Friday, 12 April 2013

Prince Thief Handed In

Wow ... so, yeah, Prince Thief is done.  Done, dusted, and handed it in to Angry Robot and my agents.  Actually, it's been handed in for over a week now, but I'm still getting to grips with that fact; it's going to be a while before my brain accepts that I can go a day without writing about Easie Damasco and not worry that I might blow my deadline.  It's hard to know just how to feel about something like finishing your first novel trilogy.

Who would steal this man?
I mean, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't relieved.  Writing two books in a year apiece around full time work has been about the toughest thing I've ever had to do and, for a variety of reasons, writing Prince Thief has been harder than writing Crown Thief.  (Just for starters, the first draft of Prince Thief was over 10000 words longer than the final draft of Crown Thief.)  It's fair to say that for the last thirteen months, I haven't done a great deal except work, write, eat and sleep - and I haven't done anything like enough of that last one.  In fact, that's basically my plan for the rest of this month.  Asides from brief consciousness breaks to do my day job, I'm going to sleep until May.  And it's going to be brilliant.

But ... I'd be equally lying if I said I wasn't going to miss Damasco.  And Saltlick and Estrada and Alvantes, not to mention the Castoval itself, a setting I've only grown fonder of as the series went on. I've spent over five years with these books, and it's weird to think of that coming to an end.  Five years ago I'd have laughed derisively at any writer daft enough to refer to their characters as if they were real people, to suggest that said characters had come to seem almost as real as their friends and family.  And in fairness, I'd have probably been right to scoff, but there it is; I'm going to miss Damasco, and it's strange to know that where I leave him at the end of Prince Thief is where we go our separate ways for good.

Is no one safe from Damasco?
Not that that's a bad thing, don't get me wrong.  Ever since I began to consider expanding Giant Thief, I thought in terms of a three book arc.  There's no doubt that Prince Thief ties up the wider story that I started all those years ago, and I'm comfortable in saying that there isn't a plot thread or character arc that doesn't get wrapped up by its conclusion.  (I'm sure someone will correct me on this eventually but hey, right at this minute I'm okay with saying it.)  Sure, there are other Tales of Damasco that could be told (and one that I'd have kind of liked to tell) but I'm looking forward to starting the next big thing, to trying something completely and absolutely different and putting all of what I've learned about writing novels into practice without the constrictions I inadvertently set myself with Giant Thief.

But that's a ways off.  In the meantime, I started my next graphic novel today, a sci-fi horror thing called C21st Gods that feels as if it's been gestating forever.  And hey, it's not like I don't still have the copy edit on Prince Thief and my own last check-through to do, at the very least.  I guess I haven't entirely said my goodbye's to that reprobate Damasco yet!

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