Today marks the 5th day in a row I've worked on The Maiden's Match. I've written almost 6,000 words on a novel that shouldn't be, on the final chapter of the Legends & Lovers series. I'm keeping the blog to document the journey that will take me to the end of the series, mostly because I want to remember these moments. There are so many good ones I've forgotten during the entire writing process.
Some background on the L&L series for those of you not familiar with the works. It started in 2009, after a 5-year drought of words. Long story short, I started writing again with a historical romance set in Australia. I had such a good time researching a country I've never been to, and so enthralled in their legends, I decided to write a steampunk romance based around the Rainbow Serpent.
It took a little over a week to write out a 28,000 word novella. That novella eventually took on the title, The Treasure Hunter's Lady. It was followed in late 2010 by a novel called The Sky Pirate's Wife, which taunted The Turncoat's Temptress into life. Which spurred me on to The Siren's Sentinel.
Setting changes abound, electromagnetic weapons, airships, airship wrecks, explosions, all sorts of nasty creatures, a secret underground organization that prevents the destruction of the world as we know it, and four heroes and four heroines later, we come to the beginning of the end.
In addition to feature steampunk gadgetry, I dug into the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet in order to bring the supernatural into play. The first three books have American Indian legends behind them. I shifted gears (no pun intended) to Celtic and Norse lore in the fourth book and right now at the pantsing stages of the fifth I have Scottish, Norse, and some Spanish myth in mind.
Some of the characters from the books are recurring. Basil Tinwhistle, from book three (coming to an e-reader near you in April), is a prominent character. The only book he hasn't squeezed into was the first. But the most common character is a Native American woman named Hummingbird (or sometimes called Aunt Renee). I intended the 5th book to be about her and how she got tangled into this mess in the first place. My pantsing brain has other plans. She'll still figure in and we'll still learn her true purpose. Never fear.
My progress has been slow since starting. Five hundred words here, six hundred words there. Little by little I'm learning about my characters. The hero is a man named Roland Bonham, called Lo by his friends. I've seen the movie Gettysburg so many times over the last year because my husband cracks up at the boys from Maine ("You mean, chawge?!"), that I swear I had General Lewis Armistead's name stuck in my head and then character starts talking out of nowhere. His name is Lo and he wants a girl and a book, in short order.
Short order might be pushing it, but it certainly has a beginning, it has some research behind it, and yep, there's a girl.
Baby steps. If I have to, I'll put my head between my knees and remind myself to breath. Just because it's a series end doesn't mean it's an end-end. There are other books to write. And there are 75,000 words left in this one. It's going to be okay. It's all about putting the pieces of this puzzle in their final places. Which is really more exciting than scary.