“It is a woman’s privilege to change her mind.” – Thomas Draxe, 1616
I have a confession to make. I have a hard time making up my mind sometimes. There are just so many possibilities that the way ahead can feel like a giant room containing lots and lots of doors. Any of those doors could open into the next best thing. But the big question is which door to open?
As I was writing The Scribe’s Daughter, my next book was already taking shape in my head. Kassia’s sister Irisa had a very important story to tell. It was a no-brainer to write her story next. Each of the sisters shared a similar story line, but those story lines also diverged in enough ways to make Irisa’s story unique and eye-opening. The King’s Daughter took the events of The Scribe’s Daughter to the next stop on the road. But then, once again, while writing King’s, my next book began to take shape.
Without giving away any spoilers, it became clear that Kassia and Irisa’s mother had a story to tell. Some secrets about her life were slowly being revealed as Irisa discovered more and more about her family’s past. As I began to outline my ideas, I knew I had enough material to write an entire book.
But there was a problem. I wasn’t in love with any of those ideas. And if I as the writer just can’t quite get excited about the ideas I’m supposed to write a book about, how am I going to infuse that story with the kind of passion readers need in order to engage with a book? It didn’t seem like a good investment of my time.
About the same time I was coming to these conclusions on my own about my next book, I started to get feedback from readers on The King’s Daughter. Apparently the general consensus was that people really liked Casmir. I mean, they really liked Casmir. Really, reeeeaaaaallly. Once again, the wheels of my creative brain started turning, whirling, going faster and fast, and it didn’t take much time before the wheels were spinning so fast that they ran off with a new book idea.
I love getting inside the minds of my characters and feeling their hurts and pains, trying to figure out their motivations. My characters are by far the best parts about writing. While a book needs a good plot — there is no doubt about it — it’s my characters which drive what I write. And I had previously told myself I had no interest in writing from a male point of view. Not only that, but I also really love writing from a first-person perspective. It allows me, the author, to really dig into a single character’s psyche and ruminate.
So with all of that in mind, my third book will be written in third person from Casmir’s perspective.
I know. Don’t ever tell yourself you’re never going to do something. It only sets you up for failure.
As I thought about it, there were lots of other threads left dangling in my first two books; there were villains who kind of got away with things. Yes, Kassia and Irisa’s mother’s story was one of those dangling threads, but there were many other questions in need of closure. Naria’s story will be told, but it won’t be the primary focus on the next book. My dear Casmir has his own demons to wrestle with.
For those of you who have not yet read The King’s Daughter and only The Scribe’s Daughter, that last statement might have you scratching your head. The Scribe’s Daughter didn’t really paint Casmir in a good light. All I can say to that is: read The King’s Daughter. It’s really hard not to give away spoilers, and I don’t know how much longer I can keep it up.
While I am not going to make any official announcement about my third book, I will say that it has a working title of “King of the Furies.” A working title just means that the title I’ve given it is a place holder, but as with everything else, it is my privilege to change my mind regarding it at any point until I absolutely have to commit. And considering my track record so far…
Set two years after the events in Prille at the conclusion of The King’s Daughter, King of the Furies will follow multiple plot lines, telling the story of all four of my main characters from the first two books. Yes, Kassia will be back, as will Jack, Irisa, and of course, Casmir. And this is why I needed to switch from first-person story-telling to third-person. We’ll need to see a lot of different things happening in a lot of different places all at once. But enough technical details… you don’t want a writing lesson. Suffice it to say that this book will be more complicated than the first two, and it will take a lot of time and effort to piece it all together. There will be new lands to explore, scary things will happen, and hard things; some of the characters will make bad decisions, and likely you’ll get really mad at them … but that’s only real life, right? And it’s the imperfect characters which are the most interesting and fun to write about.
The good news is that the first draft is half written. Yay! And that’s all I’m going to say for now.
If you haven’t done so, go read The King’s Daughter. And tell your friends.