So today, I finally finished my current project, Happily Ever After. If you want to know what it’s about, you can read the synopsis here, and read some (unedited) extracts here and here. The manuscript is just over 107,000 words and took eight months to write the first draft.
It originally started as an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone after watching the film Mama. I enjoyed the film up until the ending, which I won’t spoil. I was left wondering how the characters were going to pick up their lives after everything that had happened. Which got me thinking. There are lots of fantasy novels about epic quests and wars and good vs evil. But I can’ recall reading one that focused on what happened after. It might say “… and they all lived happily ever after” at the end, but how true was it? Could heroes put down their swords and go back to their old lives? Could the romances forged in the fires of war survive the calm waters of peace?
The idea wouldn’t die, so I thought “I’ll just write the first chapter so I can get the characters on the page, then go back to my other project.” Which was clearly foolish, as I haven’t touched Nightingale Road since. I will go back to it, I promise! But Lavie was a very easy character to get inside, and I couldn’t put her story down. It was hard to get a story out that didn’t feel too much like a sequel to a book that doesn’t exist, and I think I’ve got quite a bit of work to do on the pacing. The first hurdle (completing the book) is done, though, and things can only get better from here. Feedback so far is very positive, and I’m looking forward to seeing what my initial beta-readers think of the completed story.