But I'll hand you over to Nicky now, and let her explain what it's like to write that final book in a trilogy, and how the covers of her books also tell a story...
Happy, exhilarated, bereft. Or: how it feels to finish a Trilogy.
It’s done. My third book, Sophie’s Encore, has hit the virtual shelves. The long-awaited conclusionto the epic romance between my girl-next-door, Sophie, and rock star extraordinaire, Dan, is written and published for the world to see. I’m not saying how it’s gonna end but… You wanted to know how it feels to get to The End. Well, let me see….
The beginning of the end: the writing of Sophie’s Encore
Monday, 8 October 2012. 9:30 am.
Cup of tea—check.
Laptop at the ready—check.
Plotline tacked to the wall—check.
I start typing. “So how is Dan?”
To my great surprise, I find that my hands are shaking. This is it. I’m going to bring the story to an end. I’m starting on the last leg of the journey, and I’m frightened. I know where I’m going, of course, but what will I do when I get there?
Sophie, Dan and me: Long-time friends
For eight years now, Sophie and Dan have lived in my head. For the past two years, they’ve been my and my family’s constant companion. Between us, we have talked about them as though they were real persons. But when I’m done, I’ll have to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes.
Still, there’s nothing for it but to forge ahead, so I start writing fast and furiously. As I’m working my way through my meticulous plan, I make some astounding discoveries.
The devil and the detail and all that…
First of all, chronology matters. Doh, right? Evidently I’ve planned the Trilogy in great detail, and still things trip me up. Ages, mostly. Sophie was 28 when the Trilogy started, and Dan was 38. They had birthdays ‘in between’ books and also quite prominently in Sophie’s Run, when Sophie celebrates her 30th birthday with astounding consequences, and Dan his 40th with ditto.
But time’s moved on. More birthdays have been had and other life-changing events have transpired. I find myself referring back to Sophie and Dan’s early romance as having been seven years ago. Oh, hang on, wasn’t it eight?Or maybe nine? *Cue nail-biting* Turns out that counting back in years yields a slightly different answer than counting back in ages.
My solution? More planning. I make a large table with twelve columns for months and several rows for years passed. I mark birthdays. I make the start and end of each book. I mark key events. I figure it out.
Next up, I’ve grown. My outlook has changed, and my perspective on Sophie and Dan’s fate has changed. Moreover, narrated time between books has passed, so Sophie herself has grown. I decide to tackle that issue head-on by having Sophie, Dan and Rachel reflect on how things are different for them, now.
I get so involved in fine-tuning these last details that I completely forget about the pain of goodbye as I feverishly approach the finishing line.
Done, done, done!
It’s end of January 2013 by the time I finish Sophie’s Encore.While I don’t exactly write the words, “The End”, I definitely know that this is the end, and do you know what? I shed a little tear or three. Happy tears, I hasten to add. And proud tears. I feel bereft and exhilarated at the same time.
Onwards and upwards
To stem the floods, I move on immediately. I start planning book 4; a new book, a new story, new characters, a fresh start. I mock up a cover for Sophie’s Encore. I launch Sophie’s Run. I conceive of a completely unscheduled mini-project that gets planned, written and completed in the space of four or five weeks. I edit Sophie’s Encore. I start writing book 4. See? There’s no standing still here, the only way is forward. I’ve dried those tears and launched myself headlong into new adventures.
So watch out, here I come! I have a surprise for you later this year, and my fourth full-length book, Fallen For Rock, is scheduled for release in the summer of 2014. Meanwhile, happy reading of Sophie’s Encore! I’d love to hear what you think!!
The Three-Fold Cover Story
Never judge a book by its cover, or so they say. I think that’s a highly debatable position! Book covers matter. Here’s my cover story!
Authors and publishers alike expend considerable effort on creating eye-catchy covers that zzzzing! Evidently, I’m no exception. Each cover for the three books in my Rock Star Romance Trilogy was carefully designed. Individually, they’re awesome! But in their togetherness… WOW!
Consider this. In the first book, Sophie’s Turn, Sophie still very much finds herself drawn to the glitz and glamor surrounding that rock star of hers, the dangerous and delectable Dan Hunter. But throughout the book, Sophie gets to know him—and herself!—much better than she’d ever dared dream, and this produces the ‘turn’ at the end.
In book two, Sophie’s Run, Dan becomes Sophie’s friend while she’s in pursuit of someone else. Quite unexpectedly, Dan finds himself in a position of unrequited love. He has to think up ways to keep their friendship alive. Their joint recording of his duet right there in his home studio is one of the key moments in the novel and eventually builds a bridge right into book three. So the sound recording equipment on the cover says,hey, look, there are rock starry things being done here! Yet it hints at the ‘detour’ Sophie’s life is taking and lays the foundations for the final book.
Enter the cover for Sophie’s Encore. There he is, Dan, right on the cover, toned bare arms and all, singing his heart out in all his delicious rock-star glory. The title promises us another go, an encore—but what will it mean, and how will it work? Will Dan and Sophie get a second chance? And what will Dan have to do to make that happen? Between you and me, Sophie’s Encore might equally have been titled, Dan’s Encore, for this book is about the both of them and whether they can bring their romance to a happy ending.
And there you have it! See what I mean about the Cover Story? What do you think?
Thank you so much for an amazing post, Nicky. I found it so interesting to read your journey with Sophie and Dan, and I can't wait to get to know them myself.
Wishing you loads of luck with Sophie's Encore!
Sophie's Encore is available through the following outlets:-
Amazon.co.uk Kindle | Amazon.co.uk Paperback | Amazon.com Kindle | Amazon.com Paperback | Barnes & Noble Paperback | Nook
Amazon.co.uk Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sophies-Encore-Rock-Romance-ebook/dp/B00EXXDVF6/
Amazon.com Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Sophies-Encore-Rock-Romance-ebook/dp/B00EXXDVF6/
Amazon.co.uk Paperback: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sophies-Encore-Nicky-Wells/dp/1938404653/
Amazon.com Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Sophies-Encore-Nicky-Wells/dp/1938404653/
Barnes & Noble Paperback: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sophies-encore-nicky-wells/1116668869?ean=9781938404658
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