The sequel to Dawnthief and, I was warned, the ‘traditionally difficult second book’. Not only that, from being able to tinker to my heart’s content with the Dawnthief text, I was now under contract and due to deliver a finished manuscript in 15 months. At the same time, as is reasonably well documented, I had a full time job.
Now, I’ve built up the full horror, I have to come clean. Noonshade caused me very few problems. Indeed, you could describe it as a breeze (compared to expectations). I found I’d learned a great deal from writing Dawnthief and more importantly, had gained confidence from being published.
I’d begun to develop a two part approach to my writing which will characterise all the Raven books. First, to leave the guts of the book deliberately unplanned. At the outset I knew the central story threads, who was alive at the beginning and who was alive at the end. Everything else was free to develop during the writing process and I believe it adds to the pace and ‘reality’. For instance, battles are written very quickly because to plan them would allow them an order which wouldn’t exist. Also, chaos begets mistakes which change the course of a skirmish. I thoroughly enjoyed writing Noonshade and I think it’s a better, more rounded novel than Dawnthief.