Frequently Asked Questions

TOD
Sherwood Smith at a Tea House, summer 2017

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

That seems a simple question, but it’s not simple to answer when one has been at it all one’s life. This is a list of all the Sartorias-deles stories in timeline order.

But some readers want entry points, to which I usually say, you can begin with the kids’ stories, which I did, writing as a kid. The start is the CJ Notebooks, then go on to Senrid, Spy Princess, Sartor. All these come together in Fleeing Peace, which leads directly into the Rise of the Alliance arc, the first of which is A Sword Named Truth.

If you want to begin with the stories set in the past, then begin with Lily and Crown. It takes place several centuries before the Inda series, followed by Time of Daughters a century later. Up another three centuries to Banner of the Damned, and four centuries later to the Rise of the Alliance arc.

If you want to skip the kids’ stories, and enter through the romantic ones, then Crown Duel, The Trouble with Kings and Sasharia En Garde, the latter taking place roughly when the Rise of the Alliance ends.

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

Nothing easier. I worked in Hollywood for years and I know exactly how to turn it into a TV serial. So, if you provide the budget, I’ll write screenplay!

Where can I be found online?

I post most often at Dreamwidth. I also post to Bookview Cafe’s blog now and then. I’m sherwood_smith at Twitter, and though early on I started a Facebook page, I stopped posting there when I found out how deeply they delve into your private information in order to sell it behind your back. I never post at it or look at it. You can write to me at sherwood-at-sherwoodsmith-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. And Vidanric and Mel will show up again in Ship Without Sails, the first of the Norsunder War arc.

There are several “Outtakes” from Vidanric’s point of view in the e-book edition of Crown Duel and the trade paper edition.

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 taught for twenty years, and now write full time. I am married, have two kids, various rescue dogs, and a house full of books. I started making little books out of paper towels when I was six or seven, and began writing novels about another world when I was eight. 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 encouraging rejections, so when I reached college, I figured I needed to learn something about writing that I didn’t yet grasp: revision.

Learning how to revise is an on-going process for me as I am a visual writer, but while I’ve been working at that that I went to college, lived in Europe, came back to get my Masters in History, worked in Hollywood, became a teacher, some of those concurrently. I still teach at workshops, in particular Viable Paradise.

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.

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.