So, here it is–my trilogy–wrapped up with a bow on it.
These epic historical novels of adventure and romance bring to life the exotic world of the ancient Greek Isle of Crete, and I’ve been working on the series for many years. They just got a comprehensive update and a new bit of polish.
I thought these books were finished in 2015 when I completed Book Three, Talia’s story, which started out with some special help from my muse, as described in a 2015 blog post. (Note: If you read that 2015 post and see that Talia’s story was labeled as “fourth in the series,” please note there’s been some juggling and additional stories, so we plan to present Talia’s as the third now. The one that was third will be part of a second trilogy.)
Anyway, after thinking these three were done, my agent sent me back for changes in Book One, Helaina’s story, the foundational book in the entire project. I talked about that in my last blog post, The Rewrite.
The beauty of writing a trilogy or series is that you set up your scenario–which in an ancient historical novel means creating a world–and you carry that into the next books. That world becomes familiar and real. I know these characters who walked the earth more than 3,000 years ago. I know the places they walked. I know their children, who grow up and carry their society forward, meeting the challenges of their day. The stories are fictional but the people and places are as true to life as I can make them, based on the archeology and other clues left behind.
The down side of writing a trilogy or series is that you have to maintain consistency. This can be difficult enough in a large novel. Were her eyes green or blue? Did the ships have oars or just sails? Was the bridge north of town? Or south? What was his father’s name? When you have multiple stories, that consistency has to be maintained through a lot of pages.
Ah! Thank goodness for the search feature.
I was particularly aware of this need for consistency when I did dramatic, substantive changes to Book One in the big rewrite. Some of those changes trickled down into the other two books. So each of these had to be rewritten, if not perhaps as thoroughly. And they had to be read carefully because sometimes the effect of changes can be subtle.
This latest rewriting project has kept me busy for long days since the big rewrite of Book One, which got underway shortly after Christmas. Kudos to my beta reader Carisa Cegavske for her insightful feedback on all three.
Now it’s a pleasure to see them done–hopefully done, unless my agent recommends more changes. I am so glad she nudged me to the rewriting, because they all feel so much stronger. It’s all part of the process. Write. Rewrite. Feedback. Rewrite again. More feedback. And one more time. And again…