A long time ago (back in 2006-2008), I wrote two novels I loved and younger readers loved.
The Ruby Key: Moon & Sun Book 1
The Silver Door: Moon & Sun Book 2
I’d started work on the third one, The Emerald Sun: Moon & Sun Book 3…
And then Scholastic told me they weren’t going to continue the series. It would end with Book 3, and they would only want the third book if I took a massive pay cut.
I couldn’t afford to take the pay cut. We were already just squeaking by.
So I stopped working on the series, and wrote a bunch of writing books instead. Mugging the Muse: Writing Fiction for Love & Money, Create a Character Clinic, Create a Plot Clinic… and a long list of other books and classes I’m not going to name goes here, but that kept a roof over our heads and food in our bellies.
Meanwhile, however, I kept hearing from the kids who wanted to know what happened next with Genna, Dan, the Cat…
And now those kids are adults.
The rights to the first two books have reverted to me. Today I start the read-through of the first one to get back into the world, to get the voice back, and to find and take notes on any toys I left on the floor that I can pick up for Book 3.
And after I did the first run of reading, I got an unexpected gift.
During a Hard Drive Move (which is never anyone’s favorite thing) years ago (which I think coincided with our move from Georgia back to Florida, I lost track of the Book 3 outline and early chapters.
My older computer had become massively obsolete. I moved the backups to a new computer, and when I did this, Moon & Sun had already become a dead project, so I didn’t check to make sure I could find it.
Forward a bunch of years to when I wanted to find it, and I couldn’t. Realize… Macs have excellent backup, and really good search, and I knew what I was looking for. And no search term I had brought me to those manuscripts.
Today, on the day I started this project, I dug into an unrelated folder looking for something else, and found the entire Moon & Sun project in there, including the start of Book 3. Wasn’t where it was supposed to be, but everything opens, everything is readable, everything is usable.
It’s a sign. Time to write Book 3, time to get the first two into print again, time to bring this world back to life.
Back in 2008 my mom bought me the first book at a book fair at my school. I was only 12 at the time and it quickly became my favourite book. It was my introductory to my love of faerie books and I’ve kept it all of these years.
I’ve only just in the last few months managed to find a second-hand copy of the second book to finally find out what happens only to learn the series was cancelled. I was admittedly rather heartbroken, though I’m glad I searched about it and found this page.
I must say, thank you Mrs. Lisle for awakening my young mind and helping mold me into the person I am today. I hope you’re doing well in these difficult times, and I hope to hear word of a third book of ever possible.
Thank you so much for loving the books.
I have a very slow-growing list of folks who want to read The Emerald Sun, and right now it has 45 people on it. Ideally, I’ll have at least a thousand folks waiting to read it in order to start writing the book. Once I get the first five Ohio novels launched, I’m hoping to be able to make time to write it while working on other projects.
But to start on it, I have to have some hope that folks will be able to find all three books. (The rights to the first two reverted to me, so I can republish them.) I don’t know if I’ll be able to get the same cover art for them, though, and there’s almost no chance of getting the same artist for the third cover if I do — Jonathan Middleton is a BIG artist, and my odds of being able to afford an original third cover from him are… well… tiny.
But it could happen.
Please please please write the third book. I am begging you. I am in my 20s and I need closure. I loved both books of the Moon and Sun and I still read them to this day. I neeeeed the third book.
It might have to be an “I made a ton of money on other stuff thing, so now I can afford to write this” thing. I’m getting very, very little feedback.
Oh please write the next book! I have just re-read the first two (I am now almost 30!) and need to know what happens!! Genna and Doyati need to be together! ♥
It’s not looking good. There’s almost no interest based on folks having joined the email list.
😭😭😭 I’m so happy to hear that you’re trying to write the 3rd book! I read the first 2 books as a kid 6 years ago, and i still can’t stop thinking about it! I really hope you finish this series, keep going and make more amazing books like this!❤️❤️
Thank you very much. I’m hopeful that the Ohio Novels will do well enough for me that I’ll be able to fund the final Moon & Sun novel. There are no guarantees, of course.
Oh my god I have been waiting for this (and can wait a few years more :))! The series are among the best books on my shelves, and I have a tons of books on my shelves. I’m absolutely yearning to find out more about what happened to Genna and Dan, and to think we will get the ending soon o.o
Anyways, may you be in good health and happy writing! 😀
This is the current status report on Emerald Sun, and this has evolved into a makeshift discussion among readers (and occasionally me), on how things are going.
IF the series I’m writing now takes off for me and buys me enough time to be able to afford to write Moon & Sun 3, I’ll start into it in about two years (from today, which is May 4th, 2021).
If it doesn’t, I might be able to figure out some other way to write the book. But its chances become a lot slimmer.
Have you considered self-publishing it to google books? I would love to read the conclusion to this wonderful series and it makes me sad that the interest in it is so low. Some of the best things in the world will always have the least attention.
You could always try to gain attention on reddit as well? It was only my curiosity of “was there a third book to that series I read in my youth?” That brought me here. There may be a lack of interest because it has been so long and many of your readers have moved on.
Hi, Tiya. I don’t use Google. The idea of having a Kickstarter for it has crossed my mind, but you have correctly identified the same point I face — Scholastic killed the series a long, long time ago, and there aren’t many people looking for ANY of those books now.
Oh my gosh! Would love to read book three. Adored the first two in series. I am 48 years old, and you are never too old for dragons, magic trees and great sci-fi reading. A book doesn’t have to be hard to read to be great! Go Holly Lisle
:D. If the five-book grown-up urban fantasy series pans out (in other words, pays me more than “mice would starve on this”), it will happen. I want so much to write the last part of that story. The first bit is done, and sometimes those characters and that story wake me up in the middle of the night.
I read this series when I was 9. I waited for the 3rd book for years and when I realized it wouldn’t be released, it broke my heart even though I understood your reasons for not publishing it. Now I’m 18 and every time I see The Ruby Key and The Silver Door in my bookshelf, I yearn for more and am reminded of how much I loved the series. I’m absolutely ecstatic that you’re working on the 3rd book again. It’s a dream come true because I honestly thought that I would never enter the magical world you created again. Thank you so much for all your hard work!
It’s on hold while I finish book two of a series and then the next three books after that. At the pace I’m going, I’ll be able to have those done in about two years. Emerald Sun is one of two projects, the other being another Cadence Drake novel, that I’ll be working on then.
So we won’t have Emerald Sun till 2023ish? Will there be other books after it? This is such an amazing series my heart aches for more. 💗
If, when I relaunch them, the first three books actually sell enough to pay me to write more, I could very well do two more to complete the five book series I’d originally wanted to do.
Book Three will have a real ending that I can leave the series with — but there are so many other things in the world that I’ll be able to follow two extra threads back into the deep past. If I can afford to do it.
Thank you for replying 💗 I love this series and I can’t wait till you relaunch it. I have two young daughters now that I’m excited to share it with.
Who is cat?
The cat’s… important. Who, what, and why will have to wait for the third book.
Oh my god THANKYOU SO MUCH! I’m one of those kids who’s grown up and is in her 20s. I read it as budding teen and the first two still sit in the front of my fantasy fiction shelf in my mini library. I’ve been waiting since forever, and I’m in love with your work! I’m so happy, and best of luck with writing! Can’t wait to walk the moonroads again with Genna and Dan 💙💙💙💙💙💙
As I told Emerson — yes, I will do it, but no, I won’t finish it this year 2020. This year has been a nightmare. Must do stuff that will pay the bills, and save this for a better years.
This will be one bright spot in 2020. Thank you so much, I’ve adored this series since I was in elementary school a decade ago, and I remember the characters and the plot and even individual lines like I read the books yesterday! No pressure, of course! Your readers are loyal, we will wait!
Would you be open to starting a GoFundMe or other crowdfunding project? I know I for one would give you my money!
All I have is a Ko-Fi account.
I have been on the lookout for the third book for a long time. The Ruby Key has set on my bookshelf since I bought it as a hardcover. So excited that you are gettin around to writing the final chapter and am settling down for the wait. The question of who is cat has haunted me for over a decade. What is a little while longer?
I never get tired reading no matter how many times I’ve read it. I just finished book two which I’ve been waiting for my parents to buy for a while bit the didn’t so I found it online after a year of waiting. Even though I just read it I want to read it again. You’re like the best writer.
Thank you for the kind words. Another reply I made today explains why it isn’t in print yet, and will be in a holding pattern for a while longer. With my sorrowful apologies.
My son just read the first two books during COVID lockdown. He absolutely loved them. He anxiously awaits for book 3, which I told him I would get for him when it’s available.
Thank you very much for letting me know. Financial circumstances WAY beyond my control have that project on hold. I’ll do it as soon as I can, but I have to do paying work first.
So you are going to write the book? I can’t figure it out but if you are yay!!
Yes. This year has been a money nightmare for me (an not just me, by all accounts) and the project is one that isn’t going to pay me, so YES, I’m going to write it, but NO, I’m not going to have it finished this year. I MUST focus on stuff that pays better, because like everyone else, I have bills to pay, and sadly, this project is a labor of love that will not help me pay them.
I first read this series when I was 12 years old. I completely forgot about the books until last week when I was going through a bunch of my childhood belongings. I am almost 20 now, read both books in a day, and am still hooked on the story and world just as I was when I was younger. I really hope that you will be able to continue the series! 🙂 Regardless, thank you for bringing this story into the world.
When is the third book coming? I love these books so much, and am an adult. And I can’t wait to share them with my daughter (Currently still in diapers). Do you have a rough time frame on its release?
Thank you so much!!!
Hows it going so far? Im a student in middle school and your writing is amazing!! I cant wait to read the 3rd book!😃
Hi there! I’ve been searching for some good reads, one that brings the inner child backs it’s imagination of fantasy! The books that I have come across now and days just don’t do it. I always revert back to the books I’ve read many times in the past for it brings me back to the days of when I first read them. I have always wondered what happened! I had the first two books but lost them when moving in 2011 when I was 14. Now I’m trying to buy all of the books I’ve read when I was younger. Your Sun and Moon series were one of the many series and books I’ve read that kept me in my day dreams and imagination! I’m soooo happy to hear that a third book will be coming soon! Sorry to hear about how it had to come but I’m so happy that you’re going finish the third book! Fighting!!!
These books are very close to my heart. I happened to borrow the first one from my school library when no other book was left. I was in for a surprise when I read it. It was so interesting and mysterious also very simple and comforting to read, while keeping me at the edge of my seat. The story was very different from most books I was reading at the time and was refreshing. After the first book was done I devoured the second and have waited since for the third. I am very, very excited for this!!!!
Oh, I am so excited for this! Those two books have sat, well-loved, on my shelf for years. The first book lost its cover at summer camp years ago, and has been read and read again so many times. The second book is in better condition but is well-loved as well. I was a child when I bought them, and I still read and love them. I cannot wait to see the next installment. Thank you for writing!
I have the book outlined now, the first several chapters done, know the ending, and have a lot of the major pieces figured out.
Before I can finish it, I have three books I wrote this year waiting on revision so I can publish them and they can start helping pay bills — and all three are waiting for us to finish moving, unpacking, and getting some semblance of sanity back into our lives.
I’m getting there. 😀
Thank you so so so much for taking out the time to do this! It must truly be hard to come back to a series after so long. Honestly, the narrative voice in your books, is so distinct and memorable. Like many fans on this page, I’ve been running a Google search about the Emerald Sun every now and then, and constantly hoping for updates. The Moon and Sun universe is so unique, and utterly enthralling, that it has stayed with me long into adulthood, even after countless other books have come and gone.
I’m incredibly excited to see what comes next, and look forward to reading more of your work soon! And again, thank you so much!
Wow this is so great to hear! I was around 12 years old when I bought your books from a Scholastic book fair and I really enjoyed them. I was so disappointed when a third book wasn’t released and I’m sorry to hear about the reason it wasn’t published. About once a year I would do a google search to see if there had been any updates about a future novel, even all these years later. What a pleasant surprise that my search finally yielded a result! I never took the Emerald Sun off my book list in the hope that I might one day get to read it. I’m looking forward it! Also, I love the cover art for the books. Will the same artist be creating the final cover?
I’m relieved to finally have it scheduled, and about halfway outlined.
I have not checked to see if the original cover artist (Joshua Middleton) is available for new work — but because I’m having to indie-publish this last one, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to afford him.
So probably not.
I’m so EXCITED!!! The Ruby Key was my life as a child, and I could never find the Silver Door in any library. Now that I’ve grown up, I have been nostalgically buying all the books I used to love, and I managed to get my hands on a copy of books 1 and 2. I expected Book 2 to have all the answers, and then when it ended it was evident that there was so much more to come, yet I had never heard of further books :O
I’m so glad I found your post, now I can’t wait for the third book!!
PS. The cat is my favourite character 😉
Thank you so much for saying this. It’s taking longer. I have learned that no matter what you plan, everything takes longer. But I’ll get it done.
I found 1 and 2 in a thrift store and I absolutely love them! Almost done 2 so I will for sure buy number 3.
I have several chapters written now, and it will become my new Monday novel in two weeks. (The next two are tied up with Event Prep for the Summer of Fiction Writing.)
I’m delighted to be able to be getting the first two books back into print, and to finish the third.
Today, i found the Silver door in my library and reread it. It got me hyped all over again for the 3rd book. It still saddens me how you have to end with book 3 instead of writing the whole series like u wanted. So much lost content, parts of the amazing Moon and Sun universe that we’ll never get to see 🙁 At least there’s still The Emerald Sun to look forward to tho! Wishing u all the best!!!
Thank you, Mia.
I’m excited, too. 😀
I’m getting close to the end on the first novel in progress (Dead Man’s Party), and just passed the middle on the second. When Dead Man’s Party goes into the one-month walk-away, so I can get some distance on it, The Emerald Sun will take its spot for Monday brainstorming and outlining. As soon as I finish The Wishbone Conspiracy, it can move over to Wednesday-through-Friday first draft.
Oh my god!! I’m so excited!!! Finally! Thank you so much
I’m now working on it every Tuesday and Wednesday.
Please do keep us updated for the sun & moon #3 the emerald sun. I’ve been dying to see this series to an end. I first read the ruby key when I was in 8th grade. I’ve been captivated by it ever since. Please see this series to an end. Would love to hear from you
First post on the actual novel just went live. I’m working on it now.
It’s starting. First post is here: Moon and Sun: The Emerald Sun. It begins…
Holy crap! I’m so excited! Ive been reading these books since elementary school and I still love them to this day. I love this world as it was my first fantasy series, and I sure did pick an amazing one!
Thank you so much. I’m working on it today.
synchronicity or serendipity, Whatever you want to call it, it was meant to be! Looking forward to reading this book (and rereading the first two.)
This is wonderful news. And very encouraging that you found the start of the third book and are getting immersed in the world again. I wish you could write more but understand how writing a series goes, as I am unpublished and writing several series and it’s so hard. I imagine your road was very hard to even get published by Scholastic. And I love you revision technique by the way and love that you write craft books as well. Thank you!
Something similar just happened to me.I’m 8 months pregnant and looking to quit my former job as a tattoo artist to spend more time at home with my newborn. I had been writing books on the side for a while now and my computer crashed. I lost everything…pictures, files, etc. I was devastated. It wasn’t until I had my laptop restored with a brand new hand drive that i found out ONEDRIVE saved EVERY SINGLE FILE!!!! I thought they were lost for good.
Gotta love good backup. I’m so happy you found all your work safe. And best wishes for an easy delivery and a healthy, happy newborn.
I’m joining the excitement at your finding what you thought was irretrievably lost, Holly!! I don’t think a non-writer can appreciate the value that is to a writer. I had to switch computers a few months ago and horrors! my book files didn’t get transferred. I could have cried. I knew I could (most likely) get them back, I always keep my hard drives and have backups, but the work! But it was some odd glitch in the files themselves, so the tech was able to retrieve them. I haven’t read the Sun and Moon books, but I really look forward to them, they sound like I’d love them.
Oh I can’t wait to see this in print so I can have my daughter read it! It’s right up her alley!
Oh, that’s fantastic. Love when something lost is then recovered :).
I could not freaking believe it. I stared at those files and thought, “They’re going to be empty, this isn’t going to work…”
And everything was there. And worked.
:). Definitely a sign. They were just waiting for the right moment to be found, and that moment is now :).
Such happy news! Congratulations!
😀 Thank you.
Congratulations! Finding old digital files that serviceable are glorious. And to have the original rights revert to you in advance of finding the files you thought were lost–truly a serendipitous sign! Go for it full tilt, girl!
SERVICEABLE is the big word here. I have recently gone through all my materials and created plain RTF (and to be redundantly redundant) plain .doc files of all my fiction, which I have backed up in a redundantly redundant fashion.
Can’t do anything about the stuff written on typewriter and lost eons ago — but that’s probably just mercy on the part of the universe. That’s where I got my hundred+ rejection-slip collection, ALSO lost. That I actually kind of miss, though.
Yay for computers even though you can lose things in them too. Sure beats having thrown a manuscript in the trash and having to start from scratch as I have had to do. Glad you found it.
This makes me so, so happy for you. What a wonderful thing.
Thank you. 😀 Me, too!
YAY! I was already an adult when I read those two books, but I loved them and can’t wait to read the next!
excellent! Interestingly enough, I fond notes on a story I thought I lost in a comic book container (I used to write everything by hand). not the same, I know, but I was excited when I found them as I thought I left them in the house on Cross Street.
Congrats and good luck on finding your world.
Hey, Kate. I think it’s exactly the same. Something you loved and thought was lost forever turns up. It’s wonderful.
Glad you found yours, too.
Bonus, the story is still there. In my head, I mean.
Actually, Holly, these two books are the first two of yours that I read…many years ago. And I loved them, too! So I’m really glad to hear that you’re going to begin work on the series. Can’t wait to read Book 3!
OH…! Thank you for hanging around even though I didn’t finish the series in a timely fashion.
I’m so excited to be working on this at last.
Oh, there’s nothing better than finding something you thought lost, especially when you weren’t even looking for it. Or so says my friend, Prince Serendip. Enjoy your treasure!
LOL! I like your friend the Prince.
And treasure… it was like finding several hundred dollars and about as many hours. I’m so happy.
Cutting time off of this project! Glad you found parts.
Thanks. Me, too.
Wasn’t Moon and Sun intended to be a long series (7+ books)? We know Holly and how Holly likes to think long. Why not make it a long series again now that the rights have reverted? Why end it with book 3 when that was Scholastic forcing you to?
Hi, Ryan. Here’s the logic.
The first two books did not sell well for Scholastic. I know they did a crap job of marketing the series, using the infamous publisher “Throw a bunch of books against the wall and see what sticks” method, and knowing that, I might be able to bring the series back to life and have it sell really well.
But odds are not in my favor. Odds are not in any writer’s favor for any series. And I want the folks who started the series so very many years ago to get a REAL ending. A good one.
Gambling on seven linked books and investing in writing and publishing five independently before finally reaching the end, when I’m now pushing sixty (I’m 58, so that’s pushing pretty hard), is also not a great idea. I’ve already dealt with tongue cancer once. The removal of a massive parathyroid tumor. I’m in better health than I’ve been in years, but reality says, “Finish in one. If folks love it, you can always write stand-alones in the world. If they don’t — at least not in the numbers that would make this pay the bills — then at least the folks who have stood by you all these years get an ending.
That is wonderful, Holly. I read the first two books with my daughter, now 18, and we both treasured them. Over the holidays, I’ve reread Ruby Key, and have been admiring your wonderful narrative and pining for more.
A real end with more potential stand alone stories to come, as Pullman has done is a great idea. So looking forward to buying multiple copies of Emerald Sun.
Aww. Thank you so much. Hugs to you both… and it’s in progress now.
Very cool! Glad you have a new (old) project to bring you joy. Happy writing!
Thank you. I’m so excited. 😀
I’m super excited about this. I remember being a beta reader for the Silver Door back in the day. Really can’t wait to read book 3!
That’s awesome. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next myself. 😀
Crazy happy for you, Holly!
Thank you very much. Me too.
Fantastic news – I loved that series! Looking forward to revisiting that world again! 🙂
Thank you very much. The Cat and I are getting to know each other again right now.
Finding digital files you thought were gone forever is one of the most exciting things ever. I didn’t read this until I was an adult, and yet I’m definitely among those looking forward to the third book. Woo hoo!
Holy Crap… Yes. I was looking at having to have two of my rare remaining hardcovers ripped apart for scanning.
Now I can just read through and make corrections from the printed version to the manuscript versions.
I am so excited! 100% one of those kids who is now an adult and still wants to know what happened.
Thank you so much for staying in touch and letting me know. I’m truly sorry it has taken this long, but I’m glad to be here now.
I’m just super glad that you’re able/willing to continue the series after all of these years. I joined your Patreon as soon as you posted this update! I know it’s not much, but I’m glad that I get to be a (very) small part of seeing the story concluded.