I should have done it before now, but as I've mentioned before, I am not much of a rereader. I very rarely reread even my favorite books, because there are just too many books waiting for me to get around to them in the first place. But for an author continuing a series, it's obviously necessary to do a reread now and then, and since I finished the last book over five years ago, it was very much overdue.
I've seen people who say they reread an entire series every time a new book comes out, even massive ones like Game of Thrones or Brandon Sanderson's Words of Radiance. Like, wow. I don't consider myself a slow reader, but obviously some of y'all read a lot faster than I do.
On the one hand, I was pleased that I remembered almost all of the plot points and characters and seeds I have planted and even the major scenes and dialogs. I do have a pretty good memory for books, so it's not like I had no idea where I was going or what I had in mind or what Alexandra's story had been. I just needed to refresh my memory on some of the details.
But there were some details that had slipped my mind. One in particular will require a significant rewrite of a few chapters of AQATWA because I forgot something that was mentioned in passing in an earlier book. I found a few other places in the current draft where I contradicted some things that were said in earlier books, and found a few story elements that I obviously intended to do something with and... forgot about. So I'm trying to tie those back into the plot.
I am about a quarter of the way through my first rewrite, but I haven't gotten to the hard parts yet.
Given my record over the past few years, I am naturally wary of giving even an implied timeline. But with an actual completed first draft, I am a little more confident that I'm not overpromising, barring unforeseen circumstances. So, I am hoping to finish my first pass in the next month or two. That would put it in the hands of my beta-readers in a couple of months, which means — tentatively — AQATWA will begin posting in the spring or early summer.
That's the current plan. Things might change, but you really should see it this year unless I get hit by a bus.
As a reward for your patience, I may give you a New Year's sneak peak.
And book six is slowly taking shape in my head...