Writing The Elf Job

So you may have noticed The Elf Job is now out. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have it off my plate. It was a really difficult book to write for several reasons.

The first is that I switched it from first person to third and yet I left all kinds of first person pronouns littering the work and every time I combed through, I seemed to find dozens more. They were proliferating like cockroaches. I then hit a point in the book that I did not like and I had to backtrack by ten or twenty thousand words, dump them, and reconfigure, and start forward again.

All right! I was on a roll! Until I broke a metaphorical axle. I knew what I wanted to do, but it wasn’t working. I’d make a little headway, back up, try a new direction, back up, rinse and repeat. Part of the problem was my bad guy. Another problem was the Liluyo. I wasn’t finding an organic way to do what I wanted to do and I kept breaking things and not figuring out how to fix them. So while I was constantly building conflict, it seemed kind of pointless and unsolvable.

And then…singing angels and panoramic beams of light. I found the path and frankly, I really like the way the story ended. So much. I feel like it hits on all the emotional levels and sets up some things for me to deal with down the road. I can’t wait to come back to the Liluyo and Sil’noor. One day Mal’s going to meet the boss, and just what is LeeAnne anyway?

Part of what I enjoyed about writing the book is some of the whimsy. Like the pigfish and the topiary animals. All the little characters weaving in and out. I love the snarky back and forth dialog. I write to entertain myself and make myself giggle. And sometimes cry. And give myself feels. The business with Law and Mal gave me lots of feels. And of course her relationship with So’la is really fun to write.

As hard as this book was to finish, as frustrating as it sometimes was, I am so glad that Mal lets me hang out with her and her strange and lovely little family. And that’s a little bit on my process for writing The Elf Job.

By the way, that adorable car was in the parking lot of the auto parts store I went to the other day.

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