I’m doing the happy Snoopy dance at Faulkner Towers this morning as digging through some old files I’ve found the one piece of text I cut from the novel that pained me the most. And I’m planning to put it online as a special “bonus feature” for readers of The Four Realms.
As you are probably aware, The Four Realms took thirteen years to write and went through numerous revisions. There was a time when Cassidy was called (the rather unoriginal) Angel, there were times when D’Toeni didn’t exist. It was thirteen years of hard work and tough choices.
One of those tough choices was a very large piece of exposition that explained the history of the vampires. It explained how they came to be in the Realm of Men, why there was a Vampire Council, and the history of Metzger.
The trouble was that two and a half thousand words of exposition doesn’t make for a good book, especially not for one that’s fairly pacey like The Four Realms.
So it got cut.
All of it
The lore itself never really changed, it just wasn’t there on the page. The bits about the Naya Vestu seeped back into the story but it always pained me that there was no place in the novel for all this worldbuilding. But that’s worldbuilding for you, it often exists outside the story.
I cut it years ago but was wise enough to know that this stuff shouldn’t be lost so I made the effort six years ago to dig it out of a (even then) old draft and put it into it’s own word document. That Word document was then lost for six years in a folder full of multiple levels of sub-folder and files.
However, I’ve found it, and reading through it, all those old feelings of “I wish I didn’t have to cut this” resurfaced. I think if you loved the worldbuilding of The Four Realms you are in for a REAL treat!
It needs a bit of a tidy up and I need to do a check against my Worldbuilding Wiki (Yes, I have one; when you finally see how many things are buried in The Four Realms you’ll understand why). I want to check that the dates are consistent and that character names haven’t changed. After all, when this was written, Cassidy was still called Angel! In short, I want to ensure that this History of the Vampires is completely cannon.
And then I will put it online. I don’t expect it to take too long to edit. It reads more like a Wikipedia entry than a novel, but that’s fine for bonus material. I’m hoping I can get it online early next week!