For the Fall 2013 children's announcements issue, we spoke with nine writerswhose trilogies are drawing to a close this fall. They shared what it takesto keep dozens of characters and thousands of pages straight--and how itfeels when it's all over.
At what point did you know this was a trilogy?
Ah, that ultimate prize, that apex of achievement known as the multi-book contract! I wanted one desperately, and I left a few plot points open-ended in the first novel, hoping beyond hope that a publisher would want more than one book. So, I knew it was a trilogy when Greenwillow asked, “Is this a trilogy?” and I said, “Why, yes! As a matter of fact, it is!”
How much space does the stuff you collected to complete the series take up?
I just measured it, because I’m a nerd. Two cubic feet of space, approximately. I’ll shred most of it—I have a zero-tolerance policy for clutter—but I’m saving the page where my editor was so frustrated she used my full name to call me out, much like my mother would have. I laugh every time I see it.
Did anything develop plot-wise that completely surprised you?
I did have a smacked-in-the-face moment with an important secondary character. I was midway through book two when I realized that allowing him to overcome an act of betrayal might add a lovely thematic reflection of some of the trilogy’s overarching issues. So, a character I intended to drop after book one ended up becoming pivotal in books two and three.
Any tricky corners you had to write your way out of?
Yes. One. I think I wrote my way out of it. Just in case, though, I’m not pointing it out!
How does it feel to have finished?
I dreamed about this as a kid, that I would write—and people would read—a whole series of books. I feel accomplished, giddy, and tired. Mostly, though, I feel thankful. A trilogy is a huge investment on the part of author, publisher, and reader, and I’m grateful that so many people were willing to invest along with me.Click here to read the other interviews.