Princelings fans may be wondering what’s happening next, since The Princelings of the North came out in January.
I wrote a couple of short stories around Christmas time that suggested further developments in tensions between Fred, the different types of ex-pirate, and the Kings’ Council. There was also one that featured Hector, who seems to have got himself settled at Castle Marsh already.
These are all ‘local colour’ in the transition through these years, parallel with our own, really, before we get to the final book in the series, which should happen in 2020-21.
I’ve already mentioned I’m planning a book before that.
The Chronicles of Marsh will bring together a series of short stories to give a sort of snapshot of the times. I would dearly love to go back to the start of King Fred’s reign to pick up past short stories, like Zephyrs, and the longer Fred’s Yuletide Escape. Zephyrs is more of a vignette of Fred, Kira and George interacting as Fred makes Castle Marsh a place for science (to use the modern term). I’m not sure whether it shouldn’t stay as it is. But Fred’s Yuletide Escape turns out to be an important event in the politics of the Realms. The question is, should I really try to shoe-horn it into another story, one that fits between POTN and the last one?
My vision is to look at it from Castle Marsh’s point of view, and use Willoughby as the hook. Willoughby is now steward, but said in his own book that he’d written a story of the Heroes of Dimerie (his version of The Princelings and the Pirates), and felt he would like to work on a real narrative of the history of the Realms. This could be his opportunity—at least to put the key points of history down as seen from Marsh. There should be enough exciting incidents going on to keep the reader happy.
In some ways, this is how Traveler started: Hugo went down the tunnel, something happened to make a little story, then he came back again. Then he did it again. It all linked up until the twist came and it headed to a climax.
So that’s something like my idea for Chronicles. I can imagine Fred and Willoughby discussing it as a project, perhaps one day when George is overdue and they are standing looking out for him. Fred might start it off by telling Willoughby his Yuletide adventure. Then Willoughby can write it down, and carry on.
Fans of Queen Kira may wonder where she fits into all this. Several years ago I believed she was going to die in childbirth. We’ve even got to the stage where that might have happened. Fred all alone facing these uncertain times makes sense for some of the actions I think he’s going to take. Having Kira by his side would make that more difficult. But I just can’t bring myself to commit to losing her. Daughter Jasmine is all set to take on the role of heroic female in the series. Maybe she’s just too young, though.
I find myself grieving for Kira. I wonder if I should just leave them to live happily ever after?
Book 10 is relatively straightforward. It’s a classic adventure with time travel unravelled. It has revolution and planes and crashes and just-in-time panic. Everything comes full circle. All I need to do is write it.
I just feel I need to write book 9 first!
I’m now reblogging news items on here to my author blog jemimapett.com. It just seems sensible to write things once, but collate them all to Jemima’s news pages, rather than write different pieces in two or even three different places. Some will go to the publishers site too. I apologise if that means you see them more than once, and I’ll understand if you stop ‘following’ one or more of the websites. Just as long as you keep getting notifications of new posts somewhere!