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  1. #16
    Had forgotten about that. Thanks for reminding me I'm looking forward to it.

    Later edit, after a trip to the 'zon: Dude, amazon's listing Heaven's Needle as being released in mass market paperback only. [The River Kings' Road was a hardcover original.] Is this so? If so, is it a case of Pocket cheaping out on a very promising author just because the first book didn't bust through the roof in terms of sales? Or is it actually a good thing? I know I now have no qualms about picking up the book on release, even though it's in a month along with several other things that I must have.
    Last edited by Rob B; June 24th, 2011 at 10:30 AM.

  2. #17
    It is so: RKR debuted as a hardcover original but HN is coming out as a paperback original.

    The push for that came from the big chains, who felt it would sell better in that format. I think they're probably right; people are probably more likely to try a new and relatively unknown author at a lower pricepoint.

  3. #18
    Liane,
    I was interested in your book after reading the reviews on Amazon but your Wheel of Time crack makes my purchase a slam dunk. It reminds me of some of Joe Abercrombie's wicked humor posts.

  4. #19
    Thanks very much for the update on what's going on with Heaven's Needle. It's interesting as a reader to be reminded how much influence retailers -- especially big retailers -- have on a book's creation process. In a way it's kind of a shame -- there's something about a hardcover [at least for a book nerd], the heft of the book, and a certain amount of "yo, I'm a hardcover, gotta take me serious now", I guess. But if it gets more people trying the book that can only be a good thing. I admit I got RKR from the library in hardback because, well, hardcovers are pricy in Canada; now I can buy HN straight off when it's released at the same time as I pick up my paperback of RKR. The change helps someone who already geeks out over the books as much as the casual buyer [though it's the casual buyers who're really needed, I know]: now a choice doesn't have to be made between the new Daniel Abraham or Abercrombie or whatever and trying the work of a relatively new author at a high price.

    I dunno if you're okay with talking about the book, now it's getting closer, or if you'd rather hold off until it is upon us in April, but the one-line blurb on amazon is ... well, it's kinda half-assed. It mentions a woman setting out to save the knight she loves. For those who've read the first book, might that woman possibly be Bitharn, getting a central role in this book? That would be cool.

  5. #20
    Heather - thanks! I hope you enjoy it.

    Mjolnir - thanks for letting me know about the Amazon page. I'll have to pester my publisher about trying to get that fixed. Amazon is really responsive to authors in some ways and less so in others; I've been trying to get the PW and Booklist reviews on the RKR page for ages (because, obviously, I'd like prospective readers to see good reviews), but no dice so far.

    Here's the marketing copy from the HN jacket (which is much more dramatic than my own description would be -- I'd probably just put "um, here's a book. It's about stuff. Thanks for looking?" and this is why they have marketing people do that job instead of me -- but is pretty accurate as to what the book's about):


    (warning: mild kinda-sorta-maybe spoilers for RKR follow)


    The legend of the mountain fortress Duradh Mal, mysteriously destroyed centuries ago, has many tellers and many versions, but only one truth. And now, in the shadow of that once-mighty fortress, something evil is stirring. Unaware of the danger, the high priest of the Dome of the Sun has sent two inexperienced Illuminers to the village of Carden Vale, at the foot of Duradh Mal, on what should be a routine tour of religious service. The warrior Asharre, strong and tall, her face scarred with runes, her heart scarred by the loss of her sister, is assigned to protect the young clerics. But in Carden Vale they find unspeakable horrors—the first hint of a terrifying ghost story come true.

    The Sun Knight Kelland, whose faith is his power, has been set free by the daring woman he loves, the archer Bitharn, but at the cost of undertaking a mission only he can fulfill. Joined by Malentir, a Thornlord steeped in the magic of pain, they follow the footsteps of the long-ago ill-fated expedition to Duradh Mal. There lies the truth behind the frightening tales of the dead come back to life, flesh ripped from bones, and creatures destroying themselves in a violent frenzy. For a black magic that had been sealed for six hundred years has been unleashed, and now must be contained again—or an entire world will fall victim to a Mad God’s malevolent plague. . .

  6. #21
    Ooh, this sounds cool [though I seem to have had an embarrassing brain lapse whereby I forgot what exactly happened in the last chapter of a plotline in RKR. Or something, I don't even know.] Marketing people write such dramatic blurbs. Looking forward to it, thanks for letting us know.

    It's too bad there are some things amazon's slow responding to authors about. I mean, that Publishers Weekly review for RKR is starred isn't it? Don't they want to sell books?
    Last edited by Rob B; June 24th, 2011 at 10:30 AM.

  7. #22
    Registered User MattNY's Avatar
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    I haven't heard of your work before Liane, but I will start looking out for your book now. It sounds interesting and your posts here have pushed me over the edge.

    +1 for sales!

    Edit - BTW, I noticed Barnes and Noble has her sequel available for preorder for only $4.90 on their website for anyone that is interested.

    Edit #2 - Ordered your first book through Amazon.
    Last edited by MattNY; January 15th, 2011 at 10:43 PM.

  8. #23
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Currently reading the second novel of Ithelas, Heaven's Needle, and I've only 75 - 100 pages left. Thus far, I'm happy to say Merciel has not disappointed. She is really stretching things and revealing a diverse skill set. As she stated earlier in this thread,

    Quote Originally Posted by Liane Merciel View Post
    I think [the horror v. fantasy influence is] about 50-50, but you might disagree.

    bracketed clarification is mine
    -PW
    In Heaven's Needle, I would have to agree. Given the cliff hanger ending from book 1 and the interview I had with Merciel elsewhere on the web, I expected the horror aspect of HN to be in another direction, but I think where she actually took it worked even better.

    Nice to see that there was no 'sophmore slump.'

  9. #24
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Got in an official SFFWorld review of it.

    Heaven's Needle, by Liane Merciel

  10. #25
    sapper-in-chief Whiskeyjack's Avatar
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    Recently downloaded the sample chapter of RKR via Kindle and was sufficiently interested to buy it and continue the story. I just finished the book and I enjoyed it a lot. The characters seem well-crafted, with complex motives that avoid the cliches often seen in a debut work. And I especially liked how the author introduced and handled violence as the characters went about their purposes. One thing that seemed a little confusing, though, was the lack of a defined nobility structure (with dukes, earls, barons, or some such). Seemed like everyone was either a king or a knight, so it was a little hard to fully appreciate where some of the minor lords fit in and what type of feudal system the author was intending. Also, since there were so many place names and geographic references, a map would have been helpful (perhaps the print version has one?). All in all, one of the better debuts I've read in a while.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Liane Merciel View Post
    Heather - thanks! I hope you enjoy it.

    Well I finally got around to reading River King's Road and I really did enjoy it. I'm looking forward to Heaven's Needle.

  12. #27
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Liane Merciel Interview

    Hello All,

    SFFWorld.com just interviewed Ms. Merciel. You can read it here:
    http://www.sffworld.com/interview/299p0.html

    I must say, after reading the introductory chapters and conducting the interview, Merciel's books are now my list of books to read. Some really interesting ideas, the world-building is great, and the pacing quick. Right up my alley.

  13. #28
    and I like to party. Seak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmso View Post
    Hello All,

    SFFWorld.com just interviewed Ms. Merciel. You can read it here:
    http://www.sffworld.com/interview/299p0.html

    I must say, after reading the introductory chapters and conducting the interview, Merciel's books are now my list of books to read. Some really interesting ideas, the world-building is great, and the pacing quick. Right up my alley.
    I really enjoyed River Kings' Road, one of my favorite reads this year and Heaven's Needle is sitting there waiting for me. I think you'll like it, tmso.

    Great interview too, thanks.

  14. #29
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Although not set in her world of Ithelas, Ms. Merciel does have a new novel publishing in the near future set in Golarion, the world of the Pathfinder RPG

    Pathfinder Tales: Nightglass




    FWIW, the PATHFINDER line has drawn some fairly favorable acclaim, both for the game itself and for the authors who have contributed novels, such as James L. Sutter, Tim Pratt, Howard Andrew Jones, and Matthew Hughes (writing as Hugh Matthews).

  15. #30
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Thanks for that update, Rob. Though I have never been into the shared world thing (although I did read some Dragon Lance approximately 20 years ago), I might make an exception for Merciel, as I really liked her Ithelas world.

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