Discover more from The Worlds of Susan Dennard
What's next after the Luminaries and the Witchlands?
And more of your questions answered!
Thank you all for being so understanding about the UK tour cancellation. It has been two weeks since we got home from the hospital, and things are finally getting back to normal. Cricket is “all better” except that she’s still on a daily breathing treatment and we now have to worry about those air quality alerts I never paid attention to before.
I have new found sympathy for all the people who can’t leave their house during allergy season or wild fire season! (There aren’t fires anywhere near us, but we’re getting hit with all the smoke from way up in Canada! So wee Cricket must remain indoors with all the medical grade air purifiers we bought for the house. 😂)
All of this is to say, we’re settling into a new normal, and it’s good.
P.S. I still don’t know when we’ll reschedule the UK tour, but I’ll share information as SOON as I have it!
Now, on to some of your questions from the AMA! (You can always ask more! The thread is still open!)
Kenra Cook asked:
Anything you can share about the Witchland series with The Jim Henson Company?
I wish!! 😭 There have been a few super, super cool developments that started a little over a year ago—and are still progressing. But the nature of the……erm….companies involved means I’m not allowed to share anything until we’re further along.
I basically just operate under the assumption that it will all fall apart at any time (lol), yet somehow, things keep trucking forward and not collapsing! So woohoo!
Keep your fingers crossed, friends! 🤞 And as soon as I’m allowed to share the behind-the-scenes progress, I will!
How did you come up with all the god names in the Witchlands? I read something about them also being tectonic / continent bound? It fascinates me!
Like everything in the Witchlands, I feel like this is one more arena where I overcomplicated…everything.
Ha! (I laugh because otherwise I’ll cry.)
There are a few different pantheons in the Witchlands—though only for the Nomatsi and Nubrevnan pantheons do I actually name any gods. And if you’ve read through Witchshadow, you know exactly what those gods ultimately mean and how they connect to the present day.
But then at the heart of it all is Sirmaya. The Moon Mother. The Sleeper. The Sleeping Giant. (Yes, she has many names!) As you learn in Sightwitch, she is the primary, “real” goddess who created all life in the Witchlands. And…well, she ain’t doing too well these days.
For Sirmaya, I had envisioned that she was a deity bound to her continent and unique tectonic plate. All other tectonic plates have their own spiritual embodiment as well. So for example, the No’Amatsi people fled the war-torn east, where a different god is bound to a different plate. That god (which is never named in the series) had created his own unique peoples and cultures and magics.
When Sirmaya saw the No’Amatsis coming to her land, she helped them. And now they are part of the fabric of the Witchlands (and their name has become Nomatsi after ~1200 years of language drift).
That said, the No’Amatsis’ magic (with Threads) has never quite matched any other powers in the Witchlands—which is a big reason people fear them.
IS THAT A COMPLICATED ENOUGH BACKSTORY FOR YOU?
I go into this more in Sightwitch, when I talk about the history of Threadwitches and Thread magic. And I’m planning to discuss it more in Witchlight as well, where it really becomes relevant to the overall story.
Phew. I world build too much. 😂
Emily Shore asked:
What is the future of your fantasy verses? How many more Witchlands books will there be? Will you write any more Witchlands companion books because I love Sightwitch?
Do you have any other fantasy worlds in the pipeline?
Am I asking all of these because I’m part dragon and like to hoard??? Oh I guess that one’s self explanatory.
Oh boy, Emily. I have so much ahead.
For one, we’ve got The Executioners Three coming out in probably 2025. Basically, this will release after the Witchlands and Luminaries series finish. TE3 is not fantasy, but rather…a dark academia ghost mystery with a rivals romance? And a lot of humor? I’m not sure how to qualify it, ha! But it was a book I wrote during my first foray into IVF, when I really needed a fun escape.
After that, I’ve got an adult fantasy called Screechers (my ongoing work-in-progress—you can read an early, old version of it here), which is set in another very complex fantasy world. Though it’s more intimate than the Witchlands is. Almost everything happens in a single sprawling city. While the book was YA in the old version linked to above, since I’ve started editing it anew this year, it has very much shifted into the adult fantasy realm I want it to be. It’s also currently planned as a duology.
I’ve also got another adult fantasy work-in-progress called The Alchemist and the Nightsong. It’s more traditional than what I've written before. If Witchlands and Screechers are true “epic fantasy” with complex worlds, complex plots, and lots of politics…well, Alchemist is more “high fantasy.” It’s got magic rooted in song, a heroine who doesn’t understand her powers, lots of romance, and a more straightforward “Evil Lord” setup. (Except, of course, you all know me: it ain’t ever truly straightforward in a Susan Dennard book!) I’m hoping this will be a standalone with spin-off potential.
And then on top of that, I’m hoping to rewrite Something Strange & Deadly in the next year or so because it has not aged well since its release 11 years ago—both from a writing quality standpoint as well as a modern lens standpoint. This series is alternate history, meaning it’s set in our world (in 1876) with lots of necromancy and some steampunk gadgets tossed in too.
Oh, and let’s not forget a Witchlands spin-off about a certain character 10+ years after Witchlight ends. (I actually already planted the seed for this plot in Witchshadow—mwuhahaha!) I’m really excited about this story, and I am imagining it as a standalone. A sort of epic coda to all the complex, sweeping stuff that came before.
I actually have (believe it or not) even more ideas than this already started on my hard drive. 🥴 But the above titles are the ones with the most already written.
So let’s hope there is enough demand from readers out there so I can keep on writing! 😍
Alright, that seems like enough rambling on my end for one newsletter. Thank you all for your questions, and like I said above: you can still ask more if you want! I’ll keep the thread open for a while.
Thanks for reading, DenNerds! All the love to you, and thank you again for all the support over the last few weeks.
💚 - Sooz