So, I have just finished the rough draft of The Battle of Dusk and Dawn. Celebrated that by having a gimlet (It's been a rough month).
TBoDaD was difficult to write. The hardest one of the series, in fact. I think this is mainly because it's the last book in the series and I feel a little depressed about that. I've been dragging my feet, to be honest. I really love this character and this series - the character is modeled after my niece - and The Green Door, the first book, is my first published book.
I've said this in interviews before but I don't mind relating it again - the idea for the basic story came to me as a short story that I wanted to call The Pumpkin Princess years ago. That was the working title. I had an idea about a little girl who finds herself in a pumpkin patch that leads to a fairy tale land. I never got around to writing the story out years ago. Here's another bit of information that I have not mentioned in interviews, the green door was once a short story idea as well though for a different story. I got the idea many years ago as a teen in a summer writing camp at Lewis and Clark college and did a little bit of work on it but I never finished it so it remained a rather skeletal idea. The idea was about little goblins that lived behind on old green door of a shed. Well, these ideas were combined many years later. In fact, the goblins come much later in the series. The pumpkin princess idea seemed like it started in the middle of the "story" to me when I finally decided to put the story on paper so I felt that I needed to introduce the protagonist to readers by way of her entering this fairy world through another way and that is how the idea of the green door of an abandoned old shed came into being. The Green Door was born. After that The Pumpkin Princess became the second story in what became the current series.
The main character, a seven year old girl named Anne Greene who turns eight loves books, is introspective, imaginative and brave. She loves her friends and her family, who are loving and a little indulgent with her but are definitely strong positive figures in her life. She also loves nature. nature and the environment are very important in the stories. I wanted to create stories around her that created challenges for her without being overwhelmingly dark. I wanted books that showed a little girl with a basically positive view of the world and who held to clear principles, however imperfectly she might live up to them. I named her Anne because of several queens in English history that were named Anne. Boleyn was the first queen that came to my mind. I've always loved the name, specifically the English spelling of it. There are also references to Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare's work in some of the books as well.
Now I've said aplenty that this is the end of the series, and as far as I can see, it is. There might be a short story in the works a year or two from now. I won't say "never", after all, my mom has always said that life can make a liar out of you, but as far as I can see, The Secret Doorway Tales series is basically done. So what am I working on next? Well, as I start on my second draft of my current book I am also writing another short story. A deliciously mysterious story. Look for it to be available for download next weekend, if all goes well.