Wrath is the final book in John Gwynne's epic fantasy series, following Malice, Valour and Ruin. To celebrate its publication, John visited the blog to tell us how he feels about the Faithful and Fallen series coming to an end.
So, this is the end...
With the publication of Wrath, the Faithful and the Fallen has reached its end. It’s been a long time coming, as I began working on Malice, the first book of the series, back in 2002. Fifteen years of mine and my family’s life has been entwined with the Banished Lands, and it has been a wonderful whirlwind of a journey.
It’s a strange feeling, finally coming to the end of the series. Fantastic in so many ways, to be writing scenes that I have been imagining for years, to see the resolutions of my characters’ journeys and their various story arcs, and, of course, to finally have a go at writing that classic fantasy element, THE EPIC BATTLE. But as well as that feeling of elation, that exhaled breath as all the events that have been building over the course of four books finally comes to a head, there is another feeling going on in the background. An element of sadness. The best way I can describe my emotions upon finishing Wrath is bittersweet. Because there is a sadness involved, of saying goodbye to characters that have lived in my head for fifteen plus years and, possibly, become a little too real to me.
But this publishing business is not made for a quick, clear cut goodbye, which is probably a good thing. It’s a long, lingering separation, divided into three acts.
First comes the moment you finish the first draft. That’s a big moment, a huge milestone, when you type the last words and breathe out that long breath. It is finished.
But that isn’t the end. After that comes the editorial process. During this - the structural edit and copy-edit – I got to revisit the last days of Corban’s journey, and while I was of course focused on the task in hand, which is generally defined as listening to your editors as they polish your first draft and save you from countless grammatical humiliations, it was still a great feeling to revisit the final pages of the series. Next comes cover-art discussions (such awesome fun, I LOVE the cover-art discussions), then there are the dedications and acknowledgments to write, page-proof read-overs, and then, finally, all of the behind the scenes work is done, and again I felt that the book was finally finished.
But still, it isn’t quite done, because it hasn’t tottered out into the Wild, yet. Now comes the waiting for publication day.
And then you see it, all of those years of imagining, of writing, editing, talking, thinking, hoping, all finally over as the hardback appears at my door and publication day arrives.
And even now, the end isn’t quite here, yet, as there is one more degree of separation to go.
Paperback publishing day.
This one is it, the final, absolute end, when Wrath is out there in its complete form. So, the 4th May is finally the end of the journey as the paperback is published in the UK.
It is bittersweet to be saying goodbye, to be letting go, and watching my creation make its own way into the big, wide world. But it is also wonderful to see Wrath in the flesh; a real, solid book with a cover and everything, and it’s an incredibly thrilling feeling to see it on the shelf of a bookshop. It’s been a fantastic journey, both for myself and my family, and we would like to say thank you, to so many people. To John Jarrold, my agent, Julie Crisp and Bella Pagan, my editors, Jessica Cuthbert-Smith, my copy editor, and the talented team at Tor UK. And of course, to my readers, those people who have bought and read Corban’s tale. So, from the Gwynne’s, a huge, heart-felt thank-you to you all. You’ve made a dream come true.