The day is finally here! I hope you are as excited for FULL CIRCLE as I am! It was a difficult story to write. I decided to share the letter to the reader today. This is something I do in every book. This one explains so much about how much time and effort went into FULL CIRCLE.
With certainty, any writer will tell you the first draft of everything is pure garbage. Essentially, you want to delete the whole damn thing and pretend it never existed. When I arrived at a crossroads with Full Circle, I was utterly distraught. It boiled down to death or be dead.
I chose death.
Well…partial death. Like, 90% death. I believe I killed about twenty-seven trees printing the one hundred and thirty thousand word draft—not to mention the ink cartridge—only to pull out my hair and want to scream to the point my throat bled because I needed to feel something…anything from the mountain of atrocity sitting quietly in front of me.
I stopped the hardcopy read-through and stared into space for what seemed like days. After over five years of expelling a multitude of emotions on my laptop screen, I just wasn’t feeling Full Circle at all, so I set it aside.
Then something occurred to me… I needed more experience to be able to pull off this book. The complicated plot lines needed to bleed together and prove, once and for all, it truly went full circle. That’s where The King’s Fate (Corvidae Guard #1) came into play.
The author coordinating the anthology The King’s Fate was going to be in had to pull out for some seriously amazing things happening in her life. I took it as a sign and pulled out, as well.
After finishing The King’s Fate, I thought, Now what do I do? The Full Circle manuscript taunted me from across the room, as if Henry were glaring at me with a smirk, tearing and crumpling each sheet and setting fire to it, while I helplessly watched my efforts go up in flames.
It was time to make some changes.
I couldn’t allow Full Circle, the last full-length novel in the Shattered Lives timeline, to end on such a tropey-drively-bleck of chapters upon chapters of meaningless word vomit. Shattered Lives deserved more than that.
It needed life.
I needed life.
You needed life.
My emotions unraveled and I wrote what I would consider my best writing to date.
For some of you, Blind Faith left a vast amount of distaste in your mouths due to the major cliffhanger, but as they say, “It is what it is.” I am only the messenger. The characters guide me. I just tell their story.
With that in mind, I pretty much chalked up the original Full Circle draft to Henry misbehaving and getting jealous over the attention King Zachariah and Monty were getting. He can be so immature.
Admittedly, Blind Faith was an exceptionally difficult piece to write. I worried and fretted over one particular plotline—Henry’s confession of his own sexual abuse, including him assaulting Elaina. I even picked up another beta after asking every single one what they thought of that particular scene because I was terrified of the possibility reviewers would hang me out to dry.
Take a moment and imagine having a confession of forced rape, assaults, and plans for a fake suicide parading through your mind, shaking giant pom-poms…Rah, Rah, Sis-boom-bah! It went to the beat of only Henry’s drum. I didn’t want it to. I wanted him to wake up and stop behaving this way. Shut him down. Make myself numb to him. Quiet his antics.
But, once again, realization hit me like a fourteen-inch cast iron frying pan… Authentic storytelling doesn’t always lead from the mind, but bleeds from the heart.
In my true heart, I am as broken as these characters. Maybe not to their extent. While some issues are similar, there are many differences. I was the one who needed to deal with the horrid first glances at the dubious future of the Shattered Lives saga. I needed to release the reins and allow Henry to guide me.
The whispers and images he sent made me ugly, angry, challenging…changeable, but I dug deep, Henry holding my hand the entire time. He showed me his story and his emotions, making me understand that redemption and happily ever after don’t necessarily need to be packaged up with pretty paper and bows.
At times, Full Circle will feel intense, dark, disturbing. I had to write three storylines and intertwine them together, while also dealing with the thoughts, flashes, and whispers of the end. Fear, love, and hate bubbled beneath the layers of manic and obsessions. It was a much different game than “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine”. The discovery teetered on the knife’s edge of brutal insanity for all of us.
My beta readers, Elizabeth, Nicole, Kristin, Michelle, and Stephenie, are responsible for allowing me to see and feel everything once more. Their words and suggestions brought more to this story than I ever imagined for it. I’m in their debt.
So here it is… Full Circle, the final full-length novel in the Shattered Lives saga. Raw emotions painted by yours truly. I hope you see this as a piece of me I’m tearing out and handing over to you…bloodied and beaten, but not defeated. Regardless, I can stand tall knowing, with a little urging, I gave you the best work I could.
Which leaves me to say…
My dear readers,
We’ve come a long way together. I love you whole, and I love you broken.
COPYRIGHT 2017 FULL CIRCLE RISSA BLAKELEY
ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!
JOIN THE MILITIA TODAY!