There is a first for everything. This is my first blog post, and I hope writing here will come to seem as natural as other things that were complicated at first but which are now easy and give me a lot of pleasure, things like rolling out a pie-crust, warping a loom, and backpacking.
In 2007 I wrote The Changeful Map. That was my first book. When I started it, years before it was published, I had been reading books to and with my children. These were mostly series like The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis; The Earth Sea Trilogy by Ursula Leguin, and The Redwall Books by Brian Jaques.
During this period, a dream-like image came to me of a young woman picking ripe blackberries at the edge of a forest. What if she were to enter the forest instead of turning back towards her home? I thought she was about to begin an adventure, and I wanted to know what would happen to her, so I started writing. I learned that her name was Kathe Elder, and I pieced together her past and started seeing into her future.
When I was done writing The Changeful Map, Kathe’s story wasn’t complete, but she had proven her courage and made many friends, including some with feathers and fur. Now the (as yet untitled) second installment of her story is nearly complete, though it has turned out to be almost as much the story of Kathe’s friend Meg as of Kathe herself.
Now the problem is where, exactly, to end it. At the end of the first book, all the characters were safe. They were about to begin a well deserved winter’s rest after what had been a confusing and hectic summer. Finishing the second book is more complicated. It looks as if there will be some important questions unanswered. Kathe, Meg, and several other characters may be in danger.
That must mean there will be a third book.