I’m halfway through editing Between the Lion and the Wolf (BLW). That means I’m halfway to having someone who’s not me editing it, and hopefully catching all the little things I’m sure I’ve missed. After that, I just need to finalize the cover and, uh, figure out all the Ingram Spark stuff. (And I’ll need to do the same with Beneath the Vault of Stars, too.) I did buy a block of ISBNs, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice!
I’ll admit it: it’s somewhat daunting to revisit each chapter of BLW. Mostly because I’m secretly afraid that what I wrote way back when isn’t as good as I thought it was. At the risk of sounding immodest, some of it’s actually better than I remember!
Here’s a not-so-brief excerpt from Chapter X:
“Thank you, Mohral,” Kalas bowed. “I could see a little—just a little!—of your thoughts while we were putting them back together, but not for long: I can’t read minds—no one can, as far as I’m aware! I know it’s been a long, long time, but do you think you’d remember where you were before you ended up in the Ravine? Do you think you’d be able to show us?”
“Out of the question!” Hëk roared as he pushed Kalas away from his mother again. “The farm has been the entirety of her life since Father discovered her in the forest all those Sevens ago, and—”
“And it’s time I saw the world beyond its borders again!” Mohral insisted. “Hëk, my son: it’s precisely because I’ve been confined to this place for so long that I need to—”
“The farm? Sure. But the woods? the Ravine?! Mother, I can’t allow it!”
“Are you going to restrain me, child?”
“I—what?! No! Of course not! I just mean—”
“I know you mean well, my son, but for the first time in ages, I’m in my right mind again. I’ve answered a few questions for these people, yes, but their gift deserves more than mere words!
“Now, the day is old, and it’s a long walk back to town. Hëk, please prepare rooms for our guests. Tomorrow, when the second sun ascends above the Blades, we’ll take them to the place they seek. Perhaps the earth will reveal more than I’ve been able to.”
“I’ll bet Shosafin would like to be here for that!” Kalas acknowledged. “Kadhëmba: you’re…faster than the rest of us. Would you be willing to hunt down Shosafin and let him know what we’ve learned?”
The egu, still not used to the sound of his old name, paused for a moment before he nodded and disappeared within the lengthening shadows.
“Mother,” Hëk said, his tone subdued, “I…I’m sorry for everything that’s happened to you! I’m sorry I—”
“Enough, child! Let’s not waste what years remain to us on might-have-beens!”
“Of course, Mother. Of course. Kalas, yes? Right this way…”Excerpted from Between the Lion and the Wolf, Chapter X.4
I’ve also redrawn a few auxiliary assets for BLW (including some elements that will show up inline with the text). I’ve mentioned it before, I think, but having these elements of the larger world makes it all feel a little more honest, I guess. Real. Maybe someday, I’ll collect it all and make a “behind the scenes” volume. I like that idea, but I don’t know how feasible it is. Something to think about!