Leading up to the launch of The King’s Horse, I thought I would share a few fun tid bits.
It Almost Didn’t Happen, or Happened Differently
When I was revising the ending of The Yellow Hood’s fifth and final installment, The Day the Sky Fell, I had a scene that bid adieu to Christina Creangle and Mounira that bothered me. They’d written them out, stage left, at the end of Book 4, Beauties of the Beast, sending them to take care of the senile and frail old Christophe Creangle. I debated whether or not to write Books 6 and 7 of The Yellow Hoods, focusing on getting Mounira back to her home and resolving a few lingering story lines, but it felt like I would be stretching out the series in a way that didn’t make sense. But that said, the scene saying goodbye and quickly wrapping things up for Christina and Mounira didn’t feel right either, so I deleted it.
My plan, at that point, was to write short story, or a novelette (like Snappy and Dashing), so that fans and I could see what happened to Christina and Mounira. I was supposed to write a series based on the Little Match Girl (which will come) with a publisher, but that fell through and so I went back to thinking.
Three stories started to form (all of which had scenes deleted from the end of The Day the Sky Fell: one centered around the Cochon brothers and Egelina-Marie, another about Amami and her brother Richy, and last but not least, Christina and Mounira’s adventures in getting Mounira back to her family. The last won out, and as it formed in my mind, I realized that it was a lot more rich than I had first thought. And from there came the basis for The King’s Horse.
The idea of exploring the “dark side of Santa Claus” as represented by Christophe Creangle through his contrast with Nikolas Klaus, and as his mind degenerates, was intriguing. And then layering on top of that the complicated set of desperate decisions and unflinching belief in protecting society from his own genius, gave me an exciting way to form a complicated relationship between Christophe and his daughter,.
Another idea I loved was the idea of getting to know this very strong, gay, female lead. She is formidable, brilliant, and she has a big sister relationship with this one armed girl, Mounira, that grounds her in a way she desperately needs. Christina would go from seeing her life in ruins, to finding new purpose in the series, and would bring us along the way for every precious moment of that personal journey of self-forgiveness and transformation. Mounira would be both teenage foil and Christina’s morale compass, herself tested in terms of loyalties and convictions, ultimately being left with the question when she’s returned to the family she’s been separated from, of who is she and what is family. The more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t get away from it.
At first, I called the story Unfinished Business. Then it evolved to Unfinished Business: The King’s Horse, and then finally to The King’s Horse – Book 1 as I realized this was a series unto itself. With a more mature tone, though still clean and friendly, it was a tale that was going to need time to breath and flex.
In a few days, the eBook will be out and I’m already 27,000+ words into writing the second book. It’s amazing to think that this story almost didn’t happen.
Stay tuned for other behind-the-scenes bits as we lead into launch day!
Check out The King’s Horse page for more details!