After my bout of spleen yesterday, and the generous responses (especially that of Perry Middlemiss from Matilda - bless you, did not mean it to be a direct challenge...) I thought I might move rapidly along to a more constructive post.
This will be in the form of an answer to two related queries, one a direct question in an email from Lisa Perry, a book seller of Seattle, Washington, and the other more a statement of a wish by Drew.
Lisa: "Dare I ask if Rossamünd will make his way to Clementine?"
Drew: "... by all means, more Threnody!"
In answer to Lisa, I said: "...well there are so many places in the Half-Continent he could go and yet I must have what feel to me to be plausable and realistic reasons as to why he might go anywhere. If they do occur in the flow of the writing, thenI find myself having to go places I had not originally determined. ... plot is character in action, [therefore] I must let my characters go where they will go and not force them by my own purposed domination. SO in short, if I can get Rossamünd to Clementine I surely will go. If not, then, Lord willing, there might always be other books about other folks doing so instead."
This ties into Drew's notion of continuing Threnody (or any other character) through further book(s); that I find characters tend to have a gravity of their own (pretty much what I just said) and struggle to know how to include them in the story if Rossamünd's journey takes him out of their plausible range. Still, if I can some how fudge it I most surely will. It could be said that forcing something (only ever so slightly though) is fine as long as it is invisible and seems realistic. I may well be wrong, of course: I am testing this theory out even now in Book 3.
My friend Will (the fellow in the dedication of Book 1) and I have this joke about the "Considine Tea-party", where Rossamünd goes to the Considine and every favourite or interesting character from the books starts turning up "Oh look, its Fouracres with a special delivery only he could bring for no apparent reason!", "Oh hello Poundinch, would you like a towel?" - that kind of thing. It is to dream. (This is Half-Continent nerd humour: we laugh for hours...well, minutes anyway)
I reckon my ultimate H-c adventure, destroy-the-evil-overlord party would be Rossamünd (as he is in latter parts of the story, ie: a tad more clued in), Europe, Fouracres, Sebastipole, Aubergene, Doctor Crispus, Threnody, Dolours, Fransitart, Craumpalin and Freckle for comic relief and heavy lifting. Does any one else have a similar preferred line up?
On a final note, Jonathan was wondering: "...is this series going to stop at 3 books? I remember you saying that, I think, but I am hoping that due to the attention you have received, that things may have changed. Can you inform me please?"
Well, given that Book 1 was originally going to be the only book, that the trip to Winstermill was meant to only take 3 or so chapters and Rossamünd be done with the lighters at the end, I cannot rule out the MBT story taking more than three books to tell. My publisher here in Oz certainly has put it to me to consider Book 4. Reluctant at first, I do so a little more happily: a goodly way into Book 3 I can see it being possible for the story to need one more volume, but there is currently no way for me to know for sure. In short I shall say, it might not.
Yet even if MBT is done in three, there will (I most sincerely hope) be other citizens' of the Half-Continent stories to tell (does that even make sense?). I surely have other stories crowding around my mind - really depends if anyone will continue to publish me as much as any other factor. Here is hoping...