14 January, 2010

For Benjamin (and the fans)

Hey Benjamin! {{huggs}} The thing is, writing doesn't *have* to be painful for me, it's just the Dubric books have so much other STUFF wrapped up in them that no one knows about - especially a lot of anger and pain from my relationship with my dad - that it's hard to separate myself from them while doing the actual work. Then combine all that personal angsty crap with my well-established phobias... it's just not fun. I'm very proud of all three books and I wouldn't change any of what I've written. Well, I would change a single word in Ghosts, but that's a topic for another post on another day.

I don't want any of the fans to feel bad for me or guilty that they've enjoyed reading what I found to be mostly awful, or anything like that. In the end, they're just books. Stories. And any problems with them come strictly from my end, and they're my problem, one I'm trying to fix. All of you wonderful folks who've loved the books have been GREAT! It's me who hasn't, and I'm trying to get better.

I AM working on another Dubric book. It's called Stain of Corruption. It's about half done, and, someday, I will finish and I will give it freely to all those folks who've encouraged me and loved the published books. In Stain, Dubric and his men struggle to save Jess from assassins while also tracking a local arsonist who, apparently, has a personal vendetta against the team.

Anyway, it's kinda fun in its own twisted, convoluted way and I really like how all the apparently unconnected aspects really do entangle and reflect upon one another. I like how Lars's desperation to save Jess leads him to do some *very* unconventional things, and how Dubric's facing many of the same choices and fears Lars and Gilby stare at every single day. I like how Aswin finally arrives in a book, how there's a woman leading the temple now that Friar Bonne's gone, and how some returning members of the cast are a lot more than what they've ever appeared to be. I am especially enjoying Gilby as a POV character. He's just awesome to write through. He notices so many things that the regulars miss, and is oblivious to things they focus right in on, and his observations (and assumptions) are so unique compared to everyone else. Serian's been a blast to write too, he's like a younger, ornerier, less pissed-off Dien. So, it's a fun story, but it's brutal too. Some long-time cast members die, many others are maimed/charred, and nothing will ever be the same for anyone in the books once Lars decides on a plan of action, assuming he can convince the rest of the team to follow him on that dark path.

In my own convoluted way, I'm sending the stories back toward the epic I originally envisioned. The war Dubric speaks of has always, for me, been in the past. In the original concept for the books, the focus was on the Romlin family - at first as seen by Nella via Ghosts in the Snow - then shifting to Aswin who'd become the main series character as he roots out and destroys the last remaining demons (not mages) that are determined to wipe out the Royals and retake control of the world. Some things didn't get changed when Ghosts' sold - like Lars's family heritage - but a lot of things did. Originally Nella was a magic buffer, it simply didn't work around her AT. ALL. Aswin used her, often too much and too long, to cancel out his own talent/curse. In fact, most of the Royals, especially the first in their generation/siblings, had talent/curses, that both helped and hindered them - much like Dubric and his Ghosts. But, anyway, my original concept was that demons were hunting the Royals, Aswin took the lead in stopping them, and the books were parts of one long story that crossed much of the continent and even went to a completely different part of the planet and sent the whole world into a second Demon War. Aswin's story is a story of change, of revolution, of desperation and hope.

The Dubric books, however, were edited to become connected-yet-standalone forensic fantasy mysteries, which is fine, but that wasn't what I had in mind when I started. There's a lot of my internal struggle apparent in the books - almost any reference to off-book characters (like Aswin, Tunkek, Kyl, Heather, Albin, Glaric, etc) is a nod to my original plan and I had hoped that, somehow, Dubric's contained mysteries could reflect the bigger happenings in the world, but it became harder and harder to get anything outside of Faldorrah included. It's not like they have CNN or the internet to keep them up to date on politics, upheavals, and gossip. ;)

But I am still working on them, just really, really slowly. When Stain is done, I'll just give it away. :) That should make everyone happy, including me.



Anonymous said...

Will there be sex? That's usually good in a book. LOL

Tammy Jones said...

Sex? Are you kidding? I have horny teenagers in this book! ;)

Tim said...

Tam-my-era-bo, I'm sad that these books have been so hard for you to write, because I have to tell you they are a total joy to read. They are unique and so well constructed, deep, intriguing page-turners. (Sorry, I know {from some of your other posts} you would prefer I say they are poopy and gross and awful...just can't!)

I read a lot--and quite a bit of it is...let's be nice and say "not that good" because I write reviews for Kirkus, PW, and a couple other journals. I don't always get to pick what I read. Sometimes that's bad...but just as often it's good & I find new authors I never would have encountered in my life as a librarian. (Where, as you would expect, I encounter quite a few books and authors).

All this to say, that if you ever do make "Stain of Corruption" available either by blogging it here or Lulu (I love them, I did my book through them) please add me to the list of people you clue in. If you put it out through traditional means, I'll be right there too.

And if you ever need a completely honest and well informed fan letter to pep you up for any reason, contact me. {Should it really make you happy, I can write you a negative (and less honest)review too--I have lots of experience...just ask me about James Patterson, it's a great couple stories}