Candlewick has officially accepted the final draft of the manuscript for my book, the first book in the five-book Kaimira series. Now it’s in copy editing, and the on-sale date is July 8, 2008.
I’m currently working on supplementary material (back matter, or appendices). You know, all that cool stuff that gets attached to fantasy novels? Maps, little histories, and the sort? As a child, I obsessed over them. They were what gave my my first understanding of the concept of world building, and that the story was only one part of a larger world the author had created. The supplementary materials were what made me feel like I had permission to join in the world building, to sketch my own maps, to write my own heroic poems about the Fellowship of the Ring, or cryptic riddles for the Seeker in The Dark Is Rising sequence. It also gave me the first experience of geeking out over a fantasy world, though we didn’t call it geeking out back then.
To be creating these things for my own story is a bit surreal. I tell myself I have to be careful not to geek out too much, that I have to keep everything as reader-friendly as possible, and then I remember that it was the geeking out that attracted me to those materials in the first place. They were a meeting point between the author’s obsession and my own about the fantasy world that existed just beyond the margins of the page, of which the story in the book was only a facet, the tip of an iceberg.
So my strategy now is just to have fun with it. If it’s something I find exciting enough to warrant a few pages in the back of the book, then I think the readers will like it as well.