Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Orlind a guest post by Charlotte English

In honour of the great and noble letter O, today I’m talking about my soon-to-be-released book, Orlind, the third and final installment in the Draykon Series. That means I’ll be talking about ending a series, mysteries, secrets and intrigue, none of which begin or end with – or even contain – the letter O. Hopefully Scott will forgive me for that.

I’ve guested on this blog before, talking about my series, so I won’t go back through the intro-to- Draykon stuff. Instead I want to talk specifically about the upcoming volume, what to expect, and what it’s like rounding out a story that I’ve been writing since the end of 2010.

Draykon is my first fantasy series, which means it’s also the first time I’ve had to write the conclusion to a multi-book serial story. It’s been an interesting challenge. A concluding volume has to wind up all the big questions satisfactorily, resolve all the mysteries, and preferably leave the reader with some idea of what the characters are going to do after the series ends – after all, we like to maintain the illusion that they’re real people, so their lives continue even if we aren’t necessarily going to be taken along for the ride.

And you know, it helps to end a series with a bang. Action and drama and tension and suspense and all those big words (hey, there are a couple of Os in there) are to be deployed in spades. Maybe even buckets. Maybe even in truckloads.

Meanwhile, perhaps the trickiest part is living up to reader expectations. I’ve noticed that feedback for the first two books has been intriguingly varied: people liked, loved or despised totally different things about them and expressed very different wishes for the future of the series. Perhaps it’s dangerous to take too many notes from that: it’s impossible to write a story that will completely satisfy everyone. But hey... I tried anyway. For those looking forward to dragon wars, well, there’s plenty of that. We’ll also be seeing more of the Lokants and the animal characters, plus some shape-shifting fun, more fantastic gadgetry, more romance, and more humour (you can’t expect to prevent Tren from joking around, no matter how many worlds are ending...).

So what’s the book about? What is Orlind anyway? Well. The Draykon world is composed of seven separate and distinct territories, known collectively as The Seven Realms. At least, it’s traditionally accepted that there are seven. Only six are populated and functional, in all the obvious and important ways; the seventh has been inaccessible for a long time, and nobody really knows what’s out there. It’s called Orlind, and all anyone can really be sure of is that it must have been significant at one time. Is there anything out there at all anymore? Who knows... but it certainly was significant, and you can bet that Llandry, Pensould, Eva and Tren will be finding out why.

The power of secrets is a big theme across the Draykon Series. There are organisations who thrive on secrets – and they’re very good at keeping them. The biggest single challenge my characters face is to uncover all those secrets and learn what’s really going on with the draykoni, with the Seven Realms, with the Off-Worlds and above all, with those damned sneaky Lokant people. In the first two books (“Draykon” and “Lokant”) my heroines learned a great deal about all those things – and about their own heritage. In Orlind, they’ll find out a whole lot more. And it’s fair to say that the Seven Realms won’t ever be quite the same again.

Orlind is due out at the end of April. While it is the end of this series or story arc, it isn’t the end of the Seven Realms. I’ll be revisiting the world of the draykoni, the Lokants, winged humans, nocturnal
sorcerers, animal-befriending summoners and everything else in a second, connected series which I’ll begin working on later this year. The fact is, I’m just not ready to say goodbye to Llan and Eva and the gang yet. There’s so much more to say. In the meantime, I hope my readers will enjoy finding out the truths behind all those secrets and lies, at least as much as I enjoyed writing about them.

PS: I love to chat with readers, bloggers, authors, writers and fantasy fans, so feel free to come find me at http://www.charlotteenglish.com

2 comments:

  1. Visiting from the Challenge. This was a great post. Sounds like a very complex and well-constructed world. I admire anyone who can do that, or handle the pressure in finishing a series when the first books are already out there... not sure I could do it!

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  2. Love the covers, Charlotte. I think I will be delving into Draykon very soon. I look forward to seeing how you wrap up a series as a fellow first-series author.

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