Sometimes a Monster, the third and final book in the Grape Merriweather series, is set to release in May. That’s exciting! Yay! I’m in edits with my publisher and I currently have my husband reading it over in case my eyes, so used to the words, miss any crucial errors.
Editing forced me to reflect on the writing process I went through with this novel. It took a full year of my life to write Sometimes A Monster, several months longer than I’d anticipated. Why? There were external reasons of course. If you’ve followed my twitter feed then you know that I’m more than little obsessed with the Trump administration and the Russia investigation. I feel like we’re living through a dramatic moment in history and I don’t want to miss a bit of it.
The bigger reason, however, is that I gave myself a unique challenge with this series. I chose to introduce a whole new world with a new set of problems in the final book. Books one and two take place almost exclusively in Sortilege Falls, Missouri. Nearly the entire third book takes place in Starth – a world reached through an inter-dimensional portal.
The themes in Sometimes A Monster are also the most difficult I’ve dealt with so far. Though this book is nearly pure fantasy, it is also the most human in many ways. Book one dealt mainly with beauty worship and celebrity. In book two, the characters had to make impossible choices and deal with their inner demons. The third book examines how we maintain our values and sense of self when we’re caught in situations beyond our control and how we move forward through trauma. War is the backdrop for this novel. Starth is a fractured land where different races of fantastical beings battle for survival and everyone is at the mercy of the most powerful race: The Wizards. As you can see, the themes have become progressively more complicated as have the characters and methods of storytelling.
The title alone of the third book implies what we’re about to see: a world in which everyone is sometimes forced to do something terrible, often times for the “greater good.” It’s dark but hope and the power of the human (and non-human) spirit are alive and well in Starth.
Creating a whole new land with fantastical creatures and a rich history as well as delving deep into the darker parts of human nature, meant that taking my time was absolutely necessary. 2017 was definitely a year well spent.
I’m off to new projects but I’m also not quite done with Starth. Over the next few months, I’ll be writing posts about individual characters, the different races and the history of Starth as well as revisiting the characters that have been with us since the beginning.
This is Grape’s last big stand. I hope you’re ready to join her.