IBARW link: nojojojo talking about the cost of anger, and addressing the idea that people are just looking for something to be angry about, like it’s some sort of hobby or something. This one stayed with me.
It was pointed out that while I’ve been freaking out over Red Hood’s Revenge, the rest of the world (I wish!) has been anxiously awaiting the release of The Mermaid’s Madness [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy], which got me thinking maybe I should actually talk about the forthcoming book a little 🙂
1. First a quick request – DAW has generously provided me a big box of Mermaid bookmarks. If you’re going to be at a convention in the next 3-4 months and wouldn’t mind dropping bookmarks on the freebies table, please let me know.
2. I posted on Facebook that my wife had read Mermaid, and after thinking about it a while, has declared it my best book yet. Any positive review makes me smile, but this one means more than most 🙂 I’m particularly pleased, since this one’s dedicated to her.
3. I added a new bit to the Goodies page for Mermaid. Check it out if you want to see the inspiration for Stub, the ship’s cat on the Phillipa (or if you just want to see pics of my three-legged cat Pod).
4. Finally, one of the turning points for this book–the whole series, actually–came as I was thinking about … well, I’ll put the rest under a cut for spoiler reasons.
…Talia and Snow*. In Stepsister Scheme, I liked the idea that Talia had fallen for Snow, but I hadn’t thought beyond the first book. As I was plotting out Mermaid, I realized “status quo” wasn’t going to work. I couldn’t simply leave Talia attracted to a woman who didn’t return her feelings. Either something needed to happen, or else Talia needed to move on. (I won’t tell you which, but I promise I will do my best to resolve this plot thread by the end of the series.)
On a more general level, I realized my characters needed to change and grow. In the beginning, I had imagined a series with infinite potential. I could write 50+ books about these characters, putting them through one adventure after another a la James Bond … except that James Bond never seems to change**.
Talia and Snow crystallized the way I write series. The characters need to grow and learn and move on. There’s nothing wrong with Bond, but it’s not what I want to write. I want Danielle to grow and struggle with her dual roles as kick-ass heroine and mother/wife. I want Talia to learn she has other options, both romantically and for her life in general. I want Snow to realized that eventually, smiling and flirting through life aren’t enough.
I do some mean things in book two (which you’ve already realized if you read the preview). Things that will have consequences throughout the rest of the series, both for our heroines and for the secondary characters in the book.
That limits how long I can continue the series, at least with these characters. Even in fantasy, I don’t believe it’s realistic to go through adventure after adventure without paying a price. Sometimes the price is emotional — Danielle’s relationship with Armand and her son. Sometimes it’s physical — injuries don’t magically go away at the end of the adventure.
I think delving into some of those consequences is what makes Mermaid a better book. At least, I hope that’s the case. I’m incredibly anxious and eager to hear whether the rest of you agree.
69 days and counting.
*I think I need a Snow/Talia icon 🙂
**Based on the movies I’ve seen. I haven’t read the books, so I can’t comment there.