So take it as read, periods of blog-silence from me = furious work sessions. Only In Death is thundering to a close like a... thundering thing (sorry, my weekly simile ration got used up writing the last chapter). It’s demanding stuff, to be honest, creatively speaking: after ten books, you’d think it would get easier (a false assumption I made when I started work on it), but with ten books in the bag, it’s actually harder. I keep thinking “nope, I’ve done that before” or “I can do better than that, this has to be bigger” etc. What’s more, when you’ve been around a bunch of characters for this much time (almost a decade) and this quantity of material (over a million words on the Ghost books alone), a big, climactic, arc-punctuating book like OiD is a intense experience to write. And, no, that DOESN’T mean I’m going to kill everyone. (Or should that be... “and no, that doesn’t mean I’m going to kill EVERYONE”?)
I’ve set myself all sorts of (sometimes conflicting) challenges with OiD. It has to be a good story, naturally, with lots of crowd-pleasing shooty death kill AND character threads... that much applies to any Ghost book I take a swing at. But OiD is also the last book of the third arc, and the last Ghost book for a while. The series is going on hiatus for a few months while I work on other groovy things for BL (news on that soon). So, like Ravenor Rogue, OiD can’t just HAVE a good ending, it has to BE a good ending, a satisfying end-stop for a run of books that wraps up all manner of story lines and ongoing threads. I want to make sure that everyone gets a moment or two to shine, not just the main characters but the background boys too (big shout out for Corporal Chiria! Noa Vadim! Rerval and Derin! Haller! Jessi Banda! Jajjo! And, all the way from RIP duties.... Merrt!). I want to make sure that if anyone does actually, you know, die, said demise is appropriately appropriate (heroic, shocking, accidental, surprising, whatever).
I also, this time around, wanted to make it claustrophobic and creepy. This is siege warfare undertaken in a deeply unpleasant place. This is a last stand at the end of the world. This is the Ghosts fighting to the bitter end in a place full of ghosts.
Oh, Xhalax? Just to put your mind at rest Ban Daur gets a lot more than one line in this book.
Okay, I’d better get back to it. I’ll be at Forbidden Planet, London, on Saturday 19th of May (1.00 o’clock), signing Brothers of the Snake (and anything else you’d like me to) and then at GW Oxford Street Plaza at 3.00 the same day. Keep those posted comments coming. We’re getting a really lively chat going, and some of the stories are priceless. When OiD is put to bed, I’ll try to respond to a few more directly.
Right, where was I..?