Remember earlier this month when I was like HERE HAVE SOME TITLES?
I’m not even sure The One Who Sees is the right title for Saints 2, but this is about where I am right now with this novel. I started working on edits for it, and then I was just having this bleh moment where I didn’t want to read or write or edit, so I asked Alex to go to Jaho to kind of figure out my head, and we’re about halfway through chatting about Saints and other things, and I’m just like “why does none of this feel right UGH” and she goes, “Well, because you think this book is about Ezra when it’s really about Henry.”
cue me blank staring in shock at her
what the hell, it is
Alex then went on to say, “So, here’s the thing. Each of the series is about an Ash kid. You can pretend all you want that Saints at sea is about Julian, but, at its heart, it’s really about Sam. And the bastards is going to be about Avery. The first Saints duology is about Landon.”
And I just kind of continued to stare blankly at her because oh my god she’s right. I was like, “wait, hold on, are you telling me that every book is about an Ash kid?” And really, before Alex could even begin to say that yes, yes they were, it occurred to me.
The Saints duology is about Landon at its core. The first one, King of Saints, is obviously about him, but the second one? Yeah, if we really look at it, it’s about Henry. Saints at sea is definitely about Sam, particularly with the edits I’ve got in mind for the second draft. The second one is probably going to be about Avery mostly, but there’s a part of me that feels like it’s going to be about Madison (wink wink nudge nudge). The bastards will also be about Avery, and I’m not sure yet if the other Ash kids will be in it, so we’ll see.
But wow. Saints 2 is about Henry. So my titles are a little messed up. And if Saints at sea 2 is about Avery/Madison, then that title also doesn’t fit. So, like, ignore those, haha? Listen, things change all the time. None of these titles are actually a guarantee until they’re sitting on shelves somewhere.
What have I been up to these past few weeks, then? A lot. Last time we spoke, I’d just wrapped on third draft edits for King of Saints, which is now sitting pretty in my writing folder waiting for something to be done with it. I started working on third draft edits for Saints 2, which needs a hell of a lot of love, and then I stopped around chapter ten. Chelsea had also stopped around chapter ten, and my stopping was not at all a coincidence. I had this moment of dear god I have to do this by myself now I think I’m going to just run away in the opposite direction. Seriously, you guys, get yourself a reader like Chelsea. She is top notch. And! She also blogs sometimes, so you should totally go check her out.
So, I very casually (annoyingly) reached out to her and was like hey girl hey you, uh, you gonna read again cos I’m dying over here without you help, and being the superb human that she is, she immediately jumped back in, and I was like heck yeah, I’m gonna start editing again!
You know what would be way more fun? Saints at sea, obviously. You know what I can’t stop thinking about? Saints: the bastards. That emoji of the face with the eyes rolling up and the flat mouth line, that’s my face right now. Like, come on, Mary, stick to one project at a time.
BUT NO SHE SAID LET’S ALSO READ THREE BOOKS AT ONE TIME
I’m in a weird place. My creative energy is super high, but it won’t focus. I’m, like, ready to get things done, but all the things, which is just super not productive or helpful at all, so here we are, working on Saints at sea edits. Which is all well and good, it really is, but the thing is, my dear friend Sam Ash is one person in Saints 2 and a very, very, very different person in Saints at sea. There’s a lot that happens to him throughout the second Saints that starts to shift who and how he is, and by the time he boards the Wolf, he’s still kind of reminiscent of sad boy!Sam, but also will very quickly not be that person.
(Sam’s character development is, for me, one of my pride and joys. The other characters have development, obviously, but Sam’s is astounding from where he starts to where he is right now, and he still has so much farther to go, and yes, you will probably dislike him in the beginning, BUT NOT FOR LONG HAHAHAHA)
Jen asked me the other day how edits for Pen boys was going.
Let’s not talk about it. Let’s just not. We’re going to be permanently mad at each other until I admit that I need to kind of start over. I DON’T EVEN WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT, HOLY—-
So. I’m about five chapters deep in The Wolf King right now and trying to convince myself not to be five chapters deep in it. I really need to finish editing Saints 2 first. Otherwise, I feel like I’m just going to be so confused about where I’m at with Sam. And that’s a big deal since Saints at sea is kind of definitely 100% about him. I want to make sure his development is linear, you know, instead of just all over the place, and I feel like editing in the right order is going to help with that.
Plus, I know myself. If I finish editing The Wolf King, I am absolutely going to start writing Saints at sea 2. Because, you know. The bastards. I can’t stop thinking about them.
The thing I can’t stop thinking about is Gordon and Runa as little kids. I think I’m going to do the same thing with the first bastards novel as I have done with the first Saints and at sea. The opening chapter of King of Saints is told kind of like a short story. It’s about this Saint that walks into a church and murders a priest. Not the most inviting scene, I realize, but it sets the tone for the novel. The Wolf King starts with a chapter about Julian’s life from the first time he met the sea (heyyyy, check my short story A Boy and the Ocean published by Z Publishing) until now, when he’s captain of the Wolf. So, I’m thinking the first chapter of The Bastard King will be about Gordon and Runa as kids, how they grew up together running around the castle, always blaming each other for their messes but then also always getting each other out of sticky situations. Runa used to beg bedtime stories off Gordon, and Gordon used to whine at Runa until she would play with him in the gardens. They were the kind of siblings we see in media all the time. Until everything went wrong, that is. But we’ll be seeing the wrong bits in the trilogy, so I thought it’d be nice to introduce them still as sisterandbrother, this one, cohesive unit before we meet them as kind of enemies.
I’m really excited by the prospect of the bastards trilogy. It’s a whole new gang for me to play with. I’ve been hanging out with my Saints for almost a year now, and while I love them, getting to know the crew of the Wolf has been so refreshing, and the upcoming prospect of Gordon and his friends just makes me grin like an idiot every time I think about it.
Suffice to say, I’ve been doing a lot of writing stuff. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading stuff. At the end of my August Reads, I wrote that I was going to make a concerted effort to read everything off of my pre-assigned TBR for the month of September, and so far, I am crushing that. There are only two out of my five that I haven’t done yet, and one out of the preorders, so out of nine pre-assigned books, I’ve read six. And then I started reading something not on the list. I’m trying, though! I just had an overwhelming moment of missing space and needed to read an astronaut biography. But! I’m planning on reading my last preorder the second it arrives (LESS THAN A WEEK HOLY MOLY!), and after I finish the three (yes, three, I’m aware I’m being ridiculous) books that I’m currently reading, I’m going to grab one of the last ones from the pre-assigned and hopefully come out of this having read 8 out of 9. Zebulon probably isn’t happening this month, but that’s okay because next month is spooky month!
yo spoiler I’m reading only horror/spooky books next month and I have so many ready to go and I’m stokeddddd
So this is where I’m at. Reading three books at once, editing two books at once, and just for real crushing the game. Get at me, world.