The Longest Goodbye; or, see you on page one

I surprised an author friend today by saying I felt ’empty inside’ over the upcoming release of The Fatewreaker — book 3 of the ‘Bookminder’ trilogy.

I mean, I can’t complain. I write books for a living. It’s marvelous. It’s fun. It’s challenging. But . . . it’s emotionally draining, too. And so often in unexpected ways.

You see, I hadn’t expected to feel sad, either. (Okay, maybe I anticipated it a little bit. After all, these wizards of mine have been with me since mid-2004.) Triumph. Excitement. Joy. These are the emotions I knew would come as I typed the final word in the draft and knew it Done. When I saw the cover art for the first time; held the ‘proof’ copy in hand and then shelved it with its fellow volumes on my office shelf; heard the audio book roughs… Wonderful experiences all.

But, too, each moment had a tiny ‘goodbye’ in it.

This book, this story and these characters– I love them. Dearly. Liara, Nagarath, Anisthe, Krešimir, Amsalla . . . they are my first. Dvigrad? Limska Draga? The ‘Bookminder’ series is likely to be my only ‘Croatia story’. (To that end, everyone who was in the Milwaukee CFU Tamburitzans with me will attest that, after the annual concert, we had a horrid empty little feeling the next day.) To be done with the trilogy is to, potentially*, be done with something incredibly precious to me. Something that I have given so much of my time, energies, and heart to.

(*potential as I do have a second trilogy arced and in consideration . . . but I have yet to determine if I’ve strength enough to tackle it. As the last year+ has brought into new focus: the future is never secure.)

And then there are the people. The real people, and not my fictional wizards. The folks of Xchyler Publishing whom I have loved working with. My cover artist, my narrator, all whom I hope to work with in the future. But it won’t be this project, in this time.

Each book is different. A person only gets one ‘first’ of a thing.

The publishing process, funnily enough, moves so glacially at times that it’s easy to be lulled into a sense of timelessness. I fell into the error of believing that the ‘Bookminder’ would go on forever for me, that I could always come back to Parentino and see Nagarath working his messy magicks, or Liara pouting and making argument over this or that nonsense.

And, perhaps, I am being silly. For isn’t that the marvel of books? That you can go right back in and read them over and again whenever the mood takes you.

See you on page one.

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