And we’re done! I finished the first book of my new series earlier this week.
One thing that I’ve always found a little amusing about my writing is the way in which I just barely hit deadlines. It didn’t happen every time with the Alex Verus series, but I did finish several of the books the exact day before my contract said that I was due to send them in, to the point where I started thinking that it probably wasn’t a coincidence. In the case of this book, the personal deadline I set for myself was “end of January”, and I finished the last sentence of the last chapter at 11:53pm on January 31st. I think I have some weird mental thing where my mind subconsciously calculates how much time I’ll need and spends every bit of its “budget”.
Writing this book has been a very strange feeling. I wrote the first draft of the Alex Verus book, Fated, in 2008. Since then, my writing career has involved the Alex Verus series and nothing else, meaning that this is the first time in 13 to 14 years (depending how you count it) that I’ve written a novel that wasn’t an Alex Verus one. I did actually wonder while I was getting ready to start whether I’d even be able to do it at all (I was worried that I might have gotten so used to writing a divination mage that I’d forgotten how to write any other way), but as it turned out, it went just fine – putting myself into the shoes of a different protagonist felt very natural.
This book’s definitely been harder work than usual, though. I wrote about my decision to start a new series a few months ago, and one of the points from there that I’ve been reminded of a lot is that a new series means starting from scratch. When you’re a few books into a series, you have a lot of background, setting detail, and (most of all) characters that you can draw on. For a new series, you have to make up EVERYTHING – it’s been a long time since I’ve done this, and the last few months have reminded me of just how much work it is. Still, it’s done now!
The next stage is going to be dealing with my publishers – unlike the Alex Verus books, this novel is un-contracted for, and in publication limbo. I think I should have something agreed reasonably soon, though. As soon as I have a publication date, I’ll let you guys know.