Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Time Enough to Say Goodbye

The second Tales of the Scarlet Knight book is called Time Enough to Say Goodbye.  In its current form it's about Emma having to stop a horde of demons and restore the timeline.

18 months after Emma first becomes the Scarlet Knight, a young woman named Marie Marsh uses her strange powers to rescue a little girl from 1876 and bring her to the present.  Unbeknownst to Marie, her partner the Watchmaker has also taken something from the past.  When they return to the present, the timeline is altered.

Emma wakes up to find the parents who were murdered 14 years ago are still alive, as is her recently-deceased Aunt Gladys.  As if that isn't good enough, Emma's going to be married to Dr. Dan Dreyfus.  While everything seems good for her, Marie is meanwhile trying to nurse the little girl back to health, but nothing she tries seems to work.  And the object the Watchmaker took from the past is the key to unleashing a literal Hell on Earth--with help from Marie.  Stopping the Watchmaker means Emma has to doom her parents, can she bring herself to do it?  (Since there are six more books, what do you think?)

You can thank Michael Offutt for this version of the story.  The original version involved 3 separate timelines as the Watchmaker kept trying to save his dead wife, all while Marie was trying to save her dead friend.  But that version was kind of boring.  As I suspected and Mr. Offutt confirmed, it needed a more badass villain.  Mr. Offutt made some interesting suggestions, most of which I ignored and then threw something together with demons, who were part of the Scarlet Knight universe thanks to the Sisterhood prequel story.

The three different timelines of the original each had a different experience for Emma.  In the first timeline she was pretty much the same, but looked more like her mother.  In the second timeline she was a little kid and living in a trailer with her parents.  In the third timeline it was Emma not her parents who died 14 years ago; in their grief, her parents moved back to the city.  For the revised version I pretty much used the first timeline and skipped the other two.  Sadly I had to lose one of my favorite scenes where a naked Emma wakes up in a little kid's bed in her old suburban house, freaking out the kid's mother more than the kid.  In that scene the kid asks Emma if she's the Tooth Fairy, a joke I reused a couple times in the series.

My most favorite scene of the old version was where Emma meets her mom at her mom's apartment and her mom plays the cello for her.  Instead of cutting it, I figured out how to rewrite it and move it to the epilogue, where Marie Marsh takes Emma back in time to watch her mom play and then Emma goes backstage to talk to her mom.  The only thing missing is in the original her mom figures out who she is, which I thought made for a touching moment as her mom says how great Emma turned out.  That was mostly where the title stemmed from, the idea of Emma having only a short moment to say goodbye to her parents before they die a second time.

But ninja witches fighting demons is pretty badass.  So there.

This and the rest of my books are available at the new Planet 99 Publishing site

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