I think – barring changing my mind, publisher’s edit requests, reader’s comments etc – that I can declare another story finished. (N.B. The three in the title: Shadows and Ghosts are also finished, barring a publisher’s edit requests if I ever get anyone interested.)
Green Sky and Sparks, the first in a trilogy of steampunk/fantasy stories, is complete at 30,000 words. It is short, so my current plan is to put all three of the stories together in one book. At the moment Changing Winds is approaching 50,000 and I suspect that Empty Skies will be shorter, so those three together should reach 70-100,000 words.
It feels weird to have finished it, but I get to work with the same characters in Changing Winds, so I’m not exactly leaving them behind. My biggest gaps in Changing Winds are Toru, who is the main character in Green Sky, so that’s quite a nice continuation.
And while you’re here, have the beginning of the book as a snippet…
“Hey, watch it!”
Anoé slewed her runner sideways, trying to avoid the back tyre of Catter’s. The man had just stopped in the middle of the road, oblivious to the rider stopped next to him.
Anoé followed his gaze, and smiled. “Get over to the side.” she said kindly. Catter slowly walked his runner over to the side of the dusty road, still staring at the view ahead.
It was an amazing view. Although the Mountains had been in view from the time they left Aleric, the Drek Ridge had continuously appeared and disappeared behind the next ridge in the gently rolling landscape. And finally they had crested a higher rise, and the farmland ahead of them spilled down towards the ridge. The road was stretching ahead of them down the slight hill, and Catter followed its slow curve. It branched, one fork heading to the jagged gap in the dark rock of the Ridge, snaking through to the Mountain Pass. The second fork turned, rising up the edge of the Ridge, and then rising into the city of Meton.
Catter let his eyes travel up towards the city, following the road. The dark rocks of the buildings blended in with the ridge, and he could see the winding road as an absence in the buildings. And then the Castle rose, sitting on the edge of the Drek Pass, looming over the road below. The huge spikes, five of them around the walls, rose even higher. He found his eyes going between the city, seeming to loom over the land below, and then to the white-capped mountains behind; they dwarfed the city in turn, shrinking the Castle and its spikes to insignificance.
“The spikes are the spark towers.” Anoé said. “I’ll see if we can get a tour.”
“That would be interesting.” Catter said, staring in awe. “Why are they shining?”
“They’ve got copper wrapped up the outsides.”
“It’s a beautiful city.”
“It’s one of my favourites. Not as beautiful as Belmont, but then that’s beyond belief.”
Catter smiled, and tore his eyes away from Meton. “I want to go there. Anyway, shall we get going? Otherwise I’ll spend all night here.”