I have a long overdue update about Alonca's Quest, so those who have been wondering about it should read on. If you don't really care about my books, and only read the blog because you enjoy reading posts about my family, well, what's wrong with you?
I have good news, but bear with me as I lay it out for you in a less than abrupt manner.
Kergulen is kind of like an overly long prequel to the main story. More than anything it's Rima's origin story. The main story is Rima and her friends saving their world from invaders both Haran and other. Originally I had intended to have the entire Haran conflict in one book, but it became clear that I would have to rush through the story to make that happen in fewer than a thousand pages and ten years. So, following the advice of my good friend and book consultant, Winter, I ended Kings of the Red Shell where I did and continued to work on book three, now titled Alonca's Quest. AQ, as I generally refer to it, was supposed to finish up the story, resolve the conflict with the Harans and their allies, and lead us into a completely different arc of stories about Rima and her friends.
But once again, the story is too big. There are too many foes, too many challenges, and too many characters to fit in one reasonably sized book. To do it well, AQ would be far longer than Kergulen, which most of you know is a very long book. Also, AQ as it currently sits is broken into two sub quests, anyway. I feel it demanding that I go back to flesh out other characters and enhance subplots. I wish I had done this with Kergulen, (it could have been two or three much better books than it is) but I didn't. I was inexperienced, I didn't have a team of people giving me tough advice, and it never even occurred to me that I could break it up. Readers had to tell me that.
I can't go back and change what's done, but going forward I can learn from it and make the hard choices that will make Alonca's Quest the best book so far (and I hear that it already is shaping up that way) and make the fourth book even better. Actually, I almost can't wait for book four because I've worked a lot on it already, and it's kind of awesome. But AQ will be great too! It just won't have quite as big a climax as book four, which only makes sense since book four will conclude this part of the series.
So, as I said, good news all around. The books will be better, AQ will be coming out much sooner than it would have, and more characters will have the chance to shine. I finally feel mostly settled here in Florida, so I've been able to spend more time working on books. If you ever want to kill a hobby, move to another state. Yeesh.
In a few months I'll be looking hard for additional beta readers to help me work the kinks out of AQ. If you think you have time and would help, let me know.
Love to all,