The Red Admiral is live!

Thank you to all the people who pre-ordered your copies of The Red Admiral. It went live on all the sites over the last few hours and you should have it in your inbox by now.

I’ve been kinda bubbling over with spoilers I didn’t want to torture folks with, at least until you could read the story yourselves. After all, only four of you had gotten to see it before today. And they weren’t going to talk.

The Red Admiral is a long novel, by my standards. 135,000 words, when Auberon came in at 75,000. Previously, Goddess of War was the longest in the series, at 115,000 words. But I had a lot of ground I wanted to cover. I love you folks, but I really only want nine Jessica novels to wrap up her story. That meant I needed to get her home, wade through a swamp of dangerous and shifting politics,and then send our Jessica out to start a whole new war.

And she will. Jessica Keller is acknowledged to be the best commander Aquitaine has produced in centuries, possibly since Henri Baudin (more later, I have the notes, but haven’t written those stories yet.) She is facing Buran, and trying to stop a Sentient System from conquering the whole galaxy.

And she’s going to do it wearing the uniform of an officer of the Imperial Fribourg Fleet: the new Red Admiral.

Everyone’s back for more adventures, but things will change. People grow up, in the cauldron of war, even if they don’t want to.

And yes, somebody you know dies in this one. I won’t spoil it. Surprising death, to hear my readers. But not so surprising, when you consider how. You’ll see.

One of the things about a long novel series that I have been told is that the action and the stakes must keep getting bigger with ever novel, otherwise readers will begin to wonder if you are just treading water. Its rather like an addict needing a bigger dose each time, but we’ll keep that just between us, m’kay?

Things here are bigger. More epic. More dangerous. New characters to add to the flavor of the Jambalaya. And my favorite line of the whole novel: “Where else could feeding ducks be possibly misconstrued as treason?

I had a lot of fun with this novel. The money’s nice, and the freedom, but I write because I have so much fun telling stories. Jessica is an absolute joy to write.

And, for those of you keeping score at home, I have already sent Book Seven (Lord of Winter) off to first readers, and amwriting as fast as I can.

Seven ends with a cliff-hanger. Technically, several, but this one needed me to spin off sideways and write a quick side novel to cover something that I didn’t want to otherwise consume half of a Jessica novel, because then I’d be up to eleven or twelve, rather than the nine. (And also a novella that just needed to be written, for Yan Bedrov.)

Writer-brain, of course, had other plans. Earlier this week, I finished what is obviously going to be the first of a trilogy that takes place after Seven and before the end of Eight. And I need to write the other two before I attack Lord of Winter, because of some of the implications. You’ll be able to read them out of writing order, just like you don’t need Siren to understand Jessica, but it helps you to grasp Vo.

So set your calendars now. Lord of Winter will come out in December, and then I’ll probably end up dropping one novella and three novels month over month in early 2019, just to give you something to read while waiting for Eight, which I will start writing this summer and plan to put out next summer.

But for now, enjoy The Red Admiral and leave me some nice reviews, okay?