Never, ever again will I release two full-length, highly anticipated novels within five weeks of each other.
Oh, I love putting out new books. Don’t get me wrong. People finally getting to see what I’ve been working on, or what I’ve been endlessly teasing about for months.
But releasing a new book is a lot of work. And it’s very draining. Where you all can read through something in a few hours, it’s taken an author many, many months (hell, even years) to get out what you have in your hands.
Now, imagine releasing two sequels to two big series like Lightning and BOATK back to back.
It’s tenfold, man.
Not that I’m really complaining. I’m just a little tired these days. (And no, before y’all start worrying, it’s not the burnt-out kind of tired. It’s the pleasant exhaustiveness of hard work.) I do get a little reprieve after The Long and Winding Road. The next Lightning book won’t be out until November.
(Thank Jebus and all his infinite wisdom.)
So, let’s discuss a few things.
A Destiny of Dragons. Normally, I do big posts after a book comes out, telling you the ins and outs of the story, what I put into it, behind the scenes blah, blah, blah. I’m not going to do that here with Destiny, at least not yet. The reason being is that the story is far from over (as a lot of you already know). Destiny, to me, was a chess game, putting all the pieces into motion via strategic moves. The next book, The Consumption of Magic, is someone upending that chess board and throwing it across the room, scattering the pieces all over the floor. Consumption can be seen as the second half of Destiny, whereas the last book, A Wish Upon the Stars is something else entirely. I just ask that you trust me to know what I’m doing. The road might get a little rocky, but everything happens for a reason.
(Wow, that sounded ominous. Yikes.)
And I really do love how the biggest question I’ve gotten (aside from IS SOMEONE GOING TO DIE?? WHO IS GOING TO DIE!!) is whether or not Justin will play a bigger part. It really makes me happy to see people responding more to his character as someone who is growing rather than just a selfish sort-of villain. Yes. Justin will be back almost right away in Consumption, and will stay pretty much with the group for the rest of the series, though not in ways you might think.
After that, the biggest question is about Ruv. Don’t worry, I have plans for Ruv.
And after that is about Lady Tina. She will…get hers?
(And to address that first question…well. Just because Sam has the power, doesn’t mean he can actually use it. And even if he could, what would be the cost?)
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The Long and Winding Road. It’s divided into three parts: Past, Present and Future.
I’m going to discuss the Past only today. In fact, if you follow me on facebook, the mini-excerpts I’ve released every Friday have only come from the Past section, which is the first.
One of my biggest regrets of The Art of Breathing is not actually showing Bear and Otter confronting Tyson about his drug use, or even how they really found out about it. By the time I wrote the story, it was already getting to be too long, and I couldn’t find a good place to make it fit to have it make sense. I’ve always wanted to go back and write that scene, and I initially thought about writing it and having it as a freebie of sorts.
But when I started writing The Long and Winding Road, I realized I was going to have to go back a ways. Not just because of that specific scene that I still wanted to write, but because by the time The Art of Breathing happens, Bear and Otter have already made this monumental decision to have a kid. It’s only seen from Ty’s point of view, so we don’t know what it took for them to get there.
That’s where the first part of the novel comes in. We get to see what led them to that decision. We get to see them finding out about Ty’s failings, and what he’s become, and how it ties in to what Bear and Otter are doing with their lives. But the thing I’m most giddy about is how they find out. It puts a character we already know into a completely different light, and entangles them further into the Thompson family, even before you thought they were. Chances are, some of you have already guessed who this person is, and know why I am happy about it.
And honestly? The Past section is the angstiest part of the book. There were plans in place, big ideas that I was going to incorporate into The Long and Winding Road that I ended up just…ditching. (Pregnancy complications! Anna and Creed get divorced! Marital problems for Bear and Otter!)
I couldn’t do it.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, and maybe it’s because I’m a little wiser than I once was, but I didn’t do it. Honestly, I’m pretty much over having drama for the sake of having drama. Those ideas that I once thought to be good now seem contrived and unnecessary. I’ve already put this family through the ringer, and I needed them to know happiness. So while the book does have angst, it’s not going to be like The Art of Breathing was. This is going to be me saying goodbye to some old friends in the best way I know how. It’s going to be messy and funny and sad and man, are there going to be tears, both the good and the bad kind. I still managed to choke myself up in the last few chapters every time I got the book back for edits, but for a good reason. Saying goodbye is hard.
So, yeah, two books in five weeks. It’s a lot of work, but in the end, I think it’s worth it. You’ve already seen the destiny of Sam of Wilds. Now, we’ll make a final trip back to Seafare.
And I’ve saved the best for last.
PS: Seriously. The Consumption of Magic is going to make people explode. I can’t wait.