'War' Is Over (Hope You Want It)
So, after many more years than it should have been, Locksmith's War is finally done. It clocks in at 91,943 words—shorter than either of the other two books. (There's no rule that says sequels have to be longer, after all.) It's also much more tightly paced.
Is is everything I hoped it would be? Well, I was hoping the final fight scene would be a proper crescendo, greater even than the fight scene at the end of Locksmith's Journeys, which was sort of my zombie T-Rex (Dresden Files fans know what I'm talking about.) It is a fight, but it's short and to the point, not quite as spectacular as some others I've written. But if J.K. Rowling can get away with writing the final confrontation between the hero and the villain as a debate over a wand's chain of custody, I can certainly get away with this.
And there's a lot to like along the way. Lachlan Smith doesn't save the day in every situation—quite often, he needs help himself—but his decisions are certainly the driving force, and they are astonishing. He breaks the awesometer, and then he breaks the emergency backup awesometer. He is so metal, the other metals will invite him to sit with them at the periodic table. I was worried that I wouldn't find any useful roles for all the side characters I brought in, but I managed it.
I'm in talks to have the trilogy reprinted and re-released through Secant Publishing. This will mean, among other things, professionally done covers. I'm proud of the covers I have:
I think they're at the high end of amateur work, but professional would still be better.
This is all I've done of the cover of Locksmith's War:
There was to have been a silhouetted two-by-four wreathed in flames (you'll have to read the book to find out why) blocking out the spark of light near the bottom. The reason the front looks the way it does is that it's very hard to create a good rain layer in GIMP—or rather, when you create a rain layer it looks like what it sounds like… a wall of torrential rain about six inches thick between the viewer and the scene. Multiple rain layers tend to make things look whitish. If I'd finished this cover, I probably would have tried to find a way to darken it. I would have also changed the tagline to reflect that most of the action of Locksmith's War takes place over a little more than 24 hours. (Well, 24 hours and a hundred years. This is time travel, after all.)
I imagine there'll be some editing to do. But sooner or later I'm going to have to say goodbye to Locksmith, Gary, Rikki and Lucy and the rest. That will be sad. But there are other characters, and there will be more. I won't say "I have not yet begun to write," because I have definitely begun and continued, but I think I have enough ideas to keep me going the rest of my life.
And with that, please enjoy this Locksmith's War playlist.