A. It took a while for it to hit. I’d been revising Promised on and off for months as it went through its final stages, and then one day in June, I was in New York having lunch with my editor, and she said she had a couple last catches on the second pass pages for me to look at. So we sat at the round table by the window in her seventh-floor office, and turned through the tabbed pages for the last tiny things. For instance, we’d had ongoing conversations about whether to use “notched” consistently rather than “nocked” for an arrow, and one spot of that still remained. We finished up and I sat back and thought, “It’s done.”
But it wasn’t really done because I was still revising a short story, “Ruled,” and the story involved the same world and characters, so they were still tromping around in my head. When “Ruled” was finally finished and sent off, it was a small click of an email, and not very momentous. So it took a while for the truth to sneak up on me, and it came as wistful loneliness. I’m not a particularly sentimental person, and I didn’t exactly miss my characters. Rather, I missed being engulfed. I missed the familiar puzzle that had fascinated me for years. I would never get that particular puzzle back again.
Now, I’m over that. Now I’m excited about Promised coming out in a few more weeks. I’m hoping readers who have followed Gaia this far will be surprised and afraid and satisfied by where she goes in her last adventure. I’m thinking of my family, and my editor and my agent, and the team at Roaring Brook, who all helped with the crafting of Gaia’s story, and I’m grateful.
What’s it feel like to finish? It feels like gratitude.