Taking a break from the usual posts to answer a few reader questions.
Warning: A few of these questions are spoilery for Billow. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend you avoid this post.
Q: When will Crest be released?
A: Short answer: I don’t know yet.
Longer answer: I’m hoping for spring, but I can’t promise anything. Here’s why.
1) Billow was released in July. Because I have a day job that involves travel, writing it took six months of a brutal 7 days a week work schedule on limited amounts of sleep. I took August off because I needed to recharge, rest, and spend time with husband, friends, and family. I’m slowly starting to get back to work and started Crest about two weeks ago.
2) The format of the last two books presents a particular challenge. I’d like to release book four within a few months of Crest’s release. Why? Because of the way Crest ends. The remaining books in the series are in many ways one book divided into two parts. But in order to release book four that quickly, I need to have the first draft written prior to releasing Crest. Basically, I need to complete two books.
3)Life is unpredictable. I don’t feel comfortable announcing an exact release date. If something happens and I’m unable to make it, I don’t want to disappoint you. I’d feel horrible if I had to announce a delay. Last year, I had a death in my family that affected my writing schedule for Billow. Things happen. So until I’m really sure (usually about 4- 6 weeks before), I won’t publicly announce a date.
But I am shooting for spring.
4) Fast or good. I’ve posted about this before but I strongly believe time is needed to produce something of quality. This is so, so important to me. My priority is always to produce the best work I possibly can at that moment.
Q: Hi! I love your books! While I do love Tristan I also love Julian. Is there any hope for a relationship between Julian and Kendra? Or did her shutting him down in Billow put an end to it? I realize I’m rooting for the underdog here but needed to check.
A: I’ve received similar versions of this from many readers and I’ll try to answer as best I can. Love in its many forms is an important theme in the series and it’s not a word I toss around lightly in my writing. I also believe who you don’t end up with can sometimes teach you more about yourself than the person you do end up with.
Julian and Tristan are important men in Kendra’s life. They see different things in her and the way they understand/relate to her is an integral part of her journey toward adulthood.
That being said, there are certain realizations by the end of book two. Kendra has learned to be a bit more honest with herself. For her, everything is said in the last two chapters of Billow and I trust readers to understand the subtext.
But as we also saw in Billow, what may be true for one person may not be true for another.
Q: What is the meaning/intent of the title Billow?
A: I’ve been asked this question several times and it makes me so happy that readers are thinking about this! Here’s the answer I’ve been emailing everyone:
Each title in the series has a specific intent behind it. All four books move toward the completion of one journey – Kendra’s coming of age and fulfilling the path of sondaleur.
The title of the first book, Whirl, implied the beginning of movement. It was the start of a ripple of startling changes and consequences as Kendra begins her journey as sondaleur with her entrance into Haverleau and ondine society.
Billow has numerous levels of meaning within the story. The word means a great, undulating mass of something: cloud, smoke, water, steam, etc. It implies a surge of agitated energy and a deepening turmoil. Baudelaire uses it in the epigraph to compare the mind’s abyss to the mysterious unfathomable qualities of the ocean. To me, this is the very essence of the story.
On the most basic level, billow is a subtle hint to the solution of the mystery. On another level, billow also refers to the surge of increased strength and power in Kendra’s Empath magic. It verges on the point of slipping out of her control. Part of her growth in this book was to find some way to use it without letting it use her.
On yet another level (and perhaps the most important one), it references the emotional and mental tumult facing Kendra in this installment. A huge part of her journey in this book was to come to terms and accept not only herself, but her role and relationship with others as well. This level of personal depth, and the rockiness that accompanies Kendra’s quest to understand it, is something I believe is embodied within the title.
Q: Is Billow coming out in paperback soon?
A: Yes. I’m in the process of formatting and hope to have it out soon. I’ll post here and on my website as soon as it’s available.
Q: Maya on Facebook asks: Is there more Shadow in book 3?
A: Yes. As we near the finale, the overarching conflict will come to a head. Book 3 will focus much more on the Shadow.
That’s it for now. Next post on writing will go up later today or tomorrow and the next Tristan POV will be up sometime next week. If you have any more questions, feel free to leave them below.