On completion of probably 40 books in a row, I’ve written a teaser or an excerpt for the next book in the series or under that author brand. The excerpt always goes at the end of the book, to tempt the reader to order or buy my next release. It’s pretty standard marketing for books, especially for books in linked series (which is what I tend to write). Since I always know where the book will begin, this has never been a big deal for me. The opening is the part that’s obvious – it’s in the middle that things get interesting.
Well, lo and behold, something has changed. I wrote the excerpt for The Warrior’s Prize when I was finished The Frost Maiden’s Kiss, just as I have done forty or so times already. Something is different, though, because I realized when writing the book that this scene isn’t at the beginning of Rafael and Elizabeth’s story. Rafael pointed out to me that he would not wait six whole months to speak to Elizabeth, not with Kinfairlie so close to Ravensmuir, which I had to admit was reasonable.
Elizabeth and Rafael’s story begins when they meet, which occurs at the end of The Frost Maiden’s Kiss, because Elizabeth’s impact upon Rafael is immediate. What Rafael chooses after Alexander tells his story in the excerpt is the result of their exchanges over the intervening period. The excerpt is in the book, so I will leave it here and in the edition of The Frost Maiden’s Kiss, but it’s actually about halfway through the story.
This is interesting change structurally, because it means that The Warrior’s Prize actually begins before the end of The Frost Maiden’s Kiss in chronological terms. At the beginning of Elizabeth and Rafael’s book, you’ll relive the Big Finish of Malcolm and Catriona’s book, but through Rafael’s eyes instead of Catriona’s. I now remember that I suspected this would be the case, and this was why I chose to publish the two books back-to-back, but now you know my reasoning as well.
This also has helped me to straighten out something for my upcoming 2015 medieval series, in which the heroes of all four linked titles participate in the same first inciting incident. Hmm. I really looking forward to digging into that project now, because I can see the structure more clearly.
So, don’t be surprised when you begin to read The Warrior’s Prize and find that it doesn’t begin with the excerpt posted on my site or included in The Frost Maiden’s Kiss!