-Abraham Lincoln, 1861 (First Inaugural Address)
“You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
I could have filled pages at the front of this book with quotes that fit nicely with the theme of the novel, but I didn't, keeping it to the one from Clare Booth Luce that I love so much. Still, since this is sort of the "behind-the-scenes" discussion of the book, you get a bit more. Anyway, here comes my obligatory warning to those who haven't read Enemies yet (or finished it) - DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER UNLESS YOU WANT THE STORY SPOILED FOR YOU.
Seriously. It will ruin you. FOREVER. Maybe. I dunno. Whatever, I have more fun when the story takes me along for the ride and I can't anticipate the curves. Maybe you're different.
Anyway, SPOILERS commence in 10...
Just go read the book already, will you?
So, this one was not that tough to write. It had moments where I thought it was going to be difficult, but mostly it just flowed. I started it around the 25th of April, when I was in London, and ended up writing about 10,000 words while I was in England. (A lovely place, by the way; Sienna's sentiment at customs at the end of Enemies is my own.)
I wrote another 50,000 words or so in May, between doing the final edits of Broken and getting it released, mostly doing the writing in the latter half of the month. I took copious notes while I was walking around London, and visits to places like the British Museum inspired ideas (like the statue reveal of Sienna's ancestors - though to be fair, the actual statue that inspired that scene is the one of Mausollos (sp? the guy who had the opulent tomb in Halicarnassus, Mausoleums are named for him) and his queen. The entire museum was gorgeous, and the open dome in the middle looked like a great place to have a fight. So I wrote one. (It's also a good place to get a tasty coffee, in case you're ever there and need some caffeine.)
I was struggling early on with what I should have Sienna do with Janus now that she was in London. I went out to dinner at a Greek restaurant near my hotel, and boom! My waitress was named Athena. Instant idea - what if there was someone who knew something was coming, someone who could start to fill in the blanks for Sienna about what might be heading their way?
There were also some immense surprises in the way this book played out. I spent the last chapter of Broken establishing the character of Rick, the Primus of Omega. I spent another chapter in Enemies having a nice interplay back and forth between them, wherein he is being a total and utter douchebag (which he totally is, by the way). I had intended things to go like this between them, to have this antagonistic relationship where he would keep lording over Sienna that he had what she wanted and that she would try and twist to make it obvious she wasn't under his thumb.
And then Wolfe said, "Kill him," and she damned sure did, and the writer was left scratching his head about what to do next.
The same thing happened in the museum fight. I spend all this time detailing and coming up with these elaborate characters to be the Ministers of Omega, researching their backgrounds, trying to pick some obscure deities in there with the obvious ones, making sure to make it entirely a European organization so I can hint at how Euro-centric their influence actually is, something I was going to cover after the fight.
Then I realized that if they, by chance, actually saw the light of reason and told Sienna what she needed to know, it'd seriously eff my plans. So that greasy bastard Weissman showed up and offed them all in an eyeblink (because it would have totally screwed up his plans, too). But how did he get there? Well, shazam, it turns out he's had a mole in Omega the whole time. Now that Omega's about to come to an end, he doesn't really need eyes and ears inside the walls anymore. Problem solved.
But Janus...here's the secret about Janus that you might have figured out by the end of Enemies: He's not a bad guy. He associates with them, deals with them every day, has long ago attached his little red wagon to theirs, but he, himself, is not really...bad. He tries to do what's right. He argues against using cruel means, doing harsh things, and attempts (usually fails, but he tries!) to keep Omega from being a bunch of monstrous asses. So I couldn't kill him, I just couldn't. Fortunately, his girlfriend could help in that regard. Man, lucky for me, that little detail. Otherwise he'd have been toast.
This book was quite the journey for Sienna as well, of course. Taking her from a place where she became a killer, ignoring the whispers of her conscience and delving into wholesale murder, then coming back again? That's kinda dark. I mean, I tried to keep it as light as I could since Broken was a pretty dark book in places, but it was tough. I also had to balance the ongoing mystery and need to wrap up Omega's arc with having a somewhat self-sufficient story. That's going to be a bigger challenge as things go on, but hopefully it entertains. There are just so many threads dangling out there now - the Agency, Century, the last remnants of Omega coming to Minneapolis to help make a stand against the impending extinction. I had finally gotten Sienna back on her path, away from the base desires of just striking out for revenge, and then-BOOM! Curveball. Sienna's metaphorical chickens come home to roost in a most dramatic fashion.
It's getting kind of tough to top myself on these endings. I had the advantage of having this one planned out well in advance (at least the last few pages, with her capture and detainment - not the battle with Weissman and Raymond) and could just focus on what was happening in the book during the final battle rather than worrying about how I was going to transition into the next one.
Anyway, that book was a lot of fun. I've got to finish the one I'm working on (a Sanctuary offshoot novel, Thy Father's Shadow) and then I'll be at work on Legacy: The Girl in the Box, Book 8. Don't ask me when it'll be out, because I don't know. My plan is that it'll become available sometime between now and January 1, 2014. Beyond that, I don't know. I'm pushing aside a couple other books in order to get this next one done faster, so take solace in that, because otherwise it wouldn't have been out until well into next year. I'm still planning on having book ten out to conclude the series by the end of next summer, but that's about as specific as I'll get for what will be obvious reasons to most regular readers of this blog.
So, once again I've rambled all too long on a discussion post. Now it's your turn. What did you like most about the book? What did you think? And did you catch that oh-so-clever Harry Potter reference in the scene at King's Cross?
Just kidding! (Not about the HP reference, it was totally in there.) DISCUSS!
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