The third book in The Fall of Shannara quatralogy is done and put to bed. I wrote the last sentence on the 26th of March and went back to rewrite it five more times. Not because it needed to be rewritten but because it was a way to keep from letting go. It’s like this every time I finish a book. I am excited to have completed it, but I am fearful of giving it up too quickly. It’s not as if I won’t see it again. Anne will edit it thoroughly and it will come back for changes that I will undoubtedly make – mostly. Then I will see it again perhaps with a fresh edit, if fewer changes. Then again in the form of galley proofs (finished pages ready to be bound into a book) a little later on. So there are many opportunities to get things right that might have been missed earlier.
But the letting go thing is all about possession of something I have created and don’t want to see go away. I want to know it is there for a while. I want to look at it, study on parts of it, maybe do a small rewrite here and there. Because as writers, we never feel we are done. We always feel we could do more, could make it better by doing it differently, and could find new things to add that would prove to game-changers for a reader.
So as a writer you learn that when a book is done, it is done. You let it go out to find its home, and you start raising up the next one. Like kids. It’s always hard to admit you are finished, that you have done all you can for them until they start to be the ones to ask the questions. You need for them to grow on their own, to find their own way, to make their own choices. Books you have written follow a similar path on their way to being published, sold, read and perhaps loved.
And all the wishing in the world won’t ever make the book any of these things if you keep it in a drawer. Learning to let go is necessary. It is also always very hard.
This is a busy time. I am publishing four books this year – special editions of The Elfstones of Shannara and The Wishsong of Shannara in the Spring and Fall from Grim Oak Press; The Skaar Invasion, which is the second book in The Fall of Shannara cycle of four, in June; and finally, a futuristic/sci-fi book titled Street Freaks in October. Much more on this last book later, so keep your eyes on the website and Facebook where there will be extensive discussion about it on the web.
I will be touring with the Shannara book in the second half of June, launching right after the Denver Comic Con, which Judine and I will be attending. You will find my itinerary for cities and venues appearing online soon, so check it out and see if you can come out to say hello I am trying to go to some places I haven’t been in a while, and in one case have never been. The last state in the Union where I have never signed is Oklahoma. Don’t know what that is about, but I will be in Oklahoma City to try to help make up for this lapse.
Maybe I will tour with Street Freaks, but probably I will be too worn out to do anything. do hope to make New York Comic Con, but first Judine and I will be attending conventions in Belgium and Iceland the end of September and beginning of October. Look for information of both to appear on my website.
Guess that’s all on this one. More soon.