It took several hours, more than a few tears, and me ultimately questioning my sanity, but I wrote the last two chapters of Book 5 -- WAIT FOR DUSK -- on Friday. Yes, the book has a name and a cover. I'm glad to finally be able to announce that the book is done. During the next several days, I'm going to give WAIT FOR DUSK a thorough read, tweaking paragraphs and adding more details that I left out the first time. The book is on the short side, coming in at 98,000 words when most of my books run around 110,000 words or more. However, I'm not concerned considering that all my books have gotten longer in the revision stage. My editor always finds subplots that need to be developed a little further or a character that needs a little more fleshing out.
The book ended pretty much as I always imagined it would. However, it was the two chapters prior to the last chapter that surprised me. I had one character survive when I thought he/she wouldn't and I had another character die when I thought he/she wouldn't. The death broke both my heart and Mira's. It wasn't something I was planning and I honestly tried to find a viable way around it. Unfortunately, it made the most sense for the book and by the rules of my world, so I followed unwillingly behind the story. It was the first time I cried while writing a book, which makes typing and concentrating very difficult. This will be the first book I send to my editor with a note asking for help to save this character. But I just don't think it's going to happen.
I never expected that letting go of a fictional character would be so difficult. I had plans for this character to appear in short stories and possibly his/her own book, but now all of that has been pushed aside. But aside from writing, this character was a friend and he/she will be sorely missed.
Meanwhile, I was disturbed by the closing scene as it turned out to be one of the most graphically violent scenes I have ever written. Of course, Mira was a more than a little pissed at the time, so I can understand why she just kind of let loose on her enemy.
On a lighter, saner note, I am taking at least a week off from writing. Well, I'm going to try to. My sixth book isn't due until May, so I've got time to take a break. In the next few months, I will have to complete the revisions of WAIT FOR DUSK, along with copyedits and galley edits. In addition, I have the copyedits and galley edits for PRAY FOR DAWN as well. Our hope is that we will be able to release PRAY FOR DAWN and WAIT FOR DUSK back-to-back next summer. (Fingers crossed)
During my week off from writing, I plan to read. I've already had one person ask what is in my to-be-read pile. I thought about listing the books, but I figured that it would just be easier to post a picture. Now, this isn't eveything that belongs in my to-be-read pile, but these are just some of the highlights. There are many many more books that belong here. The pile is limited to urban fantasy, paranormal fantasy, traditional fantasy, and science fiction. At the moment, I am reading Christine Feehan's Dark Slayer. Next up is either Simon Green's Unnatural Inquirer or Sean Williams' Star Wars Force Unleashed. After that, I don't know what I will be getting into.
I am hoping to complete at least five books before I get back into working. And even then, I hope to continue reading until I start work in Book 6. For two months, I am planning to work on a Super Secret Special Project. It's not urban fantasy, not in the Dark Days world, and not like anything anyone has ever seen from me. It's not under contract and I don't know when I will finish it. However, I think two months is enough time to finish a rough draft.
After all that, I think I will be refreshed enough to get happily back into the Dark Days world.