So, some of you may have read my latest novel, Air, the first book in my new trilogy. I'm going to talk about the trilogy a little bit today.
Air was not originally the first book in the series. The entire series started as one huge, 160k word novel that followed Tom from his childhood, which I then divided into four books. The first 30k word book was about Tom's childhood on Ruthen's residence ship, his rivalry with Nathan, and his friendships with a few other characters. We even met Tom's father, although it was not explicitly revealed that was who the character was.
That book ended with Ruthen's attempted murder of Tom, and then there was a five year timeskip, where Air started from Nathan's POV.
Obviously, now we have Air as the first book in the trilogy. So what made me change it so drastically? Heavy editing, of course. Editing and a sharp eyed beta reader.
I wrote the series a while ago, and I have been editing it heavily on and off ever since to make it as good as I can. Something that long takes time to write and a lot of time to edit, and it went through several versions.
As I worked on each version, it became clearer and clearer that the first book, where Tom was a child, was completely unnecessary. My beta reader told me the same thing-while it was a fun read, the entire premise of the series is that Tom is a water mage who wants to take revenge on Ruthen, who tried to kill him. Taking 30k words to get to a point that is explained on the back of the book just wasn't working. Worse, a lot of the characters we see in that first book weren't seen again until the last book, and they had small roles. The book was fun, but didn't serve much of a purpose.
So, I cut the entire book, along with the extraneous characters. It was a really hard decision, but the final version is shorter, sleeker, and more enjoyable, and the series makes far more sense as a trilogy rather than a quartet. Plus, having a 30k YA book as the first book in an adult fantasy/romance series seemed odd too.
Now the books focus on what's important-Tom's goal, Tom and Nathan's relationship, and their world.
Check out Complete Works if you're interested in reading the first book!