Sunday, July 08, 2007
The author answers 
Patty had a second question: Is there ever a chance you'll like your second and third books better than the first? It seems to me there is such exhilaration at finishing the first, it has to stay your favourite for a long time ;-)
With me at least, it is a little hard to answer this because of the muddle of my books.
I finished my first book aged twelve, so I really can't remember how I felt! I wrote a few others that I never tried to market after that. And then I finally got serious.
I wrote The Aware and had it accepted by an agent (who is still my agent), who then started showing it around in UK and USA. So the exhilaration of that was fantastic. But then it became more like a roller coaster ride, with lots of sinking feelings in between the highs as editors refused after initial nibbling...
The Aware at this stage was being offered as the first book in a series, rather than Book 1 of a trilogy.
I wrote The Heart of the Mirage in the meantime. Why? Because it seemed to be a bit silly to do another book in the Isles of Glory world if I couldn't get the first published. Once again Heart of the Mirage was offered as a first book in a series in UK and USA. Again, a roller coaster ride. It came very, very, very close several times, but something always went wrong.
Meanwhile I was off writing Havenstar. It was taken up almost immediately as a launch book for a new imprint in the UK. The day I heard that was just two days after my mother died. So as you can imagine, my feelings were really mixed. I couldn't help wondering why it hadn't happened just a few days earlier so I could have told her. Then just as sales were taking off into the stratosphere, the imprint failed. So my emotions about my first published book became even more mixed...
I wrote another book which my agent didn't like and has never been offered anywhere. In the end I pilfered it heavily for another book, so it never will be published.
Then I started writing Drouthlord. I never finished it because in the meantime The Aware was sold and I had to sit down and write Gilfeather and The Tainted as books 2 & 3.
Heart of the Mirage was then sold, and I had to write The Shadow of Tyr and Song of the Shiver Barrens.
Now I am back working on Drouthlord. In the end, it all became so muddled that I don't think I have a soft spot for any book based on the particular thrill I got out of it...
Now my focus and passion is always fixed on the one I am writing. It becomes my favourite by default. I'd be interested to know, though, what other authors feel about their own works.