Let’s get one thing straight, I wouldn’t recommend it. But then, how hard can it be?
The original plan was for the Ash Mistry series to come out every March from 2012. One book a year. Easy-peasy.
So I got the first two books done and had all of 2012 off. I was so ahead of schedule that I wrote another book (about 19th Century Punjabi eunuchs. It seemed a good idea at the time.) and caught up on all my backlog of dvd boxed sets and, may I mention, isn’t Breaking Bad awesome? Not sure it’s quite as good as Mad Men but I’m really getting into it right now.
So, there I was, November 2012, two books done. I thought I might start Book 3 sometime in Spring 2013. It wasn’t due to be published until March 2014, remember.
Then I got the call. Publication was being moved forward EIGHT months. So they needed it by the New Year.
It’s November and I haven’t written a word.
The thing is, I’ve been pondering the Ash Mistry trilogy for a long, long time. The original idea was from 1994 (back then it was a comic, I’ve still got the artwork lying around somewhere. Funnily enough it also had 19th Century Punjabi eunuchs in it. Hmm…)
I’ve written two books. I know where the story’s headed, more or less. I have a plan…
You write because you’re crazy about stories. You write because you just want to get them out. The devil drives.
I had a few post-its on the wall. I had MOTHER****ING MASSIVE BATTLE written on the story-map. The trick was to get from the beginning to the end without making a mess of it all.
It was insane. It was fun but by the end of it I truly never wanted to look at a book ever again and I was dreaming of cursors marching every night. I was totally burnt out ad it took me about four months to get over it but by Dec 22nd I had a 78,000 word novel.
I took Christmas off, gave it a polish (and added another 6,000 words) and it went to the editor in February.
It was on the shelves 4th July, nine months from the day I put down the first word.
I am insanely proud of it. Ash #3 is the mad one. The one which just went for it where it was all just smashed down. It’s the one where I talk about losing loved ones, Jain philosophy (must be a first in MG/YA fiction), time-travel and alternative selves and ends with a battle upon a giant mechanical elephant! Yes, it was a fun, mental journey.
It’s also my homage to my fav fantasy heroes, Elric of Melnibone and the other Eternal Champions. It’s my superhero team-up book.
Now there are some who have apparently spotted plot holes. Yeah, right, Sisterspooky. As if.
Let me clarify a few.
- Ash seems to know a lot of history. Yes. He does. Didn’t I establish that in Book 1 with his relationship with his uncle? Also, he is the Eternal Warrior so has recall of his past lives. He knows a lot of history because he’s lived through most of it.
- Ashoka is very technical-minded. Yeah, also pointed out in immense detail. His father is a director of an engineering consultancy. Ashoka works alongside him. Ashoka won the school science prize. Such things do not come out of the blue.
- They know a lot about missiles. What 14 year old boy doesn’t? My kid knows a lot about missiles. Subscription to ‘How it Works’, people.