Writing the third book in the First Light Chronicles series has been the biggest challenge I've taken on in years. There have been a number of interruptions in my life recently and that slowed things down. What's more important to this project is the fact that the events in this novel change a lot for how the series will manifest itself in the future.
After I finished the second book I knew that, regardless of size, the third book in this short series would be the last in this plot cycle and there would be a very firm ending. My approach is no different than if I were writing this as a television series. With the attitude of North American networks treating their shows like they're disposable, my approach towards writing for that medium is that every episode can be your last. As a result I write every book as though it will be my last. The biggest problem with that is the ending planned for this plot cycle has been very difficult to balance with the rest of the book. If this were a conventional book or television series from the 80's or mid 90's there would be several episodes before the events of this third book. Some would be filler, others would be used to develop characters and plot. I write at a different pace, however, and would rather not take more time than I have to on character development, especially since the style these books are written in determine a default focus on one character, a singular perspective.
I like moving things along faster under these circumstances, and writing filler is just cheating. I'm not after your money, so I'd rather write a short, exciting book and have you talk about it endlessly so I can get popular with your friends, who will hopefully spread the word just like you did. I write to entertain and excite and if I'm lucky these little books might just amount to a living, and then you'll see even more books that entertain, and the cycle continues.
Knowing that this is the last book in this plot cycle makes re-drafting and editing really picky and slow. The good news is that I'm about half way through my final edit now and enjoying the story as I go. After I've finished this edit I'll be forwarding it to my editor, who will do a grammatical pass and review the plot line. While he's busy working on that I'll design the cover and synopsis. After he's finished with the book I'll do another pass on it and post it online if it's ready. That whole process normally takes a week. Then I order printed proofs to make sure the non-digital cover came out properly.
All told, everyone waiting for an electronic version of this book has 2-3 weeks ahead of them at the most. Printed early copies (proofs), will be coming along in 3-4 weeks. That's not bad for a 240+ page book, it's actually pretty quick.
My major point with this post is that editing this is as much of a challenge as every other step. This is my last chance to reconsider plot decisions that will effect this series for the long run before I hand it over to someone else for final editing and review. It'll take more time, and I appreciate every one's patience. I'm doing my best to make sure this third part of the series is worth the wait.