SPOILER WARNING!!! This could have spoilers for every book and short in the series, including FM4, you've been warned.
So I wrote an FAQ for the series just after I finished FM2 and I figured it's been a couple years and a couple books and things have changed a bit since then, so why not another one?
Q: Change?!?! What do you mean change? NOTHING CAN CHANGE, WRITER SLAVE, LEAVE IT ALL THE SAME!
The story itself is still the story I outlined back in...2009? I feel old now... The themes and the attitude and the plot are still all how I envisioned them, but structurally the realization that 12 school stories was stretching that half of the story way too much is a biggie. Also a few characters that I thought wouldn't be as important or as involved keep finding themselves with extra scenes (T-Bone, Miranda, Hope) while other characters I thought would be more involved have been slowly cut back (poor, poor School Eva, she was supposed to have a much bigger part).
The places of FM4 and FM5 got switched, I think it's much more natural now and much less of a whiplash. A lot of the Meteyos and Divine Chamber stuff that I thought wouldn't evolve until later in the series all came out much earlier. The FM1 Prophecy isn't nearly as important as I thought it would be, although it's always been a bit of a red herring mocking prophecies in Fantasy fiction, so perhaps it's still done its job.
Q: What do you mean no 12 school stories?
Only going to be 7 of them now, they'll be stopping with FM7. Which is good, because after FM7...shit gets real. There was a couple big updates about that decision, go search the blog for them if you're interested in my angst over the issue.
Q: But still 12 books?
Yes, this hasn't changed. There will be 12 books in The King Henry Tapes and then a 3-5 book wrap up series with multiple POV characters including King Henry.
Q: What's FM5 Called?
The Mancy Martial Artist.
Q: Any extra hint on FM5?
School = Plutarch.
Mainline = King Henry. T-Bone. Pocket. Vegas.
Q: Any hint on when FM5 will---
LEAVE ME ALONE!
Q: Will there be any more short stories or novellas?
No plans or desire to write them. I prefer writing novels and I'm writing well enough now that the wait between books shouldn't require a shorter work to hold you over.
Q: Why did you end FM4 like that? I hate you so much.
First of all, I don't think calling it a cliffhanger is accurate. There's side stories and greater stories within the series left hanging, but there's always greater stories left hanging in this series. That's how I get you addicted. When it comes to the main plot and the main issue King Henry was dealing with however, it's resolved. It's not cathartic, it's like watching your parents yell at each other, but it's resolved.
As for why I didn't give you the same feeling I did with FM3...well, I'd feel like a failure as a writer if every book in the series did the same thing. Some endings are going to make you fulfilled, some endings are going to pump you up, some are going to make you sad, and some are going to make you want to strangle me. Within the 12 books there's probably going to be a couple actual cliffhangers, so...deal with it. FM4 however, isn't one. It was just a kick to the fuckballs.
Q: Is Annie B okay?
She's fine outside of having a bit of a hurt pride. She'll be back.
Q: You have a bad habit of writing a book about a specific set of characters or villains and then having those characters disappear for awhile, can I assume "back" doesn't mean FM5?
Yup. Again, I try to have every book different and mixed and not the same thing book after book, which is why sidekicks and villains appear and disappear. One of the bad habits in Urban Fantasy/Paranormal is to have the same feel for every book in the series so they just kind of mush together. I want my fans to be able to look back 10 years later and say, oh yeah, FM3 was the Valentine/Curator Book and FM4 was the Annie B/Divine book, and FM5 was the...har, har, I torture you.
Helpful? No? Yes? If you have any other questions, leave a comment. I'll probably just RAFO you, but asking doesn't hurt. I guess you fans could also use this thread as a FM4 spoiler discussion thread if you want.
Main Focus: Gush (Fantasy Action/Adventure) Novel, First Draft = 21k out of 100k estimate (21%)
Side Focus #1: Assault on Dread Fortress Paine (Post FM6 Novella) = 20k out of 35k estimate (57%)
Side Focus #2: The Glassbreaker Goes Home (Post FM6 Novella) = 21k out of 40k estimate (52%)
Back Burner #1: FM7 School Story = 0k out of 80k estimate (0%)
Back Burner #2: Super Secret Awesome Project
Other Stuff I Need to Get To: FM3-FM6 concordance updates