A man laughed beside her. “Needs his strength now that he’s an American man, aye?”
Anya smiled at the stranger who was sipping coffee from his steaming mug. “Yes, he is very hungry. We’ve only just arrived.”
“Hard trip, I s’pose?”
“Very,” Anya replied between bites. Her head finally began to clear and her nerves began to calm, as she reveled in the long forgotten beauty of a full stomach.
“Did you make it through?”
“Yes,” Anya whispered. “Just barely.”
Looking over his shoulder, the man stared out the window at the Lady in the harbor. His eyes glazed over as unspoken memories seemed to cloud his brain.
“And you?” Anya spoke loudly, trying to get the man’s attention away from his obviously depressing thoughts.
Turning back to her, he stuck out his hand and smiled. “Name’s Joe. And I did make it through, in a way. Have to sit it out here for a while longer, is all. Brought a couple of illnesses off the boat with me.”
Anya glanced at his forehead quickly, wondering what chalk marks had been erased.
Joe laughed. “Not to worry—it was nothing bad. My family will be coming to get me on Thursday.”
“Oh,” Anya sighed with relief. Turning back to her meal, she handed Gregori a napkin to wipe the milk from his lips. “I’m glad. No one deserves to stay here.”
There are two very difficult issues for a writer when it comes to creating a series. One: You want to make the next book even better than the first. Two: You don’t ever want to stop. Of course with number one, you can only try your best. It’s a fact that when you look at any book series, each and every reader has their own particular favorite; whether it be book one or book six - it is a personal choice.
When it comes to issue number two, the basic thing to learn is that…you have to. Characters can’t (and shouldn’t) go on forever. Eventually their adventures have to end, their mission has to be realized, their romance has to be chosen, etc. Now, I’m not speaking about characters that appear in ‘single story’ books, such as Sherlock Holmes. He can go on for all time if he wants to, with a new mystery and a new villain each and every time. But a series, a trilogy that follows the characters through various aspects of their lives where one adventure has a bearing on the next, eventually has to come to an end.
The word ‘forever’ is a big word. It’s a monumental word, actually, when it comes to books. The writer wants the books to last in the reader’s mind forever, but they - as the writer - need to move on as well and walk through other doors that have opened inside their minds. Basically, they have to say goodbye to a beloved character which is a lot like burying a loved one.
Gilded Wings marks the second journey of Matthew and Emily - a journey that was thrilling for me to take because of the twists and turns that appeared out of nowhere, and the very cool location they were a part of this time around. As Matthew and Emily’s creator, I’m actually honored to watch them grow up, change, and have to make choices that would be extremely difficult for anyone to make - even adults, by the way.
When it comes to the literary world, the word ‘forever’ has been used in a great many titles that have touched the hearts of readers. For this writer, Forever by Judy Blume - a truly controversial book when it arrived on the seen - is the one I remember the most. Whereas the word ‘forever’ is usually used nowadays when speaking about demons that will never die, Blume used it to introduce the subject of teenage sexuality which had her novel become a target of censorship and one of the most challenged books of its time. Her words seem tame in this day and age, but I’m quite sure that Blume thinks about that book and is extremely proud of the story she wrote.
Forever may appear at the end of Emily and Matthew’s journey, but whatever the title, cover art, or plot may be - my mornings and evenings with them while having a cup of coffee, will be sorely missed. And although there’s only one more tale to tell on paper, for me, Matthew and Emily will most definitely live on forever…inside my mind.
Until Next Time, Everybody,