ON SERIES ENDS & NEW BEGINNINGS – CHERIE PRIEST, MARK CHARAN NEWTON, WILLIAM HORWOOD & ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY

02 January 2014

By Louise Buckley

boneshaker5_1

FOUR AUTHORS GIVE US THEIR THOUGHTS ON HOW IT FEELS TO FINISH A SERIES

Unless you've been living in a fugue in a remote, underground cave in some far-off solar system you will have noticed that it is now the start of 2014.  Several of our authors finished a long-standing series in 2013 and began work on new books. Following the spirit of endings and beginnings that new year inspires, I thought I'd ask some of our authors how it felt to finish a series and start work on something new . . . 

CHERIE PRIEST, author of the Clockwork Century novels

I’ve often admitted that when I wrote Boneshaker, I had no idea whether or not there’d be any books to follow; but from the second novel onward, I had a definite idea of how I wanted the series to wrap up. So this last full-length project, Fiddlehead, is a bittersweet thing. On the one hand, I’m sorry to say goodbye to a series that quite literally changed my life, and the course of my career. But on the other, I’ve finished things off just the way I wanted, and it’s time to let it go. I’m proud of the Clockwork Century, and I’m immensely grateful for the reception it’s received, but I’m also looking forward to trying my hand at some different projects in the next few years.

winter-hb-william-horwood_3WILLIAM HORWOOD, author of the Hyddenworld quartet

A quartet of books represents a huge investment of creative energy and production over a period of years, and in the case of Hyddenworld, about six. So the first emotion on completion is relief, followed swiftly by a sense of anti-climax marked by fatigue. But the real letting go happened only when the last book in the series, Winter, was in my hands a few weeks before publication. Wow! We did it. The 'we' meaning editors, friends who supported, my partner Lesley, and me. Wow!!! And then? Unfortunately we creatives never stop so the next project is beginning to take over already with Winter barely on the shelves...

MARK CHARAN NEWTON, author of the Legends of the Red Sun series

nights-of-villjamur-pb-fc11_1After the Legends of the Red Sun books had been put to one side, I was mentally exhausted. Bringing together so many threads to create a coherent ending was not the most enjoyable experience for a writer – it had been my biggest challenge to date. That exhaustion only lasted a week or two as I was eager to get into the new series. I’m not the sentimental type when it comes to my characters and I had no problems in letting them go to move onto new ones. In fact, after four years spent in one place I couldn't wait to move on. Not only did I want to challenge myself in other ways but I wanted to apply my learning from a previous series. I think with every novel a writer can get better but that levels-up when have that added experience of completing a series under your belt.

ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY, author of the Shadows of the Apt series

[N.B. this is an edited extract of a longer article which can be found here]

war-masters-gate-fc_3War Master’s Gate (out now!) is the penultimate volume of my epic fantasy series Shadows of the Apt, with the final book, Seal of the Worm, already written and set to come out in the summer of 2014. I started off with Empire in Black and Gold, published in 2008, hit the ground running and I’ve basically been running ever since. Despite various short stories here and there, my full length fiction has been exclusively set in the world of the insect-kinden . . . 

I think fantasy is always going to be my mainstay. There are, in fact, two novels already lined up to succeed Seal of the Worm, and both are in different areas of the genre. I have a standalone, Guns of the Dawn, which is set in a sort of alternate 1800, focusing on a Jane Austen-style protagonist getting drafted into a Napoleonic/War of Independence kind of conflict. While it’s definitely fantasy, the magical side of things is subordinate to the political, the ‘band of brothers’ style military, and even to the romantic elements of the story.

Beyond that, I’m planning a new series, which I’ve started to describe as “Bronze Age Hunger Games with Shapechangers”, possibly because I’m fishing for a film deal. Again it’s fantasy, but I’m aiming for a very different feel, scale and setting to Shadows of the Apt – lower tech, more personal, and where the characters have a very different relationship with the intangible elements of their world.

*********************************************************************************************************************

So, whilst all good things come to an end, there's plenty to be excited about with these authors! Happy New Year, everyone!