Book three, tentatively titled The Strength to Serve, has a beginning, a middle, and an end. (And what an end, I might add). Echoes of Imara will be a four book series, so this book does not represent The End. I suppose, like the others, it is an end, and one that will hopefully leave readers ready for more.
I feel like each book I write teaches me something new. My first book, To Whatever End, showed me that I could, in fact, write a novel from start to finish. I've probably said this before, but I spent a lot of years worrying that I didn't have what it took to be an author. I'd started and abandoned so many things, and I had a real fear that I simply wasn't good enough. I blew that fear out of the water, and amazingly enough, I went and did it again.
An Altered Fate was kind of like that dreaded sophomore effort. Would it live up to the first? Did I use up my mojo? Honestly, I feel like An Altered Fate is an even better book than the first. I learned so much writing the first book, and was able to apply that to writing the second. The story grew, and the characters moved through a richer world. It was a lot of fun.
This book? If this book has taught me anything, it's don't underestimate your characters. I'm a planner - I know where a story is going from the beginning - and they still managed to surprise me. (I love it when that happens.) The scope of this story is bigger, the stakes higher, the consequences more grave.
There is still plenty of work to be done. I'm working on my first pass of revisions and I'll be honest, the beginning is a bit of a mess. But now that I know where the story goes, I know what needs to be done. It won't be long before I'll be entrusting this beast to my always-helpful beta readers and steeling myself for some constructive criticism. Like a piece of marble, I'll keep chipping away at the story, smoothing out the edges, bringing out the life inside, until it's finally ready.
Work will begin on the cover in the next week or so, and we're about a week and a half from BrickCon, where David will be unveiling his hard work on a huge Lego build from the Echoes of Imara series. It's unbelievably cool, I'm not going to lie. (Biased? Yeah, I am. It's still amazing. Trust me. You'll see.)
As always, I'm excited to share this story with the world!