SHADOW RISING: Ten Questions (Spoilers!)

Beware! Below are some questions I’ve gotten about Book 7 and the series as a whole.  Here there be spoilers!  So many!

How many more books will there be in the series?

Only one more.  The plan was always eight, even though I wasn’t sure how the story would work out over that many books.  As usual my subconscious had it handled.

When will the next book be out?

I have no idea.  I have a plan for it, sort of, but I haven’t started writing it yet.  Right now I’m taking a break and hopefully working on something new for a while – although chances are I’ll end up working on bits of it here and there anyway.  There will likely be a slew of Extras that take place before 8, for reasons including:

You mentioned there would be a time jump after SHADOW RISING. How much of a jump are we talking about here?

Book 8 will begin about 20 years after the end of Book 7.  

Why on earth would you do that?

The final book of the series will be a little different; it will start out from the perspective of a “new” character who, at the time Book 7 unfolds, is still a child.  It’s someone you haven’t met yet, but you will know who she is, and actually people have been asking me about her for years now.

What about Inaliel? Is she really Faith reincarnated?  Will everyone find out?

Inaliel will be very important to Book 8; and yes, she really is Faith reborn, though she won’t have any idea.  In fact nobody will except Deven, who won’t want to influence her life path by adding the baggage of another lifetime to it. Inaliel is very much her own person, and though her soul has some unfinished business to work through, Miranda and David in particular don’t need to know where she came from.  It would change how they treat her, and what they expect from her, and that wouldn’t be fair to her or them.  

So twenty years from now David will be over what happened at the end of SHADOW RISING, right?  The Tetrad will be back to normal?

The Tetrad will have a new normal.  Now that they’re able to move freely from Texas to California Nico and Deven will be able to live near their people (the Cloister and New Avilon) but can visit Miranda and David in Austin whenever they want.  However, their collective relationship has changed, and as we rejoin them we’ll find that not all those changes were for the better.  

But I will say that no, David doesn’t just go back to “normal” after nearly losing his entire being to the Firstborn.  His entire sense of self was shattered, and having been someone who was very self-assured and confident in who he was and what his strengths were, he has to find his way back to himself, which takes time.  The sexual assault involved is no small thing either – David was always a very sexual person but now sex is connected traumatically to being destroyed from the soul outward, so he’ll have to learn to be intimate again.  By the time Book 8 begins all of this has gone on for years, and he’s in a pretty good place…except for one particular relationship that never recovered.  You can probably guess which.

Above and beyond that, however, David has learned that he isn’t infallible or invincible, and he’s had his own flaws shoved back in his face pretty hard – hiding his stint as a serial killer from the others has shaken their faith in him as well as his in himself, and that’s a lot of broken hearts and violated trust to rebuild.  Don’t worry – all of that won’t be swept under the rug.

Since a lot of this will have already happened by Book 8, you can look forward to some Extras that will go into depth with those events; I might even start posting those before I start the book itself, just to get my own mind through the process of David’s evolution as a character.  But you won’t be cheated out of seeing what happens – I just didn’t have the space in a novel to cover 20 years of emotional angst.

What ever happened to Kat?  Does Miranda still keep an eye on her?

You will find out in Book 8.  Saying more would give too much away, I think.

Does Miranda go back to performing now that the war is over?

She will for a while, again before Book 8 begins, but as a “farewell tour” sort of thing.  At a certain point being in the public eye is just not compatible with her work as Queen or her life as a vampire, and she understands that now.  But music is in her soul, and it’s part of who she is, so she’ll never abandon it; she just has to get creative with how she manages her public persona.

Will we get to see more of Olivia and Avi in Book 8?

I hope so.  I’m not sure how much room I’ll have, but I’m going to try and make some for them.  I really enjoyed writing Olivia’s character in OF SHADOW BORN and I want to spend more time on her relationship with Avi and her life as the first female Prime.

As a villain Agnilath seems a bit one-dimensional.  Will he be more developed in the final book?

Agnilath doesn’t have terribly complex motivations – he’s like if someone took Prime Hart and boiled him until nothing was left but the nasty gunk at the center.   I mean he’s basically described as 100% evil with no redeeming qualities, and that doesn’t really make for an interesting villain.  That’s part of why I didn’t want him “on camera” all that much.  But here’s the thing:  Agnilath won’t be the villain of Book 8.  Oh, he’ll be there, but I think you’ll find the actual Big Bad much more compelling.  

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