The rewrite of Victoria took off after I worked with the old Alyce manuscript. When transferring Alyce to Spain, it slowly merged into Victoria until the two became one. I changed Alyce’s name to Victoria, changed other character names to blend in, and voila! A perfect answer to all the endless riddles of “what to do with Alyce.”
As the second half of Victoria’s story, “Alyce” takes Victoria on a lighter-hearted tone that balances the opening and expands the world. More than that, giving her Alyce’s adventures and a quick tie-in to the Hirado for continuity developed Victoria’s character hugely. She actually seemed to learn from her earlier adventures and the second half shows her applying the skills she learned in the first. This gave the story of Victoria what I’d always been worried it lacked—a point.
The only differences are: some areas in which Alyce was a Cinderella figure—which was hard to work in once I blended her with Victoria, a duke’s daughter. (But the “Mrs. Codge” character was preserved in a few moments as a greedy, funny woman named Duchess Almezia.); and some of the “fake-history” politics of the end of Alyce. Moving it to a real country made many of these null.
The longer, extended Victoria should be available soon, I hope.
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.