There's something incredibly magical about taking facets of a particular story and putting them together in ways that you didn't expect to when you started out. I'm constantly amazed at the way that things will just click into place almost without any help from me. Things that I put in without really thinking about them at the time turn out to be pivotal later on it the series.
That means that my writing process is a little bit of an exercise of faith each time. I always know at least a little bit of what needs to happen in a given book, but so much of it just happens during the course of actually sitting down to write.
Usually there are two big milestones to any book. The first is when I know how I want the book to end and the second is when I know how I'm going to get from wherever I am to that ending. Once I know those two things then finishing the book is mostly just a matter of putting in the time to get all of the words down on paper.
Last night I figured out how I'm going to end Alec and Adri's story. I don't know exactly how I'm going to get there still, but I know how the series is going to end; and that's incredibly liberating.
I sat down for half an hour or so last night when the idea first came to me and sketched out the essentials; who would be involved, what new characters need to be introduced before it could happen and some key changes that will need to take place in a couple of existing characters.
It wasn't until I finished getting that all down that I realized something else.
For most of the last twenty years I've had another story rattling around in the back of my head. It's a Wheel of Time style epic fantasy set in the same world as the Guadel Chronicles, and there are some overarching themes that I always planned on working into the story there. Oddly enough, the ending of the Reflections series will have some of the very same themes, just done in a different way.
I really wish I could tell you all more, but I'd probably better just leave it right there for now. I don't think this was just coincidence though. It feels a bit like I've got a story that I'm supposed to tell, and that it's determined to make sure that it's told regardless of anything else.