The Call of Aven-Ra
It’s done. After a very long time, and a lot of random angst, the Daemonva trilogy is done and it’s no longer occupying my brain space.
The Call of Aven-Ra has been published. Self-published, obviously, and it’s now live on Amazon. Smashwords is currently working its magic and it’ll be available on most other ebook stores through their extended distribution network soon enough.
It’s been a long and somewhat ridiculous journey, and the truth is that I regret quite a lot of it at this point.
The story that would become The Meldling started years ago, back when I was in college and I just had this vague idea of a possible plot that involved a daemon woman. I played a lot of D&D back then, and I had a fondness for things like winged elves and succubi, and I was reading the Drizzt books. I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to write a redemption story around this character, this woman who was ostensibly a demon but who had the soul of a human.
Everything grew from there, and much of the original story was bootstrapped out of Nanowrimo. I got it done, I got it edited, and I got it ready to publish, because I felt (at the time) that the series I really wanted to write just wasn’t ready, and this one book was more or less ready. Then I made a fatal mistake: I put the title on the cover, and then gave it a subtitle, “First Novel of the Daemonva”.
My friends, this was possibly one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had. I was now committed to writing further books in this world. How hard could it be, I thought. I had another vague idea that would spin out pretty well into a trilogy, I said to myself. I could do it and then get back to the other fantasy series with some more experience under my belt.
The problem was that I betrayed myself.
I have no deadlines, no obligations, no need to write for money. I have a job that pays more than I could ever earn with books, and it’s a job that I truly enjoy and I wouldn’t want to give it up. I have the luxury of writing for no one other than myself, my readers, and my art - and I don’t have any readers to speak of, so this is really for me and my art. The very second I gave in to that whim and turned The Meldling into a trilogy, I betrayed my own narrative instincts that all but screamed that the story was done and didn’t need anything further.
The truth is that The Meldling was never meant to be anything but that one story, and when I published it as the first in a series, I betrayed my art. I shouldn’t have forced it to be something more than what it was. The net effect of this decision has spun out into four goddamn years of bullshit and procrastination and, I’m sorry to say, a good deal of resentment and flat-out hatred of the whole series, because on a very fundamental level, I didn’t want to write those two extra books.
Only a few random people have ever read The Meldling, and fewer still have read The Nameless Knight, and frankly I expect no one to read The Call of Aven-Ra. But all stories need an ending, and this one is for me. I pushed through this mess, I finished the damn story, and now I have closure. It’s not even in the top ten best things I’ve ever written, and that’s okay because it’s done.
If I have learned nothing else, it’s this: I need to feel the story in my heart. I can’t commit myself to a story on a whim. I can only really produce good work when the story hums in the back of my mind and every part of it speaks to me. Ultimately, the Daemonva trilogy did not.
I think most writers have an odd relationship with their own work.
From this point, I’ll be back to work on the fantasy series that I’ve been dreaming of for years. And this time I’ll get it right.