from The End of His Rope

When I first wrote The Third Time’s the Charm, it was more like the first chapter of a book than it was a short story. So I had a sense of the larger story that lay beyond the initial foray. But, to be honest, I only had the vaguest idea of the overall arc of the story. I hadn’t made many of the important world building decisions. I went through many rounds of revisions to give it a satisfying arc of its own, but the rest was still there, taunting me and I really wanted to tell the whole story. It speaks volumes that Water Dragon Publishing was willing to take the risk to serialize Revin’s Heart and give me more-or-less free rein to develop the story as I wanted.

I wrote For the Favor of a Lady, primarily to learn more about the characters. I had only the vaguest idea about Grip’s origins. When I wrote Storm Clouds Gather, the Etheric Storm Generator arc presented itself which led directly to Crossing the Streams. And it was at that time, that the shape of the rest of the series took form. But I still had to get from here to there: that’s what The End of His Rope is: a bridge between the earlier arcs and the arcs that follow. It also introduces a couple of important new characters and gives us an opportunity gain more insight into Revin’s character.

As with previous parts, there are many (of what I hope are) “warm, fun interactions between likable characters”. And there are several of the dramatic airship scenes that I know are popular with readers. And some nail-biting action. And, if I say so myself, the ending is particularly satisfying and really sets the stage for the last two parts that follow.

After I finished writing Revin’s Heart, I wrote three side-stories that recount events where Revin is not present. Since Revin’s Heart is told from his point-of-view, these couldn’t be included. But I thought readers that had gotten to know the characters might enjoy seeing how they came to end up where they had. The first of these, Where There’s a Will, is about how Will and Grip met and fell in love (this is teased in For the Favor of a Lady).

“Just how long have you and Will been together,” Revin asked.

“It will be two years next week. On Thursday.” Grip said.

“You know it to the day. That’s very sweet,” Revin said.

Grip looked down, blushing. But he looked happy. “They’ve been the best two years of my life.”

“How did you meet?” Revin asked.

“Oh, that’s a long story for another time,” Grip replied.

from For the Favor of a Lady

The second, Curtains Rise, describes the history that Will and the Baron, (Grip’s father) share. This is teased in Storm Clouds Gather.

Then Will saw the Baron and stopped dead in his tracks.

“Well met, William,” the Baron said.

“It’s Curtains!” Will said.

“What?” Grip said, looking back and forth between the two of them.

“Curtains! That’s what they called him back when…” Will said, then broke off when he caught the Baron’s expression. “I’ll… I’ll tell you sometime later.”

from Storm Clouds Gather

These stories were a delight for me to write. But there was one more side story I decided that I really needed to write: Revin’s origin story. That is, the story of his transition from a woman to man.

I was worried about writing this story because I knew it was going to require to me to make a number of choices that might not support choices I had made in writing Revin’s Heart. But, when I had finished, I was was pleased with the results that required no more than token changes to the stories. And gave me a lot of deeper insight into Revin’s character.

I’m telling this story now because I realized when a beta reader reviewed the manuscript, that there were a number of unanswered questions about the series that some readers would want to know that I now knew the answers to. And there were a couple of perfect scenes that I could elaborate in the The End of His Rope that would allow me to tell this story. So I did. Long after the manuscript was “done” I got it out again and added a thousand words. I hope you’ll be pleased with the results.

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