First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you, for the response to Penumbras! The feedback I’ve been getting has been so kind and generous. That means a great deal to me. I really enjoy and appreciate the emails and reviews.
I’ve noticed two recurring themes or comments in the feedback I’ve received and I thought it might be worth addressing those two things. The first theme is the ending, and the second is about Lexa becoming such a drama queen.
I start with the ending first. I know it leaves things hanging. And I’m sorry for that. I really am! I thought long and hard about ending it where I did. I didn’t want to be coy or too clever, and I didn’t want to be disrespectful to the reader. When you invest the time to read a book, I think the author has a responsibility to treat you in a courteous way. And I know that sometimes cliffhanger endings can feel like just a cruel way to get you to buy the next book.
That definitely was not my intent! Cross my heart. I spent a great deal of time thinking about the ending. In the final analysis, I stopped where I did for a few reasons, some artistic and some more mundane. Let’s start with the mundane. The publisher gave me a word-count limit for this book. They are constrained by the cost of printing, shipping expected sales, and other details.
So, that gave me some parameters. I have a certain amount of story to tell, but I have to fit that story into a particular serving size. I could have ended it in two other places. One would have been right after the fight in the theatre with Lady Nightwing and (what I hope was) an important revelation. Originally, that was the ending. However, upon reflection, I felt like that was too abrupt. There was no closure at all—not in terms of plot and not in terms of emotion. That really felt disrespectful to the reader.
The other option was to end it after the summer at Mockingbird Cottage and maybe spend more time developing the training and Conner’s new powers. I thought about that for a long time. A long, long time, actually. But with that option, the seemed to run out of steam. And, then came an even bigger concern: Book 3. I thought about all the things I still had to cover in Book 3, and I realized that I couldn’t finish the story if I had to include everything that is now the last part of Penumbras.
So, based on these parameters, I wrote what is now the last scene. I felt like it was important to show that Lexa had learned some things. She needed a chance to start to redeem herself, and I needed to show that she and the others were starting to come back together after being a bit estranged. I felt like this ending at least resolved the immediate chord, so to speak, with many of the characters, although there is clearly a big question left to be answered. But I tried to make it so that there was a bit of emotional resolution.
I have been asked many times already if there will be a Book 3. Yes. There will be. I think it would be extremely rude and disrespectful for me to leave it here and not provide closure. I am working on Book 3 now. Ultimately, the publisher will have to decide if they want to publish it and I don’t have control over that. But if they choose not to, I will pursue other options. Even if I just put it up on my website—I won’t just leave you hanging!
I appreciate, more than I can say, your support and patience!
The other question I’ve had is: “When did Lexa become such a drama queen?” That is a valid question. And I will answer it. But this post has already become longer than I thought, so I’ll do it in another post.
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