Wolfsong came out a little over a month ago.
Honestly? I didn’t really know what to expect with it. I have the wonderfully strange knowledge of knowing that my books sell well, and that most of the time, people are willing to follow me as I try something different. It’s uncomfortable for me, sometimes, to think about that, because I’m still not quite sure how it happened. When BOATK came out and exploded, I was in shock, but figured it to be a fluke. And that’s what I told myself with each subsequent book that would go onto to sell a lot. Oh, sure, there are plenty of people out there who don’t believe I deserve any success, and can’t believe that I continue to get it, and that’s okay. People are allowed to form whatever opinion they want of me. I’m not here to try and change anyone’s mind, because that’s not my job. Read my books or don’t. It’s your hard earned cash, right?
So, no, I didn’t know what to expect with Wolfsong.
I mean, werewolves.
Dudes. What the hell.
For some reason I don’t quite understand, you have made it one of my biggest sellers, and it’s only been out for a month. I might have severely underestimated the strength of paranormal romance (because if you really think about it, I’ve only dabbled in it one time in the form of Into This River I Drown—and that was more…philosophical (??) than paranormal).
Thank you for buying and reading Wolfsong. Thanks for continuing to support my books as you do. It really has lifted a weight off my shoulders about this whole full-time writing gig I’ve got going on now.
So, want to know some secrets about Wolfsong?
Spoilers ahead. Legit, if you haven’t read Wolfsong and plan to, do not read any further as I will be discussing events that happen throughout the story.
Three years. One month. Twenty-six days.
Probably the hardest part of the book, right?
In the original draft, it was even harder because it was four years, one month, twenty-six days. Yes, I was an even bigger bastard initially, in that there was an entire other chapter after the third year where it showed the struggle of the Bennett pack, where they were essentially losing hope that the others would ever return. Ox was getting pressure from back East to accept his role as an Alpha on a larger stage, and it just went on and on and on and—
It was too much. By that point, I thought maybe I was hurting Ox just for the sake of creating drama, and that’s not something I ever want to write. I don’t want manufactured angst just to have it. That’s ridiculous.
So I cut the entire chapter.
It read better. The agony of the separation was just this side of being lump-in-the-throat and bittersweet. There was no need to ruin it.
Mark and Ox were supposed to sleep together.
Yes. You read that right.
My original plan was for Ox and Mark to have sex during the last year of the division between packs. It was going to happen because both Mark and Ox were sad and lonely and needing something to cling to, and in bit of furious weakness, they fucked once, and that’s all it would have been.
Then Joe and Gordo (and the others) would have come back, and it would have eventually come out and drama drama drama.
See above where I talked about manufactured angst.
That was a small part of why I nixed the idea before it even went to page.
But the bigger part of it was the badwrong idea of it. If you really think about it, it just seems like a terrible idea, right? They are close—pack, after all—but by the time I got to the point where I was going to consider it, they were practically related, and it just seemed like it was going to be a terrible thing to do.
But I needed some source of conflict for Joe (aside from Ox’s anger), something to show that Ox built a pack that he wasn’t a part of.
Robbie was born.
Yes, Robbie came into being because I chickened out at having Mark and Ox bone. And he turned out to be one of my very favorite characters (FYI—I also have an extreme soft spot for Carter and Kelly too).
That wasn’t supposed to be a thing in Wolfsong. At all. I didn’t want that. I was already writing about werewolves, for fuck’s sake, and I wanted to avoid the whole destined forever bullshit. I failed, at least a little bit. Mates are a thing in Wolfsong, but they’re not destiny or the like, because I like the idea of choice. You can call them mates, sure, but I like to think they chose each other because they wanted to.
Ox’s mother was always going to die.
Thomas was always going to die.
You know what I hate? When I’m reading a book, and a character does something stupid, and then is immediately forgiven, confetti, hurray, happy ending!
I hate that.
Where is the groveling? Where is the shouting? Dudes and lady dudes, we are emotionally complex human beings, and for the most part, we do not forgive and forget, and a plague on your house if you make your characters a doormat who just accept bullshit. Was Joe right? I don’t know. Was Ox right? I have no idea. But mistakes were made and they were not going to be swept under the rug. Yes, it was hard to read, but both of them had a right to be as angry as they were, even if they were both partly to blame. Joe is headstrong. Ox is obstinate. And they are both human (partly), and I needed them to have human reactions.
Yes. There will be. Don’t ask me when. I promise I will get to them when I can, but these books (as most of mine are, natch) are long and involved, and I don’t want to force it when I’m not ready to write it.
Ravensong will be about Mark and Gordo.
Heartsong will be about Kelly and Robbie. (Also, did anyone else catch that Kelly is asexual? That’s going to be awesome.)
???song will be about Carter and ???. But ??? will be male. Carter’s going to be in for a rude awakening, I think. (I’m not being a jerk here, honest. I have no idea who ??? is yet.)
I’m glad you asked.
One month from today, the second book in the Immemorial Year series that began with Withered + Sere. W+S was the beginning, and C+S is the end. I can promise you a few things: there will be violence, there will be war, and as you can see from one of six of Blake Dorner’s new illustrations below, Cavalo and Lucas will finally get down and dirty (you can click to enlarge it, you perverts.).
Epic, right? Blake has really outdone himself in Crisped + Sere.
(Yes, there is a happy ending.)
And as always, thank you again for supporting my work as you have. I can’t wait for you to see what’s next!
Withered + Sere is out now!
Crisped + Sere is available for pre-order!