So, in reference to the latest PSA, someone asked this, seemingly simple, question:
Uh, you DO have one more “Theo book” coming along some day, don’t you?
The answer to this question is. . . not simple. Not only is it not simple, I’m not certain I can adequately explain what we’re attempting with this sequence of five books, of which Dragon in Exile is the first. Possibly, I could explain it. . .less disjointedly. . .to another writer (who isn’t Steve), but readers and writers are separated by the fundamentals that bring us together: writers write; readers read.
So, I’m going to try to explain what we’re doing; apologies in advance if it makes no sense as you read it here. We trust that the execution will be more illuminating.
. . .
Steve and I are now embarked on the writing of, as stated above, a sequence of five novels. These five novels, in their entirety, are the. . .sequel, if you will, to I Dare and to Dragon Ship, in particular. Discerning readers will have noticed that there are many people in play, and many. . .unsettled situations left at the end of those two novels. You will also notice that there are several. . .Big Problems still on the board to be solved.
Solving those Big Problems is going to take the combined talents of All of Those Characters. (Even Rys, who, when “his” book was pitched, was never intended to survive his redemption.) Theo, for instance, can’t solve All the Problems by herself. Theo doesn’t even know what All the Problems are.
(We, ourselves, don’t see Theo and her adventures as being a spin off books. In our view, Theo is very much entangled in the troubles that were introduced in Agent of Change, and which have only gotten more tangled since.)
The only way that we can proceed, being the writers that we are, is to continue as we began, and braid the character and story arcs until we reach the Thrilling Conclusion.
What this means is that it’s extremely doubtful that we will be writing a one character/one problem novel within the Five Book Dash. The reason we pitched five intertwined novels is that we knew we couldn’t reasonably cope with all the necessary characters and arcs in one novel, and to write another Theo novel at this point in the Universe. . .would be cheating.
So, we’ve broken the characters and the problems out into sets, all aimed at the Thrilling Conclusion. Some characters will move through several novels. Some will vanish on a mission, and not be seen. . .for a while. This will probably produce some very odd books and some folks will grow impatient with us for writing endless stories where “nothing happens”. (Just got our first reader review of Dragon. . . in which the novel is described as being an unending series of lunches, tea breaks, and dinners in the snowy summer of Surebleak.) We expect to see some readers lose patience. We hope that most of you will stick with us. We really think that we can pull this off, and that ultimate arrival will be worth the journey.
. . .that’s all I’ve got.
And now I need to go to work.