Celebrating The End (And the Beginning)
Four years ago, I sat down to a critique table at a writing workshop with a group of strangers. I listened as they read from books that eventually became SILVER and UNDER THE NEVER SKY and another that seeded parts of CAN’T LOOK AWAY. I read a scene from GILT. (Talia describes that morning perfectly in our very first YA Muses blog post.)
I remember the awe I felt, listening to all of them. To the vibrancy of voice and the depth of character. The clarity of plot. But at that moment, in my awe, I had no idea I’d be here, four years later, cheering on the final installment in a trilogy I heard the beginning of that day.
I feel…lucky, fortunate, blessed to have been able to experience the brilliance of UNDER THE NEVER SKY from such a privileged position. I was rooming with Veronica at the SCBWI conference in LA when agents and editors began to express interest. We were all at a YA Muses retreat while she was on submission and good news was rolling in. We commiserated on how difficult it can be to write a second book—though I always knew it must be harder to write a middle book, just like it’s difficult to write the middle of a book. We cheered when THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT hit bestseller lists, just as we have celebrated all the little successes along the way.
And today we get to celebrate INTO THE STILL BLUE.
As writers, we all know that endings are hard. They have to tie up any number of loose ends that sometimes feel like a cat o’ nine tails. They have to suit the world and the characters. They have to feel right—fated but not obvious and satisfying without being convenient. We, as writers, want the reader to close the book while saying, “Now that was an ending.”
STILL BLUE does that. Both with its own story arc and the arc of the entire series. You leave this book feeling that Aria and Perry and Roar, Soren and Brooke and Cinder and Marron and all the rest were destined to become these people, at this time, in this way. You feel like you’ve made the journey with them—from Aria’s first step into the Death Shop to the moment the trilogy closes.
The narrative voice is still vibrant. The characters strong. The plot clear and irrefutable. And they’ve grown—just like the characters. And I’ve grown to love them all the more—as I have about all the Muses.
Thank you, V, for taking us on this journey.
And thank you, Muses, for the journey we’ve made together, and for the multiple paths ahead.