David J. Williams writes hard-hitting, military science fiction. The first novel was Mirrored Heavens, which I reviewed at Fantasy Debut. Since then, he’s written The Burning Skies and his final book, The Machinery of Light, comes out today. When I asked him to pen a guest post, I never expected this subject, which has not come up on any of my blogs before. Here is David Williams on completing a trilogy.
A novel has a certain mystique. A trilogy, perhaps even more so. Though as Oscar Wilde once said, anyone can write a trilogy, so long as he/she is deaf to life and art. (People look askance at me when I tell them that – um, it’s supposed to be a joke.) At any rate, with Bantam’s release of THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT, my Autumn Rain trilogy is officially d-o-n-e…. and it’s been a long strange trip. Not just since the release of the first novel, THE MIRRORED HEAVENS, two years ago .. . but, really, since I started writing, almost ten years back (in September of 2000, to be precise). I have no massive trunk of unsold novels/stories; these novels are the only ones I’ve ever written–they constitute my journey thus far as a writer. And finishing them up is a very weird feeling. In three ways in particular:
1. Now I have to say goodbye to my characters. I didn’t think it would be so tough, because in a sense I never said hello to them in the first place. They are, after all, imaginary. And yet it’s hard all the same. They took shape in my head across so many years — went through so many iterations. I’ve heard the French writer Honore de Balzac inquired on his deathbed as to the health of characters in his novels; I think I know where he was coming from.
2. I can’t change anything anymore. Anything I hadn’t handled in the first book, I could handle in the second. Anything I hadn’t wrapped up in the second, I could get to in the third. But now that the third’s in stores, it’s going to be awfully difficult to make any more revisions. Not that I want to make any. . . but you know how it goes. Writers don’t exactly write. They just revise. Until they no longer can…
3. The secret’s out. The books built toward a huge reveal that redefined everything that had gone on across the trilogy. A trillion dollar enchilada moment, as it were, one that my evil subconscious cackled maniacally over for years. But now it’s seen the light of day. And in fact Publishers Weekly blew the whole thing in its review a few weeks back. So don’t google it. Just read the books.
Anyway. I’m sure more weirdness will be settling on me in the next few days and weeks, but that’s probably enough for now. Thanks a ton to Tia for the space, and all of you for reading!
David will be hanging out, answering comments so don’t be shy. He’s a very approachable guy.
Check out this book trailer for The Machinery of Light, which is available today at stores everywhere.