I started Victoria as a retelling of Snow White and female relationships are incredibly important to that fairy tale. I’d thought to show Snow White from the outside because stories from her POV always seem angsty and failed. So Victoria, her scheming younger sister, would play the lead, and Bella would be Snow White.
But the story didn’t turn out that way. In fact, Bella became a rather shady character. And unlike in Snow White, the world of Victoria got filled with assassins and thugs and gained a very different theme altogether. When I created Ignacio, I’d had an idea of him as a benevolent character who would care about Bella. But he became more like Boba Fett. Ignacio can pretend friendliness, especially when he’s trying to get information, but he is always up to something and is very confrontational.
The Hirado is a trained and hired mercenary who goes around killing people—again like Boba Fett, or like any criminal or bounty hunter from other stories. And Webster, though lighter, is always verbally aggressive. This story has an action angle I didn't expect instead of a fairy-tale feeling. And the more I work with it, the more I'm glad it grew in that direction. Nothing's better--and more challenging--than a story with a will of its own. And this story has always had one of the most independent wills of any of my books and I can never get it to do what I want. It keeps growing and growing on its own.
And there will be more updates.
There are still a few loose ends that need to be tied up with my other books. But I’m starting to look ahead to working on Temmark Osteraith. I wanted to do that months ago, but things can get set back. It’s important to lay a solid foundation and getting all my books in order was an essential part of that. It’s actually building a house to last instead of throwing some sticks together because you need shelter in the moment.
The world of Temmark Osteraith used to be the “Milland” world and appeared in a couple of stories about a girl named “Alyce” who got into all kinds of trouble. So it feels long ago—but also moving forward in an important way. I finished most of the story of what will now be Temmark Osteraith fifteen years ago and I’m such a different person now, in a lot of ways, that I think the audience attitude to the book now will be quite different from the audience for Milland. Or even for some of my other books published more recently.
Temmark Osteraith has maybe a bit of a wilder aspect, if you’d like to call it that, than the old world of Alyce’s Milland. It was this very off-beat, funny, kind of adventure in a period-historical type of world. Whereas in Temmark Osteraith we have a futuristic world, characters that aren’t even human, and a house that still a bit resembles an old mansion, but with an unpredictable personality of its own. A lot is different now from that original draft—setting, character names, some of the plot, you name it—but it still has things that are similar too. A bridge between the past and where my writing is today, to the extent I think it actually brings out the story that was always underlying Milland instead of replacing it.
And there will be more updates.
I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I get most of my ideas while drifting innocuously around my house and some of those ideas get into print.