In Which Miriam Black Delivers Some Bad News

soon to be a HEY WAIT A MINUTE

Miriam Black is pretty much the poster child for bad news delivery. Her entire curse in life is to touch people and see how they’re going to die — which sucks for them, and frankly, sucks for her. It’s why, I think, she’s such a spectacularly unpleasant person (by the way, unpleasant people are often the most fun to write, and occasionally the most fun to read).

It’s bad to have to get the news, sure. But I think it’s also bad to have to give it.

Which is where we come around to me giving you guys a couple parcels of bad news.

First item on that list:

The Miriam Black TV show adaptation at Starz is dead. Kaput. Miriam touched it, failed to see its demise, and yet — IT DEAD. I don’t really know why. Things were going quite well over at Starz! We had infrastructure. We had something just shy of a confirmed pickup. Scripts! Producers! Things! Stuff! And yet, it was not meant to be. (One theory is that they also bought Gaiman’s show, which while quite different on paper is also a crimey-flavored urban fantasy show, and his is almost assuredly both more expensive and more exciting than mine was. Not slagging on BLACKBIRDS, but c’mon. It’s Gaiman, baby.)

We’ve had rumblings from some other networks, and before it was a TV show at Starz it was once (almost!) a film, so — I’m hopeful that it’s still going somewhere. And if not, hey, whatever. A book is not made better or somehow valid by its adaptation (even though it would’ve been cool).

Hey, I got paid, at least.

Now, onto the next item on the list:

THUNDERBIRD, the fourth Miriam book, is delayed.

It’s delayed by less than a year — it’ll land now in March, 2017.

It’s a bummer, I know. It’s not because the book isn’t done — it is, more or less. But it’s due to a couple reasons. First, because it’ll allow people to get caught up on the series properly. Second, because it’ll let us do a slightly more inventive (and much faster) release schedule for the next three. That means all three books will drop quite quickly — three over the course of one year. I don’t have firm dates on all of them, but roughly:

THUNDERBIRD in March 2017.

Then THE RAPTOR & THE WREN in fall (?) 2017.

And finally, VULTURES by or before March 2018.

Which means with this release schedule the series will conclude earlier than it would’ve on the previous schedule. I figure that’s a silver lining on this dark cloud of angry birds.

What I may do now is populate the space in between now and THUNDERBIRD with some short stories / novellas that tell Miriam-focused tales set after CORMORANT. And there’s already the bridging novella, INTERLUDE: SWALLOW available now as part of THREE SLICES.

Regardless — eek, sorry! More as I know it.

Of course, as you may know, the books are returning to e-book and print. (CORMORANT returns to book shelves in February.) You can check out the books if you so choose:

BLACKBIRDS (Indiebound | B&N | Amazon)

MOCKINGBIRD (Indiebound | B&N | Amazon)

THE CORMORANT (Indiebound | B&N | Amazon)

Or pre-order THUNDERBIRD (Indiebound | B&N | Amazon).

(And if you haven’t seen the book series trailer, here goes.)

And I’ve also got a bunch of other new releases coming up —

ATLANTA BURNS: THE HUNT (Feb 2016).

STAR WARS: LIFE DEBT, Aftermath Book 2 (June 2016).

INVASIVE (August 2015, was called “Myrmidon,” August 2016).

STAR WARS: EMPIRE’S END, Aftermath Book 3 (2017?)

Also, if you’re in PA or NC, I’ve got two appearances of note:

Doylestown Bookshop, this Friday, with Adam Christopher.

Queen’s University, Charlotte, NC, on November 19th.

So! Some bad news, but hey, some good stuff, too.

*grins maniacally while trying not to sob openly*

27 comments

  • Sorry about your show! And that isn’t bad for a delay. There’s this series I’ve been reading for over a decade that routinely has years long delays (ahem George r r Martin). Still pumped for Thunderbird and I hope you get to see Miriam on screen someday!

    Ps well done getting paid yayyy money!

  • This is a bummer. As the wife of a television man (AVID editor/ producer) I will say that this sort of thing happens all the time. He’s had so many pilots that do well (test audiences) and end up not going to season and so many seasons that do well (ratings) and don’t get renewed. TV is a weird beast.

    It’s not you. It’s them.

    We are big fans of Miriam around here and we know she’ll pull through. She’s tough.

  • I hate to hear about the Miriam Black series. I was stoked. At least this will keep me from actually buying cable for a while, so there’s that. Also, please give us some sort of Miriam fix before Thunderbird. I’m getting twitchy 🙂

  • Assuming there is any correlation, to be vanquished by Neil Gaiman is indeed no shame at all.* Tis a good death, and an honorable one. In any case, a story like Miriam’s still strikes me as such a great candidate for a live action adaptation that it feels more like “when” than “if,” so long as you continue to desire it and find the right opportunity.

    As far as the books are concerned, I’m happy to wait longer for Thunderbird knowing I’ll get to rip through the whole rest of the series in short order. I think it’s an exciting approach.

    *This is not to imply Mr. Gaiman committed any actual, direct vanquishing, though I’m sure he has sufficient command of the dark arts to do so if he wished.

  • I am so sorry about the show as well. Damn you STARZ!!! But more Miriam books for us makes me happier than a cat in a room full of tuna.

  • well i quess ill have to break the news to both my mum and my girlfriend who have both questioned my reading choice and became cribbling addicts like myself.

    At least we will get the next three books quickly! also short stories. Is there a release date for the next one???????????

  • Sorry to hear about the film, Chuck. I know the late great Douglas Adams would sympathise with you – in his last book ‘The Salmon of Doubt’ there’s a hilarious chapter about his frustrations with trying to get hold of the ‘people’ who were considering making ‘The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy’ into a film, just to find out what the heck was going on. Included in that chapter was the very Douglas-y letter that he eventually sent to them (tiptoeing that fine line between affable politeness and snark, as only he can.)

    And as for the books? Well, they say the best things come to those who wait… 😉

  • A screenwriter friend of mine said the secret is to keep selling the same script over and over and never have it made. I would love to see Miriam in the screen someday, though.

    We are looking forward to the next Star Wars installment over here at the Moody ranch. Even got my 15 year old to read it and he loved it!

  • Hello,
    Rabid Chuck Wendig Stalker & Lurker here! I decided to slink out of out of my dark corner of the internet–yeah, the one that’s wallpapered with pages from all of your books, with the shrine topped with a Wendig doll that I fashioned using hair I cut from your head while you were sleeping.

    Pay that no mind.

    Anyways, I just wanted to say WHAT THE FUCK, STARZ?! I was looking forward to the show so much, I’m using allcaps and exclamation points like some belligerent jackhole!

    No exaggeration: this news is extremely disappointing. I really hope Netflix picks it up. I haven’t “eagerly anticipated” a show like this since BSG. This blows.

  • Whoa, I just realized your name is larger on those Miriam covers than the title. That’s pretty swank. It’s like the inverse of the Mr. Boston’s VODKA theorem.

  • There’s no crying in publishing, Beard Man. NO CRYING! *smack*

    Seriously, tho–everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is Gaiman, because he is so favored by our Dark Lord Cthulhu. Other times, however…well, who knows? You may better off out of the deal than you realize. So crawl out of that whiskey haze and get back to work–you have many, many more releases coming up and that’s a good thing.

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