Look at this! We made it to the final chapter at last! It's been a long road. These commentaries haven't been the easiest thing to sustain for 7 or 8 months, but I'm glad I did them, and I hope you've enjoyed them. Let's see . . . what loose ends do I want to comment on this week?
First up, Babka. (SPOILER WARNINGS, once again). She wasn't always intended to be Starenka--not as I was writing the book, that is. But once I got to this scene, she revealed herself in the first draft, if that makes sense. It all clicked together. Babka had been working for Morena all these years, and she'd come to help recruit her grandson. (Plus, it gave me a chance to explain a few more loose ends that had been hanging out there at this point. It also gave an out for Lesana. She's come back to life, but she has no family. Springing her on Tomas's parents wouldn't have gone over too well . . . )
I'm not absolutely crazy about the fact that Katka ends up being absent from the climax almost entirely. But then again, that's what you get when one of the main forces driving the plot is her potentially dying. I had debated having her not be in a coma at all--being with Tomas right up to the end. Katka isn't a weak heroine. She takes an active role in the plot, and helps move things along enormously. It was sad that she got left out, but in the end, it brought more pluses than minuses.
So we have the reunion with Katka, and we have the worries of Lubos dealt with, all in one fell swoop. I was very happy with this last chapter, and it didn't change much through the course of revision.
The last note I'll touch on is the potential for a sequel. That's one of the questions I get asked the most, actually. When's the sequel coming out? Many people assume there's one on the way already. Obviously, the book is set up to be the potential start of a series. I've written thirteen books or so, and I have yet to write a sequel. But most of them are written as sort of a book equivalent to a pilot episode of a television series. The characters are introduced, the theme defined, and the plot handled more or less in one episode. I always thought of Vodnik as the first in a number of books starring this cast of characters.
I haven't written any of those books.
I know things that I'd like to write about, of course. Tomas's relationship with Lesana, his continuing conflict with the Bigot Gang. The family dynamics now that Babka's back in the picture and we know Tomas's mother can see mythical creatures, too. Continued training with Lubos. A showdown with Ohnica at some point. All of that is out there, ready to be written. Will I ever write it? I don't honestly know.
If I had a contract in hand, obviously I would write it. But I don't, and my writing time is limited enough (what with a full time librarian job and all) that I have to be selective on what I work on. Since Vodnik, I've written two more books. One of them is finished in final-draft-for-now condition: TARNHELM. It's a YA noir fantasy. The other (GET CUPID) has a first draft completed, and I'm beginning to tackle the second draft these days. The hope is to sell these books. Get them published as soon as possible. After I'm done with the second draft of GET CUPID, I'll move on to a first draft of another book. In the meantime, if my publisher expresses interest in a sequel to Vodnik, you can bet I'll be very interested in pursuing that. Who knows what the future holds?
In any case, my heartfelt thanks to you for sticking with me for this long. If anyone has any more questions about the book, you know where to find me. :-) Thanks for reading!