We're very happy to be part of the final day on Titan Books' current book tour for The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman. Here, the author shares her Reflections On Finishing a Series...
One of the strangest parts of writing professionally has been learning how to handle the disparate cycles of creation and promotion. When I’m actually creating, totally immersed in a world and characters, it’s private - nobody aside from my CPs/agent/editor knows what I’m working on. It’s only when I’m completely finished, when I’ve said goodbye, that readers get to actually meet these fictional people I’ve spent so much time thinking about.
This makes for a strange kind of cognitive dissonance when it comes to actually promoting those books--right now, for instance, I find myself writing about characters who I had to learn how to let go of months ago, urging readers to go hang out with them. This is even stranger in the context of THE DEVOURING GRAY and THE DECK OF OMENS, a duology that’s lived in my head in some shape or form since 2014. I’m so glad that it’s out in the world now, so proud of the ways I challenged myself as a creative in order to do their story as much justice as I could. But I also miss them. For a long time, it felt like part of me was permanently based in Four Paths. Now I’ve moved out, and that old familiar forest has been replaced by new places, new characters.
There are a lot of posts out there about the difficulties involved in finishing a series. THE DECK OF OMENS is my second published book, and my first time writing a sequel, so in many ways it felt as if I were learning to write a book all over again as I wrote it. I know I personally felt a great deal of responsibility to pour all my energy into this finale, to handle a lot of moving parts in order to bring many different character journeys to satisfying conclusions. Talking about it now, I am struck by how much I cared about every single step. Excel sheets of POVs; over 200k words of outtakes, night after night where I refused to stop working for the day until I could get just one more scene in shape. I felt compelled to get this book right--it was work, hard work, but it was also deeply rewarding to watch all the pieces fall into place.
I was lucky enough to find amazing readers with THE DEVOURING GRAY, and I’ve given THE DECK OF OMENS my all not just for my own personal satisfaction, but because I wanted to give readers the ending I knew the books had been building to in my mind over the last five years. This story wasn’t always easy to tell--it’s deeply personal and sometimes quite intense. But it was worth digging deep, worth learning to say goodbye.
THE DECK OF OMENS is out in the world now, and I know in my gut that it’s the right ending. I can’t wait for you to read it.
Many thanks to Christine Lynn Herman and Titan Books for sharing this article with us.
Image - Titan Books
The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman is published by Titan Books