I've written or cowritten five books (Worldwired, One-Eyed Jack, A Companion to Wolves, Whiskey & Water, and Carnival) since I finished the first draft of this damned thing. When I was writing it--especially the last third--it was an exercise in prying the motherfucker out of my brain any goddamned way I could, because it was huge and it was stuck and it hurt coming out. It was the most ambitious thing I'd ever written. It still may be, although Whiskey & Water--excuse me, Whiskey AND Water--comes in a hard contender too.
And the thing is, looking at it now, I like this book. I mean, I really like it. I'm enjoying reading it as I'm working on it, and I'm enjoying the characters and their banter and even their rampant PTSD. (It will surprise nobody that most of my characters exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress sooner or later. Some walk in with it.)
And the thing is, I know it's going to be a monster to market this thing, because even cut in two, the first part is 150K and the second part is 105K, and no, it can't be cut into more evenly sized chunks because it's in a five-act structure rather than a three-act structure, and no, neither half is a complete arc (though there is a kind of brutal low point, paradigm shift, and pause in the action at the end of Act III, as it appropriate for the intermission).
But it keeps making me smile and want to hug it, because it's so pretty. And so uncompromising, and it takes risks that make me wince when I read them, because I can already read the hate mail.
But it doesn't matter. I do love this book. And I haven't loved any of the books I've written since with quite the same passion, because I was working too hard, and there was some huge internalization of a skill jump going on, and I was clawing my eyes out to keep up with what the demon was driving me to, or something.
I love this book. And it's maybe not all that commercial (See above, VAST WINGSPAN, not easily divisible into two complete arcs--if this sells as two books, it will be, very obviously, one book cut in half, and there's no chance of making either half stand alone) but man, I really think it's good.
And besides, it's fun! I remember fun! I remember what fun books were like!
How can you not adore a book that has bits like this:
"T'was thee thyself that said thou would'st liefer lose thy life than thy liberty of speech."I need to do this fun thing more often, I think.
"Aye," he answered, standing. These are not people. Lest you ever forget. The Fae are not people. And who am to judge someone who has done what he has done because he did it? "I do recall saying it. And I do recall dying for it too. Good day to you."