While you’ve been patiently waiting for Torment…
I’ve been hard at work on the first draft of Passion. It’s third book in the Fallen series, and a prequel to everything that occurs in Fallen and in Torment. In its conception, this book felt like an impossible project to me: It covers a span of 5000 plus years, dips into a new setting, a new country, and usually, a new century with each new chapter. And it aims to explain just about every important moment that ever passed between Luce and Daniel. Definitely the biggest narrative challenge I’ve ever given myself.
I was nervous before I started writing it. I’d had such a great, fun, charmed experience writing Torment, but I know this book was going to be much more complicated, much more taxing. Just as I did when I started writing Fallen, I turned to books for help. Only this time, in addition to the theological research books I used for Fallen, I also got to look at some of my favorite novels for help with period and setting. Recognize any of these?
Everything a writer reads, loves, and is inspired by eventually sneaks its way into his or her own work, but it isn’t so often that a writer gets to say the books truly become a part of the story. I turned to North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, and A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway. I read books about horse racing, books about the Globe Theater in London, books about the Mayan ball court at Chitzen Itza. If this sounds crazy and disjointed, believe me, there were moments when I felt precisely the same way. But the cool thing about this book, I think, is that Luce and Daniel’s story stays clear and solid across time, place, and history. It’s a survivor.
I still have a long way to go with this book. The first draft is a skeleton compared to all that will be fleshed out by the time the second and third and, cringe, sometimes even fourth drafts are completed. But the book has a shape and a backbone now, thanks in big part to all these texts I had so much fun weaving in.
My computer and I are going to take a break from each other. Just for a little while. This weekend, I’m running a half-marathon in memory of my grandfather. I’m running with a group called Team in Training to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (To those of you who took part in my auction: you helped raise over $2300!)
After that, I’m heading to Berlin for a week for my publisher’s 175th Anniversary Gala. And then—the moment we’ve all been waiting for—Torment comes out on 9/28!!! And I start touring across the US and the UK. Those of you who live near one of the cities I’ll be visiting, I hope you’ll come out and say hello!