Frequently Asked Questions

What's the Reading Order of the Sartorias-deles books?

Because I am all thumbs tech-wise, I made a simple chart of the book timeline. Books next to one another run (somewhat) parallel. All these are written, though a couple aren't typed up. Some titles may change. The most important thing, though, is that I try to make it possible to read any of them as a first. (I don't know how successful I am--that's up to readers. But that's my goal.)

Do you have a blog or contact?

My general blog is here and the one specifically about my books and writing (though people often talk about other books, art, music, writing, and everything else) is here. I also post to Boookview Cafe's blog now and then. I don't do Twitter, and though I have a Facebook, I never post on it, as I do not appreciate private information being sold without people's knowledge. You can write to me at sherwood-at-sff-dot-net.

Are there any more stories about Mel and Vidanric?

Yes: the story of Vidanric's early training, A Stranger to Command, is available as an ebook and audio book. The two novelettes about Mel and Vidanric's two older kids, "Court Ship" and "Beauty" are published together as an e-book in Remalna's Children.

There are several "Outtakes" from Vidanric's point of view in the new e-book edition of Crown Duel. And there are others in the works.

Why don't you make a movie of Crown Duel?

If I had thirty million dollars, I would!

But should someone want to talk about film rights to my books (which I hold), contact Eddie Gamarra of The Gotham Group, eddie@gotham-group.com

Will there be a fourth Wren book?

Yes. It and many others can be found here

Where is your biography?

I don't like putting personal information on-line. I don't think the details of my life are relevant to the books, but sometimes young readers are doing book reports and need to include information about authors, so here is my standard "biography":

I was born in 1951 and recently retired after twenty years of teaching. I have been married for over thirty years. We have two kids, three dogs, (two of them rescues) and a house full of books. That's because my husband is a professor, and I studied history in graduate school, and we both love reading!

I started writing novels about another world when I was eight, but the work was so hard I switched to making comic books of my stories. (I actually began making little books when I was six and seven, out of paper towels taped together.) I went back to novel writing when I was ten, and I never stopped. I tried sending out my novels when I was thirteen. I typed them on a manual, and wow, did that take a long time, especially since I was (and am) a terrible typist. I got letters saying "We almost bought this…but;" and "Try us again!" but nothing sold, so when I got to college, I figured I needed to learn something about writing that I just didn't yet grasp. It took fifteen more years to gain some skill, but meantime I went to college, lived in Europe, came back to get my Masters in History, worked in Hollywood, got married, started a family and became a teacher.

I discovered that studying history was a good thing for an author. One begins to see how cultures are shaped, how people thought, acted, ate, and lived.

Is Sherwood Smith your real name?

Yes. That is, I was born a Smith, and adopted Sherwood when I started writing about that other world. (The gang of girls I wrote about had Sherwood as their last name—has nothing to do with Robin Hood. When I was little I had this vague idea that you couldn't change your last name until you were married, so I replaced the unwanted first name as my way of belonging.) All my contracts are signed with Sherwood Smith and my checks come made out to Sherwood Smith, so as far as I am concerned it is my real name. I can't help that it seems like a man's name—when I was eight years old, such things never occurred to me.

Do I ever put real people in my books?

Never. I don't think I could if I tried. That isn't to say that familiar traits don't show up in this or that character, derived from experience, but I don't consciously take someone's real life trait and stick it onto a character like a band aid. Every writer's process is different, of course. My characters walk into my mind fully formed—they have their pasts, their families, likes and dislikes, and I can't change them any more than I could make my kids taller or myself younger! My job is just to write their stories.

Will you read my Story and tell me where to publish it?

I wish I could read them, but I already work full time. The Net is full of good advice for young writers. You could begin over at Absolute Write.

What is your policy on fanfiction?

If you don't know what fanfiction is, read this. Some authors object to fanfiction altogether. I don't. I am grateful and flattered that fanwriters wish to experience my world for a little longer by posing stories there. I do ask that you place the "good faith" disclaimer on your work. The characters and world are mine—I've been working on them for fifty years. I can't read fanfics set in my world because when I did, I'd get tripped up by tiny errors of fact that the authors couldn't possibly know about, not having access to my atlas, my timelines, and all 135 of my notebooks—but I sure don't object to anyone else imagining an alternate reality!