One of the next things I need to do is write up an outline for Aron to begin work on Spear of Fire. (That’s the extra Reforged book that will come after Hammer of Time.) But when I finished the original trilogy, I threw away all of my notes!
Never, ever do that, writers. Or anyone. Always keep your notes! You never know when you might need them!
It’s been long enough since working on any of the Reforged books that I don’t remember very many world details. What’s the money system? What year is it in the Reforged universe? What was the name of that one Mirran singer we briefly referenced once? I might need them! What color do Ixthian eyes turn when they’re angry? Shit!
So now I need to read over all of the Reforged books, starting with Anvil of Tears, and taking notes on names, places, descriptions and so on. ( At some point, we have plans for a sequel to In the House of Five Dragons. I tossed the notes when I finished that, too. Reconstructing those is going to be an ordeal, too.)
But Anvil of Tears was our first novel. Hell, when I first published the book, it didn’t even have Aron’s name on it. Like all first books, it’s… a little rough. A lot of authors call their first book a trunk novel. Because it goes in a trunk and stays there. I would never go so far as to say I regret publishing Anvil of Tears. I don’t. But I’ve always admitted that it’s not exactly my strongest work. Whenever we get a new reader who starts with that book, I wince a little. So now that I need to read over the Reforged trilogy again, I figured it was a good opportunity to brush it up. Not the events or anything, but the prose and the dialog.
I really braced myself before starting. I reminded myself over and over to cut myself some slack. Anvil of Tears was my very first book. I had never so much as taken a writing class other than basic high school and college English. I never read a book on writing or listened to a podcast. But you know what? I’m a few chapters in and it’s not nearly as bad as I feared. Sure, the writing is rough, but I still love the stories and the characters of Anvil of Tears. I had forgotten how much fun it was to write Maeve and Logan in particular, and am having an absolute blast going back to their story.
I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks of work on Anvil of Tears, and then the rest of the series. Just from a time perspective, I hope the other books don’t need as many updates, but I’ll do whatever needs to be done. I still love Reforged and want to make it the best it can be.
I’m not quite sure yet how I’ll manage releasing the new version. Do I send it out under the same ISBN? Give it a new one and an edition number? I’ll ask around and see how other authors do it.