The good news first: DAW is buying three more Michelle West novels!
The bad news: the 1st of those three is actually the second plot arc of the book I've been working on for the last fifteen months.
Yes. The Michelle who cannot for love or money figure out how long it takes to tell a story has once again written herself out of the range of a single book. In June of last year, I wrote that I was tying up two plot arcs in House Name on the way to Terafin.
It took a little bit longer to tie them up than I thought it would, but not a lot. And I had said it was going to be 'one more book', so I kept on writing because surely I could fit the second plot arc in a few hundred pages.
Well. As long as we define a few hundred pages to be eight hundred or more (because I am not yet finished), the answer is, yes. But if we define a few hundred pages in a more consensual-reality way, the answer is: No.
This is, as usual, entirely my fault. This is not DAW, or DAW's fault, or something DAW insisted on. If I wanted to finish in one book, I would have had to cut several hundred pages, and my editor felt that this was not an entirely rational approach, given the pages I was suggesting I would have to cut.
And, of course, because it's me, the "shorter" of the two halves, which will be coming in March 2010 as City of Night (I have a scan of the artwork :D. I can't post it because it's not mine V.V. As soon as I have covers, or if Jody Lee does put it up on her web-site, I will send link), will be about 185-190k words.
The longer half, which is still called House Name, will be about the same length as Hidden City (which was mumble words), because in my panic about length I may have left out a couple of things that are probably necessary (which is what I do when I start to panic about length).
But the good news there is that I'm probably about two months from finishing House Name now that I can, you know, breathe again.
And if I say anything about how many books any particular arc or series will take me to write ever again, please feel free to kick me. Or mock me.
ETA: articles. Because articles are good.