2008 is here. Finally.
I say that, because the release of my first novel Beyond the Summerland in 2004, the knowledge that my publisher wanted to release the 4 additional books in that series at a pace of one a year, and a little basic math told me that 2008 would be the year that the last book in the series, All My Holy Mountain would be published. So, it feels like I’ve been waiting a long time for this.
Really, the waiting goes back to the 2000-2001 school year, when the “world-building” and “story-building” for The Binding of the Blade began in earnest. As soon as the story in full had been conceived, I couldn’t wait to get to the ending. At first, that took the form of waiting to write the ending, and that was hard enough. I didn’t get to write the last book until the 2005-2006 school year, and that was a truly rewarding experience. After so many years, so many words and hours, so many adventures on so many pages, to finally conclude what I had years before begun was very fulfilling. It felt every bit as good to get there as I’d hoped it would, and I discovered that despite the fact that the story was no longer new to me, I still really liked it and the way it ended.
Even so, I still had 2 years to wait until the book would be published. That’s right, I was finished writing All My Holy Mountain in the spring of 2006, about the time Shadow in the Deep was released, and I knew it would be two years until I held All My Holy Mountain in my hands.
Well, I’m still waiting for that. I haven’t even seen the cover art yet. But it is 2008, and barring some kind of unforeseen disaster, I will hold All My Holy Mountain in my hands soon. To me, that is very exciting, and here are a few reasons why.
First, for an unpublished author, a five volume series is a pretty significant undertaking. Actually completing it and then seeing it come to pass and having the books on your shelf is a milestone worth celebrating.
Second, when the first book was published in 2004, I had already conceived the whole story and written 3 of the 5 books, which means, I got all kinds of questions, criticisms and other feedback about a small fraction of the story, and I constantly had to bite my tongue so as to not give things away that needed to wait for later. For almost 4 years now, I’ve been waiting for the day that readers could see the whole story. Even with the whole story in view, though, not all will like it, and I understand that. Still, at least people will have a chance to reach their conclusions on the question of whether not the series is a good one based on the whole and not just a part, and that’s exciting to me.
Third, and last, I’m convinced that All My Holy Mountain is a great ending to the story. (I guess all writer’s think they have great endings to their stories, so I’m probably predictable here…) I really do believe it is the best book of the series, and more, that it will elevate the experience of the other books to a higher plane. Maybe for some it will only make a disappointing series less so, but perhaps for others it will make an average series good or even a good series great. Whatever the case, I am fairly confident that for most it will be a seen as a strong conclusion. So, I ‘m excited.
2008 is finally here, and soon, All My Holy Mountain will finally be here too. If you’ve been reading the series, I hope you like it. If you haven’t, you still have a few months to get caught up.
In my next post, I’ll address a fairly common question that comes up when people find out that I finished writing All My Holy Mountain in 2006, namely, the “what have you been up to since?” question. But that’s a topic for another time.