With Journey by Night in bookstores this month, I’m starting to get emails and posts from readers who have already finished the book. They’re sending a lot of support and enthusiasm, which is wonderful. They’re also all asking the same question, each and every one. It comes phrased in a few different ways but all are saying, ‘It’s not the end, is it?’
The answer is yes and no. Journey by Night is the last book I’ll write in the worlds of Earth and Gaela, at least for the next five years. I have two new series planed: The first one is well under way and the second I’ll write straight after. Both are envisioned as trilogies and set in very different worlds/premises. However, Journey by Night is not the whole story and it looks like the ‘missing chapters’ will be released soon. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me!
What missing chapters? A year ago, when I first submitted book #3 in the Quantum Encryption series, the manuscript was over the word count. I knew there were sections that needed shortening but I hadn’t thought it would be the first six chapters. They were the bedrock of the story, to me, the life and times of Kreshkali and Nell growing up in the underground. The deleted chapters take place on Earth and answer questions about the origins of these two powerful witches—their intentions and what drives them. I felt more than a little attached.
But I also trust my publisher completely and was open to her idea. She wanted me to try starting with chapter seven—one of the most intense and dark scenes in the book—and feather in important elements from the early chapters as memory. It took me a few days to get my head around the rewrite but once I did, I went to work and a month later I resubmitted the MS. Bingo. My publisher was happy and my editor (who never saw the original version) was thrilled.
Meanwhile, those first six chapters sat in a bottom drawer and that didn’t feel right. I find it hard enough to leave a series and say goodbye to characters I’ve been ‘with’ for the past six or seven year but to know those early chapters would never be read hit hard. In the back of my mind I pondered ways this part of the story could be told. Fortunately, my publisher was pondering as well. After tossing around a few ideas, we came up with a great plan.
‘Kreshkali and Nell – the early years’(under a much better title) is going to be turned into an ebook with plans for an audio download as well. Both will be either free or at the most the price of a lollipop. So for those who have devoured the series and are mourning its end, there is a thirty-some-thousand word novella on the way!
If anyone has a brilliant idea for a title, please feel free to comment. The elements in this story are 24th century post-apocalyptic earth where the only currency is drinking water. Two girls grow up in the underground, learn magic in secret and stay alive any way they can. I wanted to call it ‘Childhood’s End’ but we know Arthur C. Clarke grabbed that one years ago. Suggestions welcome. Thanks!