Of sequels, threequels, and w.h.y.

by Marie Marshall

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Just when I thought I had enough balls in the air, someone throws me another one. Instead of dropping them all, running, and hiding, I catch it and add it to the juggling act. Okay, last time I reported in, I was doing the final edit of From My Cold, Undead Hand, progressing the sequel KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE, finishing two short stories – ‘Gravity’ and ‘The Warlock’s Hat’ – for a competition, and contacting a Ukrainian university about Vera Rich’s translations of Ivan Franko’s poetry.

Well, it all seemed manageable. I now have the finalised manuscript of From My Cold, Undead Hand here. It will ready for publication as soon as we have cover artwork and layout. I return to KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE as often as I can. The short stories have had their final edit, which involved opening up the sealed envelope I was about to mail them in. I have been looking at Vera Rich’s translation of ‘Death of Cain’, comparing it to an earlier translation by the Rev Perceval Cundy, wondering why she rendered ‘город’ as ‘city’ and not ‘garden’ in the context of the poem, and surprising myself at my own cheek at questioning an expert! So, all balls describing a neat arc in the air above my head. Then I found another ball in my pocket – the threequel to From My Cold, Undead Hand (working title KLONE vs OVERLORD) – and added it to the juggled bunch, rather shakily at first, then it too joined the arc. Equilibrium.

Then blow me down! An idea casually tossed to me by a fellow writer exploded in my head, and suddenly I have a plan for a sequel to The Everywhen Angels. With the working title of Among the Grove of Stones (which readers will recognise as a line from an extempore poem in the first book), it will tell the story of Connor Shaw, King Shaw’s nephew, and of how Ashe Sobiecki went missing, of what had been happening to the tulpas of dead Angels as they tried to pass through one last, forbidden door at the moment of death, and of why Angela and the other Unified Angels feel disturbances in the flow that even they can’t control. All of a sudden my control on all the juggled balls is becoming unsteady. I’m hoping I can prioritise and get everything in some semblance of equilibrium again by autumn, and then maybe I will be able to concentrate on finishing one of these jobs at a time.

I think I’m addicted to writing. My hits keep getting bigger.