read them out of order. And still enjoyed both very much.

Now I’m on the third one, and am hoping you get more books out. I love SciFi with personality. I enjoy ships with an edge. I love the details that you included. And I am one who doesn’t mind multiple characters. I wish agents would realize that it can be done – multiple characters, and done well. I would definitely enjoy.

So congratulations on your books and here’s to future books!

Thanks, Mardel,

We’d be interested to know whether reading book one made any different to your understanding of book two, reading them that way around. Most of the feedback we’ve had to date has been saying that you must read them in order.

I have loved this series after picking it up from a recommendation on the Ilona Andrews website. After reading the books on kindle I have then enjoyed the audio books as well. I would enjoy reading other stories set in the same universe. I will keep an eye on this site and hope you get contracts for them all

Thanks, Irene. Glad you liked them, glad you’re prepared to read more. We’ve got lots more stories we want to tell based in the linesman universe. 🙂

Love the Linesman series can’t wait for more. Please don’t go the way of some writers and produce only e-books and audio books. If you can’t turn the page it’s not a real book. And, yes I’m old.

Thanks, Bill.

Glad you liked the series.

Our next two books will definitely be out in paper as well. We hope to keep producing in all three formats.

Re: Editors and readers believing that you have too many characters in your novels – I disagree. The multi-faceted layers of your books is one of the many things I love about the novels. Please don’t change a thing about your books – they’re fabulous as is.
Just my opinion. 🙂

I love the sci-fi genre having read hundreds upon hundred of books over the last 35 years. I also drive a lot for my job so I go through at least 1 audio book a week either from the public library or audio books that have made their way to the public domain.
I tell you all of this because I think your work is some of the best I have ever read. The first two Linesman’s novels grab you from the fist sentence and doesn’t let go until you are staring at the back of the book! You are a true artist.

It’s interesting that our readers seem divided totally down the middle on the politics. Half like it, half don’t. Linesman wouldn’t be Linesman without it.

I’m looking forward to the next in the Stars Uncharted, which I really enjoyed, but I’d love, love, love it if you two get a chance for another Linesman trilogy. Great world building, really good stories, and even better characters.

Thank you for many hours of delight.

Stars Uncharted came up as a recommended book for me on my library’s Overdrive. I devour sci-fi and really enjoyed it. Looking for more I came across the Linesman trilogy. I juat finished Confluence and came across this, trying to find if there was going to be another book.
Im looking forward to reading Stars Beyond and any other future Linesman books!
I don’t normally like much politics (I tried so much to like the Dune series and Song of Ice and Fire but they bored me to tears lol and I gave up finishing them which says a lot because I mke a point of finishing stories) but I found the politics and intrigue to be really compelling.
Nor do I think there are too many characters! It’s another thing I find compelling about your books. It adds a depth to the universe to follow several characters and is really interesting and engaging to read events from several different perspectives and then tie it all together!
keep doing what you’re doing and I look forward to gobbling up more of your books! 🙂

Stopping by your site (as I do every now and then) to see if there are any new books coming. I have enjoyed all your work very much. (And I am charmed to find that you are reading Suzanne Palmer’s Finder trilogy. I was at a book launch party for The Scavenger Door 2 weeks ago! I also really loved Naomi Novik’s last book and am anticipating the next.)

Kind of envious you got to got to go to the Scavenger Door launch. We’re locked down right now.

As for the Naomi Novik, I’m holding off till the weekend, to ensure I finish my work, and don’t read till six in the morning one night.

Just finished rereading the Linesmen series and I am totally Jonesing for more Ean stories!! I don’t mind all the characters or the politics. I love how everyone thinks I’m your world. Anyway, I was checking in to see if more stories were in the works. Crossing my fingers.

I’m glad you were able to get away. It sounds awesome. Thanks for your amazing stories.

Thanks, Trish.
Glad you enjoyed them.

Sadly, not writing Linesman books at the moment. I doubt we could do them justice right now. As per some of my later blogs we struggled with a combination of work and COVID. We’re getting out of that slump now, but it is taking time to get our work back to the same standard.

Leave a Reply to Lois dyer Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *