Now, at the end of my first publishing journey, I look back at all that's past. Part of me feels unbelievably weary, and it's not physical weariness as such... more a kind of profound mental weariness, as if you've exercised your intellect enough for three years instead of one. It was, after all, four books released within the space of four months. I thought it wouldn't be too much trouble, because I had written each of the books. How wrong I was! I didn't take into account the author's greatest inspiration in times of creative stagnation: last minute panic. Realising that my books were releasing, I went into a tailspin. I was terrified... of what, I'm not quite sure. I met each of my deadlines... and called back three of my books after that, so that I could do vast edits on each of them again. I just couldn't stop. There were major things wrong with the books, to be honest. I look at them now and think that it's unlikely I would have as keen a readership if I hadn't greatly improved at least book two. And I'm certain anyone who made it through to book four would be feeling pretty mutinous by the end of the trip. The issue was, frankly, this: my main character was a turd. I hadn't done the hard yards of developing him. To add tension and excitement to scenes in which he appeared, I made him perpetually sullen and pathetic for no reason. Things happened to him while he himself failed to "happen". That is largely fixed now. Rafen has his moods for a reason. And that's it. And as you go through the series, he matures and changes. Thank God I had a chance to fix this.
But what an effort.
After my own frenzied revisions, I had revisions to go through with my editor. Each time she sent me a book, I actually added in more changes than she had. I went overboard. The books couldn't be any less than perfect.
I've worn that side of myself out. I know the books aren't perfect. But it was time for them to come out. God made that much clear to me. I hope that He'll use them even in their imperfect state.
Book four was the one that I thought would kill me. Rafen drove me nuts. He was the most stupid git a girl could have for a main character. It was trash, and I was lucky to have people close to me who weren't afraid to say so. I'm aware this isn't the best advertising. Suffice it to say, the book is no longer in that state. The revisions I did on it were so drastic, it almost reads as a different novel altogether. Rafen grew with the challenges he faced, rather than diminished. When the time for the final edit with my editor came, we were running three months late. Less than two months out from The Fourth Runi's release (today!), I simply could not get through the dang thing. I tried and tried. The end seemed further and further away. It was a long book and a very narrow time frame.
I prayed and prayed. And here we are. That's why today is a miracle. I thought I wouldn't survive The Fourth Runi. It's good for me that I'm having a break from deadlines after this. Even while I hanker for another potential writing deal, I will wait on the Lord. Clearly, He knows what's best for my mental health... and that of my family.
Ah, it is good to be published. It is good to be the author of multiple books. At last, some crazy, thirsty side of myself has been satisfied. I feel like I am where I was meant to be at long last. I look back at the six year old that wrote about Rafen first. I look ahead to now, where our names share the front cover of book one of The Fledgling Account. Besides my conversion, this has been the wildest and most rewarding journey of my life. And it's because of my conversion that it happened.
I'm going to leave you with a brief synopsis of The Fourth Runi, which is just as eye-wallopingly busy as its predecessors.
Rafen clasped the hem of his shirt, thinking desperately. He could get out of this if he got rid of the phoenix feather. If he lost it, burnt it, gave it away…
At last, Rafen learns what his phoenix feather means. Facing impossible tasks – and the growing power of the demonic force Nazt – he gives into his desires for Etana and his own ambitions. Meanwhile, the Lashki plans to feed him to Nazt. Rafen's new vulnerability to the spirit world is getting the better of him. In the Ravine where the Lashki killed and resurrected himself, Rafen will be tested like he has never been tested before. Will he live up to his greatest title yet? Or will the responsibility destroy him?
The Fourth Runi - the fourth book in The Fledgling Account series. Available as an ebook through Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords.
Paperback to come within a week.