IT’S A SIGN!!! – Moon & Sun Book 3: The Emerald Sun

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.

 

image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page

About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

59 comments… add one
  • Denise Aug 7, 2019 @ 20:42

    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?

    • Holly Lisle Aug 8, 2019 @ 14:17

      Hi, Denise.

      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.

  • Leonora Jul 6, 2019 @ 19:09

    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 😉

    • Holly Lisle Jul 11, 2019 @ 9:05

      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.

  • Chris May 27, 2019 @ 1:42

    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.

    • Holly Lisle May 27, 2019 @ 15:55

      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.

  • Mia Apr 7, 2019 @ 12:15

    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!!!

    • Holly Lisle Apr 9, 2019 @ 8:47

      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.

  • Ava Jan 19, 2019 @ 13:43

    Oh my god!! I’m so excited!!! Finally! Thank you so much

    • Holly Jan 23, 2019 @ 14:10

      I’m now working on it every Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • Shashaank Jan 9, 2019 @ 4:12

    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

  • Dylon Jan 3, 2019 @ 14:26

    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!

  • Francine Seal Dec 10, 2018 @ 8:18

    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.)

  • D.K. Dailey Dec 9, 2018 @ 18:33

    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!

  • Connie Cockrell Dec 9, 2018 @ 18:00

    Awesome!!!!!

  • Devon Sweeting Dec 8, 2018 @ 17:22

    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.

    • Holly Lisle Dec 11, 2018 @ 8:46

      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.

  • Sylvia Dec 7, 2018 @ 12:38

    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.

  • Kelly G in ATX Dec 7, 2018 @ 10:01

    Oh I can’t wait to see this in print so I can have my daughter read it! It’s right up her alley!

  • Margaret Fisk Dec 7, 2018 @ 3:13

    Oh, that’s fantastic. Love when something lost is then recovered :).

    • Holly Dec 7, 2018 @ 10:20

      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.

      • Margaret Fisk Dec 8, 2018 @ 2:26

        :). Definitely a sign. They were just waiting for the right moment to be found, and that moment is now :).

  • Therese Dec 6, 2018 @ 21:41

    Such happy news! Congratulations!

    • Holly Dec 7, 2018 @ 10:19

      😀 Thank you.

  • emmiD Dec 6, 2018 @ 18:51

    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!

    • Holly Dec 7, 2018 @ 10:16

      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.

  • Lynn O'Brien Dec 6, 2018 @ 17:59

    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.

  • Tammi Dec 6, 2018 @ 12:34

    This makes me so, so happy for you. What a wonderful thing.

    • Holly Dec 7, 2018 @ 10:13

      Thank you. 😀 Me, too!

  • Eva Dec 6, 2018 @ 12:27

    YAY! I was already an adult when I read those two books, but I loved them and can’t wait to read the next!

  • Kate Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:59

    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.

    • Holly Dec 7, 2018 @ 10:13

      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.

      • Kate Dec 7, 2018 @ 13:52

        Bonus, the story is still there. In my head, I mean.

  • Mike Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:58

    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!

    • Holly Dec 7, 2018 @ 10:12

      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.

  • Amazing Blair Peery Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:58

    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!

    • Holly Dec 7, 2018 @ 10:11

      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.

  • Sarah Neuendorff Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:56

    Cutting time off of this project! Glad you found parts.

    • Holly Dec 7, 2018 @ 10:10

      Thanks. Me, too.

  • Ryan Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:49

    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?

    • Holly Dec 7, 2018 @ 10:49

      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.

      • Bethany Becker Jan 2, 2019 @ 14:50

        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.

  • Alicia Mayo Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:24

    Very cool! Glad you have a new (old) project to bring you joy. Happy writing!

    • Holly Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:30

      Thank you. I’m so excited. 😀

  • Heather C Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:16

    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!

    • Holly Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:31

      That’s awesome. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next myself. 😀

  • Yoshimi Miyazaki Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:11

    Crazy happy for you, Holly!

    • Holly Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:31

      Thank you very much. Me too.

  • Amy Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:09

    Fantastic news – I loved that series! Looking forward to revisiting that world again! 🙂

    • Holly Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:32

      Thank you very much. The Cat and I are getting to know each other again right now.

  • Elizabeth Dec 5, 2018 @ 17:16

    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!

    • Holly Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:33

      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.

  • Amelia Dec 4, 2018 @ 23:16

    I am so excited! 100% one of those kids who is now an adult and still wants to know what happened.

    • Holly Dec 6, 2018 @ 11:34

      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.

      • Amelia Dec 6, 2018 @ 18:32

        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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Next post:

Previous post: