There’s a guest post and giveaway up at Paranormal Haven! It’s all about how authors are dirty thieves (okay, so it’s really more of a where-do-you-get-your-ideas post) but there’s also a giveaway! You get a chance to win any one of the Iron Seas books, including The Kraken King! Stephanie also posted her review of Parts VII & VIII today.
And yesterday, I posted this question on Facebook:
Do you feel that the Iron Seas series is leading somewhere? Because I don’t have a series plot planned out at all; I just write whatever I feel like, and sometimes I pull in threads and characters from previous books, but I don’t have an overall goal beyond telling a fun story with each book (and hoping that I get to characters that we all want to read about, like the Blacksmith, Scarsdale, etc).
But I read something recently that makes me wonder whether readers are expecting a big lead-up (as in the Guardian series) to some big event.
Are you? (It’s fine if you are — I am mostly just wondering if I’m going to end up disappointing anyone if I don’t do … a THING. But I’m not sure exactly what that thing is for many readers.)
I worried that I’m inadvertently building up to some big showdown (like Michael vs. Lucifer). And I received a ton of great comments on both my personal page and on the fan page. I think the overall response was: Readers expect me to draw in threads and develop the world and its history, so that the setting feels like it’s living rather than static, but they don’t necessarily expect a big series-ending battle … and I’m glad, because I really, really don’t have a destination for this series in mind! Mostly I just go wherever I think will be the most interesting place to go next. Sometimes that will draw in details that I’ve mentioned in other books, and sometimes I’ll use familiar characters, but there might be other stories (like RIVETED) that stand almost completely apart aside from a few nods to the other books.
But it’s not totally random, either! So here are a few things that I think about a lot and would like to develop more in this series before I die:
- To learn more about the Blacksmith (this is coming!)
- To explore the guilds in London (started in THE IRON DUKE/THE BLUSHING BOUNDER)
- To see what’s happening in Castile now that a revolution has been stirred up (started in RIVETED)
- To set a story in Tenochtitlan (a city on a lake! and this is steampunk! lake = water = steam = OMG!)
- To visit the Americas a little more, especially the lands beyond the European-settled east.
- To set a story in the Ivory Market! <– I love these mashed-up, lawless cities seething with criminals.
- To revisit the smugglers’ dens and see how I can shake up the den lords.
- There are tons of universities in the Far Maghreb! Inventors! Craziness!
- Scarsdale. Mara & Cooper. Taka. <– I didn’t start out intending to write stories about them, but they are characters that I keep thinking about and really want to give them their own stories now.
- Will the Khagan ever fall? Will Temur Agha and Nasrin ever lead an army into the royal city?
- To visit the mines in Appalachia, where so many people have been enslaved.
- Scotland is cut off from the rest of Britain by a wall and I’ve never told that story!
- A billion other things that will pop into my brain as I’m writing.
So this is all a very long way to say that sometimes the events in the books will be grand and epic and influence enormous numbers of people, and sometimes I’ll focus on a smaller part of the world, but I’m definitely not leading up to any one event.
Which is not to say that some big events won’t happen, either! Maybe I will tackle the fall of the Khagan, for example. I would just want to make sure that it’s done in a way that is still fun, and still a surprise. But the Blacksmith’s book won’t necessarily lead into THAT book, or any other book in the series, any more than RIVETED led into THE KRAKEN KING. The world is evolving … just not on a straight line. 🙂