I have a good reason for not blogging for the past few months. It’s called a deadline. Just last week I finished the first draft of Everfound. I’m thrilled with it, but I thought it might be worth sharing the love/hate relationship I have with my novels while I’m writing them. I think most authors can attest to the fact that writing a book is like giving birth. Alright it doesn’t hurt THAT much, but it’s a pretty exhausting, and painful process to push something forth from your brain, work it, rework it, obsess over it, spend sleepless nights, and write until your fingers and brain feels like they are going to fall off. Everfound was no exception.
I had a huge task before me with this book. The completion of a trilogy is always very difficult. I experienced it first with SHATTERED SKY, which I consider to be one of the best books I’ve written–and closest to UNWIND in style. With each book of a trilogy, new characters are added, and only a few characters leave the story, so by the time you get to the last book, not only do you have a story you have to tell, but A) you have dozens of characters to write about, B) You have to make the story bigger and better than the first two C) You have to resolve everyone’s story in a satisfying way. Throughout Everfound, the challenge was all consuming. With every book I write, I bite off as much as I can possibly chew, and barely stay above water (How’s that for a mixed metaphor).
The scope of Everlost is massive, and the journeys the characters make are epic — both the physical journeys, as well as the internal journeys. Plus there are two new main character, and several new secondary characters. There’s the new character of JIX. Jix (which is Mayan for “jaguar”) is a skinjacker whose specialty is skinjacking great cats (furjacking). He is now just as important as Nick, Allie, Mikey, and Mary in the story. There’s also Clarence, a character who exists partway in Everlost, and partway out. There are new groups of kids our characters come across in Texas, Mexico, and other points of the globe. And there’s the return of a character we saw in EVERLOST, but not EVERWILD. (I won’t tell you who).
There are basically four separate story lines that need to converge. Allie and the train that has just crossed the Mississippi at the end of Everwild; the character of Jix; Mikey and Nick; and then what happens to Mary. As I was writing, the hardest thing to do was to bring the four storylines together, because the characters all wanted to do different things than I wanted them to do — but I have to go with the characters choices, not my own, otherwise it won’t feel true to those characters. That’s why the book took 465 pages to bring home! More on Friday.