It’s been a long time coming.
I started The Deathsniffer’s Assistant — the first time — almost ten years ago. It was a germ of an idea with no outline, no endgame, and no real vision. I just wanted to write a cool mystery novel in a fantasy world, something I’d dreamed of reading since I was just a kid who loved Nancy Drew and unicorns.
It grew over time. It developed new angles, new depths. Themes about societal change and the power of hope and the importance of self-acceptance. A simple mystery story became part of a larger tale of conspiracy, betrayal, and monumental change. Characters appeared and took over, and they infected my life with their stories. I came to love them like they were real people.
Now, The Spiritbinder’s Key, the forth and final book in the Faraday Files series, has left my hands. And let me tell you, finishing the final book of a series like this feels a lot different than finishing any of the others did. I’m torn between elation — because I think the ending is good, and I think you’ll all love it — and a soft kind of sadness.
I’ve been on the other side of this a lot. I cried through the last one hundred pages of The Master of Heathcrest Hall by Galen Beckett, knowing I’d never see Ivy, Rafferdy, and Eldyn again after that last page. NK Jemisin’s The Broken Earth is my favourite series of the decade, and I still haven’t started The Stone Sky because that will be the beginning of the end. Just this week, I finished Witchmark by C.L. Polk, and I’ve laid awake, having a hard time getting to sleep, mourning the brief but incandescent time I spent in Kingston with her wonderful cast. I form strong attachments to characters, and parting with them is always hard.
But it’s very different on this side of the keyboard. From the moment I conceived of these characters, I knew how their stories would end. I knew who would live and who would die. I knew the final destinations for all their relationships. I often wish I could spend more time with the casts of my favourite books, but I have enough faith in my own writing to know that I’m leaving my own characters at the right moment.
But I will miss them. So much! I’ve been with these characters for so, so long, you guys It’s staggering to imagine them going on into their lives after the final page without me there beside them. Each of their endings are perfect. Everything came together better than I could have dreamed. I’m utterly thrilled to have been able to tell their stories.
But there’s always something bittersweet about even the best goodbyes.
I look forward to sharing everything I’ve worked toward with all of you. As soon as there’s any news about release, you’ll be the first to know!
For now, it’s time for me to start work on something new… which is pretty scary, honestly. I haven’t sat down and sketched out the borders of a new world in a dog’s age, and I’ve gotten used to playing with an established cast, a set of parametres, my readers already knowing at least some of what’s going on. It’s overwhelming… but exciting, too. The thrill of the blank page calls to me, and I’m up to the challenge of filling it.