The pre-order period is over, Tragedy is now live!
I’m four books into the Seven Keys Saga, a place I honestly didn’t think I would be inside a year of finishing Choices. I like to think that I’ve come quite a ways as an author. I’ve learned a lot. I’m still learning.
Tragedy was simultaneously the hardest and easiest book of the series so far. I started writing it in September and did two full drafts and a half draft before scrapping the entire thing and starting over from the beginning. The original book was all about Terry and Slate fighting a political cult in Pennsylvania and was extremely heavily influenced by my feelings on the events in St Louis over the summer.
It didn’t work. It was the wrong direction to go with the books and the characters. I was trying to force something to happen that shouldn’t have happened. I took the story out of Springfield and put Terry and Slate on their own in unfamiliar territory. The only other person from the original Springfield coven to show up in the book was Leigh.
It just didn’t feel right and no amount of tweaking was going to make it golden.
I took a week off from my day job at the end of October and busted out 90% of what became Tragedy over the course of three days. I ran through that manuscript twice. The polish was decent, and I sent it off to my editor, but deep inside, I knew that something just wasn’t right about the end.
My editor agreed.
The writing in Tragedy is probably my best to date. I don’t know if that’s me tooting my horn or just the fact that being a talentless hack sets the bar pretty low, but the original ending was disappointing. In my opinion, it was the worst ending I’d written in the series. It was like I had made the greatest cake ever made and then topped it off with a pile of shit.
I had to do something, and I had to do it fast. It was now December, and I had promised the book would ship the beginning of January.
So, I dropped everything else I was working on and re-wrote the end again.
Tragedy ended up coming in right around 43,000 words. That makes it the longest of the series since Choices, and makes it longer than I had intended any of the books to be. I like the 40k limit I put on the rest of the series. It forces me to fight my natural tendency to be overly verbose and expository.
The new ending of Tragedy warranted the extra words. In the end, I think it turned out to be pretty good, if I do say so myself, and I hope you’ll agree with me on that. I’d love to hear from you if you do.
Tragedy, and the rest of the Seven Keys Saga is currently available on Amazon.
Which brings me to one more thing I wanted to let everyone in on. The Seven Keys Saga is going to wide distribution. I plan on spending this weekend working out the bugs, but all four books should be available on most retailers by the end of the month. It should be up on Google, Kobo, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble next week, and probably trickle in to the other markets shortly there-after.
I don’t own a Mac, so I have to side-load into the iBooks store. If you’re an Apple reader (and I haven’t offended you with one of my many, many anti-jobsian rants) you should see it there eventually.
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy Tragedy. I think it is the best of the Seven Keys books so far. I’d love to hear from you about it.
Also, if you’re on the newsletter (of course you are, aren’t you), keep your eyes peeled for a new short story coming in the next couple of weeks. It’s another Seven Keys short, and there is no Terry in this one. I hope you like it, too.
Thanks for reading,