For the Fall 2013 children's announcements issue, we spoke with nine writers whose trilogies are drawing to a close this fall. They shared what it takes to keep dozens of characters and thousands of pages straight--and how it feels when it's all over.
At what point did you know this was a trilogy?
The three titles of the series form a sentence that is also a synopsis: All these things I’ve done/because it is my blood/in the age of love and chocolate. Hitting the period was a decent clue that it would be a trilogy. My series is more character-based than plot-based and, the truth is, I wasn’t completely certain it was a trilogy until I wrote the last sentence of the third book.
Any special method for keeping details straight?
I use Scrivener, Evernote, the odd Moleskine notebook, and yes, my brain. I could definitely be into a system of colored dots.
Any favorite scene or character you had to leave on the cutting room floor?
I can’t tell you because it would be too scandalous. It’s a scene that dare not speak its name.
Any tricky corners you had to write your way out of?
The third book was in copyediting when I began to have a recurring fantasy that I might run into my main character and that she was angry at me. Frankly, she had good reason to be angry at me, as I’d done some pretty terrible things to her. I called my editor, Janine O’Malley, and maybe I cried a bit, and she gave me her blessing to write the book again from scratch. And now, Anya isn’t mad at me anymore.
How does it feel to have finished?
It feels somewhere between graduation and my grandmother’s funeral. Bittersweet, I guess, and a little surreal. In the past three years, I’ve spent as much or more time with these characters than with any actual human being.